Federal Register Vol. 80, No.58,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 58 (March 26, 2015)

Page Range15885-16247
FR Document

80_FR_58
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 15998 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
80 FR 16031 - Sunshine Act Meetings; National Science BoardPDF
80 FR 16044 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 16043 - In the Matter of Winsonic Digital Media Group, Ltd.; Order of Suspension of Trading Pursuant to Section 12(K) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934PDF
80 FR 16023 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 16022 - Public Land Order No. 7831; Transfer of Administrative Jurisdiction, Wind Cave National Park Addition; South DakotaPDF
80 FR 15993 - BE-9: Quarterly Survey of Foreign Airline Operators' Revenues and Expenses in the United StatesPDF
80 FR 15953 - Kentucky Regulatory ProgramPDF
80 FR 16077 - Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy; Notice of Open MeetingPDF
80 FR 15987 - Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Amended Affirmative Preliminary DeterminationPDF
80 FR 16080 - Signal Specialties, Inc.-Acquisition and Operation Exemption-Line in Buchanan County, MOPDF
80 FR 15991 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Scoping ProcessPDF
80 FR 15985 - BE-45: Quarterly Survey of Insurance Transactions by U.S. Insurance Companies With Foreign PersonsPDF
80 FR 15951 - Privacy Act of 1974; ImplementationPDF
80 FR 15997 - President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for HispanicsPDF
80 FR 16007 - Privacy Act System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 16025 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 15963 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of New Mexico; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone and 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards; Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter Air Pollution Affecting VisibilityPDF
80 FR 16005 - Environmental Protection Agency; Notice of Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 16016 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 15891 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization ProgramPDF
80 FR 15984 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous FishPDF
80 FR 15986 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Notice of Intent To Withdraw Existing Draft Environmental Impact StatementPDF
80 FR 16010 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 16011 - Mid-Tier Bank Holding Company To Conduct a Minority Stock IssuancePDF
80 FR 16011 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
80 FR 16001 - Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Decision and Order Granting a Waiver to Empire Comfort Systems From the Department of Energy Vented Home Heating Equipment Test ProcedurePDF
80 FR 16000 - American LNG Marketing LLC; Application for Long-Term, Multi-Contract Authorization To Export Liquefied Natural Gas to Non-Free Trade Agreement NationsPDF
80 FR 16004 - Agency Information Collection ExtensionPDF
80 FR 15994 - Establishment of the National Commission on the Future of the ArmyPDF
80 FR 15998 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, PaducahPDF
80 FR 16028 - Office of the Associate Attorney General; Pilot Project for Tribal Jurisdiction Over Crimes of Domestic ViolencePDF
80 FR 15999 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 16013 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 16019 - Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation CouncilPDF
80 FR 16004 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for the Secondary Lead Smelter Industry (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 16018 - Notice of Public Meetings, Twin Falls District Resource Advisory Council, IdahoPDF
80 FR 16023 - Notice of Filing of Plats of Survey; ColoradoPDF
80 FR 16030 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 16007 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Effluent Guidelines and Standards for the Airport Deicing Category (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 16019 - Information Collection Activities: Operations for Minerals Other Than Oil, Gas, and Sulphur in the OCS; Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 16006 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; EPA's Light-Duty In-Use Vehicle Testing Program (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 16029 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; eForm Access RequestPDF
80 FR 16022 - Notice of Public Meeting: Resource Advisory Council to the Boise District, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the InteriorPDF
80 FR 16011 - BMW of North America, LLC; Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public CommentPDF
80 FR 16079 - Reports, Forms, and RecordKeeping RequirementsPDF
80 FR 15993 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, Level A Stranding and Rehabilitation Disposition Data SheetPDF
80 FR 16023 - Certain Loom Kits for Creating Linked Articles: Commission Determination To Review an Initial Determination in Part and, on Review, To Affirm a Finding of Violation With Modifications; Request for Written Submissions on Remedy, the Public Interest, and BondingPDF
80 FR 16078 - Recommendations for Facilities Realignments To Support Transition to NextGen as Part of Section 804 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012; Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 15958 - Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings and Ephemeral RecordingsPDF
80 FR 15887 - Prohibition of Fixed-Wing Special Visual Flight Rules Operations at Washington-Dulles International AirportPDF
80 FR 15979 - Order Temporarily Denying Export Privileges; Flider Electronics, LLC, Pavel Semenovich Flider, Gennadiy Semenovich Flider, et al.PDF
80 FR 16040 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Solicitation Auction MechanismPDF
80 FR 16047 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, Relating To Listing and Trading of Shares of the SPDR SSgA Global Managed Volatility ETF Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600PDF
80 FR 16050 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC; Notice of Proposed Rule Change To Amend and Restate Certain Nasdaq Rules That Govern the Nasdaq Market CenterPDF
80 FR 16031 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2, and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 Thereto, to BATS Rules 20.3 and 20.6PDF
80 FR 16044 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Its Fee SchedulePDF
80 FR 16048 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Its Fee SchedulePDF
80 FR 16072 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Surveillance AgreementsPDF
80 FR 16046 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rules 6.41 and 24.8PDF
80 FR 15996 - Judicial Proceedings Since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel (Judicial Proceedings Panel); Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 15990 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic SupplementPDF
80 FR 15994 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 16031 - Product Change-Parcel Return Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
80 FR 16018 - Notice To Extend the Comment Period for the Proposed Revised Guidelines for Implementing Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management, as Revised Through the Federal Flood Risk Management StandardPDF
80 FR 15992 - Marine Mammals; File No. 18890PDF
80 FR 15981 - Supercalendered Paper From Canada: Initiation of Countervailing Duty InvestigationPDF
80 FR 16029 - Comment Request for Information Collection for YouthBuild (YB) Reporting System, Extension Without RevisionsPDF
80 FR 15916 - Payment Limitation and Payment Eligibility; Actively Engaged in FarmingPDF
80 FR 15913 - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations; Regulatory Guidance Concerning Crashes Involving Vehicles Striking Attenuator Trucks Deployed at Construction SitesPDF
80 FR 15922 - Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Energy Conservation Standards for Direct Heating Equipment and Pool HeatersPDF
80 FR 15915 - Retrospective Review and Regulatory FlexibilityPDF
80 FR 15912 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Technical AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 15909 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Use of Military Construction Funds (DFARS Case 2015-D006)PDF
80 FR 15912 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Deletion of Text Implementing 10 U.S.C. 2323 (DFARS Case 2011-D038)PDF
80 FR 15931 - Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation General Provisions; Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Governance; Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Risk Management; Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Disclosure and Reporting; Farmer Mac Corporate Governance and Standards of ConductPDF
80 FR 15947 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 15972 - National Priorities ListPDF
80 FR 15885 - Housing Trust FundPDF
80 FR 15899 - Approval, Disapproval, and Limited Approval and Disapproval of Air Quality Implementation Plans; California; Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District; Stationary Source PermitsPDF
80 FR 15901 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Albuquerque/Bernalillo County; Revisions to Emission Inventory Requirements, and General ProvisionsPDF
80 FR 15901 - National Priorities ListPDF
80 FR 16127 - Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian LandsPDF
80 FR 15906 - Connect America Fund; Developing a Unified Intercarrier Compensation RegimePDF
80 FR 15885 - Rural Development Regulations-Update to FmHA References and to Census ReferencesPDF
80 FR 15930 - Guidance for Conducting Technical Analyses for Low-Level Radioactive Waste DisposalPDF
80 FR 16223 - Proposed Expansion, Regulatory Revision and New Management Plan for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine SanctuaryPDF
80 FR 16081 - Low-Level Radioactive Waste DisposalPDF

Issue

80 58 Thursday, March 26, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Commodity Credit Corporation

See

Rural Utilities Service

AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 15994 2015-06882 Safety Enviromental Enforcement Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Operations for Minerals other than Oil, Gas, and Sulphur in the Outer Continental Shelf, 16019-16022 2015-06907 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 15990-15991 2015-06883 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 16016-16018 2015-06929 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

Economic Analysis Bureau

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Credit Commodity Credit Corporation PROPOSED RULES Payment Limitation and Payment Eligibility; Actively Engaged in Farming, 15916-15921 2015-06855 Copyright Royalty Board Copyright Royalty Board PROPOSED RULES Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings and Ephemeral Recordings, 15958-15963 2015-06896 Defense Acquisition Defense Acquisition Regulations System RULES Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplements: Deletion of Text Implementing the Department of Defense's Small Disadvantaged Business Program, 15912-15913 2015-06757 Technical Amendments, 15912 2015-06760 Use of Military Construction Funds, 15909-15911 2015-06759 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

See

Defense Acquisition Regulations System

NOTICES Federal Advisory Committees; Establishments: National Commission on the Future of the Army, 15994-15996 2015-06919 Meetings: Federal Advisory Committee; Judicial Proceedings Panel, 15996-15997 2015-06885
Economic Analysis Bureau Economic Analysis Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Quarterly Survey of Foreign Airline Operators' Revenues and Expenses in the United States, 15993 2015-06972 Quarterly Survey of Insurance Transactions by U.S. Insurance Companies with Foreign Persons, 15985-15986 2015-06942 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Meetings: President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, 15997-15998 2015-06937 Election Election Assistance Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 15998 2015-07090 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: YouthBuild Reporting System, 16029-16030 2015-06859 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PROPOSED RULES Energy Conservation Programs for Consumer Products: Energy Conservation Standards for Direct Heating Equipment and Pool Heaters, 15922-15930 2015-06809 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 16004 2015-06920 Authority to Import and Export Natural Gas, etc.: American LNG Marketing, LLC, 16000-16001 2015-06921 Meetings: Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Paducah, 15998-15999 2015-06918
Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES Waivers: Empire Comfort Systems from the Department of Energy Vented Home Heating Equipment Test Procedure, 16001-16004 2015-06922 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District; Stationary Source Permits, 15899-15901 2015-06705 New Mexico, Albuquerque/Bernalillo County; Revisions to Emission Inventory Requirements, and General Provisions; Withdrawal, 15901 2015-06701 National Priorities List, 15901-15906 2015-06696 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: New Mexico; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Ozone and 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards, etc., 15963-15972 2015-06932 National Priorities List, 15972-15978 2015-06728 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Effluent Guidelines and Standards for the Airport Deicing Category (Renewal), 16007 2015-06908 EPA's Light-Duty In-Use Vehicle Testing Program (Renewal), 16006-16007 2015-06906 NESHAP for the Secondary Lead Smelter Industry, 16004-16005 2015-06913 Meetings: Environmental Protection Agency, 16005-16006 2015-06931 Farm Credit Farm Credit Administration PROPOSED RULES Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation General Provisions, 15931-15947 2015-06755 Farm Service Farm Service Agency RULES Rural Development: Updates to FmHA, Census References; Corrections, 15885 2015-06627 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Prohibition of Fixed-Wing Special Visual Flight Rules Operations: Washington-Dulles International Airport, 15887-15890 2015-06895 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: The Boeing Company Airplanes, 15947-15951 2015-06745 NOTICES Facilities Realignments to Support Transition to NextGen under the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012; Recommendations, 16078-16079 2015-06897 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Connect America Fund: Developing a Unified Inter-Carrier Compensation Regime, 15906-15909 2015-06642 NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 16007-16010 2015-06935 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Proposed Revised Guidelines for Implementing Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management, As Revised Through the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, 16018 2015-06879 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 15999-16000 2015-06916 Federal Housing Finance Agency Federal Housing Finance Agency RULES Housing Trust Fund, 15885-15887 2015-06724 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration RULES Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations: Regulatory Guidance Concerning Crashes Involving Vehicles Striking Attenuator Trucks Deployed At Construction Sites, 15913-15914 2015-06817 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 16011 2015-06923 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 16010-16011 2015-06925 Mid-Tier Bank Holding Company to Conduct a Minority Stock Issuance, 16011 2015-06924 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Consent Orders: BMW of North America, LLC, 16011-16013 2015-06903 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Industry Industry and Security Bureau NOTICES Denials of Export Privileges: Flider Electronics, LLC, et al., 15979-15981 2015-06894 Interior Interior Department See

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

See

Land Management Bureau

See

Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office

NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council, 16019 2015-06914
International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China, 15987-15990 2015-06955 Supercalendered Paper from Canada, 15981-15984 2015-06867 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications and Rulings, etc.: Certain Loom Kits for Creating Linked Articles, 16023-16025 2015-06898 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 16023 2015-07022 Justice Department Justice Department PROPOSED RULES Privacy Act; Implementation, 15951-15953 2015-06938 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 16029 2015-06905 Pilot Project for Tribal Jurisdiction over Crimes of Domestic Violence, 16028 2015-06917 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 16025-16028 2015-06934 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

PROPOSED RULES Retrospective Review and Regulatory Flexibility, 15915 2015-06762
Land Land Management Bureau RULES Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands; Oil and Gas, 16128-16222 2015-06658 NOTICES Filing of Plats of Survey: Colorado, 16023 2015-06911 Meetings: Resource Advisory Council to the Boise District, 16022-16023 2015-06904 Twin Falls District Resource Advisory Council, Idaho, 16018 2015-06912 Public Land Orders: Transfer of Administrative Jurisdiction, Wind Cave National Park Addition, South Dakota, 16022 2015-07000 Library Library of Congress See

Copyright Royalty Board

National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 16079-16080 2015-06902 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program, 15891-15899 2015-06928 PROPOSED RULES Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary: Expansion, Regulatory Revision, and New Management Plan, 16224-16247 2015-06441 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, Level A Stranding and Rehabilitation Disposition Data Sheet, 15993-15994 2015-06899 Applications: Marine Mammals; File No. 18890, 15992-15993 2015-06869 Endangered and Threatened Species: Take of Anadromous Fish, 15984-15985 2015-06927 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Endangered and Threatened Species; Withdrawal, 15986-15987 2015-06926 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Scoping Process; Meetings, 15991-15992 2015-06944 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 16030-16031 2015-06910 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 16031 2015-07088 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Guidance: Conducting Technical Analyses for Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal, 15930-15931 2015-06536 Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal, 16082-16125 2015-06429 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Parcel Return Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 16031 2015-06881 Rural Business Rural Business-Cooperative Service RULES Rural Development: Updates to FmHA, Census References; Corrections, 15885 2015-06627 Rural Housing Rural Housing Service RULES Rural Development: Updates to FmHA, Census References; Corrections, 15885 2015-06627 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service RULES Rural Development: Updates to FmHA, Census References; Corrections, 15885 2015-06627 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 16044 2015-07048 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 16031-16040 2015-06890 Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 16040-16043, 16046-16047 2015-06886 2015-06893 Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC, 16044-16046, 16048-16049 2015-06888 2015-06889 NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC, 16072-16077 2015-06887 NYSE Arca, Inc., 16047 2015-06892 The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 16050-16072 2015-06891 Trading Suspension Orders: Winsonic Digital Media Group, Ltd., 16043-16044 2015-07040 State Department State Department NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, 16077-16078 2015-06957 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 16013-16016 2015-06915 Surface Mining Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office PROPOSED RULES Kentucky Regulatory Program, 15953-15958 2015-06962 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Acquisition and Operation Exemptions: Signal Specialties, Inc., Line in Buchanan County, MO, 16080 2015-06952 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Surface Transportation Board

Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 16082-16125 2015-06429 Part III Interior Department, Land Management Bureau, 16128-16222 2015-06658 Part IV Commerce Department, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 16224-16247 2015-06441 Reader Aids

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

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

80 58 Thursday, March 26, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service 7 CFR Parts 1709, 1714, 1735, 1737, 1738, 1739, 1740, 1774, 1775, 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, 1780, 1781, and 1783 Rural Business-Cooperative Service Rural Housing Service Rural Utilities Service Farm Service Agency 7 CFR Parts 1806, 1810, 1822, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1910, 1924, 1925, 1927, 1940, 1942, 1944, 1948, 1950, 1951, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1962, and 1980 Rural Housing Service 7 CFR Parts 3550, 3560, 3570, and 3575 Rural Business-Cooperative Service Rural Utilities Service 7 CFR Parts 4274, 4279, 4280, 4284, 4288, and 4290 RIN 0570-AA91 Rural Development Regulations—Update to FmHA References and to Census References AGENCY:

Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service, Farm Service Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

ACTION:

Correction; direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

This document corrects technical errors in the direct final rule that appeared in the Federal Register on February 24, 2015, entitled “Rural Development Regulations—Update to FmHA References and to Census Regulations.”

DATES:

This document is effective April 27, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kenneth Meardon, Policy Advisor, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 3201, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-3225; email: [email protected]; telephone (202) 260-8296.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In the FR Doc. 2015-01571 of February 24, 2015 (80 FR 9856), there are four technical errors and they are being corrected through this notice as found in the Correction of Errors section below.

On page 9856, first column, we inadvertently used the incorrect RIN number. The correct RIN number is 0570-AA91, not 0570-AA30.

On page 9912, we inadvertently updated an “outdated” definition of “Rural area” found in 7 CFR 4274.302. The subject definition (Rural or rural area) had already been updated in a June 3, 2014 Federal Register notice (79 FR 31845). Therefore, there was no need for the February 24, 2015 Federal Register notice to make any changes to the definition found in the June 3, 2014 Federal Register notice.

On page 9913, we inadvertently used an older version of the definition of “Rural area” found in 7 CFR 4280.3. The subject definition had already been updated in a May 30, 2007 Federal Register notice (79 FR 29843). Therefore, there was no need for the February 24, 2015 Federal Register notice to make any changes to the definition found in the May 30, 2007 Federal Register notice at this time.

On page 9913, we unnecessarily made edits to two definitions (Long-term and Rural and rural areas) as the entire subpart in which these definitions are found is being replaced with a new regulation.

In FR Doc. 2015-01571 of February 24, 2015 (80 FR 9856), make the following corrections:

1. On page 9856, in the first column, remove “RIN 0570-AA30” and insert “RIN 0570-AA91” in its place.

2. On page 9912, in the third column, remove amendatory Instruction 417 in its entirety.

3. On page 9913, in the second column, remove amendatory Instruction 422 in its entirety.

4. On page 9913, in the third column, remove amendatory Instruction 429 in its entirety.

Dated: March 16, 2015. Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary, Rural Development. Dated: March 17, 2015. Michael Scuse, Under Secretary, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.
[FR Doc. 2015-06627 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P
FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY 12 CFR Part 1251 RIN 2590-AA73 Housing Trust Fund AGENCY:

Federal Housing Finance Agency.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is issuing a final rule setting forth requirements related to allocations by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) (together, the Enterprises) to the Housing Trust and Capital Magnet Funds created by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The rule implements a statutory prohibition against the Enterprises passing the cost of such allocations through to the originators of loans they purchase or securitize, and finalizes and continues an interim final rule FHFA issued on December 16, 2014.

DATES:

Effective March 26, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Alfred M. Pollard, General Counsel, (202) 649-3050 (not a toll-free number), Federal Housing Finance Agency, Eighth Floor, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20024. The telephone number for the Telecommunications Device for the Hearing Impaired is (800) 877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Section 1338 of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 (Safety and Soundness Act), as added by section 1131(b) of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), directs the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development to establish and manage a Housing Trust Fund (HTF) that is funded by amounts allocated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and any other amounts appropriated, transferred, or credited to the HTF under any other provision of law. 12 U.S.C. 4568(a); see also id. at 4567(a). The purpose of the HTF is to provide grants to States “to increase and preserve the supply of rental housing for extremely low- and very low-income families, including homeless families” and “to increase homeownership for extremely low- and very low-income families.” Id. at 4568(a)(1).

Separately, section 1339 of the Safety and Soundness Act, as added by section 1131(b) of HERA, establishes the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF) within the U.S. Treasury as a special account within the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. Id. at 4569(a). As with the HTF, the CMF is also funded by amounts allocated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and any other amounts appropriated, transferred, or credited to it under any other provision of law. Id. at 4569(b); see also id. at 4567(a). Funds in the CMF are available to the Secretary of the Treasury to carry out a competitive grant program to attract private capital for, and increase investment in, “the development, preservation, rehabilitation, or purchase of affordable housing for primarily extremely low-, very low-, and low-income families” and “economic development activities or community service facilities . . . which in conjunction with affordable housing activities implement a concerted strategy to stabilize or revitalize a low-income area or underserved rural area.” Id. at 4569(c).

Though the HTF is administered by the Secretary of HUD and the CMF is administered by the Secretary of the Treasury, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are supervised by FHFA. See generally id., at 4501 et seq. The Director of FHFA has general regulatory authority over each Enterprise and is responsible for ensuring that the purposes of the Safety and Soundness Act, the Enterprises' charter acts, and any other applicable law are carried out. Id. at 4511(b). The duties of the Director include ensuring that the operations and activities of each Enterprise foster liquid, efficient, competitive and resilient national housing finance markets, including activities relating to mortgages on housing for low- and moderate-income families; that each Enterprise complies with the Safety and Soundness Act and any rules, regulations, orders and guidelines issued under it or the Enterprises' charter acts; and that the activities of each Enterprise and the manner in which they are carried out are consistent with the public interest. Id. at 4513(a)(1)(B)(ii), (iii) and (v). The Director is authorized to issue any regulations, guidelines or orders necessary to carry out the duties of the Director under the Safety and Soundness Act or the Enterprise charter acts and to ensure that the purposes of such acts are accomplished. Id. at 4526.

The Enterprises' allocation obligations to support the HTF and CMF (together, the Funds) and related requirements are set forth at section 1337 of the Safety and Soundness Act. Id. at 4567. That section addresses the amount the Enterprises are to set aside and allocate to the Secretaries of HUD and the Treasury each fiscal year, based on the unpaid principal balance of their total new business purchases, which are the single- and multi-family residential mortgage loans or re-financings acquired by the Enterprises and held in portfolio or that support securities, notes or other obligations which the Enterprises guarantee. The section directs the Director to issue a regulation prohibiting an Enterprise from redirecting the costs of any required allocation to the originators of mortgages the Enterprise purchases or securitizes—the subject of this rulemaking—and addresses enforcement of Enterprise compliance with the section and any regulation, rule or order issued pursuant to it, and gives the Director authority to temporarily suspend allocations if the Director makes any finding among three set forth by statute. Id.

Section 1337 requires the Director to issue a regulation regarding the prohibition against passing costs of the allocations required under the section to originators and how compliance with the requirements of the regulation and statute is to be enforced. Pursuant to section 1337 and the Director's general regulatory authority, the Director determined to issue an interim final rule with a request for comments to provide transparency on the prohibition and its implementation. The interim final rule itself is not a legislative rule but is procedural and thus would be excepted from the normal notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. 553(b) and 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

Though the substantive provisions of the interim final rule were established by statute and did not deviate from or add to the statutory requirements, the Director determined that issuing an interim final rule would support the implementation of the process of setting aside and allocating monies for the Funds and assure that the prohibition on pass through of costs accompanies the planning and deployment of funds. Further, the interim final rule would support the development of regulatory oversight mechanisms to be put in place to assure compliance with the prohibition.

II. Comments Received on the Interim Final Rule

FHFA invited comments on all aspects of the interim final rule and received 74 comments during the comment period, which closed on January 15, 2015. Two trade associations, Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), a U.S.-based membership organization of community development financial institutions, and Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), a member organization of U.S. community banks, provided comments. The remainder of the comments were from private citizens.

Only one commenter addressed the subject of the interim final rule, stating that costs of allocations to the Funds should be passed through to the originators of mortgages the Enterprises purchase or securitize while the Enterprises are in conservatorships. Since the prohibition against redirection or pass-through is established by statute, FHFA has not made any change to the interim final rule in response to this comment.

Twenty-one comments did not address any issues related to the interim final rule but instead addressed aspects of Enterprise business or the conservatorships. Roughly half of the comments indicated support for Enterprise allocations to the Funds, and OFN supported allocations to the CMF in particular. Some commenters who were supportive nonetheless expressed concern about lifting the suspension on allocations while the Enterprises are in conservatorships, and others suggested that the lifting of the suspension is an indication that the Enterprises should no longer be in conservatorships. Other commenters, including ICBA, objected to Enterprise allocations to the Funds as long as the Enterprises are in conservatorships.

In light of the comments received, FHFA is adopting the language of the interim final rule without change in this final rule.

Regulatory Impact Paperwork Reduction Act

The final rule does not contain any information collection requirement that requires the approval of OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires that a rule that has a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, small businesses, or small organizations must include an initial regulatory flexibility analysis describing the rule's impact on small entities. Such an analysis need not be undertaken if the agency has certified that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 5 U.S.C. 605(b). FHFA has considered the impact of the final rule under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. FHFA certifies that the final rule is not likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small business entities because the rule is applicable only to the Enterprises, which are not small entities for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 1251

Administrative practice and procedure, Capital Magnet Fund, Government-sponsored enterprises, Housing Trust Fund, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Authority and Issuance

Accordingly, for the reasons stated in the Supplementary Information, under the authority of 12 U.S.C. 4567, the Federal Housing Finance Agency adopts as final the interim final rule published at 79 FR 74595, December 16, 2014, without change

Dated: March 18, 2015. Melvin L. Watt, Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
[FR Doc. 2015-06724 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8070-70-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 91 [Docket No.: FAA-2015-0190; Amdt. No. 91-337] RIN 2120-AK69 Prohibition of Fixed-Wing Special Visual Flight Rules Operations at Washington-Dulles International Airport AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Direct final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

This action prohibits fixed-wing special visual flight rules operations at Washington-Dulles International Airport. This action is necessary to support aviation safety and the efficient use of the navigable airspace by managing operations in the busy and complex airspace around the airport.

DATES:

This action becomes effective May 26, 2015.

Submit comments on or before April 27, 2015. If the FAA receives an adverse comment or notice of intent to file an adverse comment, the FAA will publish a document in the Federal Register before the effective date of the direct final rule that may withdraw it in whole, or in part.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments identified by docket number FAA-2015-0190 using any of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For technical questions concerning this action, contact David Maddox, Airspace Policy and Regulation Group, AJV-113, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-8783; email [email protected]

For legal questions concerning this action, contact Robert Hawks, Office of the Chief Counsel, AGC-200, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-3073; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

The FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority.

This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103, Sovereignty and use of airspace, and Subpart III, Section 44701, General requirements. Under section 40103, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of the navigable airspace. Under section 44701, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to ensure safety in air commerce.

This regulation is within the scope of sections 40103 and 44701 because prohibiting fixed-wing SVFR operations in busy and complex airspace supports aviation safety and the efficient use of navigable airspace.

The Direct Final Rule Procedure

The FAA is adopting this direct final rule without prior notice and public comment because it formalizes current FAA practice at Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD). Given the volume and complexity of instrument flight rules (IFR) traffic, a request to operate special visual flight rules (SVFR) would be denied. However, no such clearances have been requested for at least several years. Therefore, the FAA does not anticipate any negative comments to this direct final rule.

The Regulatory Policies and Procedures of the Department of Transportation (DOT) (44 FR 11034; Feb. 26, 1979) provide that to the maximum extent possible, operating administrations for DOT should provide an opportunity for public comment on regulations issued without prior notice. Accordingly, the FAA invites interested persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. The Agency also invites comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting this direct final rule.

A direct final rule will take effect on a specified date unless the FAA receives an adverse comment or notice of intent to file an adverse comment within the comment period. An adverse comment explains why a rule would be inappropriate, or would be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. It may challenge the rule's underlying premise or approach. Under the direct final rule process, the FAA does not consider the following types of comments to be adverse:

(1) A comment recommending another rule change, in addition to the change in the direct final rule at issue. The comment is adverse, however, if the commenter states why the direct final rule would be ineffective without the change.

(2) A frivolous or insubstantial comment.

If the FAA receives an adverse comment or notice of intent to file an adverse comment, it will publish a document in the Federal Register before the effective date of the direct final rule that may withdraw it in whole, or in part. If the FAA withdraws a direct final rule because of an adverse comment, the commenter's recommendation may be incorporated into another direct final rule, or the FAA may publish a notice of proposed rulemaking.

If the FAA receives no adverse comments or notices of intent to file an adverse comment, it will publish a confirmation document in the Federal Register, generally within 15 days after the comment period closes. The confirmation document tells the public the effective date of the direct final rule.

See the “Additional Information” section for information on how to comment on this direct final rule and how the FAA will handle comments received. The “Additional Information” section also contains related information about the docket, privacy, and the handling of proprietary or confidential business information. In addition, there is information on obtaining copies of related rulemaking documents.

I. Overview of the Direct Final Rule

This direct final rule prohibits fixed-wing SVFR operations at IAD, one of the busiest airports in the United States. The FAA has determined this action is necessary due to the volume and complexity of IFR traffic in the IAD surface area of the Washington Tri-Area Class B airspace.

II. Background

SVFR operations are defined in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) as aircraft operating in accordance with air traffic control (ATC) clearances in Class B, C, D, and E surface areas in conditions less than the basic VFR weather minimums of three miles and 1,000 feet. Such operations are requested by pilots and approved by ATC. Pilots operating under SVFR must have at least one mile of flight visibility and remain clear of clouds. ATC predicate separation of aircraft on known performance and expected routes of flight. Since controllers do not know the exact weather conditions where an SVFR pilot is operating, they generally do not issue control instructions to the SVFR pilot so that the aircraft is not inadvertently placed in clouds. ATC often will increase standard separation distances for other aircraft operating in proximity, which can result in a loss of efficiency and capacity at airports.

The FAA previously has prohibited fixed-wing SVFR operations at airports with high traffic volumes. Section 3 of part 91, Appendix D, lists the locations where these operations are prohibited. The FAA first prohibited the operation of fixed-wing aircraft under SVFR weather minimums within specifically designated control zones (now designated as surface areas) in 1968. See 33 FR 4096 (Mar. 2, 1968). The FAA determined that increased aircraft operations in the vicinity of airports serving large population centers created conditions that required imposition of restrictions and priorities with respect to airspace and services associated with those operations, including the establishment of procedures giving priority to IFR traffic. Thirty-three major airports were specified as locations where the SVFR minimums would not apply to fixed-wing aircraft operations. The FAA stated that “based upon changing conditions involving safety considerations additional airports may be designated in the future.” Id.

The volume and complexity of IFR operations at IAD now indicate that use of SVFR operations can potentially affect the safe and efficient movement of traffic in the IAD Class B surface area. IAD is located within the Washington Tri-Area Class B airspace. In that same airspace, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), and Andrews Air Force Base (ADW) are included in section 3 of Appendix D. From January 1 to December 31, 2013, there were 329,910 IFR operations at IAD, which included: 162,730 air carrier; 128,636 air taxi; and 38,236 general aviation operations.1 This volume of instrument operations and instrument approaches justifies elimination of SVFR operations. In addition to meeting the criteria for elimination, the bulk of instrument operations are air carrier and corporate turbojet aircraft flights.

1 FAA Air Traffic Activity System (ATADS) traffic count, OPSNET (extracted Jan. 23, 2014).

Aircraft intending to enter the IAD surface area under SVFR would sometimes be operating at altitudes used by IFR arrivals to and departures from IAD. This interference can cause delays for IFR operations.

In addition to its location in the Class B airspace, IAD is also located within the Washington Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) and is adjacent to the Washington Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ), both of which were established after September 11, 2001, and severely limit flexibility for VFR and SVFR operations to the east of IAD.

Although IAD has experienced increasing volume and complexity of IFR operations since opening, and has been acknowledged on numerous occasions as qualifying for inclusion in section 3, no rulemaking action has been completed prior to this direct final rule. The FAA believes that the volume and complexity of IFR traffic, along with the safety implications of these situations, require the prohibition of SVFR operations in the IAD Class B Surface Area.

III. Discussion of the Direct Final Rule

The FAA is amending part 91, Appendix D, section 3, to add Washington-Dulles International Airport to an existing list of airports for which fixed-wing SVFR operations are prohibited. Currently, air traffic controllers at IAD deny requests for SVFR transitions through Class B airspace due to the volume and complexity of IFR traffic around IAD. This direct final rule formalizes the current practice.

The FAA has determined this action is necessary because of the increasing volume and complexity of IFR operations at IAD. Fixed-wing SVFR operations may interfere with the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of aircraft operating under IFR in the IAD surface area. This prohibition also improves efficient use of airspace by reducing workload for air traffic controllers during IFR conditions and reducing delays for IFR operations.

IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses A. Regulatory Evaluation

Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563 direct that each Federal agency shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-354) requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (Public Law 96-39) prohibits agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. standards, the Trade Act requires agencies to consider international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-4) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more annually (adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA's analysis of the economic impacts of this direct final rule.

Department of Transportation Order DOT 2100.5 prescribes policies and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. If the expected cost impact is so minimal that a proposed or final rule does not warrant a full evaluation, this order permits that a statement to that effect and the basis for it be included in the preamble if a full regulatory evaluation of the cost and benefits is not prepared. Such a determination has been made for this direct final rule. The reasoning for this determination follows:

This direct final rule formalizes and codifies current FAA practice at IAD. Since this direct final rule merely clarifies and codifies existing FAA procedures, the expected outcome will be a minimal impact with positive net benefits, and a full regulatory evaluation was not prepared. Any comments concerning the FAA determination should include supporting justification.

The FAA has, therefore, determined that this final rule is not a “significant regulatory action” as defined in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, and is not “significant” as defined in DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Determination

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-354) (RFA) establishes “as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall endeavor, consistent with the objectives of the rule and of applicable statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject to regulation. To achieve this principle, agencies are required to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals are given serious consideration.” The RFA covers a wide-range of small entities, including small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.

Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. If the agency determines that it will, the agency must prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the RFA.

However, if an agency determines that a rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, section 605(b) of the RFA provides that the head of the agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. The certification must include a statement providing the factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning should be clear.

This direct final rule merely formalizes and codifies existing FAA procedures; the expected outcome will have only a minimal impact on any small entity affected by this final rule.

If an agency determines that a rulemaking will not result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, the head of the agency may so certify under section 605(b) of the RFA. Therefore, as provided in section 605(b), the head of the FAA certifies that this rulemaking will not result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

C. International Trade Impact Assessment

The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-39), as amended by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Public Law 103-465), prohibits Federal agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. Pursuant to these Acts, the establishment of standards is not considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic objective, such as the protection of safety, and does not operate in a manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. The statute also requires consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards. The FAA has assessed the potential effect of this direct final rule and determined that it will have only a domestic operational impact and therefore will not affect international trade.

D. Unfunded Mandates Assessment

Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-4) requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement assessing the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or final agency rule that may result in an expenditure of $100 million or more (in 1995 dollars) in any one year by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector; such a mandate is deemed to be a “significant regulatory action.” The FAA currently uses an inflation-adjusted value of $151 million in lieu of $100 million. This direct final rule does not contain such a mandate; therefore, the requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires that the FAA consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public. The FAA has determined that there is no new requirement for information collection associated with this direct final rule.

F. International Compatibility and Cooperation

In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has determined that there are no ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices that correspond to this regulation.

G. Environmental Analysis

FAA Order 1050.1E identifies FAA actions that are categorically excluded from preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has determined this rulemaking action qualifies for the categorical exclusion identified in paragraph 312f and involves no extraordinary circumstances.

V. Executive Order Determinations A. Executive Order 13132, Federalism

The FAA has analyzed this final rule under the principles and criteria of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. The agency determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, or the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, and, therefore, does not have Federalism implications.

B. Executive Order 13211, Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

The FAA analyzed this final rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (May 18, 2001). The agency has determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under the executive order and it is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

C. Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation

Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation, (77 FR 26413, May 4, 2012) promotes international regulatory cooperation to meet shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues and reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements. The FAA has analyzed this action under the policies and agency responsibilities of Executive Order 13609 and has determined that this action would have no effect on international regulatory cooperation.

VI. Additional Information A. Comments Invited

The FAA invites interested persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. The agency also invites comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the rulemaking action in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the rulemaking action, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

The FAA will file in the docket all comments it receives, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this rulemaking. The FAA will consider all comments it receives on or before the closing date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay.

As stated earlier, if the FAA receives an adverse comment or notice of intent to file an adverse comment, it will publish a document in the Federal Register before the effective date of the final rule. If the FAA receives no adverse comments or notices of intent to file an adverse comment, it will publish a confirmation document in the Federal Register, generally within 15 days after the comment period closes. The confirmation document tells the public the effective date of the rule.

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

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

B. Availability of Rulemaking Documents

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

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

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

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

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

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 91

Air traffic control, Aircraft, Airmen, Airports, Aviation safety.

The Amendment

In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends chapter I of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 91—GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES 1. The authority citation for part 91 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 1155, 40101, 40103, 40105, 40113, 40120, 44101, 44111, 44701, 44704, 44709, 44711, 44712, 44715, 44716, 44717, 44722, 46306, 46315, 46316, 46504, 46506-46507, 47122, 47508, 47528-47531, 47534, articles 12 and 29 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (61 Stat. 1180), (126 Stat. 11).

2. Amend section 3 of Appendix D to Part 91 by adding in alphabetical order “Chantilly, VA (Washington-Dulles International Airport)” to read as follows: Appendix D to Part 91—Airports/Locations: Special Operating Restrictions

Section 3. * * *

Chantilly, VA (Washington-Dulles International Airport)

Issued under authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 40103(b), and 44701(a) in Washington, DC, on March 17, 2015. Michael P. Huerta, Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2015-06895 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 15 CFR Part 902 50 CFR Part 680 [Docket No. 101214615-5254-02] RIN 0648-BA61 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (FMP). These regulations revise the rules governing the acquisition, use, and retention of quota share established for captains and crew, known as crew quota share or C shares, under the Crab Rationalization Program (CR Program). Regulations implementing Amendment 31 temporarily expand the eligibility requirements for individuals wishing to acquire C share Quota Share (QS) by transfer; establish minimum participation requirements for C share QS holders to be eligible to receive an annual allocation of Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ); establish minimum participation requirements for C share QS holders to be eligible to retain their C share QS and an administrative process for revocation of an individual's C share QS if he or she fails to satisfy the minimum participation requirements; establish a regulatory mechanism to ensure that three percent of the total allowable catch (TAC) for each CR Program crab fishery is allocated as IFQ to holders of C share QS; and remove the prohibition on leasing C share IFQ. In addition, this final rule implements a regulatory amendment to the CR Program that: Establishes an earlier deadline for filing annual IFQ, individual processing quota (IPQ), and crab harvesting cooperative IFQ applications, which increases the amount of time during which NMFS will suspend the processing of IFQ and IPQ transfer applications; shortens the amount of time in which to appeal an initial administrative determination to withhold issuance of IFQ or IPQ; and provides that an applicant's proof of timely filing for IFQ, IPQ, or cooperative IFQ creates a presumption of timely filing. Finally, this final rule revises the reporting period and due date for CR Program registered crab receiver (RCR) Ex-vessel Volume and Value Reports. This final rule is necessary to ensure that individuals who hold C shares are active in the CR Program fisheries and to ensure that application deadlines provide adequate time to resolve disputes. This final rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the FMP, and other applicable laws.

DATES:

Effective May 1, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Electronic copies of Amendment 31 to the FMP, the Regulatory Impact Review (RIR)/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), and the Categorical Exclusion prepared for this action may be obtained from http://www.regulations.gov or from the Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. The Environmental Impact Statement, RIR, and Social Impact Assessment prepared for the CR Program are available from the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.

Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this rule may be submitted to NMFS Alaska Region, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802, Attn: Ellen Sebastian, Records Officer; in person at NMFS Alaska Region, 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK; and by email to [email protected] or faxed to 202-395-7285.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rachel Baker, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This final rule implements Amendment 31 to the FMP and regulatory amendments to the CR Program. NMFS published a notice of availability (NOA) for Amendment 31 on December 15, 2014 (79 FR 74058). The comment period on the NOA for Amendment 31 ended on February 13, 2015. The Secretary approved Amendment 31 on March 12, 2015, after accounting for information from the public, and determining that Amendment 31 is consistent with the FMP, the MSA, and other applicable law. NMFS published a proposed rule to implement Amendment 31 and the regulatory amendments on December 24, 2014 (79 FR 77427). The comment period on the proposed rule ended on January 23, 2015. NMFS received three comment letters during the comment periods on Amendment 31 and the proposed rule. The letters contained three unique comments. A summary of these comments and NMFS's responses are provided in the Comments and Responses section of this preamble.

Background CR Program

Below is a brief description of the CR Program and the elements of that Program that apply to Amendment 31 and this final rule. For a more detailed description of the CR Program, please see section 2.3 of the RIR/IRFA (see ADDRESSES) and the preamble of the proposed rule (79 FR 77427; December 24, 2014).

Under the CR Program, NMFS issued four types of QS based on qualifying harvest histories in certain BSAI crab fisheries during a specific period of time defined under the CR Program. Two of these types of QS were issued as C share QS to holders of State of Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission Interim Use Permits, generally vessel captains who met specific historic and recent participation requirements in CR Program fisheries. Vessel captains who did not meet both the historic and recent participation criteria did not receive initial allocations of C share QS. Three-percent of the QS pool for each CR Program fishery was issued as C share QS. The Council's intent in creating C share QS was to provide both a QS holding opportunity for long-term fishery participants who intended to remain active in the fisheries and an entry level QS acquisition opportunity for new entrants.

The Council intended IFQ derived from C share QS to be harvested by individuals active in the CR Program fisheries. To achieve this goal, CR Program regulations required that individuals wishing to acquire C share QS to demonstrate that they had at least 150 days of sea time in a harvesting capacity in any U.S. commercial fishery and recent participation in one of the CR Program fisheries by making a landing of CR Program crab in the year preceding the application to acquire C share QS.

Implementation of the CR Program resulted in a significant reduction in harvesting vessel fleet size and a commensurate reduction in employment opportunities for vessel crew. Efficiencies gained under the CR Program provide harvesting vessels the option to not participate in each fishing season for each CR Program crab species. These changes in fishing practices have made it difficult for individuals who wish to acquire C share QS to satisfy the participation requirement of making a landing of CR Program crab in the year preceding the application to acquire C share QS.

In addition, holders of C share QS may become members of harvesting cooperatives and, through contractual terms determined by the harvesting cooperative, may have IFQ derived from their C share QS harvested by other fishery participants. This ability to lease C share IFQ within a harvesting cooperative, coupled with the fleet contraction and changes in fishing practices occurring since implementation of the CR Program, rendered the initial regulations related to acquisition of C share QS ineffective in ensuring that those QS are held by active participants in the CR Program fisheries.

Application Deadlines

The crab fishing year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30. Annually, QS and PQS holders must apply for allocations of IFQ and IPQ, respectively, for the upcoming crab fishing year. QS holders apply for annual IFQ through an individual application. Currently, they must indicate on this application whether or not they are joining a cooperative. If they are joining a cooperative that year, the cooperative's annual IFQ application must include the QS holder's annual IFQ application (or a copy of that application). Because IPQ is not subject to cooperative management, a PQS holder applies for IPQ directly to NMFS, and NMFS issues IPQ directly to the PQS holder. Prior to this final rule, all applications for IFQ, IPQ, and cooperative IFQ had to be filed with the NMFS Restricted Access Management Program (RAM) by August 1. To aid QS and PQS holders in meeting the application deadline, NMFS provides application forms on its Web site (see ADDRESSES), highlights the application deadline on the site, and sends notices to QS and PQS holders near the end of the crab fishing year reminding them to apply for IFQ or IPQ for the next crab fishing year.

Although the crab fishing year begins on July 1, the individual crab fisheries open at different times later in the crab fishing year. The first crab fishery to open is the Aleutian Islands golden king crab fishery and, until recently, this fishery was scheduled to open on August 15. In March 2014, the State of Alaska changed the opening date for the Aleutian Islands golden king crab fishery to August 1, effective with the 2015/2016 crab fishing year, to allow for fishing to occur slightly earlier in the summer months when it is safer for the fishers. The remaining crab fisheries open on October 15 or later in the crab fishing year.

The Actions

Below are brief descriptions of the actions implemented by this final rule. For more detailed descriptions of the actions and the rationale for these actions, please see section 2.4 of the RIR/IRFA (see ADDRESSES) and the preamble of the proposed rule (79 FR 77427; December 24, 2014).

The final rule makes several changes to regulations governing the acquisition, use, and retention of C share QS under the CR Program. The final rule temporarily expands the eligibility requirements regarding acquisition of C share QS by permitting the transfer of C share QS to an individual who is a U.S. citizen with at least 150 days of sea time as part of a harvesting crew in any U.S. commercial fishery and who either received an initial allocation of CVC or CPC QS or participated in at least one delivery of crab from a fishery in the CR program in three of the five crab fishing years prior to the start of the CR Program, starting with the 2000/2001 crab fishing year through the 2004/2005 crab fishing year. The final rule does not remove the current eligibility criteria but adds to it the less restrictive eligibility criteria for a period of four years from the effective date of the final rule.

In order to receive an annual allocation of C share IFQ, the final rule requires a C share QS holder to have either participated in at least one delivery in a CR Program fishery in the three crab fishing years preceding the crab fishing year for which the holder is applying for IFQ, or received an initial allocation of C shares and participated in 30 days of State of Alaska or Alaska federal commercial fisheries in the three crab fishing years preceding the crab fishing year for which the holder is applying for IFQ. The final rule also requires holders of C share QS to meet similar participation requirements over a span of four years in order to retain their C share QS.

If a C share QS holder fails to satisfy the participation requirements and does not divest his or her C share QS, the final rule provides NMFS with the authority to revoke the C share QS. If a C share QS holder satisfies the participation requirements to receive C share IFQ, the holder also will satisfy the participation requirements for retention of C share QS.

The final rule removes the current prohibition on leasing C share IFQ and C share QS holders will continue to be able to join cooperatives. However, all C share QS holders must meet the participation requirements in order to receive C share IFQ and retain C share QS; those who lease C share IFQ or join a cooperative are not exempt from the participation requirements. Finally, the final rule revises regulations governing the annual calculation of IFQ to ensure that 3 percent of the annual TAC for each crab fishery included in the CR Program is allocated as IFQ to holders of C share QS.

These actions are necessary to fulfill the Council's intent that C share QS are held by individuals who are actively participating in the CR Program fisheries, to provide QS acquisition opportunities to captains and crew who may have been displaced from employment in the CR Program fisheries and were not initial recipients of QS, and to make C share QS available to captains and crew who are new entrants into the CR program fisheries.

Additionally, this final rule implements a regulatory amendment adopted by the Council. The regulatory amendment makes three changes in the annual application process for IFQ, IPQ, and cooperative IFQ in the CR Program. Specifically, this final rule: (1) establishes June 15 as the deadline for filing annual IFQ, IPQ, and cooperative IFQ applications, which also increases the amount of time during which NMFS will suspend the processing of IFQ and IPQ transfer applications; (2) shortens the amount of time in which to appeal an initial administrative determination to withhold issuance of IFQ or IPQ from 60 days to 30 days; and (3) provides in the regulations that an applicant's proof of timely filing an application for IFQ, IPQ, or cooperative IFQ creates a presumption of timely filing. These changes will provide NMFS with adequate time to resolve disputes prior to the issuance of IFQ and IPQ.

Finally, to accommodate the State of Alaska's change to the season opening date for the Aleutian Islands golden king crab fishery, the final rule revises the reporting period for RCR Ex-vessel Volume and Value Reports, from August 15 through April 30 to August 1 through May 31, and revises the date by which the RCR Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report must be received by the Regional Administrator, from May 15 to May 31. These changes align the reporting period with the new season opening date. The new reporting period will start with the 2015/2016 crab fishing year and the first reports using the new reporting period will be due by May 31, 2016.

Comments and Responses

NMFS received three letters of public comment during the public comment periods for Amendment 31 and the proposed rule. A summary of the comments received and NMFS' responses follow.

Comment 1: We support the change of the IFQ/IPQ permit application date from August 1 to June 15. This change will reduce the potential for stranding crab because adjudicative proceedings involving IFQ or IPQ permit applications will likely be resolved by the time IFQ and IPQ are issued.

Response: NMFS acknowledges this comment and agrees with the commenter that the potential for stranding crab will be reduced with the new application deadline.

Comment 2: All quotas should be cut by 25 percent.

Response: The purpose of Amendment 31 and the final rule is to modify the regulations governing the acquisition, use, and retention of C share QS and to modify the application process for IFQ and IPQ. The action is not intended to increase or decrease the amount of any type of QS originally issued under the CR Program or to modify the process or methods for establishing annual harvest specifications. The analysis developed for Amendment 31 and the regulatory amendment contains no information indicating that quota shares or harvest levels should be decreased, and therefore is outside the scope of this rulemaking.

Comment 3: I oppose amending Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program to expand eligibility requirements. I believe in sustainability and this action is just more overfishing.

Response: NMFS disagrees that the temporary expansion of eligibility requirements for acquiring C share QS will lead to unsustainability and overfishing of crab stocks. This action does not alter the TAC of any CR Program crab fishery or increase the amount of C share QS originally issued under the CR Program. Therefore, it does not increase any fishing. Instead, this action, which is more administrative in nature, provides an opportunity for those individuals who may have been forced out of the crab fisheries due to fleet contraction at the beginning of the CR Program to obtain C shares to fish crab again. This action also requires captains and crew to be active on a vessel, in order to maintain their QS, which achieves the Council's intent for holders of C shares to actively participate in fishing.

Changes From the Proposed Rule

NMFS has made three changes from the proposed rule.

One adds the phrase “as crew” to § 680.41(c)(1)(vii)(B)(2)(ii) to make the paragraph consistent with other paragraphs requiring participation as crew.

The second change adds language to § 680.40(g)(2)(i) and (ii) and § 680.40(m)(2)(i) and (ii) that explains how NMFS will account for years in which a crab fishery is closed to fishing when determining whether an individual has satisfied the participation requirements for IFQ issuance and C share QS retention. NMFS received an inquiry, not formally submitted as a comment, regarding the participation requirements for individuals who hold C shares in a crab fishery that is closed, or in a crab fishery that closes in the future. NMFS recognizes that there are some individuals who hold C share QS in a single crab fishery and that some CR Program crab fisheries are closed to fishing periodically or for extended periods of time. It is neither the Council's nor NMFS' intent to penalize a C share QS holder for not participating when the only crab fishery for which the individual holds C share QS is closed to fishing. Therefore, the final rule clarifies that if an individual holds C share QS in a single CR Program crab fishery and that fishery is closed to fishing for an entire crab fishing year, NMFS will exclude that crab fishing year when determining whether the individual has satisfied the participation requirements for IFQ issuance and C share QS retention. NMFS emphasizes that the exclusion of years applies solely to those individuals who hold C share QS in just one CR Program crab fishery and that fishery is closed for an entire crab fishing year. NMFS will not exclude crab fishing years when an individual holds C share QS in more than one CR Program crab fishery, some of which may be closed for the entire crab fishing year and some of which may be open during that same year.

The following examples illustrate this clarification. Individual A holds C share QS in the Pribilof Islands blue crab fishery only, while Individual B holds C share QS in the Pribilof Islands blue king crab fishery and the Bering Sea snow crab fishery. Following implementation of this final rule, the Pribilof Islands blue king crab fishery is closed for three fishing years but the Bering Sea snow crab fishery is open during these years. Because Individual A holds C share QS in a single CR Program crab fishery and that fishery is closed to fishing for the entire year, NMFS would exclude those three crab fishing years in which the Pribilof Islands blue king crab fishery is closed when determining whether Individual A has satisfied the participation requirements. However, NMFS would not exclude the crab fishing years in which the Pribilof Islands blue king crab fishery is closed when determining whether Individual B has satisfied the participation requirements because Individual B can participate in the Bering Sea snow crab fishery and satisfy the participation requirements.

If the Pribilof Islands blue king crab fishery would open to fishing in the fourth crab fishing year but close again for the fifth and sixth fishing years, NMFS would include the fourth crab fishing year but exclude the fifth and sixth crab fishing years when determining whether Individual A has satisfied the participation requirements. Under this example, Individual A would only have one open fishing year that NMFS would use to determine participation. Because the participation requirements use three-year and four-year participation periods, NMFS would not have enough open fishing years to determine whether Individual A satisfied the participation requirements and NMFS would not withhold IFQ or initiate revocation proceedings until the required number of open fishing years have occurred and NMFS has determined that Individual A failed to satisfy the participation requirements. If the Pribilof Islands blue king crab fishery opens again in the seventh and eighth fishing years, NMFS would have enough open fishing years to determine whether Individual A has satisfied the participation requirements for issuance of C share IFQ for the ninth crab fishing year.

The third change adds a limited exemption at § 680.40(g)(2)(iii) and § 680.40(m)(5) to the participation requirements for IFQ issuance and C share QS retention for those individuals who acquire C share QS using the expanded eligibility criteria at § 680.41(c)(1)(vii)(B). NMFS determined that the participation requirements established by this final rule will be immediately applicable to individuals who acquire C share QS using the expanded eligibility criteria at § 680.41(c)(1)(vii)(B) but that those individuals may not be able to satisfy the participation requirements at the time of acquisition. By design, the expanded eligibility requirements do not require an eligible individual to have participated in a CR Program crab fishery in the 365 days prior to acquisition of the C share QS and create the possibility that an individual who is eligible to acquire C share QS under the expanded eligibility criteria would fail to satisfy the participation requirements for issuance of IFQ and retention of C share QS. Therefore, NMFS has included in the final rule a limited exemption to the participation requirements for individuals acquiring C share QS under the expanded eligibility criteria. The exemption would postpone the withholding of C share IFQ or revocation of C share QS until after these individuals had held the acquired C share QS for four full crab fishing years.

OMB Revisions to Paperwork Reduction Act References in 15 CFR 902.1(b)

Section 3507(c)(B)(i) of the PRA requires that agencies inventory and display a current control number assigned by the Director, OMB, for each agency information collection. Section 902.1(b) identifies the location of NOAA regulations for which OMB approval numbers have been issued. Because this final rule revises and adds data elements within a collection-of-information for recordkeeping and reporting requirements, 15 CFR 902.1(b) is revised to reference correctly the sections resulting from this final rule.

Classification

The Administrator, Alaska Region, determined that Amendment 31 is necessary for the conservation and management of the Bering Sea/Aleutian Island CR Program fisheries 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 the purposes of Executive Order 12866.

Small Entity Compliance Guide

Section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 states that, for each rule or group of related rules for which an agency is required to prepare a final regulatory flexibility analysis, the agency shall publish one or more guides to assist small entities in complying with the rule, and shall designate such publications as “small entity compliance guides.” The agency shall explain the actions a small entity is required to take to comply with a rule or group of rules. The preamble to the proposed rule (79 FR 77427; December 24, 2014) and the preamble to this final rule serve as the small entity compliance guide. This rule does not require any additional compliance from small entities that is not described in the preamble to the proposed rule (79 FR 77427; December 24, 2014) and this final rule. Copies of the proposed rule and this final rule are available from NMFS at the following Web site:http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA)

The following paragraphs constitute the final regulatory flexibility analysis for this action. Section 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act requires an agency to prepare a FRFA after being required by that section or any other law to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking and when an agency promulgates a final rule under section 553 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code.

Section 604 describes the required contents of a FRFA: (1) A statement of the need for, and objectives of, the rule; (2) a statement of the significant issues raised by the public comments in response to the initial regulatory flexibility analysis, a statement of the assessment of the agency of such issues, and a statement of any changes made in the proposed rule as a result of such comments; (3) the response of the agency to any comments filed by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration in response to the proposed rule, and a detailed statement of any change made to the proposed rule in the final rule as a result of the comments; (4) a description of and an estimate of the number of small entities to which the rule will apply or an explanation of why no such estimate is available; (5) a description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements of the rule, including an estimate of the classes of small entities which will be subject to the requirement and the type of professional skills necessary for preparation of the report or record; and (6) a description of the steps the agency has taken to minimize the significant economic impact on small entities consistent with the stated objectives of applicable statutes, including a statement of the factual, policy, and legal reasons for selecting the alternative adopted in the final rule and why each one of the other significant alternatives to the rule considered by the agency which affect the impact on small entities was rejected.

Need for and Objectives of the Rule

A description of the need for, and objectives of, the rule is contained in the preamble to this final rule and is not repeated here. This FRFA incorporates the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) and the summary of the IRFA in the proposed rule (79 FR 77427, December 24, 2014).

Summary of Significant Issues Raised During Public Comment

NMFS published a proposed rule to implement Amendment 31 on December 24, 2014 (79 FR 77427). An IRFA was prepared and summarized in the Classification section of the preamble to the proposed rule. The description of this action, its purpose, and its legal basis are described in the preamble to the proposed rule and are not repeated here.

NMFS received three public comments on Amendment 31 and the proposed rule. No comments were received on the IRFA, or on the economic impacts of this action generally. The Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) did not file any comments on the proposed rule.

Number and Description of Small Entities Regulated by the Action

The entities directly regulated by this action are individuals who currently hold C share QS, and individuals who were at one time active in the crab fisheries as captain and crew prior to the implementation of the CR Program but who are no longer active as captain or crew. The SBA has established size standards for all major industry sectors in the U.S., including commercial shellfish harvesters. On June 12, 2014, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a final rule revising the small business size standards for several industries effective July 14, 2014 (79 FR 33647, June 12, 2014). The new size standards were used to prepare the FRFA for this final rule. A business primarily involved in finfish harvesting is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual gross receipts not in excess of $20.5 million, for all its affiliated operations worldwide. For commercial shellfish harvesters, the same qualifiers apply, except the combined annual gross receipts threshold is $5.5 million.

One hundred and seventy-nine individuals currently hold C shares. Of these individuals, 70 are estimated to have been part of the 239 individuals who received an initial allocation of C shares based on their historical participation record. About 750 individuals, who were active in the crab fisheries as captain and crew prior to the implementation of the CR Program, are no longer active as captain or crew; the final rule allows those 750 individuals to acquire C shares by transfer for a period of four years. Thus, approximately 1100 individuals (750 who were active prior to rationalization, 239 who were initial recipients, and 109 who have since acquired C shares) would be impacted by the change in the regulations regarding the eligible individuals who would be able to acquire C shares by transfer in this rule. Based on the SBA's size standard, the Council and NMFS believe that all holders of C shares are small entities for purposes of the RFA.

The final rule also makes several regulatory amendments that are not contained in Amendment 31 to the FMP. These amendments directly regulate holders of QS, PQS and cooperatives formed under the CR Program. Each of the cooperatives in the CR Program includes as few as several to as many as several hundred of QS holders as members and has revenues in excess of the small entity threshold; however, during the 2010-2011 fishing season, 64 QS holders elected not to join cooperatives. These 64 QS holders are all small entities for RFA purposes.

Entities holding PQS with fewer than 500 employees are “small entities” according to the RFA. As of 2011, 21 entities hold PQS. Of these 21 entities, 10 are large entities and 11 are small entities for RFA purposes.

Recordkeeping, Reporting, and Compliance Requirements

The final rule makes several changes to recordkeeping and reporting requirements for C share QS holders, as well as those wishing to acquire C shares. Entities wishing to acquire C shares that are currently ineligible, because of they are not currently participating as captains or crew, but that will be eligible, because of past participation, will be required to submit evidence of past participation in the form of fish tickets or affidavits. Entities holding C share QS will also be required to submit verification of their compliance with participation standards necessary for the receiving C share IFQ and to maintain their C share QS holdings. Since C share QS holders must meet participation standards to receive annual IFQ allocations and retain C share QS, the reporting requirements are structured to determine compliance with those standards.

Description of Significant Alternatives to the Final Action That Minimize Adverse Impacts on Small Entities

A FRFA must describe the steps the agency has taken to minimize the significant economic impact on small entities consistent with the stated objectives of applicable statues, including a statement of the factual, policy, and legal reasons for selecting the alternative adopted in the final rule and why each one of the other significant alternatives to the rule considered by the agency that affect the impact on small entities was rejected. “Significant alternatives” are those that achieve the stated objectives for the action, consistent with prevailing law with potentially lesser adverse economic impacts on small entities, as a whole.

Three alternatives, including the no action alternative, were considered to relax the eligibility requirements for the acquisition of C shares by transfer. The first alternative creates eligibility for entities that received an initial allocation of C shares. The second alternative creates eligibility for entities with historical participation in the CR Program fisheries. The Council decided to select both of the action alternatives to fully expand the eligibility to include all those entities who had historically participated in the crab fisheries prior to rationalization. The Council did not consider further expanding the eligibility to include entities that do not have any type of historical participation in the crab fisheries, because the original intent in establishing C shares was to provide an opportunity for entities with a connection to the crab fisheries, through participation, to own shares.

The final rule contains a provision that no C shares would be revoked until 5 years after implementation of the amendment to the FMP. The Council intended that this provision would mitigate negative effects on individuals whose shares may be revoked by this action. The Council and NMFS considered two other options to delay revocations. Under the first, no revocations would have taken place until 5 years after implementation of the CR Program, which would have been the year 2010. The second option extended the period to 10 years after implementation of the CR Program, which would have been the year 2015. The preferred alternative would begin revocations 5 years after this final rule is effective. This alternative was selected because it provides holders of C shares with certainty about the rules that will govern C shares and with time to consider business plans for their C shares. The preferred alternatives give holders of C shares time to plan whether to meet the new active participation requirements and retain their C shares or whether to divest their share holdings.

For the provision requiring active participation to receive annual IFQ from C shares, the final rule requires active participation over a 3-year period. For the provision requiring active participation requirement to retain C shares, the final rule requires active participation over a 4-year period. Three categories of alternatives were considered for these provisions: the status quo alternative, which essentially had no active participation requirement because holders of C shares can and do assign their shares to cooperatives; alternatives that would require less or no active participation in the fisheries to maintain C share holdings; and alternatives that would require greater levels of participation as crew.

The Council concluded, and NMFS agrees, that the status quo and the alternatives that require less participation to maintain C share holdings are inconsistent with the Council's intent to ensure that C shares are held by individuals who are active in the fisheries and to create a pool of C shares for use exclusively by individuals who are active in the fisheries. The Council examined alternatives that required higher levels of participation to maintain C share holdings or that required participation exclusively in CR Program fisheries. The Council concluded, and NMFS agrees that these alternatives unduly constrained holders of C shares, given the fleet consolidation and other changes in crab fishing under the CR Program. With fewer vessels active in the fisheries, greater competition for crew jobs is an obstacle to maintaining active participation in the CR Program fisheries. By allowing individuals to meet a minimal landing requirement to maintain their active participation status and by allowing individuals who are initial recipients of C shares to meet the active participation requirements through fishing in non-crab commercial fisheries in Alaska, the preferred alternative would allow individuals to miss some seasons, when crew jobs may be difficult to secure. The Council concluded and NMFS agrees that the preferred alternative reaches a reasonable balance between alternatives that would allow extended absences from active participation in the fisheries and alternatives that would require greater participation in the CR Program fisheries, an approach which fails to recognize the nature of the market for employment in the CR Program fisheries.

The Council did not consider an alternative to the regulatory mechanism to ensure three percent of the TAC for each CR Program fishery is allocated to holders of C share QS. Under the current regulations, approximately three percent of the IFQ pool is allocated as C share IFQ and 97 percent is allocated as owner share IFQ, as is required by the CR Program. However, with the new active participation provisions, and the potential for IFQ not to be allocated to entities which do not meet these provisions, there is a possibility that the C share IFQ allocation would be reduced. To ensure that the C share IFQ pool remains at its intended levels, the Council requested a mechanism put in place to maintain the C share IFQ pool at three percent of the IFQ pool, regardless of whether some holders of C share receive their annual IFQ allocation.

Duplicate, Overlapping, or Conflicting Federal Rules

No duplication, overlap, or conflict between this action and existing Federal rules has been identified.

Collection-of-Information Requirements

This final rule contains collection-of-information requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), which have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Collections are presented below by OMB control number.

OMB Control No. 0648-0514

Public reporting burden per response is estimated to average 2 hours for the Application for BSAI Crab Eligibility to Receive QS/PQS or IFQ/IPQ by Transfer; 2.5 hours for Application for Annual Crab Permit IFQ; 2.5 hours for Application for Annual Crab Permit IPQ; 30 minutes for Application for Converted CPO QS and CPO IFQ; 2.5 hours for Application for Crab Harvesting Cooperative IFQ Permit; 4 hours for Appeal for Denial of Application; 2.5 hours for Application for Transfer of Crab IFQ; 2.5 hours for Application for Transfer of Crab IPQ permit; and 2 hours for Application for Transfer of Crab QS or PQS.

OMB Control No. 0648-0570

Public reporting burden per response is estimated to average 2 hours for the CR Program Registered Crab Receiver Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report.

Burden estimates include the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection information.

Send comments regarding these burden estimates, or any other aspects of the information collections, to NMFS (see ADDRESSES) and by email to [email protected] or fax to 202-395-5806.

Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirement of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number. All currently approved NOAA collections of information may be viewed at: http://www.cio.noaa.gov/services_programs/prasubs.html.

List of Subjects 15 CFR Part 902

Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

50 CFR Part 680

Alaska, Fisheries, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Dated: March 17, 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 15 CFR part 902 and 50 CFR part 680 as follows:

Title 15—Commerce and Foreign Trade PART 902—NOAA INFORMATION COLLECTION REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT: OMB CONTROL NUMBERS 1. The authority citation for part 902 continues to read as follows: Authority:

44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

2. In § 902.1, in the table in paragraph (b), under the entry “50 CFR”: a. Remove the entry for “680.4(a) through (p)” b. Add an entry in alphanumeric order for “680.4(a) through (q)”; and c. Revise entries for “680.5(a) and (h) through (l)”; “680.5(f)”; `680.5(g)”; and “680.5(m)”.

The additions and revisions read as follows:

§ 902.1 OMB control numbers assigned pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act.

(b) * * *

CFR part or section where the information collection
  • requirement is located
  • Current OMB control number (all numbers begin with 0648-)
    *    *    *    *    * 50 CFR: *    *    *    *    * 680.4(a) through (q) -0514 680.5(a) and (h) through (l) -0514 *    *    *    *    * 680.5(f) -0514 680.5(g) -0570 680.5(m) -0570 *    *    *    *    *
    Title 50—Wildlife and Fisheries PART 680—SHELLFISH FISHERIES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA 3. The authority citation for part 680 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1862; Pub. L. 109-241; Pub. L. 109-479.

    4. In § 680.4, revise paragraphs (f)(1) and (n)(1)(i), and add paragraph (q) to read as follows:
    § 680.4 Permits.

    (f) * * *

    (1) A complete application must be received by NMFS no later than June 15 (or postmarked by this date, if sent via U.S. mail or a commercial carrier) for the upcoming crab fishing year for which a person is applying to receive IFQ or IPQ. If a complete application is not received by NMFS by this date, or postmarked by this date, the person will not receive IFQ or IPQ for the upcoming crab fishing year. In the event that NMFS has not received a complete and timely application by June 15, NMFS will presume that the application was timely filed if the applicant can provide NMFS with proof of timely filing.

    (n) * * *

    (1)(i) A complete application must be received by NMFS no later than June 15 (or postmarked by this date, if sent via U.S. mail or a commercial carrier) for the upcoming crab fishing year for which a person or crab harvesting cooperative is applying to receive converted CPO QS and the IFQ derived from that converted CPO QS. If a complete application is not received by NMFS by this date, or postmarked by this date, the person or crab harvesting cooperative will not receive converted CPO QS and the IFQ derived from that converted CPO QS for the upcoming crab fishing year. In the event that NMFS has not received a complete and timely application by June 15, NMFS will presume that the application was timely filed if the applicant can provide NMFS with proof of timely filing.

    (q) Initial administrative determination (IAD). The Regional Administrator will prepare and send an IAD to the applicant following the expiration of the 30-day evidentiary period if the Regional Administrator determines that the information or evidence provided by the applicant fails to support the applicant's claims and is insufficient to establish that the applicant meets the requirements, or if the additional information, evidence, or revised application is not provided within the time period specified in the letter that notifies the applicant of his or her 30-day evidentiary period. The IAD will indicate the deficiencies in the application, including any deficiencies with the information, the evidence submitted in support of the information, or the revised application. The IAD will also indicate which claims cannot be approved based on the available information or evidence. An applicant who receives an IAD may appeal under the appeals procedures set forth at 15 CFR part 906. If an applicant appeals an IAD denying an Application for Annual Crab IFQ, IPQ, or harvesting Cooperative IFQ Permit because the application was not timely filed, the appeal must be filed within 30 days after the date the IAD is issued. An applicant who avails himself or herself of the opportunity to appeal an IAD will not receive crab IFQ or IPQ until after the final resolution of that appeal in the applicant's favor.

    5. In § 680.5, revise paragraphs (m)(2) and (3) to read as follows:
    § 680.5 Recordkeeping and reporting (R&R).

    (m) * * *

    (2) Reporting period. The reporting period of the CR RCR Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report shall extend from August 1 through May 31 of the following year, inclusive.

    (3) Due date. A complete CR RCR Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report must be received by the Regional Administrator no later than May 31 of the reporting period in which the RCR received CR crab.

    6. In § 680.21, revise paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2) introductory text, and (d)(1) to read as follows:
    § 680.21 Crab harvesting cooperatives.

    (b) * * *

    (1) June 15 application deadline. A complete application must be received together with a signed annual application for crab IFQ/IPQ permit forms of all members of the crab harvesting cooperative, by NMFS no later than June 15 (or postmarked by this date, if sent via U.S. mail or a commercial carrier) for the upcoming crab fishing year for which the crab harvesting cooperative is applying to receive IFQ. If a complete application is not received by NMFS by this date, or postmarked by this date, the crab harvesting cooperative will not receive IFQ for the upcoming crab fishing year. In the event that NMFS has not received a complete and timely application by June 15, NMFS will presume that the application was timely filed if the applicant can provide NMFS with proof of timely filing.

    (2) Contents. A complete application must contain the following information:

    (d) * * *

    (1) Transfer of QS. A member of a crab harvesting cooperative may acquire or divest QS at any time in accordance with the transfer procedures in § 680.41. However, transfers of QS that occur after the June 15 deadline for crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit applications will not be reflected in the type or amount of IFQ permit issued to the crab harvesting cooperative for that crab fishing year.

    7. In § 680.40: a. Revise paragraphs (g) and (h)(1); and b. Add paragraph (m) to read as follows:
    § 680.40 Crab Quota Share (QS), Processor QS (PQS), Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ), and Individual Processor Quota (IPQ) Issuance.

    (g) Annual allocation of IFQ—(1) General. IFQ is assigned based on the underlying QS. Except for CVC and CPC QS permit holders who fail to meet the participation requirements at paragraph (g)(2) of this section, the Regional Administrator shall assign crab IFQs to each person who holds QS and submits a complete annual application for crab IFQ/IPQ permit as described under § 680.4. IFQ will be assigned to a crab QS fishery with the appropriate regional designation, QS sector, and IFQ class. This amount will represent the maximum amount of crab that may be harvested from the specified crab QS fishery by the person to whom it is assigned during the specified crab fishing year, unless the IFQ assignment is changed by the Regional Administrator because of an approved transfer, revoked, suspended, or modified under 15 CFR part 904.

    (2) Eligibility for CVC and CPC IFQ. For each crab fishing year after June 30, 2018, individuals holding CVC or CPC QS permits must meet the participation requirements set forth in paragraphs (g)(2)(i) or (g)(2)(ii) of this section in order to receive CVC or CPC IFQ unless the CVC or CPC QS permit holder meets the exemption provided in paragraph (g)(2)(iii) of this section.

    (i) The individual has participated as crew in at least one delivery of crab in any CR crab fishery during the three crab fishing years preceding the crab fishing year for which the individual is filing an annual crab IFQ permit application. If the individual holds C share QS in a single CR crab fishery and that CR crab fishery is closed to fishing for an entire crab fishing year, NMFS will exclude that crab fishing year when determining whether the individual has satisfied this participation requirement.

    (ii) The individual was an initial recipient of CVC or CPC QS and participated as crew in at least 30 days of fishing in a commercial fishery managed by the State of Alaska or in a U.S. commercial fishery in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska during the three crab fishing years preceding the crab fishing year for which the individual is filing an annual crab IFQ permit application. Individuals may combine participation as crew in State and Federal commercial fisheries to meet this requirement. If the individual holds C share QS in a single CR crab fishery and that CR crab fishery is closed to fishing for an entire crab fishing year, NMFS will exclude that crab fishing year when determining whether the individual has satisfied this participation requirement.

    (iii) All of the CVC or CPC QS permits held by the individual were acquired using the eligibility criteria in 50 CFR 680.41(c)(1)(vii)(B) and the individual has held those CVC or CPC QS permits for less than three full crab fishing years.

    (3) Withholding of CVC or CPC IFQ. Beginning July 1, 2018, the Regional Administrator will withhold issuance of CVC or CPC IFQ to an individual who has not met the participation requirements set forth in paragraph (g)(2) of this section. The Regional Administrator will withhold an individual's CVC IFQ or CPC IFQ in accordance with the procedures set forth in paragraphs (g)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section.

    (i) Notice of C Share IFQ Withholding. The Regional Administrator will issue a Notice of C Share IFQ Withholding to an individual holding CVC or CPC QS if, after reviewing the CVC or CPC QS holder's Application for Annual Crab IFQ Permit, the Regional Administrator determines that the CVC or CPC QS holder has failed to meet the participation requirements in paragraph (g)(2) of this section. A CVC or CPC QS holder who receives a Notice of C Share IFQ Withholding will have 30 days to provide the Regional Administrator with information demonstrating participation as crew that meets the requirements of paragraph (g)(2) of this section.

    (ii) Initial administrative determination (IAD). The Regional Administrator will prepare and send an IAD to the CVC or CPC QS holder following the expiration of the 30-day evidentiary period if the Regional Administrator determines that the information or evidence provided by the CVC or CPC QS holder fails to demonstrate participation as crew and is insufficient to rebut the information included in the CVC or CPC QS holder's Applications for Annual Crab IFQ Permit, or if the additional information or evidence is not provided within the time period specified in the Notice of C Share IFQ Withholding. The IAD will explain the basis for the withholding of IFQ. A CVC or CPC QS holder who receives an IAD withholding IFQ may appeal under the appeals procedures set forth at 15 CFR part 906. A CVC or CPC QS holder who avails himself or herself of the opportunity to appeal an IAD withholding IFQ will not receive crab IFQ until after the final resolution of that appeal in the QS holder's favor.

    (h) * * *

    (1) General. (i) The annual allocation of IFQ to any person (p) in any crab QS fishery (f) will be based on the TAC of crab for that crab QS fishery less the allocation to the Western Alaska CDQ Program (“CDQ Reserve”) and Western Aleutian Islands golden king crab fishery. Expressed algebraically, the annual IFQ allocation formula is as follows:

    (A) IFQ TACf = TACf − (CDQ Reservef + Allocation for the Western Aleutian Island golden king crab fishery)

    (B) IFQpf = IFQ TACf × (QSpf/QS poolf)

    (ii) CVO, CPO, CVC, and CPC IFQ. Each year, 3 percent of the IFQ TACf will be allocated as CVC IFQ or CPC IFQ and 97 percent of the IFQ TACf will be allocated as CVO IFQ or CPO IFQ. Expressed algebraically, the formulas for the annual IFQ allocations are as follows:

    (A) CVC/CPC IFQf = IFQ TACf × 0.03

    (B) CVO/CPO IFQf = IFQ TACf × 0.97

    (m) Participation requirements for retention of CVC QS and CPC QS. (1) Beginning July 1, 2019, and each crab fishing year thereafter, individuals allocated CVC QS or CPC QS must meet the participation requirements set forth in paragraphs (m)(2)(i) or (m)(2)(ii) of this section in order to retain their CVC QS or CPC QS unless the CVC or CPC QS holder meets the exemption provided in paragraph (m)(5) of this section.

    (2)(i) The individual has participated as crew in at least one delivery of crab in any CR crab fishery during the previous four consecutive crab fishing years. If the individual holds C share QS in a single CR crab fishery and that CR crab fishery is closed to fishing for an entire crab fishing year, NMFS will exclude that crab fishing year when determining whether the individual has satisfied this participation requirement.

    (ii) The individual was an initial recipient of CVC QS or CPC QS and participated as crew in at least 30 days of fishing in a commercial fishery managed by the State of Alaska or in a U.S. commercial fishery in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska during the previous four consecutive crab fishing years. Individuals may combine participation as crew in State and Federal commercial fisheries to meet this requirement. If the individual holds C share QS in a single CR crab fishery and that CR crab fishery is closed to fishing for an entire crab fishing year, NMFS will exclude that crab fishing year when determining whether the individual has satisfied this participation requirement.

    (3) An individual issued a CVC QS or CPC QS permit may include information demonstrating compliance with the participation requirements in paragraph (m)(2) of this section with the individual's annual Application for Crab IFQ.

    (4) If an individual issued a CVC QS or CPC QS permit fails to meet the participation requirements in paragraph (m)(2) of this section or fails to qualify for the exemption in paragraph (m)(5) of this section, NMFS will revoke all of the individual's CVC QS or CPC QS in accordance with § 680.43.

    (5) All of the CVC or CPC QS permits held by the individual were acquired using the eligibility criteria in § 680.41(c)(1)(vii)(B) and the individual has held those CVC or CPC QS permits for less than four full crab fishing years.

    8. In § 680.41, revise paragraphs (b)(1), (c)(1)(vii) and (viii), (c)(2)(ii)(C), and (e)(3) to read as follows:
    § 680.41 Transfer of QS, PQS, IFQ and IPQ.

    (b) * * *

    (1) Application. An application is required to transfer any amount of QS, PQS, IFQ, or IPQ. A transfer application will not be approved until the necessary eligibility application has been submitted and approved by NMFS in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section. The Regional Administrator will not approve any transfers of QS, PQS, IFQ, or IPQ in any crab QS fishery from June 15 until either the date of the issuance of IFQ or IPQ for that crab QS fishery, or the date on which the State of Alaska announces that a crab QS fishery will not open for that crab fishing year.

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    Quota type Eligible person Eligibility requirements *         *         *         *         *         *         * (vii) CVC or CPC QS An individual (A) Who is a U.S. citizen with: (1) At least 150 days of sea time as part of a harvesting crew in any U.S. commercial fishery, and (2) Recent participation as crew in at least one delivery of crab in a CR crab fishery in the 365 days prior to submission of the application for eligibility, (B) From May 1, 2015, until May 1, 2019, CVC or CPC QS also may be transferred to an individual who is a U.S. citizen with: (1) At least 150 days of sea time as part of a harvesting crew in any U.S. commercial fishery, and (2) Who either: (i) Received an initial allocation of CVC or CPC QS; or (ii) Participated as crew in at least one delivery of crab in a CR crab fishery in any 3 of the 5 crab fishing years starting on July 1, 2000, through June 30, 2005. (viii) CVC or CPC IFQ All eligible individuals for CVC or CPC QS According to the requirements in paragraph (c)(1)(vii) of this section.

    (2) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (C) Eligibility for CVC or CPC QS/IFQ. Indicate (YES or NO) whether this application is intended for a person who wishes to buy CVC or CPC QS/IFQ. If YES, provide evidence demonstrating that the applicant meets the criteria set forth in paragraph (c)(1)(vii) of this section. Acceptable evidence is limited to an ADF&G fish ticket imprinted with the applicant's State of Alaska permit card and signed by the applicant, an affidavit from the vessel owner, or a signed receipt for an IFQ crab landing on which the applicant was acting as the permit holder's crab IFQ hired master.

    (e) * * *

    (3) IFQ derived from CVC QS or CPC QS. IFQ derived from CVC or CPC QS may be transferred by lease on an annual basis.

    9. Revise § 680.43 to read as follows:
    § 680.43 Revocation of CVC and CPC QS.

    (a) Beginning July 1, 2019, the Regional Administrator will revoke all CVC QS and CPC QS held by an individual who has not met the participation requirements set forth in § 680.40(m). The Regional Administrator will revoke an individual's CVC QS or CPC QS in accordance with the procedures set forth in this section.

    (b) Notice of C Share QS Inactivity. The Regional Administrator will issue a Notice of C Share QS Inactivity to an individual holding CVC or CPC QS if, after reviewing the CVC or CPC QS holder's Applications for Annual Crab IFQ Permit, the Regional Administrator determines that the CVC or CPC QS holder has failed to meet the participation requirements in § 680.40(m). A CVC or CPC QS holder who receives such a Notice will have 60 days to provide the Regional Administrator with information demonstrating participation as crew that meets the requirements of § 680.40(m).

    (c) Initial administrative determination (IAD). The Regional Administrator will prepare and send an IAD to the CVC or CPC QS holder following the expiration of the 60-day evidentiary period if the Regional Administrator determines that the information or evidence provided by the CVC or CPC QS holder fails to demonstrate participation as crew and is insufficient to rebut the information included in the CVC or CPC QS holder's Applications for Annual Crab IFQ Permit, or if the additional information or evidence is not provided within the time period specified in the Notice of C Share QS Inactivity. The IAD will explain the basis for the revocation determination. A CVC or CPC QS holder who receives an IAD for revocation may appeal under the appeals procedures set forth at 15 CFR part 906. A CVC or CPC QS holder who avails himself or herself of the opportunity to appeal an IAD for revocation will not receive crab IFQ or IPQ until after the final resolution of that appeal in the QS holder's favor.

    [FR Doc. 2015-06928 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2014-0746; FRL-9924-49-Region 9] Approval, Disapproval, and Limited Approval and Disapproval of Air Quality Implementation Plans; California; Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District; Stationary Source Permits AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to approve certain revisions to the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District (MBUAPCD or District) portion of the applicable state implementation plan (SIP) for the State of California and to disapprove certain other revisions. This action was proposed in the Federal Register on October 15, 2014. These revisions include submittal of certain new or revised rules governing the issuance of permits for stationary sources, including review and permitting of minor sources, and major sources and major modifications under part C of title I of the Clean Air Act (CAA). EPA is taking this action under the Clean Air Act obligation to take action on State submittals of revisions to state implementation plans. The intended effect is to update the applicable SIP with current MBUAPCD permitting rules and set the stage for remedying certain deficiencies in these rules.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on April 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established docket number [EPA-R09-OAR-2014-0746] for this action. Generally, documents in the docket for this action are available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California 94105-3901. While all documents in the docket are listed at http://www.regulations.gov, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material, large maps, multi-volume reports), and some may not be available in either location (e.g., confidential business information (CBI)). To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment during normal business hours with the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Laura Yannayon, EPA Region IX, by phone: (415) 972-3534 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, the terms “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Proposed Action II. Public Comment III. EPA Action IV. Incorporation by Reference V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Proposed Action

    On October 15, 2014 (79 FR 61797), EPA proposed several actions in connection with certain revisions to the MBUAPCD portion of the California SIP submitted by the California Air Resources Board under the CAA. Table 1 lists the rules submitted for EPA action.

    Table 1—Submitted Rules Rule No. Rule title Adopted or
  • revised
  • Submitted
    200 Permits Required 12/13/00 5/8/01 203 Application 10/16/02 12/12/02 204 Cancellation of Applications 3/21/01 5/31/01 206 Standards for Granting Applications 3/21/01 5/31/01 207 Review of New or Modified Sources 4/20/11 5/12/11 208 Standards for Granting Permits to Operate (Request to Repeal) 12/13/00 5/8/01 212 Public Availability of Emission Data 10/16/02 12/12/02

    EPA proposed a combination of actions consisting of disapproval of Rule 200 (Permits), limited approval and limited disapproval of Rule 207 (Review of New or Modified Sources), repeal of Rule 208 (Standards for Granting Permits to Operate) and approval of Rules 203 (Application), 204 (Cancellation of Applications), 206 (Standards for Granting Applications) and 212 (Public Availability of Emission Data). We noted one specific deficiency in Rule 200 and several deficiencies in Rule 207 that are the basis for the disapproval actions. Please see the proposed notice and the associated TSD for a list of these deficiencies.

    II. Public Comment

    EPA's proposed action provided a 30-day public comment period. During this time we received no comments.

    III. EPA Action

    No comments were submitted to change our assessment of the rules as described in our proposed action. Pursuant to section 110(k) of the CAA and for the reasons provided in our proposed action and associated TSD, EPA is finalizing a limited approval and limited disapproval of Rule 207, a full disapproval of Rule 200, full approval of Rules 203, 204, 206 and 212 and the request to repeal Rule 208.

    Our full disapproval of Rule 200 means the current SIP approved version of Rule 200—Permits Required will remain in effect. (64 FR 35577 July 1, 1999).

    The limited disapproval of Rule 207 triggers an obligation for EPA to promulgate a Federal Implementation Plan unless the State of California corrects the deficiencies, and EPA approves the related plan revisions within two years of the final action.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the MBUAPCD rules described in the amendments to 40 CFR 52.220 set forth below. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents available electronically through www.regulations.gov and 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 Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve State choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. Accordingly, this action merely approves State law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: March 4, 2015. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region IX.

    Part 52, Chapter I, Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart F—California 2. Section 52.220 is amended by adding paragraphs (c)(282)(i)(C)(2) and (3) and (c)(284)(i)(A)(5) and (c)(308)(i)(E) and (c)(453) to read as follows:
    § 52.220 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    (282) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (C) * * *

    (2) Rule 204, “Cancellation of Applications,” revised on March 21, 2001.

    (3) Rule 206, “Standards for Issuing Authorities to Construct and Permits to Operate,” revised on March 21, 2001.

    (284) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (A) * * *

    (5) Rule 200, “Permits Required,” revised on December 13, 2000.

    (308) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (E) Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District.

    (1) Rule 203, “Application,” revised October 16, 2002.

    (2) Rule 212, “Public Availability of Emission Data,” revised on October 16, 2002.

    (453) New and amended regulations for the following APCDs were submitted on May 12, 2011.

    (i) Incorporation by reference.

    (A) Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District.

    (1) Rule 207, “Review of New or Modified Sources,” revised on April 20, 2011.

    [FR Doc. 2015-06705 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2008-0636; FRL-9925-11-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Albuquerque/Bernalillo County; Revisions to Emission Inventory Requirements, and General Provisions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Withdrawal of direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    On February 2, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a direct final rule approving revisions to the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County, New Mexico State Implementation Plan. These revisions add definitions and clarifying changes to the general provisions and add a new emissions inventory regulation that establishes reporting requirements for stationary sources in Albuquerque/Bernalillo County. The direct final rule was published without prior proposal because EPA anticipated no adverse comments. EPA stated in the direct final rule that if we received relevant, adverse comments by March 4, 2015, EPA would publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register. EPA received a comment on February 20, 2015 from the Sierra Club stating in relevant part, that an Acting Regional Administrator cannot sign approvals, disapprovals, or any combination of approvals or disapproval, in whole or in part, due to the fact that the authority to act on agency actions on state implementation plans is delegated only to, and therefore can only be signed by, the Regional Administrator. EPA considers this a relevant, adverse comment and accordingly we are withdrawing our direct final rule approval, and in a separate subsequent final rulemaking we will address the comment received. The withdrawal is being taken pursuant to section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    The direct final rule published on February 2, 2015 (80 FR 5471), is withdrawn effective March 26, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. John Walser (6PD-L), Air Planning Section, telephone (214) 665-7128, fax (214) 665-6762, email: [email protected]

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxides, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: March 13, 2015. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.

    Accordingly, the amendments to 40 CFR 52.1620 published in the Federal Register on February 2, 2015 (80 FR 5471), which were to become effective on April 3, 2015, are withdrawn.

    [FR Doc. 2015-06701 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 300 [EPA-HQ-SFUND-2014-0624, 0625; FRL 9924-32-OSWER] National Priorities List AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA” or “the Act”), as amended, requires that the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (“NCP”) include a list of national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants throughout the United States. The National Priorities List (“NPL”) constitutes this list. The NPL is intended primarily to guide the Environmental Protection Agency (“the EPA” or “the agency”) in determining which sites warrant further investigation. These further investigations will allow the EPA to assess the nature and extent of public health and environmental risks associated with the site and to determine what CERCLA-financed remedial action(s), if any, may be appropriate. This rule adds two sites to the General Superfund section of the NPL.

    DATES:

    The document is effective on April 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Contact information for the EPA Headquarters and EPA Region 5 dockets:

    • Docket Coordinator, Headquarters; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CERCLA Docket Office; 1301 Constitution Avenue NW.; William Jefferson Clinton Building West, Room 3334, Washington, DC 20004, 202/566-0276.

    • Todd Quesada, Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI), U.S. EPA Superfund Division Librarian/SFD Records Manager SRC-7J, Metcalfe Federal Building, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604; 312/886-4465.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Terry Jeng, phone: (703) 603-8852, email: [email protected] Site Assessment and Remedy Decisions Branch, Assessment and Remediation Division, Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation (Mailcode 5204P), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; or the Superfund Hotline, phone (800) 424-9346 or (703) 412-9810 in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Background A. What are CERCLA and SARA? B. What is the NCP? C. What is the National Priorities List (NPL)? D. How are sites listed on the NPL? E. What happens to sites on the NPL? F. Does the NPL define the boundaries of sites? G. How are sites removed from the NPL? H. May the EPA delete portions of sites from the NPL as they are cleaned up? I. What is the construction completion list (CCL)? J. What is the Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use Measure? K. What is state/tribal correspondence concerning NPL listing? II. Availability of Information to the Public A. May I review the documents relevant to this final rule? B. What documents are available for review at the EPA Headquarters docket? C. What documents are available for review at the EPA Region 5 docket? D. How do I access the documents? E. How may I obtain a current list of NPL sites? III. Contents of This Final Rule A. Additions to the NPL B. What did the EPA do with the public comments it received? IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations K. Congressional Review Act I. Background A. What are CERCLA and SARA?

    In 1980, Congress enacted the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. 9601-9675 (“CERCLA” or “the Act”), in response to the dangers of uncontrolled releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, and releases or substantial threats of releases into the environment of any pollutant or contaminant that may present an imminent or substantial danger to the public health or welfare. CERCLA was amended on October 17, 1986, by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (“SARA”), Public Law 99-499, 100 Stat. 1613 et seq.

    B. What is the NCP?

    To implement CERCLA, the EPA promulgated the revised National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (“NCP”), 40 CFR part 300, on July 16, 1982 (47 FR 31180), pursuant to CERCLA section 105 and Executive Order 12316 (46 FR 42237, August 20, 1981). The NCP sets guidelines and procedures for responding to releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances, or releases or substantial threats of releases into the environment of any pollutant or contaminant that may present an imminent or substantial danger to the public health or welfare. The EPA has revised the NCP on several occasions. The most recent comprehensive revision was on March 8, 1990 (55 FR 8666).

    As required under section 105(a)(8)(A) of CERCLA, the NCP also includes “criteria for determining priorities among releases or threatened releases throughout the United States for the purpose of taking remedial action and, to the extent practicable, taking into account the potential urgency of such action, for the purpose of taking removal action.” “Removal” actions are defined broadly and include a wide range of actions taken to study, clean up, prevent or otherwise address releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants (42 U.S.C. 9601(23)).

    C. What is the National Priorities List (NPL)?

    The NPL is a list of national priorities among the known or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants throughout the United States. The list, which is appendix B of the NCP (40 CFR part 300), was required under section 105(a)(8)(B) of CERCLA, as amended. Section 105(a)(8)(B) defines the NPL as a list of “releases” and the highest priority “facilities” and requires that the NPL be revised at least annually. The NPL is intended primarily to guide the EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation to assess the nature and extent of public health and environmental risks associated with a release of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. The NPL is of only limited significance, however, as it does not assign liability to any party or to the owner of any specific property. Also, placing a site on the NPL does not mean that any remedial or removal action necessarily need be taken.

    For purposes of listing, the NPL includes two sections, one of sites that are generally evaluated and cleaned up by the EPA (the “General Superfund section”) and one of sites that are owned or operated by other federal agencies (the “Federal Facilities section”). With respect to sites in the Federal Facilities section, these sites are generally being addressed by other federal agencies. Under Executive Order 12580 (52 FR 2923, January 29, 1987) and CERCLA section 120, each federal agency is responsible for carrying out most response actions at facilities under its own jurisdiction, custody or control, although the EPA is responsible for preparing a Hazard Ranking System (“HRS”) score and determining whether the facility is placed on the NPL.

    D. How are sites listed on the NPL?

    There are three mechanisms for placing sites on the NPL for possible remedial action (see 40 CFR 300.425(c) of the NCP): (1) A site may be included on the NPL if it scores sufficiently high on the HRS, which the EPA promulgated as appendix A of the NCP (40 CFR part 300). The HRS serves as a screening tool to evaluate the relative potential of uncontrolled hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants to pose a threat to human health or the environment. On December 14, 1990 (55 FR 51532), the EPA promulgated revisions to the HRS partly in response to CERCLA section 105(c), added by SARA. The revised HRS evaluates four pathways: Ground water, surface water, soil exposure and air. As a matter of agency policy, those sites that score 28.50 or greater on the HRS are eligible for the NPL. (2) Each state may designate a single site as its top priority to be listed on the NPL, without any HRS score. This provision of CERCLA requires that, to the extent practicable, the NPL include one facility designated by each state as the greatest danger to public health, welfare or the environment among known facilities in the state. This mechanism for listing is set out in the NCP at 40 CFR 300.425(c)(2). (3) The third mechanism for listing, included in the NCP at 40 CFR 300.425(c)(3), allows certain sites to be listed without any HRS score, if all of the following conditions are met:

    (1) The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the U.S. Public Health Service has issued a health advisory that recommends dissociation of individuals from the release.

    (2) The EPA determines that the release poses a significant threat to public health.

    (3) The EPA anticipates that it will be more cost-effective to use its remedial authority than to use its removal authority to respond to the release.

    The EPA promulgated an original NPL of 406 sites on September 8, 1983 (48 FR 40658) and generally has updated it at least annually.

    E. What happens to sites on the NPL?

    A site may undergo remedial action financed by the Trust Fund established under CERCLA (commonly referred to as the “Superfund”) only after it is placed on the NPL, as provided in the NCP at 40 CFR 300.425(b)(1). (“Remedial actions” are those “consistent with a permanent remedy, taken instead of or in addition to removal actions” (40 CFR 300.5). However, under 40 CFR 300.425(b)(2), placing a site on the NPL “does not imply that monies will be expended.” The EPA may pursue other appropriate authorities to respond to the releases, including enforcement action under CERCLA and other laws.

    F. Does the NPL define the boundaries of sites?

    The NPL does not describe releases in precise geographical terms; it would be neither feasible nor consistent with the limited purpose of the NPL (to identify releases that are priorities for further evaluation), for it to do so. Indeed, the precise nature and extent of the site are typically not known at the time of listing.

    Although a CERCLA “facility” is broadly defined to include any area where a hazardous substance has “come to be located” (CERCLA section 101(9)), the listing process itself is not intended to define or reflect the boundaries of such facilities or releases. Of course, HRS data (if the HRS is used to list a site) upon which the NPL placement was based will, to some extent, describe the release(s) at issue. That is, the NPL site would include all releases evaluated as part of that HRS analysis.

    When a site is listed, the approach generally used to describe the relevant release(s) is to delineate a geographical area (usually the area within an installation or plant boundaries) and identify the site by reference to that area. However, the NPL site is not necessarily coextensive with the boundaries of the installation or plant, and the boundaries of the installation or plant are not necessarily the “boundaries” of the site. Rather, the site consists of all contaminated areas within the area used to identify the site, as well as any other location where that contamination has come to be located, or from where that contamination came.

    In other words, while geographic terms are often used to designate the site (e.g., the “Jones Co. Plant site”) in terms of the property owned by a particular party, the site, properly understood, is not limited to that property (e.g., it may extend beyond the property due to contaminant migration), and conversely may not occupy the full extent of the property (e.g., where there are uncontaminated parts of the identified property, they may not be, strictly speaking, part of the “site”). The “site” is thus neither equal to, nor confined by, the boundaries of any specific property that may give the site its name, and the name itself should not be read to imply that this site is coextensive with the entire area within the property boundary of the installation or plant. In addition, the site name is merely used to help identify the geographic location of the contamination, and is not meant to constitute any determination of liability at a site. For example, the name “Jones Co. plant site,” does not imply that the Jones Company is responsible for the contamination located on the plant site.

    EPA regulations provide that the remedial investigation (“RI”) “is a process undertaken * * * to determine the nature and extent of the problem presented by the release” as more information is developed on site contamination, and which is generally performed in an interactive fashion with the feasibility study (“FS”) (40 CFR 300.5). During the RI/FS process, the release may be found to be larger or smaller than was originally thought, as more is learned about the source(s) and the migration of the contamination. However, the HRS inquiry focuses on an evaluation of the threat posed and therefore the boundaries of the release need not be exactly defined. Moreover, it generally is impossible to discover the full extent of where the contamination “has come to be located” before all necessary studies and remedial work are completed at a site. Indeed, the known boundaries of the contamination can be expected to change over time. Thus, in most cases, it may be impossible to describe the boundaries of a release with absolute certainty.

    Further, as noted above, NPL listing does not assign liability to any party or to the owner of any specific property. Thus, if a party does not believe it is liable for releases on discrete parcels of property, it can submit supporting information to the agency at any time after it receives notice it is a potentially responsible party.

    For these reasons, the NPL need not be amended as further research reveals more information about the location of the contamination or release.

    G. How are sites removed from the NPL?

    The EPA may delete sites from the NPL where no further response is appropriate under Superfund, as explained in the NCP at 40 CFR 300.425(e). This section also provides that the EPA shall consult with states on proposed deletions and shall consider whether any of the following criteria have been met:

    (i) Responsible parties or other persons have implemented all appropriate response actions required;

    (ii) All appropriate Superfund-financed response has been implemented and no further response action is required; or

    (iii) The remedial investigation has shown the release poses no significant threat to public health or the environment, and taking of remedial measures is not appropriate.

    H. May the EPA delete portions of sites from the NPL as they are cleaned up?

    In November 1995, the EPA initiated a policy to delete portions of NPL sites where cleanup is complete (60 FR 55465, November 1, 1995). Total site cleanup may take many years, while portions of the site may have been cleaned up and made available for productive use.

    I. What is the construction completion list (CCL)?

    The EPA also has developed an NPL construction completion list (“CCL”) to simplify its system of categorizing sites and to better communicate the successful completion of cleanup activities (58 FR 12142, March 2, 1993). Inclusion of a site on the CCL has no legal significance.

    Sites qualify for the CCL when: (1) Any necessary physical construction is complete, whether or not final cleanup levels or other requirements have been achieved; (2) the EPA has determined that the response action should be limited to measures that do not involve construction (e.g., institutional controls); or (3) the site qualifies for deletion from the NPL. For the most up-to-date information on the CCL, see the EPA's Internet site at http://www.epa.gov/superfund/cleanup/ccl.htm.

    J. What is the Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use Measure?

    The Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use measure represents important Superfund accomplishments and the measure reflects the high priority the EPA places on considering anticipated future land use as part of the remedy selection process. See Guidance for Implementing the Sitewide Ready-for-Reuse Measure, May 24, 2006, OSWER 9365.0-36. This measure applies to final and deleted sites where construction is complete, all cleanup goals have been achieved, and all institutional or other controls are in place. The EPA has been successful on many occasions in carrying out remedial actions that ensure protectiveness of human health and the environment for current and future land uses, in a manner that allows contaminated properties to be restored to environmental and economic vitality. For further information, please go to http://www.epa.gov/superfund/programs/recycle/pdf/sitewide_a.pdf.

    K. What is state/tribal correspondence concerning NPL listing?

    In order to maintain close coordination with states and tribes in the NPL listing decision process, the EPA's policy is to determine the position of the states and tribes regarding sites that the EPA is considering for listing. This consultation process is outlined in two memoranda that can be found at the following Web site: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/hrsres/policy/govlet.pdf The EPA has improved the transparency of the process by which state and tribal input is solicited. The EPA is using the Web and where appropriate more structured state and tribal correspondence that (1) explains the concerns at the site and the EPA's rationale for proceeding; (2) requests an explanation of how the state intends to address the site if placement on the NPL is not favored; and (3) emphasizes the transparent nature of the process by informing states that information on their responses will be publicly available.

    A model letter and correspondence between the EPA and states and tribes where applicable, is available on the EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/query/queryhtm/nplstcor.htm.

    II. Availability of Information to the Public A. May I review the documents relevant to this final rule?

    Yes, documents relating to the evaluation and scoring of the sites in this final rule are contained in dockets located both at the EPA Headquarters and in the EPA Region 5 office.

    An electronic version of the public docket is available through http://www.regulations.gov (see table below for docket identification numbers). Although not all docket materials may be available electronically, you may still access any of the publicly available docket materials through the docket facilities identified below in section II D.

    Docket Identification Numbers by Site Site name City/County, State Docket ID No. Kokomo Contaminated Ground Water Plume Kokomo, IN EPA-HQ-SFUND-2014-0624 DSC McLouth Steel Gibraltar Plant Gibraltar, MI EPA-HQ-SFUND-2014-0625 B. What documents are available for review at the EPA Headquarters docket?

    The Headquarters docket for this rule contains the HRS score sheets, the documentation record describing the information used to compute the score and a list of documents referenced in the documentation record for each site.

    C. What documents are available for review at the EPA Region 5 docket?

    The EPA Region 5 docket contains all the information in the Headquarters docket, plus the actual reference documents containing the data principally relied upon by the EPA in calculating or evaluating the HRS score. These reference documents are available only in the Region 5 docket.

    D. How do I access the documents?

    You may view the documents, by appointment only, after the publication of this rule. The hours of operation for the Headquarters docket are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays. Please contact the Region 5 docket for hours. For addresses for the Headquarters and Region 5 dockets, see “Addresses” section in the beginning portion of this preamble.

    E. How may I obtain a current list of NPL sites?

    You may obtain a current list of NPL sites via the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/index.htm or by contacting the Superfund docket (see contact information in the beginning portion of this document).

    III. Contents of This Final Rule A. Additions to the NPL

    This final rule adds the following sites to the General Superfund section of the NPL. These sites are being added to the NPL based on HRS score.

    General Superfund section:

    State Site name City/County IN Kokomo Contaminated Ground Water Plume Kokomo. MI DSC McLouth Steel Gibraltar Plant Gibraltar. B. What did the EPA do with the public comments it received?

    The EPA is adding two sites to the NPL in this final rule, both of which were proposed for NPL addition on September 22, 2014 (79 FR 56538). The sites are the Kokomo Contaminated Ground Water Plume in Kokomo, Indiana, and the DSC McLouth Steel Gibraltar Plant in Gibraltar, Michigan. The EPA received no comments in connection with the Kokomo Contaminated Ground Water Plume. It received one comment in connection with the DSC McLouth Steel Gibraltar Plant.

    On October 30, 2014, counsel for Detroit Steel Company and Gibraltar Land Company, the respective owners of the DSC McLouth Steel Gibraltar Plant and the Countywide Landfill, commented on the proposed listing. Counsel described the comments as “not technical in nature” and stated that the comments were “submitted in order to supplement the record. And provide needed background.” The comments did not challenge the HRS score but did provide a substantial site history, which includes litigation between Gibraltar Land Company (GLC) and the State of Michigan arising out of Michigan's denial of GLC's application for a construction permit to expand the Countywide Landfill. The commenter closed with the following statements, “The designation of the properties on the National Priorities List would make the financing of future landfill operations and/or the sale of the property to another landfill developer difficult. However, recognizing the continued areas of environmental concern, even if USEPA would elect to designate these sites on the NPL at this time, we would believe that USEPA could play a constructive role in attempting to mediate a resolution of this matter. Such a resolution would provide for the vertical expansion of the [Countywide Landfill], which would in turn provide a source of revenue that would minimize the use of federal monies.”

    In response, the EPA notes that the commenter raised no issue with the HRS score. EPA is placing the DSC McLouth Steel Gibraltar Plant site on the NPL. EPA will coordinate with GLC, Michigan, and Wayne County to efficiently address the contamination. EPA, however, has no authority to require Michigan to approve a permit for landfill expansion at the Countywide Landfill facility.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive orders.

    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a significant regulatory action and was therefore not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA. This rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require approval of the OMB.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action will not impose any requirements on small entities. This rule listing sites on the NPL does not impose any obligations on any group, including small entities. This rule also does not establish standards or requirements that any small entity must meet, and imposes no direct costs on any small entity. Whether an entity, small or otherwise, is liable for response costs for a release of hazardous substances depends on whether that entity is liable under CERCLA 107(a). Any such liability exists regardless of whether the site is listed on the NPL through this rulemaking.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. This action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector. Listing a site on the NPL does not itself impose any costs. Listing does not mean that the EPA necessarily will undertake remedial action. Nor does listing require any action by a private party, state, local or tribal governments or determine liability for response costs. Costs that arise out of site responses result from future site-specific decisions regarding what actions to take, not directly from the act of placing a site on the NPL.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

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

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

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175. Listing a site on the NPL does not impose any costs on a tribe or require a tribe to take remedial action. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because this action itself is procedural in nature (adds sites to a list) and does not, in and of itself, provide protection from environmental health and safety risks. Separate future regulatory actions are required for mitigation of environmental health and safety risks.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    The EPA believes the human health or environmental risk addressed by this action will not have potential disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income or indigenous populations because it does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment. As discussed in Section I.C. of the preamble to this action, the NPL is a list of national priorities. The NPL is intended primarily to guide the EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation to assess the nature and extent of public health and environmental risks associated with a release of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. The NPL is of only limited significance as it does not assign liability to any party. Also, placing a site on the NPL does not mean that any remedial or removal action necessarily need be taken.

    K. Congressional Review Act

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

    Provisions of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) or section 305 of CERCLA may alter the effective date of this regulation. Under 5 U.S.C. 801(b)(1), a rule shall not take effect, or continue in effect, if Congress enacts (and the President signs) a joint resolution of disapproval, described under section 802. Another statutory provision that may affect this rule is CERCLA section 305, which provides for a legislative veto of regulations promulgated under CERCLA. Although INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919,103 S. Ct. 2764 (1983), and Bd. of Regents of the University of Washington v. EPA, 86 F.3d 1214,1222 (D.C. Cir. 1996), cast the validity of the legislative veto into question, the EPA has transmitted a copy of this regulation to the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

    If action by Congress under either the CRA or CERCLA section 305 calls the effective date of this regulation into question, the EPA will publish a document of clarification in the Federal Register.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 300

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, Hazardous substances, Hazardous waste, Intergovernmental relations, Natural resources, Oil pollution, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Superfund, Water pollution control, Water supply.

    Dated: March 16, 2015. Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

    40 CFR part 300 is amended as follows:

    PART 300—NATIONAL OIL AND HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES POLLUTION CONTINGENCY PLAN 1. The authority citation for Part 300 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1321(c)(2); 42 U.S.C. 9601-9657; E.O. 13626, 77 FR 56749, 3 CFR, 2013 Comp., p.306; E.O. 12777, 56 FR 54757, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p.351; E.O. 12580, 52 FR 2923, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p.193.

    2. Table 1 of Appendix B to Part 300 is amended by adding entries for “Kokomo Contaminated Ground Water Plume” and “DSC McLouth Steel Gibraltar Plant” in alphabetical order by state to read as follows: Appendix B to Part 300—National Priorities List Table 1—General Superfund Section State Site name City/county Notes a *         *         *         *         *         *         * IN Kokomo Contaminated Ground Water Plume Kokomo *         *         *         *         *         *         * MI DSC McLouth Steel Gibraltar Plant Gibraltar *         *         *         *         *         *         * a A = Based on issuance of health advisory by Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (if scored, HRS score need not be greater than or equal to 28.50).
    [FR Doc. 2015-06696 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 51 [WC Docket No. 10-90, CC Docket No. 01-92; DA 15-249] Connect America Fund; Developing a Unified Intercarrier Compensation Regime AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau clarifies certain rules related to the implementation of the intercarrier compensation transition for rate-of-return local exchange carriers adopted in the USF/ICC Transformation Order. Specifically, the Bureau clarifies the Commission's rules governing Eligible Recovery calculations to address limited unanticipated results of the application of the true-up process evidenced by the rate-of-return carriers' 2014 annual access tariff filings.

    DATES:

    Effective April 27, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pamela Arluk, Wireline Competition Bureau, Pricing Policy Division, (202) 418-1520 or (202) 418-0484 (TTY); or Robin Cohn, Wireline Competition Bureau, Pricing Policy Division, (202) 418-1520 or (202) 418-0484 (TTY).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Order in WC Docket No. 10-90 and CC Docket No. 01-92, adopted and released on February 24, 2015. The full text of this document can be viewed at the following Internet address: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-249A1.docx. The full text of this document is also available for public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (e.g. braille, large print, electronic files, audio format, etc.) or to request reasonable accommodations (e.g. accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice) or (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    I. Introduction

    1. In the USF/ICC Transformation Order, the Commission delegated to the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) the authority to make any rule revisions necessary to ensure that the intercarrier compensation (ICC) reforms adopted by the Commission are properly reflected in the Commission's rules, including correction of any conflicts between the new or revised rules and addressing any omissions or oversights. In the Order, the Bureau acts pursuant to its delegated authority to clarify certain rules relating to implementation of the ICC transition for rate-of-return local exchange carriers (LECs) adopted in the USF/ICC Transformation Order. We clarify the Commission's rules governing Eligible Recovery calculations under § 51.917(d) to address a limited number of unanticipated results associated with application of the true-up process that became apparent in rate-of-return carriers' 2014 annual access tariff filings. Specifically, we clarify that a rate-of-return carrier that received too much Eligible Recovery in 2012-13 because of an under-projection of demand for that tariff period, and does not have sufficient Eligible Recovery in 2014-15 to fully offset the 2012-13 amount of over-recovery, must refund the amount that is not offset to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to avoid duplicative recovery. Additionally, to ensure a carrier receives the Eligible Recovery it was entitled to in 2012-13, we clarify that a rate-of-return carrier that received too little Eligible Recovery in 2012-13 because of an over-projection of demand for that tariff period may seek recovery for any amounts it was not able to recover through its 2014-15 Eligible Recovery from USAC. We also revise § 51.917 of the Commission's rules to address similar discrepancies that may occur in future years as a result of the true-up process.

    II. Background

    2. In the USF/ICC Transformation Order, the Commission adopted, among other things, rules to implement the ICC reform timeline that require carriers to adjust, over a period of years, many of their legacy ICC rates effective on July 1 of each of those years, with the ultimate goal of transitioning to a bill-and-keep regime. The Commission also adopted a recovery mechanism to mitigate the impact of reduced ICC revenues on carriers and to facilitate continued investment in broadband infrastructure while providing greater certainty and predictability going forward. The recovery mechanism allows incumbent LECs to recover ICC revenues reduced due to the ICC reforms, up to an amount defined for each year of the transition, which is referred to as “Eligible Recovery.” A Rate-of-Return carrier initially may recover its Eligible Recovery each year from its end users through the Access Recovery Charge (ARC) subject to an annual cap. If the projected ARC revenues do not recover the entire Eligible Recovery amount, the carrier may elect to collect the remainder from Connect America Fund ICC support.

    3. For rate-of-return LECs, the calculation each year of a carrier's Eligible Recovery begins with its Base Period Revenue (BPR). A rate-of-return carrier's BPR is the sum of certain ICC intrastate switched access revenues and net reciprocal compensation revenues received by March 31, 2012, for services provided during FY 2011, and the projected revenue requirement for interstate switched access services provided during the 2011-2012 tariff period. The BPR for rate-of-return carriers was reduced by 5% initially and is reduced by an additional 5% in each year of the transition. A rate-of-return LEC's Eligible Recovery is equal to the adjusted BPR for the year in question less, for each relevant year of the transition, the sum of (1) projected intrastate switched access revenue; (2) projected interstate switched access revenue; and (3) projected net reciprocal compensation revenue.

    4. Beginning in 2014, the recovery mechanism also incorporates in the Eligible Recovery calculation a true-up of the revenue difference between projected and actual demand for interstate and intrastate switched access services, reciprocal compensation, and the ARC for the tariff period that began two years earlier. This adjustment measures the extent to which a carrier received more or less than the revenues it projected for the earlier period and thus whether it received too little, or too much, Eligible Recovery through ARCs and/or Connect America Fund ICC support for that period. The true-up is achieved by adjusting the later tariff period's Eligible Recovery to account for the carrier's revenue variance resulting from differences between projected and actual demand for the prior period. The true-up process ensures that rate-of-return carriers at a minimum have the opportunity to receive their adjusted BPR, notwithstanding changes in demand for their intercarrier compensation rates being capped or reduced. The true-up process does not require that a carrier that has negative Eligible Recovery, meaning the carrier received revenues in excess of its adjusted BPR from its interstate and intrastate switched access and reciprocal compensation alone and not through an ARC or Connect America Fund ICC support, to refund any of the revenues it received.

    5. To provide context for how the true-up process works, the following two examples demonstrate scenarios in which the carrier either under-projected or over-projected its revenues, and thus must engage in a true-up calculation pursuant to § 51.917(d)(1)(iii)-(iv) of the Commission's rules. In this first example, Carrier A under-projected its actual revenues and received too much Eligible Recovery for the 2012-2013 tariff period. Carrier A had a BPR of $100.00, a projected revenue amount of $80.00 and an actual revenue amount of $85.00:

    2012-2013 BPR is $100.00 × .95 = $95.00 (Adjusted BPR) 2012-2013 Total Projected Revenues = $80.00 2012-2013 Eligible Recovery (Adjusted BPR-Projected Revenues) = $15.00 2012-2013 Total Actual Revenues = $85.00 Projected Revenue—Actual Revenue = $−5.00 (true-up amount) 2014-2015 Eligible Recovery adjusted by $−5.00 As a result of its under-projection, Carrier A would need to reduce its 2014-2015 tariff period Eligible Recovery by five dollars to reflect the difference between its actual revenues and projected revenues for the 2012-2013 tariff period.

    6. Conversely, in the second example, Carrier B over-projected its revenue amounts in the 2012-2013 tariff period, and it would need to increase its 2014-2015 Eligible Recovery amounts to reflect the difference. Carrier B had a BPR of $100.00, a projected revenue amount of $85.00 and an actual revenue amount of $80.00:

    2012-2013 BRP is $100.00 × .95 = $95.00 (Adjusted BPR) 2012-2013 Total Projected Revenues = $85.00 2012-2013 Eligible Recovery (Adjusted BPR-Projected Revenues) = $10.00 2012-2013 Total Actual Revenues = $80.00 Projected Revenue−Actual Revenue = $5.00 (true-up amount) 2014-2015 Eligible Recovery adjusted by $5.00 Thus, in this example, the carrier will need to increase its 2014-2015 Eligible Recovery amount by five dollars to reflect the difference between its actual revenues and projected revenues for the 2012-2013 tariff period. III. Discussion

    7. As noted above, the 2014 annual tariff filing was the first time that Eligible Recovery was adjusted to incorporate a true-up of projected demand used in calculating Eligible Recovery for an earlier tariff period. The true-up process is designed to provide certainty to rate-of-return carriers by accounting for any difference between projected and actual switched access revenues, reciprocal compensation revenues, or ARC revenues due to demand variations. As the above examples and the illustration in the USF/ICC Transformation Order (which similarly shows operation of the true-up process when a carrier both overestimated and underestimated its projected revenues for the first year of the ICC reforms adopted by the Commission) demonstrate, a carrier's Eligible Recovery was to be adjusted either upward or downward based on any such differences. As the illustration in the USF/ICC Transformation Order reflects, the Commission expected that the amount of any adjustment could be completely offset through adjustments to the amount of Eligible Recovery for which ARC rates could be assessed and Connect America Fund ICC support could be received.

    8. In conjunction with the 2014 annual tariff filing process, NECA informally sought clarification concerning a limited number of cases in which the true-up process did not work as outlined above and for which the rules do not provide an unambiguous resolution. In the Order, we clarify how rate-of-return carriers and USAC should address the 2014-15 fact scenarios described below, consistent with the policy goals of the USF/ICC Transformation Order, and revise the Commission's rules, as set forth in the Appendix, to provide clarity for future tariff periods.

    9. The first set of facts identified by NECA involves several carriers whose 2012-13 tariff period projected demand was underestimated compared to their ultimate actual demand. Each carrier therefore received too much Eligible Recovery in 2012-13, and, under the rules, their 2014-15 Eligible Recovery should be reduced by the amount of revenues associated with the demand difference. The carriers' Eligible Recovery for 2014-15 before reflecting the true-up adjustment, however, was not large enough to offset completely the true-up reduction from the 2012-13 tariff period. Thus, the excess Eligible Recovery carriers received during the 2012-13 tariff period has not been fully offset, and the carriers would be left with duplicative recovery in contravention of § 51.917(d)(1)(vii) of the rules absent clarification to specify the procedures to be followed under these circumstances. We accordingly clarify that carriers that are in this situation with respect to their 2014-15 Eligible Recovery calculation must refund to USAC the amount of the excess recovery that was not offset within thirty (30) days of the effective date of the Order. Consistent with the rules we adopt, as set forth in the Appendix, in the future a carrier in this situation must refund excess amounts to USAC by August 1 following the date of the annual access tariff filing.

    10. The second set of facts that NECA sought clarification on involves several carriers who overestimated their 2012-13 tariff period projected demand compared to the resulting actual demand. Thus, to the extent carriers would have been entitled to Eligible Recovery for tariff period 2012-13 if they had accurately projected their demand, these carriers received too little Eligible Recovery in tariff period 2012-13. The affected carriers also have negative Eligible Recovery in the 2014-15 tariff period before adjusting for any true-ups. Absent a clarification of our rules, these carriers would not receive the same level of revenues they would have been entitled to if they had projected their demand accurately in the 2012-13 tariff period. This occurs because the positive amount of the 2012-13 under-recovery would be reduced by the negative 2014-15 Eligible Recovery amount before further Eligible Recovery would be possible in tariff period 2014-15. This would deprive such carriers of the cash flow certainty the Commission sought to provide carriers through the recovery mechanism. As explained above, carriers that have negative Eligible Recovery were allowed to retain any revenues received through intercarrier revenue payments, consistent with the transition from strict rate-of-return regulation to incentive regulation. We accordingly clarify that those carriers that were in this situation with respect to their tariff period 2014-15 Eligible Recovery calculation may seek recovery of 2012-13 true-up under-recovery from USAC and are not required to offset the 2012-13 amounts they could have received in Eligible Recovery in the 2012-13 tariff period if they had projected demand correctly against their 2014-15 negative Eligible Recovery. The carrier's Eligible Recovery from USAC shall be equal to the amount of the 2012-13 true-up that a carrier could have recovered through Eligible Recovery in the 2012-13 tariff period if it had accurately projected demand and which amount a carrier was unable to recover as Eligible Recovery in tariff period 2014-15. Consistent with the rules we adopt in the Appendix, in the future a carrier in this situation must treat the amount eligible for true-up as its Eligible Recovery for the true-up tariff period and flow that amount through the normal procedures associated with the recovery mechanism. This is consistent with the priorities established for recovery of Eligible Recovery in the USF/ICC Transformation Order.

    11. Finally, we clarify how ARC rates are to be handled in making Eligible Recovery calculations in light of mid-year revisions that some carriers have made to their ARC rates after discovering errors in the rates that were charged. The Commission's rules do not address applicable procedures for addressing such rate changes. If a carrier assessed an ARC rate that was too high for part of a tariff period, it must use this higher rate and the associated demand for that time period in calculating future true-ups for that tariff period. Failure to account for the higher ARC rates for the period in question would constitute impermissible duplicative recovery because, without this treatment, the carrier would have received the ARC revenues without having to offset Eligible Recovery to reflect their receipt. We also take this opportunity to remind carriers that if they charge ARCs that are below the maximum rate that could have been charged, whether for the whole year or for part of a year, they are required to impute the maximum rate that they could have assessed for purposes of determining the carrier's Eligible Recovery. These clarifications help to ensure that the recovery mechanism adopted for rate-of-return carriers in the USF/ICC Transformation Order works as intended.

    IV. Procedural Matters A. Paperwork Reduction Act

    12. This document does not contain any new or modified information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). 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.

    B. Final Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    13. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), requires that a regulatory flexibility analysis be prepared for rulemaking proceedings, unless the agency certifies that “the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.” The RFA generally defines “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 Small Business Administration (SBA).

    14. We hereby certify that the rule revisions adopted in the Order will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Order amends rules adopted in the USF/ICC Transformation Order by correcting conflicts between the new or revised rules and existing rules, as well as addressing omissions or oversights. These revisions do not create any burdens, benefits, or requirements that were not addressed by the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis attached to the USF/ICC Transformation Order. The Commission will send a copy of the Order, including a copy of this final certification, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA. In addition, the Order (or a summary thereof) and certification will be published in the Federal Register.

    C. Congressional Review Act

    15. The Commission will send a copy of the Order to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act.

    V. Ordering Clauses

    16. Accordingly, it is ordered, that pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1, 2, 4(i), 201-203, 220, 251, 252, 254, 303(r) and 403 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 201-203, 220, 251, 252, 254, 303(r) and 403, and pursuant to §§ 0.91, 0.201(d), 0.291, 1.3, and 1.427 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 0.91, 0.201(d), 0.291, 1.3 and 1.427, and pursuant to the delegation of authority in paragraph 1404 of 26 FCC Rcd 17663 (2011), the Order and the rules revising part 51 of the Commission's rules are adopted, effective April 27, 2015.

    17. It is further ordered that the Commission shall send a copy of this Order to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act.

    18. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of the Order, including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Certification, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 51

    Communications common carriers, Telecommunications.

    Federal Communications Commission. Deena M. Shetler, Associate Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 51 as follows:

    PART 51—INTERCONNECTION 1. The authority citation for part 51 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Sections 1-5, 7, 201-05, 207-09, 218, 220, 225-27, 251-54, 256, 271, 303(r), 332, 706 of the Telecommunication Act of 1996, 48 Stat. 1070, as amended, 1077; 47 U.S.C. 151-55, 157, 201-05, 207-09, 218, 220, 225-27, 251-54, 256, 271, 303(r), 332, 1302, 47 U.S.C. 157 note, unless otherwise noted.

    Subpart J—Transitional Access Service Pricing 2. Section 51.917 is amended by adding paragraphs (d)(1)(viii)(A) and (B) to read as follows:
    § 51.917 Revenue recovery for rate-of-return carriers.

    (d) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (viii) * * *

    (A) If a Rate-of-Return Carrier in any tariff period underestimates its projected demand for services covered by § 51.917(b)(6) or 51.915(b)(13), and thus has too much Eligible Recovery in that tariff period, it shall refund the amount of any such True-up Revenues or True-up Revenues for Access Recovery Charge that are not offset by the Rate-of-Return Carrier's Eligible Recovery (calculated before including the true-up amounts in the Eligible Recovery calculation) in the true-up tariff period to the Administrator by August 1 following the date of the Rate-of-Return Carrier's annual access tariff filing.

    (B) If a Rate-of-Return Carrier in any tariff period receives too little Eligible Recovery because it overestimates its projected demand for services covered by § 51.917(b)(6) or 51.915(b)(13), which True-up Revenues and True-up Revenues for Access Recovery Charge it cannot recover in the true-up tariff period because the Rate-of-Return Carrier has a negative Eligible Recovery in the true-up tariff period (before calculating the true-up amount in the Eligible Recovery calculation), the Rate-of-Return Carrier shall treat the unrecoverable true-up amount as its Eligible Recovery for the true-up tariff period.

    [FR Doc. 2015-06642 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Parts 225 and 236 RIN 0750-AI52 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Use of Military Construction Funds (DFARS Case 2015-D006) AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Interim rule.

    SUMMARY:

    DoD is issuing an interim rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement sections of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015, that require offerors bidding on DoD military construction contracts to provide opportunity for competition to American steel producers, fabricators, and manufacturers; and restrict use of military construction funds in certain foreign countries, including countries that border the Arabian Gulf.

    DATES:

    Effective March 26, 2015.

    Comment Date: Comments on the interim rule should be submitted in writing to the address shown below on or before May 26, 2015, to be considered in the formation of a final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by DFARS Case 2015-D006, using any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by entering “DFARS Case 2015-D006” under the heading “Enter keyword or ID” and selecting “Search.” Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “DFARS Case 2015-D006.” Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “DFARS Case 2015-D006” on your attached document.

    Email: [email protected] Include DFARS Case 2015-D006 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 571-372-6094.

    Mail: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Attn: Ms. Amy G. Williams, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP/DARS, Room 3B941, 3060 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Amy G. Williams, telephone 571-372-6106.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    This interim rule implements sections 108, 111, and 112 of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 (Division I of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Resolution Appropriations Act, 2015, Pub. L. 113-235), enacted December 16, 2014.

    • Section 108 provides that none of the funds made available in Title I may be used for the procurement of steel for any construction activity for which the requirement for competition opportunity has been denied to American steel producers, fabricators, and manufacturers who bid on DoD construction contracts.

    • Section 111 provides that none of the funds made available in Title I may be obligated for architect and engineer contracts estimated by the Government to exceed $500,000 for projects to be accomplished in certain foreign countries, including countries bordering the Arabian Gulf, unless such contracts are awarded to U.S. firms or U.S. firms in a joint venture with a host nation firm.

    • Section 112 provides, with some exceptions, that none of the funds made available in Title I for military construction in certain foreign countries, including countries bordering the Arabian Gulf, may be used to award any military construction contract estimated by the Government to exceed $1,000,000 to a foreign contractor.

    The restrictions in section 108 were first enacted in the annual military construction appropriations act in FY 2009 (Title I of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2009, Pub. L. 110-329, Division E). This interim rule revises DFARS 236.274 and 236.570(d)(1) to implement the same provision in subsequent military appropriations acts, including section 108 of Title I of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2015, Pub. L. 113-235, Division I.

    This interim rule also implements section 111 by amending DFARS 225.7015, 236.602-70, and 236.609-70(b)(3) to reflect that the current law now applies to the award of architect and engineering contracts that are estimated to exceed the $500,000 threshold for projects to be performed in certain foreign countries, including countries bordering the Arabian Gulf. The term “Arabian Sea” has been replaced with “Arabian Gulf” in the clause prescription for DFARS 252.236-7011, Overseas Architect-Engineering Services—Restrictions to the United States.

    This interim rule likewise implements section 112 by amending DFARS 225.7014, 236.273, and 236.570(c)(1) to reflect that the current law applies to military construction contracts estimated to exceed $1,000,000 that are performed in certain foreign countries, including countries bordering the Arabian Gulf. The term “Arabian Sea” has been replaced with “Arabian Gulf” in the clause prescription for DFARS 252.236-7010, Overseas Military Construction—Preference for United States Firms.

    As further background on sections 111 and 112, these restrictions have also been in place since 1997, except that recently the military construction appropriations act restrictions have applied to countries bordering the Arabian Sea, rather than countries bordering the Arabian Gulf. The final rule under DFARS Case 2014-D016 was published in the Federal Register on December 11, 2014, finalizing the change from “Arabian Gulf” to “Arabian Sea.” In the current statute, enacted on December 16, 2014, sections 111 and 112 have been corrected to refer to the Arabian Gulf again.

    II. Discussion and Analysis

    In order to avoid any possible ambiguity as to the applicability of the rule, because there is not uniform agreement as to the correct name for the body of water located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula (often referred to as the “Persian Gulf”), the interim rule lists the countries bordering the Gulf in clockwise order (Iran, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Iraq).

    III. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

    IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    DoD does not expect this rule to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. However, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis has been performed, and is summarized as follows:

    This rule is necessary to require offerors bidding on DoD military construction contracts to provide opportunity for competition to American steel producers, fabricators, and manufacturers; and implement the preference for award only to U.S. firms when awarding certain military construction and architect-engineer contracts to be performed in countries bordering the Arabian Gulf.

    The objective of this rule is to implement sections 108, 111, and 112 of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 (Division I of Pub. L. 113-235). This rule extends the applicability of the requirement to provide opportunity for competition to American steel producers, fabricators, and manufacturers, and revises the preference for award to U.S. firms of military construction contracts that have an estimated value greater than $1,000,000 and the restriction requiring award only to U.S. firms for architect-engineer contracts that have an estimated value greater than $500,000, to make it applicable to contracts to be performed in a country bordering the Arabian Gulf, rather than a country bordering the Arabian Sea (as required in earlier statutes).

    Section 108 will benefit any small business entities involved in producing, fabricating, or manufacturing steel products to be used in military construction. Sections 111 and 112 will only apply to a very limited number of small entities—those entities that submit offers in response to solicitations for military construction contracts that have an estimated value greater than $1,000,000 and architect-engineer contracts that have an estimated value greater than $500,000, when the contracts are to be performed in countries bordering the Arabian Gulf.

    This rule does not add any reporting or recordkeeping requirements. The rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal rules. This rule does not impose any significant economic burden on small firms. The rule primarily benefits U.S. firms (both small and large), by requiring offerors bidding on DoD military construction contracts to provide opportunity for competition to American steel producers, fabricators, and manufacturers; and providing a preference for U.S. firms competing for construction and architect-engineer contracts in certain foreign countries, including countries bordering the Arabian Gulf. DoD did not identify any alternatives that could reduce the burden and still meet the objectives of the rule.

    DoD invites comments from small business concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small entities.

    DoD will also consider comments from small entities concerning the existing regulations in subparts affected by this rule in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 610 (DFARS Case 2015-D006), in correspondence.

    V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    VI. Determination To Issue an Interim Rule

    A determination has been made under the authority of the Secretary of Defense that urgent and compelling reasons exist to promulgate this interim rule without prior opportunity for public comment. This action is necessary because sections 108, 111, and 112 of Title I, Department of Defense, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015, Division I of Pub. L. 113-235, enacted December 16, 2014, became effective upon enactment. This interim rule is necessary so that contracting officers will not risk possible misuse of funds. The interim rule provides contracting officers with the appropriate clause and provision prescriptions for correct use of provisions and clauses that implement the statutory restrictions on use of military construction funds. However, pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 1707 and FAR 1.501-3(b), DoD will consider public comments received in response to this interim rule in the formation of the final rule.

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 225 and 236

    Government procurement.

    Manuel Quinones, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.

    Therefore, 48 CFR parts 225 and 236 are amended as follows:

    PART 225—FOREIGN ACQUISITION 1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 225 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    41 U.S.C. 1303 and 48 CFR chapter 1.

    225.7014 [Amended]
    2. In section 225.7014, amend paragraph (a) by removing “Arabian Sea” and adding “Arabian Gulf” in its place.
    225.7015 [Amended]
    3. Amend section 225.7015 by removing “Arabian Sea” and adding “Arabian Gulf” in its place.
    PART 236—CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS 4. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 236 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    41 U.S.C. 1303 and 48 CFR chapter 1.

    5. In section 236.273, revise paragraph (a) introductory text to read as follows:
    236.273 Construction in foreign countries.

    (a) In accordance with section 112 of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 (Division I of Pub. L. 113-235) and the same provision in subsequent military construction appropriations acts, military construction contracts funded with military construction appropriations, that are estimated to exceed $1,000,000 and are to be performed in the United States outlying areas in the Pacific and on Kwajalein Atoll, or in countries bordering the Arabian Gulf (i.e., Iran, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Iraq), shall be awarded only to United States firms, unless—

    236.274 [Amended]
    6. Amend section 236.274 by removing “(Pub. L. 110-329, Division E)” and adding “(Pub. L. 110-329, Division E) and the same provision in subsequent military construction appropriations acts” in its place.
    236.570 [Amended]
    7. Amend section 236.570 by— a. In paragraph (c)(1), removing “Arabian Sea” and adding “Arabian Gulf” in its place; and b. In paragraph (d)(1), by removing “by Title I of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2009 (Pub. L. 110-329, Division E)” and adding “for military construction” in its place.
    8. Revise section 236.602-70 to read as follows:
    236.602-70 Restriction on award of overseas architect-engineer contracts to foreign firms.

    In accordance with section 111 of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 (Division I of Pub. L. 113-235) and the same provision in subsequent military construction appropriations acts, architect-engineer contracts funded by military construction appropriations that are estimated to exceed $500,000 and are to be performed in Japan, in any North Atlantic Treaty Organization member country, or in countries bordering the Arabian Gulf (i.e., Iran, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Iraq), shall be awarded only to United States firms or to joint ventures of United States and host nation firms.

    236.609-70 [Amended]
    9. In section 236.609-70, amend paragraph (b)(3) by removing “Arabian Sea” and adding “Arabian Gulf” in its place.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06759 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Parts 225 and 252 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Technical Amendments AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    DoD is making technical amendments to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to provide needed editorial changes.

    DATES:

    Effective March 26, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Manuel Quinones, Defense Acquisition Regulations System, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP(DARS), Room 3B941, 3060 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3060. Telephone 571-372-6088; facsimile 571-372-6094.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This final rule amends the DFARS as follows:

    1. Amends section 225.103(b)(iii) to remove an obsolete cross reference at paragraph (A) and redesignate paragraphs (B) and (C) as paragraphs (A) and (B), respectively. Amends section 225.202(a)(2) to remove an obsolete cross reference. DFARS case 2013-D020, which was published in the Federal Register at 79 FR 44314 on July 31, 2014, removed an outdated list of nonavailable articles at section 225.104(a). However, the cross references at 225.103(b)(iii)(A) and 225.202(a)(2) to the list at 225.104(a) were not removed.

    2. Amends DFARS clause 252.245-7004, Reporting, Reutilization, and Disposal, to update a reference and a link to the reference contained in paragraph (b)(1)(iv).

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 225 and 252

    Government procurement.

    Manuel Quinones, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.

    Therefore, 48 CFR parts 225 and 252 are amended as follows:

    1. The authority citation for 48 CFR parts 225 and 252 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    41 U.S.C. 1303 and 48 CFR chapter 1.

    PART 225—FOREIGN ACQUISITION
    225.103 [Amended]
    2. Amend section 225.103 by— a. Removing paragraph (b)(iii)(A); and b. Redesignating paragraphs (b)(iii)(B) and (C) as paragraphs (b)(iii)(A) and (B), respectively.
    225.202 [Amended]
    3. Amend section 225.202 by removing “or in 225.104(a)”.
    PART 252—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 4. Amend section 252.245-7004 by— a. Removing the clause date “(MAY 2013)” and adding “(MAR 2015)” in its place; and b. Revising paragraph (b)(1)(iv).

    The revision reads as follows.

    252.245-7004 Reporting, Reutilization, and Disposal.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (iv) Appropriate Federal Condition Codes. See Appendix 2 of DLM 4000.25-2, Military Standard Transaction Reporting and Accounting Procedures (MILSTRAP) manual, edition in effect as of the date of this contract. Information on Federal Condition Codes can be obtained at http://www2.dla.mil/j-6/dlmso/elibrary/manuals/dlm/dlm_pubs.asp#.

    [FR Doc. 2015-06760 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Parts 205, 206, 215, 219, 226, 232, 235, 252, and Appendix I to Chapter 2 RIN 0750-AH45 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Deletion of Text Implementing 10 U.S.C. 2323 (DFARS Case 2011-D038) AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    DoD has adopted as final, without change, an interim rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to remove language based on a statute that provided the underlying authority for DoD's Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) program. This action is necessary because the statute has expired.

    DATES:

    Effective March 26, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Judith S. Rubinstein, telephone 571-372-6093.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    DoD published an interim rule in the Federal Register at 79 FR 61579 on October 14, 2014, to delete those DFARS sections that were based on 10 U.S.C. 2323, which has expired. 10 U.S.C. 2323 provided the underlying statutory authority for DoD's Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) program, including the establishment of a specific goal within the overall 5 percent SDB goal for the award of prime contracts and subcontracts to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority institutions (MIs). Because of the expiration of this authority, all DFARS sections based on this authority were deleted by the interim rule.

    II. Discussion and Analysis

    There were no public comments submitted in response to the interim rule. The interim rule has been converted to a final rule, without change.

    III. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

    IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    A final regulatory flexibility analysis has been prepared consistent with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., and is summarized as follows:

    The objective of this rule is to amend the DFARS to remove or revise clauses, provisions, and guidance conditioned on section 1207 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 1987, Public Law 99-661, as codified at 10 U.S.C. 2323. Section 2323 of title 10 expired on September 30, 2009. However, prior to the implementation of the interim rule, the implementing regulations for this law still appeared in the DFARS. Implementation of this rule was needed to preclude the risk that DoD contracting officers would inadvertently issue a solicitation or execute a contract based on an acquisition strategy that is no longer authorized.

    No public comments were submitted in response to the initial regulatory flexibility analysis, or in response to the interim rule, which was published in the Federal Register on October 14, 2014. Therefore, there were no issues to assess, and no changes to the rule were necessary.

    DoD does not expect this rule to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. This expectation is based on the following information and analysis:

    The DoD Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) program has not been in effect since fiscal year (FY) 2008. This rule does not change the fundamental procurement policies that DoD has used to achieve strong SDB participation or to encourage the involvement of historically Black colleges and universities and minority institutions in defense-related research, development, testing, and evaluation efforts. The following rationale is provided:

    10 U.S.C. 2323 was the underlying statutory authority for DoD's small disadvantaged business (SDB) program. DoD's SDB program was intended to supplement and complement the Federal-wide SDB program authorized under the Small Business Act. It provided for the institution of a specific goal within the mandatory 5 percent SDB goal for the award of prime contracts and subcontracts to historically Black colleges and universities, minority institutions, and Hispanic-serving institutions. Section 2323 of Title 10 served as the basis for a number of unique acquisition techniques used by DoD to help it achieve these goals, such as the price evaluation adjustment for SDBs in competitive procurements and the set-aside for historically Black colleges and universities and minority institutions. It was also the basis for the special 95 percent customary progress payment rate for SDBs.

    Now that the law has expired, these special techniques can no longer be used. However, the impact of this change is mitigated by a number of factors. Preeminent among those factors is DoD's obligation to meet or exceed the expectations of the Small Business Act regarding SDBs, and to provide assistance for defense-related research, development, testing, and evaluation activities to historically Black colleges and universities and minority institutions.

    Section 15(g) of the Small Business Act, Public Law 85-536, as amended, (15 U.S.C. 644(g)), requires all Federal agencies to make every attempt to achieve the annual Government-wide goal for participation by SDBs. The statutory SDB goal is not less than 5 percent of the total value of all prime contract and subcontract awards for each fiscal year. DoD must comply with this law, and it has. The Department has met or exceeded the 5 percent SDB goal since FY 2001.

    DoD contracting officers can employ monetary incentives in solicitations and contracts, when inclusion of such incentives is, in the judgment of the contracting officer, necessary to increase subcontracting opportunities for small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, HUBZone small businesses, women-owned small businesses, as well as small disadvantaged businesses. In addition, while the 95 percent progress payment rate is no longer allowable, SDBs, because they are small businesses, are still eligible to receive the 90 percent progress payment rate. Finally, the extent of participation of all small businesses, including small disadvantaged businesses, in performance of the contract is addressed during source selection for negotiated DoD acquisitions that are required to have subcontracting plans. The past performance of offerors in complying with subcontracting goals with all small businesses, including SDBs, is also evaluated in DoD acquisitions.

    The capability and expertise that HBCUs and MIs bring to numerous DoD-funded research and development programs are valued commodities. DoD must explore new areas of science, mathematics, and engineering in order to develop the alternative technologies needed to fulfill its national security mission. HBCUs and MIs will continue to support DoD in these endeavors through their involvement in various research and development programs. This rule does not impose new reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements.

    V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 205, 206, 215, 219, 226, 232, 235, 252, and Appendix I to Chapter 2

    Government procurement.

    Manuel Quinones, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System. Accordingly, the interim rule amending 48 CFR parts 205, 206, 215, 219, 226, 232, 235, 252, and Appendix I to Chapter 2, which was published at 79 FR 61579 on October 14, 2014, is adopted as a final rule without change.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06757 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 390 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations; Regulatory Guidance Concerning Crashes Involving Vehicles Striking Attenuator Trucks Deployed at Construction Sites AGENCY:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, DOT.

    ACTION:

    Regulatory guidance.

    SUMMARY:

    FMCSA provides regulatory guidance concerning crashes involving motor vehicles striking the rear of attenuator trucks deployed at construction sites and whether such crashes meet the definition of “accident” under 49 CFR 390.5 for the motor carrier that controls the attenuator truck. Attenuator trucks are highway safety vehicles equipped with an impact attenuating crash cushion intended to reduce the risks of injuries and fatalities resulting from crashes in construction work zones. The guidance explains that such crashes in which motorists strike the attenuator trucks while they are deployed at construction work zones are not covered by the definition of accident and such occurrences will not be considered by FMCSA under its Compliance, Safety, Accountability Safety Measurement System (SMS) scores, or Safety Fitness Determination for the motor carrier that controls the attenuator truck. This guidance will provide the motor carrier industry and Federal, State, and local law enforcement officials with uniform information for use in determining whether certain crashes involving attenuator vehicles must be recorded on the motor carrier's accident register and considered in the Agency's safety oversight programs.

    DATES:

    This guidance is effective May 26, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Thomas L. Yager, Chief, Driver and Carrier Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations; 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590, Telephone 202-366-4325, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Legal Basis

    The Secretary of Transportation has statutory authority to set minimum standards for commercial motor vehicle safety. These minimum standards must ensure that: (1) CMVs are maintained, equipped, loaded, and operated safely; (2) the responsibilities imposed on operators of CMVs do not impair their ability to operate the vehicles safely; (3) the physical condition of operators of CMVs is adequate to enable them to operate the vehicles safely; (4) the operation of CMVs does not have a deleterious effect on the physical condition of the operators; and (5) an operator of a commercial motor vehicle is not coerced by a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary to operate a commercial motor vehicle in violation of a regulation. (49 U.S.C. 31136(a)(1)-(5), as amended). The Secretary also has broad power in carrying out motor carrier safety statutes and regulations to “prescribe recordkeeping and reporting requirements” and to “perform other acts the Secretary considers appropriate.” (49 U.S.C. 31133(a)(8) and (10)).

    The Administrator of FMCSA has been delegated authority under 49 CFR 1.87(f) to carry out the functions vested in the Secretary of Transportation by 49 U.S.C. chapter 311, subchapters I and III, relating to commercial motor vehicle programs and safety regulation.

    This document provides regulatory guidance to the public with respect to the definition of “accident” in 49 CFR 390.5 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), and the recording of accidents as required under 49 CFR 390.15. All interested parties may access the guidance in this document through the FMCSA's Internet site at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov.

    Background

    The regulatory guidance in this regulatory guidance responds to questions concerning the definition of “accident” in 49 CFR 390.5: Are crashes in which motorists strike the rear of attenuator trucks deployed at construction sites considered recordable accidents?

    Section 390.5 defines “accident” as an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle operating on a highway in interstate or intrastate commerce which results in a fatality; bodily injury to a person who, as a result of the injury, immediately receives medical treatment away from the scene of the accident; or one or more motor vehicles incurring disabling damage as a result of the accident, requiring the motor vehicles to be transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other motor vehicle. It excludes occurrences involving only boarding and alighting from a stationary motor vehicle or involving only the loading or unloading of cargo.

    FMCSA acknowledges the potential impact on motor carriers' Safety Measurement System (SMS) scores that could result from States uploading reports about crashes involving attenuator trucks deployed at construction sites into the Agency's Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). Because these vehicles are deployed to prevent certain crashes through the use of flashing lights and to reduce the severity of crashes through the use of truck-mounted impact attenuators or crash cushions when motorists do not take appropriate action to avoid the obstacles in the construction zone, it is expected that these vehicles will be struck from time to time while the attenuators are deployed. Such events that occur in a construction zone, either stationary or moving, should not count against the safety performance record of the motor carrier responsible for the operation of the attenuator truck.

    FMCSA's Decision

    In consideration of the above, FMCSA has determined that the current regulatory guidance should be revised to make clear that crashes involving motorists striking attenuator trucks are not considered accidents, as defined under 49 CFR 390.5. The Agency issues the following guidance to 49 CFR 390.5 to read as follows:

    PART 390—FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY REGULATIONS; GENERAL Regulatory Guidance for 49 CFR 390.5 Definition of “Accident”

    Question: Are crashes involving motorists striking attenuator trucks while the impact attenuators or crash cushions are deployed included within the definition of “accident” with regard to the motor carrier responsible for the operation of the attenuator truck?

    Guidance: No. Attenuator trucks are highway safety vehicles equipped with an impact attenuating crash cushion intended to reduce the risks of injuries and fatalities resulting from crashes in construction work zones. Because these vehicles are deployed at construction work zones to prevent certain crashes through the use of flashing lights and to reduce the severity of crashes when motorists do not take appropriate action to avoid personnel and objects in the construction zone, it is expected that these vehicles will be struck from time to time while the impact attenuators or crash cushions are deployed. Therefore, such events are not considered accidents and the recordkeeping requirements of 49 CFR 390.15, Assistance in investigations and special studies, are not applicable with regard to the motor carrier responsible for the operation of the attenuator truck. If however, a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, strikes an attenuator truck, this event would be considered an accident for the motor carrier responsible for the operation of the vehicle that hits the attenuator truck.

    Procedures

    Starting on the effective date of this regulatory guidance, any crash meeting the above criteria may be removed from a carrier's record of crashes. To do so the carrier operating the attenuator vehicle should file a Request for Data Review (RDR) using the DataQ system at https://www.dataqs.fmcsa.dot.gov, as a no reportable crash, and provide sufficient evidence to establish the crash in question took place between a vehicle and their attenuator vehicle deployed in a constructions zone. After the effective date of this regulatory guidance, the affected motor carrier may file a RDR to remove crashes related to this regulatory guidance from their carrier record for the previous 24 months.

    Issued on: March 18, 2015. T.F. Scott Darling, III, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06817 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
    80 58 Thursday, March 26, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF LABOR 5 CFR Chapter XLII 20 CFR Chapters IV, V, VI, VII, and IX 29 CFR Subtitle A and Chapters II, IV, V, XVII, and XXV 30 CFR Chapter I 41 CFR Chapters 50, 60, and 61 48 CFR Chapter 29 Retrospective Review and Regulatory Flexibility AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Request for information; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    On February 3, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL or the Department) published a Request for Information (RFI) in response to Executive Order 13563 on improving regulation and regulatory review, and Executive Order 13610 on identifying and reducing regulatory burden. The RFI invited public comment on how the Department can improve any of its significant regulations by modifying, streamlining, expanding, or repealing them. The comment period ended on February 25, 2015, and was subsequently extended to March 18, 2015. This extension further extends the date to comment on the RFI.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the Request for Information published on February 3, 2015, at 80 FR 5715, and on March 3, 2015 at 80 FR 11334 is extended from March 18, 2015 to April 1, 2015. Comments must be received on or before April 1, 2015. The Department is accepting all comments received between February 25, 2015 and April 1, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments through the Department's Regulations Portal at http://www.dol.gov/regulations/regreview.

    All comments will be available for public inspection at http://www.dol.gov/regulations/regreview.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pamela Peters, Program Analyst, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room S-2312, Washington, DC 20210, [email protected] (202) 693-5959 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with hearing impairments may call 1-800-877-8339 (TTY/TDD).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On January 18, 2011, President Obama issued Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.” The Order explains the Administration's goal of creating a regulatory system that protects “public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation” while using “the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools to achieve regulatory ends.” After receipt and consideration of comments, the Department issued its Plan for Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules in August 2011. On May 12, 2012, President Obama issued Executive Order 13610, “Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens.” This Order explained that “it is particularly important for agencies to conduct retrospective analyses of existing rules to examine whether they remain justified and whether they should be modified or streamlined in light of changed circumstances, including the rise of new technologies.”

    Request for Comments

    The Department recognizes the importance of conducting retrospective review of regulations and is once again seeking public comment on how the Department can increase the effectiveness of its significant regulations while minimizing the burden on regulated entities. The Department recognizes that the regulated community, academia, and the public at large have an understanding of its programs and their implementing regulations, and therefore is requesting public comment on how the Department can prepare workers for better jobs, improve workplace safety and health, promote fair and high-quality work environments, and secure a wide range of benefits for employees and those who are seeking work, all in ways that are more effective and least burdensome.

    This request for public input will inform development of the Department's future plans to review its existing significant regulations. To facilitate receipt of the information, the Department has created an Internet portal specifically designed to capture your input and suggestions, http://www.dol.gov/regulations/regreview/. The portal contains a series of questions to gather information on how DOL can best meet the requirements of the Executive Order. The portal will be open to receive comments until April 1, 2015.

    Please note that these questions do not pertain to DOL rulemakings currently open for public comment. To comment on an open rulemaking, please visit regulations.gov and submit comments by the deadline indicated in that rulemaking. Comments that pertain to rulemakings currently open for public comment will not be addressed by the Department in this venue, which focuses on retrospective review.

    The Department will consider public comments as we update our plan to review the Department's significant rules. The Department is issuing this request solely to seek useful information as we update our review plan. While responses to this request do not bind the Department to any further actions related to the response, all submissions will be made available to the public on http://www.dol.gov/regulations/regreview/.

    Authority:

    E.O. 13653, 76 FR 3821, Jan. 21, 2011; E.O. 12866, 58 FR 51735, Oct. 4, 1993.

    Dated: March 18, 2015. Mary Beth Maxwell, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06762 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation 7 CFR Part 1400 RIN 0560-AI31 Payment Limitation and Payment Eligibility; Actively Engaged in Farming AGENCY:

    Commodity Credit Corporation, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is proposing to revise regulations on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to specify the requirements for a person to be considered actively engaged in farming for the purpose of payment eligibility for certain FSA and CCC programs. Specifically, this rulemaking proposes to revise and clarify the requirements for a significant contribution of active personal management to a farming operation. These changes are required by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill). The provisions of this rule would not apply to persons or entities comprised solely of family members. The rule would not change the existing regulations as they relate to contributions of land, capital, equipment, or labor, or the existing regulations related to landowners with a risk in the crop or to spouses.

    DATES:

    Comment Date: Comments must be received by May 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    We invite you to submit comments on this rule. In your comment, please include the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) and the volume, date, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail, hand delivery, or courier: James Baxa, Production, Emergencies, and Compliance Division, FSA, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Stop 0501, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-0501.

    Comments will be available online at www.regulations.gov. Comments may also be inspected at the mail address listed above between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. A copy of this proposed rule is available through the FSA homepage at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James Baxa; Telephone: (202) 720-7641. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Overview

    Several CCC programs managed by FSA, specifically the Market Loan Gains (MLG) and Loan Deficiency Payments (LDP) associated with the Marketing Assistance Loan (MAL), Program the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) Program, and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Program, require that a person be “actively engaged in farming” as a condition of eligibility for payments. As specified in 7 CFR part 1400, a person must contribute: (1) Land, capital, or equipment; and (2) personal labor, active personal management, or a combination of personal labor and active personal management to be considered “actively engaged in farming” for the purposes of payment eligibility. Section 1604 of the 2014 Farm Bill (Pub. L. 113-79) requires the Secretary of Agriculture to define in regulations what constitutes a “significant contribution of active personal management” for the purpose of payment eligibility. Therefore, this rule proposes to amend 7 CFR part 1400 to define that term and to revise the requirements for active personal management contributions. The 2014 Farm Bill also requires the Secretary to consider establishing limits on the number of persons per farming operation who may be considered actively engaged in farming based on a significant contribution of active personal management. This rule proposes to amend 7 CFR part 1400 to set a limit of one person per farming operation who may qualify based on a contribution of active personal management and not on a contribution of personal labor, with exceptions for up to three persons for large and complex farming operations if additional requirements are met. The new requirements and definitions would be specified in a new subpart G to 7 CFR part 1400.

    Exceptions for Entities Comprised Solely of Family Members

    As required by the 2014 Farm Bill, the provisions of this proposed rule would not apply to farming operations comprised of persons or entities comprised solely of family members. The definition of “family member” is not changing with this rule. As specified in 7 CFR 1400.3, a family member is “a person to whom another member in the farming operation is related as a lineal ancestor, lineal descendant, sibling, spouse, or otherwise by marriage.” FSA handbooks further clarify that eligible family members include: Great grandparent, grandparent, parent, child, including legally adopted children and stepchildren, grandchild, great grandchild, or a spouse or sibling of family members.

    In 7 CFR 1400.208, there are existing provisions for family members to be considered actively engaged in farming by making a significant contribution of active personal labor, or active personal management, or a combination thereof, to a farming operation comprised of a majority of family members, without making a contribution of land, equipment, or capital. The new subpart G would not change these provisions.

    Existing Provisions and Exceptions for Actively Engaged Requirements That Would Not Change

    As specified in the current regulations, there are exceptions to the requirement that a person be actively engaged in farming by contributing labor or management to be eligible for payments. These exceptions for certain landowners and for spouses would not be changed with this rule. Specifically, landowners who share a risk in the crop (profit or loss based on value of crop and not fixed rent amount) are considered to be actively engaged just by contributing land and being at risk; they do not have to contribute management or labor. If one spouse is considered to be actively engaged by contributing management or labor, the other spouse may be considered to be actively engaged without making a separate, additional contribution of management or labor.

    The proposed rule would clarify how persons and legal entities comprised of nonfamily members may be eligible for payments, based on a contribution of active personal management made by persons with a direct or indirect interest in the farming operation. Payments made to persons or legal entities are attributed to persons as specified in 7 CFR 1400.105, and the methods for attribution would not change with this rule.

    Additional Requirements for Certain Nonfamily General Partnerships and Joint Ventures

    The proposed definition and standard for evaluating what constitutes a significant contribution of active personal management would apply to all nonfamily farming operations seeking to have more than one person qualify as actively engaged in farming by providing a significant contribution of active personal management and not personal labor (“farm manager”). Therefore, the proposed rule would only apply to farming operations structured as a general partnership or joint venture comprised of persons, corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), estates, trusts, or other similar entities seeking more than one farm manager. Similarly, the existing requirement that farming operations supply information to FSA county committees (COC) on each member's contribution or expected contribution related to actively engaged determinations would be unchanged and would continue to apply to all entities. However, farming operations that would be subject to this proposed rule would be required to provide a management log.

    For most farming operations that are entities, such as corporations and LLCs, adding an additional member to the entity does nothing to change the number of payment limits available and it simply increases the number of members that share a single $125,000 payment limit. But for general partnerships and joint ventures, adding another member to the operation can provide an additional $125,000 payment limit if the new member meets the other eligibility requirements, including being actively engaged in farming. This potential for a farming operation being able to qualify for multiple payment limits provides an opportunity to add members and to have those members claim actively engaged status, especially for farming operations close to or in excess of the payment limit.

    For this reason, several additional requirements are being proposed for nonfamily farming operations seeking to qualify more than one farm manager. Specifically, in addition to providing information to FSA regarding the elements related to an actively engaged determination, there would be a restriction on the number of members of a farming operation that can be qualified as a farm manager and there would be an additional recordkeeping requirement for such farming operations.

    Number of Farm Managers That May Qualify as Actively Engaged

    This rule would restrict the number of farm managers to one person, with exceptions. Nonfamily member farming operations only seeking one farm manager would not be subject to the proposed rule. Such operations would continue to be subject to the existing regulations in subparts A and C of 7 CFR part 1400 governing actively engaged in farming.

    Any farming operation seeking two or three farm managers would be required to meet the requirements of subpart G for all farm managers in the farming operation including the maintenance of the records or logs discussed below for all the managers in the farming operation. The farming operation may qualify for up to one additional farm manager as a large operation, and up to one additional farm manager as a complex operation. To qualify for three farm managers, the operation would have to meet the standards specified in this rule for both size and complexity. In other words, a very large farm operation that is not complex (for example, one growing a single crop) could only qualify for two managers, not three. Under no circumstances would a farming operation be allowed to qualify more than three farm managers.

    The default standard for what constitutes a large farming operation would be an operation with crops on more than 2,500 acres (planted or prevented planted) or honey or wool with more than 10,000 hives or 3,500 ewes, respectively. The acreage standard is based on an analysis of responses to the Agricultural Resource Management Survey that indicate that on average farms producing eligible commodities that required more than one full time manager equivalent (2,040 hours of management) had 2,527 acres. The size standards for honey and wool did not have comparable survey information available. The honey standard of number of hives is based on the beekeepers participating in 2011 through 2012 Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish that met or exceeded the payment limit. These large operations averaged 10,323 hives. The sheep standard was based on industry analysis that showed that operations with 1,500 through 2,000 ewes could be full time. The 3,500 standard is approximately double that threshold. Given the limited information available especially for the honey and wool size standards, we are specifically seeking comment on this issue in this proposed rule. State FSA committees (STCs) would have authority to modify these standards for their state based on the STC's determination of the relative size of farming operations in the state by up to 15 percent (that is plus or minus 375 acres, 1,500 hives or 525 ewes). In other words, the standard in a particular state may range from 2,125 acres to 2,875 acres; 8,500 to 11,500 hives; or 2,975 to 4,025 ewes. Relief from the State level standard would only be granted on a case by case basis by DAFP.

    If a farming operation seeks a farm manager based on the complexity of the operation under the proposed rule, the farming operation would make a request that addresses the factors established in the proposed rule which would take into account the diversity of the operation including the number of agricultural commodities produced; the types of agricultural crops produced such as field, vegetable, or orchard crops; the geographical area in which an operation farms and produces agricultural commodities; alternative marketing channels (that is, fresh, wholesale, farmers market, or organic); and other aspects about the farming operation such as the production of livestock, types of livestock, and the various livestock products produced and marketed annually. All farming operations seeking to qualify one additional manager based on complexity which are approved by the STC would also have eligibility reviewed by the Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs (DAFP), to ensure consistency and fairness on a national level.

    Records on the Performance of Management Activities

    Under the proposed rule, if a farming operation is seeking to qualify more than one farm manager, then all persons that provide management of the operation would be required to maintain contemporaneous records or activity logs of their management activities, including management activities that would not qualify as active personal management under the proposed rule. Specifically, activity logs would include information about the hours of management provided. While the recordkeeping requirements under the proposed rule would be similar to the current provisions at 7 CFR 1400.203 and 1400.204 in which contributions must be identifiable and documentable, and separate and distinct from the contributions of other members, these additional records or logs would also include the location of where the management activity was performed and the time expended or duration of the management activity performed. These records and logs would be required to be available if requested by the appropriate FSA reviewing authority. If a person failed to meet this requirement, the represented contribution of active personal management would be disregarded and the person's eligibility for payments would be re-determined.

    Section 1604 of the Farm Bill requires USDA to ensure that any additional paperwork that would be required by the proposed rule be limited only to persons in farming operations who would be subject to the proposed rule. As described above, the additional recording and recordkeeping requirements of this rule would only apply to persons in farming operations seeking to qualify more than one farm manager.

    New Definition of Significant Contribution of Active Personal Management

    The existing definition of a “significant contribution” in 7 CFR 1400.3 specifies that for active personal management, a significant contribution includes “activities that are critical to the profitability of the farming operation,” but that definition does not specify what specific types of activities are included, whether these activities need to be direct actions and not passive activities, and to what level or degree such activities must be performed to achieve a level of significance.

    This proposed rule would apply a new definition of “significant contribution of active personal management” only to non-family farming operations that are seeking to qualify more than one farm manager. Similar to the existing requirements in 7 CFR 1400.3 for a substantial amount of personal labor, the new definition for a significant contribution of active personal management would require an annual contribution of 500 hours of management, or at least 25 percent of the total management required for that operation. The proposed rule would also add a new, more specific definition for “active personal management” that includes a list of critical management activities that may be used to qualify as a significant contribution.

    The 2014 Farm Bill requires us to specify a definition in regulations; the specific definition proposed reflects a discretionary analysis of various alternatives. Various proposals and concepts were considered in the development of this proposed rule, including a minimum level of interest a person must hold in a farming operation before the person could qualify as actively engaged with only an active personal management contribution, a weighted ranking of critical activities performed, or a higher hourly threshold. The hourly requirement standard proposed here is intended to address the 2014 Farm Bill requirement for clear and objective standards.

    The new definition would change what constitutes “active personal management” only for farm managers in nonfamily farming operations seeking to qualify two or three farm managers. The proposed requirements for such farm managers would clarify that eligible management activities are critical actions performed under one or more of the following categories:

    • Capital, land, and safety-net programs: Arrange financing, manage capital, acquire equipment, negotiate land acquisition and leases, and manage insurance or USDA program participation;

    • Labor: Hire and manage labor; and

    • Agronomics and Marketing: Decide which crop(s) to plant, purchase inputs, manage crops (that is, whatever it takes to keep the growing crops living and healthy—soil fertility and fertilization, weed control, insect control, irrigation if applicable), price crops, and market crops or futures.

    The management activities described would emphasize actions taken by the person directly for the benefit and success of the farming operation. Under the proposed rule, passive management activities such as attendance of board meetings or conference calls, or watching commodity markets or input markets (without making trades) would not be considered as contributing to significant management. The proposed rule only would consider critical actions as specified in the new definition of “active personal management” as contributing to significant management.

    The new definition and requirements in the proposed rule would take into account the size and complexity of farming operations across all parts of the country. The proposed rule takes into consideration all of the actions of the farming operation associated with the financing; crop selection and planting decisions; land acquisitions and retention of the land assets for an extended period of time; risk management and crop insurance decisions; purchases of inputs and services; utilization of the most efficient field practices; and prudent marketing decisions. Furthermore, in developing the proposed rule, FSA took into account advancements in farming, communication, and marketing technologies that producers must avail themselves of to remain competitive and economically viable operations in today's farming world.

    Under the proposed rule, eligible management activities would include the activities required for the farming operation as a whole, not just activities for the programs to which the “actively engaged in farming” requirement applies. For example, if a farming operation is participating in ARC or PLC and using grain eligible for those programs to feed dairy cattle, activities to manage the dairy side of the operation would be considered as eligible management activities to qualify as a farm manager. Similarly, if a farming operation receives MLG or LDPs on some crops, but not on others, all the management activities for all the crops would be considered for eligibility purposes.

    The proposed rule would clarify that the significant contribution of a person's active management may be used only to enable one person or entity in a farming operation to meet the requirements of being actively engaged in farming. For example, if members of a joint operation are entities, one person's contribution could only qualify one of the entities (and not any other entity to which the person belongs), as actively engaged in farming.

    Comments Requested

    While this rule identifies an option that would allow a maximum of three managers to qualify the farming operation for farm payments for large or complex farming operations, we remain open to analysis and views of other options of merit that have been considered throughout the development of both this rule and the 2014 Farm Bill. We encourage comments to address whether the proposed change for the number of managers is appropriate and whether our definitions of large and complex farming operations are reasonable (as discussed above). Although the 2014 Farm Bill explicitly excludes the provisions of this proposed rule from applying to farming operations comprised solely of family members, we request comments on whether farming entities owned by family members should be subject to the same limits as other farming operations.

    We also encourage comments to address whether there should be a strict limit of one manager, or if another option should be implemented to reduce the risk that individuals who have little involvement in a farming operation use the active personal management provision to qualify the farming operation for farm program payments. The proposed changes would not mandate how farms are structured; that is up to the farming operation.

    FSA is requesting comments from the public on the methods that should be used to determine whether a person is actively engaged in farming for the purpose of payment eligibility and the number of managers per farming operation that may be eligible. Specifically, comments on the following topics may be helpful:

    1. Should other methods be used to determine which activities constitute a significant contribution of active personal management? Should other activities be considered as active personal management?

    2. Should different standards be applied for the amount of management required for eligibility, such as a different number of hours, a percentage financial interest in the entity, or other criteria?

    3. Should there be a different limit to the number of farm managers in a farming operation that qualify as actively engaged? If yes, how should that limit be determined?

    4. Are there certain management activities or practices that are unique to particular farming methods, crops, or regions that should be taken into consideration?

    The following suggestions may be helpful for preparing your comments:

    • Explain your views as clearly as possible.

    • Describe any assumptions that you used.

    • Provide any technical information and data on which you based your views.

    • Provide specific examples to illustrate your points.

    • Offer specific alternatives to the current regulations or policies and indicate the source of necessary data, the estimated cost of obtaining the data, and how the data can be verified.

    • Submit your comments to be received by FSA by the comment period deadline.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility.

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) designated this proposed rule as significant under Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” and therefore, OMB has reviewed this rule. The costs and benefits of this proposed rule are summarized below. The full cost benefit analysis is available on regulations.gov.

    Clarity of the Regulation

    Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, requires each agency to write all rules in plain language. In addition to your substantive comments on this proposed rule, we invite your comments on how to make the rule easier to understand. For example:

    • Are the requirements in the rule clearly stated? Are the scope and intent of the rule clear?

    • Does the rule contain technical language or jargon that is not clear?

    • Is the material logically organized?

    • Would changing the grouping or order of sections or adding headings make the rule easier to understand?

    • Could we improve clarity by adding tables, lists, or diagrams?

    • Would more, but shorter, sections be better? Are there specific sections that are too long or confusing?

    • What else could we do to make the rule easier to understand?

    Summary of Economic Impacts

    About 1,400 joint operations could lose eligibility for around $50 million in total crop year 2016 to 2018 benefits from the Price Loss Coverage (PLC), Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC), and Marketing Assistance Loan (MAL) programs (ranging from $38 million for the 2016 crop year down to approximately $4 million for the 2018 crop year). This is the expected cost to producers of this rule. This rule does not change the payment limit per person, which is a joint $125,000 for the applicable programs. As specified in the current regulations, the payment limits apply to general partnerships and joint operations based on the number of eligible partners in the operation; each partner may qualify for a separate payment limit of $125,000. In other words, each person in the partnership or joint operation who loses eligibility will lose eligibility for up to $125,000 in payments.

    Other types of entities (such as corporations and limited liability companies) that share a single payment limit of $125,000, regardless of their number of owners, would not have their payments reduced by this rule. Each owner must contribute management or labor to the operation to qualify the operation to receive the member's share of the single payment limit.

    No entities comprised solely of family members will be impacted by this rule.

    If commodity prices are sufficiently high that few producers are eligible for any benefits, the costs of this rule to producers (and savings to USDA) will be less, even zero. In other words, if very few producers are earning farm program payments due to high commodity prices, limiting eligibility on the basis of management contributions will not have much impact. Government costs for implementing this rule are expected to be minimal.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory analysis of any rule whenever an agency is required by APA or any other law to publish a proposed rule, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This proposed rule would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The farming operations of small entities generally do not have to have multiple members that contribute only active personal management to meet the requirements of actively engaged in farming.

    Environmental Review

    The environmental impacts of this proposed rule have been considered in a manner consistent with the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347), the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and the FSA regulations for compliance with NEPA (7 CFR part 799). The Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill) requires that USDA publish a regulation to specifically define a “significant contribution of active personal management” for the purposes of determining payment eligibility. This proposed regulation would clarify the activities that qualify as active personal management and the recordkeeping requirements to document eligible management activities. This is a mandatory administrative clarification. As such, FSA has determined that this proposed rule does not constitute a major Federal action that would significantly affect the quality of the human environment, individually or cumulatively. Therefore, FSA will not prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement for this regulatory action.

    Executive Order 12372

    Executive Order 12372, “Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,” requires consultation with State and local officials that would be directly affected by proposed Federal financial assistance. The objectives of the Executive Order are to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened Federalism, by relying on State and local processes for State and local government coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance and direct Federal development. For reasons specified in the final rule related notice regarding 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V (48 FR 29115, June 24, 1983), the programs and activities in this rule are excluded from the scope of Executive Order 12372.

    Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform.” This proposed rule would not preempt State or local laws, regulations, or policies unless they represent an irreconcilable conflict with this rule. This proposed rule would not have retroactive effect. Before any judicial actions may be brought regarding the provisions of this rule, the administrative appeal provisions of 7 CFR parts 11 and 780 are to be exhausted.

    Executive Order 13132

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

    Executive Order 13175

    This proposed rule has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.” Executive Order 13175 requires Federal agencies to consult and coordinate with tribes on a government-to-government basis on policies that have tribal implications, including regulations, legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy statements or actions that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

    FSA has assessed the impact of this proposed rule on Indian tribes and determined that this rule would not, to our knowledge, have tribal implications that require tribal consultation under Executive Order 13175. If a Tribe requests consultation, FSA will work with the USDA Office of Tribal Relations to ensure meaningful consultation is provided where changes, additions, and modifications identified in this rule are not expressly mandated by the 2014 Farm Bill.

    Unfunded Mandates

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA, Pub. L. 104-4) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and Tribal governments or the private sector. Agencies generally must prepare a written statement, including cost benefits analysis, for proposed and final rules with Federal mandates that may result in expenditures of $100 million or more in any 1 year for State, local or Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector. UMRA generally requires agencies to consider alternatives and adopt the more cost effective or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. This proposed rule contains no Federal mandates, as defined in Title II of UMRA, for State, local and Tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, this proposed rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of UMRA.

    Federal Assistance Programs

    The title and number of the Federal Domestic Assistance Programs in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance to which this rules applies are: 10.051 Commodity Loans and Loan Deficiency Payments; 10.112 Price Loss Coverage; and 10.113 Agriculture Risk Coverage.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The regulations in this proposed rule are exempt from requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), as specified in Section 1601(c)(2)(B) of the 2014 Farm Bill, which provides that these regulations be promulgated and administered without regard to the Paperwork Reduction Act. Section 1604 of the Farm Bill requires us to ensure that any additional paperwork required by this rule be limited only to persons who are subject to this rule. The additional recording and recordkeeping requirements of this proposed rule would only apply to persons who are claiming eligibility for payments based on a significant contribution of active personal management to the farming operation.

    E-Government Act Compliance

    FSA 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.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1400

    Agriculture, Loan programs-agriculture, Conservation, Price support programs.

    For the reasons discussed above, CCC proposes to amend 7 CFR part 1400 as follows:

    PART 1400—PAYMENT LIMITATION AND PAYMENT ELIGIBILITY 1. The authority citation for part 1400 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 1308, 1308-1, 1308-2, 1308-3, 1308-3a, 1308-4, and 1308-5.

    § 1400.1 [Amended]
    2. In § 1400.1(a)(8), remove the words “C and D” and add the words “C, D, and G” in their place. 3. Add subpart G to read as follows: Subpart G—Additional Payment Eligibility Provisions for Joint Operations and Legal Entities Comprised of Non-Family Members or Partners, Stockholders, or Persons With an Ownership Interest in the Farming Operation Sec. 1400.600 Applicability. 1400.601 Definitions. 1400.602 Restrictions on Active Personal Management Contributions. 1400.603 Recordkeeping Requirements. Subpart G—Additional Payment Eligibility Provisions for Joint Operations and Legal Entities Comprised of Non-Family Members or Partners, Stockholders, or Persons With an Ownership Interest in the Farming Operation
    § 1400.600 Applicability.

    (a) This subpart is applicable to all of the programs as specified in § 1400.1 and any other programs as specified in individual program regulations.

    (b) The requirements of this subpart will apply to farming operations for FSA program payment eligibility and limitation purposes as specified in subparts B and C of this part.

    (c) The requirements of this subpart do not apply to farming operations specified in paragraph (b) of this section if either:

    (1) All persons who are partners, stockholders, or persons with an ownership interest in the farming operation or of any entity that is a member of the farming operation are family members as defined in § 1400.3; or

    (2) The farming operation is seeking to qualify only one person as making a significant contribution of active personal management for the purposes of qualifying only one person or entity as actively engaged in farming.

    § 1400.601 Definitions.

    (a) The terms defined in § 1400.3 are applicable to this subpart and all documents issued in accordance with this part, except as otherwise provided in this section.

    (b) The following definitions are also applicable to this subpart:

    Active personal management means personally providing and participating in management activities considered critical to the profitability of the farming operation and performed under one or more of the following categories:

    (1) Capital, which includes:

    (i) Arranging financing and managing capital;

    (ii) Acquiring equipment;

    (iii) Acquiring land and negotiating leases;

    (iv) Managing insurance; and

    (v) Managing participation in USDA programs;

    (2) Labor, which includes hiring and managing of hired labor; and

    (3) Agronomics and marketing, which includes:

    (i) Selecting crops and making planting decisions;

    (ii) Acquiring and purchasing crop inputs;

    (iii) Managing crops (that is, whatever it takes to keep the growing crops living and healthy—soil fertility and fertilization, weed control, insect control, irrigation if applicable) and making harvest decisions; and

    (iv) Pricing and marketing of crop production.

    Significant contribution of active personal management means active personal management activities performed by a person, with a direct or indirect ownership interest in the farming operation, on a regular, continuous, and substantial basis to the farming operation, and meets at least one of the following to be considered significant:

    (1) Performs at least 25 percent of the total management hours required for the farming operation on an annual basis; or

    (2) Performs at least 500 hours of management annually for the farming operation.

    § 1400.602 Restrictions on active personal management contributions.

    (a) If a farming operation includes any nonfamily members as specified under the provisions of § 1400.201(b)(2) and (3) and the farming operation is seeking to qualify more than one person as providing a significant contribution of active personal management then:

    (1) Each such person must maintain contemporaneous records or logs as specified in § 1400.603; and

    (2) Subject to paragraph (b) of this section, if the farming operation seeks not more than one additional person to qualify as providing a significant contribution of active personal management because the operation is large, then the operation may qualify for one such additional person if the farming operation:

    (i) Produces and markets crops on 2,500 acres or more of cropland; or

    (ii) For farming operations that produce honey with more than 10,000 hives; or

    (iii) For farming operations that produce wool with more than 3,500 ewes; and

    (3) If the farming operation seeks not more than one additional person to qualify as providing a significant contribution of active personal management because the operation is complex, then the operation may qualify for one such additional person if the farming operation is determined by the FSA state committee as complex after considering the factors described in paragraphs (a)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section. Any determination that a farming operation is complex by an FSA state committee must be reviewed and the determination must be concurred by DAFP to be applied. To demonstrate complexity, the farming operation will be required to provide information to the FSA state committee on the following:

    (i) Number and type of livestock, crops, or other agricultural products produced and marketing channels used; and

    (ii) Geographical area covered.

    (b) FSA state committees may adjust the limitations described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section up or down by not more than 15 percent if the FSA state committee determines that the relative size of farming operations in the state requires a modification of either or both of these limitations. If the FSA state committee seeks to make a larger adjustment, then DAFP will review and may approve such request.

    (c) If a farming operation seeks to qualify a total of three persons as providing a significant contribution of active personal management, then the farming operation must demonstrate both size and complexity as specified in paragraph (a) of this section.

    (d) In no case may more than three persons in the same farming operation qualify as providing a significant contribution of active personal management, as defined by this subpart.

    (e) A person's contribution of active personal management to a farming operation specified in § 1400.601(b) will only qualify one member of that farming operation as actively engaged in farming as defined in this part. Other individual persons in the same farming operation are not precluded from making management contributions, except that such contributions will not be recognized to meet the requirements of being a significant contribution of active personal management.

    § 1400.603 Recordkeeping requirements.

    (a) Any farming operation requesting that more than one person qualify as making a significant contribution of active personal management must maintain contemporaneous records or activity logs for all persons that make any contribution of any management to a farming operation under this subpart that must include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (1) Location where the management activity was performed; and

    (2) Time expended and duration of the management activity performed.

    (b) To qualify as providing a significant contribution of active personal management each person covered by this subpart must:

    (1) Maintain these records and supporting business documentation; and

    (2) If requested, timely make these records available for review by the appropriate FSA reviewing authority.

    (c) If a person fails to meet the requirement of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, then both of the following will apply:

    (1) The person's contribution of active personal management as represented to the farming operation for payment eligibility purposes will be disregarded; and

    (2) The person's payment eligibility will be re-determined for the applicable program year.

    Dated: March 20, 2015. Val Dolcini, Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation, and Administrator, Farm Service Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06855 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 430 [Docket Number EERE-2015-BT-STD-0003] RIN 1904-AD49 Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Energy Conservation Standards for Direct Heating Equipment and Pool Heaters AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Request for information (RFI).

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is initiating a rulemaking to consider amended energy conservation standards for direct heating equipment and pool heaters. Once completed, this rulemaking will fulfill DOE's statutory obligation to either propose amended energy conservation standards for these products or to determine that the existing standards do not need to be amended. This RFI seeks to solicit information to help DOE determine whether national standards more stringent than those that are currently in place would result in a significant amount of additional energy savings and whether such amended national standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified. In overview, this document presents a brief description of the analysis DOE plans to perform for this rulemaking and requests comment on various issues relating to each of the analyses (e.g., market assessment, engineering analysis, energy use analysis, life-cycle cost and payback period analysis, national impact analysis, and manufacturer impact analysis). Although this document contains several specific topics on which the Department is particularly interested in receiving written comment, DOE welcomes suggestions and information from the public on any subject within the scope of this rulemaking, including topics not raised in this RFI.

    DATES:

    Written comments and information are requested on or before April 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments electronically. However, interested persons may submit comments, identified by docket number EERE-2015-BT-STD-0003 and/or regulatory identification number (RIN) 1904-AD49 by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include docket number EERE-2015-BT-STD-0003 and/or RIN 1904-AD49 in the subject line of the message. Submit electronic comments in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, PDF, or ASCII file format, and avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption.

    Postal Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. If possible, please submit all items on a compact disc (CD), in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 6th Floor, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. If possible, please submit all items on a CD, in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.

    For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see section III of this document (Public Participation).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information may be sent to Ms. Ashley Armstrong, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Program, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-6590. Email: [email protected]

    Mr. Sarah Butler, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-1777. Email: [email protected]

    For information on how to submit or review public comments, contact Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Introduction A. Background and Authority B. Rulemaking Process II. Planned Rulemaking Analyses A. Test Procedures B. Market and Technology Assessment C. Technology Options for Consideration D. Engineering Analysis E. Markups Analysis F. Energy Use Analysis G. Life-Cycle Cost and Payback Period Analysis H. Shipment Analysis I. National Impact Analysis J. Manufacturer Impact Analysis III. Public Participation I. Introduction A. Background and Authority

    Title III, Part B 1 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (“EPCA” or “the Act”), Public Law 94-163 (codified at 42 U.S.C. 6291-6309) sets forth a variety of provisions designed to improve energy efficiency and establishes the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles.2 This program includes most major household appliances (collectively referred to as “covered products”), including the two covered products that are the subject of this rule: direct heating equipment (DHE) and pool heaters. (42 U.S.C. 6292(a)(9) and (11)) Under EPCA, this energy conservation program generally consists of four parts: (1) Testing; (2) labeling; (3) establishing Federal energy conservation standards; and (4) certification and enforcement procedures.

    1 For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, Part B was redesignated as Part A.

    2 All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute as amended through the American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act (AEMTCA), Public Law. 112-210 (Dec. 18, 2012).

    EPCA prescribes specific energy conservation standards for the pool heaters and gas-fired direct heating equipment. (42 U.S.C. 6295(e)(2), (3)) EPCA also directed DOE to conduct two cycles of rulemakings to determine whether to amend its standards for direct heating equipment and pool heaters. (42 U.S.C. 6295(e)(4)) The statute further requires DOE to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking including new proposed standards or a notice of determination that the standards for a product need not be amended no later than 6 years after issuance of any final rule establishing or amending standards for that product. (42 U.S.C. 6295(m)(1)) DOE last promulgated a final rule on April 16, 2010, amending its energy conservation standards for direct heating equipment and pool heaters, constituting the first of these two required rulemakings. 75 FR 20112. The current rulemaking satisfies the statutory requirements under EPCA to conduct a second round of review of the DHE and pool heater standards. (42 U.S.C. 6295(e)(4)(B)) Additionally, this rulemaking will satisfy the requirement for DOE to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking containing proposed standards or a notice of determination that the standards for direct heating equipment and pool heaters do not need to be amended by April 16, 2016. (42 U.S.C. 6295(m)(1)) If DOE were to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking containing proposed amendments to its standards for either direct heating equipment or pool heaters, DOE would be required to issue a final rule amending the standards no later than 2 years after issuance of the notice. (42 U.S.C. 6295(m)(3)(A))

    EPCA also provides criteria for prescribing amended standards for covered products generally, including direct heating equipment and pool heaters. As indicated above, any such amended standard must be designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A)) Additionally, EPCA provides specific prohibitions on prescribing such standards. DOE may not prescribe an amended standard for any of its covered products for which it has not established a test procedure. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(3)(A)) Further, DOE may not prescribe a standard if DOE determines by rule that such standard would not result in “significant conservation of energy,” or “is not technologically feasible or economically justified.” (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(3)(B)) EPCA also provides that in deciding whether a standard is economically justified for covered products, DOE must, after receiving comments on the proposed standard, determine whether the benefits of the standard exceed its burdens by considering, to the greatest extent practicable, the following seven factors:

    1. The economic impact of the standard on manufacturers and consumers of the products subject to the standard;

    2. The savings in operating costs throughout the estimated average life of the covered products in the type (or class) compared to any increase in the price, initial charges, or maintenance expenses for the covered products that are likely to result from the imposition of the standard;

    3. The total projected amount of energy (or, as applicable, water) savings likely to result directly from the imposition of the standard;

    4. Any lessening of the utility or the performance of the covered products likely to result from the imposition of the standard;

    5. The impact of any lessening of competition, as determined in writing by the Attorney General, that is likely to result from the imposition of the standard;

    6. The need for national energy and water conservation; and

    7. Other factors the Secretary of Energy (Secretary) considers relevant. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(B)(i)(I) through (VII))

    In addition, EPCA, as amended, establishes a rebuttable presumption that any standard for covered products is economically justified if the Secretary finds that “the additional cost to the consumer of purchasing a product complying with an energy conservation standard level will be less than three times the value of the energy (and as applicable, water) savings during the first year that the consumer will receive as a result of the standard,” as calculated under the test procedure in place for that standard. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(B)(iii))

    EPCA also contains what is commonly known as an “anti-backsliding” provision. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(1)) This provision mandates that the Secretary not prescribe any amended standard that either increases the maximum allowable energy use or decreases the minimum required energy efficiency of a covered product. EPCA further provides that the Secretary may not prescribe an amended standard if interested persons have established by a preponderance of the evidence that the standard is likely to result in the unavailability in the United States of any product type (or class) with performance characteristics (including reliability), features, sizes, capacities, and volumes that are substantially the same as those generally available in the United States at the time of the Secretary's finding. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(4)) Under 42 U.S.C. 6295(q)(1), EPCA specifies requirements applicable to promulgating standards for any type or class of covered product that has two or more subcategories. Under this provision, DOE must specify a different standard level than that which applies generally to such type or class of product that has the same function or intended use, if DOE determines that the products within such group: (A) Consume a different kind of energy from that consumed by other covered products within such type (or class); or (B) have a capacity or other performance-related feature which other products within such type (or class) do not have and such feature justifies a higher or lower standard” than applies or will apply to the other products. (42 U.S.C. 6295(q)(1)) In determining whether a performance-related feature justifies such a different standard for a group of products, DOE must consider “such factors as the utility to the consumer of such a feature” and other factors the Secretary deems appropriate. Id. Any rule prescribing such a standard must include an explanation of the basis on which DOE established such higher or lower level. (42 U.S.C. 6295(q)(2))

    Section 310(3) of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007; Pub. L. 110-140) amended EPCA to prospectively require that energy conservation standards address standby mode and off mode energy use. Specifically, when DOE adopts new or amended standards for a covered product after July 1, 2010, the final rule must, if justified by the criteria for adoption of standards in section 325(o) of EPCA, incorporate standby mode and off mode energy use into a single standard if feasible, or otherwise adopt a separate standard for such energy use for that product. (42 U.S.C. 6295(gg)(3)) On December 17, 2012 DOE promulgated a final rule amending its test procedures for vented direct heating equipment and pool heaters to incorporate standby and off-mode energy consumption (see section II.A below for further detail). 77 FR 74559. The amendments related to standby and off-mode energy consumption were not required for purposes of compliance until the compliance date of the next standards final rule for those products. Id. This rulemaking, if amended standards are ultimately adopted, would serve as the next energy conservation standards rulemaking subsequent to these test procedure amendments, and therefore this rulemaking will take into account standby and off-mode energy consumption.

    Finally, Federal energy conservation requirements for covered products generally supersede State laws or regulations concerning energy conservation testing, labeling, and standards. (42 U.S.C. 6297(a) through (c)) DOE can, however, grant waivers of Federal preemption for particular State laws or regulations, in accordance with the procedures and other provisions of section 327(d) of the Act. (42 U.S.C. 6297(d))

    B. Rulemaking Process

    In addition to the specific statutory criteria discussed in section I.A that DOE must follow for prescribing amended standards for covered products, DOE uses a specific process to assess the appropriateness of amending the standards that are currently in place for a given type of product. For direct heating equipment and pool heaters, DOE plans to conduct in-depth technical analyses of the costs and benefits of the potential amended standards to determine whether more stringent standards are technologically feasible and would lead to significant energy savings, and whether such amended standards would be economically justified. The analyses would include the following: (1) Engineering; (2) energy use; (3) markups; (4) life-cycle cost and payback period; and (5) national impacts. DOE will also conduct downstream analyses including an analysis of: (1) Manufacturer impacts; (2) emission impacts; (3) utility impacts; (4) employment impacts; and (5) regulatory impacts. DOE will also conduct several other analyses that support those previously listed, including the market and technology assessment, the screening analysis (which contributes to the engineering analysis), and the shipments analysis (which contributes to the national impact analysis). As detailed throughout this RFI, DOE is publishing this notice as the first step in the analytical process and is requesting input and data from interested parties to aid in the development of the technical analyses.

    Subsequently, DOE may conduct a preliminary analysis for some or all products, particularly heat pump pool heaters since no prior rulemaking record for these products exists. Alternatively, DOE may elect to proceed directly to a NOPR (or determination that standards need not be amended) for some or all products.

    II. Planned Rulemaking Analyses

    In this section, DOE summarizes the rulemaking analyses and identifies a number of issues on which it seeks input and data in order to aid in the development of the technical and economic analyses to determine whether amended energy conservation standards may be warranted for direct heating equipment and/or pool heaters. In addition, DOE welcomes comments on other issues relevant to the conduct of this rulemaking that may not specifically be identified in this RFI.

    A. Test Procedures

    The test procedure for vented home heating equipment is located at 10 CFR 430.23(o) and 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix O (Appendix O) for vented home heating equipment (“vented heater”). The vented heater test procedure includes provisions for determining energy efficiency (annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE)), as well as annual energy consumption. DOE's test procedure for pool heaters is found at 10 CFR 430.23(p) and 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix P (Appendix P). The test procedure includes provisions for determining two energy efficiency descriptors (i.e., thermal efficiency and integrated thermal efficiency), as well as annual energy consumption.

    EISA 2007 amended EPCA to require DOE to amend its test procedures for all covered products to include measurement of standby mode and off mode energy consumption. (42 U.S.C. 6295(gg)(2)(A)) DOE published a final rule adopting standby mode and off mode provisions for direct heating equipment and pool heaters in the Federal Register on December 17, 2012 (hereafter referred to as the December 2012 test procedure final rule). 77 FR 74559. Additionally, DOE published a final rule regarding its DHE and pool heater test procedures on January 6, 2015 adopting, among other things, provisions for testing vented home heaters that use condensing technology, updated industry standards incorporated by reference, and provisions for testing electric resistance and electric heat pump pool heaters, and which clarified the applicability of the test procedure to oil-fired pool heaters (hereafter referred to as the January 2015 test procedure final rule). 80 FR 792. DOE will use the most current version of the test procedures as the basis for any amended energy conservation standards.

    For DHE, the December 2012 test procedure final rule included additional measurements and calculations in the test procedure to determine the annual electrical consumption in standby and off-mode separate from the AFUE metric. 77 FR 74559, 74571-74572. The standby and off-mode fossil fuel consumption for DHE was previously incorporated in the AFUE in the form of the pilot light usage and off-cycle flue and stack losses. For gas-fired pool heaters, the December 2012 test procedure final rule included measurements and calculations that incorporate electrical and fossil fuel consumption in standby and off-mode into an integrated thermal efficiency metric. Id. at 74572-74573. The provisions for testing electric resistance and electric heat pump pool heaters added in the January 2015 test procedure final rule also integrate the standby and off-mode electrical consumption into an integrated thermal efficiency metric. 80 FR 792, 813-815.

    For both DHE and pool heaters, the December 2012 test procedure amendments were not required for testing in determining compliance with the current energy conservation standards until the next energy conservation standard final rule. 77 FR 74559. This rulemaking is the subsequent standards rulemaking to the December 2012 test procedure amendments; therefore, DOE plans to consider energy conservation standards as part of this rulemaking that incorporate standby and off-mode energy use as measured by the amended test procedures.

    In the case of vented home heating equipment, while the pilot light and off-cycle flue and stack losses are integrated into the AFUE, the measurements and calculations for standby and off-mode electrical consumption are not. Should DOE consider standby and off-mode electrical consumption of vented home heating equipment separate analyses would be conducted in order to propose energy conservation standards for standby and off-mode electrical consumption. In order to make such a determination, DOE is seeking data, information, and comment on the electrical consumption of vented home heating equipment in standby and off-mode.

    Issue 1: DOE seeks data, information, and comment on the electrical consumption of all product classes of DHE in standby and off-mode.

    In the case of pool heaters, the amendments contained in the December 2012 test procedure final rule integrated the standby and off-mode electrical consumption for gas-fired pool heaters into an integrated thermal efficiency metric. Likewise, the January 2015 test procedure final rule added provisions for determining the integrated thermal efficiency of electric resistance and electric heat pump pool heaters. Since the current pool heater rating metric (thermal efficiency) and energy conservation standards do not incorporate standby and off-mode energy consumption, DOE would need to develop a method to convert from the existing thermal efficiency ratings (which does not include standby and off mode energy consumption) to ratings under the new integrated thermal efficiency metric (which includes standby and off mode energy consumption). DOE plans to develop a method of converting ratings from those under the current metrics to those under the new metrics that include standby and off-mode energy consumption. To that end, DOE is requesting information regarding typical standby and off-mode fossil fuel and electricity consumption for DHE and pool heaters.

    Issue 2: DOE requests data and information regarding typical energy use (fossil fuel and electricity) in standby and off-modes for all pool heater types (i.e. gas-fired, electric resistance, and electric heat pump). DOE also requests data and information regarding the impacts on efficiency ratings of including the standby mode and off mode energy consumption in the integrated thermal efficiency (pool heaters).

    B. Market and Technology Assessment

    The market and technology assessment provides information about the direct heating equipment and pool heater industries that will be used throughout the rulemaking process. For example, this information will be used to determine whether the existing product class structure requires modification based on the statutory criteria for setting such classes and to explore the potential for technological improvements in the design of such products. The Department uses qualitative and quantitative information to assess the past and present industry structure and market characteristics. DOE will use existing market materials and literature from a variety of sources, including industry publications, trade journals, government agencies, and trade organizations. DOE will also consider conducting interviews with manufacturers to assess the overall market for both direct heating equipment and for pool heaters.

    The current product classes as established in the Code of Federal Regulations for direct heating equipment are characterized by product type (i.e., wall fan, wall gravity, floor furnace, and room heater), and size (i.e., input capacity rating). As a starting point, DOE plans to use the existing product class structure for products manufactured after April 16, 2013, which divides direct heating equipment into the equipment classes as shown in the table in 10 CFR 430.32(i) and summarized below in Table II.1.

    Table II.1—Product Classes for Direct Heating Equipment Product type Gas wall fan type up to 42,000 Btu/h. Gas wall fan type over 42,000 Btu/h. Gas wall gravity type up to 27,000 Btu/h. Gas wall gravity type over 27,000 Btu/h up to 46,000 Btu/h. Gas wall gravity type over 46,000 Btu/h. Gas floor up to 37,000 Btu/h. Gas floor over 37,000 Btu/h. Gas room up to 20,000 Btu/h. Gas room over 20,000 Btu/h up to 27,000 Btu/h. Gas room over 27,000 Btu/h up to 46,000 Btu/h. Gas room over 46,000 Btu/h.

    DOE's energy conservation standards for pool heaters currently regulate only one type of pool heater—gas-fired pool heaters. In analyzing standards for electric (including both resistance and heat pump), DOE will consider creating separate product classes for pool heaters based on fuel type, capacity, or other performance related features that may affect efficiency and justify the establishment of different energy conservation standards.

    Issue 3: DOE requests feedback on the current product classes for direct heating equipment and seeks information regarding other product classes it should consider for inclusion in its analysis.

    Issue 4: DOE seeks comment on whether product classes should be established for pool heaters and seeks information regarding product classes it should consider for inclusion in its analysis.

    Issue 5: DOE seeks data, information, and comment on electric resistance pool heaters, specifically on their capacities and applications. DOE also requests data, information, and comment on whether heat pump technology is a viable design for those applications in which electric resistance pool heaters are typically found.

    As discussed in section II.A, DOE published a final rule on January 6, 2015 regarding its test procedures for DHE and pool heaters in which it was clarified that the test procedure applies to oil-fired pool heaters. 80 FR 792 However, in reviewing the pool heater market, DOE found only one model of oil-fired pool heater available. DOE therefore has tentatively determined that the energy savings potential for oil-fired pool heaters is de minimis, and that accordingly energy conservation standards need not be proposed.

    Issue 6: DOE seeks comment on its tentative conclusion that energy conservation standards for oil-fired pool heaters would result in de minimis energy savings.

    C. Technology Options for Consideration

    DOE uses information about existing and past technology options and prototype designs to help identify technologies that manufacturers could use to meet and/or exceed energy conservation standards. In consultation with interested parties, DOE intends to develop a list of technologies to consider in its analysis. Initially, this list will include all those technologies considered to be technologically feasible and will serve to establish the maximum technologically feasible design. For DHE, DOE will initially consider the specific technologies and design options listed below, along with any other technologies identified during the rulemaking analysis.

    • Improved insulation 3

    3 This includes increasing jacket insulation, advanced insulation types, foam insulation, and pipe and fitting insulation. For DHE, this applies only to floor furnaces, since heat lost through the jacket does not enter the occupied space.

    • Power and direct venting • Condensing heat exchanger technology • Electronic ignition systems • Improved controls 4

    4 This includes incorporating timer controls, modulating controls, and intelligent and wireless controls and communication.

    • Improved burners 5

    5 This includes incorporating variable firing-rate burners, low-stage firing burners, and modulating burners.

    • Flue or stack damper 6

    6 Thermal or electro-mechanical.

    • Improved heat exchanger design 7

    7 Including material and surface area.

    For gas-fired pool heaters, DOE will consider the specific technologies and design options listed below.

    • Improved insulation 3 • Improved controls 4 • Improved heat exchanger design 7 • Condensing heat exchanger technology • Electronic ignition systems

    For electric pool heaters, if included in the scope of this rulemaking, DOE would initially consider the specific technologies and design options listed below.

    • Improved insulation 3 • Improved controls 4 • Heat pump (as opposed to electric resistance element) 8

    8 Should electric pool heaters be considered one product class, heat pump technology may be considered a technology option for increasing the efficiency of electric pool heaters.

    • Increased evaporator surface area (heat pump pool heaters) • Increased condenser surface area (heat pump pool heaters) • Improved compressor efficiency (heat pump pool heaters)

    Issue 7: DOE seeks information related to these or other efficiency-improving technologies for DHE or pool heaters. Specifically, DOE is interested in comments regarding their costs, applicability to the current market, and how these technologies improve efficiency of DHE and pool heaters.

    D. Engineering Analysis

    The engineering analysis estimates the cost-efficiency relationship of products at different levels of increased energy efficiency. This relationship serves as the basis for the cost-benefit calculations for consumers, manufacturers, and the nation. In determining the cost-efficiency relationship, DOE will estimate the increase in manufacturer cost associated with increasing the efficiency of products above the baseline up to the maximum technologically feasible (“max-tech”) efficiency level for each product class. The baseline model is used as a reference point for each product class in the engineering analysis and the life-cycle cost and payback-period analyses. DOE considers products that just meet the current minimum energy conservation standard as baseline products. For products that do not have an existing minimum energy conservation standard, DOE considers the least efficient products on the market as baseline equipment. DOE will establish a baseline for each DHE product class using the AFUE, and a separate baseline in terms of standby and off-mode electrical consumption since this is not integrated in the AFUE metric. For each gas-fired pool heater product class, DOE would use the thermal efficiency standards converted to integrated thermal efficiency in order to set a baseline. Energy conservation standards do not currently exist for electric resistance and electric heat pump pool heaters, and so DOE would select the least efficient products on the market for baseline models using the integrated thermal efficiency metric.

    Issue 8: DOE requests comment on approaches that it should consider when determining a baseline for product classes of DHE and pool heaters, including information regarding the merits and/or deficiencies of such approaches.

    Issue 9: DOE requests information on max-tech efficiency levels achievable in the current market and associated technologies for both DHE and pool heaters.

    In order to create the cost-efficiency relationship, DOE anticipates that it will structure its engineering analysis using both a reverse-engineering (or cost-assessment) approach and a catalog teardown approach. A cost-assessment approach relies on a teardown analysis of representative units at the baseline efficiency level and higher efficiency levels up to the maximum technologically feasible designs. A teardown analysis (or physical teardown) determines the production cost of a product by disassembling the product “piece-by-piece” and estimating the material and labor cost of each component. A catalog teardown approach uses published manufacturer catalogs and supplementary component data to estimate the major physical differences between a piece of equipment that has been physically disassembled and another similar product. These two methods would be used together to help DOE estimate the manufacturer production cost of products at various efficiency levels.

    Issue 10: DOE requests feedback on the planned approach for the engineering analysis and on the appropriate representative capacities and characteristics for each DHE product class and for pool heaters of all types.

    E. Markups Analysis

    To carry out the life-cycle cost (LCC) and payback period (PBP) calculations, DOE needs to determine the cost to the consumer of baseline products that satisfy the currently applicable standards, and the cost of the more efficient unit the customer would purchase under potential amended standards. This is done by applying a markup multiplier to the manufacturer's selling price to estimate the consumer's price.

    Markups depend on the distribution channels for a product (i.e., how the product passes from the manufacturer to the consumer). For both direct heating equipment and pool heaters, DOE characterized two distribution channels to describe how the equipment pass from the manufacturer to consumer: (1) replacement market, and (2) new construction market.

    In the replacement market for direct heating equipment, most sales go through wholesalers to mechanical contractors, and then to consumers. In new construction market, most sales go through wholesaler to mechanical contractors hired by the general contractors. Thus, DOE defined two distribution channels for the purposes of estimating markups for direct heating equipment, and the distribution channel for replacement market is characterized as follows:

    Manufacturer → Wholesaler → Mechanical Contractor → Consumer

    In the case of new construction, DOE plans to characterize the distribution channel as follows:

    Manufacturer → Wholesaler → Mechanical Contractor → General Contractor → Consumer

    To determine distribution channels for pool heaters, DOE used information from a consultant report.9 For the replacement market, most sales go through wholesalers to pool service companies. In most new construction market, the pool builder purchases the product from a wholesaler, and there is no contractor involved. Thus, DOE defined two distribution channels for the purposes of estimating markups for pool heaters.

    9 Hamos, R., Consultant Report—Pool Heater Distribution Channels, 2007.

    For replacement pool heaters, DOE plans to characterize the distribution channel as follows:

    Manufacturer → Wholesaler → Service Company → Consumer

    For the new construction market, DOE plans to characterize the distribution channel for pool heaters as follows:

    Manufacturer → Wholesaler → Pool Builder → Consumer

    Issue 11: DOE seeks input from stakeholders on whether the distribution channels described above are appropriate for direct heating equipment and pool heaters and are sufficient to describe the distribution markets.

    Issue 12: DOE seeks input on the percentage of products being distributed through the different distribution channels, and whether the share of products through each channel varies based on product class, capacity, or other feature.

    To develop markups for the parties involved in the distribution of direct heating equipment and pool heaters, DOE would utilize several sources including: (1) the Heating, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) 2013 Profit Report 10 to develop wholesaler markups, (2) the 2005 Air Conditioning Contractors of America's (ACCA) financial analysis for the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) contracting industry 11 and U.S. Census Bureau's 2007 Economic Census data for the plumbing and HVAC contractors industry 12 to develop mechanical contractor markups, (3) RS Means Electrical Cost Data 13 to develop pool service company markup, and (4) U.S. Census Bureau's 2007 Economic Census data for the residential building construction industry 14 to develop general contractor and pool builder markups.

    10 Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International 2013 Profit Report, <http://www.hardinet.org/Profit-Report>

    11 Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), Financial Analysis for the HVACR Contracting Industry: 2005, 2005. <https://www.acca.org/store/product.php?pid=142>

    12 U.S. Census Bureau, Data set for Sector 23, EC0723A1: 238220 (Plumbing, Heating and Air-Conditioning Contractors), Construction: Geographic Area Series, Detailed Statistics for Establishments, 2007. <http://www.census.gov/econ/>

    13 RS Means Company Inc., Mechanical Cost Data—31st Annual Edition. 2013. ed. M. Mossman. Kingston, MA.

    14 U.S. Census Bureau, Construction: Industry Series: Preliminary Detailed Statistics for Establishments: 2007. New Single-Family General Contractors, New Multifamily Housing Construction (Except Operative Builders), New Housing Operative Builders Resi, 2007. <http://www.census.gov/econ/>

    In addition to the markups, DOE would derive State and local taxes from data provided by the Sales Tax Clearinghouse. 15 These data represent weighted-average taxes that include county and city rates. DOE would derive shipment-weighted-average tax values for each region considered in the analysis.

    15 Sales Tax Clearinghouse Inc., State Sales Tax Rates Along with Combined Average City and County Rates, 2010. <http://thestc.com/STrates.stm>

    Issue 13: DOE seeks updated data, if available, and recommendations regarding data sources to establish the markups for the parties involved with the distribution of covered equipment.

    F. Energy Use Analysis

    The purpose of the energy use analysis is to assess the energy requirements of direct heating equipment and pool heaters described in the engineering analysis for a representative sample of households that utilize the product, and to assess the energy-savings potential of increased product efficiencies. DOE uses the annual energy consumption and energy-savings potential in the LCC and PBP analysis to establish the operating costs savings at various product efficiency levels. DOE will estimate the annual energy consumption of direct heating equipment at specified energy efficiency levels across a range of applications, household types, and climate zones. The annual energy consumption includes use of natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and electricity.

    DOE intends to base the energy use analysis on household characteristics from the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) 16 for the households in RECS that use direct heating equipment and pool heaters covered by this standard. In addition, DOE may supplement the use of RECS with less detailed but more recent data sources, such as the American Housing Survey.

    16 Energy Information Administration (EIA). 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). (Available at: http://www.eia.gov/consumption/residential/) (Last accessed April 10, 2013).

    The RECS survey data include information on the physical characteristics of homes, space heating equipment used, fuels used, energy consumption and expenditures, and other building characteristics. RECS data also reports energy consumption for pool heating in households that use them. Based on these data, DOE will develop a representative population of households for each direct heating equipment and pool heater class.

    Issue 14: DOE requests comment on the overall method to determine energy use of direct heating equipment and pool heaters and if other factors should be considered in developing the energy use or energy use methodology.

    Issue 15: DOE seeks input on the current distribution of product efficiencies in the market for different product types and classes.

    G. Life-Cycle Cost and Payback Period Analysis

    The purpose of the LCC and PBP analysis is to analyze the effects of potential amended energy conservation standards on consumers of direct heating equipment and pool heaters by determining how a potential amended standard affects their operating expenses (usually decreased) and their total installed costs (usually increased).

    DOE intends to analyze the potential for variability by performing the LCC and PBP calculations on a representative sample of individual households. DOE plans to utilize the sample of households developed for the energy use analysis and the corresponding simulations results. Within a given household, one or more direct heating equipment units may serve the building's space heating needs, depending on the space heating requirements of the building. As a result, the Department intends to express the LCC and PBP results for each of the individual direct heating equipment units installed in the building. DOE plans to model variability in many of the inputs to the LCC and PBP analysis using Monte Carlo simulation and probability distributions. As a result, the LCC and PBP results will be displayed as distributions of impacts compared to the base case (without amended standards) conditions. DOE also intends to utilize the sample of households developed for energy use analysis of pool heaters. DOE plans to model variability in many of the inputs to the pool heater LCC and PBP analysis using Monte Carlo simulation and probability distributions.

    Issue 16: DOE requests comment on the overall method that it intends on using to conduct the LCC and PBP analysis for direct heating equipment and pool heaters.

    Inputs to the LCC and PBP analysis are categorized as: (1) inputs for establishing the purchase expense, otherwise known as the total installed cost, and (2) inputs for calculating the operating expense.

    The primary inputs for establishing the total installed cost are the baseline consumer price, standard-level consumer price increases, and installation costs. Baseline consumer prices and standard-level consumer price increases will be determined by applying markups to manufacturer selling price estimates. The installation cost is added to the consumer price to arrive at a total installed cost. DOE intends to develop installation costs using the most recent RS Means data available.

    Issue 17: DOE seeks input on the approach and data sources it intends to use to develop installation costs, specifically, its intention to use the most recent RS Means Mechanical Cost Data. 17

    17 RS Means. 2014 Mechanical Cost Data. (Available at: http://rsmeans.reedconstructiondata.com/60023.aspx) (Last accessed April 10, 2014).

    The primary inputs for calculating the operating costs are product energy consumption, product efficiency, energy prices and forecasts, maintenance and repair costs, product lifetime, and discount rates. Both product lifetime and discount rates are used to calculate the present value of future operating expenses.

    The product energy consumption is the site energy use associated with providing space heating to the room of a building (DHE) or water heating to a pool or spa (pool heaters). DOE intends to utilize the energy use calculation methodology described in Section II.F to establish product energy use.

    DOE will identify an approach to account for the gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and electricity prices paid by consumers for the purposes of calculating operating costs, savings, net present value, and payback period. DOE intends to consider determining gas, LPG, and electricity prices based on geographically available fuel cost data such as state level data, with consideration for the variation in energy costs paid by different building types. This approach calculates energy expenses based on actual energy prices that customers are paying in different geographical areas of the country. As a potential additional source, DOE may consider data to compare provided in EIA's Form 826 data 18 to calculate commercial electricity prices, EIA's Natural Gas Navigator 19 to calculate commercial natural gas prices, and EIA's State Energy Data Systems (SEDS) 20 to calculate liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices. Future energy prices will likely be projected using trends from EIA's most recently published Annual Energy Outlook (AEO). 21

    18 Energy Information Administration (EIA), Survey form EIA-826—Monthly Electric Utility Sales and Revenue Report with State Distributions—(Available at: http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia826/index.html)

    19 Energy Information Administration (EIA), Natural Gas Navigator. (Available at: http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/ng/ng_pri_sum_dcu_nus_m.htm).

    20 Energy Information Administration (EIA), State Energy Data System (SEDS). (Available at: http://www.eia.gov/state/seds/).

    21 Energy Information Administration (EIA). Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) Full Version. (Available at: http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/).

    Issue 18: DOE seeks comment and sources on its approach for developing gas, LPG, and electricity prices.

    Maintenance costs are expenses associated with ensuring continued operation of the covered products over time. DOE intends to develop maintenance costs for its analysis using the most recent RS Means data available. 22 DOE plans also to consider the cases when the equipment is covered by service and/or maintenance agreements.

    22 RS Means. 2013 Facilities Maintenance & Repair Cost Data. (Available at: http://rsmeans.reedconstructiondata.com/60303.aspx).

    Issue 19: DOE seeks input on the approach and data sources it intends to use to develop maintenance costs for DHE and pool heaters, specifically, its intention to use the most recent RS Means Facilities Maintenance & Repair Cost Data, as well as to consider the cost of service and/or maintenance agreements.

    Repair costs are expenses associated with repairing or replacing components of the covered products that have failed. DOE intends to assess whether repair costs vary with product efficiency as part of its analysis. Likewise, DOE intends to assess whether maintenance costs vary with product efficiency as part of its analysis.

    Issue 20: DOE seeks comment as to whether repair costs vary as a function of product efficiency for either DHE or pool heaters. DOE also requests any data or information on developing repair costs for these products.

    Product lifetime is the age at which a unit of covered equipment is retired from service. The average equipment lifetimes for DHE and gas-fired pool heaters are estimated by various sources to be between 3 and 20 years based on application and equipment type.23 Based on these data, DOE plans to determine the average lifetimes for each DHE and pool heater product class as the primary inputs for developing a Weibull probability distribution to characterize DHE and pool heater lifetimes.

    23See S. Department of Energy-Office of Codes and Standards, Technical Support Document: Energy Efficiency Standards for Consumer Products: Room Air Conditioners, Water Heaters, Direct Heating Equipment, Mobile Home Furnaces, Kitchen Ranges and Ovens, Pool Heaters, Fluorescent Lamp Ballasts & Television Sets, 1993. Washington, DC Vol. 1 of 3. Report No. DOE/EE-0009. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). U.S. Department of Energy Commercial Reference Building Models of the National Building Stock. February 2011. Pg. 38. (Available at: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy11osti/46861.pdf); Empire Comfort System, Surround Yourself With Comfort, 2006. (Available at: http://dev.obatadesign.com/clients/Empire/faq/faq.asp); U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Gas Swimming Pool Heaters, 2005; Illinois Propane Gas Association, Swimming, 2006 (Available at: h t t p://www.ilpga.org/homebuilder_swimming.cfm); Pool Quest, Heating-Frequently Asked Questions, 2005.) (Available at: http://www.poolquest.com/heaters.aspx). The Spa Specialist Inc., Spa Buyer's Questions and Answers, 2006. (Available at: http://www.spaspecialist.com/qa.html); and Hamos, R., Consultant Report—Pool Heaters, 2009.

    Issue 21: DOE seeks comment on its approach of using a Weibull probability distribution to characterize product lifetimes. DOE also requests DHE and pool heater product lifetime data and information on whether product lifetime varies based on product characteristics, fuel type, product application, or efficiency level considerations.

    Issue 22: DOE seeks data, information, and comment on the product lifetimes of electric resistance and electric heat pump pool heaters.

    The discount rate is the rate at which future expenditures are discounted to establish their present value. DOE intends to derive the discount rates by estimating the finance cost to consumers direct heating equipment and pool heaters. For replacement purchasers, the estimated cost of financing of this equipment is estimated from a portfolio of consumer debts. For new construction purchases, financing costs are related to mortgage interest rates.

    DOE's analysis includes measures of LCC and PBP impacts of potential standard levels relative to a base case, which reflects the likely market in the absence of amended standards. DOE plans to develop market-share efficiency data (i.e., the distribution of product shipments by efficiency) for the product classes DOE is considering, for the year in which compliance with any amended standards would be required.

    DOE also plans to assess the applicability of the “rebound effect” in the energy consumption for DHE and for pool heaters. A rebound effect occurs when a product that is made more efficient is used more intensively, so that the expected energy savings from the efficiency improvement may not fully materialize. However, at this time, DOE is not aware of any information about the rebound effect for these product types.

    Issue 23: DOE requests data on current efficiency market shares (of shipments) by product class for DHE and pool heaters, and also input on similar historic data. DOE also requests comment on market segmentation based on capacity, application and fuel type, as well as trends in fuel switching.

    Issue 24: DOE also requests information on expected future trends in efficiency for DHE product classes and for all pool heater types, including the relative market share of condensing versus non-condensing products in the market in the absence of new efficiency standards.

    Issue 25: DOE seeks comments and data on any rebound effect that may be associated with more efficient DHE and pool heaters.

    H. Shipment Analysis

    DOE uses shipment projections by product class to calculate the national impacts of standards on energy consumption, net present value (NPV) of customer benefits, and future manufacturer cash flows.

    DOE intends to develop a shipments models for DHE and gas-fired pool heaters based on historical shipments data obtained during the rulemaking process. DOE currently does not have any historical shipments information for electric resistance or electric heat pump pool heaters. DOE will also examine unit shipments and value of shipments for direct heating equipment, and pool heaters using publicly available data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Manufacturers (ASM) and Current Industrial Reports (CIR), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).

    Issue 26: DOE seeks historical shipments data for DHE and pool heaters, particularly for electric resistance and electric heat pump pool heaters.

    Issue 27: DOE seeks data, information, and comment on expected future trends for shipments of all product classes of DHE and all types of pool heaters, including the relative share of sales to new construction vs. existing households.

    DOE intends to utilize the U.S. Census Bureau data 24 to establish historical new construction floor space, as well as historical stock floor space. The Annual Energy Outlook will be used to forecast both new construction and stock floor space. Using these and historical equipment saturation data from RECS, DOE will estimate shipments to the three market segments identified above.

    24 U.S. Census Bureau. Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2011, Table No 933—Construction Contracts-Value of Construction and Floor Space of Buildings by Class of Construction. (Available at: https://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2011/cats/construction_housing/construction_indices_and_value.html)

    Issue 28: DOE seeks input on the approach and data sources it intends to use in developing the shipments model and shipments forecasts for this analysis, including main drivers and trends toward consumer switching between fuel types.

    I. National Impact Analysis

    The purpose of the national impact analysis (NIA) is to estimate aggregate impacts of potential energy conservation standards at the national level. Impacts that DOE reports include the national energy savings (NES) from potential standards and the net present value (NPV) of the total customer benefits.

    To develop the NES, DOE calculates annual energy consumption for the base case and the standards cases. DOE calculates the annual energy consumption using per-unit annual energy use data multiplied by projected shipments.

    To develop the NPV of customer benefits from potential energy conservation standards, DOE calculates annual energy expenditures and annual product expenditures for the base case and the standards cases. DOE calculates annual energy expenditures from annual energy consumption by incorporating projected energy prices. DOE calculates annual product expenditures by multiplying the price per unit times the projected shipments. The difference each year between energy bill savings, increased maintenance and repair costs, and increased product expenditures is the net savings or net costs.

    A key component of DOE's estimates of NES and NPV are the product energy efficiencies forecasted over time for the base case and for each of the standards cases. For the base case trend, DOE will consider whether historical data show any trend and whether any trend can be reasonably extrapolated beyond current efficiency levels. In particular, DOE is interested in historical and future shipments of products with step changes in efficiency, such as condensing gas-fired DHE or heat pump pool heaters.

    Issue 29: DOE requests comment and any available data on historical, current, and future market share of equipment with step changes in efficiency, such as gas-fired vented home heaters that use condensing technology and electric heat pump pool heaters, as compared to less efficient products, such as non-condensing gas-fired DHE and electric resistance pool heaters, respectively, for each product class.

    For the various standards cases, to estimate the impact that amended energy conservation standards may have in the year compliance becomes required, DOE would likely use a “roll-up” scenario. Under the “roll-up” scenario, DOE assumes: (1) Product efficiencies in the base case that do not meet the new or amended standard level under consideration would “roll up” to meet that standard level; and (2) product shipments at efficiencies above the standard level under consideration would not be affected. After DOE establishes the efficiency distribution for the assumed compliance date of a standard, it may consider future projected efficiency growth using available trend data.

    As described in section II.F, DOE intends to determine whether there is a rebound effect associated with more efficient DHE or pool heaters. If data indicate that there is a rebound effect, DOE will account for the rebound effect in its calculation of NES.

    DOE has historically presented NES in terms of primary energy savings. On August 18, 2011, DOE announced its intention to use full-fuel-cycle (FFC) measures of energy use and greenhouse gas and other emissions in the national impact analyses and emissions analyses included in future energy conservation standards rulemakings. 76 FR 51282. While DOE stated in that notice that it intended to use the Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) model to conduct the analysis, it also said it would review alternative methods, including the use of NEMS. After evaluating both models and the approaches discussed in the August 18, 2011 notice, DOE determined NEMS is a more appropriate tool for this purpose. 77 FR 49701 (Aug. 17, 2012). Therefore, DOE is using NEMS to conduct FFC analyses. The method used to derive the FFC multipliers will be described in the TSD.

    J. Manufacturer Impact Analysis

    The purpose of the manufacturer impact analysis (MIA) is to estimate the financial impacts of potential energy conservation standards on manufacturers of direct heating equipment and pool heaters, and to evaluate the potential impact of such standards on direct employment and manufacturing capacity. The MIA includes both quantitative and qualitative aspects. The quantitative part of the MIA primarily relies on the Government Regulatory Impact Model (GRIM), an industry cash-flow model used to estimate a range of potential impacts on manufacturer profitability. The qualitative part of the MIA addresses a proposed standard's potential impacts on manufacturing capacity and industry competition, as well as factors such as product characteristics, impacts on particular subgroups of firms, and important market and product trends.

    As part of the MIA, DOE also analyzes impacts of potential energy conservation standards on small business manufacturers of covered products. DOE uses the Small Business Administration's (SBA) small business size standards to determine whether manufacturers qualify as small businesses. The size standards are listed by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code and industry description. 25 Manufacturing of direct heating equipment and pool heaters is classified under NAICS 333414, “Heating Equipment (except Warm Air Furnaces) Manufacturing.” The SBA sets a threshold of 500 employees or fewer for an entity to be considered as a small business in this category. The 500-employee threshold includes all employees in a business's parent company and any other subsidiaries.

    25 Available at: http://www.sba.gov/idc/groups/public/documents/sba_homepage/serv_sstd_tablepdf.pdf

    DOE has initially identified four manufacturers of direct heating equipment and 16 manufacturers of pool heaters. The table below lists all identified manufacturers. Domestic small businesses are designated with an asterisk.

    Direct heating
  • equipment
  • manufacturers
  • Pool heater
  • manufacturers
  • • Empire Comfort Systems*
  • • Louisville Tin and Stove Co.*
  • • Rinnai
  • • Williams Furnace Co.
  • • AquaCal Autopilot, Inc.*
  • • AquaComfort Technologies.*
  • • AquaPro Systems.*
  • • Built Right Pool Heaters.*
  • • Coates Heater Company, Inc.*
  • • EcoSmart US, LLC.*
  • • G&F Manufacturing.*
  • • Hayward Industries, Inc.
  • • Hydroquip, Inc.*
  • • Lochinvar LLC.
  • • Pentair.
  • • Rheem.
  • • Thermeau Industries, Inc. (Canadian).
  • • Titan Systems (Canadian).
  • • United States ThermoAmp, Inc.*
  • • Zodiac Pool Systems Inc.
  • * Domestic small businesses

    Issue 30: DOE requests comment on the completeness of the manufacturer list presented, including names of any additional manufacturers that may belong on this list.

    III. Public Participation

    DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this RFI and other matters relevant to DOE's consideration of amended energy conservations standard for DHE and pool heaters no later than the date provided in the DATES section at the beginning of this RFI. Interested parties may submit comments using any of the methods described in the ADDRESSES section at the beginning of this RFI. After the close of the comment period, DOE will begin collecting data, conducting the analyses, and reviewing the public comments. These actions will be taken to aid in the development of a NOPR for energy conservation standards for DHE and pool heaters, should DOE decide to amend the standards for DHE and pool heaters.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number and/or RIN for this rulemaking. No telefacsimilies (faxes) will be accepted.

    Docket: The docket is available for review at www.regulations.gov, including Federal Register notices, public meeting attendees' lists and transcripts, comments, and other supporting documents/materials. All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. However, not all documents listed in the index may be publicly available, such as information that is exempt from public disclosure.

    A link to the docket Web page can be found at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2015-BT-STD-0003. This Web page contains a link to the docket for this notice on the www.regulations.gov Web site. The www.regulations.gov Web page contains simple instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket.

    For information on how to submit a comment, review other public comments and the docket, or participate in the public meeting, contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945 or by email: [email protected]

    DOE considers public participation to be a very important part of the process for developing test procedures. DOE actively encourages the participation and interaction of the public during the comment period in each stage of the rulemaking process. Interactions with and between members of the public provide a balanced discussion of the issues and assist DOE in the rulemaking process. Anyone who wishes to be added to the DOE mailing list to receive future notices and information about this rulemaking should contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945, or via email at [email protected]

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 17, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06809 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 61 [NRC-2015-0003; NRC-2011-0012] RIN-3150-AI92 Guidance for Conducting Technical Analyses for Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Draft NUREG; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing for public comment a draft NUREG, NUREG-2175, “Guidance for Conducting Technical Analyses for 10 CFR part 61.” The NRC is proposing to amend its regulations that govern low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) disposal facilities to require new and revised site-specific technical analyses, to permit the development of site-specific criteria for LLRW acceptance based on the results of these analyses, and to facilitate implementation and better align the requirements with current health and safety standards. The NRC has prepared draft guidance to address the implementation of the proposed regulations. This notice is announcing the availability of the draft guidance for public comment.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by July 24, 2015. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the Commission is able to ensure consideration only for comments received before this date.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods (unless this document describes a different method for submitting comments on a specific subject):

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0003. The proposed amendments to the NRC LLRW regulations are issued in a separate notice, under Docket ID NRC-2011-0012. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-3422; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: 3WFN-06-A44M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see “Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Priya Yadav, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, telephone: 301-415-6667, email: [email protected]; or Stephen Dembek, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, telephone: 301-415-2342, email: [email protected]; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0003 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0003.

    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] The guidance for conducting technical analyses for 10 CFR part 61, Draft NUREG-2175, is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML15056A516.

    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.

    B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2015-0003 in the subject line of your comment submission.

    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS.

    II. Discussion

    The guidance for conducting technical analyses for part 61 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), NUREG-2175, provides guidance on conducting technical analyses (i.e., performance assessment, inadvertent intruder assessment, assessment of the stability of a LLRW disposal site, defense-in-depth analyses, protective assurance period analyses, and performance period analyses) to demonstrate compliance with the performance objectives in the proposed 10 CFR part 61, “Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste.” This guidance should facilitate licensees' implementation of the proposed amendments as well as assist regulatory authorities in reviewing the technical analyses. This guidance applies to all waste streams disposed of at a 10 CFR part 61 LLRW disposal facility, including large quantities of depleted uranium and blended waste.

    NUREG-2175 provides detailed guidance in new areas, such as the inadvertent intruder analysis, defense-in-depth analyses, and analyses for the three phases of the analysis timeframe (compliance period, protective assurance period, and performance period). This guidance discusses the use of a graded level of effort needed to risk-inform the analyses for the compliance period (1,000 years), the protective assurance period (from 1,000 years to 10,000 years after disposal site closure), and also covers the performance period analyses that should be performed for analysis of long-lived waste beyond 10,000 years. Additional topics covered in this document include: (1) Demonstration that radiation doses are minimized to the extent reasonably achievable; (2) identification and screening of the features, events, and processes to develop scenarios for technical analyses; (3) use of the waste classification tables or the results of the technical analyses to develop site-specific waste acceptance criteria; and (4) use of performance confirmation to evaluate and verify the accuracy of information used to demonstrate compliance prior to site closure.

    III. Proposed Rulemaking

    On May 3, 2011, the NRC published preliminary proposed rule language (76 FR 24831), “Part 61: Site Specific Analyses for Demonstrating Compliance with Subpart C Performance Objectives” (ADAMS Accession No. ML111150205). As a result of additional direction from the Commission in staff requirement memoranda (SRM)-COMWDM-11-0002/COMGEA-11-0002, “Revisions to Part 61,” dated January 19, 2012 (ADAMS Accession No. ML120190360), the NRC staff published a second version of the preliminary proposed rule language (77 FR 72997; December 7, 2012), “November 2012 Preliminary Rule Language for Proposed Revisions to Low-Level Waste Disposal Requirements (10 CFR part 61)”

    (ADAMS Accession No. ML12311A444). Based on comments received, the NRC published in the Proposed Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register a third version of the proposed rule language. Documents related to the proposed rule, including public comments, are available on the Federal rulemaking Web site at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2011-0012.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 5th day of February 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Andrew Persinko, Deputy Director, Division of Decommissioning, Uranium Recovery, and Waste Programs, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06536 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Parts 650, 651, 653, and 655 RIN 3052-AC89 Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation General Provisions; Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Governance; Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Risk Management; Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Disclosure and Reporting; Farmer Mac Corporate Governance and Standards of Conduct AGENCY:

    Farm Credit Administration.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we, or our) is proposing new regulations, and clarifying and enhancing existing regulations, related to the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac or Corporation) Board governance and standards of conduct, including director election procedures, conflict-of-interest, and risk governance. We also propose enhancements to existing disclosure and reporting requirements to remove repetitive reporting and allow for electronic filing of reports. In keeping with today's financial and economic environment, we believe it prudent and timely to undertake a review of our regulatory guidance on the identified areas. We also propose rules on the examination and enforcement authorities held by the FCA Office of Secondary Market Oversight (OSMO) over Farmer Mac.

    DATES:

    You may send comments on or before June 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    We offer a variety of methods for you to submit your comments. For accuracy and efficiency reasons, commenters are encouraged to submit comments by email or through the FCA's Web site. As facsimiles (fax) are difficult for us to process and achieve compliance with section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, we are no longer accepting comments submitted by fax. Regardless of the method you use, please do not submit your comments multiple times via different methods. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Email: Send us an email at [email protected]

    FCA Web site: http://www.fca.gov. Select “Public Commenters,” then “Public Comments,” and follow the directions for “Submitting a Comment.”

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

    Mail: Laurie A. Rea, Director, Office of Secondary Market Oversight, Farm Credit Administration, 1501 Farm Credit Drive, McLean, VA 22102-5090.

    You may review copies of all comments we receive at our office in McLean, Virginia, or on our Web site at http://www.fca.gov. Once you are in the Web site, select “Public Commenters,” then “Public Comments,” and follow the directions for “Reading Submitted Public Comments.” We will show your comments as submitted, including any supporting data provided, but for technical reasons we may omit items such as logos and special characters. Identifying information that you provide, such as phone numbers and addresses, will be publicly available. However, we will attempt to remove email addresses to help reduce Internet spam.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joe Connor, Associate Director for Policy and Analysis, Office of Secondary Market Oversight, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA 22102-5090, (703) 883-4364, TTY (703) 883-4056, or Laura McFarland, Senior Counsel, Office of General Counsel, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA 22102-5090, (703) 883-4020, TTY (703) 883-4056.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Objective

    The purpose of this proposed rule is to:

    • Enhance risk governance at Farmer Mac to further its long-term safety and soundness and mission achievement;

    • Clarify the roles of the board and voting stockholders in the Farmer Mac director nomination and election process;

    • Enhance the usefulness, transparency, and consistency of conflict-of-interest reporting;

    • Clarify conflict-of-interest prohibitions;

    • Clarify the appropriate balance between a director's representational requirements and duties as director of Farmer Mac; and

    • Remove repetitious disclosure and reporting requirements, given the dual reporting responsibilities of Farmer Mac to the FCA and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

    II. Background

    Farmer Mac is a stockholder-owned, federally chartered instrumentality that is an institution of the Farm Credit System (System) and a Government-sponsored enterprise (GSE). Farmer Mac was established and chartered by the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 (1987 Act) 1 to create a secondary market for agricultural real estate mortgage loans, rural housing mortgage loans, rural utility cooperative loans, and the guaranteed portions of USDA-guaranteed farm and rural development loans. Title VIII of the Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended, (Act) governs Farmer Mac.

    1 Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 (Pub. L. 100-233, January 6, 1988).

    As a GSE, Farmer Mac has a public policy purpose embedded in its corporate mission. One aspect of this public policy mission includes financial services to customer-stakeholders (institutions that lend to farmers, ranchers, rural homeowners, and rural utility cooperatives) and the resulting flow-through benefits to rural borrowers. Another key aspect is the protection of taxpayer-stakeholders because the risk that Farmer Mac accepts in the course of business exposes both investors (debt and equity holders) and taxpayers to potential loss. The taxpayer's exposure arises in part from Farmer Mac's authority to issue debt to the Department of the Treasury to cover guarantee losses under certain adverse circumstances.2 Thus, an appropriately comprehensive approach to Board-level risk governance would acknowledge and consider all stakeholder groups.

    2 According to the 1987 Act, Farmer Mac, in certain circumstances, may borrow up to $1.5 billion from the U.S. Treasury to ensure timely payment of any guarantee obligations of the corporation. Pub. L. 100-233.

    Farmer Mac has two classes of voting common stock: Class A and Class B. Class A voting common stock is owned by banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions. Class B voting common stock is owned by System institutions. In addition, Farmer Mac has nonvoting common stock (Class C), the ownership of which is not restricted and is a means for Farmer Mac to raise capital. Farmer Mac may also issue nonvoting preferred stock.

    The Farmer Mac Board of Directors is, by statute, composed of 15 directors from three defined representative groups: Class A stockholders, Class B stockholders, and the general public.3 Each of the three groups has five directors on the Board. Congress further specified that the Farmer Mac elected directors “shall be elected by holders of common stock” from Class A and Class B.4 The directors representing the general public are appointed by the President of the United States (appointed directors). The Act limits the terms of elected directors to 1 year, while appointed directors serve for an unlimited duration “at the pleasure of the President” of the United States of America.5

    3 Section 8.2(b) of the Act (12 U.S.C. 2279aa-2(b)).

    4 Section 8.2(b)(2)(A) and (B) of the Act (12 U.S.C. 2279aa-2(b)(2)(A) and (B)).

    5 Section 8.2(b)(6) of the Act (12 U.S.C. 2279aa-2(b)(6)).

    Although the Farmer Mac Board is representative in nature, Congress chose a corporate structure to govern the operations of Farmer Mac. Common law corporate principles affirm the fiduciary duty of directors to act in the best interests of Farmer Mac and all of its stockholders. However, this fiduciary duty to stockholders must be understood in the context of the duty of the directors to further the statutory purpose and public mission of Farmer Mac.6

    6 Section 701 of the 1987 Act.

    A. Board Governance and Risk Management

    The essence of corporate governance is to facilitate an entity's proper accountability to all stakeholders and mitigate conflicts-of-interest. As part of this, it is essential that corporations practice sound risk management. Risk management includes the identification, assessment measurement, and controlling of risks that may arise from all aspects of business activities, pursuit of opportunities and the operating environment. In financial institutions, risk can be attributed to three broad categories: Credit risk, market risk, and operational risk. Usually, it is the board of directors who approve the overall risk-appetite of a company and monitor internal controls. A strong board integrates risk management and corporate governance processes to steer the corporation towards policies supporting long-term sustainable growth and mission achievement, in a manner that promotes controlled risk-taking in achievement of long-term strategic objectives rather than, for example, for short-term increases in stock price performance.

    The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (Sarbanes-Oxley) 7 established stronger reporting requirements and enhanced oversight for publicly held companies by increasing the responsibility and independence of corporate boards. The SEC issued, and continues to issue, regulations implementing the provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley. Self-regulatory organizations (SROs), the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Farmer Mac's case, have also issued requirements designed to enhance the accountability and transparency of corporate business operations. Also, in response to the financial crisis of 2007-2008, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act).8 Six of the Dodd-Frank Act provisions imposed new corporate governance requirements on public corporations.9 Most of these relate to executive compensation and shareholder proxy access.

    7 Pub. L. 107-204, July 30, 2002.

    8 Pub. L. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376, (H.R. 4173), July 21, 2010.

    9See Dodd-Frank Act, sections 951-955 of Subtitle E of Title IX, “Investor Protections and Improvements to the Regulation of Securities,” and sections 971-972.

    Farmer Mac, as a publicly traded company, is subject to many of the governance requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, and SEC disclosure regulations for publicly traded companies. However, with the recent events in the financial industry, increased sophistication in financial markets, and on-going scrutiny of GSE financial activities and related reporting practices, we believe it is prudent to update our current regulatory standards related to Farmer Mac's Board governance and reporting and disclosures in the interest of continuing the safety and soundness and public mission achievement of Farmer Mac. Portions of this proposed rule are related to some of the key governance provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank, such as director independence and conflict-of-interest reporting, but we are not addressing executive compensation disclosures at this time as we believe those are being adequately addressed by SEC regulations implementing Dodd-Frank, to which Farmer Mac is subject under section 8.12 of the Act.

    B. Rulemaking

    Farmer Mac is regulated by FCA through the FCA Office of Secondary Market Oversight (OSMO). Congress charged us to issue regulations to ensure mission compliance and the safety and soundness of Farmer Mac. When issuing regulations for Farmer Mac, the Act requires FCA to consider:

    • The purpose for which Farmer Mac was created;

    • The practices are appropriate to the conduct of secondary markets in agricultural loans; and

    • The reduced levels of risks associated with appropriately structured secondary market transactions.10

    10 Section 8.11(a)(1) and (2) of the Act (12 U.S.C. 2279aa-11).

    We issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on February 25, 2014, to solicit opinions and suggestions from investors, stockholders, and other interested parties on ways to enhance our regulation of Farmer Mac's governance activities.11 The comment period for the ANPRM ended April 28, 2014. We received seven comment letters in response to the ANPRM, including letters from Farmer Mac, the Farm Credit Council (Council), System banks and associations, Zions National Bank (Zions), the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Financing Corporation (CFC), and the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware (Weinberg Center). Commenters were divided on the need for additional regulatory guidance in the areas of corporate governance and standards of conduct. Farmer Mac, Zions, and CFC were generally opposed to modification to this section of the regulations. The Council and System banks and associations supported the overall initiative of improving regulatory provisions on Farmer Mac's Board governance. The Weinberg Center was generally supportive but voiced a cautionary note and strong opposition to an overly prescriptive approach toward the regulation of conflicts-of-interest and the recusal process, stating that good directors result from a sound elections process and thus are more than capable of managing those processes with an appropriate level of independent judgment and personal integrity.

    11 79 FR 10426.

    Those opposing a rulemaking argued that FCA does not possess general rulemaking authority over Farmer Mac, with Farmer Mac specifically remarking that corporate governance is not a component of FCA's safety and soundness oversight. Zions commented that the current practices at Farmer Mac, combined with current regulations, already result in best practices being in place at Farmer Mac. Those favoring a rulemaking commented that it is appropriate and necessary for FCA to establish regulations making clear that Class A and Class B directors are duty bound to represent the interest of their respective Class and clarify that this duty is not a conflict-of-interest. Commenters affiliated with the System asked that any rulemaking safeguard against reducing the rights of Class A and Class B shareholders. The Weinberg Center comment letter emphasized the importance of crisis management plans to guide a corporation's response to adverse events, but discouraged overly prescriptive regulations. The Weinberg Center also noted that any required risk committee should be viewed as a supplemental oversight body and not a reassignment of risk management duties and authorities from other board committees.

    We last issued regulations on Farmer Mac Board governance and standards of conduct on March 1, 1994 (59 FR 9622). In that rulemaking, we implemented the requirements of section 514 of the Farm Credit Banks and Associations Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 (1992 Act) 12 by requiring Farmer Mac to adopt a conflict-of-interest policy defining the types of relationships, transactions, or activities that might reasonably be expected to give rise to potential conflicts. Congress explained in the 1992 Act that disclosure of financial information and potential conflict-of-interest reporting by institution directors, officers, and employees—including Farmer Mac—helps ensure the financial viability of the System. This concept is also reflected in many of the provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley.

    12 Pub. L. 102-552, 106 Stat. 4131.

    We believe this proposed rulemaking clarifies existing board responsibilities and authorities while providing the Corporation Board with more tools to carry out its fiduciary and oversight responsibilities. This rule would set forth a minimum level of good governance practices that would assure stakeholders of the continuing safe and sound operation of the Corporation. Regulations necessarily place limits on the Corporation's flexibility, but in exchange ensure appropriate business practices are consistently followed in all operating environments. Our intent in this rulemaking is to provide performance criteria in some areas while also setting safe and sound operational directions in others to provide for an effective safety and soundness framework. Finally, the proposed rule gives full consideration to our examination of the Corporation and the role examinations play in ensuring its safe and sound operations. Taken together, we believe the following proposed regulatory changes on Farmer Mac corporate governance would improve the effectiveness and transparency of its governance practices, as well as promote its continued safe and sound operations.

    In addition to substantive changes, we propose reorganizing our rules addressing Farmer Mac's operations by adding a new part 653 which is currently reserved, revising existing parts 650, 651, and 655, adding subparts to parts 650 and 651, and revising existing subparts in part 655. We also propose adding definition sections to all these parts. We propose no changes to part 652 or reserved part 654.

    III. Section-by-Section Analysis A. FCA Oversight and Rulemaking [Part 650]

    Existing part 650 contains general provisions, without subparts, on the supervision of Farmer Mac. We propose adding a new subpart A, entitled “Regulation, examination and enforcement,” to address the authorities of OSMO. We also propose moving existing §§ 650.1 through 650.80 into a new subpart B, entitled “Conservators, receivers, and liquidations.” We then propose redesignating existing §§ 650.1 and 650.5 on appointing and removing receivers or conservators as new §§ 650.13 and 650.14 to make room for the provisions of new subpart A. We are proposing no other changes to these existing provisions.

    We propose adding a new § 650.1 in subpart A for definitions of certain terms used in part 650. We propose adding definitions for the following terms:

    • The Act;

    • Business day;

    • Corporation or Farmer Mac;

    • FCA, OSMO, our, and we;

    • NYSE and SEC;

    • Securities Act; and

    • Signed.

    We also propose a new § 650.2 to provide clarity on the situation of Farmer Mac having FCA as its primary regulator, while also being subject to certain SEC regulatory requirements. The proposed § 650.2 would identify FCA the “primary regulator” of Farmer Mac, possessing examination, enforcement, conservatorship, liquidation, and receivership authority over Farmer Mac. Section 8.11 of the Act specifies that FCA holds oversight, regulation, examination, and enforcement authority over Farmer Mac to ensure it operates in a safe and sound manner. Further, FCA has the authority to regulate how Farmer Mac performs its powers, functions, and duties in furtherance of its public policy purposes. The new § 650.2 would also recognize that Farmer Mac, as a publicly traded company, follows the SEC disclosure regulations for publicly traded companies. We selected the term “primary regulator” to explain FCA's role as the safety and soundness regulator of Farmer Mac based on the recent adoption of the term in the financial industry after passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, where it is used to distinguish the different roles of federal regulators in the financial industry.13

    13 Discussions surrounding passage of the Dodd-Frank Act recognized the long-standing situation where, although only one regulator is the primary regulator, financial institutions are required to comply with various federal financial laws and regulations issued and enforced by several banking regulators.

    We next propose a new § 650.3 to incorporate into our regulations the supervision and enforcement authorities given us under the Act to provide reasonable assurance that, among other things, Farmer Mac is adequately capitalized and operating safely. Financial safety and soundness supervision involves monitoring, inspecting, and examining Farmer Mac to assess its condition and compliance with law and regulation. We believe identifying in our regulations the minimum authorities of OSMO to require corrective or remedial actions by Farmer Mac, as well as to take such enforcement action as deemed to be appropriate, will add clarity and facilitate the general supervision of Farmer Mac.14

    14 These minimum supervisory authorities are designed to ensure that action is taken to avoid the emergence of problems that might entail serious risks to Farmer Mac.

    We are proposing new § 650.4 to address our authority to access Farmer Mac records and personnel in the exercise of our examination and oversight authority. The FCA, acting through OSMO, examines and provides general supervision over the activities of Farmer Mac pursuant to section 8.11 of the Act. Section 5.17(a)(11) of the Act provides that FCA may “Exercise such incidental powers as may be necessary or appropriate to fulfill its duties and carry out the purposes of this Act.” Access to Farmer Mac's documents and personnel is incidental to the supervision and examination of Farmer Mac. We believe new § 650.4 will clarify our expectations of the Corporation in providing us this access.

    Finally, we are proposing new §§ 650.5 and 650.6, containing cross-citations to existing regulatory provisions regarding access to FCA Reports of Examination and Farmer Mac's obligation to make criminal referrals in certain circumstances. We believe these cross-cites will clarify the applicability of these provisions to Farmer Mac, and thereby facilitate compliance with them.

    B. Farmer Mac Corporate Governance [Part 651]

    Existing part 651 contains the corporate governance provisions for Farmer Mac, without subparts. We propose adding the following subparts:

    • Subpart A, entitled “General,” to address general corporate governance matters;

    • Subpart B, entitled “Standards of Conduct,” to contain the existing provisions of part 651; and

    • Subpart C, entitled “Board Governance,” to address Board-level activities, including director elections, fiduciary duties, and Board committees.

    We then propose placing existing § 651.1 into new subpart A and placing existing §§ 651.2 through 651.4 into new subpart B, while also revising them.

    1. General Corporate Governance [New Subpart A] a. Definitions [Existing § 651.1]

    We propose placing the existing definitions of § 651.1 in new subpart A, modifying certain existing terms and adding new terms to the section. We propose modifying the existing meaning of “material” and “resolved” to cover all conflicts, not just potential ones, and modifying the existing meaning of a “potential conflict-of-interest” to remove the list of imputed interests. We also propose adding to this part the definitions proposed for part 650 (listed in section III.A. of this preamble), except the terms in proposed § 650.1(e), (h), and (i).

    We propose the following additional terms for part 651:

    • Appointed director;

    • Class A stockholders;

    • Class B stockholders;

    • Director elections;

    • Elected director; and

    • Reasonable person.

    The above terms and their meanings, except “reasonable person”, are based on sections 8.2 and 8.4 of the Act and the manner in which FCA has consistently applied them over the years. The proposed definition for the term “reasonable person” is based on use of the term in conflict-of-interest proceedings and substantially resembles the legal meaning of term.

    b. Indemnifications [New § 651.2]

    We propose new § 651.2 on indemnifications of directors, officers, and employees to address indemnifications that Farmer Mac may offer. The provision would recognize that the decision of whether to offer indemnification is a business decision of Farmer Mac and not required by law or regulation. However, new § 651.2 would require Farmer Mac, in the interest of safety and soundness, to establish policies and procedures for offering indemnification insurance before any such indemnification occurs. As proposed, the required procedures would have to address: When and how indemnification is offered, safeguards to avoid over-indemnification, and reviews of any indemnification made. The policies and procedures may also address when indemnification payments will be made and how those payments will be calculated. For example, the policy might provide that Farmer Mac will give consideration to any other source of indemnification when calculating indemnification or prohibit indemnification when a director, officer, or employee is already covered by an indemnification policy separate from that offered by Farmer Mac. We proposed these provisions to set adequate controls over indemnification practices in order to prevent unintended consequences such as over-indemnification. Finally, the proposed § 651.2 would require notice to OSMO before an indemnification payment is made. The notice would provide the opportunity for OSMO to evaluate, prior to payment, the impact of an indemnification payment to the safety and soundness of Farmer Mac.

    2. Standards of Conduct [New Subpart B] a. Code of Conduct [New § 651.21]

    We propose adding a new § 651.21 in new subpart B to require a written code of conduct that establishes ethical benchmarks for the professional behavior of Farmer Mac directors, officers, employees, and agents. The proposed code of conduct would resemble existing § 651.4(a)(1) and the “Code of Business Conduct and Ethics” currently maintained by Farmer Mac pursuant to section 406 of Sarbanes-Oxley, with the key difference being that the Code would set benchmarks for professional integrity, competence, and respect. The proposed provision would require a review of the Code every 3 years.

    b. Conflict-of-Interest Policy [Existing §§ 651.2 and 651.3(b); New § 651.22]

    We propose moving existing § 651.2, which requires Farmer Mac to have a conflict-of-interest policy, to new subpart B and redesignating it as new § 651.22. In addition, we propose changes and additions to the existing provision. Some of the proposed changes are organizational and grammatical changes, as well as intended to incorporate the proposed new terms from revised § 651.1. Organizational changes mainly consist of consolidating like provisions with each other, such as moving existing § 651.3(b), requiring release of the conflict-of-interest policy, to new § 651.22(d).

    We propose the following substantive changes and additions for new § 651.22:

    • Requiring that the conflict-of-interest policy consider the required representational affiliations of elected directors.15

    15 Under the Act, two-thirds of the Farmer Mac's directors are elected by entities who own the only two classes of voting stock. These entities also have a business relationship with Farmer Mac. In addition, elected directors must possess a representational relationship to the class of stockholders electing them and this relationship must be “close” at the time of election. Because the elected directors are from entities that have financial relationships of varying degrees with Farmer Mac, it presents difficulties in adopting the common corporate governance practices and policies (i.e., “best practices”).

    • Moving to new paragraph (b)(1) the list of imputed interests that are currently part of the existing definition of a “potential conflict-of-interest” (proposed to be removed from the definition).

    • Revising the list of imputed interest in new paragraph (b)(1) by removing highly specific relationships such as “spouse” and “child” and replacing them with language to address all persons residing in the household or who are otherwise legal dependents. This change is premised on the ever-evolving understanding of what is considered a family as well as intended to address non-residential dependents whose activities and interests may create a conflict-of-interest for a director, officer, or employee.

    • Adding as new paragraph (b)(1)(iv) an exception to the imputed interest list for relationships maintained solely because of the representational nature of elected directorships. Since this relationship is required by the Act, it should not be treated as a conflict-of-interest.16 Instead, we are proposing other provisions in new §§ 651.21, 651.24 and 651.40 to address how directors are to handle this affiliation while also maintaining their duty of loyalty to the Corporation.

    16 Section 8.2(b)(2)(A) and (B) and (b)(5)(A) and (B) of the Act (12 U.S.C. 2279aa-2(b)).

    • Adding as new paragraph (b)(4) a requirement that conflict-of-interest procedures address recusals when conflicts are identified. We believe this requirement is necessary to ensure a standard approach to recusals is used by the Corporation and to ensure directors, officers, and employees have notice of the expectation to recuse themselves when a conflict-of-interest exists.

    • Adding as new paragraph (b)(5) a requirement that conflict-of-interest procedures define documentation and reporting requirements to ensure compliance with conflict-of-interest decisions.

    • Removing the requirement for negative conflict-of-interest reports from directors, officers, and employees. This negative reporting is unnecessary as other proposed changes would require an annual filing from all directors, officers and employees, in which it may be reported that no conflicts exist.

    As a GSE, the Corporation has strategic objectives that are both commercially and public policy oriented. Conflicts-of-interest must be understood and interpreted not only in the context of the fiduciary responsibilities to the Corporation and its shareholders, but also in the context of the statutory duty to further the Congressional purposes the Corporation was chartered to achieve. We believe conflict-of-interest to be among the most potentially complex and nuanced areas of corporate governance. We intend the minimum specifications set forth in the proposed rule to facilitate the uniform disclosure, identification, and treatment of directors, officers, employees and agent holding employment, contractual business relationships, or other relationships and interests that may interfere with that person's ability to serve the interests of the Corporation before serving personal interests.

    c. Conflict-of-Interest Disclosure and Reporting [Existing §§ 651.2(b) and (f) and 651.3; New § 651.23]

    We propose moving existing § 651.2, regarding conflict-of-interest reports, to new subpart B and redesignating it as new § 651.23. In addition, we propose changes to the existing provision. Some of the proposed changes are organizational and grammatical changes, as well as intended to incorporate the proposed new terms from revised § 651.1. Organizational changes mainly consist of consolidating reporting and disclosure provisions currently located in both existing §§ 651.2 and 651.3. Included in the organization proposal is to move existing § 651.2(b), requiring annual conflict-of-interest reports, to new § 651.23(a) and moving existing § 651.2(f), requiring internal controls for conflict-of-interest disclosures, to new § 651.23(e).

    We propose the following substantive changes and additions for new § 651.23:

    • Specifying that the sufficiency of a conflict-of-interest report is based on a “reasonable person” standard.

    • Requiring in new paragraph (a) that conflict-of-interest reports be signed. While the signature element may have been implied in the past, we believe it is best to specify it as a requirement.

    • Specifying in new paragraph (a)(1) that the transactions, relationships, and activities identified as creating real or potential conflicts are based on (1) the opinion of the person filing the report, (2) conflicts specifically identified in Farmer Mac's policies, and (3) conflicts identified in FCA regulation. We are proposing this specificity to ensure a common understanding of the basis used by persons completing conflict-of-interest reports. By specifying the sources used when determining if a transaction, relationship, or activity creates a conflict, it should be easier to identify omissions and remove doubts as to what needs to be reported. However, if doubt remains, we encourage every person completing a conflict-of-interest report to err on the side of inclusion, rather than omission.

    • Requiring in new paragraph (b) that Farmer Mac review conflict-of-interest reports within 10 business days of receipt, and if a conflict is identified as material, to document its findings. We believe time is of the essence in identifying material conflicts in order to take necessary actions to minimize the impact of the conflict on the operations of Farmer Mac. We believe it is important that conflicts identified as “material” be clearly documented, as well as the rationale used to make the determination. It is essential that the basis for any “materiality” determination be supported by appropriate documentation to avoid misunderstandings and to minimize the potential for abuse of the process.

    • Requiring in new paragraph (b)(2) that Farmer Mac notify a filer within 3 business days when a reported conflict has been identified as material and provide filers with an opportunity to respond to the materiality determination. We believe that material conflict determinations should be explained to those impacted by such determinations. We also believe it is necessary for the Corporation and the person with the conflict to hold discussions about the conflict. These discussions could add clarity to the process, help avoid mistaken “materiality” determination, and provide the opportunity for the person with the conflict to resolve it quickly.

    • Requiring in new paragraph (c) that Farmer Mac document material conflicts-of-interest and the efforts made to address the conflicts. The requirement for documentation of conflicts is a good business practice, which we recognize Farmer Mac has already been employing. However, we believe a regulatory requirement is necessary to ensure the practice continues.

    • Clarifying that the existing disclosure to shareholders and investors of unresolved material conflicts applies to those conflicts that remain unresolved as of the date of the annual report or proxy statement. The requirement does not include conflicts resolved during the reporting period beyond updating those previously reported as “unresolved.”

    • Requiring in new paragraph (d)(3) that Farmer Mac notify OSMO of unresolved material conflicts-of-interest. As the safety and soundness regulatory, we need to remain informed of any conflicts that could potentially affect the on-going operations of Farmer Mac. For example, if a conflict remains unresolved for months and that person has been recused from performing their full duties, we would want to know what Farmer Mac has done to address the impact of that recusal. This is especially true if a director or senior officer holds the unresolved conflict.

    • Limiting the existing requirement that reports of conflicts must be maintained for 6 years to only material conflicts. We believe this change will balance the recordkeeping burden with the value obtained from the longevity of the records. Material conflicts are the ones that will result in recusal actions and most likely to last or reappear. As such, they are more valuable to retain for historical reference. However, this provision would not prevent Farmer Mac from retaining all records for the 6-year period, if it so desires.

    • Requiring in new paragraph (g) that Farmer Mac establish procedures for obtaining conflict-of-interest disclosures from agents of the Corporation. Agents of any corporation have a standing that differs from directors, officers, and employees. As such, we believe Farmer Mac should have procedures in place to provide reasonable assurance that their agents hold no material conflicts that could adversely affect the work those agents perform on behalf of Farmer Mac. As Farmer Mac's operations grow and its products and lines of business diversify, identification and prevention of potential conflicts become more challenging and make our enhanced regulatory focus on this topic timely and appropriate.

    d. Director, Officer, Employee, and Agent Responsibilities [Existing § 651.4; New § 651.24]

    We propose moving existing § 651.4 to new subpart B and redesignating the section as new § 651.24. This section addresses director, officer, employee, and agent responsibilities. We also propose replacing the contents of existing § 651.4(a)(1) requiring directors, officers, employees, and agents to maintain a high standard of behavior with the earlier discussed code of conduct at new § 651.21. We next propose removing existing § 651.4(a)(2) and (b), which requires directors, officers, employees, and agents to comply with the Corporation's conflict-of-interest policy and provide the Corporation with any information the Corporation deems necessary or face penalties. We propose removing these provisions as they are unnecessary in light of other proposed changes contained in this rulemaking. For example, we have already proposed addressing our enforcement authorities in new § 650.3 and conflicts-of-interest in new § 651.22.

    Instead, we propose this section address the actions of directors, officers, employees, and agents in regards to the Corporation, its property, and its reputation. We propose under new § 651.24 listing prohibitions on the conduct of directors, officers, employees, and agents. The proposed prohibitions are on making misleading or untrue statements of material facts regarding Farmer Mac, improper use of the official property and information of Farmer Mac, and disclosing confidential information related to Farmer Mac when not in the performance of official duties. We believe these prohibitions are necessary because, as a GSE and a publicly traded corporation, misinformation deliberately provided to outside parties could have a materially adverse impact on the safety and soundness of the Corporation.

    3. Board Governance [New Subpart C] a. Director Elections [New § 651.30]

    It is common corporate practice to use a board committee, often the corporate governance committee, to name director-nominees and Farmer Mac follows this practice.17 In consideration of this, we are proposing regulations to ensure the director election process at Farmer Mac complies with the provisions of the Act and Congressional intent. In new § 651.30, we propose a requirement that Farmer Mac have election policies and procedures in place and that Farmer Mac implement those policies and procedures in a fair and impartial manner. New § 651.30 would set forth the minimum requirements for the director election policies and procedures, including allowing all equity holders to submit director-candidates for nomination consideration. The proposed provision would facilitate the establishment of nomination procedures that provide reasonable assurance of an inclusive and fair process as potential directors are considered for nomination. The provision should not be read as requiring the nomination of every candidate submitted by an equity holder.18 Any such candidate would go through the Corporation's nomination process the same as all other director-candidates. For example, if a director-candidate submitted by an equity holder is not eligible for election as a director of the Corporation, there would be no requirement for Farmer Mac to include the candidate as a nominee.

    17 Under this corporate practice, Farmer Mac uses its Governance Committee as its nominating committee, which identifies candidates for elected director positions. This six member committee is composed of two Class A elected directors, two Class B elected directors, and two appointed directors.

    18 The Dodd-Frank Act, at § 971 of subtitle G, amended the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 to allow shareholders of publicly traded companies to submit director-nominees for election to corporate boards. The provision was viewed as a step in strengthening corporate governance by providing an alternative to shareholder proxy fights while also avoiding director entrenchment through self-nomination.

    New § 651.30 would also allow the board committee responsible for nominations to engage the services of third parties to evaluate the professional qualifications of candidates prior to nomination. We believe allowing the board committee used for nominations to engage third parties to vet candidates can aid in achieving timely and objective evaluation of director-candidates.

    Next, new § 651.30(b)(3) would require the nomination of a director-candidate to include affirmative votes for nomination from a majority of those involved in the Corporation's nomination process who also represent the same class of stockholders as the candidate. Since the voting stockholders are only presented with one director-candidate per board vacancy—and Farmer Mac no longer allows floor nominations 19 —the nomination of director-candidates takes on higher importance, particularly given the statutory requirement that 10 of the 15 members of the Farmer Mac Board be elected by Class A and B stockholders.

    19 Farmer Mac is not required by law or existing regulation to have a nominating committee nor is it required to allow floor nominations.

    We are not proposing to require the use of nominating committees or floor nominations in this rulemaking. However, we believe requiring director-candidates to have majority support from those involved in the nomination process who share the candidate's affiliation with either Class A or Class B stockholders facilitates fulfillment of the statutory provision that both Class A and Class B stockholders determine who will represent them on the Corporation's Board. In situations where a “majority” would mathematically result in a fraction, we would expect the next whole number to be used (e.g., three representatives would mean a majority of two, four representatives would mean a majority of three). If there are only two representatives from a Class involved in the nomination process, then we would consider a majority to be one person.

    The proposed rule at new § 651.30(c) would require Farmer Mac to document the representational affiliation of all elected directors at the time of nomination and election to the board and maintain this documentation until 3 years after the director's service on the board ends. Such recordkeeping would help ensure only those eligible to serve as directors representing Class A or Class B are nominated. We also believe a 3-year record of director affiliations could be of assistance when reviewing director-candidates up for re-election. We believe the statutory term “representative” means that elected directors must have an official affiliation with a Class A or Class B entity at the time of nomination and election in order to serve as director. We view this affiliation as one that is a substantial and visible connection to the class of stockholders.

    b. Director Removal [New § 651.35]

    The proposed new § 651.35 would require Farmer Mac to identify its director removal procedures in the Corporation's bylaws, which are available to shareholders. We believe shareholders are entitled to know how Farmer Mac determines when to require a director to resign (director removal) and how that removal action is achieved. It is important that shareholders understand Farmer Mac's actions in this area since nothing in the proposed provision would affect the ability of voting shareholders to exercise their rights in the election and governance of Farmer Mac's Board of Directors. To further emphasize this, the rule would prohibit Farmer Mac from initiating a director's removal in a manner that would adversely affect the rights of voting shareholders. The rule would also recognize that appointed directors serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States.

    We are also proposing language to explain what is considered a “director removal” action initiated by the Corporation. Publicly traded companies use contractual agreements with their directors to ensure certain behavior (e.g., confidentiality of company data, standards of conduct). Often, these contracts include a provision requiring a director to “voluntarily” resign if the company determines (and a court later affirms) that the director failed to act in accordance with the agreement. Corporate directors are required to sign these agreements in order to take office and objecting to the “voluntarily” resignation provision(s) may result in being denied a seat on the board. These types of contractual provisions are commonly referred to as mandatory resignations and are intended to avoid the cost and time required to pursue a forced removal action.

    We propose that all director resignations required or otherwise initiated by Farmer Mac be called “director removals.” We believe when a director must resign (or is deemed to have resigned) in response to a Farmer Mac bylaw, policy, or other governing document, that the resignation was initiated by the Corporation since Farmer Mac drafted the document at issue. Further, we believe that when Farmer Mac requires directors, director-nominees, and/or director-candidates to accede to a resignation provision in order to serve on the board of directors that, even if characterized as “voluntary,” it is more appropriately called a removal provision.

    The proposed rule would further require Farmer Mac to notify OSMO at least 14 days before seeking the removal of one of its directors. This advance notice is considered necessary to protect the safety and soundness of Farmer Mac. We view this level of advance reporting to be appropriate given the potential for sudden changes in the board's membership to result in instability within the management and oversight of the Corporation or to raise concerns about the Corporation in the capital markets, or both.

    c. Director Fiduciary Duties and Independence [New § 651.40]

    We are proposing a new § 651.40 that requires Farmer Mac to have policies in place to provide reasonable assurance that its Board of directors maintains responsibility for and provides appropriate oversight of the risk management activities of Farmer Mac, the reports and disclosures issued by Farmer Mac, and shareholder communications. Also, new § 651.40 would clarify the duty of directors to conduct the business of the Corporation in a manner that promotes the best interest of the Corporation and furthers its statutory mission. As a GSE, Farmer Mac should strive to ensure that its Board activities fulfill its public missions. Unlike corporations incorporated under State statutes of incorporation, statutorily chartered GSEs are not free to alter their purposes or powers, even when such alteration may be in the best interest of the investing stockholders. For GSEs, such changes can only be made by law. Thus, it is the responsibility of Farmer Mac directors to lead the Corporation in the manner that best effectuates the public policy it was designed to serve.

    Paragraphs (b) and (c) of the proposed provision would set forth key duties of the Farmer Mac Board, among which are the duty to act in good faith and for the best interest of Farmer Mac, as well as acting fairly and impartially without discriminating in favor of or against any investor, stockholder, or group of stockholders. The proposed provisions are intended to ensure that all directors, regardless of how they acquired their seats on the board of directors, understand that they are bound by their fiduciary duty to Farmer Mac and, as a result, act for the betterment of Farmer Mac overall and not any particular group of shareholders or investors. We believe these provisions are necessary to clarify that the required elected director affiliations should not be interpreted to mean an elected director serves solely to further the viewpoints of the electing class without regard to the impact on Farmer Mac and all its shareholders. Such an interpretation would be inconsistent with the established corporate common law principles of a director's fiduciary duties, as well as with Congressional intent. The fiduciary duties of directors are essential to good governance and necessary to the safe and sound operation of the Corporation. Thus, directors failing to fulfill this fiduciary duty could have a negative impact on the safety and soundness of Farmer Mac.

    The proposed provisions are another step in ensuring directors maintain their duty of loyalty to the Corporation, notwithstanding any required affiliation with a group of stockholders. However, they are not to be read as requiring elected directors to disregard the perspectives of those electing them to office. Instead, we believe elected directors should share these perspectives with the entire Board so that every director is informed of stockholder concerns and views, thus facilitating Board decisions and ensuring those decisions are being made in the best interests of the Corporation and all of its shareholders.

    In balance with the other requirements of new § 651.40, and to help ensure the rule is not misapplied, proposed paragraph (d) would protect the ability of directors to be accountable to the shareholders that elected them. We recognize that fiduciary duties to shareholders must be understood in the context of the duty of the elected directors to possess a representational relationship with certain groups of shareholders. As such, the provision, as proposed, would specifically allow directors to comment on non-private and non-privileged corporate business, provided doing so will not violate any laws or regulations, particularly securities laws. The intent is to allow directors to converse with stockholders as a means of gathering information, gaining insights into stockholder wishes, and demonstrating accountability. The provision clarifies that this authority does not prevent Farmer Mac from protecting proprietary information. It is an established corporate governance principle that once elected to the board a director owes his or her fiduciary duties, including a duty of confidentiality, to the company and shareholders as a whole. As such, the proposed rule would clarify that Farmer Mac may take measures to ensure each director abides by policies defining and specifying the treatment of the Corporation's confidential information, including restricting directors from disclosing the Corporation's confidential information to the shareholders electing them to serve on the Corporation's board. We believe the proposed § 651.40 strikes the appropriate balance between a director's representational duties required by the Act and his or her corporate fiduciary duties.

    d. Committees of the Board [New § 651.50]

    We propose a new § 651.50 on board committees in subpart C. The new § 651.50 would address the relationship between the entire board and its committees, require certain committees, place membership requirements on the committees, and establish minimum operational requirements for board committees (e.g., charters, meeting minutes). The proposed committees would resemble those currently maintained by Farmer Mac, but with the key differences in committee composition.

    In paragraph (a) of new § 651.50, we propose limiting the authority of the board to delegate its collective authority to develop and amend Farmer Mac bylaws to a committee of the board. This provision would not prevent board committees from making recommendations on the bylaws to the entire board. We also propose regulatory language holding the entire board accountable for committee actions. In directing the Corporation, the board of directors may rely on reports from board committees, but doing so does not relieve the board of final responsibility.

    In paragraph (b) of new § 651.50, we propose that Farmer Mac have, at the minimum, committees to address risk management, audit, compensation, and corporate governance matters. We propose that there be separate committees dedicated to audit and risk management and that these committees not be tasked with other matters. Our reasoning in support of this proposal is that the oversight responsibilities of each of these two committees represent an aggregation of a very broad array of issues and detailed operational policies and procedures that cover essentially the entire breadth of the Corporation's operations—in addition to the associated ongoing monitoring of all of these. We believe a portfolio of responsibility any larger for either committee would be excessive and risk a severe dilution in a committee's effectiveness.

    In paragraph (c) of new § 651.50, we propose that each board committee be established through a written charter. We further propose that committee charters specify the powers, responsibilities, and structure of each committee. We further propose that each committee have both elected and appointed directors and that among the elected directors there be ones with affiliations to both Class A and Class B stockholders. Similarly, we propose that no director may serve as a committee chair of more than one committee. Our intent is to ensure that the Farmer Mac Board reasonably distributes responsibilities among individual members of the board. We believe that too great a concentration of responsibilities would detract from the board's overall effectiveness.

    In paragraph (d) of new § 651.50, we propose requiring each board committee to have meeting minutes and to keep the minutes for 3 years. We propose that the minutes include the agenda for the meeting, attendance, a summary of pertinent discussions held during the meeting, and any resulting committee recommendations. In proposing this requirement, we are not seeking transcripts of meetings, but a record of matters addressed by the committee and who participated in the meeting in sufficient detail to allow the reader a reasonable understanding of the substance of the discussion. We propose no set meeting schedule for committees, but do propose a requirement that each committee meet with sufficient frequency to fulfill its duties. We believe these provisions would facilitate both the historical context of policies and procedures for future management teams and directors as well as facilitate the regulatory oversight of board activity.

    In proposing new § 651.50, we intend no conflict with SEC regulations on the structure of board committees and welcome comments identifying any potential conflict that might exist between the proposed provision and SEC requirements. Where our proposal contains provisions on board committees that would be requirements, but which are optional under existing SEC rules, it was intentional as we believe the requirements facilitate the safe and sound operations of Farmer Mac.

    C. Risk Management [Part 653, No Subparts]

    We propose opening existing reserved part 653 to add risk management provisions for Farmer Mac, renaming the part, “Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Risk Management.” We propose no subparts to part 653, but propose adding the following provisions:

    • A new § 653.1 to contain the definitions of certain terms used in part 653;

    • A new § 653.2 to address general board-level risk management matters;

    • A new § 653.3 to contain required risk management programs and activities; and

    • A new § 653.4 to contain requirements for internal controls.

    We discuss the proposed §§ 653.1 through 653.4 below.

    1. Definitions [New § 653.1]

    We propose as new § 653.1 definitions for the terms “Corporation”, “FCA”, and “OSMO.” We are proposing the same meaning as are proposed elsewhere in this rulemaking. We propose these definitions to ensure a common understanding of the terms as used in part 653.

    2. General [New § 653.2]

    We propose in new § 653.2 to require the Farmer Mac Board approve the overall risk-appetite and tolerance of the Corporation. We believe that while management may design and implement the Corporation's internal controls, the Board remains ultimately responsible for how those controls affect the risk management of the Corporation. The Board's oversight of internal controls is a critical component of its responsibility for monitoring corporate activities and providing reasonable assurance that the controls will prevent excessive risk-taking or unsafe and unsound activities.

    3. Risk Management [New § 653.3]

    A comprehensive and integrated risk management program significantly enhances the coordination of risk decision-making as well as capital allocation among individual business units and allows the units to act within the context of the broader risk-taking activities and risk tolerance limits of the Corporation. Although the Corporation has recently expanded its risk management program to include a risk committee, we propose in new § 653.3(a) to require Farmer Mac to have a risk management program addressing the Corporation's exposure to credit, market, liquidity, operations, and reputation risks. As proposed, the rule would require the risk management program to include:

    • Periodic assessments of the Corporation's risk profile, with related adjustments to the Corporation's operations;

    • Coordination with board-approved risk tolerance levels;

    • Delineation of management's authority and independence in implementing the program; and

    • Integration with Corporation goals, business objectives, and compensation.

    As referenced in the discussion of proposed § 651.50 (preamble section III.C.3.d.), we are proposing in new § 653.3(b) to require Farmer Mac to have a risk management committee. As proposed, the membership of the risk committee would include a risk management expert. Also, we are proposing that the risk committee be responsible for reviewing the design of the risk management program and receiving management reports on risk management issues, as well as monitoring the Corporation's risk management policies and procedures. We believe it is essential that the tone of Corporation's risk culture and its procedures for risk decision-making be set by the Board even when they are based on management's recommendations. Further, the Board plays a critical role in the ongoing oversight of, and cohesive implementation of, operational strategies and plans that conform to its established risk appetite and tolerance.

    We also propose in new § 653.3(c) to require Farmer Mac to have a “Risk Officer” to implement the risk management program. We are proposing that the risk officer report directly to the chief executive officer and risk committee. We also propose that the risk officer be separated from other management functions to ensure s/he devotes full attention to Farmer Mac's risk management activities. Under new § 653.3(c), the risk officer would have to have experience in risk management commensurate with Farmer Mac's operations. The risk officer also would be responsible for monitoring compliance with risk management policies; developing systems to identify and report risks; and making recommendations to adjust risk management behaviors. We believe a staff position that serves as coordinator of the consistent and collaborative implementation of corporate risk policies and objectives across business units is necessary. A risk officer could help coordinate, organize, prioritize and monitor risks on behalf of the CEO and Board risk committee.

    As financial institutions become larger and more complex, which Farmer Mac has since it was chartered by Congress in 1987, the need arises for a continuous, coordinated, and comprehensive oversight of the broad spectrum of current and prospective risks the entity faces. A key role of a risk officer is to prevent the emergence of isolated risk “silos” among the entity's business units and ensure a consistent and integrated monitoring of key sources of risks, such as strategic risks (including reputation and political risk), compliance risks, and reporting risks. We believe requiring a risk officer position at Farmer Mac plays a key role in ensuring that the Board and CEO are adequately informed regarding the Corporation's aggregate risk position—thus providing reasonable assurance of the achievement of corporate and mission objectives. In addition, having a risk officer position is considered a best practice for financial institutions over $10 billion and is consistent with Basel's Pillar 2 on Risk Management and Risk Supervision.

    4. Internal Controls [New § 653.4]

    A sound system of comprehensive and integrated internal controls is vital to the operations of any organization and especially those whose business is taking financial risk. In the 26 years since Farmer Mac was chartered, business and operational environments have become significantly more complex and technology-driven. Systems of internal controls should dynamically respond to such changes in complexity—not just in business unit operations but also in compliance with increasingly complex laws, regulations, and industry standards. Thus, while FCA regulations on various aspects of Farmer Mac's operations (e.g., investments, liquidity, capital planning) include specific minimum control requirements related to those operations, we believe a Corporation-wide integrated system of internal controls is also appropriate. Accordingly, we propose in new § 653.4 to require Farmer Mac to adopt internal controls for the proper treatment of and accountability for the programs, operations, and resources of Farmer Mac.

    The proposed provision would require an internal controls system that addresses: The effectiveness of corporate activities; security of corporate assets; accuracy and completeness of financial reports; separation of duties to avoid conflicts in responsibilities; transparent reports to the Farmer Mac board; and compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and corporate policies. The new § 653.4 would also require Farmer Mac to have a system to correct weaknesses identified by the internal controls program. Finally, we are proposing an annual reporting requirement, where Farmer Mac would report to OSMO on the effectiveness of the internal controls program.

    D. Disclosure and Reporting [Part 655]

    Existing part 655 contains financial disclosure and reporting provisions for Farmer Mac in two subparts: Subpart A on annual reports and subpart B on securities reports. We propose organizational changes to this part as follows:

    • Adding a new subpart A, entitled “General” to address the matters common to disclosures and reports;

    • Renaming and redesignating the existing subpart A as new subpart B, to be called “Reports of Condition of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation;”

    • Redesignating existing subpart B as new subpart C;

    • Adding a new § 655.1 to identify the definitions of certain terms used in part 655;

    • Adding a new § 655.2 to prohibit misleading, inaccurate, or incomplete disclosures;

    • Moving existing § 655.1 on annual reports, currently under existing subpart A, to new subpart B and redesignating it as § 655.10;

    • Adding a new § 655.15 on the distribution of interim notices and proxies to new subpart B;

    • Moving, renaming, and redesignating existing § 655.50 on securities not registered under the Securities Act, currently under existing subpart B, as new § 655.20 in new subpart C; and

    • Adding a new § 655.21 on communications with the U.S. Treasury, SEC, and NYSE.

    We also propose enhancements to existing disclosure and reporting requirements of part 655 to remove repetitious reporting and incorporate technology by allowing for electronic filing of reports with OSMO. These proposed enhancements are designed to reduce Farmer Mac's reporting responsibilities, while also improving the quality and timeliness of information provided to FCA. We are also proposing changes to remove repetitious disclosure and reporting requirements resulting from the dual reporting responsibilities of Farmer Mac to the FCA and the SEC.

    1. Definitions [New Subpart A: New § 655.1]

    We propose adding a new § 655.1 for definitions of certain terms used in part 655. We are proposing the same definitions to this part as are proposed for part 650 (listed in section III.A. of this preamble). We are also proposing to add the same definition for “person” as is proposed for part 651. In addition, we propose definitions for the term “material” and “report.” While there is a definition for “material” in part 651, the one proposed for this part is different in that it focuses on the meaning of the term when considering financial reports, not conflicts-of-interest. We propose these definitions to ensure a common understanding of the terms as used in part 655. In addition, we propose changes to the existing provisions of part 655 to incorporate the proposed new terms.

    2. Prohibitions [New Subpart A: New § 655.2]

    We propose adding a new § 655.2 to prohibit misleading, inaccurate, or incomplete disclosures. This prohibition is substantially similar to the one that currently exists in our regulations for the reports of System banks and associations. The provision would establish that no director, officer, employee or agent of Farmer Mac may mislead the FCA, Farmer Mac stockholders, or the general public by making misleading, inaccurate, or incomplete disclosures within the reports required under part 655. The provision would also clarify the authority of FCA to require a corrected report if we determine it contained any misleading, inaccurate, or incomplete disclosures.

    3. Reports of Condition [New Subpart B: Existing § 655.1; New §§ 655.10 and 655.15]

    The Act requires Farmer Mac to register its equities with the SEC and be subject to SEC disclosure regulations issued under section 14 of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934.20 Also, Farmer Mac's Class A and Class C stocks are publicly traded on the NYSE. Thus, Farmer Mac must comply with both FCA and SEC disclosure and reporting requirements. We are proposing changes to our reporting requirements for Farmer Mac to enable the reports filed by Farmer Mac with the SEC to also satisfy our requirements in that area, absent instructions from us to the contrary. We believe the proposed changes will facilitate the coordination of Farmer Mac's financial reporting responsibilities to both OSMO and the SEC as well as reduce or eliminate repetitious reporting.

    20 Section 8.12 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 2279aa-12).

    We propose revising existing § 655.1 (proposed to be redesignated as § 655.10) to cover all reports of conditions, not just annual reports. We are also proposing to require reports be signed and certified. The proposed certification components would be attesting that the signatory reviewed the report, the report was prepared in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, and the reported information is true, accurate, and complete to the best of the signatory's knowledge. Further, we are proposing that quarterly and annual reports be filed by Farmer Mac with OSMO and that those reports either be equivalent to those required by the SEC or according to our instructions. We are proposing the provision that reports be filed according to our instructions to address the contingency of the SEC changing its reporting requirements in such a manner as to reduce the usefulness of the reports in safety and soundness matters.

    For the reasons already discussed, we are proposing changes to the existing report distribution requirements to reduce timeframes, require Web site posting of reports, and ensure reports distributed to shareholders and investors are the same as those filed with both the FCA and SEC. We are proposing to reduce the existing 120-day timeframe to distribute reports to a 90-day timeframe for distribution of reports to shareholder and a 5-day filing timeframe with OSMO. We believe the reduced timeframes are more reasonable given available technology and other advances in reporting systems. We further propose that if the report is the same as that filed with the SEC, it be filed with OSMO simultaneous with the SEC filing. We next propose changing the existing requirement to send us three paper copies of each report by reducing it to only one paper copy. We also propose allowing the use of electronic filing of reports with OSMO.

    We propose requiring Farmer Mac to post reports on its Web site within 3 business days of filing the report with OSMO. We propose that a report remain available on the Web site until the next report is posted. We further propose that if the report is the same as that filed with the SEC, an electronic link to the SEC reports database (EDGAR) would satisfy our regulatory requirement in this area. In making this proposal, we relied on technological advances, the existing availability of the information, and Farmer Mac's existing practice of posting reports on its Web site.

    Further, we are proposing a new § 655.15 to require that Farmer Mac send OSMO one paper and one electronic copy of every notice, interim report, and proxy statement it files with the SEC. We believe it is essential that communications between Farmer Mac and OSMO, its primary regulator, include the communications Farmer Mac has with the SEC. The proposed provision would require Farmer Mac to make these disclosures within 1 business day of filing the notice, interim report, or proxy statement with the SEC. We believe this requirement is necessary to ensure we have timely notice of events outside our scheduled examination of these documents.

    Similar to the proposal to post reports on its Web site, we are proposing in § 655.15(b) that Farmer Mac post on its Web site notices, interim reports, and proxy statements within 5 business days of filing them with the SEC. As proposed, this requirement could be satisfied with a link to EDGAR. We also propose that these documents remain on the Web site for 6 months, or until the next annual report, whichever is later.

    4. Reports Related to Securities Activities [New Subpart C: Existing § 655.50; New §§ 655.20 and 655.21]

    We propose revising existing § 655.50 by first breaking it into two sections: § 655.20 on unregistered securities (currently § 655.50(a)) and § 655.21 on all other filings and communications with the U.S. Treasury, SEC, and NYSE (currently § 655.50(b) and (c)). In new § 655.20, we propose changing the manner of making special filings with OSMO by replacing the existing requirement to send us three paper copies to require one paper and one electronic copy. In new § 655.21, we propose expanding the existing requirement to send us copies of “substantive” correspondence between Farmer Mac and the SEC or U.S. Treasury to include the NYSE. The proposal would also remove the limitation on the type of communication. Currently, the requirement covers correspondence relating to securities activities or regulatory compliance. We believe the Corporation should provide us all substantive communications it has with the U.S. Treasury, the SEC, and the NYSE as that communication may have a bearing on the safety and soundness of Farmer Mac. We also propose setting a 3-day timeframe for providing the information to us. Finally, new § 655.21(c) would require Farmer Mac to notify us of exemptions from SEC filing requirements within 1 business day. The current rule requires this information to be sent to us “promptly.” In light of the proposed changes to reporting requirements, we believe it is necessary to have definitive and fast notice of any changes Farmer Mac seeks in SEC filing requirements.

    IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Pursuant to section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), FCA hereby certifies the proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Farmer Mac has assets and annual income over the amounts that would qualify it as a small entity. Therefore, Farmer Mac is not considered a “small entity” as defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    List of Subjects 12 CFR Part 650

    Agriculture, Banks, banking, Credit, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Rural areas.

    12 CFR Part 651

    Agriculture, Banks, banking, Conduct standards, Conflict of interests, Elections, Ethical conduct, Rural areas.

    12 CFR Part 653

    Agriculture, Banks, banking, Capital, Conduct standards, Credit, Finance, Rural areas.

    12 CFR Part 655

    Accounting, Agriculture, Banks, banking, Accounting and reporting requirements, Disclosure and reporting requirements, Financial disclosure, Rural areas.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, parts 650, 651, 653, and 655 of chapter VI, title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations are proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 650—FEDERAL AGRICULTURAL MORTGAGE CORPORATION GENERAL PROVISIONS 1. The authority citation for part 650 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 4.12, 5.9, 5.17, 5.25, 8.11, 8.12, 8.31, 8.32, 8.33, 8.34, 8.35, 8.36, 8.37, 8.41 of the Farm Credit Act (12 U.S.C. 2183, 2243, 2252, 2261, 2279aa-11, 2279aa-12, 2279bb, 2279bb-1, 2279bb-2, 2279bb-3, 2279bb-4, 2279bb-5, 2279bb-6, 2279cc); sec. 514 of Pub. L. 102-552, 106 Stat. 4102; sec. 118 of Pub. L. 104-105, 110 Stat. 168.

    2. Add subpart B, under the heading “Conservators, Receivers, and Liquidationsconsisting of existing §§ 650.1 through 650.80 as redesignated in the following table: Old section New section 650.1, no subpart 650.13, subpart B. 650.5, no subpart 650.14, subpart B. 650.10, no subpart 650.10, subpart B. 650.15, no subpart 650.15, subpart B. 650.20, no subpart 650.20, subpart B. 650.25, no subpart 650.25, subpart B. 650.30, no subpart 650.30, subpart B. 650.35, no subpart 650.35, subpart B. 650.40, no subpart 650.40, subpart B. 650.45, no subpart 650.45, subpart B. 650.50, no subpart 650.50, subpart B. 650.55, no subpart 650.55, subpart B. 650.60, no subpart 650.60, subpart B. 650.65, no subpart 650.65, subpart B. 650.70, no subpart 650.70, subpart B. 650.75, no subpart 650.75, subpart B. 650.80, no subpart 650.80, subpart B. 3. Add subpart A to read as follows: Subpart A—Regulation, Examination and Enforcement Sec. 650.1 Definitions. 650.2 Regulatory authority. 650.3 Supervision and enforcement. 650.4 Access to Corporation records and personnel. 650.5 Reports of examination. 650.6 Criminal referrals. Subpart A—Regulation, Examination and Enforcement
    § 650.1 Definitions.

    The following definitions apply for the purpose of this part:

    Act or Authorizing statute means the Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended.

    Business day means a day the Corporation is open for business, excluding the legal public holidays identified in 5 U.S.C. 6103(a).

    Corporation or Farmer Mac means the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation and its affiliates.

    FCA means the Farm Credit Administration, an independent federal agency of the executive branch.

    NYSE means the New York Stock Exchange, a listing exchange.

    OSMO means the FCA Office of Secondary Market Oversight, which is responsible for the general supervision of the safe and sound exercise of the Corporation's powers, functions, and duties and compliance with laws and regulations.

    Our or we means the FCA or OSMO, as appropriate to the context of the provision employing the term.

    SEC means the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Securities Act means the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77a et seq.) or the Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.), or both, as appropriate to the context of the provision employing the term.

    Signed, when referring to paper form, means a manual signature, and, when referring to electronic form, means marked in a manner that authenticates each signer's identity.

    § 650.2 Regulatory authority.

    (a) General. The Corporation is a for-profit Government-sponsored enterprise developed to provide a secondary market for agricultural and rural utility loans with public policy objectives included in its statutory charter. The Corporation is regulated by the FCA, operating through OSMO. The Corporation also lists securities on the NYSE, making it subject to certain SEC listing and disclosure requirements.

    (b) Primary regulator. The FCA, operating through OSMO, holds primary regulatory, examination, and enforcement authority over the Corporation. The FCA, operating through OSMO, is responsible for the general supervision of the safe and sound exercise of the Corporation's powers, functions, and duties and compliance with laws and regulations.

    (c) Other regulatory authorities. The Corporation is required by its authorizing statute to comply with certain SEC reporting requirements and must register offerings of Farmer Mac Guaranteed Securities under the Securities Act of 1933 and related regulations. The Corporation is also subject to most of the industry self-regulatory requirements of the NYSE.

    § 650.3 Supervision and enforcement.

    The Act provides FCA, acting through OSMO, with enforcement authority to protect the financial safety and soundness of the Corporation and to ensure that the Corporation's powers, functions, and duties are exercised in a safe and sound manner.

    (a) General supervision. When we determine the Corporation has violated a law, rule, or regulation or is engaging in an unsafe or unsound condition or practice, we have enforcement authority that includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    (1) Issue an order to cease and desist;

    (2) Issue a temporary order to cease and desist;

    (3) Assess civil monetary penalties against the Corporation and its directors, officers, employees, and agents; and

    (4) Issue an order to suspend, remove, or prohibit directors and officers.

    (b) Financial safety and soundness of the Corporation.

    When we determine the Corporation is taking excessive risks that adversely impact capital, we have authority to address that risk. This includes, but is not limited to, requiring capital restoration plans, restricting dividend distributions, requiring changes in the Corporation's obligations and assets, requiring the acquisition of new capital and restricting those Corporation activities determined to create excessive risk to the Corporation.

    § 650.4 Access to Corporation records and personnel.

    (a) The Corporation must make its records available promptly upon request by OSMO, at a location and in a form and manner acceptable to OSMO.

    (b) The Corporation must make directors, officers, employees and agents available to OSMO during the course of an examination or supervisory action when OSMO determines it necessary to facilitate an examination or supervisory action.

    § 650.5 Reports of examination.

    The Corporation is subject to the provisions in 12 CFR part 602 regarding FCA Reports of Examination.

    § 650.6 Criminal referrals.

    The rules at 12 CFR part 612, subpart B, regarding “Referral of Known or Suspected Criminal Violations” are applicable to the Corporation.

    4. Revise part 651 to read as follows: PART 651—FEDERAL AGRICULTURAL MORTGAGE CORPORATION GOVERNANCE Subpart A—General Sec. 651.1 Definitions. 651.2 Indemnification. Subpart B—Standards of Conduct 651.21 Code of conduct. 651.22 Conflict-of-interest policy. 651.23 Conflict-of-interest disclosure and reporting. 651.24 Director, officer, employee, and agent responsibilities. Subpart C—Board Governance 651.30 Director elections. 651.35 Director removal. 651.40 Director fiduciary duties and independence. 651.50 Committees of the Corporation's board of directors. Authority:

    Secs. 4.12, 5.9, 5.17, 8.3, 8.11, 8.14, 8.31, 8.32, 8.33, 8.34, 8.35, 8.36, 8.37, 8.41 of the Farm Credit Act (12 U.S.C. 2183, 2243, 2252, 2279aa-3, 2279aa-11, 2279aa-14, 2279bb, 2279bb-1, 2279bb-2, 2279bb-3, 2279bb-4, 2279bb-5, 2279bb-6, 2279cc); sec. 514 of Pub. L. 102-552, 106 Stat. 4102; sec. 118 of Pub. L. 104-105, 110 Stat. 168.

    Subpart A—General
    § 651.1 Definitions.

    The following definitions apply to this part:

    Act or Authorizing statute means the Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended.

    Agent means any person (other than a director, officer, or employee of the Corporation) who represents the Corporation in contacts with third parties or who provides professional services such as legal, accounting, or appraisal services to the Corporation.

    Affiliate means any entity established under authority granted to the Corporation under section 8.3(c)(14) of the Act.

    Appointed director means a member of the Corporation board of directors who was appointed to the Corporation board by the President of the United States of America.

    Business day means a day the Corporation is open for business, excluding the legal public holidays identified in 5 U.S.C. 6103(a).

    Class A stockholders means holders of common stock in the Corporation that are insurance companies, banks, or other financial institutions or entities.

    Class B stockholders means holders of common stock in the Corporation that are Farm Credit System institutions.

    Corporation means the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation and its affiliates.

    Director elections mean the process of searching for director candidates, conducting director nominations, and voting for directors.

    Elected director means a member of the Corporation board of directors who was elected by either Class A or Class B stockholders.

    Employee means any salaried individual working part-time, full-time, or temporarily for the Corporation.

    Entity means a corporation, company, association, firm, joint venture, partnership (general or limited), society, joint stock company, trust (business or otherwise), fund, or other organization or institution.

    FCA means the Farm Credit Administration, an independent federal agency of the executive branch.

    Material means conflicting interests of sufficient magnitude or significance that a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts would question the ability of the person having such interest to discharge official duties in an objective and impartial manner in furtherance of the interests and statutory purposes of the Corporation.

    Officer means the salaried president, vice presidents, secretary, treasurer, and general counsel, or other person, however designated, who holds a position of similar authority in the Corporation.

    OSMO means the FCA Office of Secondary Market Oversight, which is responsible for the general supervision of the safe and sound exercise of the Corporation's powers, functions, and duties and compliance with laws and regulations.

    Our or we means the FCA or OSMO, as appropriate to the context of the provision employing the term.

    Person means individual or entity.

    Potential conflict-of-interest means a director, officer, or employee of the Corporation has an interest in a transaction, relationship, or activity that might adversely affect, or appear to adversely affect, the ability of the person having such interest to perform his or her official duties on behalf of the Corporation in an objective and impartial manner in furtherance of the interest of the Corporation and its statutory purposes.

    Reasonable person means a person under similar circumstances exercising the average level of care, skill, and judgment in his or her conduct based on societal requirements for the protection of the general interest.

    Resolved means an actual or potential material conflict-of-interest that has been altered so that a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts would conclude that the conflicting interest would not adversely affect the person's performance of official duties in an objective and impartial manner and in furtherance of the interests and statutory purposes of the Corporation.

    Signed, when referring to paper form, means a manual signature, and, when referring to electronic form, means marked in a manner that authenticates each signer's identity.

    § 651.2 Indemnification.

    (a) General. The Corporation is not required to offer indemnification insurance. The Corporation must have policies and procedures in place before it may offer indemnification insurance to its directors, officers, or employees.

    (1) Indemnification policies and procedures must address how the board of directors approves or denies requests for indemnification from current and former directors, officers, and employees. The policies and procedures must include standards relating to indemnification, investigations by the board of directors, and reviews by independent counsel.

    (2) Indemnification policies and procedures must consider all sources of potential indemnification to protect the Corporation against over-indemnification of an individual director or officer.

    (b) Oversight. The Corporation must notify OSMO 10 business days before issuing any indemnification payment.

    Subpart B—Standards of Conduct
    § 651.21 Code of conduct.

    (a) General. The Corporation must develop and administer a written code of conduct establishing the ethical benchmarks for professional integrity, competence, and respect. The code must be reasonably designed to assure the ability of board members, officers, employees, and agents of the Corporation to discharge their duties and responsibilities, on behalf of the Corporation, in an ethical and business-like manner. The code of conduct must be consistent with applicable laws and regulations.

    (b) Review. Not less often than once every 3 years, the Corporation must review the adequacy of its code of conduct for consistency with practices appropriate to the entity and compliance with laws and regulations and must make any appropriate revisions to such code.

    § 651.22 Conflict-of-interest policy.

    (a) The Corporation must establish and administer a conflict-of-interest policy that will provide reasonable assurance that the directors, officers, employees, and agents of the Corporation discharge their official responsibilities in an objective, impartial, and business-like manner that furthers the lawful interests and statutory purpose of the Corporation. The conflict-of-interest policy must acknowledge and respect the representational affiliations required by the Act for elected directors.

    (b) The conflict-of-interest policy must:

    (1) Define the types of transactions, relationships, or activities that could reasonably be expected to give rise to potential conflicts of interest. For the purpose of determining whether a potential conflict-of-interest exists, the following interests shall be imputed to a person subject to this regulation as if they were that person's own interests:

    (i) Interests of any individual residing in that person's household;

    (ii) Interests of any individual identified as a legal dependent of that person;

    (iii) Interests of that person's general partner;

    (iv) Interests of an organization or entity that the person serves as officer, director, trustee, general partner or employee, unless the organization or entity is directly connected to the representational affiliations required by the Act for elected directors; and

    (v) Interests of a person, organization, or entity with which that person is negotiating for or has an arrangement concerning prospective employment.

    (2) Include guidelines for determining when a potential conflict is material (as that term is defined in this part);

    (3) Contain procedures for resolving or disclosing material conflicts of interest.

    (4) Address recusal from official actions on any matter in which a director, officer, employee, or agent is prohibited from participating based on a conflict-of-interest identified under this part; and

    (5) Define documentation and reporting requirements, consistent with this part, for demonstrating compliance with conflict-of-interest decisions.

    (c) The Corporation must notify directors, officers, employees, and agents of the conflict-of-interest policy and any subsequent changes thereto and allow them a reasonable period of time to conform to the policy.

    (d) When requested, the Corporation must provide to any shareholder, investor, or potential investor, with a copy of its conflict-of-interest policy. The Corporation may charge a nominal fee to cover the costs of reproduction and handling.

    § 651.23 Conflict-of-interest disclosure and reporting.

    (a) Annually, each director, officer, and employee must provide to the Corporation a written and signed conflict-of-interest report. The report must disclose information about financial interests, transactions, relationships, and activities sufficient enough for a reasonable person to make a conflict-of-interest determination.

    (1) The annual conflict-of-interest report must identify any transaction, relationship, or activity that, in the director, officer or employee's opinion, creates a real or potential material conflict-of-interest or that is:

    (i) Specifically named in the Corporation's policies on conflict-of-interest; or

    (ii) Addressed in regulation.

    (2) If potential or real conflicts arise between annual reporting periods, each director, officer, and employee must update his or her annual disclosure at the time(s) such conflict arises.

    (b) The Corporation must review the annual conflict-of-interest reports, and any subsequent reports, within 10 business days of receipt.

    (1) The Corporation must determine for each director, officer, and employee whether any real or potential material conflict-of-interest exists and document its findings.

    (2) If a real or potential conflict-of-interest is identified as material by the Corporation, the Corporation must, within 3 business days of identification, notify the director, officer, or employee of the material conflict-of-interest determination and must provide the director, officer, or employee a reasonable opportunity to respond.

    (c) The Corporation must document all resolved and unresolved material conflicts-of-interest. Until resolved, the Corporation must maintain on-going documentation that explains how unresolved conflicts are being handled.

    (d) The Corporation must disclose any unresolved material conflict-of-interest involving its directors, officers, and employees existing at the time to:

    (1) Shareholders through annual reports and proxy statements;

    (2) Investors and potential investors through disclosure documents supplied to them; and

    (3) The FCA, through procedures established by OSMO.

    (e) The Corporation must establish and maintain internal controls to ensure that conflict-of-interest reports are filed and reviewed as required and that conflicts are resolved or disclosed in accordance with this subpart.

    (f) The Corporation must maintain all reports of real or potential material conflicts-of-interest, including documentation of materiality determinations and resolutions, for a period of 6 years.

    (g) The Corporation must establish procedures for obtaining conflict-of-interest disclosures from agents of the Corporation. These disclosures must provide enough information for the Corporation to identify if the agent has material conflicts-of-interest with the Corporation. The procedures on agent conflicts-of-interest must satisfy the documentation and record retention requirements in paragraphs (c) and (f) of this section.

    § 651.24 Director, officer, employee, and agent responsibilities.

    (a) No director, officer, employee, or agent of the Corporation may make any untrue or misleading statement of a material fact intended or having the effect of reducing public confidence in the Corporation.

    (b) No director, officer, employee, or agent of the Corporation may make improper use of official Corporation property or information. Improper use includes, but is not limited to, the purchase or retirement of any stock in advance of the public release of material non-public information concerning the Corporation.

    (c) Except in the performance of official duties, no director of the Corporation shall divulge or use any fact, information, or document that is acquired by virtue of serving on the board of the Corporation and not generally available to the public.

    Subpart C—Board Governance
    § 651.30 Director elections.

    (a) The Corporation must have in effect at all times director election procedures and must administer those procedures in a fair and impartial manner.

    (b) The director election procedures must:

    (1) Provide that any holder of an equity interest in the Corporation may submit candidates for consideration as director-nominees to the Corporation's board of directors.

    (2) Allow the board committee used for director nominations to engage the services of third parties to evaluate the professional qualifications of potential nominees.

    (3) Require that during the director nomination process, a director-candidate must receive affirmative votes for nomination from a majority of those representing the same class of stockholders as the candidate.

    (c) The Corporation must ensure director elections acknowledge and respect the voting rights of Class A and Class B stockholders, as well as the elected director representational affiliations required by the Act. Elected director candidates must have a recognized affiliation or relationship with their respective class of voting stockholders at the time of nomination and election to the Corporation board of directors. The Corporation must maintain documentation supporting the affiliation or relationship of each elected director until 3 years after the director's service on the board ends.

    § 651.35 Director removal.

    (a) The procedures that the Corporation relies upon to initiate director removals must be contained in the Corporation's bylaws. Director removals initiated by the Corporation include, but are not limited to, resignations requested by the Corporation, mandatory resignations based on contractual agreements with the Corporation, and resignations required in response to predetermined events or actions identified in the Corporation's governing documents.

    (b) Director removals initiated by the Corporation may not adversely affect the rights of voting shareholders. Appointed directors may only be removed as authorized by the President of the United States.

    (c) The Corporation must notify OSMO at least 14 days before any director removal is initiated by the Corporation.

    § 651.40 Director fiduciary duties and independence.

    (a) General. The responsibilities of the Corporation's board of directors include having in place adequate policies and procedures to assure its oversight of:

    (1) The risk management and compensation programs of the Corporation,

    (2) The processes for providing accurate financial reporting and other disclosures, and

    (3) Communications with stockholders.

    (b) Responsibility. The board of directors of the Corporation is responsible for directing the conduct and affairs of the Corporation in furtherance of the safe and sound operation of the Corporation and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. The board must remain reasonably informed of the condition, activities, and operations of the Corporation in order to fulfill its duties.

    (c) Duties. Each director of the Corporation must:

    (1) Carry out his or her duties as director in good faith, in a manner such director believes to be in the best interests of the Corporation, and with such care, including reasonable inquiry, as a reasonable person in a similar position would use under similar circumstances;

    (2) Administer the affairs of the Corporation fairly and impartially and without discrimination in favor of or against any investor, stockholder, or class of stockholders; and

    (3) Direct the operations of the Corporation in conformity with safety and soundness standards and the requirements set forth in the authorizing statute and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

    (d) Independence. No director of the Corporation may be prohibited by confidentiality agreements or Corporation policies and procedures from publicly or privately commenting orally or in writing on non-private or non-privileged corporate business and related matters. This provision does not exempt directors from relevant laws and regulations, including securities laws, regarding such statements. This provision does not prohibit the Corporation from protecting proprietary, privileged, and non-public information.

    § 651.50 Committees of the Corporation's board of directors.

    (a) General. No committee of the board of directors may be delegated the authority of the board of directors to amend Corporation bylaws. No committee of the board of directors shall relieve the board of directors or any board member of a responsibility imposed by law or regulation.

    (b) Required committees. The board of directors of the Corporation must have committees, however styled, that address risk management, audit, compensation, and corporate governance. Neither the risk management committee nor the audit committee may be combined with any other committees. This provision does not prevent the board of directors from establishing any other committees that it deems necessary or useful to carrying out its responsibilities.

    (c) Charter. Each committee must adopt, and the full board of directors of the Corporation must approve, a formal written charter that specifies the scope of a committee's powers and responsibilities, as well as the committee's structure, processes, and membership requirements.

    (1) Each board committee must have at least one elected director from each class of voting stock and one appointed director as members of the committee.

    (2) No director may serve as chairman of more than one board committee.

    (d) Frequency of meetings and records. Each committee of the board of directors must meet with sufficient frequency to carry out its obligations and duties under applicable laws, regulations, and its operating charter. Each committee of the board of directors must maintain minutes of its meetings. The minutes must record attendance, the agenda, a summary of the relevant discussions held by the committee during the meeting, and any resulting recommendations to the board. Such minutes must be retained for a minimum of 3 years and must be available to the entire board of directors and to OSMO.

    5. Add part 653 to read as follows: PART 653—FEDERAL AGRICULTURAL MORTGAGE CORPORATION RISK MANAGEMENT Sec. 653.1 Definitions. 653.2 General. 653.3 Risk management. 653.4 Internal controls. Authority:

    Secs. 8.3, 8.4, 8.6, 8.8, and 8.10 of the Farm Credit Act (12 U.S.C. 2279aa-3, 2279aa-4, 2279aa-6, 2279aa-8, and 2279aa-10).

    § 653.1 Definitions.

    The following definitions apply for the purpose of this part:

    Corporation means the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation and its affiliates.

    FCA means the Farm Credit Administration, an independent federal agency of the executive branch.

    OSMO means the FCA Office of Secondary Market Oversight, which is responsible for the general supervision of the safe and sound exercise of the Corporation's powers, functions, and duties and compliance with law and regulations.

    § 653.2 General.

    The Corporation's board of directors must approve the overall risk-appetite and risk tolerance of the Corporation and monitor internal controls to ensure risk-taking activities are conducted in a safe and sound manner.

    § 653.3 Risk management.

    (a) Risk management program. The Corporation's board of directors must have in effect at all times an enterprise-wide risk management program that, at a minimum, addresses the Corporation's exposure to credit, market, liquidity, business and operational risks and ensures that the Corporation's activities are exercised in a safe and sound manner. The risk management program must:

    (1) Periodically assess and document the Corporation's risk profile.

    (2) Align the Corporation's risk profile with the board-approved risk appetite and risk tolerance and the Corporation's operational planning strategies and objectives.

    (3) Address the Corporation's exposure to credit, market, liquidity, business and operational risks.

    (4) Specify management's authority and independence to carry out risk management responsibilities.

    (5) Integrate risk management and control objectives into management goals and compensation structures.

    (6) Comply with all applicable FCA regulations and policies.

    (b) Risk committee. The Corporation's board of directors must establish and maintain a board-level risk committee that is responsible for the oversight of the enterprise-wide risk management practices of the Corporation.

    (1) The risk committee must have at least one member with risk management expertise commensurate with the Corporation's capital structure, risk profile, complexity, activities, size, and other appropriate risk-related factors.

    (2) The responsibilities of the risk committee include, but are not limited to:

    (i) Overseeing and documenting the enterprise-wide risk management policies and practices of the Corporation;

    (ii) Reviewing and recommending an appropriate risk management program commensurate with the Corporation's capital structure, risk profile, complexity, activities, size, and other appropriate risk-related factors; and

    (iii) Receiving and reviewing regular reports from the Corporation's Risk Officer.

    (c) Risk officer (RO). The Corporation must have a RO to implement and maintain the enterprise-wide risk management practices of the Corporation. The RO must be independent from other management functions or units and must report directly to the chief executive officer and the risk committee. The RO must have risk management experience commensurate with the Corporation's capital structure, risk profile, complexity, activities, and size. The responsibilities of the RO include, but are not limited to:

    (1) Identifying and monitoring compliance with risk limits, exposures, and controls;

    (2) Implementing risk management policies, procedures, and risk controls;

    (3) Developing appropriate processes and systems for identifying and reporting risks, including emerging risks;

    (4) Reporting risk management issues, emerging risks, and compliance concerns to the chief executive officer and the risk committee; and

    (5) Making recommendations to the chief executive officer and board risk committee on adjustments to risk management policies, procedures, and risk controls of the Corporation.

    § 653.4 Internal controls.

    (a) The Corporation's board of directors must adopt an internal controls policy that provides adequate directions for, and identifies expectations in, establishing effective control over, and accountability for, operations, programs, and resources to ensure that the Corporation's powers, functions, and duties are exercised in a safe and sound manner and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

    (b) The internal control system must address:

    (1) The efficiency and effectiveness of the Corporation activities;

    (2) Safeguarding the assets of the Corporation;

    (3) Evaluating the reliability, completeness, and timely reporting of financial and management information;

    (4) Compliance with applicable laws, regulations, regulatory directives, and the policies of the Corporation's board of directors and senior management;

    (5) The appropriate segregation of duties among the Corporation personnel so that personnel are not assigned conflicting responsibilities; and

    (6) The transparency of information provided to the Corporation's board of directors.

    (c) The Corporation is responsible for establishing and implementing an effective system to track internal control weaknesses and take action to correct detected weaknesses. As part of that program, the Corporation must establish and maintain a compliance program that is reasonably designed to assure that the Corporation complies with applicable laws, regulations, and internal controls.

    (d) The Corporation must annually report to OSMO on the effectiveness of the internal control system.

    6. Revise part 655 to read as follows: PART 655—FEDERAL AGRICULTURAL MORTGAGE CORPORATION DISCLOSURE AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS Subpart A—General Sec. 655.1 Definitions. 655.2 Prohibition against misleading, inaccurate, and incomplete reports and disclosures. Subpart B—Report of Condition of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation 655.10 Reports of condition. 655.15 Interim reports, notices, and proxy statements. Subpart C—Reports Relating to Securities Activities of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation 655.20 Securities not registered under the Securities Act. 655.21 Filings and communications with U.S. Treasury, the SEC and the NYSE. Authority:

    Secs. 5.9, 8.3, 8.11, and 8.12 of the Farm Credit Act (12 U.S.C. 2243, 2279aa-3, 2279aa-11, 2279aa-12).

    Subpart A—General
    § 655.1 Definitions.

    The following definitions apply for the purpose of this part:

    Act or authorizing statute means the Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended.

    Business day means a day the Corporation is open for business, excluding the legal public holidays identified in 5 U.S.C. 6103(a).

    Corporation means the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation and its affiliates.

    FCA means the Farm Credit Administration, an independent federal agency of the executive branch.

    Material, when used to qualify a requirement to furnish information as to any subject, means the information required to those matters to which there is a substantial likelihood that a reasonable person would attach importance in making investor decisions or determining the financial condition of the Corporation.

    NYSE means the New York Stock Exchange, a listing exchange.

    OSMO means the FCA Office of Secondary Market Oversight, which regulates and examines the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation for safety and soundness and compliance with law and regulations.

    Our or us means the FCA or OSMO, as appropriate to the context of the provision employing the term.

    Person means individual or entity.

    Report refers to the annual report, quarterly report, or notices, regardless of form, required by this part unless otherwise specified.

    SEC means the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Securities Act means the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77a et seq.) or the Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.), or both, as appropriate to the context of the provision employing the term.

    Signed, when referring to paper form, means a manual signature, and, when referring to electronic form, means marked in a manner that authenticates each signer's identity.

    § 655.2 Prohibition against misleading, inaccurate, and incomplete reports and disclosures.

    The Corporation and any agent, employee, officer, or director of the Corporation may not make any report or disclosure to FCA, stockholders or the general public concerning any matter required to be disclosed by this part that is incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading. When any such person makes a report or disclosure that, in the judgment of FCA, is incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading, whether or not such report or disclosure is made in reports or disclosure statements required by this part, the FCA may require the Corporation to make such additional or corrective disclosure as is necessary to provide a full and fair disclosure.

    Subpart B—Reports of Condition of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation
    § 655.10 Reports of condition.

    (a) General. The Corporation must prepare and publish quarterly and annual reports of its condition, including financial statements and related schedules, exhibits, and other documents that are part of the reports. The contents of each quarterly or annual report must be either equivalent in content to the quarterly and annual reports to shareholders required by the Securities Act or according to our instructions.

    (b) Signatures and certification. Each report issued under this part must be signed. The Corporation must designate the representatives who will sign each report. The name and position title of each person signing the report must be printed beneath his or her signature. Those components of the report containing financial information must be separately certified as financially accurate. The entire report must be certified by the signatories and the certification must, at a minimum, state that:

    (1) The signatories have reviewed the report,

    (2) The report has been prepared in accordance with all applicable statutory or regulatory requirements, and

    (3) The information is true, accurate, and complete to the best of signatories' knowledge and belief.

    (c) Distribution. The Corporation must distribute the signed report of condition to all its shareholders within 90 days of its fiscal year-end. The Corporation must provide us one paper and one electronic copy of every signed report within 5 days of signing. If the report is the same as that filed with the SEC, the Corporation may instead provide the signed reports to us only in electronic form and simultaneous with filing the report with the SEC.

    (1) The Corporation must publish a copy of each report of condition on its Web site within 3 business days of filing the report with us. The report must remain on the Web site until the next report is posted. When the reports are the same as those filed with the SEC, electronic links to the SEC filings Web site, EDGAR, may be used in satisfaction of this requirement.

    (2) Upon receiving a request for an annual report of condition from a stockholder, investor, or the public, the Corporation must promptly provide the requester the most recent signed annual report issued in compliance with this section.

    § 655.15 Interim reports, notices, and proxy statements.

    (a) The Corporation must provide to us one paper and one electronic copy of every interim report, notice, and proxy statement filed with the SEC within 1 business day of filing the item with the SEC, including all papers and documents that are a part of the report, notice, or statement.

    (b) The Corporation must publish a copy of each interim report, notice, and proxy statement on its Web site within 5 business days of filing the document(s) with the SEC. The interim report, notice, or proxy statement must remain on the Web site for 6 months or until the next annual report of condition is posted, whichever is later. Electronic links to the SEC filings Web site, EDGAR, may be used in satisfaction of this requirement.

    Subpart C—Reports Relating to Securities Activities of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation
    § 655.20 Securities not registered under the Securities Act.

    The Corporation must make special filings with OSMO for securities either issued or guaranteed by the Corporation that are not registered under the Securities Act. These filings include, but are not limited to:

    (a) One paper and one electronic copy of any offering circular, private placement memorandum, or information statement prepared in connection with the securities offering at or before the time of the securities offering.

    (b) For securities backed by qualified loans as defined in section 8.0(9)(A) of the Act, one paper and one electronic copy of the following within 1 business day of the finalization of the transaction:

    (1) The private placement memoranda for securities sold to investors; and

    (2) The pooling and servicing agreement when the security is purchased by the Corporation as authorized by section 8.6(g) of the Act.

    (c) For securities backed by qualified loans as defined in section 8.0(9)(B) of the Act, the Corporation must provide summary information on such securities issued during each calendar quarter in the form prescribed by us. Such summary information must be provided with each report of condition and performance filed pursuant to § 621.12, and at such other times as OSMO may require.

    § 655.21 Filings and communications with the U.S. Treasury, the SEC, and NYSE.

    (a) The Corporation must send us one paper and one electronic copy of every filing made with U.S. Treasury, the SEC, or NYSE, including financial statements and related schedules, exhibits, and other documents that are a part of the filing. Such copies must be filed with us no later than 1 business day after any U.S. Treasury, SEC, or NYSE filing. If the filing is one addressed in subpart B of this part, no action under this paragraph is required.

    (b) The Corporation must send us, within 3 business days and according to instructions provided by us, copies of all substantive correspondence between the Corporation and the U.S. Treasury, the SEC, or NYSE.

    (c) The Corporation must notify us within 1 business day if it becomes exempt or claims exemption from any filing requirements of the Securities Act.

    Dated: March 19, 2015. Dale L. Aultman, Secretary, Farm Credit Administration Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06755 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6705-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0249; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-174-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2012-18-05, which applies to The Boeing Company Model DC-9-10, DC-9-20, DC-9-30, DC-9-40, and DC-9-50 series airplanes; and Model DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), DC-9-87 (MD-87), MD-88, and MD-90-30 airplanes; equipped with a center wing fuel tank and Boeing original equipment manufacturer-installed auxiliary fuel tanks. AD 2012-18-05 currently requires adding design features to detect electrical faults and to detect a pump running in an empty fuel tank. Since we issued AD 2012-18-05, we have determined that it is necessary to clarify the actions for airplanes on which the auxiliary fuel tanks are removed. This proposed AD would allow certain actions as optional methods of compliance. We are proposing this AD to reduce the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 11, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, MC D800-0019, Long Beach, CA 90846-0001; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 2; fax 206-766-5683; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0249.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0249; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sérj Harutunian, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5254; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-0249; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-174-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    On August 6, 2012, we issued AD 2012-18-05, Amendment 39-17181 (77 FR 54793, September 6, 2012), for The Boeing Company Model DC-9-10, DC-9-20, DC-9-30, DC-9-40, and DC-9-50 series airplanes; and Model DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), DC-9-87 (MD-87), MD-88, and MD-90-30 airplanes; equipped with a center wing fuel tank and Boeing original equipment manufacturer-installed auxiliary fuel tanks. AD 2012-18-05 requires adding design features to detect electrical faults and to detect a pump running in an empty fuel tank. AD 2012-18-05 resulted from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We issued AD 2012-18-05 to reduce the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

    Actions Since AD 2012-18-05, Amendment 39-17181 (77 FR 54793, September 6, 2012) Was Issued

    Since we issued AD 2012-18-05, Amendment 39-17181 (77 FR 54793, September 6, 2012), we have determined that it is necessary to clarify the actions for airplanes on which the auxiliary fuel tanks are removed. In addition, The Boeing Company has issued new service information for Model DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), DC-9-87 (MD-87), and Model MD-88 airplanes; and Model MD-90-30 airplanes, which provides a method of compliance for the actions required by AD 2012-18-05. Boeing has not yet issued corresponding service information for Boeing Model DC-9-10, DC-9-20, DC-9-30, DC-9-40, and DC-9-50 series airplanes. The applicability of AD 2012-18-05 has not changed in this proposed AD.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin MD80-28-228, dated September 27, 2013; and Boeing Service Bulletin MD90-28-013, dated September 27, 2013. The service information describes procedures for installing GFI relays that change fuel pump system wiring, installing a low fuel pressure indication system, and revising the inspection or maintenance program to include new limitations.

    We have also reviewed Appendixes B, C, and D of Boeing Special Compliance Item Report MDC-92K9145, Revision M, dated February 5, 2013, which includes Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCLs), Airworthiness Limitations Instructions (ALIs), and short-term extensions.

    Boeing Service Bulletin MD80-28-228, dated September 27, 2013, specifies prior or concurrent accomplishment of the following concurrent service information.

    • Boeing MD-80 Service Bulletin 28-53, Revision 1, dated April 16, 1992, which describes procedures for installing a low fuel pressure indication system.

    • Boeing MD-80 Service Bulletin 28-63, Revision 2, dated April 8, 1992, which describes procedures for installing a low fuel pressure indication inhibit system.

    This service information is reasonably available; see ADDRESSES for ways to access this service information.

    Clarification of the Requirements for the Design Features

    In paragraph (c) of this proposed AD, we have added the text “for airplanes on which auxiliary fuel tanks are removed, the AD action specified for the auxiliary fuel tanks are not required” to clarify that the actions specified in this AD for the auxiliary fuel tanks are not required when the auxiliary fuel tanks are removed, but the AD actions for the center fuel tanks still apply.

    Revised Compliance Time

    We have determined that it is appropriate to allow additional time to accomplish the design features and requirements specified in this proposed AD. Therefore, we have added a compliance time of “within 42 months after the effective date of this AD” to paragraph (g) of this proposed AD. We have determined that this extension of the compliance time will provide an acceptable level of safety.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would retain all requirements of AD 2012-18-05, Amendment 39-17181 (77 FR 54793, September 6, 2012). This proposed AD would clarify the actions for airplanes on which the auxiliary fuel tanks are removed, that the actions specified for the auxiliary fuel tanks are not required. This proposed AD would also provide certain methods of compliance for the actions restated from AD 2012-18-05 (one option is accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, including revising the inspection or maintenance program, as applicable, to include new limitations; the other option is installing a supplemental type certificate (STC)).

    This proposed AD specifies to revise certain operator maintenance documents to include new actions (e.g., inspections) and CDCCLs. Compliance with these actions and CDCCLs is required by 14 CFR 91.403(c). For airplanes that have been previously modified, altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by this proposed AD, the operator may not be able to accomplish the actions described in the revisions. In this situation, to comply with 14 CFR 91.403(c), the operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance according to paragraph (l) of this proposed AD. The request should include a description of changes to the required actions and CDCCLs that will ensure the continued operational safety of the airplane.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 809 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Installing design features for airplanes with center wing and auxiliary tanks (263 airplanes), using a method approved by the FAA [retained actions from AD 2012-18-05, Amendment 39-17181 (77 FR 54793, September 6, 2012)] 50 work-hours × $85 per hour = $4,250 $35,000 $39,250 $10,322,750 Installing design features for airplanes with center wing tank (546 airplanes), using a method approved by the FAA [retained actions from AD 2012-18-05, Amendment 39-17181 (77 FR 54793, September 6, 2012)] 35 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,975 17,000 19,975 10,906,350
    Estimated Costs: New Optional Actions for Installing Design Features Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • For airplanes with center wing and auxiliary tanks, using service information specified in paragraph (h) of this proposed AD (including revising the maintenance/inspection program) 250 work-hours × $85 per hour = $21,250 $69,000 $90,250 For airplanes with center wing tank, using service information specified in paragraph (h) of this proposed AD (including revising the maintenance/inspection program) 110 work-hours × $85 = 9,350 30,000 39,350 Installing STC specified in paragraph (i) of this proposed AD 35 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,975 17,000 19,975
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2012-18-05, Amendment 39-17181 (77 FR 54793, September 6, 2012), and adding the following new AD: The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-0249; Directorate Identifier 2014 NM-174-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by May 11, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2012-18-05, Amendment 39-17181 (77 FR 54793, September 6, 2012).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(8) of this AD, certificated in any category, and equipped with center wing fuel tanks and Boeing original equipment manufacturer-installed auxiliary fuel tanks. For airplanes on which the auxiliary fuel tanks have been removed, the actions specified for the auxiliary fuel tanks are not required.

    (1) Model DC-9-11, DC-9-12, DC-9-13, DC-9-14, DC-9-15, and DC-9-15F airplanes.

    (2) Model DC-9-21 airplanes.

    (3) Model DC-9-31, DC-9-32, DC-9-32 (VC-9C), DC-9-32F, DC-9-33F, DC-9-34, DC-9-34F, and DC-9-32F (C-9A, C 9B) airplanes.

    (4) Model DC-9-41 airplanes.

    (5) Model DC-9-51 airplanes.

    (6) Model DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), and DC-9-87 (MD-87) airplanes.

    (7) Model MD-88 airplanes.

    (8) Model MD-90-30 airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 28, Fuel.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to reduce the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Criteria for Operation

    This paragraph restates the actions required by paragraph (g) of AD 2012-18-05, Amendment 39-17181 (77 FR 54793, September 6, 2012), with a new compliance time. Except as provided by paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD: As of 42 months after the effective date of this AD, no person may operate any airplane affected by this AD unless an amended type certificate or supplemental type certificate that incorporates the design features and requirements described in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD has been approved by the Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, and those design features are installed on the airplane.

    (1) Each electrically powered fuel pump installed in the center wing tank or auxiliary fuel tank must have a protective device installed to detect electrical faults that can cause arcing and burn through the fuel pump housing. The same device must shut off the pump by automatically removing electrical power from the pump when such faults are detected. When a fuel pump is shut off as the result of detection of an electrical fault, the device must stay latched off until the fault is cleared through maintenance action and verified that the pump and the electrical power feed are safe for operation.

    (2) Additional design features must be installed to detect when any center wing tank or auxiliary fuel tank pump is running in an empty fuel tank. The prospective pump shutoff system must shut off each pump no later than 60 seconds after the fuel tank is emptied. The pump shutoff system design must preclude undetected running of a fuel pump in an empty tank, after the pump was commanded off manually or automatically.

    (h) New: Optional Methods of Compliance

    For Model DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), DC-9-87 (MD-87), and Model MD-88 airplanes; and Model MD-90-30 airplanes: In lieu of doing the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD, do the applicable actions specified in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and (h)(3) of this AD.

    (1) For Model DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), DC-9-87 (MD-87), and Model MD-88 airplanes: Do the applicable actions specified in paragraphs (h)(1)(i), (h)(1)(ii), and (h)(1)(iii) of this AD.

    (i) For all airplanes identified in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD: Within the compliance time specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, install ground fault interrupter (GFI) relays, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin MD80-28-228, dated September 27, 2013.

    (ii) For airplanes identified in Boeing MD-80 Service Bulletin 28-53, Revision 1, dated April 16, 1992: Prior to or concurrently with accomplishing the action specified in paragraph (h)(1)(i) of this AD, install a low fuel pressure indication system, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing MD-80 Service Bulletin 28-53, Revision 1, dated April 16, 1992.

    (iii) For airplanes identified in Boeing MD-80 Service Bulletin 28-63, Revision 2, dated April 8, 1992: Prior to or concurrently with accomplishing the action specified in paragraph (h)(1)(i) of this AD, install a low fuel pressure indication inhibition system, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing MD-80 Service Bulletin 28-63, Revision 2, dated April 8, 1992.

    (2) For Model MD-90-30 airplanes: Within the compliance time specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, install brackets and mod block rails, and install GFI relays, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin MD90-28-013, dated September 27, 2013.

    (3) For all airplanes: Within 30 days after accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCLs), Airworthiness Limitations Instructions (ALIs), and short-term extensions specified in Appendixes B, C, and D of Boeing Special Compliance Item Report MDC-92K9145, Revision M, dated February 5, 2013. The initial compliance time for accomplishing the actions specified in the ALIs is at the later of the times in paragraphs (h)(3)(i) and (h)(3)(ii) of this AD. Doing the revision of the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, required by this paragraph terminates the requirements in paragraphs (g) and (h) of AD 2008-11-15, Amendment 39-15538 (73 FR 30746, May 29, 2008).

    (i) At the applicable time specified in in Appendix C of Boeing Special Compliance Item Report MDC-92K9145, Revision M, dated February 5, 2013, except as provided by Appendix D, of Boeing Special Compliance Item Report MDC-92K9145, Revision M, dated February 5, 2013.

    (ii) Within 30 days after accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD, or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (i) New: Optional Universal Fault Interrupter (UFI) Installation

    In lieu of doing the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD, within the compliance time specified in paragraph (g) of this AD install a TDG Aerospace Inc. UFI using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (l) of this AD.

    Note 1 to paragraph (i) of this AD:

    TDG Aerospace STC ST02502LA ([http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/4d132827a425d7de86257cd3004dfc02/$FILE/ST02502LA.pdf)] provides additional guidance for installing the TDG UFI.

    (j) No Alternative Actions, Intervals, and CDCCLs

    After the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, has been revised as required by paragraph (h)(3) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections), intervals, or CDCCLs may be used unless the actions, intervals, or CDCCLs are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (l) of this AD.

    (k) Credit for Previous Actions

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

    (1) Boeing MD-80 Service Bulletin 28-53, dated April 8, 1991.

    (2) Boeing MD-80 Service Bulletin 28-63, dated, June 14, 1991.

    (3) Boeing MD-80 Service Bulletin 28-63, Revision 1, dated July 19, 1991.

    (l) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

    (4) AMOCs approved for AD 2012-18-05, Amendment 39-17181 (77 FR 54793, September 6, 2012), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

    (m) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Sérj Harutunian, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5254; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, MC D800-0019, Long Beach, CA 90846-0001; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 2; fax 206-766-5683; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 11, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06745 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE 28 CFR Part 16 [CPCLO Order No. 004-2014] Privacy Act of 1974; Implementation AGENCY:

    Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    As described in the notice section of this issue of the Federal Register, the Department of Justice (Department or DOJ) has published a notice of a new Department-wide Privacy Act system of records, “Department of Justice, Giglio Information Files,” JUSTICE/DOJ-017. This system has been established to enable DOJ investigative agencies to collect and maintain records of potential impeachment information and to disclose such information to DOJ prosecuting offices in order to ensure that prosecutors receive sufficient information to meet their obligations under Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972), as well as to enable DOJ prosecuting offices to maintain records of potential impeachment information obtained from DOJ investigative agencies, other federal agencies, and state and local agencies and to disclose such information in accordance with the Giglio decision. For the reasons provided below, the Department proposes to amend its Privacy Act regulations by establishing an exemption for records in this system from certain provisions of the Privacy Act pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) and (k).

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by April 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Address all comments to the Privacy Analyst, Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties, National Place Building, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20530, or by facsimile to (202) 307-0693. To ensure proper handling, please reference the CPCLO Order Number on your correspondence. You may review an electronic version of the proposed rule at http://www.regulations.gov, and you may also comment by using that Web site's comment form for this regulation. Please include the CPCLO Order Number in the subject box.

    Please note that the Department is requesting that electronic comments be submitted before midnight Eastern Time on the day the comment period closes because this is when http://www.regulations.gov terminates the public's ability to submit comments. Commenters in time zones other than Eastern Time may want to consider this so that their electronic comments are received. All comments sent via regular or express mail will be considered timely if postmarked on or before the day the comment period closes.

    Posting of Public Comments: Please note that all comments received are considered part of the public record and made available for public inspection online at http://www.regulations.gov and in the Department's public docket. Such information includes personally identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter.

    If you want to submit personally identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) as part of your comment, but do not want it to be posted online or made available in the public docket, you must include the phrase “PERSONALLY IDENTIFYING INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also place all the personally identifying information you do not want posted online or made available in the public docket in the first paragraph of your comment and identify what information you want redacted.

    If you want to submit confidential business information as part of your comment, but do not want it to be posted online or made available in the public docket, you must include the phrase “CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also prominently identify confidential business information to be redacted within the comment. If a comment has so much confidential business information that it cannot be effectively redacted, all or part of that comment may not be posted online or made available in the public docket.

    Personally identifying information and confidential business information identified and located as set forth above will be redacted and the comment, in redacted form, will be posted online and placed in the Department's public docket file. Please note that the Freedom of Information Act applies to all comments received. If you wish to inspect the agency's public docket file in person by appointment, please see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT paragraph.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tricia Francis, Executive Office for United States Attorneys, FOIA/Privacy Act Staff, 600 E Street NW., Suite 7300, Washington, DC 20530, or by facsimile at (202) 252-6047.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the notices section of this issue of the Federal Register, the Department of Justice has published a system of records notice for the system entitled, “Department of Justice Giglio Information Files,” JUSTICE/DOJ-017. This Department-wide system notice replaces the notice for the system entitled, “United States Attorney's Office, Giglio Information Files,” JUSTICE/USA-018, 65 FR 75308 (Dec. 1, 2000). That system of records was exempt from certain provisions of the Privacy Act pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) and (k). Those exemptions are codified in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) section for Exemption of United States Attorneys Systems (28 CFR 16.81(g) and (h)). The Department is now proposing to establish a new CFR section for exemptions of the JUSTICE/DOJ-017 system (28 CFR 16.136) and to amend 28 CFR 16.81 by removing paragraphs (g) and (h). The Department intends that the exemptions previously established in 28 CFR 16.81(g) and (h) will continue to apply to the JUSTICE/USA-018 system and all its records until the effective date of 28 CFR 16.136.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule relates to individuals as opposed to small business entities. Pursuant to the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, the proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Small Entity Inquiries

    The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., requires the Department to comply with small entity requests for information and advice about compliance with statutes and regulations within the Department's jurisdiction. Any small entity that has a question regarding this document may contact the person listed in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Persons can obtain further information regarding SBREFA on the Small Business Administration's Web site at http://www.sba.gov/advocacy/825.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3507(d), requires that the Department consider the impact of paperwork and other information-collection burdens imposed on the public. There are no current or new information-collection requirements associated with this proposed rule. The records that are contributed to this system would be created in any event by law enforcement entities, and their sharing of this information electronically will not increase the paperwork burden on these entities.

    Analysis of Regulatory Impacts

    This proposed rule is not a “significant regulatory action” within the meaning of Executive Order 12866 and therefore further regulatory evaluation is not necessary. This proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it applies only to information about individuals.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public Law 104-4, 109 Stat. 48, requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of certain regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. UMRA requires a written statement of economic and regulatory alternatives for proposed and final rules that contain Federal mandates. A “Federal mandate” is a new or additional enforceable duty imposed on any State, local, or tribal government or the private sector. If any Federal mandate causes those entities to spend, in aggregate, $100 million or more in any one year, the UMRA analysis is required. This proposed rule would not impose Federal mandates on any State, local, or tribal government or the private sector.

    List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 16

    Administrative Practices and Procedures, Courts, Freedom of Information Act, Government in the Sunshine Act, Privacy Act.

    Pursuant to the authority vested in the Attorney General by 5 U.S.C. 552a and delegated to me by Attorney General Order No. 2940-2008 the DOJ proposes to amend 28 CFR part 16 as follows:

    PART 16 —[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 16 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301, 552, 552a, 552b(g), 553; 18 U.S.C. 4203(a)(1); 28 U.S.C. 509, 510, 534; 31 U.S.C. 3717, 9701.

    Subpart E—Exemption of Records Systems Under the Privacy Act
    § 16.81—[AMENDED]
    2. Amend § 16.81 by removing paragraphs (g) and (h).
    § 16.136—[ADDED]
    3. Add § 16.136 to subpart E to read as follows:
    § 16.136 Exemption of the Department of Justice, Giglio Information Files, JUSTICE/DOJ-017.

    (a) The Department of Justice, Giglio Information Files (JUSTICE/DOJ-017) system of records is exempted from subsections (c)(3) and (4); (d)(1) through (4); (e)(1), (2), (3), (4)(G), (H), and (I), (5), and (8); (f); and (g) of the Privacy Act. These exemptions apply only to the extent that information in this system is subject to exemption pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) and/or (k).

    (b) Exemptions from the particular subsections are justified for the following reasons:

    (1) From subsection (c)(3) of the Privacy Act because this subsection is inapplicable to the extent that an exemption is being claimed for subsection (d) of the Privacy Act.

    (2) From subsection (c)(4) of the Privacy Act because this subsection is inapplicable to the extent that an exemption is being claimed for subsection (d) of the Privacy Act.

    (3) From subsection (d) of the Privacy Act because access to the records contained in this system may interfere with or impede an ongoing investigation as it may be related to allegations against an agent or witness who is currently being investigated. Further, other records that are derivative of the subject's employing agency files may be accessed through the employing agency's files.

    (4) From subsection (e)(1) of the Privacy Act because it may not be possible to determine in advance if potential impeachment records collected and maintained in order to sufficiently meet the Department's Giglio requirements and obligations are all relevant and necessary. In order to ensure that the Department's prosecutors and investigative agencies receive sufficient information to meet their obligations under Giglio, it is appropriate to maintain potential impeachment information in accordance with Department policy as such records could later be relevant and necessary in a different case in which the same witness or affiant subsequently testifies.

    (5) From subsection (e)(2) of the Privacy Act because collecting information directly from the subject individual could serve notice that the individual is the subject of investigation and because of the nature of the records in this system, which are used to impeach or demonstrate bias of a witness, requires that the information be collected from others.

    (6) From subsection (e)(3) of the Privacy Act because federal law enforcement officers receive notice from their supervisors and prosecuting attorneys that impeachment information may be used at trial. Law enforcement officers are also given notice by the Giglio decision itself.

    (7) From subsections (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I) of the Privacy Act because this system of records is exempt from the access and amendment provisions of subsection (d) of the Privacy Act.

    (8) From subsection (e)(5) of the Privacy Act because it may not be possible to determine in advance if all potential impeachment records collected and maintained in order to sufficiently meet the Department's Giglio requirements and obligations are all accurate, relevant, timely, and complete at the time of collection. Although the Department has policies in place to verify the records, the records may be originated from another agency, third party, or open source media and it may be impossible to ensure the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness of potential impeachment information maintained prior to and during the process of being verified.

    (9) From subsection (e)(8) of the Privacy Act because the nature of the Giglio discovery process renders notice of compliance with the compulsory discovery process impractical.

    (10) From subsections (f) and (g) of the Privacy Act because these subsections are inapplicable to the extent that the system is exempt from other specific subsections of the Privacy Act.

    Dated: March 4, 2015. Erika Brown Lee, Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer, United States Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06938 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-FB-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30 CFR Part 917 [SATS No. KY-256-FOR; Docket ID: OSM-2012-0014; S1D1SSS08011000SX066A00067F154S180110; S2D2SSS08011000SX066A00033F15XS501520] Kentucky Regulatory Program AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; reopening of the public comment period and opportunity for public hearing.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are reopening the public comment period on the proposed amendment to the Kentucky regulatory program (the Kentucky program) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act) that was originally published on February 20, 2013. The public comment period and opportunity for public hearing is being reopened to incorporate subsequent information (emergency regulations, permanent regulations, legislation, and revised statutes) that we received from Kentucky to address a deficiency in the Kentucky program regarding reclamation bonds and to revise its program to be administered in a manner consistent with SMCRA and the Federal regulations.

    This document gives the times and locations that this proposed amendment to the Kentucky program is available for your inspection, the comment period during which you may submit written comments on the amendment, and the procedures that we will follow for the public hearing, if one is requested.

    DATES:

    We will accept written comments on the proposed rules until 4:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST) April 27, 2015. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on April 20, 2015. We will accept requests to speak until 4:00 p.m., EST on April 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by SATS No. KY-256-FOR and OSM Docket No. OSM-2012-0004, by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. The proposed rule has been assigned Docket ID: OSM-2012-0014. Please follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: Mr. Robert Evans, [email protected]

    Fax: (859) 260-8410.

    Mail/Hand Delivery: Mr. Robert Evans, Field Office Director, Lexington Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 2675 Regency Road, Lexington, Kentucky 40503. Please include the rule identifiers (SATS No. KY-256-FOR and Docket ID OSM-2012-0014) with your comments.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this rulemaking. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the “Public Comment Procedures” heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    Docket: For access to the docket to review copies of the Kentucky program, this amendment, a listing of any scheduled public hearings, and all written comments received in response to this document, you must go to the address listed below during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. You may receive one free copy of the amendment by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or the full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at www.regulations.gov. Mr. Robert Evans, Field Office Director, Lexington Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 2675 Regency Road, Lexington, Kentucky 40503. Telephone: (859) 260-3900. Email: [email protected]

    In addition, you may review a copy of the amendment during regular business hours at the following location: Mr. Steve Hohmann, Commissioner, Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, 2 Hudson Hollow, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601. Telephone: (502) 564-6940. Email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Robert Evans, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Telephone: (859) 260-3900. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background on the Kentucky Program II. Description of the Proposed Amendment III. Public Comment Procedures IV. Procedural Determinations I. Background on the Kentucky Program

    Section 503(a) of the Act permits a State to assume primacy for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations on non-Federal and non-Indian lands within its borders by demonstrating that its program includes, among other things, “* * * State law which provides for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations in accordance with the requirements of this Act * * *; and rules and regulations consistent with regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to this Act.” See 30 U.S.C. 1253(a)(1) and (7). On the basis of these criteria, the Secretary of the Interior conditionally approved the Kentucky program on May 18, 1982. You can find background information on the Kentucky program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and conditions of approval, in the May 18, 1982, Federal Register (47 FR 21434). You can also find later actions concerning the Kentucky program and program amendments at 30 CFR 917.11-917.17.

    II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

    Kentucky submitted information on three occasions in response to a Notice under 30 CFR part 733 that we sent to Kentucky on May 1, 2012 (Docket ID OSM-2012-0014) regarding deficiencies in its bonding program. These submissions are intended to address the noted deficiencies and were submitted as follows: September 28, 2012 (emergency and permanent administrative regulations), July 5, 2013 (House Bill (HB) 66 and emergency and permanent regulations), and December 3, 2013 (revised statutes and permanent regulations). Below is a summary of those submissions.

    A. Kentucky Response (First Submission, September 28, 2012): We announced receipt of the submission on September 28, 2012, (first amendment request) in the February 20, 2013 Federal Register (78 FR 11796). We are summarizing the content of that submission again. Our intent is to issue one decision pertaining to both that submission and the two additional submissions announced in this Notice.

    The first amendment submission included program changes intended to take immediate action involving the financial inadequacies of the bond program. These program changes are identified as either emergency Kentucky Administrative Regulations (KARs) or corresponding permanent (ordinary) KARs. Both the emergency and permanent regulations were signed by the Secretary, Energy and Environment Cabinet on May 4, 2012 and submitted to the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission (LRC) on that date. Kentucky recognizes emergency regulations as being valid for 180 days unless permanent regulations are approved and replace the emergency regulations.

    Since Kentucky permanent regulations were approved on September 6, 2012, the emergency regulations expired and we will not be rendering a decision on the emergency regulations in this, or any future, rulemaking. Instead, we will issue a decision only on the permanent regulations. We are including only a brief summary of the emergency administrative regulations, along with a more detailed description in the corresponding permanent administrative regulations. Significant program changes that have been submitted for approval are highlighted below. Minor changes such as typographical corrections, cross-reference changes, and paragraph renumbering are not mentioned.

    1. Emergency Kentucky Administrative Regulations

    405 KAR 10:011E: This is an emergency regulation (as noted by an E following the section number) and is an emergency repealer that removes the following two administrative regulations from Chapter 10 of Title 405: Chapter 405 KAR 10:010, General Requirements for Performance Bond and Liability Insurance, and 405 KAR 10:020, Amount and Duration of Performance Bond. With the exception of 405 KAR 10:010, sections 4 and 5, the contents of the repealed sections are being relocated into a new administrative regulation which will contain all information on bonding surface mine disturbances (See 405 KAR 10:015 addressed below). Section 4, Requirement to File a Certificate of Liability, and Section 5, Incorporation By Reference, are being relocated to 405 KAR 10:030, which is addressed below.

    405 KAR 10:015E: This is an emergency regulation and it immediately implements certain provisions of Kentucky's plan to address the bonding deficiencies. This emergency regulation is identical to the permanent (ordinary) regulations at 405 KAR 10:015 noted below.

    2. Permanent (Ordinary) Kentucky Administrative Regulations

    405 KAR 10:015, General bonding provisions: This is a new regulation that combines two repealed sections (405 KAR 10:010 and 10:020 mentioned above) and incorporates parts of 405 KAR 10:030 (addressed below). It consolidates into one regulation all current existing bonding criteria, types of bonds, bonding methods, terms and conditions of bonds, and new calculation protocols. It also contains a protocol for bond calculation for demolition and disposal costs for materials used in mining operations at preparation plants. In addition, it provides for the calculation of costs associated with mine sites that have been identified as producers of substandard effluent discharges requiring long term treatment. The following significant program changes are included within this regulation:

    Section 6, Determination of Bond Amounts: This section allows the cabinet to use the reclamation costs submitted in the permit application to establish the bond amount required, if those costs are higher than the reclamation costs calculated by the cabinet. It also requires the cabinet to review bond amounts established in the regulations at a minimum of every two years to determine if those amounts are adequate after consideration of the impacts of inflation and increases in reclamation costs. Section 7, Minimum Bond Amount: This section increases minimum bond amounts to $75,000 for the entire surface area under one permit, $75,000 per increment for incrementally bonded permits, $50,000 for a permit or increment operating on previously mined areas, and $10,000 for underground mines that have only underground operations (i.e., no surface facilities). Section 8, Bonding Rate of Additional Areas: This section establishes new, increased bond amounts as follows: • $2,500 per acre and each fraction thereof for coal haul roads, other mine access roads, and mine management areas; • $7,500 per acre and each fraction thereof for refuse disposal areas; • $10,000 per acre and each fraction thereof for an embankment sediment control pond. Each pond must be measured separately if the pond is located off-bench downstream of the proposed mining or storage area. The cabinet also may apply this rate to partial embankment structures as deemed necessary; • $3,500 per acre and each fraction thereof for coal preparation plants. In addition, the bond amount must include the costs associated with demolition and disposal of concrete, masonry, steel, timber, and other materials associated with surface coal mining and reclamation operations; • $2,000 per acre and each fraction thereof for operations on previously mined areas; • $3,500 per acre and each fraction thereof for all areas not otherwise addressed; and • For permits with substandard drainage that require long-term treatment, the cabinet must calculate and the permittee must post an additional bond amount based on the annual treatment cost provided by the permittee, multiplied by 20 years. In lieu of posting this additional bond amount, the permittee may submit a satisfactory reclamation and remediation plan for the areas producing the substandard drainage. Section 11, Supplemental Assurance: This section now includes the supplemental assurance requirements previously located at 405 KAR 16:020 (see summary of 16:020 below) and increases the supplemental assurance amount from $50,000 to $150,000.

    405 KAR 10:030. General requirements for liability insurance: This regulation has been amended. Prior to this revision the regulation included general requirements for the types, terms, and conditions of performance bonds and liability insurance. In this revision, all references to performance bonds have been removed from sections 1 through 3 and now only requirements for liability insurance are included (former sections 4 and 5 have been renumbered as sections 2 and 3). Requirements for performance bonds have been moved to 405 KAR 10:015 as noted above. Also, two forms are specified as requirements related to liability insurance coverage: Certificate of Liability Insurance, and Notice of Cancellation, Nonrenewal or Change of Liability Insurance.

    405 KAR 16:020. Contemporaneous reclamation: This regulation has been amended. A new section is included (Section 1, Definitions) and it defines the term “completed reclamation.” Subsequently, other sections have been renumbered. Other changes include adding references to the new section, 405 KAR 10:015, and removing the section involving Supplemental Assurance. Regulatory information regarding supplemental assurance has been relocated to 405 KAR 10:015, noted above.

    We are not seeking comments on the emergency regulations at 10:011E and 10:015E as they have been replaced by 10:015. If you submitted comments on the emergency and permanent regulations noted above during the public comment period when we published the first submission (79 FR 11796) you do not need to resubmit them, we will be considering these comments in our analysis of the total submission.

    B. Kentucky Response: (Second Submission, July 5, 2013, and Third Submission, December 3, 2013): The first submission primarily addresses general bonding provisions (bonding criteria, types of bonds, bonding methods, terms and conditions of bonds, and new calculation protocols). The second and third submissions address the source of revenue used to supplement permit-specific bonds, the Kentucky Reclamation Guaranty Fund (KRGF), the responsible entities for managing the fund, and other bond pool related provisions.

    On March 11, 2013, the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky enacted HB No. 66 (HB 66), which addressed the deficiencies of the bonding program. This bill had an emergency clause (section 14) and therefore became effective upon signature of the Governor on March 22, 2013. On July 5, 2013, Kentucky submitted HB 66 and emergency and permanent regulations to OSMRE for approval.

    Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS), sections were submitted to OSMRE for approval in December 2013, along with final permanent regulations. We are including a summary of the KRS sections along with the corresponding HB sections even though the revised statutes were submitted with the third submission. This is being done since the HB and statutes are interrelated. The following summarizes the HB, revised statutes, and emergency and permanent regulations:

    1. Legislative Action and Revised Statutes—House Bill 66 (Second Submission) and Kentucky Revised Statutes (Third Submission): On March 11, 2013, HB 66 was enacted and on March 22, 2013, it was signed by the Governor. The major changes involved repealing KRS sections 350.700 through 350.755 (which applied to the voluntary bond pool fund and commission) and adding new sections 350.500 through 350.521. The following sections of the bill are noted along with the corresponding KRS sections, where available.

    HB 66 Section 1—KRS 350.500. Definitions for KRS 350.500 to 350.521: This is a new section that provides the HB 66 definitions of actuarial soundness, date of the establishment of the new fund KRGF, Reclamation Guaranty Fund Commission (RGFC), and voluntary bond pool fund.

    HB 66 Section 2—KRS 350.503. Kentucky reclamation guaranty fund: This is a new section that establishes the KRGF, which is assigned to the cabinet. The KRGF is an interest-bearing reclamation account, requiring mandatory participation and designed to cover the excess costs of reclamation for coal mining sites when the permit-specific performance (penal) bond is inadequate. This does not apply to permits forfeited prior to January 1, 2014, except for obligations that may arise from the forfeiture of bond prior to that date secured by the voluntary bond pool. Funds are also used to compensate the cabinet for costs incurred for administering the fund, procuring audits and actuarial studies, and operating and necessary legal expenses of the RGFC. The fund cannot be used for the long-term treatment of substandard water discharges or to repair subsidence damage. In addition, the fund is exempt from the requirements applicable to insurers.

    HB 66 Section 3—KRS 350.506. Reclamation Guaranty Fund Commission—Membership—Bylaws—Meetings—Conflicts of Interest—Applicability of Executive Branch Code of Ethics: This is a new section that creates the RGFC that is attached to the cabinet. This section provides the make-up of the RGFC membership; the terms and conditions of membership appointments and the establishment of bylaws, official domicile, meeting frequency, member stipend; and attendance requirements. Further, it addresses limits on direct or indirect financial interest of the members, membership immunity from civil or criminal proceedings, and ethics terms.

    HB 66 Section 4—KRS 350.509. Duties of commission: This is a new section and it outlines the responsibilities of the RGFC that include reviewing, recommending, and promulgating regulations necessary to: Monitor and maintain the fund; establish a structure for processing claims and making payments; establish the mechanisms for the review of the viability of the fund; set a schedule for penalties for late payment or failure to pay fees and assessments; review and assign classification of mine types for fee assessments; establish a structure for the payment of fees and assessments; authorizing expenditures from the fund; notifying the permittees of suspension/reinstatement of fees, annually report the status of the KRGF, and take action against permittees to recover funds if necessary.

    HB 66 Section 5—KRS 350.512. Office of the Reclamation Guaranty Fund—Duties of executive director: This is a new section and establishes an Office of the Reclamation Guaranty Fund (ORGF) and appoints an executive director to manage its affairs and provides for the responsibilities of the executive director.

    HB 66 Section 6—KRS 350.515. Mandatory participation in fund—Initial capitalization—One-time assessments—Full-cost bond in lieu of participation: This is a new section and mandates that all surface coal mining permittees be participants in the fund, unless the permittee elects to provide full-cost bond. Member entities are given the option to either provide full-cost bond based on a reclamation cost estimate that reflects potential reclamation costs to the cabinet or participate in the fund, which includes assessment of fees noted in 350.518 below.

    In addition, this section also provides for the initial capitalization of the KRGF fund that consists of: (1) Transfer of the assets and liabilities of the voluntary bond pool fund; (2) a one-time start-up assessment for all current permittees as of July 1, 2013 in the amount of $1,500; and (3) a one-time $10 per active permitted acre assessment. Entities entering the fund after July 1, 2013 shall pay a one-time assessment of $10,000 to the fund. No individual permit shall be issued until the one-time assessments are paid. Members of the former voluntary bond pool are exempt from the one-time start-up assessment and active permitted acre assessment. If an applicant opts out and elects to provide a full-cost bond, the applicant shall not be subject to these assessments.

    HB 66 Section 7—KRS 350.518. Permittee to submit permit-specific bond under KRS 350.060(11)—Tonnage fees—Assignment of mine type classification—Inclusion of future permits of existing classification—Inclusion of future permits of existing voluntary bond pool fund members—Permit-specific penal bond—Administrative regulations—Suspension of permit for arrearage in fees—Distribution of penalties collected under KRS 350.990(1)—Rights and remedies: This is a new section that provides that:

    Permit-specific bond: Each member permittee (those that did not elect to opt-out of the fund) shall also submit a permit-specific bond. Tonnage fees: In addition to the bond, each permittee shall pay a fee for each ton of coal mined and sold by surface and underground coal mining operations from each permit area. In addition, the RFGC may request and review documents and reports provided by the Kentucky Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and OSMRE to verify production records. Assignment of mine type classification: The fee assessment is based on the type of permit classification. Inclusion of existing VBP members: This section also provides that permits that were subject to the voluntary bond pool: (1) Are excluded from the one-time start-up assessment/fee; (2) are subject to the new tonnage fees, instead of the tonnage fees which had been previously established (prior to July 1, 2013); and (3) will continue to receive subsidization of the reclamation bonding authorized under these new statutes and new permanent regulations.

    The KRGF will continue to provide coverage for the existing bonds previously issued for them by the voluntary bond pool. It also provides the criteria that members of the voluntary bond pool as of July 1, 2013 must meet in order to be included in the Fund. This section also specifies a maximum increase for which the total amount of bonds issued to any one member of the voluntary bond pool will apply.

    Permanent Regulations: Administrative regulations will be promulgated by the RGFC to address the reporting and payment of fees (see administrative regulations promulgated). Suspension of permit for arrearage in fees: This section also provides that the cabinet shall suspend a permit if the permittee is in arrearage in the payment of any fees assessed to the permit. Once the arrearage has been paid in full, the permit suspension may be lifted. The suspension may be appealed pursuant to the hearing provisions of KRS 350.0301, Petition challenging determination of cabinet, Conduct of hearings, etc. Distribution of Penalties: This section also provides the manner in which penalties collected shall be deposited and applied. Rights and Remedies: Any person who considers him or herself to be aggrieved by any determination made by the commission shall have all of the rights and remedies provided in section 350.0301 pertaining to petitions challenging determinations of the cabinet. Other Provisions and Responsibilities: This section also provides the terms and conditions for which an annual fee based on acreage shall apply for non-production permits (i.e., coal preparation and processing operations, loading activities, coal haulage and access roads). It also provides the terms and conditions for which a fee may apply for any expired permits or other permits not subject to the fees mentioned above.

    In addition, if an entity was not a participant in the Fund as of March 22, 2013, a permit may be considered for inclusion in the fund if the entity and entity's owners can meet eligibility standards established in permanent regulations promulgated by the RGFC. Any permits accepted into the fund shall require payment of a permit-specific performance bond based on acreage and shall pay the actuarially determined tonnage rates prescribed. The RGFC shall make changes to the rates in an amount sufficient to maintain actuarial soundness of the fund in accordance with the annual actuarial study.

    HB 66 Section 8—KRS 350.521. Forfeiture of bonds for permits covered by fund—Use of additional moneys when bond insufficient to cover estimated reclamation cost: This is a new section that provides that bond for permits covered by the fund forfeited after January 1, 2014 shall be placed in the fund. It also provides that in the event that a forfeited bond is insufficient to reclaim the permit to the requirements, any outstanding permit-specific performance bond for reclamation on the forfeited permit shall be used first before any additional monies necessary to reclaim the permit area are withdrawn from the KRGF. It also provides the manner in which the request from the cabinet and transfer shall occur. The commission, its members, and employees shall not be named a party to any forfeiture action.

    HB 66 Section 9—KRS 12:020, Enumeration of departments, program cabinets, and administrative bodies: This section is amended to add the ORGF, DNR to the list of departments, program cabinets and their departments, and the respective major bodies.

    HB 66 Section 10—KRS 350.595. Application for inclusion under Abandoned Mine Land Enhancement Program—Coverage under Kentucky reclamation guaranty fund: This section is amended to provide that an applicant who desires to remine property shall send the application for the use of bond pool funds (for qualified AML enhancement projects) to the RGFC instead of the Bond Pool Commission. It also adds appropriate references or deletes references related to the Bond Pool.

    HB 66 Section 11—KRS 350.990. Penalties: This section is amended to reflect that all sums recovered, except those moneys collected in excess of $800,000 in any fiscal year be deposited 50% in the reclamation guaranty fund (rather than the bond pool fund). It removes the $16 million base amount below which the former bond pool fund could not be allowed to sink.

    HB 66 Section 12—KRS 350.700 to 350.755: The following sections are repealed due to the abolishment of the voluntary bond pool:

    —350.700. Bond pool fund established; —350.705. Bond Pool Commission; —350.710. Powers of the Commission; —350.720. Bond Pool (Criteria compliance records); —350.725. Membership fee—tonnage fee; —350.730. Tonnage fee suspension or reinstatement; —350.735. Permit-specific penal bond; —350.740. Permit issuance; —350.745. Payments from fund for reclamation; —350.750. Revocation of membership in bond pool; and —350.755. Grounds for refusal of permit.

    We note that it is our understanding that HB 66 was intended to also repeal 350.715, Pool administrator, and is consistent with the removal of all other sections involving the voluntary bond pool references. However, this section remains in effect and cannot be removed until the repeal is submitted for approval.

    HB 66 Section 13—(no corresponding KRS section since a revised statute is not necessary): This section provides that the assets and liabilities of the voluntary bond pool be immediately transferred to the KRGF. Any records, files and documents associated with the activities of the voluntary bond pool shall also be transferred. The affairs of the voluntary bond pool shall be wound up, and the cabinet shall have disposition over placement or transfer of any personnel of the voluntary bond pool. No existing contract shall be impaired.

    HB 66 Section 14—(no corresponding KRS section since a revised statute is not necessary): This section provides for the immediate implementation of the provisions of the bill.

    2. Kentucky Administrative Regulations

    Emergency Kentucky Administrative Regulations (Second Submission): Following passage of HB 66, Kentucky developed emergency and permanent administrative regulations to remove requirements that were no longer applicable as part of Kentucky's bonding program and to prevent overlapping requirements for the former members of the voluntary bond pool. Both the emergency and permanent regulations were submitted to the Legislative Research Commission on July 3, 2013. These permanent regulations were approved by the Secretary, Energy and Environment Cabinet, on November 7, 2013. On that same date, the emergency regulations expired. Therefore, we will not be rendering a decision on the emergency regulation in this, or any future, rulemaking. Instead, we will issue a decision only on the permanent regulations.

    405 KAR 10:001E, Definitions: This is an emergency regulation that is necessary to immediately implement amendments to match other emergency regulations filed simultaneously. This section is identical to the permanent regulation (405 KAR 10:001), which is described below. 405 KAR 10.070E, Kentucky Reclamation Guaranty Fund: This is an emergency regulation that is necessary to immediately implement the provisions of HB 66 related to the establishment of the KRGF and the RGFC. The emergency regulation will be replaced by a permanent regulation at 10:070, which is not identical to this emergency regulation. The difference is that the emergency regulation includes provisions for the initial capitalization of the KRGF (one time assessments) and the terms and conditions in which these assessments are paid. It also provides the terms in which former voluntary bond pool members report coal mined and sold until and after January 1, 2014. These two provisions are not included in the permanent regulation (405 KAR 10:070) described below. 405 KAR 10:080E: Full-cost bonding: This is an emergency regulation that is necessary to immediately implement the provisions of HB 66 allowing permittees to not participate in the KRGF and provide full-cost reclamation bonds for coal mine surface disturbances. This emergency regulation will be replaced by a permanent regulation at 10:080, which is not identical to this emergency regulation. The difference is that this emergency regulation includes provisions pertaining to members with permits issued prior to July 1, 2013. It provides the terms and conditions in which the permittee shall make such election. This provision is not included in the permanent regulation (405 KAR 10:080) described below. 405 KAR 10:090E, Production Fees: This is an emergency regulation that is necessary to immediately set the amount of the tonnage fees required by section 7(2)(a) and (b) of HB 66. The emergency regulation will be replaced by a permanent regulation, which is identical to this emergency regulation. 405 KAR 10:201E, Repeal of 405 KAR 10:200: This is an emergency regulation that repeals Chapter 405 KAR 10:200, Kentucky Bond Pool, from Kentucky's administrative regulations: This emergency administrative regulation is necessary to remove requirements that are no longer applicable as part of Kentucky's bonding program and prevent overlapping requirements for those former members. The emergency administrative regulation will not be replaced by a permanent regulation.

    3. Permanent (Ordinary) Kentucky Administrative Regulations (Second and Third Submissions): In addition to the emergency regulations, Kentucky also submitted proposed corresponding administrative regulations that revise its bonding administrative regulations in its approved permanent regulatory program. Except as mentioned above, these permanent regulations are, for the most part, identical to the emergency regulations submitted. These permanent regulations were signed by the Secretary, Energy and Environment Cabinet on July 7, 2013 and were submitted as final to OSMRE in the second submission, with the exception of 405 KAR 8:010, which was submitted with the third submission.

    405 KAR 10:001. Definitions for 405 KAR Chapter 10: This regulation is amended to add the definition of the following terms: Acquisition; active acre; actuarial soundness; dormancy fee; coal mined and sold; final disposition; full-cost bonding; Kentucky Reclamation Guaranty Fund; Office of the Reclamation Guaranty Fund; opt-out; member, non-production fee; and acquisition as it relates to criteria for identifying land historically used for cropland. The definitions of bond pool, bond pool administrator, and bond pool commission have been deleted. Bond pool and bond pool administrator have been replaced with and definitions of KRGF and the ORGF.

    405 KAR 10:015. General bonding provisions: This regulation is amended to add bonds from the KRGF to the list of types of performance bonds approved by the cabinet and also details how bonds on future permits subsidized by the KRGF for former VBP members will be released. It also includes the option of providing full-cost bonds to the section on determination of bond amount. The amendment is necessary to clarify that the regulated entity should provide the calculation for the cabinet's cost of reclamation in the event a full-cost option is chosen.

    405 KAR 10:070. Kentucky reclamation guaranty fund: This is a new regulation and provides information related to the operation and sources of revenue for the KRGF, classification of permits, reporting and payment of fees, and penalties. Permittees will be mandatory participants in the KRGF unless they chose to opt-out. These regulations require that permittees comply with reporting requirements, maintain production records, provide initial assessments, pay fees, comply with penalty provisions, and complete and submit required forms.

    405 KAR 10:080. Full-cost bonding: This is a new regulation and provides that members have the option to provide full-cost bonds in lieu of maintaining membership in the KRGF (opt out) and the manner in which a permittee shall make such declaration. For full-cost bond elections it also provides for the calculation of bonding estimates and forms required to submit such estimates, the requirement for a registered professional engineer to certify estimates, and the requirement to submit a bond once the Department has accepted the reclamation estimate. A member with permits issued prior to July 1, 2013 that has made the decision to opt-out is required to post full-cost reclamation bonds with the Department before April 30, 2014 on all permits held by the member.

    405 KAR 10:090. Production Fees: This is a new regulation and provides information on production fees, the amount of the fees, and the schedule that payments are to be remitted.

    405 KAR 8:010. General provisions for permits: This regulation has been amended to provide that permittees shall submit a minor revision application for the purpose of providing a full-cost reclamation bonding estimate to the cabinet. This was done to provide the Division of Mine Permits 30 working days after the notice of administrative completeness to review full-cost bonding revisions. The original provisions allowed for 15 working days.

    The full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES or at www.regulations.gov.

    III. Public Comment Procedures

    Under the provisions of 30 CFR 732.17(h), we are seeking your comments on whether the amendment satisfies the applicable program approval criteria of 30 CFR 732.15. If we approve the amendment, it will become part of the State program. As mentioned earlier, if you submitted comments on the first submission during the public comment period (79 FR 11796) you do not need to resubmit them, we will be considering these comments in our analysis of the total submission.

    Electric or Written Comments

    If you submit written or electronic comments on the proposed rule during the 30-day comment period, they should be specific, confined to issues pertinent to the proposed regulations, and explain the reason for any recommended change(s). We appreciate any and all comments, but those most useful and likely to influence decisions on the final regulations will be those that either involve personal experience or include citations to and analyses of SMCRA, its legislative history, its implementing regulations, case law, other pertinent State or Federal laws or regulations, technical literature, or other relevant publications.

    We cannot ensure that comments received after the close of the comment period (see DATES) or sent to an address other than those listed (see ADDRESSES) will be included in the docket for this rulemaking and considered.

    Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Public Hearing

    If you wish to speak at a public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by 4:00 p.m., EST), on April 10, 2015. If you are disabled and need reasonable accommodation to attend a public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will arrange the location and time of the hearing with those persons requesting the hearing. If no one requests an opportunity to speak, we will not hold a hearing.

    To assist the transcriber and ensure an accurate record, we request, if possible, that each person who speaks at the public hearing provide us with a written copy of his or her comments. The public hearing will continue on the specified date until everyone scheduled to speak has been given an opportunity to be heard. If you are in the audience and have not been scheduled to speak and wish to do so, you will be allowed to speak after those who have been scheduled. We will end the hearing after everyone scheduled to speak and others present in the audience who wish to speak, have been heard.

    Public Meeting

    If there is only limited interest in having an opportunity to speak, we may hold a public meeting rather than a public hearing. If you wish to meet with us to discuss the amendment, please request a meeting by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All such meetings are open to the public and, if possible, we will post notices of meetings at the locations listed under ADDRESSES. We will make a written summary of each meeting a part of the administrative record.

    IV. Procedural Determinations Executive Order 12866—Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule is exempt from review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866.

    Other Laws and Executive Orders Affecting Rulemaking

    When a State submits a program amendment to OSMRE for review, our regulations at 30 CFR 732.17(h) require us to publish a notice in the Federal Register indicating receipt of the proposed amendment, its text or a summary of its terms, and an opportunity for public comment. We conclude our review of the proposed amendment after the close of the public comment period and determine whether the amendment should be approved, approved in part, or not approved. At that time, we will also make the determinations and certifications required by the various laws and executive orders governing the rulemaking process and include them in the final rule.

    List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 917

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: December 29, 2014. David G. Hartos, Deputy Regional Director, Appalachian Region.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06962 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    LIBRARY OF CONGRESS Copyright Royalty Board 37 CFR Part 380 [Docket No. 2014-CRB-0001-WR (2016-2020) (Web IV)] Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings and Ephemeral Recordings AGENCY:

    Copyright Royalty Board, Library of Congress.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Copyright Royalty Judges are publishing for comment proposed regulations governing the rates and terms for the digital performances of sound recordings by certain public radio stations and for the making of ephemeral recordings necessary to facilitate those transmissions for the period commencing January 1, 2016, and ending on December 31, 2020.

    DATES:

    Comments and objections, if any, are due no later than April 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The proposed rule is posted on the agency's Web site (www.loc.gov/crb). Submit electronic comments online at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] Those who choose not to submit comments electronically should see How to Submit Comments in the Supplementary Information section below for physical addresses and further instructions.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kimberly Whittle, Attorney Advisor, by telephone at (202) 707-7658, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On February 24, 2015, the Copyright Royalty Judges (Judges) received a joint motion from SoundExchange, Inc., National Public Radio, Inc., and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to adopt a partial settlement of their interests and those of American Public Media, Public Radio International, Public Radio Exchange, and other unnamed public radio stations (together, the Settling Parties) regarding Web IV rates and terms for 2016-2020.1 Joint Motion to Adopt Partial Settlement, Docket No. 2014-CRB-0001-WR (2016-2020). Their interests concern the rule setting minimum copyright royalty fees and terms that the Judges will establish for compulsory copyright licenses for certain internet transmissions of sound recordings by public radio stations for the period from January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2020. SoundExchange, Inc. represents sound recording copyright owners and performers. The Settling Parties are users of the copyrighted material including public radio stations. The Judges hereby publish the proposed settlement and request comments from the public.

    1 Web IV is short for Webcasting IV. This proceeding is the fourth since Congress enacted the compulsory sound recording performance license for webcasting.

    Section 114 of the Copyright Act, title 17 of the United States Code, provides a statutory license that allows for the public performance of sound recordings by means of a digital audio transmission by, among others, eligible nonsubscription transmission services. 17 U.S.C. 114(f). For purposes of the section 114 license, an “eligible nonsubscription transmission” is a noninteractive digital audio transmission that does not require a subscription for receiving the transmission. The transmission must also be made as part of a service that provides audio programming consisting in whole or in part of performances of sound recordings the purpose of which is to provide audio or other entertainment programming, but not to sell, advertise, or promote particular goods or services. See 17 U.S.C. 114(j)(6).

    Services using the section 114 license may need to make one or more temporary or “ephemeral” copies of a sound recording in order to facilitate the transmission of that recording. The section 112 statutory license allows for the making of the necessary ephemeral reproductions. 17 U.S.C. 112(e).

    Chapter 8 of the Copyright Act requires the Judges to conduct proceedings every five years to determine the rates and terms for the sections 114 and 112 statutory licenses. 17 U.S.C. 801(b)(1), 804(b)(3)(A). The current proceeding commenced in January 2014 for rates and terms that will become effective on January 1, 2016, and end on December 31, 2020. Pursuant to section 804(b)(3)(A), the Judges published in the Federal Register a notice commencing the proceeding and requesting that interested parties submit their petitions to participate. 79 FR 412 (January 3, 2014). The following parties submitted Petitions to Participate: 8tracks, Inc.; AccuRadio, LLC; Amazon.com, Inc.; Apple Inc; Beats Music, LLC; Clear Channel; CMN, Inc.; College Broadcasters, Inc. (CBI); CustomChannels.net, LLC; Digital Media Association (DiMA); Digitally Imported, Inc.; Educational Media Foundation; Feed Media, Inc.; Geo Music Group; Harvard Radio Broadcasting Inc. (WHRB); idobi Network; Intercollegiate Broadcasting System, Inc. (IBS); Music Reports, Inc.; National Association of Broadcasters (NAB); National Music Publishers Association (NMPA); National Public Radio (NPR); National Religious Broadcasters Noncommercial Music License Committee (NRBNMLC); Pandora Media Inc.; Rhapsody International, Inc.; Sirius XM Radio Inc.; SomaFM.com LLC; SoundExchange, Inc. (SX); Spotify USA Inc.; and Triton.2

    2 The following ten parties have withdrawn their Petitions to Participate: 8tracks, Inc.; Amazon.com, Inc.; CMN, Inc.; CustomChannels.net, LLC; Digitally Imported, Inc.; Feed Media, Inc.; idobi Network; Rhapsody International, Inc.; SomaFM.com LLC; and Spotify USA Inc. Three parties, Music Reports, Inc., NMPA, and Triton Digital, Inc., have been dismissed from the proceeding.

    The Judges set the timetable for the three-month negotiation period for February 21, 2014, through May 22, 2014. See 17 U.S.C. 803(b)(3). The Judges set December 22, 2014, as the deadline by which participants were to submit amended written direct statements. On February 24, 2015, SoundExchange and the Settling Parties submitted to the Judges a joint motion to adopt a partial settlement of their interests in the proceeding. The parties requested that the Judges make their decision on the motion expeditiously, as the hearings in this rate proceeding are scheduled to commence on April 27, 2015.

    Statutory Timing of Adoption of Rates and Terms

    Section 801(b)(7)(A) allows for the adoption of rates and terms negotiated by “some or all of the participants in a proceeding at any time during the proceeding” provided the parties submit the negotiated rates and terms to the Judges for approval. That provision directs the Judges to provide those who would be bound by the negotiated rates and terms an opportunity to comment on the agreement. Unless a participant in a proceeding objects and the Judges conclude that the agreement does not provide a reasonable basis for setting statutory rates or terms, the Judges adopt the negotiated rates and terms. 17 U.S.C. 801(b)(7)(A).

    If the Judges adopt the proposed rates and terms pursuant to this provision for the 2016-2020 rate period, the adopted rates and terms shall be binding on all copyright owners of sound recordings, NPR, American Public Media, Public Radio International, and Public Radio Exchange, and up to 530 public radio stations to be named by CPB that perform sound recordings during the license period 2016-2020.

    Proposed Adjustments to Rates and Terms

    In the proposed settlement, SoundExchange and the Settling Parties request that the Judges adopt the rates and terms for public radio as a new “Subpart D” to part 380, 37 CFR. Under the proposal, the parties would continue the rate structure in place for public radio, while increasing the fee amount. Joint Motion to Adopt Partial Settlement at 3. The proposal also contemplates retention of largely unchanged recordkeeping and reporting terms, by which affected entities take advantage of a consolidated report of usage prepared by and submitted through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Id.

    The public may comment and object to any or all of the proposed regulations contained in this notice. Such comments and objections must be submitted no later than April 16, 2015.

    How To Submit Comments

    Interested members of the public must submit comments to only one of the following addresses. If not commenting by email or online, commenters must submit an original of their comments, five paper copies, and an electronic version on a CD.

    Email: [email protected]; or

    Online: http://www.regulations.gov; or

    U.S. mail: Copyright Royalty Board, P.O. Box 70977, Washington, DC 20024-0977; or

    Overnight service (only USPS Express Mail is acceptable): Copyright Royalty Board, P.O. Box 70977, Washington, DC 20024-0977; or

    Commercial courier: Address package to: Copyright Royalty Board, Library of Congress, James Madison Memorial Building, LM-403, 101 Independence Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20559-6000. Deliver to: Congressional Courier Acceptance Site, 2nd Street NE. and D Street NE., Washington, DC; or

    Hand delivery: Library of Congress, James Madison Memorial Building, LM-401, 101 Independence Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20559-6000.

    List of Subjects in 37 CFR Part 380

    Copyright, Sound recordings, Webcasters.

    Proposed Regulations

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Copyright Royalty Judges propose to amend 37 CFR part 380 as follows:

    PART 380—RATES AND TERMS FOR CERTAIN ELIGIBLE NONSUBSCRIPTION TRANSMISSIONS, NEW SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES AND THE MAKING OF EPHEMERAL REPRODUCTIONS 1. The authority citation for part 380 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    17 U.S.C. 112(e), 114(f), 804(b)(3).

    2. Add Subpart D to part 380 to read as follows: 3. Subpart D—Certain Transmissions by Public Broadcasting Entities Sec. 380.30 General. 380.31 Definitions. 380.32 Royalty fees for the public performance of sound recordings and for ephemeral recordings. 380.33 Terms for making payment of royalty fees and statements of account. 380.34 Confidential Information. 380.35 Verification of royalty payments. 380.36 Verification of royalty distributions. 380.37 Unclaimed funds. Subpart D—Certain Transmissions by Public Broadcasting Entities
    § 380.30 General.

    (a) Scope. This subpart establishes rates and terms of royalty payments for the public performance of sound recordings in certain digital transmissions, through Authorized Web sites, by means of Web site Performances, by certain Covered Entities as set forth in this subpart in accordance with the provisions of 17 U.S.C. 114, and the making of ephemeral recordings by Covered Entities in accordance with the provisions of 17 U.S.C. 112(e) solely as necessary to encode Sound Recordings in different formats and at different bit rates as necessary to facilitate Web site Performances, during the period January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2020. The provisions of this subpart shall apply to the Covered Entities in lieu of other rates and terms applicable under 17 U.S.C. 112(e) and 114.

    (b) Legal compliance. Licensees relying upon the statutory licenses set forth in 17 U.S.C. 112(e) and 114 shall comply with the requirements of those sections, the rates and terms of this subpart, and any other applicable regulations.

    (c) Relationship to voluntary agreements. Notwithstanding the royalty rates and terms established in this subpart, the rates and terms of any license agreements entered into by Copyright Owners and Licensees shall apply in lieu of the rates and terms of this subpart to transmission within the scope of such agreements.

    § 380.31 Definitions.

    For purposes of this subpart, the following definitions shall apply:

    Aggregate Tuning Hours (ATH) means the total hours of programming that Covered Entities have transmitted during the relevant period to all listeners within the United States from all Covered Entities that provide audio programming consisting, in whole or in part, of Web site Performances, less the actual running time of any sound recordings for which the Covered Entity has obtained direct licenses apart from this Agreement. By way of example, if a Covered Entity transmitted one hour of programming to ten (10) simultaneous listeners, the Covered Entity's Aggregate Tuning Hours would equal ten (10). If three (3) minutes of that hour consisted of transmission of a directly licensed recording, the Covered Entity's Aggregate Tuning Hours would equal nine (9) hours and thirty (30) minutes. As an additional example, if one listener listened to a Covered Entity for ten (10) hours (and none of the recordings transmitted during that time was directly licensed), the Covered Entity's Aggregate Tuning Hours would equal 10.

    Authorized Web site is any Web site operated by or on behalf of any Covered Entity that is accessed by Web site Users through a Uniform Resource Locator (“URL”) owned by such Covered Entity and through which Web site Performances are made by such Covered Entity.

    CPB is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

    Collective is the collection and distribution organization that is designated by the Copyright Royalty Judges. For the 2016-2020 license period, the Collective is SoundExchange, Inc.

    Copyright Owners are Sound Recording copyright owners who are entitled to royalty payments made under this subpart pursuant to the statutory licenses under 17 U.S.C. 112(e) and 114(f).

    Covered Entities are NPR, American Public Media, Public Radio International, and Public Radio Exchange, and up to 530 Originating Public Radio Stations as named by CPB. CPB shall notify SoundExchange annually of the eligible Originating Public Radio Stations to be considered Covered Entities hereunder (subject to the numerical limitations set forth herein). The number of Originating Public Radio Stations treated hereunder as Covered Entities shall not exceed 530 for a given year without SoundExchange's express written approval, except that CPB shall have the option to increase the number of Originating Public Radio Stations that may be considered Covered Entities as provided in § 380.32(c).

    Ephemeral Phonorecords are Phonorecords of all or any portion of any Sound Recordings; provided that:

    (1) Such Phonorecords are limited solely to those necessary to encode Sound Recordings in different formats and at different bit rates as necessary to facilitate Web site Performances covered by this subpart;

    (2) Such Phonorecords are made in strict conformity with the provisions set forth in 17 U.S.C. 112(e)(1)(A) through (D), and

    (3) The Covered Entities comply with 17 U.S.C. 112(a) and (e) and all of the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

    Music ATH is ATH of Web site Performances of Sound Recordings of musical works.

    NPR is National Public Radio, Inc.

    Originating Public Radio Station is a noncommercial terrestrial radio broadcast station that:

    (1) Is licensed as such by the Federal Communications Commission;

    (2) Originates programming and is not solely a repeater station;

    (3) Is a member or affiliate of NPR, American Public Media, Public Radio International, or Public Radio Exchange, a member of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, or another public radio station that is qualified to receive funding from CPB pursuant to its criteria;

    (4) Qualifies as a “noncommercial webcaster” under 17 U.S.C. 114(f)(5)(E)(i); and

    (5) Either:

    (i) Offers Web site Performances only as part of the mission that entitles it to be exempt from taxation under section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 501); or

    (ii) In the case of a governmental entity (including a Native American Tribal governmental entity), is operated exclusively for public purposes.

    Performers means the independent administrators identified in 17 U.S.C. 114(g)(2)(B) and (C) and the individuals and entities identified in 17 U.S.C. 114(g)(2)(D).

    Person is a natural person, a corporation, a limited liability company, a partnership, a trust, a joint venture, any governmental authority or any other entity or organization.

    Phonorecords have the meaning set forth in 17 U.S.C. 101.

    Qualified Auditor is a Certified Public Accountant, or a person, who by virtue of education or experience, is appropriately qualified to perform an audit to verify royalty payments related to performances of sound recordings.

    Side Channel is any Internet-only program available on an Authorized Web site or an archived program on such Authorized Web site that, in either case, conforms to all applicable requirements under 17 U.S.C. 114.

    Sound Recording has the meaning set forth in 17 U.S.C. 101.

    Term is the period January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2020.

    Web site is a site located on the World Wide Web that can be located by a Web site User through a principal URL.

    Web site Performances (1) Are all public performances by means of digital audio transmissions of Sound Recordings, including the transmission of any portion of any Sound Recording, made through an Authorized Web site in accordance with all requirements of 17 U.S.C. 114, from servers used by a Covered Entity (provided that the Covered Entity controls the content of all materials transmitted by the server), or by a contractor authorized pursuant to Section 380.32(f), that consist of either:

    (i) The retransmission of a Covered Entity's over-the-air terrestrial radio programming; or

    (ii) The digital transmission of nonsubscription Side Channels that are programmed and controlled by the Covered Entity.

    (2) This term does not include digital audio transmissions made by any other means.

    Web site Users are all those who access or receive Web site Performances or who access any Authorized Web site.

    § 380.32 Royalty fees for the public performance of sound recordings and for ephemeral recordings.

    (a) Royalty rates. The total license fee for all Web site Performances by Covered Entities during the Term, up to a total Music ATH of 285,132,065 per calendar year, and Ephemeral Phonorecords made by Covered Entities solely to facilitate such Web site Performances, during the Term shall be $2,800,000 (the “License Fee”), unless additional payments are required as described in paragraph (c) of this section.

    (b) Calculation of License Fee. It is understood that the License Fee includes:

    (1) An annual minimum fee of $500 for each Covered Entity for each year during the Term;

    (2) Additional usage fees for certain Covered Entities; and

    (3) A discount that reflects the administrative convenience to the Collective of receiving annual lump sum payments that cover a large number of separate entities, as well as the protection from bad debt that arises from being paid in advance.

    (c) Increase in Covered Entities. If the total number of Originating Public Radio Stations that wish to make Web site Performances in any calendar year exceeds the number of such Originating Public Radio Stations considered Covered Entities in the relevant year, and the excess Originating Public Radio Stations do not wish to pay royalties for such Web site Performances apart from this subpart, CPB may elect by written notice to the Collective to increase the number of Originating Public Radio Stations considered Covered Entities in the relevant year effective as of the date of the notice. To the extent of any such elections, CPB shall make an additional payment to the Collective for each calendar year or part thereof it elects to have an additional Originating Public Radio Station considered a Covered Entity, in the amount of $500 per Originating Public Radio Station per year. Such payment shall accompany the notice electing to have an additional Originating Public Radio Station considered a Covered Entity.

    (d) Ephemeral recordings. The royalty payable under 17 U.S.C. 112(e) for the making of all ephemeral recordings used by Covered Entities solely to facilitate Web site Performances for which royalties are paid pursuant to this subpart shall be included within, and constitute 5% of, the total royalties payable under 17 U.S.C. 112(e) and 114.

    (e) Effect of non-performance by any Covered Entity. In the event that any Covered Entity violates any of the material provisions of 17 U.S.C. 112(e) or 114 or this subpart that it is required to perform, the remedies of the Collective shall be specific to that Covered Entity only, and shall include, without limitation, termination of that Covered Entity's right to be treated as a Covered Entity hereunder upon written notice to CPB. The Collective and Copyright Owners also shall have whatever rights may be available to them against that Covered Entity under applicable law. The Collective's remedies for such a breach or failure by an individual Covered Entity shall not include termination of the rights of other Covered Entities to be treated as Covered Entities hereunder, except that if CPB fails to pay the License Fee or otherwise fails to perform any of the material provisions of this subpart, or such a breach or failure by a Covered Entity results from CPB's inducement, and CPB does not cure such breach or failure within 30 days after receiving notice thereof from the Collective, then the Collective may terminate the right of all Covered Entities to be treated as Covered Entities hereunder upon written notice to CPB. In such a case, a prorated portion of the License Fee for the remainder Term (to the extent paid by CPB) shall, after deduction of any damages payable to the Collective by virtue of the breach or failure, be credited to statutory royalty obligations of Covered Entities to the Collective for the Term as specified by CPB.

    (f) Use of contractors. The right to rely on this subpart is limited to Covered Entities, except that a Covered Entity may employ the services of a third person to provide the technical services and equipment necessary to deliver Web site Performances on behalf of such Covered Entity, but only through an Authorized Web site. Any agreement between a Covered Entity and any third person for such services shall:

    (1) Obligate such third person to provide all such services in accordance with all applicable provisions of the statutory licenses and this subpart,

    (2) Specify that such third person shall have no right to make Web site Performances or any other performances or Phonorecords on its own behalf or on behalf of any person or entity other than a Covered Entity through the Covered Entity's Authorized Web site by virtue of its services for the Covered Entity, including in the case of Phonorecords, pre-encoding or otherwise establishing a library of Sound Recordings that it offers to a Covered Entity or others for purposes of making performances, but instead must obtain all necessary licenses from the Collective, the copyright owner or another duly authorized person, as the case may be;

    (3) Specify that such third person shall have no right to grant any sublicenses under the statutory licenses; and

    (4) Provide that the Collective is an intended third-party beneficiary of all such obligations with the right to enforce a breach thereof against such third person.

    § 380.33 Terms for making payment of royalty fees and statements of account.

    (a) Payment to the Collective. CPB shall pay the License Fee to the Collective in five equal installments of $560,000 each, which shall be due December 31, 2015 and annually thereafter through December 31, 2019.

    (b) Designation of the Collective. (1) Until such time as a new designation is made, SoundExchange, Inc., is designated as the Collective to receive statements of account and royalty payments for Covered Entities under this subpart and to distribute such royalty payments to each Copyright Owner and Performer, or their designated agents, entitled to receive royalties under 17 U.S.C. 112(e) or 114(g).

    (2) If SoundExchange, Inc. should dissolve or cease to be governed by a board consisting of equal numbers of representatives of Copyright Owners and Performers, then it shall be replaced by a successor Collective upon the fulfillment of the requirements set forth in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section.

    (i) By a majority vote of the nine Copyright Owner representatives and the nine Performer representatives on the SoundExchange board as of the last day preceding the condition precedent in this paragraph (b)(2) of this section, such representatives shall file a petition with the Copyright Royalty Judges designating a successor to collect and distribute royalty payments to Copyright Owners and Performers entitled to receive royalties under 17 U.S.C. 112(e) or 114(g) that have themselves authorized the Collective.

    (ii) The Copyright Royalty Judges shall publish in the Federal Register within 30 days of receipt of a petition filed under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section an order designating the Collective named in such petition.

    (c) Reporting. CPB and Covered Entities shall submit reports of use and other information concerning Web site Performances as agreed upon with the Collective.

    (d) Late payments and statements of account. A Licensee shall pay a late fee of 1.5% per month, or the highest lawful rate, whichever is lower, for any payment and/or statement of account received by the Collective after the due date. Late fees shall accrue from the due date until payment and the related statement of account are received by the Collective.

    (e) Distribution of royalties. (1) The Collective shall promptly distribute royalties received from CPB to Copyright Owners and Performers, or their designated agents, who are entitled to such royalties. The Collective shall only be responsible for making distributions to those Copyright Owners, Performers, or their designated agents who provide the Collective with such information as is necessary to identify the correct recipient. The Collective shall distribute royalties on a basis that values all Web site Performances by Covered Entities equally based upon the reporting information provided by CPB/NPR.

    (2) If the Collective is unable to locate a Copyright Owner or Performer entitled to a distribution of royalties under paragraph (e)(1) of the section within 3 years from the date of payment by a Licensee, such royalties shall be handled in accordance with § 380.37.

    (f) Retention of records. Books and records of CPB and Covered Entities and of the Collective relating to payments of and distributions of royalties shall be kept for a period of not less than the prior 3 calendar years.

    § 380.34 Confidential Information.

    (a) Definition. For purposes of this subpart, “Confidential Information” shall include the statements of account and any information contained therein, including the amount of royalty payments, and any information pertaining to the statements of account reasonably designated as confidential by the Licensee submitting the statement.

    (b) Exclusion. Confidential Information shall not include information or documents that at the time of delivery to the Collective are public knowledge, or documents or information that become publicly known through no fault of the Collective or are known by the Collective when disclosed by CPB/NPR. The party claiming the benefit of this provision shall have the burden of proving that the disclosed information was public knowledge.

    (c) Use of Confidential Information. In no event shall the Collective use any Confidential Information for any purpose other than royalty collection and distribution and activities related directly thereto and enforcement of the terms of the statutory licenses.

    (d) Disclosure of Confidential Information. Access to Confidential Information shall be limited to:

    (1) Those employees, agents, attorneys, consultants and independent contractors of the Collective, subject to an appropriate confidentiality agreement, who are engaged in the collection and distribution of royalty payments hereunder and activities related thereto, for the purpose of performing such duties during the ordinary course of their work and who require access to the Confidential Information;

    (2) An independent and Qualified Auditor, subject to an appropriate confidentiality agreement, who is authorized to act on behalf of the Collective with respect to verification of a Licensee's statement of account pursuant to § 380.35 or on behalf of a Copyright Owner or Performer with respect to the verification of royalty distributions pursuant to § 380.36,

    (3) Copyright Owners and Performers, including their designated agents, whose works have been used under the statutory licenses set forth in 17 U.S.C. 112(e) and 114 by the Licensee whose Confidential Information is being supplied, subject to an appropriate confidentiality agreement, and including those employees, agents, attorneys, consultants and independent contractors of such Copyright Owners and Performers and their designated agents, subject to an appropriate confidentiality agreement, for the purpose of performing their duties during the ordinary course of their work and who require access to the Confidential Information; and

    (4) In connection with future proceedings under 17 U.S.C. 112(e) and 114 before the Copyright Royalty Judges, and under an appropriate protective order, attorneys, consultants and other authorized agents of the parties to the proceedings or the courts, subject to the provisions of any relevant agreements restricting the activities of CPB, Covered Entities or the Collective in such proceedings.

    (e) Safeguarding of Confidential Information. The Collective and any person identified in paragraph (d) of this section shall implement procedures to safeguard against unauthorized access to or dissemination of any Confidential Information using a reasonable standard of care, but no less than the same degree of security used to protect Confidential Information or similarly sensitive information belonging to the Collective or person.

    § 380.35 Verification of royalty payments.

    (a) General. This section prescribes procedures by which the Collective may verify the royalty payments made by CPB.

    (b) Frequency of verification. The Collective may conduct a single audit of any Covered Entities, upon reasonable notice and during reasonable business hours, during any given calendar year, for any or all of the prior 3 calendar years, but no calendar year shall be subject to audit more than once.

    (c) Notice of intent to audit. The Collective must file with the Copyright Royalty Judges a notice of intent to audit CPB and Covered Entities, which shall, within 30 days of the filing of the notice, publish in the Federal Register a notice announcing such filing. The notification of intent to audit shall be served at the same time on CPB. Any such audit shall be conducted by an independent and Qualified Auditor identified in the notice, and shall be binding on all parties.

    (d) Acquisition and retention of report. CPB and Covered Entities shall use commercially reasonable efforts to obtain or to provide access to any relevant books and records maintained by third parties for the purpose of the audit. The Collective shall retain the report of the verification for a period of not less than 3 years.

    (e) Consultation. Before rendering a written report to the Collective, except where the auditor has a reasonable basis to suspect fraud and disclosure would, in the reasonable opinion of the auditor, prejudice the investigation of such suspected fraud, the auditor shall review the tentative written findings of the audit with the appropriate agent or employee of CPB in order to remedy any factual errors and clarify any issues relating to the audit; provided that an appropriate agent or employee of CPB reasonably cooperates with the auditor to remedy promptly any factual errors or clarify any issues raised by the audit.

    (f) Costs of the verification procedure. The Collective shall pay the cost of the verification procedure, unless it is finally determined that there was an underpayment of 10% or more, in which case CPB shall, in addition to paying the amount of any underpayment, bear the reasonable costs of the verification procedure.

    § 380.36 Verification of royalty distributions.

    (a) General. This section prescribes procedures by which any Copyright Owner or Performer may verify the royalty distributions made by the Collective; provided, however, that nothing contained in this section shall apply to situations where a Copyright Owner or Performer and the Collective have agreed as to proper verification methods.

    (b) Frequency of verification. A Copyright Owner or Performer may conduct a single audit of the Collective upon reasonable notice and during reasonable business hours, during any given calendar year, for any or all of the prior 3 calendar years, but no calendar year shall be subject to audit more than once.

    (c) Notice of intent to audit. A Copyright Owner or Performer must file with the Copyright Royalty Judges a notice of intent to audit the Collective, which shall, within 30 days of the filing of the notice, publish in the Federal Register a notice announcing such filing. The notification of intent to audit shall be served at the same time on the Collective. Any audit shall be conducted by an independent and Qualified Auditor identified in the notice, and shall be binding on all Copyright Owners and Performers.

    (d) Acquisition and retention of report. The Collective shall use commercially reasonable efforts to obtain or to provide access to any relevant books and records maintained by third parties for the purpose of the audit. The Copyright Owner or Performer requesting the verification procedure shall retain the report of the verification for a period of not less than 3 years.

    (e) Consultation. Before rendering a written report to a Copyright Owner or Performer, except where the auditor has a reasonable basis to suspect fraud and disclosure would, in the reasonable opinion of the auditor, prejudice the investigation of such suspected fraud, the auditor shall review the tentative written findings of the audit with the appropriate agent or employee of the Collective in order to remedy any factual errors and clarify any issues relating to the audit; Provided that the appropriate agent or employee of the Collective reasonably cooperates with the auditor to remedy promptly any factual errors or clarify any issues raised by the audit.

    (f) Costs of the verification procedure. The Copyright Owner or Performer requesting the verification procedure shall pay the cost of the procedure, unless it is finally determined that there was an underpayment of 10% or more, in which case the Collective shall, in addition to paying the amount of any underpayment, bear the reasonable costs of the verification procedure.

    § 380.37 Unclaimed funds.

    If the Collective is unable to identify or locate a Copyright Owner or Performer who is entitled to receive a royalty distribution under this subpart, the Collective shall retain the required payment in a segregated trust account for a period of 3 years from the date of distribution. No claim to such distribution shall be valid after the expiration of the 3-year period. After expiration of this period, the Collective may apply the unclaimed funds to offset any costs deductible under 17 U.S.C. 114(g)(3). The foregoing shall apply notwithstanding the common law or statutes of any State.

    Dated: March 20, 2015. Jesse M. Feder, Copyright Royalty Judge.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06896 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1410-72-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2014-0270; FRL-9925-12-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of New Mexico; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone and 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards; Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter Air Pollution Affecting Visibility AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve elements of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission from the State of New Mexico addressing the applicable requirements of Clean Air Act (CAA) section 110 for the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Ozone (O3) and the 2010 NAAQS for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), both of which require that each state adopt and submit a SIP to support implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each new or revised NAAQS promulgated by EPA. These SIPs are commonly referred to as “infrastructure” SIPs. The infrastructure requirements are designed to ensure that the structural components of each state's air quality management program are adequate to meet the state's responsibilities under the CAA. EPA is also proposing to find that the State of New Mexico meets the 2006 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS requirement pertaining to interstate transport of air pollution and visibility protection.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R06-OAR-2014-0270, by one of the following methods:

    www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions.

    Email: Ms. Sherry Fuerst at [email protected]

    Mail or delivery: Mr. Guy Donaldson, Chief, Air Planning Section (6PD-L), Environmental Protection Agency, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733. Deliveries are accepted only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays, and not on legal holidays. Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2014-0270. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Sherry Fuerst, (214) 665-6454, [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with Ms. Fuerst or Mr. Bill Deese at (214) 665-7253.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, whenever “we”, “us”, or “our” is used, we mean EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Background II. Applicable Elements of Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) Related to the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS III. EPA's Evaluation of New Mexico's 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS Infrastructure Submissions IV. EPA's Evaluation of Interstate Transport of Air Pollution and Visibility Protection for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS in New Mexico's SIP V. Proposed Action VI. Incorporation by Reference VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    EPA is proposing action on two SIP submissions from New Mexico that address the infrastructure requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (a)(2). The first action was submitted on August 27, 2013 for the 2008 O3 NAAQS and the second was submitted on March 12, 2014, for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS. Pursuant to section 110(a)(1), states must make SIP submissions “within 3 years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a national primary ambient air quality standard (or any revision thereof),” and these SIP submissions are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan” submission must address. EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions.

    One of the SIP requirements for new or revised NAAQS is to provide adequate provisions prohibiting emissions which interfere with required measures in any other State to protect visibility (CAA 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)). In a June 12, 2009 SIP submittal, New Mexico stated that they had satisfied the SIP requirements of CAA 110(a) for the PM2.5 NAAQS promulgated in 2006. The other portions of the June 12, 2009 SIP submittal were previously approved (January 22, 2013, 78 FR 4337, July 9, 2013, 78 FR 40966). No action was taken on the portion pertaining to CAA 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) and visibility protection. We received additional SIP submittals concerning visibility protection on September 17, 2007, July 5, 2011, and November 5, 2013. On November 27, 2012, we approved the New Mexico Regional Haze SIP except for the Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) determination for the San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) (77 FR 70693). On October 9, 2014, we approved a revision to the New Mexico Regional Haze SIP that addressed BART for SJGS, making the emission limitations federally enforceable on SJGS through our SIP approval action, and therefore because of the federally enforceable provisions for SJGS, we also were able to find that the New Mexico SIP satisfies the requirements of CAA 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) with respect to interstate transport of air pollution and visibility protection for the 8-hour ozone and PM2.5 NAAQS (79 FR 60985) (the New Mexico Visibility Transport SIP). Even though the State's 2011 and 2013 submittals were not limited to the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS for a Visibility SIP, we overlooked the opportunity to clearly address the 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) requirement for visibility protection in connection with the PM2.5 NAAQS promulgated in 2006 (the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS). We therefore are proposing to find that the November 27, 2012 and October 9, 2014 final SIP actions pertaining to the interstate transport requirement for visibility protection meet the requirement for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    Additional information about EPA's review of the information New Mexico presented in these SIP submittals, how EPA reviews infrastructure SIPs and effects of recent Supreme Court decisions on these infrastructure SIPs can be found in the Technical Support Document, including Appendices A and B.

    II. Applicable Elements of Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) Related to the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS

    On March 27, 2008, EPA revised the primary and secondary O3 NAAQS (hereafter the 2008 O3 NAAQS).1 The level of the primary (health-based) standard was revised to 0.075 parts per million (ppm) based on a 3-year average of the fourth-highest maximum 8-hour average concentration. EPA revised the secondary standard for O3 making it identical to the revised primary standard. EPA also made a conforming change to the Air Quality Index (AQI) for O3, setting an AQI value of 100 equal to 0.075 ppm, 8-hour average, and making proportional changes to the AQI values of 50, 150 and 200 measured as O3 and not to be exceeded with an averaging time of a rolling 3-month period. (73 FR 16436).2

    1 The previous O3 NAAQS were issued in 1997. They established a primary standard of 0.08 ppm not to be exceeded as determined by the 3-year average of the annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour concentrations (62 FR 38856, July 18, 1997).

    2 Although the effective date of the Federal Register notice for the final rule was May 27, 2008, the rule was signed by the Administrator and publicly disseminated on March 27, 2008. Therefore, the deadline for submittal of infrastructure SIPs for the 2008 O3 NAAQS was March 27, 2011.

    On February 9, 2010, based on its review of the air quality criteria for oxides of nitrogen and the primary national ambient air quality standard (hereafter the 2010 NO2 NAAQS) 3 for oxides of nitrogen as measured by nitrogen dioxide (NO2), EPA made revisions to the primary NO2 NAAQS in order to provide requisite protection of public health. Specifically, EPA established a new 1-hour standard at a level of 100 ppb, based on the 3-year average of the 98th percentile of the yearly distribution of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations, to supplement the existing annual standard. EPA also established requirements for an NO2 monitoring network that includes monitors at locations where maximum NO2 concentrations are expected to occur, including within 50 meters of major roadways, as well as monitors sited to measure the area-wide NO2 concentrations that occur more broadly across communities. (75 FR 6474).4

    3 The previous NO2 NAAQS was issued in 1996. It established a primary and secondary standards of for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) as 0.053 parts per million (ppm) (100 micrograms per meter cubed (g/m3)) annual arithmetic average. (61 FR 52852, October 8, 1996).

    4 Although the effective date of the Federal Register notice for the final rule was April 12, 2010, the rule was signed by the Administrator and publicly disseminated on February 9, 2010. Therefore, the deadline for submittal of infrastructure SIPs for the 2008 NO2 NAAQS was February 9, 2013.

    For both the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, states have to review and revise, as appropriate, their existing SIPs to ensure that they are adequate. EPA issued guidance on September 13, 2013, addressing the infrastructure SIP elements required under sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for most the NAAQS.5 EPA addresses these elements below in Section III.

    5 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2),” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, September 13, 2013.

    III. EPA's Evaluation of New Mexico's 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS Infrastructure Submissions

    On August 27, 2013 and March 12, 2014, the state of New Mexico sent a letter signed by the Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Environmental Department to EPA demonstrating how the existing New Mexico SIP met all the requirements for the 2008 O3 NAAQS and the 2010 NO2 NAAQS, respectively. Public notice and public hearings were provided by the State of New Mexico when developing these SIP submissions. These SIP submissions became complete by operation of law on February 27, 2014 and September 12, 2014, respectively. See CAA section 110(k)(1)(B).

    EPA has an established procedure for reviewing infrastructure SIPs. A discussion of the CAA requirements and EPA's approach for reviewing infrastructure SIPs is outlined in Appendix A of the O3 and NO2 Technical Support Document.

    (A) Emission limits and other control measures: The CAA Section 110(a)(2)(A) requires SIPs to include enforceable emission limits and other control measures, means or techniques, schedules for compliance and other related matters as needed to implement, maintain and enforce each of the NAAQS.6

    6 The specific nonattainment area plan requirements of section 110(a)(2)(I) are subject to the timing requirements of section 172, not the timing requirement of section 110(a)(1). Thus, section 110(a)(2)(A) does not require that states submit regulations or emissions limits specifically for attaining the 2008 O3 or NO2 NAAQS. Those SIP provisions are due as part of each state's attainment plan, and will be addressed separately from the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A). In the context of an infrastructure SIP, EPA is not evaluating the existing SIP provisions for this purpose. Instead, EPA is only evaluating whether the state's SIP has basic structural provisions for the implementation of the NAAQS.

    New Mexico's Environmental Improvement Act and Air Quality Control Act authorize the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) to regulate air quality and implement air quality control regulations. Specifically, the New Mexico Air Quality Control Act delegates authority to the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) to adopt, promulgate, publish, amend and repeal regulations consistent with the State's Air Quality Control Act to attain and maintain NAAQS and prevent or abate air pollution (NMSA 1978, Section 74-2-5(B)). The Air Quality Control Act also designates the NMED as the State's air pollution control agency, and the Environmental Improvement Act provides the NMED with enforcement authority. These statutes have been approved into the SIP (see 44 FR 21019, April 9, 1979; revised 49 FR 44101, November 2, 1984; re-codified and approved in 62 FR 50518, September 26, 1997).

    NMED's air quality rules and standards are codified at Title 20 Environmental Protection, Chapter 2 Air Quality (Statewide) of NMAC. Numerous parts of the regulations codified into Chapter 2 necessary for implementing and enforcing the NAAQS have been adopted into the SIP. The approved SIP for New Mexico is documented at 40 CFR 52.1620, Subpart GG. The TSD for the action provides additional information on specific rules that have been adopted into the SIP.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in the submission or referenced in New Mexico's SIP, EPA believes that the New Mexico SIP adequately addresses the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS and is proposing to approve this element of the August 27, 2013 and March 12, 2014 SIP submissions.

    (B) Ambient air quality monitoring/data system: The CAA Section 110(a)(2)(B) requires SIPs to include provisions to provide for establishment and operation of ambient air quality monitors, collection and analysis of ambient air quality data, and making these data available to EPA upon request.

    To address this element, the Air Quality Act at NMSA 1978, section 74-2-5 provides the enabling authority necessary for the New Mexico EIB and NMED to fulfill the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(B). Along with their other duties, the NMED collects air monitoring data, quality-assures the results, and reports the data.

    Historically, EPA has promulgated regulations in 40 CFR part 58 (Ambient Air Quality Surveillance), indicating the necessary data states need to collect and submit as part of their SIPs. Monitoring networks are designed to meet three basic criteria: (a) Provide timely results (b) provide results that verify compliance with the NAAQS and (c) to support research. For the 2008 O3 NAAQS, EPA regulations require that states and, where appropriate, local agencies must operate O3 monitoring sites for various locations depending upon area size (in terms of population and geographic characteristics) and typical peak concentrations (expressed in percentages below, or near the O3 NAAQS).7 For the 2010 NO2 NAAQS, EPA regulations require that state and, where appropriate, local agencies must operate a minimum number of required NO2 monitoring sites as described in 40 CFR part 58 Appendix D 4.3.1. Ambient NO2 monitoring locations are broken down into two types, near-road monitoring stations and area wide locations. Both monitoring location types are based on population density. As previously stated, these requirements are contained in 40 CFR part 58 Appendix D. These requirements were last revised on October 17, 2006 as part of a comprehensive review of ambient monitoring requirements for all criteria pollutants. (See 71 FR 61236).

    7 40 CFR part 58 Appendix D 4.1.

    The New Mexico statewide air quality surveillance network was approved into the New Mexico SIP by EPA on August 6, 1981 (46 FR 40005). Furthermore, New Mexico's air quality surveillance network undergoes recurrent annual review by EPA, as required by 40 CFR 58.10. On July 15, 2013, NMED submitted its 2013 Annual Air Monitoring Network Plan (AAMNP) that included ambient monitoring for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, and EPA approved the 2013 AAMNP on February 19, 2014.8 In addition, NMED conducts a recurrent assessment of its monitoring network every five years, which includes an evaluation of the need to conduct ambient monitoring for O3 and NO2, as required by 40 CFR 58.10(d). The most recent of these 5-year monitoring network assessments was conducted by NMED and submitted in June 2010, and was subsequently approved by EPA.9 In evaluating the need to perform ambient monitoring for O3 and NO2 in its most recent 5-year monitoring network assessment, NMED concluded that monitors should be upgraded to newer models for both O3 and NO2, which is part of their continuing routine maintenance. NMED will continue to evaluate the ambient monitoring for O3 and NO2 every five years when it performs its recurrent ambient monitoring network assessment.

    8 A copy of the 2013 AAMNP and EPA's approval letter are included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    9 A copy of the 2010 5-year ambient monitoring network assessment and EPA's approval letter are included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    NMED makes ambient monitoring data available for public review on its Web site, as well as on national Web sites.10 The NMED Web site provides the monitor locations and posts past and current concentrations of criteria pollutants measured in the State's network of monitors.11 The NMED monitors that are not certified as meeting the federal requirements are identified as “non-regulatory” monitors.12 The State submits air monitoring data to EPA on a quarterly basis and certifies the data annually.

    10 See http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/aqb/monitor/airmonitoringnetwork.html, http://drdasnm1.alink.com/ and http://airnow.gov.

    11 See http://air.nmenv.state.nm.us.

    12 These include for example, special purpose monitors (SPMs). Special purpose monitoring is conducted on a frequent basis for a variety of reasons: As a tool to supplement state ambient air monitoring networks to obtain information on where to locate permanent monitoring stations, to provide additional data in support of pollutant formation and transport analyses, or to assess air quality in a particular location. These studies vary in duration from being temporary sites needed only during a portion of the year to long-term air pollution studies over a large area.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in the submissions or referenced in New Mexico's SIP, EPA believes that these New Mexico SIPs meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(B) for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS and is proposing to approve these elements of the August 27, 2013 and March 12, 2014, SIP submissions.

    (C) Program for enforcement of control measures (PSD, New Source Review for nonattainment areas, and construction and modification of all stationary sources): The CAA Section 110(a)(2)(C) requires states to include the following three elements in the SIP: (1) A program providing for enforcement of all SIP measures described in section 110(a)(2)(A); (2) a program for the regulation of the modification and construction of stationary sources as necessary to protect the applicable NAAQS (i.e., state-wide permitting of minor sources); and (3) a permit program to meet the major source permitting requirements of the CAA (for areas designated as attainment or unclassifiable for the NAAQS in question).13

    13 As discussed in further detail below, this infrastructure SIP rulemaking will not address the New Mexico program for provisions related to nonattainment areas, since EPA considers evaluation of these provisions to be outside the scope of infrastructure SIP actions.

    (1) Enforcement of SIP Measures. The New Mexico statutes provide authority for the Environmental Improvement Board and the NMED to enforce the requirements of the Air Quality Act, and any regulations, permits, or final compliance orders issued under the provisions of the Act. General enforcement authority is provided by NMSA 1978, section 74-1 and NMSA 1978, section 74-2, which addresses general enforcement power; investigation and remediation agreements; civil and criminal penalties; compliance orders and emergency cease and desist orders; civil actions; and a field citation program.

    The Environmental Improvement Act, which has been approved into the SIP (49 FR 44101, 64 FR 29255), authorizes the creation of the Environmental Improvement Board (NMSA 1978, section 74-1-4); authorizes the EIB, the NMED, and its Secretary to file lawsuits, conduct investigations and enter into remediation agreements, enforce rules, regulations and orders promulgated by the EIB, and collect civil penalties (NMSA 1978, section 74-1-6); develop and enforce rules and standards related to protection of air quality (NMSA 1978, sections 74-1-7 and 74-1-8); and issue compliance orders and commence civil actions in response to violations (NMSA 1978, section 74-1-10).

    Likewise, the Air Quality Control Act empowers the EIB and NMED to institute legal proceedings to compel compliance with the Air Quality Control Act and any regulations of the EIB or local air quality control agencies (NMSA 1978, section 74-2-5.1); issue compliance orders, commence civil actions, and issue field citations (NMSA 1978, section 74-2-12); assess civil penalties for violations of the Act or regulations promulgated under it or permits issued (NMSA 1978, section 74-2-12.1); conduct inspections of regulated entities (NMSA 1978, section 74-2-13); and pursue criminal prosecutions (NMSA 1978, section74-2-14). Additional enforcement authorities and funding mechanisms are provided by the Act at NMSA 1978, section 74-2-15. These sections of the Air Quality Control Act were adopted into the SIP on November 2, 1984 (49 FR 44101).

    NMED air quality standards and regulations containing specific enforcement provisions and adopted into the SIP include: 20.2.7 NMAC Excess Emissions (74 FR 46910) and 20.2.72 Construction Permits (38 FR 12702 and 62 FR 50514).

    (2) Minor New Source Review. The CAA Section 110(a)(2)(C) also requires that the SIP include measures to regulate construction and modification of stationary sources to protect the NAAQS. With respect to smaller statewide minor sources Section 110(a)(2)(C) creates “a general duty on States to include a program in their SIP that regulates the modification and construction of any stationary source as necessary to assure that the NAAQS are achieved (70 FR 71612 and 71677).” EPA provides states with discretion in implementing their Minor NSR programs (71 FR 48696 and 48700). The “considerably less detailed” regulations for minor NSR are provided in 40 CFR 51.160 through 51.164. EPA has determined that New Mexico's Minor NSR program adopted pursuant to section 110(a)(2)(C) of the Act regulates emissions of all regulated air contaminants for which there is a NAAQS (see 20.2.72.200 NMAC). New Mexico's Minor NSR permitting requirements are found at 20.2.72 NMAC—Construction Permits and were approved into the SIP on May 14, 1973 (38 FR 12702), with revisions approved on September 26, 1997 (62 FR 50514), June 13, 2012 (77 FR 35273), and March 11, 2013 (78 FR 15296).

    In this action, EPA is proposing to approve New Mexico's infrastructure SIPs for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 standards with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(C) to include a program in the SIP that regulates the modification and construction of any stationary source as necessary to assure that the NAAQS are achieved. However, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove New Mexico's existing minor NSR program to the extent that it may be inconsistent with EPA's regulations governing this program. EPA has maintained that the CAA does not require that new infrastructure SIP submissions correct any defects in existing EPA-approved provisions of minor NSR programs in order for EPA to approve the infrastructure SIP for element C (e.g., 76 FR 41076-41079). EPA believes that a number of states may have Minor NSR provisions that are contrary to the existing EPA regulations for this program. The statutory requirements of section 110(a)(2)(C) provide for considerable flexibility in designing Minor NSR programs, and EPA believes it may be time to revisit the regulatory requirements for this program to give the states an appropriate level of flexibility to design a program that meets their particular air quality concerns, while assuring reasonable consistency across the country in protecting the NAAQS with respect to new and modified minor sources.

    (3) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit program. New Mexico also has a program approved by EPA as meeting the requirements of Part C, relating to prevention of significant deterioration of air quality. In order to demonstrate that New Mexico has met this sub-element, this PSD program must cover requirements not just for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, but for all other regulated NSR pollutants as well.

    PSD programs apply in areas that are meeting the NAAQS, referred to as areas in attainment, and in areas for which there is insufficient information to designate as either attainment or nonattainment, referred to as unclassifiable areas. New Mexico's PSD program was conditionally approved into the SIP on February 27, 1987 (52 FR 5964) and fully approved on August 15, 2011 (76 FR 41698). Revisions to New Mexico's PSD program were approved into the SIP on August 21, 1990 (55 FR 34013), May 2, 1991 (56 FR 20137), October 15, 1996 (61 FR 53639), March 10, 2003 (68 FR 11316), December 24, 2003 (68 FR 74483), September 5, 2007 (72 FR 50879), November 26, 2010 (75 FR 72688), July 20, 2011 (76 FR 43149), June 13, 2012 (75 FR 72688), January 22, 2013 (78 FR 4339), and March 11, 2013 (78 FR 15296). Additionally, on June 11, 2009 and May 23, 2011, New Mexico submitted modifications to revise the state's PSD and non-attainment new source review (NNSR) permitting regulations to address the permitting requirements associated with the NAAQS for 8-hour ozone and PM2.5, respectively. EPA approved the portions of the June 11, 2009 submittal associated with implementing NOX as a precursor (75 FR 72688) as necessary to implement the 1997 ozone standard. EPA approved the May 23, 2011, revision in a Federal Register notice published January 22, 2013, as these elements are necessary for implementation of the PM2.5 standard (78 FR 4339).

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in the submissions or referenced in New Mexico's SIP, with respect to the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(C) for these NAAQS, EPA is proposing to approve these elements of the August 27, 2013 and March 12, 2014 submissions.

    (D) Interstate and international transport: The CAA Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) includes four requirements referred to as prongs 1 through 4. Prongs 1 and 2 are provided at section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), and prongs 3 and 4 are provided at section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II). Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requires SIPs to include adequate provisions prohibiting any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment (Prong 1) or interfering with maintenance (Prong 2) of any NAAQS in another state. Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) requires SIPs to include adequate provisions prohibiting any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from interfering with measures required of any other state to prevent significant deterioration of air quality (Prong 3) or to protect visibility (Prong 4).

    With respect to prongs 1 and 2, New Mexico elected to not make a submittal, consistent with a court decision that was relevant at the time (EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. E.P.A, 696 F.3d 7 (D.C. Cir. 2012)). This decision was later reversed by the Supreme Court (EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, L.P., 134 S. Ct. 1584 (2014), reversing 696 F.3d 7 (D.C. Cir. 2012)). We expect that New Mexico will make a SIP submittal for prongs 1 and 2 at a later time.

    With respect to prong 3, as noted above, the New Mexico PSD program contains the necessary provisions to meet the prevention of significant deterioration element as required for both the standards and has been approved by EPA into the SIP.

    With respect to prong 4, as noted previously, on November 27, 2012, we approved the New Mexico Regional Haze SIP except for the BART determination for SJGS. On October 9, 2014, we approved the BART determination for SJGS and found that the New Mexico SIP satisfies the requirements of CAA 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) with respect to interstate transport of air pollution and visibility protection.14

    14 This prong 4 discussion pertains to the SIP submittals for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 SIP submittals. The prong 4 discussion for the 2006 PM2.5 SIP submittal is below.

    Finally, § 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) regards the interstate pollution abatement requirements of section 126 and the international pollution requirements of section 115. As stated above in Section 110(a)(2)(C) of the Infrastructure SIP, New Mexico has a SIP-approved PSD program which includes provisions that satisfy the interstate pollution abatement requirements of section 126 of the CAA. Section 115 of the CAA authorizes EPA to require a state to revise its SIP under certain conditions to alleviate international transport into another country. There are no final findings under section 115 of the CAA with respect to any air pollutant generated in New Mexico. Therefore, New Mexico has no obligations under section 115. If there are future final findings under section 115 of the CAA, NMED will consult with EPA.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in the submissions or referenced in New Mexico's SIP, EPA believes that New Mexico has the adequate infrastructure needed to address sections 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prongs 3 and 4), and 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS and is proposing to approve these portions of the August 27, 2013 and March 12, 2014, submissions. We expect that at a later time New Mexico will make a SIP submittal addressing section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1 and 2).

    (E) Adequate authority, resources, implementation, and oversight: The CAA Section 110(a)(2)(E) requires that SIPs provide for the following: (1) Necessary assurances that the state (and other entities within the state responsible for implementing the SIP) will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority under state or local law to implement the SIP, and that there are no legal impediments to such implementation; (2) requirements relating to state boards, pursuant to section 128 of the CAA; and (3) necessary assurances that the state has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of any plan provision for which it relies on local governments or other entities to carry out that portion of the plan.

    With respect to adequacy of authority, we have previously discussed New Mexico's statutory and regulatory authority to implement the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS. The Air Quality Control Act at NMSA 1978, section 74-2-5 provides the authority necessary to carry out the SIP requirements as referenced above in element A. The Act provides the NMED with broad legal authority to adopt emission standards and compliance schedules applicable to regulated entities, and to adopt emission standards and limitations and any other measures necessary for attainment and maintenance of national standards. The Act also provides the board adequate legal authority to enforce applicable laws, regulations, standards, and compliance schedules, and seek injunctive relief. In addition, § 74-2-5.1 of the Act provides the department legal authority to enforce applicable laws, regulations, standards, and compliance schedules.

    With respect to adequacy of resources, NMED asserts that it has adequate personnel to implement the SIP. The infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS describe the regulations governing the various functions of personnel within the Air Quality Bureau, including the administrative, technical support, planning, enforcement, and permitting functions of the program.

    With respect to funding, the Air Quality Control Act NMSA 1978, section 74-2-7 requires NMED to establish an emissions fee schedule for sources in order to fund the reasonable costs of administering various air pollution control programs and also authorizes NMED to collect additional fees necessary to cover reasonable costs associated with processing of air permit applications. The Act provides for the deposit of the fees into various subaccounts (e.g., the state's air quality permit fund for the Title V operating permit program used for Title V implementation activities; and various subaccounts for local air quality agencies). The NMED also receives funding from general revenue funds and EPA grants under, for example, sections 103 and 105 of the CAA, to finance air quality programs. EPA conducts periodic program reviews to ensure that the state has adequate resources and funding to, among other things, implement the SIP.

    With regard to the conflict of interest provisions of Section 128 of the Act, section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) requires that each state SIP meet the requirements of section 128, relating to representation on state boards and conflicts of interest by members of such boards. Section 128(a)(1) requires that any board or body which approves permits or enforcement orders under the CAA must have at least a majority of members who represent the public interest and do not derive any “significant portion” of their income from persons subject to permits and enforcement orders under the CAA. Section 128(a)(2) requires that members of such a board or body, or the head of an agency with similar powers, adequately disclose any potential conflicts of interest.

    The Environmental Improvement Act at NMSA 1978, section 74-1-4 provides that the Environmental Improvement Board contain at least a majority of members who represent the public interest and do not derive any significant portion of their income from persons subject to or who appear before the board on issues related to the Clean Air Act or Air Quality Control Act. Furthermore, pursuant to state regulations adopted by the Board, Board members are required to recuse themselves from rule-makings in which their impartiality may reasonably be questioned. (see 20.1.1.111 NMAC).

    With respect to assurances that the State has responsibility to implement the SIP adequately when it authorizes local or other agencies to carry out portions of the plan, the Environmental Improvement Act and the Air Quality Control Act designate the NMED as the primary air pollution control agency “for all purposes” of implementing the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act and the New Mexico Air Quality Control Act.

    There is one local air quality control agency that assumes jurisdiction for local administration and enforcement of Air Quality Control Act in New Mexico, the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board, as authorized by the NMSA 1978, section 74-2-4. Pursuant to the New Mexico Air Quality Control Act, the local air quality control agency, within the boundaries of the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County area, is delegated all those functions delegated to the Environmental Improvement Board, with the exception of any functions reserved exclusively for the Environmental Improvement Board, NMSA 1978, section 74-2-4(A)(1). Further, The Air Quality Control Act, grants the local air quality control agency, within the boundaries of the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County are, the authority to perform all the duties required of NMED and exert all of the powers granted to NMED, except for those powers and duties reserved exclusively for the department, NMSA 1978, section 74-2-4(A)(2). However, the NMED and the state Environmental Improvement Board retain oversight authority in the event the local authority fails to act. EPA conducts reviews of the local program activities in conjunction with its oversight of the state program.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in the submissions or referenced in New Mexico's SIP, EPA believes that New Mexico has the adequate infrastructure needed to address section 110(a)(2)(E) for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS and is proposing to approve these elements of the August 27, 2013 and March 12, 2014 submissions.

    (F) Stationary source monitoring system: The CAA Section 110(a)(2)(F) requires states to establish a system to monitor emissions from stationary sources and to submit periodic emission reports. Each SIP shall require the installation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment, and the implementation of other necessary steps, by owners or operators of stationary sources, to monitor emissions from such sources. The SIP shall also require periodic reports on the nature and amounts of emissions and emissions-related data from such sources, and requires that the state correlate the source reports with emission limitations or standards established under the CAA. These reports must be made available for public inspection at reasonable times.

    To address this element, the Air Quality Control Act at NMSA 1978, 74-2-5 authorizes the NMED to require persons engaged in operations which result in air pollution to monitor or test emissions and to file reports containing information relating to the nature and amount of emissions. State regulations pertaining to sampling and testing are codified at 20.2.72 NMAC Construction Permits, 20.2.70 NMAC Operating Permits, and 20.2.79 NMAC Permits—Nonattainment Areas, and requirements for reporting of emissions inventories are codified at 20.2.73 NMAC Notice of Intent and Emission Inventory Requirements. In addition, rules at 20.2.5 NMAC Source Surveillance, establish general requirements for maintaining records and reporting emissions.

    The NMED uses this information, in addition to information obtained from other sources, to track progress towards maintaining the NAAQS, developing control and maintenance strategies, identifying sources and general emission levels, and determining compliance with emission regulations and additional EPA requirements. NMED makes this information available to the public (20.2.5 NMAC Source Surveillance). Provisions concerning the handling of confidential data and proprietary business information are included in the general provisions regulations at 20.2.1.115, Confidential Business Information. These rules specifically exclude from confidential treatment any records concerning the nature and amount of emissions reported by sources.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in the submissions or referenced in New Mexico's SIP, EPA believes that New Mexico has the adequate infrastructure needed to address section 110(a)(2)(F) for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS and is proposing to approve this element of the August 27, 2013 and March 12, 2014, submissions.

    (G) Emergency authority: The CAA Section 110(a)(2)(G) requires SIPs to provide for authority to address activities causing imminent and substantial endangerment to public health or welfare or the environment (comparable to the authorities provided in section 303 of the CAA), and to include contingency plans to implement such authorities as necessary.

    The Air Quality Control Act provides NMED with authority to address environmental emergencies, and NMED has contingency plans to implement emergency episode provisions in the SIP.

    Upon a finding that any owner/operator is unreasonably affecting the public health, safety or welfare, or the health of animal or plant life, or property, the New Mexico Air Quality Control Act authorizes NMED to, after a reasonable attempt to give notice, declare a state of emergency and issue without hearing an emergency special order directing the owner/operator to cease such pollution immediately (NMSA 1978, § 74-7-10).

    States also need to comply with the Prevention of Air Pollution Emergency Episode requirements of 40 CFR 51, Subpart H. New Mexico promulgated the “Air Pollution Episode Contingency Plan for New Mexico,” which includes contingency measures, and these provisions were approved into the SIP on August 21, 1990 (55 FR 34013). Under Subpart H, Priority III Regions are not required to have contingency plans. For ozone, Priority III Regions are those monitoring less than 195 μg/m3. The 2010-2012 ozone ambient air quality monitoring data for New Mexico does not exceed 195 μg/m3. The ozone levels have consistently remained below this level and, furthermore, the State has appropriate general emergency powers to address ozone related episodes to protect the environment and public health. Additional information regarding Section 110(a)(2)(G) can be found in the TSD.

    For NO2, Priority III areas are those monitoring less than 60 ppb for an annual arithmetic mean. The 2010-2012 NO2 ambient air quality monitoring data for New Mexico does not exceed the 100 ppb 1-hour primary NAAQS or the 53 ppb annual primary and secondary NAAQS nor does it exceed the 60 ppb criteria level for Priority III areas. The NO2 levels have consistently remained below these levels and, furthermore, the State has appropriate general emergency powers to address NO2 related episodes to protect the environment and public health.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in those submissions or referenced in New Mexico's SIP, EPA believes that the New Mexico SIP adequately addresses section 110(a)(2)(G) for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS and is proposing to approve these elements of the August 27, 2013 and March 12, 2014, submissions.

    (H) Future SIP revisions: The CAA Section 110(a)(2)(H) requires states to have the authority to revise their SIPs in response to changes in the NAAQS, availability of improved methods for attaining the NAAQS, or in response to an EPA finding that the SIP is substantially inadequate to attain the NAAQS.

    New Mexico's Environmental Improvement Act and Air Quality Control Act authorize the NMED as the primary agency in the state concerned with environmental protection and enforcement of regulations, including but not limited to air quality (see NMSA 1978, section 74-1 and NMSA 1978, section 74-2). The Air Quality Control Act gives the NMED the authority to “develop and present to the Environmental Improvement Board a plan for the control, regulation, prevention or abatement of air pollution . . .,” and authorizes the EIB to adopt such a plan (see NMSA 1978, section 74-2-5.1(H) and NMSA 1978, section 74-2-5(B)(2)). The Act also authorizes the New Mexico EIB to “adopt, promulgate, publish, amend and repeal regulations consistent with the Air Quality Control Act to attain and maintain the national ambient air quality standards and prevent and abate air pollution . . .” and the Environmental Improvement Act authorizes the NMED to enforce such rules, regulations and orders promulgated by the EIB (see NMSA 1978, section 74-2-5(B)(1) and NMSA 1978, section 74-1-6(F)). Furthermore, the Air Quality Control Act requires the NMED to, “. . . advise, consult, contract with and cooperate with local authorities, other states, the federal government and other interested persons or groups in regard to matters of common interest in the field of air quality control . . .” (see NMSA 1978, section 74-2-5.2(B)).

    Thus, New Mexico has the authority to revise its SIP, as necessary, to account for revisions of the NAAQS, to adopt more effective methods of attaining the NAAQS, and to respond to EPA SIP calls. Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in the submissions or referenced in New Mexico's SIP, EPA believes that New Mexico has adequate authority to address section 110(a)(2)(H) for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS and is proposing to approve this element of the August 27, 2013 and March 12, 2014, submissions.

    (I) Nonattainment areas: The CAA Section 110(a)(2)(I) requires that in the case of a plan or plan revision for areas designated as nonattainment areas, states must meet applicable requirements of part D of the CAA, relating to SIP requirements for designated nonattainment areas.

    As noted earlier, EPA does not expect infrastructure SIP submissions to address subsection (I). The specific SIP submissions for designated nonattainment areas, as required under CAA title I, part D, are subject to different submission schedules than those for section 110 infrastructure elements. Instead, EPA will take action on part D attainment plan SIP submissions through a separate rulemaking process governed by the requirements for nonattainment areas, as described in part D. Additionally, New Mexico presently does not contain any non-attainment areas for O3 or NO2.

    (J) Consultation with government officials, public notification, PSD and visibility protection: The CAA Section 110(a)(2)(J) requires SIPs to meet the applicable requirements of the following CAA provisions: (1) Section 121, relating to interagency consultation regarding certain CAA requirements; (2) section 127, relating to public notification of NAAQS exceedances and related issues; and (3) part C of the CAA, relating to prevention of significant deterioration of air quality and visibility protection.

    (1) With respect to interagency consultation, the SIP should provide a process for consultation with general-purpose local governments, designated organizations of elected officials of local governments, and any Federal Land Manager having authority over Federal land to which the SIP applies. New Mexico's Air Quality Control Act provides that “no regulations or emission control requirement shall be adopted until after a public hearing by the environmental improvement board or the local board” and that, “at the hearing, the environmental improvement board or the local board shall allow all interested persons reasonable opportunity to submit data, views, or arguments orally or in writing and to examine witnesses testifying at the hearing” (see NMSA 1978, 74-2-6(B) and (D)). In addition, the Air Quality Control Act provides that the NMED shall have the power and duty to “advise, consult, contract with and cooperate with local authorities, other states, the federal government and other interested persons or groups in regard to matters of common interest in the field of air quality control . . .” (see 1978 74-2-5.2(B)). Furthermore, New Mexico's PSD rules at 20.2.74.400 NMAC mandate that the NMED shall provide for public participation and notification regarding permitting applications to any other state or local air pollution control agencies, local government officials of the city or county where the source will be located, tribal authorities, and FLMs whose lands may be affected by emissions from the source or modification. Additionally, the State's PSD rules at 20.2.74.403 NMAC require the NMED to consult with Federal Land Managers (FLMs) regarding permit applications for sources with the potential to impact Class I Federal Areas (75 FR 72688 and 72 FR 50879). Finally, the State of New Mexico has committed in the SIP to consult continually with the FLMs on the review and implementation of the visibility program, and the State recognizes the expertise of the FLMs in monitoring and new source review applicability analyses for visibility and has agreed to notify the FMLs of any advance notification or early consultation with a major new or modifying source prior to the submission of the permit application (71 FR 4490). The State's Transportation Conformity rules at 20.2.99.116 through 20.2.99.124 NMAC provide procedures for interagency consultation, resolution of conflicts, and public notification (65 FR 14873 and 75 FR 21169).

    (2) With respect to the requirements for public notification in section 127 of the CAA, the infrastructure SIP should provide citations to regulations in the SIP requiring the air agency to regularly notify the public of instances or areas in which any NAAQS are exceeded; advise the public of the health hazard associated with such exceedances; and enhance public awareness of measures that can prevent such exceedances and of ways in which the public can participate in the regulatory and other efforts to improve air quality. Provisions regarding public notification of instances or areas in which any primary NAAQS was exceeded were approved into the New Mexico SIP on August 24, 1983 (48 FR 38466). In addition, as discussed for infrastructure element B above, the NMED air monitoring Web site provides live air quality data for each of the monitoring stations in New Mexico.10 The Web site also provides information on the health effects of ozone, particulate matter, and other criteria pollutants.

    (3) Regarding the applicable requirements of part C of the CAA, relating to prevention of significant deterioration of air quality and visibility protection, as noted above under infrastructure element C, the New Mexico SIP meets the PSD requirements. With respect to the visibility component of section 110(a)(2)(J), EPA recognizes that states are subject to visibility and regional haze program requirements under part C of the CAA, which includes sections 169A and 169B. However, when EPA establishes or revises a NAAQS, these visibility and regional haze requirements under part C do not change. Therefore, EPA believes that there are no new visibility protection requirements under part C as a result of a revised NAAQS, and consequently there are no newly applicable visibility protection obligations pursuant to infrastructure element J after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in these submissions or referenced in New Mexico's SIP, EPA believes that New Mexico has met the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J) for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS in the state and is therefore proposing to approve this element of the August 27, 2013 and March 12, 2014, submissions.

    (K) Air quality and modeling/data: The CAA Section 110(a)(2)(K) requires that SIPs provide for performing air quality modeling, as prescribed by EPA, to predict the effects on ambient air quality of any emissions of any NAAQS pollutant, and for submission of such data to EPA upon request.

    The NMED has the power and duty, under the Air Quality Control Act to “develop facts and make investigations and studies,” thereby providing for the functions of environmental air quality assessment (see NMSA 1978, 74-2-5). Past modeling and emissions reductions measures have been submitted by the State and approved into the SIP. For example, the air modeling and control measures submitted within the attainment demonstration for the San Juan County Early Action Compact Area, approved by EPA and adopted into the SIP on August 17, 2005 (70 FR 48285). Additionally, New Mexico has the ability to perform modeling for the primary and secondary PM2.5 standards and other criteria pollutant NAAQS on a case-by-case permit basis consistent with their SIP-approved PSD rules and with EPA protocols on Air Quality Models at 40 CFR part 51, Appendix W.

    This section of the CAA also requires that a SIP provide for the submission of data related to such air quality modeling to the EPA upon request. The New Mexico Air Quality Control Act authorizes and requires NMED to cooperate with the federal government and local authorities in regard to matters of common interest in the field of air quality control, thereby allowing the agency to make such submissions to the EPA (see NMSA 1978, 74-2-5.2(B)).

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in these submissions or referenced in New Mexico's SIP, EPA believes that New Mexico has the adequate infrastructure needed to address section 110(a)(2)(K) for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS and is proposing to approve this element of the Aug 27, 2013 and March 12, 2014, submissions.

    (L) Permitting Fees: The CAA Section 110(a)(2)(L) requires SIPs to require each major stationary source to pay permitting fees to the permitting authority, as a condition of any permit required under the CAA, to cover the cost of reviewing and acting upon any application for such a permit, and, if the permit is issued, the costs of implementing and enforcing the terms of the permit. The fee requirement applies until a fee program established by the state pursuant to Title V of the CAA, relating to operating permits, is approved by EPA.

    The Air Quality Control Act provides the EIB with the legal authority for establishing an emission fee schedule and a construction permit fee schedule to recover the reasonable costs of acting on permit applications, implementing, and enforcing permits.15 New Mexico's fee schedule for construction permits is codified at 20.2.75 NMAC, Construction Permit Fees. These regulations implement a fee schedule for all preconstruction air permits issued by NMED and were approved by EPA into the SIP on September 16, 1991 (56 FR 32511) and November 25, 1997 (62 FR 50514).

    15 See Environmental Improvement Act, Paragraph 4 of Subsection A of Section 74-1-8 NMSA 1978, and Air Quality Control Act, Chapter 74, Article 2 NMSA 1978, including specifically, Paragraph 6 of Subsection B of Section 74-2-7 NMSA 1978.

    In addition to preconstruction fees, New Mexico also requires major sources subject to the federal Title V operating permit program to pay annual operating permit fees. This operating permit fee schedule is codified at 20.2.71 NMAC, Operating Permit Emission Fees. Title V operating permit programs and associated fees legally are not part of the SIP, but were approved by EPA on November 26, 1996 (61 FR 60032) as part of the New Mexico Title V Program (see 40 CFR part 70, Appendix A).16 EPA reviews the New Mexico Title V program, including Title V fee structure, separately from this proposed action. Because the Title V program and associated fees legally are not part of the SIP, the infrastructure SIP action we are proposing today does not preclude EPA from taking future action regarding New Mexico's Title V permitting program and associated fees.

    16 As indicated in New Mexico's 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 infrastructure SIP submissions, NEMD's operating permit fees regulation was inadvertently adopted into the SIP by EPA on November 25, 1997 (62 FR 50514). This regulation was removed from the SIP by EPA in a subsequent action on July 15, 2011 (76 FR 41698).

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in these submissions or referenced in New Mexico's SIP, EPA believes that the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(L) are met and is proposing to approve this element of the August 27, 2013 and March 12, 2014 submissions.

    (M) Consultation/participation by affected local entities: The CAA Section 110(a)(2)(M) requires SIPs to provide for consultation and participation by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP.

    New Mexico's Air Quality Control Act provides that, “no regulations or emission control requirement shall be adopted until after a public hearing by the environmental improvement board or the local board” and provides that, “at the hearing, the environmental improvement board or the local board shall allow all interested persons reasonable opportunity to submit data, views, or arguments orally or in writing and to examine witnesses testifying at the hearing” (see NMSA 1978, 74-2-6(B) and (D)). In addition, the Air Quality Control Act provides that the NMED shall have the power and duty to “advise, consult, contract with and cooperate with local authorities, other states, the federal government and other interested persons or groups in regard to matters of common interest in the field of air quality control . . .” (see NMSA 1978, 74-2-5.2(B)). The Act also requires initiation of cooperative action between local authorities and the NMED, between one local authority and another, or among any combination of local authorities and the NMED for control of air pollution in areas having related air pollution problems that overlap the boundaries of political subdivisions; and entering into agreements and compacts with adjoining states and Indian tribes, where appropriate. NMED has a long history of successful cooperation with the local air quality authority in Albuquerque/Bernalillo County and tribal governments.

    With regard to permitting actions, New Mexico's PSD regulations at 20.2.74.400 NMAC, approved into the SIP on March 30, 1987 (52 FR 5964) and December 16, 1996 (61 FR 53642), mandate that the NMED shall provide for public participation and notification regarding permitting applications to any other state or local air pollution control agencies, local government officials of the city or county where the source will be located, and Federal Land Managers whose lands may be affected by emissions from the source or modification. New Mexico's Transportation Conformity regulations at 20.2.99.116 and 20.2.99.124 NMAC, both approved into the SIP on April 23, 2010 (75 FR 21169), require that interagency consultation and opportunity for public involvement be provided before making transportation conformity determinations and before adopting applicable SIP revisions on transportation-related SIPs.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in the submissions or referenced in New Mexico's SIP, EPA believes that New Mexico has the adequate infrastructure needed to address section 110(a)(2)(M) for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS and is proposing to approve this element of the August 27, 2013 and March 12, 2014 submissions.

    IV. EPA's Evaluation of Interstate Transport of Air Pollution and Visibility Protection for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS in New Mexico's SIP

    One of the SIP requirements for new or revised NAAQS is to provide adequate provisions prohibiting emissions which interfere with required measures in any other State to protect visibility (CAA 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)). In a June 12, 2009 SIP submittal, New Mexico stated that they had satisfied the SIP requirements of CAA 110(a) for the PM2.5 NAAQS promulgated in 2006. The other portions of the June 12, 2009 SIP submittal were previously approved (January 22, 2013, 78 FR 4337, July 9, 2013, 78 FR 40966). No action was taken on the portion pertaining to CAA 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) and visibility protection. As noted above, we approved the New Mexico Regional Haze SIP and found that the New Mexico SIP satisfies the requirements of CAA 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) with respect to interstate transport of air pollution and visibility protection. (November 27, 2012, 77 FR 70693 and October 9, 2014, 79 FR 60985). In our rulemaking that was finalized on October 9, 2014 we overlooked an opportunity to act on a portion of the June 12, 2009 SIP submittal pertaining to interstate transport of air pollution and visibility protection. Because New Mexico has a fully approved Regional Haze SIP and Visibility Transport SIP, we propose to approve this portion of the June 12, 2009 SIP submittal and find that New Mexico meets the CAA 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) visibility protection requirement for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    V. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve the August 27, 2013 and March 12, 2014, infrastructure SIP submissions from New Mexico, which address the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as applicable to the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS. Specifically, EPA is proposing to approve the following infrastructure elements, or portions thereof: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). As discussed in applicable sections of this rulemaking, EPA is not proposing action on section 110(a)(2)(I)—Nonattainment Area Plan or Plan Revisions Under Part D, nor on the visibility protection portion of section 110(a)(2)(J). Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submissions and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in these submissions or referenced in New Mexico's SIP, EPA believes that New Mexico has the infrastructure in place to address all applicable required elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) (except otherwise noted) to ensure that the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS are implemented in the state.

    We are also proposing to approve the visibility protection portion of the June 12, 2009 SIP submittal and find that the New Mexico Visibility SIP meets the CAA 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) requirement for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    VI. Incorporation by Reference

    In this action, we are proposing to include in a final rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with the requirements of 1 CFR 51.4, we are proposing to incorporate by reference revisions to the New Mexico SIP regulations as described in the Proposed Action section above. We have made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulation.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

    • Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR3821, January 21, 2011);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Interstate transport of pollution, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Visibility.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: March 13, 2015. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06932 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 300 [EPA-HQ-SFUND-2015-0136, 0137, 0138, 0139, 0140 and 0141; FRL 9924-31-OSWER] National Priorities List AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA” or “the Act”), as amended, requires that the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (“NCP”) include a list of national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants throughout the United States. The National Priorities List (“NPL”) constitutes this list. The NPL is intended primarily to guide the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or “the agency”) in determining which sites warrant further investigation. These further investigations will allow the EPA to assess the nature and extent of public health and environmental risks associated with the site and to determine what CERCLA-financed remedial action(s), if any, may be appropriate. This rule proposes to add six sites to the General Superfund section of the NPL.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding any of these proposed listings must be submitted (postmarked) on or before May 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Identify the appropriate docket number from the table below.

    Docket Identification Numbers by Site Site name City/county, state Docket ID No. Estech General Chemical Company Calumet City, IL EPA-HQ-SFUND-2015-0136. Colonial Creosote Bogalusa, LA EPA-HQ-SFUND-2015-0137. BJAT LLC Franklin, MA EPA-HQ-SFUND-2015-0138. Anaconda Aluminum Co Columbia Falls Reduction Plant Columbia Falls, MT EPA-HQ-SFUND-2015-0139. Main Street Ground Water Plume Burnet, TX EPA-HQ-SFUND-2015-0140. Grain Handling Facility at Freeman Freeman, WA EPA-HQ-SFUND-2015-0141.

    Submit your comments, identified by the appropriate docket number, by one of the following methods:

    http://www.regulations.gov Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: http://[email protected].

    Mail: Mail comments (no facsimiles or tapes) to Docket Coordinator, Headquarters; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CERCLA Docket Office; (Mailcode 5305T); 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    Hand Delivery or Express Mail: Send comments (no facsimiles or tapes) to Docket Coordinator, Headquarters; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CERCLA Docket Office; 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., William Jefferson Clinton Building West, Room 3334, Washington, DC 20004. Such deliveries are accepted only during the docket's normal hours of operation (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays).

    Instructions: Direct your comments to the appropriate docket number (see table above). The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or email. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system; that means the 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 the EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the 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 the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional docket addresses and further details on their contents, see section II, “Public Review/Public Comment,” of the Supplementary Information portion of this preamble.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Terry Jeng, phone: (703) 603-8852, email: [email protected] Site Assessment and Remedy Decisions Branch, Assessment and Remediation Division, Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation (Mailcode 5204P), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; or the Superfund Hotline, phone (800) 424-9346 or (703) 412-9810 in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Background A. What are CERCLA and SARA? B. What is the NCP? C. What is the National Priorities List (NPL)? D. How are sites listed on the NPL? E. What happens to sites on the NPL? F. Does the NPL define the boundaries of sites? G. How are sites removed from the NPL? H. May the EPA delete portions of sites from the NPL as they are cleaned up? I. What is the Construction Completion List (CCL)? J. What is the Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use measure? K. What is state/tribal correspondence concerning NPL listing? II. Public Review/Public Comment A. May I review the documents relevant to this proposed rule? B. How do I access the documents? C. What documents are available for public review at the Headquarters docket? D. What documents are available for public review at the regional dockets? E. How do I submit my comments? F. What happens to my comments? G. What should I consider when preparing my comments? H. May I submit comments after the public comment period is over? I. May I view public comments submitted by others? J. May I submit comments regarding sites not currently proposed to the NPL? III. Contents of This Proposed Rule A. Proposed Additions to the NPL IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations I. Background A. What are CERCLA and SARA?

    In 1980, Congress enacted the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. 9601-9675 (“CERCLA” or “the Act”), in response to the dangers of uncontrolled releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, and releases or substantial threats of releases into the environment of any pollutant or contaminant that may present an imminent or substantial danger to the public health or welfare. CERCLA was amended on October 17, 1986, by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (“SARA”), Public Law 99-499, 100 Stat. 1613 et seq.

    B. What is the NCP?

    To implement CERCLA, the EPA promulgated the revised National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (“NCP”), 40 CFR part 300, on July 16, 1982 (47 FR 31180), pursuant to CERCLA section 105 and Executive Order 12316 (46 FR 42237, August 20, 1981). The NCP sets guidelines and procedures for responding to releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances or releases or substantial threats of releases into the environment of any pollutant or contaminant that may present an imminent or substantial danger to the public health or welfare. The EPA has revised the NCP on several occasions. The most recent comprehensive revision was on March 8, 1990 (55 FR 8666).

    As required under section 105(a)(8)(A) of CERCLA, the NCP also includes “criteria for determining priorities among releases or threatened releases throughout the United States for the purpose of taking remedial action and, to the extent practicable taking into account the potential urgency of such action, for the purpose of taking removal action.” “Removal” actions are defined broadly and include a wide range of actions taken to study, clean up, prevent or otherwise address releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants (42 U.S.C. 9601(23)).

    C. What is the National Priorities List (NPL)?

    The NPL is a list of national priorities among the known or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants throughout the United States. The list, which is appendix B of the NCP (40 CFR part 300), was required under section 105(a)(8)(B) of CERCLA, as amended. Section 105(a)(8)(B) defines the NPL as a list of “releases” and the highest priority “facilities” and requires that the NPL be revised at least annually. The NPL is intended primarily to guide the EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation to assess the nature and extent of public health and environmental risks associated with a release of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. The NPL is only of limited significance, however, as it does not assign liability to any party or to the owner of any specific property. Also, placing a site on the NPL does not mean that any remedial or removal action necessarily need be taken.

    For purposes of listing, the NPL includes two sections, one of sites that are generally evaluated and cleaned up by the EPA (the “General Superfund section”), and one of sites that are owned or operated by other federal agencies (the “Federal Facilities section”). With respect to sites in the Federal Facilities section, these sites are generally being addressed by other federal agencies. Under Executive Order 12580 (52 FR 2923, January 29, 1987) and CERCLA section 120, each federal agency is responsible for carrying out most response actions at facilities under its own jurisdiction, custody or control, although the EPA is responsible for preparing a Hazard Ranking System (“HRS”) score and determining whether the facility is placed on the NPL.

    D. How are sites listed on the NPL?

    There are three mechanisms for placing sites on the NPL for possible remedial action (see 40 CFR 300.425(c) of the NCP): (1) A site may be included on the NPL if it scores sufficiently high on the HRS, which the EPA promulgated as appendix A of the NCP (40 CFR part 300). The HRS serves as a screening tool to evaluate the relative potential of uncontrolled hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants to pose a threat to human health or the environment. On December 14, 1990 (55 FR 51532), the EPA promulgated revisions to the HRS partly in response to CERCLA section 105(c), added by SARA. The revised HRS evaluates four pathways: Ground water, surface water, soil exposure and air. As a matter of agency policy, those sites that score 28.50 or greater on the HRS are eligible for the NPL. (2) Each state may designate a single site as its top priority to be listed on the NPL, without any HRS score. This provision of CERCLA requires that, to the extent practicable, the NPL include one facility designated by each state as the greatest danger to public health, welfare or the environment among known facilities in the state. This mechanism for listing is set out in the NCP at 40 CFR 300.425(c)(2). (3) The third mechanism for listing, included in the NCP at 40 CFR 300.425(c)(3), allows certain sites to be listed without any HRS score, if all of the following conditions are met:

    • The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the U.S. Public Health Service has issued a health advisory that recommends dissociation of individuals from the release.

    • The EPA determines that the release poses a significant threat to public health.

    • The EPA anticipates that it will be more cost-effective to use its remedial authority than to use its removal authority to respond to the release.

    The EPA promulgated an original NPL of 406 sites on September 8, 1983 (48 FR 40658) and generally has updated it at least annually.

    E. What happens to sites on the NPL?

    A site may undergo remedial action financed by the Trust Fund established under CERCLA (commonly referred to as the “Superfund”) only after it is placed on the NPL, as provided in the NCP at 40 CFR 300.425(b)(1). (“Remedial actions” are those “consistent with permanent remedy, taken instead of or in addition to removal actions” (40 CFR 300.5). However, under 40 CFR 300.425(b)(2) placing a site on the NPL “does not imply that monies will be expended.” The EPA may pursue other appropriate authorities to respond to the releases, including enforcement action under CERCLA and other laws.

    F. Does the NPL define the boundaries of sites?

    The NPL does not describe releases in precise geographical terms; it would be neither feasible nor consistent with the limited purpose of the NPL (to identify releases that are priorities for further evaluation), for it to do so. Indeed, the precise nature and extent of the site are typically not known at the time of listing.

    Although a CERCLA “facility” is broadly defined to include any area where a hazardous substance has “come to be located” (CERCLA section 101(9)), the listing process itself is not intended to define or reflect the boundaries of such facilities or releases. Of course, HRS data (if the HRS is used to list a site) upon which the NPL placement was based will, to some extent, describe the release(s) at issue. That is, the NPL site would include all releases evaluated as part of that HRS analysis.

    When a site is listed, the approach generally used to describe the relevant release(s) is to delineate a geographical area (usually the area within an installation or plant boundaries) and identify the site by reference to that area. However, the NPL site is not necessarily coextensive with the boundaries of the installation or plant, and the boundaries of the installation or plant are not necessarily the “boundaries” of the site. Rather, the site consists of all contaminated areas within the area used to identify the site, as well as any other location where that contamination has come to be located, or from where that contamination came.

    In other words, while geographic terms are often used to designate the site (e.g., the “Jones Co. Plant site”) in terms of the property owned by a particular party, the site, properly understood, is not limited to that property (e.g., it may extend beyond the property due to contaminant migration), and conversely may not occupy the full extent of the property (e.g., where there are uncontaminated parts of the identified property, they may not be, strictly speaking, part of the “site”). The “site” is thus neither equal to, nor confined by, the boundaries of any specific property that may give the site its name, and the name itself should not be read to imply that this site is coextensive with the entire area within the property boundary of the installation or plant. In addition, the site name is merely used to help identify the geographic location of the contamination, and is not meant to constitute any determination of liability at a site. For example, the name “Jones Co. Plant site,” does not imply that the Jones Company is responsible for the contamination located on the plant site.

    The EPA regulations provide that the remedial investigation (“RI”) “is a process undertaken * * * to determine the nature and extent of the problem presented by the release” as more information is developed on site contamination, and which is generally performed in an interactive fashion with the feasibility Study (“FS”) (40 CFR 300.5). During the RI/FS process, the release may be found to be larger or smaller than was originally thought, as more is learned about the source(s) and the migration of the contamination. However, the HRS inquiry focuses on an evaluation of the threat posed and therefore the boundaries of the release need not be exactly defined. Moreover, it generally is impossible to discover the full extent of where the contamination “has come to be located” before all necessary studies and remedial work are completed at a site. Indeed, the known boundaries of the contamination can be expected to change over time. Thus, in most cases, it may be impossible to describe the boundaries of a release with absolute certainty.

    Further, as noted above, NPL listing does not assign liability to any party or to the owner of any specific property. Thus, if a party does not believe it is liable for releases on discrete parcels of property, it can submit supporting information to the agency at any time after it receives notice it is a potentially responsible party.

    For these reasons, the NPL need not be amended as further research reveals more information about the location of the contamination or release.

    G. How are sites removed from the NPL?

    The EPA may delete sites from the NPL where no further response is appropriate under Superfund, as explained in the NCP at 40 CFR 300.425(e). This section also provides that the EPA shall consult with states on proposed deletions and shall consider whether any of the following criteria have been met:

    (i) Responsible parties or other persons have implemented all appropriate response actions required;

    (ii) All appropriate Superfund-financed response has been implemented and no further response action is required; or

    (iii) The remedial investigation has shown the release poses no significant threat to public health or the environment, and taking of remedial measures is not appropriate.

    H. May the EPA delete portions of sites from the NPL as they are cleaned up?

    In November 1995, the EPA initiated a policy to delete portions of NPL sites where cleanup is complete (60 FR 55465, November 1, 1995). Total site cleanup may take many years, while portions of the site may have been cleaned up and made available for productive use.

    I. What Is the Construction Completion List (CCL)?

    The EPA also has developed an NPL construction completion list (“CCL”) to simplify its system of categorizing sites and to better communicate the successful completion of cleanup activities (58 FR 12142, March 2, 1993). Inclusion of a site on the CCL has no legal significance.

    Sites qualify for the CCL when: (1) Any necessary physical construction is complete, whether or not final cleanup levels or other requirements have been achieved; (2) the EPA has determined that the response action should be limited to measures that do not involve construction (e.g., institutional controls); or (3) the site qualifies for deletion from the NPL. For the most up-to-date information on the CCL, see the EPA's Internet site at http://www.epa.gov/superfund/cleanup/ccl.htm

    J. What Is the Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use measure?

    The Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use measure (formerly called Sitewide Ready-for-Reuse) represents important Superfund accomplishments and the measure reflects the high priority the EPA places on considering anticipated future land use as part of the remedy selection process. See Guidance for Implementing the Sitewide Ready-for-Reuse Measure, May 24, 2006, OSWER 9365.0-36. This measure applies to final and deleted sites where construction is complete, all cleanup goals have been achieved, and all institutional or other controls are in place. The EPA has been successful on many occasions in carrying out remedial actions that ensure protectiveness of human health and the environment for current and future land uses, in a manner that allows contaminated properties to be restored to environmental and economic vitality. For further information, please go to http://www.epa.gov/superfund/programs/recycle/pdf/sitewide_a.pdf

    K. What is state/tribal correspondence concerning NPL listing?

    In order to maintain close coordination with states and tribes in the NPL listing decision process, the EPA's policy is to determine the position of the states and tribes regarding sites that the EPA is considering for listing. This consultation process is outlined in two memoranda that can be found at the following Web site: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/hrsres/policy/govlet.pdf The EPA is improving the transparency of the process by which state and tribal input is solicited. The EPA is using the Web and where appropriate more structured state and tribal correspondence that (1) explains the concerns at the site and the EPA's rationale for proceeding; (2) requests an explanation of how the state intends to address the site if placement on the NPL is not favored; and (3) emphasizes the transparent nature of the process by informing states that information on their responses will be publicly available.

    A model letter and correspondence from this point forward between the EPA and states and tribes where applicable, is available on the EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/query/queryhtm/nplstcor.htm

    II. Public Review/Public Comment A. May I review the documents relevant to this proposed rule?

    Yes, documents that form the basis for the EPA's evaluation and scoring of the sites in this proposed rule are contained in public dockets located both at the EPA Headquarters in Washington, DC, and in the regional offices. These documents are also available by electronic access at http://www.regulations.gov (see instructions in the Addresses section above).

    B. How do I access the documents?

    You may view the documents, by appointment only, in the Headquarters or the regional dockets after the publication of this proposed rule. The hours of operation for the Headquarters docket are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday excluding federal holidays. Please contact the regional dockets for hours.

    The following is the contact information for the EPA Headquarters Docket: Docket Coordinator, Headquarters, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CERCLA Docket Office, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., William Jefferson Clinton Building West, Room 3334, Washington, DC 20004; 202/566-0276. (Please note this is a visiting address only. Mail comments to the EPA Headquarters as detailed at the beginning of this preamble.)

    The contact information for the regional dockets is as follows:

    • Holly Inglis, Region 1 (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT), U.S. EPA, Superfund Records and Information Center, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, MA 02109-3912; 617/918-1413.

    • Ildefonso Acosta, Region 2 (NJ, NY, PR, VI), U.S. EPA, 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007-1866; 212/637-4344.

    • Lorie Baker (ASRC), Region 3 (DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WV), U.S. EPA, Library, 1650 Arch Street, Mailcode 3HS12, Philadelphia, PA 19103; 215/814-3355.

    • Jennifer Wendel, Region 4 (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN), U.S. EPA, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Mailcode 9T25, Atlanta, GA 30303; 404/562-8799.

    • Todd Quesada, Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI), U.S. EPA Superfund Division Librarian/SFD Records Manager SRC-7J, Metcalfe Federal Building, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604; 312/886-4465.

    • Brenda Cook, Region 6 (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX), U.S. EPA, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Mailcode 6SFTS, Dallas, TX 75202-2733; 214/665-7436.

    • Preston Law, Region 7 (IA, KS, MO, NE), U.S. EPA, 11201 Renner Blvd., Mailcode SUPRERNB, Lenexa, KS 66219; 913/551-7097.

    • Sabrina Forrest, Region 8 (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY), U.S. EPA, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Mailcode 8EPR-B, Denver, CO 80202-1129; 303/312-6484.

    • Sharon Murray, Region 9 (AZ, CA, HI, NV, AS, GU, MP), U.S. EPA, 75 Hawthorne Street, Mailcode SFD 6-1, San Francisco, CA 94105; 415/947-4250.

    • Ken Marcy, Region 10 (AK, ID, OR, WA), U.S. EPA, 1200 6th Avenue, Mailcode ECL-112, Seattle, WA 98101; 206/463-1349.

    You may also request copies from the EPA Headquarters or the regional dockets. An informal request, rather than a formal written request under the Freedom of Information Act, should be the ordinary procedure for obtaining copies of any of these documents. Please note that due to the difficulty of reproducing oversized maps, oversized maps may be viewed only in-person; since the EPA dockets are not equipped to either copy and mail out such maps or scan them and send them out electronically.

    You may use the docket at http://www.regulations.gov to access documents in the Headquarters docket (see instructions included in the ADDRESSES section above). Please note that there are differences between the Headquarters docket and the regional dockets and those differences are outlined below.

    C. What documents are available for public review at the Headquarters docket?

    The Headquarters docket for this proposed rule contains the following for the sites proposed in this rule: HRS score sheets; documentation records describing the information used to compute the score; information for any sites affected by particular statutory requirements or the EPA listing policies; and a list of documents referenced in the documentation record.

    D. What documents are available for public review at the regional dockets?

    The regional dockets for this proposed rule contain all of the information in the Headquarters docket plus the actual reference documents containing the data principally relied upon and cited by the EPA in calculating or evaluating the HRS score for the sites. These reference documents are available only in the regional dockets.

    E. How do I submit my comments?

    Comments must be submitted to the EPA Headquarters as detailed at the beginning of this preamble in the ADDRESSES section. Please note that the mailing addresses differ according to method of delivery. There are two different addresses that depend on whether comments are sent by express mail or by postal mail.

    F. What happens to my comments?

    The EPA considers all comments received during the comment period. Significant comments are typically addressed in a support document that the EPA will publish concurrently with the Federal Register document if, and when, the site is listed on the NPL.

    G. What should I consider when preparing my comments?

    Comments that include complex or voluminous reports, or materials prepared for purposes other than HRS scoring, should point out the specific information that the EPA should consider and how it affects individual HRS factor values or other listing criteria (Northside Sanitary Landfill v. Thomas, 849 F.2d 1516 (D.C. Cir. 1988)). The EPA will not address voluminous comments that are not referenced to the HRS or other listing criteria. The EPA will not address comments unless they indicate which component of the HRS documentation record or what particular point in the EPA's stated eligibility criteria is at issue.

    H. May I submit comments after the public comment period is over?

    Generally, the EPA will not respond to late comments. The EPA can guarantee only that it will consider those comments postmarked by the close of the formal comment period. The EPA has a policy of generally not delaying a final listing decision solely to accommodate consideration of late comments.

    I. May I view public comments submitted by others?

    During the comment period, comments are placed in the Headquarters docket and are available to the public on an “as received” basis. A complete set of comments will be available for viewing in the regional dockets approximately one week after the formal comment period closes.

    All public comments, whether submitted electronically or in paper form, will be made available for public viewing in the electronic public docket at http://www.regulations.gov as the EPA receives them and without change, unless the comment contains copyrighted material, confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Once in the public dockets system, select “search,” then key in the appropriate docket ID number.

    J. May I submit comments regarding sites not currently proposed to the NPL?

    In certain instances, interested parties have written to the EPA concerning sites that were not at that time proposed to the NPL. If those sites are later proposed to the NPL, parties should review their earlier concerns and, if still appropriate, resubmit those concerns for consideration during the formal comment period. Site-specific correspondence received prior to the period of formal proposal and comment will not generally be included in the docket.

    III. Contents of This Proposed Rule A. Proposed Additions to the NPL

    In this proposed rule, the EPA is proposing to add six sites to the NPL, all to the General Superfund section. All of the sites in this proposed rulemaking are being proposed based on HRS scores of 28.50 or above.

    The sites are presented in the table below.

    General Superfund Section State Site name City/county IL Estech General Chemical Company Calumet City. LA Colonial Creosote Bogalusa. MA BJAT LLC Franklin. MT Anaconda Aluminum Co Columbia Falls Reduction Plant Columbia Falls. TX Main Street Ground Water Plume Burnet. WA Grain Handling Facility at Freeman Freeman. IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive orders.

    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a significant regulatory action and was therefore not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA. This rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require approval of the OMB.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action will not impose any requirements on small entities. This rule listing sites on the NPL does not impose any obligations on any group, including small entities. This rule also does not establish standards or requirements that any small entity must meet, and imposes no direct costs on any small entity. Whether an entity, small or otherwise, is liable for response costs for a release of hazardous substances depends on whether that entity is liable under CERCLA 107(a). Any such liability exists regardless of whether the site is listed on the NPL through this rulemaking.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. This action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector. Listing a site on the NPL does not itself impose any costs. Listing does not mean that the EPA necessarily will undertake remedial action. Nor does listing require any action by a private party, state, local or tribal governments or determine liability for response costs. Costs that arise out of site responses result from future site-specific decisions regarding what actions to take, not directly from the act of placing a site on the NPL.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

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

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

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175. Listing a site on the NPL does not impose any costs on a tribe or require a tribe to take remedial action. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because this action itself is procedural in nature (adds sites to a list) and does not, in and of itself, provide protection from environmental health and safety risks. Separate future regulatory actions are required for mitigation of environmental health and safety risks.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    The EPA believes the human health or environmental risk addressed by this action will not have potential disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income or indigenous populations because it does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment. As discussed in Section I.C. of the preamble to this action, the NPL is a list of national priorities. The NPL is intended primarily to guide the EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation to assess the nature and extent of public health and environmental risks associated with a release of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. The NPL is of only limited significance as it does not assign liability to any party. Also, placing a site on the NPL does not mean that any remedial or removal action necessarily need be taken.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 300

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, Hazardous substances, Hazardous waste, Intergovernmental relations, Natural resources, Oil pollution, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Superfund, Water pollution control, Water supply.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 9601-9657; 33 U.S.C. 1321(d); E.O. 11735, 38 FR 21243; E.O. 12580, 52 FR 2923; E.O. 12777, 56 FR 54757.

    Dated: March 16, 2015. Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06728 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    80 58 Thursday, March 26, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security Order Temporarily Denying Export Privileges; Flider Electronics, LLC, Pavel Semenovich Flider, Gennadiy Semenovich Flider, et al. Flider Electronics, LLC, a/k/a Flider Electronics, d/b/a Trident International Corporation, d/b/a Trident International, d/b/a Trident International Corporation, LLC, 837 Turk Street, San Francisco, California 94102

    and

    Pavel Semenovich Flider, a/k/a Pavel Flider, 21 Eye Street, San Rafael, California 94901

    and

    Gennadiy Semenovich Flider, a/k/a Gennadiy Flider, 699 36th Avenue #203, San Francisco, California 94121

    Pursuant to Section 766.24 of the Export Administration Regulations (the “Regulations” or “EAR”),1 the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”), U.S. Department of Commerce, through its Office of Export Enforcement (“OEE”), has requested that I issue an Order temporarily denying, for a period of 180 days, the export privileges of Flider Electronics, LLC, also known as Flider Electronics, and doing business as Trident International Corporation, Trident International, and Trident International Corporation, LLC. Flider Electronics, LLC is a California limited liability company based in San Francisco, California. It is operated, at least in substantial part, for the purpose of procuring and exporting U.S.-origin electronic components. California State Corporation Number C1908339 has been used in connection with the doing business names of Trident International Corporation, Trident International, and Trident International Corporation, LLC, but that number is associated with Flider Electronics, LLC and the address used in connection with those doing business as names is the same address as Flider Electronics, LLC. Pavel Semenovich Flider, also known as Pavel Flider, is the president and owner of Flider Electronics/Trident International (“Trident”). His brother Gennadiy Semenovich Flider, also known as Gennadiy Flider, has identified himself as Trident's office manager, since 2003, and his duties include the purchase of items from U.S. distributors, the shipment of those items abroad, and related filings with U.S. Government agencies.

    1 The Regulations are currently codified at 15 CFR parts 730-774 (2014). The EAR issued under the Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended (50 U.S.C. app. §§ 2401-2420 (2000)) (“EAA”). Since August 21, 2001, the Act has been in lapse and the President, through Executive Order 13222 of August 17, 2001 (3 CFR, 2001 Comp. 783 (2002)), which has been extended by successive Presidential Notices, the most recent being that of August 7, 2014 (79 FR 46959 (Aug. 11, 2014)), has continued the Regulations in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701, et seq.) (2006 & Supp. IV 2010).

    Pursuant to Section 766.24, BIS may issue an order temporarily denying a respondent's export privileges upon a showing that the order is necessary in the public interest to prevent an “imminent violation” of the Regulations. 15 CFR 766.24(b)(1) and 776.24(d). “A violation may be `imminent' either in time or degree of likelihood.” 15 CFR 766.24(b)(3). BIS may show “either that a violation is about to occur, or that the general circumstances of the matter under investigation or case under criminal or administrative charges demonstrate a likelihood of future violations.” Id. As to the likelihood of future violations, BIS may show that the violation under investigation or charge “is significant, deliberate, covert and/or likely to occur again, rather than technical or negligent [.]” Id. A “lack of information establishing the precise time a violation may occur does not preclude a finding that a violation is imminent, so long as there is sufficient reason to believe the likelihood of a violation.” Id.

    In its request, OEE has presented evidence that it has reason to believe that Trident engaged in conduct prohibited by the Regulations by exporting items subject to the EAR to Russia via transshipment through third countries. In Automated Export System (“AES”) filings it made, Trident identified as “ultimate consignees” companies in Estonia and Finland that BIS has reason to believe were operating as freight forwarders and not end users of the U.S.-origin items. OEE's presentation also indicates that at least two of these transactions are known to have involved items that are listed on the Commerce Control List and that a search of BIS's licensing database reveals no licensing history of controlled U.S.-origin electronics to Russia for the company and individuals captioned in this case. Based on, inter alia, the transshipment of the items, the misrepresentations made on the AES filings, and information obtained pursuant to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (“MLAT”) request, OEE indicates that it has reason to believe that these exports required a license.

    A. Detained Shipments on April 6, 2013

    On or about April 6, 2013, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) detained two outbound shipments at San Francisco International Airport. CBP ultimately allowed one of these exports to proceed, but the other attempted export was not and the items were ultimately seized. The manifest and the AES filing for the seized shipment described the items as “power supplies,” but the shipment actually contained, among other items, 15 Xilinx field programmable gate array (FPGA) circuits that were controlled under Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) 3A001.a.2.c for national security reasons and generally required a license for Russia. The shipping documentation also listed Logilane Oy Ltd. in Finland (“Logilane”) as the ultimate consignee. Open source information confirmed that Logilane was a freight forwarder and thus unlikely to be the end user for the items contained in the shipment. When questioned about the shipment, Pavel Flider requested that the ultimate consignee be changed to Adimir OU (“Adimir”) in Estonia, which itself also proved to be a freight forwarder as discussed further below.

    B. Interviews of Pavel Flider and Gennadiy Flider

    On or about April 19, 2013, OEE interviewed Trident office manager Gennadiy Flider, who identified his responsibilities as handling the procurement and shipment of items, including for export. He stated Trident had been doing business with Adimir for many years and that it was the only customer that his company had. He also indicated that Trident at times shipped items intended for its Estonian customer to Finland, claiming this was because it was cheaper.

    Similarly, in an August 5, 2013 interview, Trident's president and owner Pavel Flider stated that Adimir was Trident's one and only customer and that at times Adimir requested that items be shipped to a freight forwarder in Finland. Both Gennadiy Flider and Pavel Flider denied shipping to Russia.

    C. July 2013 Detention and Subsequent Seizure

    On or about July 20, 2013, the U.S. Government detained a Trident shipment bound for Adimir in Estonia. In addition to Adimir being identified as the ultimate consignee on the AES filing, the items were identified as “Electronic Equipment.” A review of the invoice showed six Xilinx FPGAs, items which were controlled under ECCN 3A001.a.2.c for national security reasons and generally required a license for Russia. Moreover, an inspection of the shipment uncovered 51 controlled Xilinx chips, rather than just the six that had been declared. CBP ultimately seized the shipment on or about October 18, 2013.

    D. Information Concerning Purported Estonian End User Obtained via an MLAT Request

    Based on information obtained in 2014 via a late 2013 MLAT request sent to Estonia relating to Adimir, BIS has reason to believe that Adimir was not an end user. During an interview, an Adimir corporate officer admitted to transshipping Trident shipments to Russia at the request of Pavel Flider. Adimir subsequently ceased operating.

    E. Changes in the Scheme

    Following the detention and seizures, the MLAT request, and the Adimir interview, Trident began exporting directly to Russia, claiming that the controlled circuits were for use in railroads. This assertion sought to track a note to ECCN 3A001.a.2, which indicates that the ECCN does not apply to integrated circuits for civil automotive or railway train applications. Pavel Flider reported to the U.S. distributor that Trident had been “referred” Russian customers by Adimir, which was going out of business. After being made aware that the items actually were intended for export to Russia, the U.S. distributor requested that Trident sign a Form BIS-711 “Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser,” which includes an end use statement and must be signed by the purchaser and the ultimate consignee.

    From on or about January 23, 2014, to on or about April 16, 2014, Trident began listing in its AES filings OOO Elkomtex (“Elkomtex”) in St. Petersburg, Russia, as the ultimate consignee. On or about July 17, 2014, the Elkomtex employees admitted that the company was not an end user but a distributor of electronics, acting as a broker between an exporter and an end use company.

    Beginning with an export on or about May 6, 2014, Trident again changed its export route and began exporting to a purported ultimate consignee named Logimix Ltd., in Vantaa, Finland (“Logimix”). Between on or about May 6, 2014, to on or about March 12, 2015, AES filings indicate that Trident has made 33 exports with Logimix listed as the ultimate consignee. Based on Logimix's Web site and other open source Internet information, however, OEE's presentation indicates that it has reason to believe that Logimix is a freight forwarder and not an end user. Moreover, given the violations, deceptive actions, and other evidence involving Trident, including those admitted by the Fliders, OEE also indicates that it has reason to believe that Trident has been making transshipments to Russia.

    OEE has further indicated that in February 2014, Trident ordered an additional 195 integrated circuits controlled under ECCN 3A001.a.2.c from a U.S. distributor and that those items would be available by in or around April 2015. In addition, Trident and Pavel and Gennadiy Flider have been indicted for smuggling and money laundering, including in connection with some of the transactions discussed above.

    F. Findings

    I find that the evidence presented by BIS demonstrates that a violation of the Regulations is imminent in both time and degree of likelihood. Trident has engaged in some known violations of the Regulations and its actions, including changes in how it structures its export transactions and routes its shipments, appear designed to camouflage the actual destinations, end uses, and/or end users of the U.S.-origin items it has been and continues to export, including items on the Commerce Control List that are subject to national security-based license requirements. Moreover, when interviewed in 2013, the Fliders could not provide a reasonable explanation for the purported exports to Estonia and Finland. When for a time Trident began direct exports to Russia, the entity listed as the ultimate consignee admitted that it was not an end user and instead acting as a broker.

    In sum, the fact and circumstances taken as a whole provide strong indicators that future violations are likely absent the issuance of a TDO. As such, a TDO is needed to give notice to persons and companies in the United States and abroad that they should cease dealing with Trident in export transactions involving items subject to the EAR. Such a TDO is consistent with the public interest to preclude future violations of the EAR.

    Additionally, Section 766.23 of the Regulations provides that “[i]n order to prevent evasion, certain types of orders under this part may be made applicable not only to the respondent, but also to other persons then or thereafter related to the respondent by ownership, control, position of responsibility, affiliation, or other connection in the conduct of trade or business. Orders that may be made applicable to related persons include those that deny or affect export privileges, including temporary denial orders . . .” 15 CFR § 766.23(a). As stated above, Pavel Flider is the president and owner of Trident. Gennadiy Flider also is a Trident office manager, with responsibilities relating directly to the procurement and export activities at issue. As such, I find that Pavel Semenovich Flider and Gennadiy Semenovich Flider are related persons to Trident based on their positions of responsibility and that their additions to the order is necessary to prevent evasion.

    Accordingly, I find that an order denying the export privileges of Trident, Pavel Flider, and Gennadiy Flider is necessary, in the public interest, to prevent an imminent violation of the EAR.

    This Order is being issued on an ex parte basis without a hearing based upon BIS's showing of an imminent violation in accordance with Section 766.24 of the Regulations.

    It is therefore ordered:

    First, that Flider Electronics, LLC, a/k/a Flider Electronics, d/b/a Trident International Corporation, d/b/a Trident International, d/b/a Trident International Corporation, LLC, 837 Turk Street, San Francisco, California 94102; Pavel Semenovich Flider, a/k/a Pavel Flider, 21 Eye Street, San Rafael, California 94901; and Gennadiy Semenovich Flider, a/k/a Gennadiy Flider, 699 36th Avenue #203, San Francisco, California 94121, and when acting for or on their behalf, any successors or assigns, agents, or employees (each a “Denied Person” and collectively the “Denied Persons”) may not, directly or indirectly, participate in any way in any transaction involving any commodity, software or technology (hereinafter collectively referred to as “item”) exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”), or in any other activity subject to the EAR including, but not limited to:

    A. Applying for, obtaining, or using any license, License Exception, or export control document;

    B. Carrying on negotiations concerning, or ordering, buying, receiving, using, selling, delivering, storing, disposing of, forwarding, transporting, financing, or otherwise servicing in any way, any transaction involving any item exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the EAR, or in any other activity subject to the EAR; or

    C. Benefitting in any way from any transaction involving any item exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the EAR, or in any other activity subject to the EAR.

    Second, that no person may, directly or indirectly, do any of the following:

    A. Export or reexport to or on behalf of a Denied Person any item subject to the EAR;

    B. Take any action that facilitates the acquisition or attempted acquisition by a Denied Person of the ownership, possession, or control of any item subject to the EAR that has been or will be exported from the United States, including financing or other support activities related to a transaction whereby a Denied Person acquires or attempts to acquire such ownership, possession or control;

    C. Take any action to acquire from or to facilitate the acquisition or attempted acquisition from a Denied Person of any item subject to the EAR that has been exported from the United States;

    D. Obtain from a Denied Person in the United States any item subject to the EAR with knowledge or reason to know that the item will be, or is intended to be, exported from the United States; or

    E. Engage in any transaction to service any item subject to the EAR that has been or will be exported from the United States and which is owned, possessed or controlled by a Denied Person, or service any item, of whatever origin, that is owned, possessed or controlled by a Denied Person if such service involves the use of any item subject to the EAR that has been or will be exported from the United States. For purposes of this paragraph, servicing means installation, maintenance, repair, modification or testing.

    Third, that, after notice and opportunity for comment as provided in Section 766.23 of the EAR, any other person, firm, corporation, or business organization related to a Denied Person by ownership, control, position of responsibility, affiliation, or other connection in the conduct of trade or business may also be made subject to the provisions of this Order.

    In accordance with the provisions of Section 766.24(e) of the EAR, Flider Electronics, LLC d/b/a Trident International Corporation, may, at any time, appeal this Order by filing a full written statement in support of the appeal with the Office of the Administrative Law Judge, U.S. Coast Guard ALJ Docketing Center, 40 South Gay Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202-4022. In accordance with the provisions of Sections 766.23(c)(2) and 766.24(e)(3) of the EAR, Pavel Semenovich Flider and Gennadiy Semenovich Flider may, at any time, appeal their inclusion as a related person by filing a full written statement in support of the appeal with the Office of the Administrative Law Judge, U.S. Coast Guard ALJ Docketing Center, 40 South Gay Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202-4022.

    In accordance with the provisions of Section 766.24(d) of the EAR, BIS may seek renewal of this Order by filing a written request not later than 20 days before the expiration date. Flider Electronics, LLC d/b/a Trident International Corporation may oppose a request to renew this Order by filing a written submission with the Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement, which must be received not later than seven days before the expiration date of the Order.

    A copy of this Order shall be sent to Flider Electronics LLC d/b/a Trident International Corporation and each related person, and shall be published in the Federal Register.

    This Order is effective upon issuance and shall remain in effect for 180 days.

    Dated: March 19, 2015. David W. Mills, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06894 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-122-854] Supercalendered Paper From Canada: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: March 26, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joshua Morris or Shane Subler, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1779 or (202) 482-0189, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Petition

    On February 26, 2015, the Department of Commerce (the Department) received a countervailing duty (CVD) petition 1 concerning imports of supercalendered paper (SC paper) from Canada, filed in proper form on behalf of the Coalition for Fair Paper Imports (the petitioner).2 The petitioner is an ad hoc association of domestic producers of SC paper.

    1See Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Supercalendered Paper from Canada (February 26, 2015) (Petition).

    2 The Coalition for Fair Paper Imports consists of Madison Paper Industries and Verso Corporation.

    On March 3 and 13, 2015, we requested information and clarification for certain areas of the Petition.3 The petitioner responded to these requests on March 9 and 16, 2015.4

    3See Letters from the Department, “Petition For The Imposition Of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Supercalendered Paper from Canada: Supplemental Questions” (March 3, 2015) and “Petition For The Imposition Of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Supercalendered Paper from Canada: Additional Supplemental Question” (March 13, 2015).

    4See Letters from the petitioner, “Supercalendered Paper From Canada/Petitioner's Response To The Department's Questions Regarding The Petition” (March 9, 2015) (Petition Supplement) and “Supercalendered Paper From Canada/Response to the March 13, 2015 Additional Supplemental Question for Volume II of the Petition” (March 16, 2015).

    In accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that the Government of Canada (the GOC) and certain Canadian provinces are providing countervailable subsidies, within the meaning of sections 701 and 771(5) of the Act, to imports of SC paper from Canada, and that such imports are materially injuring, or are threatening material injury to, the domestic industry in the United States pursuant to section 701 of the Act. Consistent with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to petitioner supporting its allegations.

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioner is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(F) of the Act, and that the petitioner has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the investigation the petitioner is requesting.5

    5See “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” below.

    Period of Investigation

    The period for which we are measuring subsidies, i.e., the period of investigation (POI), is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is SC paper from Canada. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation” in Appendix I of this notice.

    Comments on the Scope of the Investigation

    During our review of the Petition, we issued questions to, and received responses from, the petitioner pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petition would be an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.

    As discussed in the preamble to our regulations,6 we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope). The period for scope comments is intended to provide the Department with ample opportunity to consider all comments and to consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information,7 all such factual information should be limited to public information. All such comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on April 7, 2015, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on April 17, 2015, which is 10 calendar days after the initial comments are due.

    6See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    7See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21).

    We request that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).8 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date noted above. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the deadlines noted above.

    8See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011) for details of our electronic filing requirements. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.vgov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Consultations

    Pursuant to section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act, we notified the GOC of the receipt of the Petition. Also, in accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act, we invited representatives of the GOC for consultations with respect to the Petition.9 Consultations were held on March 12, 2015.10 This memorandum is on file electronically via ACCESS.

    9See Letter from the Department, “Supercalendered Paper from Canada” (February 26, 2015).

    10See Ex-Parte Memorandum, “Ex-Parte Meeting with Officials of the Government of Canada on the Countervailing Duty Petition on Supercalendered Paper from Canada” (March 13, 2015).

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the Department shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the industry.

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product, or those producers whose collective output of a domestic like product constitutes a major proportion of the total domestic production of the product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,11 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.12

    11See section 771(10) of the Act.

    12See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the Petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioner does not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigation. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that SC paper constitutes a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.13

    13 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Supercalendered Paper from Canada (Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Petition Covering Supercalendered Paper from Canada (Attachment II). This checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room 7046 of the main Department building.

    In determining whether the petitioner has standing under section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I of this notice. To establish industry support, the petitioner provided its own production of the domestic like product in 2014.14 The petitioner identifies its individual member companies, Madison Paper Industries and Verso Corporation, as the companies constituting the U.S. SC paper industry and states that there are no other known producers of SC paper in the United States; therefore, the Petition is supported by 100 percent of the U.S. industry.15

    14See Petition at Volume I, at I-3.

    15Id., at I-3; see also Petition Supplement at 3 and Exhibit S-3.

    Based on the data provided in the Petition, Petition Supplement, and other information readily available to the Department, we determine that the petitioner has established industry support.16 First, the Petition established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).17 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.18 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petition.19 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 702(b)(1) of the Act.

    16Id.

    17See section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    18Id.

    19Id.

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(F) of the Act and it has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the CVD investigation that it is requesting the Department initiate.20

    20Id.

    Injury Test

    Because Canada is a “Subsidies Agreement Country” within the meaning of section 701(b) of the Act, section 701(a)(2) of the Act applies to this investigation. Accordingly, the ITC must determine whether imports of the subject merchandise from Canada materially injure, or threaten material injury to, a U.S. industry.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioner alleges that imports of the subject merchandise are benefitting from countervailable subsidies and that such imports are causing, or threaten to cause, material injury to the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product. The petitioner alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.21

    21See Petition at Volume I, at I-13—I-14 and Exhibit I-6; see also Petition Supplement at 3 and Exhibit S-4.

    The petitioner contends that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share, underselling and price suppression or depression, lost sales and revenues, and other adverse impacts on the domestic industry, including declining capacity utilization rates and shipments, declining employment variables, and decline in domestic industry performance.22 We assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.23

    22Id., at I-14—I-20 and Exhibits I-7—I-13.

    23See Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Countervailing Duty Petition Covering Supercalendered Paper from Canada.

    Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires the Department to initiate a CVD investigation whenever an interested party files a CVD petition on behalf of an industry that: (1) Alleges the elements necessary for an imposition of a duty under section 701(a) of the Act; and (2) is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting the allegations. In the Petition, the petitioner alleges that producers of SC paper in Canada benefited from countervailable subsidies bestowed by the GOC and certain Canadian provincial governments. We have examined the Petition and find that it complies with the requirements of section 702(b)(1) of the Act. Therefore, in accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, we are initiating a CVD investigation to determine whether manufacturers, producers, or exporters of SC Paper from Canada receive countervailable subsidies from the GOC and the certain Canadian provincial governments.

    Based on our review of the Petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation of 28 of the 29 alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate or not to initiate on each program, see Initiation Checklist.

    Respondent Selection

    The petitioner named four companies as producers/exporters of SC paper from Canada.24 We will address the question of respondent selection subsequent to this initiation.

    24See Petition at Volume II, at Exhibit II-3.

    Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), a copy of the public version of the Petition has been provided to representatives of the GOC via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petition to each known exporter (as named in the Petition), as provided in 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    ITC Notification

    We have notified the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 702(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determination by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of SC paper from Canada are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.25 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated; otherwise, the investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    25See section 703(a) of the Act.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). The regulation requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Please review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Extensions of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under Part 351, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under Part. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this segment.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.26 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the certification requirements provided in 19 CFR 351.303(g) and implemented in the Final Rule. 27

    26See section 782(b) of the Act.

    27See Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, we published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in this investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 702 and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: March 18, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is supercalendered paper (SC paper). SC paper is uncoated paper that has undergone a calendering process in which the base sheet, made of pulp and filler (typically, but not limited to, clay, talc, or other mineral additive), is processed through a set of supercalenders, a supercalender, or a soft nip calender operation.28

    28 Supercalendering and soft nip calendering processing, in conjunction with the mineral filler contained in the base paper, are performed to enhance the surface characteristics of the paper by imparting a smooth and glossy printing surface. Supercalendering and soft nip calendering also increase the density of the base paper.

    The scope of this investigation covers all SC paper regardless of basis weight, brightness, opacity, smoothness, or grade, and whether in rolls or in sheets. Further, the scope covers all SC paper that meets the scope definition regardless of the type of pulp fiber or filler material used to produce the paper.

    Specifically excluded from the scope are imports of paper printed with final content of printed text or graphics.

    Subject merchandise primarily enters under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading 4802.61.3035, but may also enter under subheadings 4802.61.3010, 4802.62.3000, 4802.62.6020, and 4802.69.3000. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2015-06867 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD852 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; availability of NMFS evaluation of joint state/tribal hatchery plans and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), with the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, the Lummi Nation, the Nooksack Tribe, the Stillaguamish Tribes, and the Tulalip Tribes as the U.S. v. Washington salmon resource co-managers, has submitted three Hatchery and Genetic Management Plans, to be considered jointly, to NMFS pursuant to the limitation on take prohibitions for actions conducted under Limit 6 of the 4(d) Rule for salmon and steelhead promulgated under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The plans specify the propagation of early-returning (“early”) winter steelhead in the Dungeness, Nooksack, and Stillaguamish River watersheds of Washington State. This document serves to notify the public of the availability for comment of the proposed evaluation of the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) as to whether implementation of the joint plans will appreciably reduce the likelihood of survival and recovery of ESA-listed Puget Sound steelhead, Puget Sound Chinook salmon, and Hood Canal summer chum salmon.

    This notice further advises the public of the availability for review of a draft Environmental Assessment of the effects of the NMFS determination on the subject joint plans.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received at the appropriate address or email mailbox (see ADDRESSES) no later than 5 p.m. Pacific time on April 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments on the proposed evaluation and pending determination should be addressed to the NMFS Sustainable Fisheries Division, 510 Desmond Dr., Suite 103, Lacey, WA 98503, or faxed to (360) 753-9517. Comments may be submitted by email. The mailbox address for providing email comments is: [email protected] Include in the subject line of the email comment the following identifier: Comments on Early Winter Steelhead Hatchery Programs. When commenting on the draft environmental assessment, please refer to the specific page number and line number of the subject of your comment. The Secretary's proposed evaluation of effects on listed steelhead and salmon, and the draft Environmental Assessment are also available on the Internet at www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov. Comments received will also be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours by calling (503) 230-5418.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tim Tynan at (360) 753-9579 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    ESA-Listed Species Covered in This Notice

    Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss): Threatened, naturally produced and artificially propagated Puget Sound.

    Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha): Threatened, naturally produced and artificially propagated Puget Sound.

    Chum salmon (O. keta): Threatened, naturally produced and artificially propagated Hood Canal summer-run.

    Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus): Threatened Puget Sound/Washington Coast.

    The WDFW, with the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, the Lummi Nation, the Nooksack Tribe, the Stillaguamish Tribes, and the Tulalip Tribes as the U.S. v. Washington salmon resource co-managers, has submitted to NMFS plans for three jointly operated hatchery programs in the Dungeness, Nooksack, and Stillaguamish river basins. The plans were submitted in July 2014, pursuant to limit 6 of the 4(d) Rule for the listed Puget Sound steelhead distinct population segment (DPS), and the listed Puget Sound Chinook Salmon and listed Hood Canal Summer Chum Salmon evolutionarily significant units (ESU). The plans reflect refinements of draft versions of the plans provided previously and evaluated pursuant to the 4(d) Rule. The hatchery programs would release early winter steelhead that are not included as part of the ESA-listed Puget Sound Steelhead Distinct Population Segment into the Dungeness River, Nooksack River, and Stillaguamish River watersheds. All three programs would release fish that are not native to the watersheds.

    As required by the ESA 4(d) rule (65 FR 42422, July 10, 2000, as updated in 70 FR 37160, June 28, 2005), the Secretary is seeking public comment on her pending determination as to whether the joint plans for early winter steelhead hatchery programs in the Dungeness River, Nooksack River, and Stillaguamish River would appreciably reduce the likelihood of survival and recovery of ESA-listed Puget Sound steelhead and Puget Sound salmon.

    Under section 4(d) of the ESA, the Secretary is required to adopt such regulations as she deems necessary and advisable for the conservation of species listed as threatened. NMFS has issued a final ESA 4(d) Rule for salmon and steelhead, adopting in Limit 6 regulations necessary and advisable to harmonize statutory conservation requirements with tribal rights and the Federal trust responsibility to tribes (50 CFR 223.209).

    This 4(d) Rule applies the prohibitions enumerated in section 9(a)(1) of the ESA. NMFS did not find it necessary and advisable to apply the take prohibitions described in section 9(a)(1)(B) and 9(a)(1)(C) to artificial propagation activities if those activities are managed in accordance with a joint plan whose implementation has been determined by the Secretary to not appreciably reduce the likelihood of survival and recovery of the listed salmonids. As specified in limit 6 of the 4(d) Rule, before the Secretary makes a decision on the joint plan, the public must have an opportunity to review and comment on the pending determination.

    Authority

    Under section 4 of the ESA, the Secretary of Commerce is required to adopt such regulations as she deems necessary and advisable for the conservation of species listed as threatened. The ESA salmon and steelhead 4(d) rule (65 FR 42422, July 10, 2000, as updated in 70 FR 37160, June 28, 2005) specifies categories of activities that contribute to the conservation of listed salmonids and sets out the criteria for such activities. Limit 6 of the updated 4(d) rule (50 CFR 223.203(b)(6)) further provides that the prohibitions of paragraph (a) of the updated 4(d) rule (50 CFR 223.203(a)) do not apply to activities associated with a joint state/tribal artificial propagation plan provided that the joint plan has been determined by NMFS to be in accordance with the salmon and steelhead 4(d) rule (65 FR 42422, July 10, 2000, as updated in 70 FR 37160, June 28, 2005).

    We also apply this notice in accordance with the requirements of NEPA as amended (42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6), and other appropriate Federal laws and regulations, and policies and procedures of NMFS for compliance with those regulations.

    Dated: March 23, 2015. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06927 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Economic Analysis [Docket No. 150128086-5086-01] RIN 0691-XC034] BE-45: Quarterly Survey of Insurance Transactions by U.S. Insurance Companies With Foreign Persons AGENCY:

    Bureau of Economic Analysis, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of reporting requirements.

    SUMMARY:

    By this Notice, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Department of Commerce, is informing the public that it is conducting the mandatory survey titled Quarterly Survey of Insurance Transactions by U.S. Insurance Companies with Foreign Persons (BE-45). This survey is authorized by the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This Notice constitutes legal notification to all United States persons (defined below) who meet the reporting requirements set forth in this Notice that they must respond to, and comply with, the survey. Reports are due 60 days after the end of the U.S. person's fiscal quarter, except for the final quarter of the U.S. person's fiscal year when reports must be filed within 90 days. This notice is being issued in conformance with the rule BEA issued in 2012 (77 FR 24373) establishing guidelines for collecting data on international trade in services and direct investment through notices, rather than through rulemaking. Additional information about BEA's collection of data on international trade in services and direct investment can be found in the 2012 rule, the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (22 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.), and 15 CFR part 801. Survey data on international trade in services and direct investment that are not collected pursuant to the 2012 rule are described separately in 15 CFR part 801. The BE-45 survey forms and instructions are available on the BEA Web site at www.bea.gov/ssb.

    Definitions

    (a) Person means any individual, branch, partnership, associated group, association, estate, trust, corporation, or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State), and any government (including a foreign government, the United States Government, a State or local government, and any agency, corporation, financial institution, or other entity or instrumentality thereof, including a government-sponsored agency).

    (b) United States person means any person resident in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

    (c) United States, when used in a geographic sense, means the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and all territories and possessions of the United States.

    (d) Foreign person means any person resident outside the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of a country other than the United States.

    Reporting

    Who Must Report: (a) Reports are required from U.S. persons whose covered transactions exceeded $8 million (positive or negative) in the prior fiscal year, or are expected to exceed that amount during the current fiscal year.

    (b) Entities required to report will be contacted individually by BEA. Entities not contacted by BEA have no reporting responsibilities.

    What To Report: The survey collects information on cross-border insurance transactions between U.S. insurance companies and foreign persons.

    How To Report: Reports can be filed using BEA's electronic reporting system at www.bea.gov/efile. Copies of the survey forms and instructions, which contain complete information on reporting procedures and definitions, may be obtained at the BEA Web site given above. Form BE-45 inquiries can be made by phone to BEA at (202) 606-5588 or by sending an email to [email protected]

    When To Report: Reports are due to BEA 60 days after the end of the fiscal quarter, except for the final quarter of the reporter's fiscal year, when reports must be filed within 90 days.

    Paperwork Reduction Act Notice

    This data collection has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act and assigned control number 0608-0066. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by OMB. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 8 hours per response. Send comments regarding this burden estimate to Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BE-1), U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; and to the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project 0608-0066, Washington, DC 20503.

    Authority:

    22 U.S.C. 3101-3108.

    Brian C. Moyer, Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06942 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD827 Endangered and Threatened Species; Notice of Intent To Withdraw Existing Draft Environmental Impact Statement AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is announcing the withdrawal of a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that was being prepared on two resource management plans (RMPs) and 114 supporting hatchery and genetic management plans (HGMPs) for Puget Sound hatchery programs. The plans were submitted to NMFS by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Puget Sound treaty tribes (referred to as the co-managers) for evaluation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for threatened Puget Sound Chinook salmon and Puget Sound steelhead. Subsequent to the notice of intent to prepare an EIS in 2004, the co-managers have made important changes in hatchery programs for salmon and steelhead. Changes in the programs and updated information important for analysis are being reflected in revised joint RMPs that are generally organized on a watershed-specific basis. In light of this and the ongoing submissions of revised watershed-specific joint hatchery RMPs and considering public comments received on the draft EIS, NMFS has determined that it is appropriate to withdraw the draft EIS. NMFS will conduct NEPA reviews for the revised RMPs that are jointly submitted to NMFS by the co-managers.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Leider, telephone (360) 753-4650; fax (360) 753-9517; electronic mail: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On May 12, 2004, NMFS published the original notice of intent in the Federal Register to prepare an EIS for two joint 2004 state and tribal RMPs for salmon and steelhead hatcheries in Puget Sound (69 FR 26364). On July 29, 2011, NMFS published a second notice of intent in the Federal Register (76 FR 45515), to remind other agencies and the public of its plans to analyze the effects related to the action, and obtain information that may not have been available in 2004 pertinent to the scope of issues to include in the EIS. On July 25, 2014, NMFS published notification in the Federal Register that a draft EIS was available for comment (79 FR 43465). In response to requests from the public the comment period was extended twice as published in the Federal Register (79 FR 59767, October 3, 2014, and 79 FR 69470, November 21, 2014).

    Subsequent to NMFS' publication of the notice of intent to prepare an EIS in 2004, and subsequent to the 2004 RMPs, the co-managers have updated their hatchery programs to reflect important changes in hatchery management in different areas of Puget Sound. Such changes include new management practices to respond to new scientific information, revised purposes and sizes of some programs, and management responses to other issues unique to particular watersheds. Several hatchery programs have been terminated since 2004. Finally, the RMPs have been updated to reflect the 2007 listing of Puget Sound steelhead under the ESA.

    In light of these changes, the co-managers have begun to submit to NMFS for review and approval revised joint RMPs for hatchery programs, generally organized by watershed, but located within the same action area as the 2004 RMPs. Because the co-managers are in control of how to design their RMPs and whether to revise the underlying HGMPs, these new RMPs replace the RMPs submitted in 2004.

    While the draft EIS for Puget Sound hatchery programs was being developed, and in response to co-manager requests, NMFS conducted environmental reviews for the RMPs that were revised since the 2004 RMPs were submitted to NMFS. For example, on December 10, 2012, NMFS completed a final Environmental Assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for five Elwha salmon and steelhead hatchery programs. Subsequently, on December 15, 2014, a final supplemental EA and FONSI for Elwha hatchery programs was published. In addition, in February, NMFS published a notice of availability for a draft EA for three salmon hatchery programs in the Dungeness River watershed (80 FR 9260, February 20, 2015).

    Public comments on the draft EIS for Puget Sound hatchery programs noted that the 2004 RMPs for hatchery programs do not accurately reflect current hatchery program purposes or practices, and that some of the information used was outdated. It was also noted that the scale of the review, incorporating more than a hundred hatchery programs, tended to mask effects for some species.

    Therefore, considering ongoing submissions of revised watershed-specific joint RMPs within the action area of the 2004 RMPs and public comments received on the draft EIS, NMFS has determined it is appropriate to terminate the EIS and transition this effort into new NEPA reviews on revised hatchery RMPs that are jointly submitted to NMFS by the co-managers. NMFS does not plan to formally respond to public comments on the draft EIS; however, information in the terminated draft EIS, along with public comments received on the draft EIS, will be considered by NMFS in subsequent NEPA reviews of watershed-specific RMPs.

    Authority

    We provide this notice in accordance with the requirements of NEPA as amended (42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6), and other appropriate Federal laws and regulations, and policies and procedures of NMFS for compliance with those regulations.

    Dated: March 23, 2015. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06926 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-016] Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Amended Affirmative Preliminary Determination AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Department) is amending the preliminarily determination of the antidumping duty (AD) investigation of certain passenger vehicle and light truck tires (passenger tires) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) to correct significant ministerial errors.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: March 26, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Toni Page, Jun Jack Zhao, or Lingjun Wang, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1398, (202) 482-1396, or (202) 482-2316, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On January 27, 2015, the Department published its affirmative preliminary determination that passenger tires from the PRC are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value, as provided by section 733 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).1 The Department disclosed the calculations performed on January 26, 2015, and set a February 2, 2015 deadline for submitting comments concerning ministerial errors.

    1See Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value; Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances; In Part and Postponement of Final Determination, 80 FR 4250 (January 27, 2015) (Preliminary Determination).

    The Sailun Group 2 and GITI 3 each timely filed comments alleging significant ministerial errors.4 In addition, Anchi, Wanli, Federal, Changfeng, Fullrun, Fuyingxiang, Qingda, Doublestar and Doublestar-Dongfeng, and Beijing Capital each timely filed comments regarding the Department's preliminary separate rate determinations.5 Jinhaoyang requested the Department to accept its supplemental documentation for the Separate Rate Application 6 which was opposed by the Petitioner.7 Further, GITI, Doublestar and Tyrechamp, and CIC timely filed requests for correcting misspelled names.8 Petitioner filed rebuttal comments and ministerial error comments on February 10, 2015.9 The Sailun Group, in-turn, requested that the Department reject Petitioner's rebuttal comments.10

    2 Sailun Group Co. and its affiliates, Sailun Tire International Corp., Shandong Jinyu Industrial Co., Ltd., Jinyu International Holding Co., Limited, Seatex International Inc., Dynamic Tire Corp., Husky Tire Corp., Seatex PTE. Ltd. (collectively, the Sailun Group).

    3 Giti Tire Global Trading Pte. Ltd., and its affiliates, Giti Tire Global Trading Pte. Ltd., Giti Tire (USA) Ltd., Giti Tire (Anhui) Company Ltd., Giti Tire (Fujian) Company Ltd., Giti Tire (Hualin) Company Ltd. (collectively, GITI).

    4See Sailun Group's and GITI's February 2, 2015 letters.

    5See Shandong Anchi Tyres Co., Ltd. (Anchi)'s January 28, 2015 letter, Guangzhou Wanli Tire Trading Co., Ltd. (Wanli)'s January 28, 2015 letter, Highpoint Trading, Ltd. and Federal Tire (Jiangxi), Ltd. (collectively, Federal)'s January 28, 2015 letter, Shandong Changfeng Tyres Co., Ltd. (Changfeng)'s January 30, 2015 letter, Qingdao Fullrun Tyre Corp. Ltd. (Fullrun)'s January 30, 2015 letter, Qingdao Fuyingxiang Imp. & Exp. Co., Ltd. (Fuyingxiang)'s January 31, 2015 letter, Zhejiang Qingda Rubber Co., Ltd. (Qingda)'s January 31, 2015 letter, Qingdao Doublestar Tire Industrial Co., Ltd. (Doublestar) and Doublestar-Dongfeng Tyre Co., Ltd. (Doublestar-Dongfeng)'s January 31, 2015 letter, and Beijing Capital Tire Co., Ltd. (Beijing Capital)'s February 4, 2015 letter.

    6See Qingdao Jinhaoyang International Co, Ltd. (Jinhaoyang)'s February 4, 2015 letter.

    7See Petitioner's February 10, 2015 letter.

    8See GITI's January 26, 2015 letter, Qingdao Doublestar Tire Industrial Co., Ltd. (Doublestar)'s and Tyrechamp Group Co., Limited (Tyrechamp)'s January 23, 2015 letter, and Crown International Corporation (CIC)'s January 26, 2015 letter.

    9 Petitioner is United Steel, Paper, and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC. See Petitioner's February 10, 2015 comments.

    10See Sailun Group's February 11, 2015 letter.

    Scope of the Investigation

    For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see “Scope of Investigation” at Appendix I of the Preliminary Determination.

    Analysis of Significant Ministerial Error Allegations

    The Department will analyze any comments received and, if appropriate, correct any significant ministerial error by amending the preliminary determination according to 19 CFR 351.224(e). A ministerial error is defined in 19 CFR 351.224(f) as “an error in addition, subtraction, or other arithmetic function, clerical error resulting from inaccurate copying, duplication, or the like, and any other similar type of unintentional error which the Secretary considers ministerial.” Further, a significant ministerial error is defined in 19 CFR 351.224(g) as a ministerial error, the correction of which, singly or in combination with other errors, would result in: (1) A change of at least five absolute percentage points in, but not less than 25 percent of, the weighted-average dumping margin calculated in the original (erroneous) preliminary determination; or (2) a difference between a weighted-average dumping margin of zero (or de minimis) and a weighted-average dumping margin of greater than de minimis, or vice versa.

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(e) and (g)(1), the Department is amending the Preliminary Determination to reflect the corrections of a significant ministerial error in Sailun Group's margin calculation. However, the Department is not amending GITI's margin calculation because GITI's ministerial errors are not significant in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(g)(1). As a result of amending Sailun Group's margin, the Department also revised the margin for separate rate companies.11 Further, the Department has corrected names for GITI, Doublestar and Tyrechamp, and CIC.

    11See Memorandum to The File, “Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China: Amended Separate Rate Calculation Memorandum,” dated concurrently with this notice, for the calculation performed.

    Ministerial Error Allegations

    For a complete analysis of the ministerial error allegations, see the Ministerial Error Memorandum.12

    12See Memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Ministerial Error Memorandum for the Affirmative Preliminary Determination of the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China,” dated concurrently with this notice, for the analysis performed (Ministerial Error Memorandum). This memorandum is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Department's Central Records Unit in Room 7046 of the Department of Commerce building.

    Correction

    In the Federal Register notice for the Preliminary Determination, we incorrectly identified the following exporter-producer combinations: (1) Exporter and producer Giti Radial Tire (Anhui) Company Ltd. was mis-identified as “Giti Tire (Anhui) Company Ltd.”; (2) two of exporter Crown International Corporation's producers, Shandong Yongsheng Rubber Group Co., Ltd. and Qingdao Doublestar Tire Industrial Co., Ltd, were incorrectly listed as “Shandong Yonshong Rubber Group Co. Ltd.” and “Qingdao Doublestar Tire Industrial Co., Ltd”; and 3) exporter Tyrechamp Group Co., Limited and one of its producers, Qingdao Doublestar Tire Industrial Co., Ltd., were listed as “Tyrechamp Group Co., Ltd.” and “Qingdao Doublestar Tyre Industrial Co., Ltd.” We are correcting these exporter-producer combinations, as listed below, and will revise the cash deposit instructions that were issued to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the preliminary determination accordingly.

    Amended Preliminary Determination

    We corrected the preliminary dumping margin for the Sailun Group. Consequently, we amended the preliminary separate rate for the exporter-producer combinations listed below. Further, we corrected companies' names as requested.

    Exporter(s) Producer(s) Weighted-average dumping margin
  • (percent)
  • Giti Tire Global Trading Pte. Ltd., Giti Tire (USA) Ltd., Giti Radial Tire (Anhui) Company Ltd., Giti Tire (Fujian) Company Ltd., Giti Tire (Hualin) Company Ltd., (Collectively, GITI) Giti Radial Tire (Anhui) Company Ltd., Giti Tire (Fujian) Company Ltd., Giti Tire (Hualin) Company Ltd 19.17 Sailun Group Co., Ltd., Sailun Tire International Corp., Shandong Jinyu Industrial Co., Ltd., Jinyu International Holding Co., Limited, Seatex International Inc., Dynamic Tire Corp., Husky Tire Corp., Seatex PTE. Ltd., (Collectively, Sailun Group) Sailun Group Co., Ltd., Shandong Jinyu Industrial Co., Ltd 18.58 Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co., Ltd., Cooper (Kunshan) Tire Co., Ltd 18.99 Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co., Ltd Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co., Ltd 18.99 Cooper (Kunshan) Tire Co., Ltd Cooper (Kunshan) Tire Co., Ltd 18.99 Best Choice International Trade Co., Limited Qingdao Sentury Tire Co., Ltd., Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd., Beijing Capital Tire Co., Ltd 18.99 Bridgestone (Wuxi) Tire Co., Ltd Bridgestone (Wuxi) Tire Co., Ltd 18.99 Bridgestone Corporation Bridgestone (Wuxi) Tire Co., Ltd 18.99 Cheng Shin Tire & Rubber (China) Co., Ltd Cheng Shin Tire & Rubber (China) Co., Ltd., Cheng Shin Tire & Rubber (Chongqing) Co., Ltd 18.99 Crown International Corporation Shandong Guofeng Rubber Plastics Co., Ltd., Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd., Shandong Jinyu Industrial Co., Ltd., Doublestar-Dongfeng Tyre Co., Ltd., Shandong Yongsheng Rubber Group Co., Ltd., Shengtai Group Co., Ltd., Qingdao Doublestar Tire Industrial Co., Ltd., Shandong Yongtai Chemical Co., Ltd 18.99 Goodyear Dalian Tire Company Limited Goodyear Dalian Tire Company Limited 18.99 Guangzhou Pearl River Rubber Tyre Ltd Guangzhou Pearl River Rubber Tyre Ltd 18.99 Hankook Tire China Co., Ltd Hankook Tire China Co., Ltd 18.99 Hebei Tianrui Rubber Co., Ltd Hebei Tianrui Rubber Co., Ltd 18.99 Hong Kong Tiancheng Investment & Trading Co., Limited Shandong Linglong Tyre Co., Ltd 18.99 Hong Kong Tri-Ace Tire Co., Limited Shandong Yongtai Chemical Co., Ltd., Doublestar-Dongfeng Tyre Co., Ltd 18.99 Hwa Fong Rubber (Hong Kong) Ltd Hwa Fong Rubber (Suzhou) Co., Ltd 18.99 Jiangsu Hankook Tire Co., Ltd Jiangsu Hankook Tire Co., Ltd 18.99 Kenda Rubber (China) Co., Ltd Kenda Rubber (China) Co., Ltd 18.99 Kumho Tire Co., Inc Kumho Tire (Tianjin) Co., Inc., Nanjing Kumho Tire Co., Ltd., Kumho Tire (Changchun) Co., Inc 18.99 Liaoning Permanent Tyre Co., Ltd Liaoning Permanent Tyre Co., Ltd 18.99 Longkou Xinglong Tyre Co., Ltd Longkou Xinglong Tyre Co., Ltd 18.99 Mayrun Tyre (Hong Kong) Limited South China Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd., Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd 18.99 Nankang (Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone) Rubber Industrial Co., Ltd Nankang (Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone) Rubber Industrial Co., Ltd 18.99 Pirelli Tyre Co., Ltd Pirelli Tyre Co., Ltd 18.99 Qingdao Nama Industrial Co., Ltd Shandong Guofeng Rubber Plastics Co., Ltd., Shandong Hengyu Science & Technology Co., Ltd., Shandong Longyue Rubber Co., Ltd., Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd., Shouguang Firemax Tyre Co., Ltd., Shandong Zhongyi Rubber Co., Ltd., Shandong Yonking Rubber Co., Ltd., Shandong Hongsheng Rubber Technology Co., Ltd 18.99 Qingdao Au-Shine Group Co., Limited Shandong Gulun Rubber Co., Ltd 18.99 Qingdao Crown Chemical Co., Ltd Shandong Guofeng Rubber Plastics Co., Ltd., Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd., Shandong Jinyu Industrial Co., Ltd., Doublestar-Dongfeng Tyre Co., Ltd., Shandong Yongsheng Rubber Group Co., Ltd 18.99 Qingdao Free Trade Zone Full-World International Trading Co., Ltd Shandong Zhentai Group Co., Ltd., Longkou Xinglong Tyre Co., Ltd., Hebei Tianrui Rubber Co., Ltd 18.99 Qingdao Fullrun Tyre Tech Corp., Ltd Qingdao Fullrun Tyre Tech Corp., Ltd 18.99 Qingdao Honghua Tyre Factory Qingdao Honghua Tyre Factory 18.99 Qingdao Nexen Tire Corporation Qingdao Nexen Tire Corporation 18.99 Qingdao Odyking Tyre Co., Ltd Doublestar-Dongfeng Tyre Co., Ltd., Shandong Fengyuan Tire Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Shouguang Firemax Tyre Co., Ltd 18.99 Qingdao Qianzhen Tyre Co., Ltd Qingdao Qianzhen Tyre Co., Ltd 18.99 Qingdao Qihang Tyre Co., Ltd Qingdao Qihang Tyre Co., Ltd 18.99 Qingdao Qizhou Rubber Co., Ltd Qingdao Qizhou Rubber Co., Ltd 18.99 Qingdao Sentury Tire Co., Ltd Qingdao Sentury Tire Co., Ltd 18.99 Shandong Duratti Rubber Corporation Co., Ltd Shandong Duratti Rubber Corporation Co., Ltd 18.99 Shandong Fengyuan Tire Manufacturing Co., Ltd Shandong Fengyuan Tire Manufacturing Co., Ltd 18.99 Shandong Guofeng Rubber Plastics Co., Ltd Shandong Guofeng Rubber Plastics Co., Ltd 18.99 Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd 18.99 Shandong Haolong Rubber Tire Co., Ltd Shandong Haolong Rubber Tire Co., Ltd 18.99 Shandong Hawk International Rubber Industry Co., Ltd Shandong Hawk International Rubber Industry Co., Ltd 18.99 Shandong Hengyu Science & Technology Co., Ltd Shandong Hengyu Science & Technology Co., Ltd 18.99 Shandong Linglong Tyre Co., Ltd Shandong Linglong Tyre Co., Ltd 18.99 Shandong Longyue Rubber Co., Ltd Shandong Longyue Rubber Co., Ltd 18.99 Shandong New Continent Tire Co., Ltd Shandong New Continent Tire Co., Ltd 18.99 Shandong Province Sanli Tire Manufactured Co., Ltd Shandong Province Sanli Tire Manufactured Co., Ltd 18.99 Shandong Shuangwang Rubber Co., Ltd Shandong Shuangwang Rubber Co., Ltd 18.99 Shandong Wanda Boto Tyre Co., Ltd Shandong Wanda Boto Tyre Co., Ltd 18.99 Shandong Yongtai Chemical Co., Ltd Shandong Yongtai Chemical Co., Ltd 18.99 Shandong Zhongyi Rubber Co., Ltd Shandong Zhongyi Rubber Co., Ltd 18.99 Shandong Huitong Tyre Co., Ltd Shandong Huitong Tyre Co., Ltd., Laiwu Sunshine Tyre Co., Ltd 18.99 Shengtai Group Co., Ltd Shengtai Group Co., Ltd., Shandong Shengshitailai Rubber Technology Co., Ltd 18.99 Shifeng Juxing Tire Co., Ltd Shifeng Juxing Tire Co., Ltd 18.99 Shouguang Firemax Tyre Co., Ltd Shouguang Firemax Tyre Co., Ltd 18.99 Southeast Mariner International Co., Ltd Dongying Zhongyi Rubber Co., Ltd., Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd 18.99 Techking Tires Limited Shandong Longyue Rubber Co., Ltd 18.99 Toyo Tire (Zhangjiagang) Co., Ltd Toyo Tire (Zhangjiagang) Co., Ltd 18.99 Triangle Tyre Co., Ltd Triangle Tyre Co., Ltd 18.99 Tyrechamp Group Co., Limited Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd., Sichuan Tyre&Rubber Co., Ltd., Shandong Anchi Tyres Co., Ltd., Beijing Capital Tire Co. Ltd., Shandong Wanda Boto Tyre Co., Ltd., Shandong Wosen Rubber Co., Ltd., Shandong Zhentai Group Co., Ltd., Shandong Yonking Rubber Co., Ltd., Qingdao Doublestar Tire Industrial Co., Ltd., South China Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., Anhui Heding Tire Technology Co., Ltd 18.99 Weihai Ping'an Tyre Co., Ltd Weihai Ping'an Tyre Co., Ltd 18.99 Weihai Zhongwei Rubber Co., Ltd Weihai Zhongwei Rubber Co., Ltd 18.99 Wendeng Sanfeng Tyre Co., Ltd Wendeng Sanfeng Tyre Co., Ltd 18.99 Winrun Tyre Co., Ltd Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group Rubber Co. Ltd 18.99 Zenith Holdings (HK) Limited Shandong Linglong Tyre Co., Ltd 18.99 Zhaoqing Junhong Co., Ltd Zhaoqing Junhong Co., Ltd 18.99
    Amended Cash Deposits and Suspension of Liquidation

    The collection of cash deposits and suspension of liquidation will be revised according to the rates calculated in this amended preliminary determination. Because the amended rates for the Sailun Group and separate rate companies results in reduced cash deposits, the rate for Sailun Group will be effective retroactively to January 27, 2015, the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination, and the rate for separate rate companies will be effective retroactively to October 29, 2014, which is 90 days before the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination. Parties will be notified of this determination, in accordance with sections 733(d) and (f) of the Act.

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, we notified the International Trade Commission of our amended preliminary determination.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    The Department intends to disclose calculations performed in connection with this amended preliminary determination within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    This amended preliminary determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.224(e).

    Dated: March 18, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06955 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE U.S. Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement AGENCY:

    U.S. Census Bureau, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before May 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Aaron Cantu, U.S. Census Bureau, DSD/CPS HQ-7H108D, Washington, DC 20233-8400, (301) 763-3806 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The Census Bureau plans to request clearance for the collection of data concerning the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to be conducted in conjunction with the February, March, and April Current Population Survey (CPS). The Census Bureau has conducted this supplement annually for more than 50 years. The Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics sponsor this supplement.

    The ASEC data collection underwent a transition period from 2013 to 2015, in which it was redesigned to include a new series of questions relating to (1) income; and (2) health insurance. For 2016, the data collection questions and design will remain unchanged from the previous year.

    For this data collection, information on work experience, personal income, noncash benefits, current and previous year health insurance coverage, employer-sponsored insurance take-up, and migration is collected. The work experience items in the ASEC provide a unique measure of the dynamic nature of the labor force as viewed over a one-year period. These items produce statistics that show movements in and out of the labor force by measuring the number of periods of unemployment experienced by people, the number of different employers worked for during the year, the principal reasons for unemployment, and part-/full-time attachment to the labor force. We can make indirect measurements of discouraged workers and others with a casual attachment to the labor market.

    The income data from the ASEC are used by social planners, economists, government officials, and market researchers to gauge the economic well-being of the country as a whole, and selected population groups of interest. Government planners and researchers use these data to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of various assistance programs. Market researchers use these data to identify and isolate potential customers. Social planners use these data to forecast economic conditions and to identify special groups that seem to be especially sensitive to economic fluctuations. Economists use ASEC data to determine the effects of various economic forces, such as inflation, recession, recovery, and so on, and their differential effects on various population groups.

    A prime statistic of interest is the classification of people in poverty and how this measurement has changed over time for various groups. Researchers evaluate ASEC income data not only to determine poverty levels but also to determine whether government programs are reaching eligible households.

    The ASEC also contains questions related to: (1) Medical expenditures; (2) presence and cost of a mortgage on property; (3) child support payments; and (4) amount of child care assistance received. These questions enable analysts and policymakers to obtain better estimates of family and household income, and more precisely gauge poverty status.

    II. Method of Collection

    The ASEC information will be collected by both personal visit and telephone interviews in conjunction with the regular February, March and April CPS interviewing. All interviews are conducted using computer-assisted interviewing.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0354.

    Form Number: There are no forms. We conduct all interviewing on computers.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 78,000.

    Estimated Time per Response: 25 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 32,500.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost: There are no costs to the respondents other than their time to answer the CPS questions.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Legal Authority: Title 13, United States Code, section 182; and title 29, United States Code, sections 1-9.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: March 20, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06883 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD855 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Scoping Process AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS); notice of initiation of scoping process; notice of public scoping meetings; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council announces its intent to prepare, in cooperation with NMFS, an amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish, and to potentially prepare an EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to analyze the impacts of any proposed management measures. The current focus of the amendment is to consider alternatives to reduce the capacities of the longfin squid and Illex squid fleets as defined by vessels with limited access permits. This notice announces a public process for determining the scope of issues to be addressed, for identifying concerns and potential alternatives related to capacity in the squid fisheries, and for determining the appropriate level of environmental analysis. This notice alerts the interested public of the scoping process, the potential development of a Draft EIS, and provides for public participation in that process. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold six scoping hearings in April 2015 for this amendment. At the scoping hearings the Council will also take any general comments on mackerel, squid, and butterfish fisheries management, which could inform future Council actions not including this amendment.

    DATES:

    The meetings will be held over several weeks between April 6, 2015 and April 21, 2015. Written comments must be received on or before 11:59 p.m., EST, on May 11, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    There will be six scoping meetings listed under the heading Dates, Times, and Locations.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State St., Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331.

    Comment addresses: Written comments may be sent by any of the following methods:

    • Email to the following address: [email protected]; Include “Squid Amendment Scoping Comments” in the subject line (recommended);

    • Mail or hand deliver to Dr. Christopher M. Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 North State Street, Suite 201, Dover, Delaware 19901. Mark the outside of the envelope “Squid Amendment Scoping Comments”; or

    • Fax to (302) 674-5399.

    • Comments may also be provided verbally at any of the public scoping meetings.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D. Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; telephone: (302) 526-5255. The Council's Web site, www.mafmc.org also has details on the meeting locations, webinar access, and background materials. Please contact Jason Didden by April 19, 2015 at [email protected] or (302) 526-5254 if you would like to confirm that your computer is set up to access the webinar.

    A scoping document will be posted to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Web site.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dates, Times and Locations

    1. Monday April 6, 2015, 4 p.m. Superior Trawl, 55 State Street, Narragansett, RI 02882. Telephone: (401) 782-1171.

    2. Tuesday April 7, 2015, 5 p.m. Montauk Library, 871 Montauk Highway, Montauk, NY 11954. Telephone: (631) 668-3377.

    3. Wednesday April 8, 2015, 5 p.m. Fairfield Inn, 185 MacArthur Dr, New Bedford, MA 02740. Telephone: (774) 634-2000.

    4. Monday April 13, 2015, 6 p.m. Congress Hall Hotel, 251 Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ 08204. Telephone: (888) 944-1816.

    5. Wednesday April 15, 2015, 5 p.m. Ocean Place Resort. 1 Ocean Blvd., Long Branch, NJ, 07740. Telephone: 732-571-4000.

    6. Tuesday April 21, 2015, 6 p.m. This April 21, 2015 meeting will be conducted via webinar accessible via the internet from the Council's Web site, www.mafmc.org. The Virginia Marine Resources Commission will also provide in-person access to the webinar at its office at: 2600 Washington Avenue, 4th Floor, Newport News, VA 23607; (757) 247-2200. Members of the public may also attend in-person at the Council office address (see below) for this webinar meeting, if they contact the Council by April 19, 2015.

    Background

    In the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) 2015 Implementation Plan (available at http://www.mafmc.org/strategic-plan/), the Council decided to initiate an action on a “Squid Capacity Amendment.” There is considerable latent capacity in both the longfin squid and Illex squid fisheries; a small portion of vessels with limited access squid permits account for most landings in most years. The Council is concerned that activation of this latent capacity could cause problems in the fishery such as racing to fish and increased incidental catch of non-target species. Accordingly, the Amendment is likely to consider a variety of approaches for reducing capacity in the squid fisheries. Such approaches could include, but would not be limited to: A requalification of limited access permits; a tiered limited access system; and/or a limited access privilege program (LAPP), which is more commonly referred to as an “individual quota” or “catch share system.” The Council has recently updated control dates for both squid fisheries—May 16, 2013 for longfin squid: (http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/nr/2013/May/13smblongfinbutterfishcontroldatephl.pdf) and August 2, 2013 for Illex squid: (http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/nr/2013/August/13smbillexcontroldatephl.pdf).

    The Council may (or may not) use the current or previous control dates as reference points as it considers whether, and/or how, to further limit the number of participants in the squid fisheries (see preceding links for additional details on the control dates). The Council will first gather information during the scoping period. This is the first and best opportunity for members of the public to raise concerns related to the scope of issues that will be considered in the Amendment. The Council needs your input both to identify management issues and develop effective alternatives. Your comments early in the amendment development process will help us address issues of public concern in a thorough and appropriate manner. Comment topics could include the scope of issues in the amendment, concerns and potential alternatives related to capacity in the squid fisheries, and the appropriate level of environmental analysis. Comments can be made during the scoping hearings as detailed above or in writing. If the Council decides to move forward with the Amendment, the Council will develop a range of management alternatives to be considered and prepare a draft EIS and/or other appropriate environmental analyses. These analyses will consider the impacts of the management alternatives being considered, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. Following a review of any comments on the draft analyses, the Council will then choose preferred management measures for submission with a Final EIS or Environmental Assessment to the Secretary of Commerce for publishing of a proposed and then final rule, both of which have additional comment periods.

    While the Council is conducting these scoping hearings, the Council will also accept general comments on the MSB fisheries. These general comments could inform Council decision making for upcoming annual specifications or other actions.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 23, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06944 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD824 Marine Mammals; File No. 18890 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) [Responsible Party: Robert Small, Ph.D., 1255 West 8th Street, Juneau, Alaska 99811-5526] has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on bowhead (Balaena mysticetus), gray (Eschrichtius robustus), humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) and beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) whales.

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before April 27, 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. 18890 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:

    Courtney Smith or Brendan Hurley, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject permit is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216), and the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR 222-226).

    The applicant proposes to take the above listed species by research activities within the coastal areas and open waters of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas adjacent to Alaska and the eastern Beaufort Sea in Canada over a five year period. Research topics include population abundance (beluga), stock structure (bowhead, gray, humpback, and beluga), feeding areas and other important habitats (all species), migration routes (all species), behavior relative to human disturbance (all species), and to genetically identify individuals in order to determine survival and calving intervals (belugas). Takes per year, including incidental harassment, are as follows. For bowhead whales, take includes tagging with biopsy (up to 320), and biopsy only (up to 150). For gray whales take includes tagging with biopsy and photo-id (up to 90 per year) and biopsy with photo-id (up to 160), and photo-id only (up to 350). For humpback whales, take includes tagging with biopsy and photo-id (up to 35), biopsy with photo-id (up to 40), and photo-id (up to 50). For beluga whales the type of take includes aerial survey (up to 4,000), capture for tagging and sample collection (up to 200 takes per stock per year), boat approach for remote biopsy (up to 450 per stock per year). For all species, import and export activities will include biological samples for genetic, health, and dietary studies. Non-target species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that may be taken incidentally include up to 10 ringed seals. Other non-target species include annual incidental takes of up to 10 bearded, harbor and spotted seals and up to 10 beluga whales potentially taken during large whale (bowhead, gray and humpback) research.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of the application to the Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors.

    Dated: March 20, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06869 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Economic Analysis [Docket No. 150128082-5082-01] RIN 0691-XC032 BE-9: Quarterly Survey of Foreign Airline Operators' Revenues and Expenses in the United States AGENCY:

    Bureau of Economic Analysis, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of reporting requirements.

    SUMMARY:

    By this Notice, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Department of Commerce is informing the public that it is conducting the mandatory survey titled Quarterly Survey of Foreign Airline Operators' Revenues and Expenses in the United States (BE-9). This survey is authorized by the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This Notice constitutes legal notification to all United States persons (defined below) who meet the reporting requirements set forth in this Notice that they must respond to, and comply with, the survey. Reports are due 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter. This notice is being issued in conformance with the rule BEA issued in 2012 (77 FR 24373) establishing guidelines for collecting data on international trade in services and direct investment through notices, rather than through rulemaking. Additional information about BEA's collection of data on international trade in services and direct investment can be found in the 2012 rule, the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (22 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.), and 15 CFR part 801. Survey data on international trade in services and direct investment that are not collected pursuant to the 2012 rule are described separately in 15 CFR part 801. The BE-9 survey forms and instructions are available on the BEA Web site at www.bea.gov/ssb.

    Definitions

    (a) Person means any individual, branch, partnership, associated group, association, estate, trust, corporation, or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State), and any government (including a foreign government, the United States Government, a State or local government, and any agency, corporation, financial institution, or other entity or instrumentality thereof, including a government-sponsored agency).

    (b) United States person means any person resident in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

    (c) United States, when used in a geographic sense, means the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and all territories and possessions of the United States.

    (d) Foreign person means any person resident outside the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of a country other than the United States.

    Reporting

    Who Must Report: (a) Reports are required from U.S. offices, agents, or other representatives of foreign airline operators that transport passengers or freight and express to or from the United States and whose total covered revenues or total covered expenses were $5,000,000 or more during the previous year, or are expected to be $5,000,000 or more during the current year. Because the thresholds are applied separately to sales and purchases, the reporting requirements may apply only to sales, only to purchases, or to both sales and purchases.

    (b) Entities required to report will be contacted individually by BEA. Entities not contacted by BEA have no reporting responsibilities.

    What To Report: The survey collects information on foreign airline operators' revenues and expenses in the United States.

    How To Report: Reports can be filed using BEA's electronic reporting system at www.bea.gov/efile. Copies of the survey forms and instructions, which contain complete information on reporting procedures and definitions, may be obtained at the BEA Web site given above. Form BE-9 inquiries can be made by phone to BEA at (202) 606-5588 or by sending an email to [email protected]

    When To Report: Reports are due to BEA 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter.

    Paperwork Reduction Act Notice

    This data collection has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act and assigned control number 0608-0068. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by OMB. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 6 hours per response. Send comments regarding this burden estimate to Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BE-1), U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; and to the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project 0608-0068, Washington, DC 20503.

    Authority:

    22 U.S.C. 3101-3108.

    Brian C. Moyer, Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06972 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, Level A Stranding and Rehabilitation Disposition Data Sheet AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before May 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephen Manley, (301) 427-8476 or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This request is for revision of a current information collection.

    The marine mammal stranding report provides information on strandings so that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) can compile and analyze, by region, the species, numbers, conditions, and causes of illnesses and deaths (including health problems related to human interaction) in stranded marine mammals. NMFS requires this information to fulfill its management responsibilities under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 1421a). NMFS is also responsible for the welfare of marine mammals while in rehabilitation status. The data from the marine mammal rehabilitation disposition report are required for monitoring and tracking of marine mammals held at various NMFS-authorized facilities.

    Revision: The data from a new human interaction exam form are required for monitoring and tracking of illnesses, injury, and death related to human interaction. This information will be submitted primarily by members of the marine mammal stranding networks which are authorized by NMFS.

    II. Method of Collection

    Paper applications, electronic reports, and telephone calls are required from participants, and methods of submittal include Internet through the NMFS National Marine Mammal Stranding Database; facsimile transmission of paper forms; or mailed copies of forms.

    III. Data

    OMB Number: 0648-0178.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (revision of a current information collection).

    Affected Public: State governments; not-for-profit institutions; business or other for-profits organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 400.

    Estimated Time per Response: 30 minutes each for the stranding and disposition reports; 1 hour for the human interaction report.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 3,000.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $1,427 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed repository of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden and submission of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: March 23, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06899 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force [Docket ID: USAF-2015-0002] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Department of the Air Force, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice to delete a System of Records.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Air Force is deleting a system of records notice in its existing inventory of record systems subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. The system notice is entitled “F044 AF SG J, Air Force Blood Program.”

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted on or before April 27, 2015. This proposed action will be effective the date following the end of the comment period unless comments are received which result in a contrary determination.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    * Mail: Federal Docket Management System Office, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, 2nd Floor, Suite 02G09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Charles J. Shedrick, Department of the Air Force, Air Force Privacy Act Office, Office of Warfighting Integration and Chief Information officer, ATTN: SAF/CIO A6, 1800 Air Force Pentagon, Washington, DC 20330-1800, or by phone at (571) 256-2515.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of the Air Force systems of records notices subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, have been published in the Federal Register and are available from the address in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or from the Defense Privacy and Civil Liberties Office at http://dpcld.defense.gov/.

    The Department of the Air Force proposes to delete a system of records notice from its inventory of record systems subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. The proposed deletion is not within the purview of subsection (r) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, which requires the submission of a new or altered system report.

    Dated: March 20, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. Deletion: F044 AF SG J SYSTEM NAME:

    Air Force Blood Program (June 16, 2003, 68 FR 35646)

    Reason: Defense Health Agency has published a new System of Record Notice entitled “EDHA 25 DoD, Enterprise Blood Management System (EBMS)” to cover all DoD medical facilities Blood Programs.

    [FR Doc. 2015-06882 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Establishment of the National Commission on the Future of the Army AGENCY:

    DoD.

    ACTION:

    Establishment of federal advisory committee.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is publishing this notice to announce that it is establishing the National Commission on the Future of the Army (“the Commission”).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jim Freeman, Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, 703-692-5952.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This committee is being established pursuant to Section 1702 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (“the FY 2015 NDAA”) (Pub. L. 113-291) and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended) and 41 CFR 102-3.50(a).

    The Commission is a non-discretionary Federal advisory committee that shall undertake a comprehensive study of the structure of the Army, and policy assumptions related to the size and force mixture of the Army, in order (a) to make an assessment of the size and force structure of the active component of the Army and the reserve components of the Army; and (b) to make recommendations on the modifications, if any, of the structure of the Army related to current and anticipated mission requirements for the Army at acceptable levels of national risk and in a manner consistent with available resources and anticipated future resources. The Commission shall also conduct a study of a transfer of Army National Guard AH-64 Apache aircraft from the Army National Guard to the regular Army.

    Pursuant to section 1703(c) of the FY 2015 NDAA, the Commission, not later than February 1, 2016, shall submit to the President and the Congressional defense committees a report setting forth a detailed statement of the findings and conclusions of the Commission as a result of the studies required by Sections 1703(a) and (b) of the FY 2015 NDAA, together with its recommendations for such legislative and administrative actions it considers appropriate in light of the results of the studies.

    In undertaking both studies as described above, the Commission shall give particular consideration to:

    A. An evaluation and identification of a structure for the Army that:

    (1) Has the depth and scalability to meet current and anticipated requirements of the combatant commands;

    (2) achieves cost-efficiency between the regular and reserve components of the Army, manages military risk, takes advantage of the strengths and capabilities of each, and considers fully burdened lifecycle costs;

    (3) ensures that the regular and reserve components of the Army have the capacity needed to support current and anticipated homeland defense and disaster assistance missions in the United States;

    (4) provides for sufficient numbers of regular members of the Army to provide a base of trained personnel from which the personnel of the reserve components of the Army could be recruited;

    (5) maintains a peacetime rotation force to avoid exceeding operational tempo goals of 1:2 for active members of the Army and 1:5 for members of the reserve components of the Army; and

    (6) manages strategic and operational risk by making tradeoffs among readiness, efficiency, effectiveness, capability, and affordability.

    B. An evaluation and identification of force generation policies for the Army with respect to size and force mixture in order to fulfill current and anticipated mission requirements for the Army in a manner consistent with available resources and anticipated future resources including policies in connection with:

    (1) Readiness;

    (2) training;

    (3) equipment;

    (4) personnel; and

    (5) maintenance of the reserve components as an operational reserve in order to maintain as much as possible the level of expertise and experience developed since September 11, 2001.

    C. An identification and evaluation of the distribution of responsibility and authority for the allocation of Army National Guard personnel and force structure to the States and territories.

    D. An identification and evaluation of the strategic basis or rationale, analytical methods, and decision-making processes for the allocation of Army National Guard personnel and force structure to the States and territories.

    The Commission may hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony and receive such evidence as the Commission considers advisable to carry out its mission.

    The Commission may secure directly from any Federal department or agency such information as the Commission considers necessary to carry out its duties. Upon request of the Chair of the Commission, the head of such department or agency shall furnish such information to the Commission.

    The Commission, pursuant to Section 1702(b)(1) of the FY 2015 NDAA, shall be composed of eight members. In making appointments, consideration should be given to individuals with expertise in national and international security policy and strategy, military forces capability, force structure design, organization, and employment, and reserve forces policy. The Commission's membership shall include:

    a. Four individuals appointed by the President;

    b. One individual appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate;

    c. One individual appointed by the Ranking Member of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate;

    d. One individual appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives; and

    e. One individual appointed by the Ranking Member of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives.

    Pursuant to Section 1702(b)(2) of FY 2015 NDAA, the appointments of the members of the Commission shall be made not later than 90 days after the enactment of the FY 2015 NDAA.

    If one or more appointments under Section 12, subparagraph (a) above is not made by the appointment date specified in Section 1702(b)(2) of the FY 2015 NDAA, the authority to make such appointment or appointments shall expire, and the number of members of the Commission shall be reduced by the number equal to the number of appointments so not made. If an appointment under Section 12, subparagraphs (b)-(e) above is not made by the appointment date specified in Section 1702(b)(2) of the FY 2015 NDAA, the authority to make an appointment shall expire, and the number of members of the Commission shall be reduced by the number equal to the number otherwise appointable.

    Members shall be appointed for the life of the Commission. Any vacancy in the Commission shall not affect its powers, but shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. The Commission members shall select a Chair and Vice Chair from the total membership. Commission members who are full-time or permanent part-time Federal officers or employees shall be appointed as regular government employee (RGE) members. Commission members who are not full-time or permanent part-time Federal officers or employees shall be appointed as experts or consultants pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3109 to serve as special government employee (SGE) members.

    Consistent with Section 1705(a) of the FY 2015 NDAA, each member of the Commission who is not an officer or employee of the Federal Government shall be compensated at a rate not to exceed to the daily equivalent of the annual rate of $155,400, for each day (including travel time) during which such member is engaged in the performance of the duties of the Commission. All members of the Commission who are officers or employees of the United States shall serve without compensation in addition to that received for their services as officers or employees of the United States.

    The members of the Commission shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5 United States Code, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Commission.

    The DoD, when necessary and consistent with the Commission's mission and DoD policies and procedures, may establish subcommittees, task forces, or working groups to support the Commission. Establishment of subcommittees will be based upon a written determination, to include terms of reference, by the Secretary of Defense, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, or the DCMO, as the DoD sponsor.

    Such subcommittees shall not work independently of the Commission and shall report all of their recommendations and advice solely to the Commission for full and open deliberation and discussion. Subcommittees, task forces, or working groups have no authority to make decisions and recommendations, verbally or in writing, on behalf of the Commission. No subcommittee or its members can update or report, verbally or in writing, on behalf of the Commission, directly to the DoD or to any Federal officer or employee.

    All subcommittee members shall be appointed by the Secretary of Defense or the Deputy Secretary of Defense according to governing DoD policies and procedures, even if the member in question is already a member of the Commission. Subcommittee members, with the approval of the Secretary of Defense, may serve a term of service for the life of the subcommittee.

    Subcommittee members, if not full-time or part-time Federal officers or employees, shall be appointed as experts or consultants pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 3109 to serve as SGE members. Subcommittee members who are full-time or permanent part-time Federal officers or employees will be appointed pursuant to 41 CFR § 102-3.130(a) to serve as RGE members.

    Each subcommittee member is appointed to provide advice to the government on the basis of his or her best judgment without representing any particular point of view and in a manner that is free from conflict of interest. Subcommittee members may be compensated, and shall be allowed travel expenses, in the same manner as Commission members.

    All subcommittees operate under the provisions of the FACA, the Sunshine Act, governing Federal statutes and regulations, and established DoD policies and procedures.

    The Commission's Designated Federal Officer (DFO), pursuant to DoD policy, shall be a full-time or permanent part-time DoD employee appointed in accordance with governing DoD policies and procedures.

    The Commission's DFO is required to be in attendance at all meetings of the Commission and any of its subcommittees for the entire duration of each and every meeting. However, in the absence of the Commission's DFO, a properly approved Alternate DFO, duly appointed to the Commission according to established DoD policies and procedures, shall attend the entire duration of the Commission or any subcommittee meeting.

    The DFO, or the Alternate DFO, shall call all meetings of the Commission and its subcommittees; prepare and approve all meeting agendas; and adjourn any meeting when the DFO, or the Alternate DFO, determines adjournment to be in the public interest or required by governing regulations or DoD policies and procedures.

    Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140, the public or interested organizations may submit written statements to National Commission on the Future of the Army membership about the Commission's mission and functions. Written statements may be submitted at any time or in response to the stated agenda of planned meeting of the National Commission on the Future of the Army.

    All written statements shall be submitted to the DFO for the National Commission on the Future of the Army, and this individual will ensure that the written statements are provided to the membership for their consideration. Contact information for the National Commission on the Future of the Army DFO can be obtained from the GSA's FACA Database—http://www.facadatabase.gov/.

    The DFO, pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.150, will announce planned meetings of the National Commission on the Future of the Army. The DFO, at that time, may provide additional guidance on the submission of written statements that are in response to the stated agenda for the planned meeting in question.

    Dated: March 23, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06919 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Judicial Proceedings Since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel (Judicial Proceedings Panel); Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Judicial Proceedings since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel (“the Judicial Proceedings Panel” or “the Panel”). The meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    A meeting of the Judicial Proceedings Panel will be held on Friday, April 10, 2015. The Public Session will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 333 Constitution Avenue NW., Courtroom #20, 6th floor, Washington, DC 20001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Julie Carson, Judicial Proceedings Panel, One Liberty Center, 875 N. Randolph Street, Suite 150, Arlington, VA 22203. Email: [email protected] Phone: (703) 693-3849. Web site: http://jpp.whs.mil.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This public meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meeting: In Section 576(a)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Pub. L. 112-239), as amended, Congress tasked the Judicial Proceedings Panel to conduct an independent review and assessment of judicial proceedings conducted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice involving adult sexual assault and related offenses since the amendments made to the Uniform Code of Military Justice by section 541 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Pub. L. 112—81; 125 Stat. 1404), for the purpose of developing recommendations for improvements to such proceedings. At this meeting, the Panel will consider the issues of social and professional retaliation against individuals who report incidents of sexual assault within the military, and develop recommendations for improving the military's prevention and response to retaliation. The Panel is interested in written and oral comments from the public, including non-governmental organizations, relevant to these issues or any of the Panel's tasks.

    Agenda • 8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m. Administrative Session (41 CFR 102-3.160, not subject to notice and open meeting requirements) • 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Deliberations on Victim Compensation/Restitution (public meeting begins) • 9:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m. DoD SAPRO Review of Findings and Initiatives Regarding Retaliation Speakers: Department of Defense SAPRO and DEOMI representatives • 10:45 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Break • 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Workplace Retaliation Studies & Human Relations Dynamics Speakers: Experts in organizational psychology and clinical forensic psychologists • 12:00 p.m.-12:45 p.m. Lunch • 12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m. Workplace Retaliation Studies & Human Relations Dynamics (Continued) Speakers: Experts in organizational psychology and clinical forensic psychologists (continued) • 1:45 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Break • 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Policies, Practices and Prevention of Retaliation within the Military Services Speakers: Service SHARP/SAPR Directors • 3:30 p.m.-4:45 p.m. DoD IG and BCMR Responses to Reports of Professional Retaliation and Requests for Relief Speakers: DoD IG and Service BCMR Representatives • 4:45 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Public Comment

    Availability of Materials for the Meeting: A copy of the April 10, 2015, meeting agenda or any updates to the agenda, to include individual speakers not identified at the time of this notice, as well as other materials presented related to the meeting, may be obtained at the meeting or from the Panel's Web site at http://jpp.whs.mil.

    Public's Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public. Seating is limited and is on a first-come basis.

    Accommodations: Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations to access the public meeting should contact Ms. Julie Carson at [email protected] at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting so that reasonable accomodations can be made consistent with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

    Procedures for Providing Public Comments: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments to the Panel about its mission and topics pertaining to this public session. Written comments must be received by Ms. Julie Carson at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting date so that they may be made available to the Judicial Proceedings Panel for their consideration prior to the meeting. Written comments should be submitted via email to Ms. Carson at [email protected] in the following formats: Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word. Please note that since the Judicial Proceedings Panel operates under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, all written comments will be treated as public documents and will be made available for public inspection. If members of the public are interested in making an oral statement, a written statement must be submitted along with a request to provide an oral statement. Oral presentations to the Panel by members of the public will be permitted between 4:45 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on April 10, 2015. The number of oral presentations to be made will depend on the number of requests received from members of the public on a first-come basis. After reviewing the requests for oral presentation, the Chairperson and the Designated Federal Officer will, if they determine the statement to be relevant to the Panel's mission, allot five minutes to persons desiring to make an oral presentation.

    Committee's Designated Federal Officer: The Panel's Designated Federal Officer is Ms. Maria Fried, Judicial Proceedings Panel, 1600 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B747, Washington, DC 20301-1600.

    Dated: March 20, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06885 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics AGENCY:

    White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, U.S. Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of an open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the schedule and agenda of the tenth meeting of the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. The notice also describes the functions of the Commission. Notice of the meeting is required by section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act and intended to notify the public of its opportunity to attend.

    DATES:

    The President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    New Building, John Jay College, 860 11th Avenue, New York, NY 10019.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:

    Emmanuel Caudillo, Special Advisor, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, 400 Maryland Ave. SW., Room 4W108, Washington, DC 20202; telephone: 202-401-1411.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics Statutory Authority and Function: The President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (the Commission) is established by Executive Order 13555 (Oct. 19, 2010; reestablished December 12, 2012 by Executive Order 13634). The Commission is governed by the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), (Pub. L. 92-463; as amended, 5 U.S.C.A., Appendix 2) which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees. The purpose of the Commission is to advise the President and the Secretary of Education on all matters pertaining to the education attainment of the Hispanic community.

    The Commission shall advise the President and the Secretary in the following areas: (i) Developing, implementing, and coordinating educational programs and initiatives at the Department and other agencies to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for Hispanics of all ages; (ii) increasing the participation of the Hispanic community and Hispanic-Serving Institutions in the Department's programs and in education programs at other agencies; (iii) engaging the philanthropic, business, nonprofit, and education communities in a national dialogue regarding the mission and objectives of this order; (iv) establishing partnerships with public, private, philanthropic, and nonprofit stakeholders to meet the mission and policy objectives of this order.

    Individuals who wish to attend the Commission meeting must RSVP by 12 noon EDT, Friday, April 10th, 2015, to [email protected]

    An opportunity for public comment will be available on Tuesday, April 14, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., EDT. Individuals who wish to provide comments will be allowed three minutes to speak. Those members of the public interested in submitting written comments may do so by submitting them to the attention of Emmanuel Caudillo, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW., Room 4W108, Washington, DC 20202, by Friday, April 10, 2015 or via email at [email protected]

    Meeting Agenda

    The open meeting will facilitate a discussion on the Commission's 25th Anniversary year of action strategy, including updates on the Administration's education priorities and proposed anniversary outreach and engagement efforts, provide an opportunity for breakout sessions led by each subcommittee—Early Learning, K-12, and Postsecondary Education, and allow for a public comment session.

    Access to Records of the Meeting: The Department will post the official report of the meeting on the Commission's Web site 90 days after the meeting. Pursuant to the FACA, the public may also inspect the materials at 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC, by emailing [email protected] or by calling (202) 401-1411 to schedule an appointment.

    Reasonable Accommodations: Individuals who will need accommodations in order to attend the meeting (e.g., interpreting services, assistive listening devices, or material in alternative format) should notify Emmanuel Caudillo, Special Advisor, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics at 202-401-1411, no later than Wednesday, April 8th, 2015. We will attempt to meet requests for such accommodations after this date, but cannot guarantee their availability. The meeting site is accessible to individuals with disabilities.

    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.

    Authority:

    Executive Order 13555; reestablished by Executive Order 13634.

    Ted Mitchell, Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06937 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meetings AGENCY:

    Election Assistance Commission.

    DATE & TIME:

    Tuesday, March 31, 2015 AT 10:00 a.m.

    PLACE:

    1335 East-West Highway (First Floor Conference Room), Silver Spring, MD 20910.

    STATUS:

    This Meeting Will Be Open To The Public

    ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION AND CONSIDERATION:

    • Draft Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines (VVSG 1.1) • Draft Certification Program Procedural Manual, Version 2.0 • Draft Laboratory Accreditation Program Manual, Version 2.0 • Requests for HAVA Funding Advisory Opinions Agenda

    The Commission will receive presentations on the DRAFT Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG 1.1) and consider the proposed VVSG 1.1 for adoption. The Commission will receive presentations on the DRAFT Certification Program Procedural Manual, Version 2.0, and consider the proposed final document for approval. The Commission will receive presentations on the DRAFT Laboratory Accreditation Program Manual, Version 2.0, and consider the proposed final document for approval. The Commission will consider approval of advisory opinion requests related to expenditure of HAVA funds from the state and local election offices in the States of Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Montana, Washington State and California. The Commission will consider other administrative matters.

    PERSON TO CONTACT FOR INFORMATION:

    Bryan Whitener, Telephone: (301) 563-3961.

    Submitted: March 24, 2015. Bryan Whitener, Director of Communications & Clearinghouse.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07090 Filed 3-24-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6820-KF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Paducah AGENCY:

    Department of Energy (DOE).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Open Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Paducah. 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:

    Thursday, April 16, 2015 6:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Barkley Centre, 111 Memorial Drive, Paducah, Kentucky 42001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Woodard, Deputy Designated Federal Officer, Department of Energy Paducah Site Office, 1017 Majestic Drive, Suite 200, Lexington, Kentucky 40513, (270) 441-6820.

    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 • Call to Order, Introductions, Review of Agenda • Administrative Issues • Public Comments (15 minutes) • Adjourn

    Breaks Taken As Appropriate

    Public Participation: The EM SSAB, Paducah, 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 Jennifer Woodard as soon as possible in advance of the meeting at the telephone 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 Jennifer Woodard at the telephone number listed above. Requests must be received as soon as possible 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. The EM SSAB, Paducah, will hear public comments pertaining to its scope (clean-up standards and environmental restoration; waste management and disposition; stabilization and disposition of non-stockpile nuclear materials; excess facilities; future land use and long-term stewardship; risk assessment and management; and clean-up science and technology activities). Comments outside of the scope may be submitted via written statement as directed above. 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. This meeting has been rescheduled from February 19, 2015, as that meeting was cancelled due to inclement weather.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Jennifer Woodard at the address and phone number listed above. Minutes will also be available at the following Web site: http://www.pgdpcab.energy.gov/2015Meetings.html.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on March 20, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06918 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG15-69-000.

    Applicants: Benson Power, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of Benson Power, LLC.

    Filed Date: 3/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150320-5128.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER11-2855-015; ER11-2856-015; ER11-2857-015; ER10-2488-009; ER10-2722-004; ER10-2787-004; ER12-2037-004.

    Applicants: Avenal Park LLC, Sand Drag LLC, Sun City Project LLC, Oasis Power Partners, LLC, Eurus Combine Hills I LLC, Eurus Combine Hills II LLC, Spearville 3, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of the Eurus MBR Entities.

    Filed Date: 3/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150319-5214.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-477-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: eTariff filing per 35.19a(b): 1888R3 Westar Energy, Inc. Refund Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 3/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150320-5090.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-484-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: eTariff filing per 35.19a(b): 1891R3 Westar Energy, Inc. Refund Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 3/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150320-5094.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-490-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: eTariff filing per 35.19a(b): 1892R3 Westar Energy, Inc. Refund Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 3/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150320-5095.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-710-001.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 35.17(b): Service Agreement No. 341—Response to FERC Notice of Deficiency to be effective 1/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150320-5215.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-977-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 35.17(b): 2015-03-20_SA 2737 ATC-WPSC Amended PCA to be effective 4/6/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150320-5097.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1340-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Revisons to Attachment AE Section 2.10.3 Regulation Qualified Resources to be effective 5/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150319-5189.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1341-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): GIA and Distribution Service Agmt SunEdison Utility Solutions Almond Ave Project to be effective 3/21/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150320-5002.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1342-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): GIA and Distribution Service Agmt SunEdison Utility Solutions Terminal Freezers to be effective 3/21/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150320-5003.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1343-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): GIA and Distribution Service Agmt SunEdison Utility Solutions Jurupa St Project to be effective 3/21/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150320-5096.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1344-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Revisions to OATT Schedule 12 Appendix A re: RTEP approved by the PJM Board Febr to be effective 5/19/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150320-5150.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1345-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., South Mississippi Electric Power Association.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): 2015-03-20_SMEPA RTO Adder Filing to be effective 6/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150320-5153.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1346-000.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Nuclear Decommissioning Amendments to Forumla Rate PPAs to be effective 1/1/2013.

    Filed Date: 3/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150320-5165.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1347-000.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): 2015-03-20_PSE_EIMIA to be effective 5/20/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150320-5192.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1348-000.

    Applicants: Roseton Generating LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): MBR Tariff Amendments to be effective 5/19/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150320-5219.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1349-000.

    Applicants: Castleton Commodities Merchant Trading L.P.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): MBR Tariff Amendments to be effective 5/19/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150320-5223.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1350-000.

    Applicants: CCI Rensselaer LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): MBR Tariff Amendments to be effective 5/19/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150320-5224.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric securities filings:

    Docket Numbers: ES15-14-000.

    Applicants: NorthWestern Corporation.

    Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 204 of the Federal Power Act to Issue Securities and Request for Shortened Comment Period of NorthWestern Corporation.

    Filed Date: 3/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150319-5216.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/9/15.

    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 20, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06916 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [FE Docket No. 14-209-LNG] American LNG Marketing LLC; Application for Long-Term, Multi-Contract Authorization To Export Liquefied Natural Gas to Non-Free Trade Agreement Nations AGENCY:

    Office of Fossil Energy, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy (DOE) gives notice of receipt of an application (Application), filed on December 31, 2014, by American LNG Marketing LLC (American LNG), requesting long-term, multi-contract authorization to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) in a volume equivalent to approximately 3.02 billion cubic feet per year (Bcf/yr) of natural gas (0.008 Bcf/day). American LNG seeks to export the LNG from a proposed natural gas liquefaction project under construction in Medley, Florida, on the northern portion of the Hialeah Railyard (Hialeah Facility).1 According to American LNG, the LNG typically will be delivered into approved ISO IMO7/TVAC-ASME LNG (ISO) containers (truck or rail mounted), then loaded onto container ships or roll-on/roll-off ocean-going carriers for export at the nearby Port of Miami or other ports in Florida capable of handling ISO containers without modification (including Port Everglades, Port Canaveral, Port of Palm Beach, and Port of Jacksonville). American LNG requests authorization to export this LNG to any country with which the United States does not have a free trade agreement (FTA) requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas and with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy (non-FTA countries).2 American LNG requests the authorization for a 20-year term to commence on the earlier of the date of first export or seven years from the date the authorization is granted. American LNG seeks to export this LNG on its own behalf and as agent for other entities who hold title to the LNG at the time of export. The Application was filed under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA). Additional details can be found in American LNG's Application, posted on the DOE/FE Web site at: http://energy.gov/fe/downloads/american-lng-marketing-llc-fe-dkt-no-14-209-lng. Protests, motions to intervene, notices of intervention, and written comments are invited.

    1 American LNG states that the Hialeah Facility is being constructed, and will be owned and operated, by its corporate affiliate, LNG Holdings (Florida) LLC. American LNG further states that it intends to purchase some or all of the output of the Hialeah Facility.

    2 In the Application, American LNG also requests authorization to export LNG to any nation that currently has, or in the future may enter into, a FTA requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas and with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy (FTA countries). DOE/FE will review the request for a FTA export authorization separately pursuant to NGA § 3(c), 15 U.S.C. 717b(c).

    DATES:

    Protests, motions to intervene or notices of intervention, as applicable, requests for additional procedures, and written comments are to be filed using procedures detailed in the Public Comment Procedures section no later than 4:30 p.m., Eastern time, May 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic Filing by Email

    [email protected]

    Regular Mail

    U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply, Office of Fossil Energy, P.O. Box 44375, Washington, DC 20026-4375.

    Hand Delivery or Private Delivery Services (e.g., FedEx, UPS, etc.)

    U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Larine Moore or Benjamin Nussdorf, U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-9478; (202) 586-7991.

    Cassandra Bernstein, U.S. Department of Energy (GC-76), Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Electricity and Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-9793.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    DOE/FE Evaluation

    The Application will be reviewed pursuant to section 3(a) of the NGA, 15 U.S.C. 717b(a), and DOE will consider any issues required by law or policy. To the extent determined to be relevant, these issues will include the domestic need for the natural gas proposed to be exported, the adequacy of domestic natural gas supply, U.S. energy security, and the cumulative impact of the requested authorization and any other LNG export application(s) previously approved on domestic natural gas supply and demand fundamentals. DOE may also consider other factors bearing on the public interest, including the impact of the proposed exports on the U.S. economy (including GDP, consumers, and industry), job creation, the U.S. balance of trade, and international considerations; and whether the authorization is consistent with DOE's policy of promoting competition in the marketplace by allowing commercial parties to freely negotiate their own trade arrangements. Additionally, DOE will consider the following environmental document: Addendum to Environmental Review Documents Concerning Exports of Natural Gas From the United States, 79 FR 48132 (Aug. 15, 2014).3 Parties that may oppose this Application should address these issues in their comments and/or protests, as well as other issues deemed relevant to the Application.

    3 The Addendum and related documents are available at: http://energy.gov/fe/draft-addendum-environmental-review-documents-concerning-exports-natural-gas-united-states.

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., requires DOE to give appropriate consideration to the environmental effects of its proposed decisions. No final decision will be issued in this proceeding until DOE has met its environmental responsibilities.

    Public Comment Procedures

    In response to this Notice, any person may file a protest, comments, or a motion to intervene or notice of intervention, as applicable. Due to the complexity of the issues raised by the Applicant, interested parties will be provided 60 days from the date of publication of this Notice in which to submit their comments, protests, motions to intervene, or notices of intervention.

    Any person wishing to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene or notice of intervention. The filing of comments or a protest with respect to the Application will not serve to make the commenter or protestant a party to the proceeding, although protests and comments received from persons who are not parties will be considered in determining the appropriate action to be taken on the Application. All protests, comments, motions to intervene, or notices of intervention must meet the requirements specified by the regulations in 10 CFR part 590.

    Filings may be submitted using one of the following methods: (1) Emailing the filing to [email protected], with FE Docket No. 14-209-LNG in the title line; (2) mailing an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply at the address listed in ADDRESSES; or (3) hand delivering an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Oil and Gas Global Supply at the address listed in ADDRESSES. All filings must include a reference to FE Docket No. 14-209-LNG. Please Note: If submitting a filing via email, please include all related documents and attachments (e.g., exhibits) in the original email correspondence. Please do not include any active hyperlinks or password protection in any of the documents or attachments related to the filing. All electronic filings submitted to DOE must follow these guidelines to ensure that all documents are filed in a timely manner. Any hardcopy filing submitted greater in length than 50 pages must also include, at the time of the filing, a digital copy on disk of the entire submission.

    A decisional record on the Application will be developed through responses to this notice by parties, including the parties' written comments and replies thereto. Additional procedures will be used as necessary to achieve a complete understanding of the facts and issues. If an additional procedure is scheduled, notice will be provided to all parties. If no party requests additional procedures, a final Opinion and Order may be issued based on the official record, including the Application and responses filed by parties pursuant to this notice, in accordance with 10 CFR 590.316.

    The Application is available for inspection and copying in the Division of Natural Gas Regulatory Activities docket room, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. The docket room is open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Application and any filed protests, motions to intervene or notice of interventions, and comments will also be available electronically by going to the following DOE/FE Web address: http://www.fe.doe.gov/programs/gasregulation/index.html.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 19, 2015. John A. Anderson, Director, Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply, Office of Oil and Natural Gas.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06921 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy [Case No. VHE-002] Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Decision and Order Granting a Waiver to Empire Comfort Systems From the Department of Energy Vented Home Heating Equipment Test Procedure AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Decision and Order.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) gives notice of its Decision and Order in Case No. VHE-002, which grants Empire Comfort Systems, Inc. (Empire) a waiver from the existing DOE test procedure for determining the energy consumption of residential vented home heating equipment. DOE previously published the Empire Petition for Waiver and solicited comments, data, and information regarding the petition, which requested permission to use the DOE test procedure proposed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) for Direct Heating Equipment and Pool Heaters published in the Federal Register on October 24, 2013, as an alternate test procedure to account for the energy consumption of its condensing-type direct heating equipment (DHE) models. Under this Decision and Order, Empire shall be required to test and rate its condensing-type direct DHE models using the applicable provisions of the DOE test procedure final rule for DHE published in the Federal Register on January 6, 2015. Empire shall use those provisions as an alternate test procedure until July 6, 2015, the mandatory compliance date for the amended test procedure, at which point this waiver shall terminate.

    DATES:

    This Decision and Order is effective March 26, 2015. The waiver granted in this Decision and Order shall terminate on July 6, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-0371. Email: [email protected]

    Mr. Eric Stas, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, Mail Stop GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0103. Telephone: (202) 586-9507. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with 10 CFR 430.27(l), DOE gives notice of the issuance of its Decision and Order as set forth below. The Decision and Order grants Empire's request for waiver from the existing residential vented home heating equipment test procedure in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix O for its PVS (18,35)(K)(N)(P) basic model of condensing-type direct heating equipment, provided that Empire tests and rates such products using the alternate test procedure described in this notice. This Decision and Order prohibits Empire from making representations concerning the energy efficiency of these products unless the product has been tested consistent with the provisions of the alternate test procedure set forth below, and the representations fairly disclose the test results. Distributors, retailers, and private labelers are held to the same standard when making representations regarding the energy efficiency of these products. (42 U.S.C. 6293(c)) This waiver shall terminate on July 6, 2015, the mandatory compliance date for the amended DOE DHE test procedure (the source of the alternate test procedure).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 20, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Decision and Order

    In the Matter of: Empire Comfort Systems Inc. (Empire) (Case No. VHE-002).

    I. Background and Authority

    Title III, Part B 1 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), Public Law 94-163 (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309, as codified), sets forth a variety of provisions concerning energy efficiency and established the “Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles.” This program covers most major household appliances, including the vented home heating equipment that is the subject of this notice.2 Part B includes definitions, test procedures, labeling provisions, energy conservation standards, and the authority to require information and reports from manufacturers. Further, Part B authorizes the Secretary of Energy to prescribe test procedures that are reasonably designed to produce results that measure energy efficiency, energy use, or estimated operating costs, and that are not unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3)) The test procedure for residential vented home heating equipment is contained in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix O, Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of Vented Home Heating Equipment.

    1 For editorial reasons, on codification in the U.S. Code, Part B was re-designated Part A.

    2 All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute as amended through the American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act (AEMTCA), Public Law 112-210 (Dec. 18, 2012).

    The regulations set forth in 10 CFR 430.27, which were recently amended, contain provisions that enable a person to petition DOE to obtain a waiver from the test procedure requirements for covered products. See 79 FR 26591 (May 9, 2014) (revising 10 CFR 430.27, effective June 9, 2014). (DOE notes that while the previous version of 10 CFR 430.27 was effective at the time of Empire's submission, the substantive aspects of this regulation have not been changed by the May 9, 2014 final rule.) A person may petition for a waiver from the test procedure requirements that would ordinarily apply to a particular basic model covered under DOE's regulations when: (1) The petitioner's basic model for which the petition for waiver was submitted contains one or more design characteristics that prevent testing according to the prescribed test procedure, or (2) when prescribed test procedures may evaluate the basic model in a manner so unrepresentative of its true energy and/or water consumption characteristics as to provide materially inaccurate comparative data. 10 CFR 430.27(a)(1) (noting that a person may petition to waive for a particular basic model any requirements of 10 CFR 430.23 or of “any appendix” under 10 CFR part 430, subpart B). Petitioners must include in their petition any alternate test procedures known to the petitioner to evaluate the basic model in a manner representative of its energy consumption characteristics. 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iii).

    DOE may grant a waiver subject to conditions, including adherence to alternate test procedures. 10 CFR 430.27(f)(2). Waivers remain in effect pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 430.27(h).

    Any interested person who has submitted a Petition for Waiver may also file an Application for Interim Waiver from the applicable test procedure requirements. 10 CFR 430.27(b)(2). DOE will grant an interim waiver request if it is determined that the applicant will experience economic hardship if the interim waiver is denied, if it appears likely that the petition for waiver will be granted, and/or DOE determines that it would be desirable for public policy reasons to grant immediate relief pending a determination on the petition for waiver. 10 CFR 430.27(e)(2).

    II. Empire's Petition for Waiver: Assertions and Determinations

    On January 20, 2014, Empire filed a Petition for Waiver and Application for Interim Waiver for a condensing-type direct heating equipment model from the test procedure applicable to vented home heating equipment set forth in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix O. 3 See 79 FR 18536 (April 2, 2014). In its petition, Empire seeks a waiver from the existing DOE test procedure for its vented gas heaters and fireplace systems under 10 CFR part 430 because Empire asserts that the existing test procedure does not account for condensing-type heating equipment. Empire seeks to use the test method proposed by DOE in a NOPR for Direct Heating Equipment and Pool Heaters published in the Federal Register on October 24, 2013 (78 FR 63410) (hereinafter the “October 2013 NOPR”), as an alternate test procedure to account for the energy consumption of its condensing-type DHE models. That notice, in relevant part, defines the term “condensing vented heater” and provides a method for testing these devices.

    3 On July 21, 2011, Empire originally filed a petition for waiver from the DOE test procedure for residential vented home heating equipment for specified condensing-type direct heating equipment models applicable to its Mantis vented gas fireplace systems. The current DOE test procedure in appendix O has no provisions for testing condensing-type direct heating equipment. On November 3, 2011, DOE published the Empire petition for waiver (Case No. VHE-001) from the vented home heating equipment test procedure in the Federal Register (76 FR 68180). The notice provided for the submission of comments by December 5, 2011. Because all known manufacturers of domestically-marketed units of the same product type were not timely notified that DOE published the Petition for Waiver, DOE determined that re-opening of the public comment period was appropriate. On February 1, 2012, DOE published a notice of re-opening of the public comment period in the Federal Register (77 FR 5001) with the comment period ending on March 2, 2012. DOE received no comments during the initial petition for waiver comment period nor during the re-opening of the public comment period. In the January 20, 2014 request, Empire stated that the list of models in the original waiver submitted to DOE on July 21, 2011 is no longer accurate and is superseded by its latter petition. Thus, DOE has withdrawn the petition under Case No. VHE-001.

    DOE notes that of the eight basic model numbers set forth in Empire's petition, only one (PVS (18, 35) (K)(N)(P)) qualifies as a covered DHE product. The remaining seven basic models (which are fireplaces, fireplace inserts, or stoves) are hearth products and are, therefore, subject to neither the test procedure requirements of 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix O nor the proposed requirements of the October 2013 NOPR.4 Therefore, DOE has considered only one of the basic models submitted in the petition for waiver. For the remaining basic models, since testing of hearth products is not required under DOE regulations at this time, there is no need to consider a waiver for such models. However, if Empire chooses to conduct testing to make representations regarding the energy efficiency of these products, the company is free to use any test procedure it deems appropriate.

    4 On February 8, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) issued a decision vacating the DOE definition of “Vented hearth heater” at 10 CFR 430.2, and remanded the issue to DOE to interpret the challenged provisions consistent with the court's opinion. Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association v. U.S. Department of Energy, 706 F.3d 499, 509 (D.C. Cir. 2013). Since that time, DOE has published a proposed coverage determination that would classify all hearth products as a new covered product pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6292(a)(20) and (b). 78 FR 79638 (Dec. 31, 2013).

    Empire also requested an interim waiver from the existing DOE test procedure, which DOE granted. See 79 FR 18536, 18537 (April 2, 2014). An interim waiver may be granted if it appears likely that the Petition for Waiver will be granted and/or DOE determines that it would be desirable for public policy reasons to grant immediate relief pending a determination of the petition for waiver. See 10 CFR 430.27(e)(2). DOE determined that Empire's Application for Interim Waiver did not provide sufficient market, equipment price, shipments, and other manufacturer impact information to permit DOE to evaluate the economic hardship Empire might experience absent a favorable determination on its Application for Interim Waiver. DOE understands, however, that absent an interim waiver, the basic model submitted by Empire that qualifies as a covered product could not be tested and rated for energy consumption on a basis representative of its true energy consumption characteristics. It is in the public interest to have similar products tested and rated for energy consumption on a comparable basis, where possible. Furthermore, DOE determined that Empire is likely to succeed on the merits of its Petition for Waiver and that it is desirable for public policy reasons to grant immediate relief. Empire requested to use the test method proposed by DOE in the October 2013 NOPR as an alternate test procedure to account for the energy consumption of its condensing-type direct heating equipment models; that notice, in relevant part, defines the term “condensing vented heater” and provides a method for testing these devices, thereby providing a suitable vehicle for testing these products and making representations as to their energy efficiency. For the reasons stated above, DOE granted Empire's Application for Interim Waiver from testing of its condensing-type vented gas heater system. 79 FR 18536, 18537-38 (April 2, 2014).

    DOE did not receive any comments on the Empire petition published in the Federal Register on April 2, 2014 (79 FR 18536).

    Under this Decision and Order, Empire shall be required to test and rate its condensing-type direct heating equipment (DHE) models using the DOE Final Rule test procedure for DHE published in the Federal Register on January 6, 2015 (80 FR 792). The effective date of this rule was February 5, 2015 and compliance will be mandatory starting July 6, 2015. DOE feels that the use of the Final Rule test procedure will utilize the most up-to-date test method and be able to compare similar products to help inform the consumer when purchasing these types of products.

    III. Consultations With Other Agencies

    DOE consulted with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff concerning the Empire petition for waiver. The FTC staff did not have any objections to granting a waiver to Empire.

    IV. Conclusion

    After careful consideration of all the material that was submitted by Empire and consultation with the FTC staff, it is ordered that:

    (1) The Petition for Waiver submitted by the Empire Comfort Systems, Inc. (Case No. VHE-002) is hereby granted as set forth in the paragraphs below.

    (2) Empire shall be required to test and rate the following basic model (condensing vented heater):

    PVS (18,35) (K)(N)(P) according to the alternate test procedure set forth in paragraph (3) below.

    (3) Empire shall not be required to test the products listed in paragraph (2) above according to the test procedure for residential vented home heating equipment set forth in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix O, but instead shall use as the amended test procedure as set forth in the final rule published in the Federal Register on January 6, 2015 (80 FR 792).

    (4) Representations. Empire may make representations about the energy use of its condensing-type DHE models for compliance, marketing, or other purposes only to the extent that such products have been tested in accordance with the provisions outlined above and such representations fairly disclose the results of such testing.

    (5) This waiver shall terminate on July 6, 2015, consistent with the provisions of 10 CFR 430.27(h)(2).

    (6) This waiver is issued on the condition that the statements, representations, and documentary materials provided by the petitioner are valid. DOE may revoke or modify this waiver at any time if it determines the factual basis underlying the Petition for Waiver is incorrect, or the results from the alternate test procedure are unrepresentative of the basic model's true energy consumption characteristics.

    (7) This waiver is granted for only those models specifically set out in Empire's January 20, 2014 Petition for Waiver, not future models that may be manufactured by Empire. Empire may submit a new or amended Petition for Waiver and Application for Grant of Interim Waiver, as appropriate, for additional residential vented home heating equipment models for which it seeks a waiver from the DOE test procedure. Grant of this waiver also does not release Empire from the certification requirements set forth at 10 CFR part 429.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 20, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06922 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Agency Information Collection Extension AGENCY:

    U.S. Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE), pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, intends to extend for three years, an information collection request with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the extended collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this proposed information collection must be received on or before May 26, 2015. If you anticipate difficulty in submitting comments within that period, contact the person listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be sent to: Eva Auman, GC-63, Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585; Fax: 202-586-0971; or 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 Eva Auman, GC-63, Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585; Fax: 202-586-0971; or email at: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This information collection request contains: (1) OMB No. 1910-5143; (2) Information Collection Request Title: Labor Relations Report; (3) Type of Request: three-year extension with minor change due to new electronic reporting system; (4) Purpose: To obtain information from the Department of Energy Management and Operation and Facilities Management Contractors for management oversight and cost control; (5) Annual Estimated Number of Respondents: 35; (6) Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: 35; (7) Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours: 193; (8) Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: $0.00 annually.

    Statutory Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7254, 7256.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 20, 2015. Jean S. Stucky, Assistant General Counsel for Labor and Pension Law, Office of the General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06920 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0055; FRL-9924-46-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for the Secondary Lead Smelter Industry (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NESHAP for the Secondary Lead Smelter Industry (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1686.10, OMB Control No. 2060-0296) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through March 31, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (79 FR 30117) on May 27, 2014 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. 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.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before April 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0055, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected]. Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patrick Yellin, Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division, Office of Compliance, Mail Code 2227A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-2970; fax number: (202) 564-0050; email address: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents, which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting, are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: This standard applies to owners and operators of secondary lead smelter industry facilities. The provisions of this subpart apply to secondary lead smelters that use blast, reverberatory, rotary, or electric smelting furnaces to recover lead metal from scrap lead, primarily from used lead-acid automotive-type batteries. Consistent with the NESHAP General Provisions (40 CFR part 63, subpart A), owners and operators must comply with recordkeeping, monitoring and reporting requirements including control device parameter monitoring, conduct performance tests and submittal of initial and periodic reports such as semiannual compliance reports and an operation, maintenance and monitoring plan. The required semiannual reports are used to determine periods of excess emissions, identify problems at the facility, verify operation/maintenance procedures, and for compliance determinations.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Secondary lead smelters.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR Part 63, Subpart X).

    Estimated number of respondents: 14 (total).

    Frequency of response: Initially, occasionally, semiannually and annually.

    Total estimated burden: 13,038 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $1,651,633 (per year), includes $375,200 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is a decrease of 7,499 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. In this ICR renewal, we have made adjustments to reflect current rule requirements and remove duplicate items contained in previous ICRs. In addition, this ICR renewal reflects a decrease in the number of respondents from 16 to 14 due to facility closures.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06913 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0233; FRL-9925-06] Environmental Protection Agency; Notice of Public Meeting AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively, the Services), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are holding a 1-day workshop to provide an update on the status of interagency efforts to further develop interim scientific methods that were issued in November 2013 by EPA, the Services, and USDA in response to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report entitled, “Assessing Risks to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides”. This workshop builds upon public meetings held in November and December 2013, and April and October 2014, and provides a forum for stakeholders to offer scientific and technical feedback on the ongoing efforts to develop draft Biological Evaluations (BEs) for three pilot chemicals (chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion). This workshop provides an opportunity to continue the dialogue on the implementation of the enhanced stakeholder engagement process that was finalized in March 2013. The workshop is not designed, or intended, to be a decision-making forum; consensus will not be sought, or developed at the meeting. This meeting furthers the agencies' goal of developing a consultation process for assessing pesticide's impacts on listed species that is efficient, inclusive, and transparent.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on April 15, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The workshop will be available via webinar for those interested in attending the workshop remotely. A teleconference line will also be available. Requests to attend the workshop in person, or via webinar and teleconference must be received on or before April 7, 2015. Individuals wishing to make a presentation at the workshop should submit presentation materials by March 30, 2015.

    To request accommodation of a disability, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, preferably at least 10 days prior to the meeting, to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at FWS Skyline Bldg. 7, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Bailey's Crossroads, VA 22041-3803, in the Rachel Carson Room. See Unit III for additional information.

    Requests to attend the meeting, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0233, must be submitted to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For general information contact: Catherine Eiden, Pesticide Re-evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 305-7887; email address: [email protected]

    For meeting logistics and/or registration contact: Leona Laniawe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, Ecological Services, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; telephone: (703) 358-2640; fax (703) 358-1800; 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 develop, manufacture, formulate, sell, and/or apply pesticide products, and if you are interested in the potential impacts of pesticide use on listed species. 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 code 311)

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532)

    B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0233, 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.

    II. Background

    This workshop is an opportunity for stakeholders and agencies to continue their dialogue on the technical aspects of implementing the NAS recommendations in the context of ongoing interagency efforts to develop draft Biological Evaluations for the three pilot chemicals; this workshop builds upon public meetings held in November and December 2013, and April and October 2014, and implementation of the enhanced stakeholder engagement process that was finalized in March 2013. The workshop is not designed, or intended to be a decision-making forum; consensus will not be sought, or developed at the meeting.

    Stakeholders are invited to hear presentations by the agencies on the status and development of Problem Formulations for each of the three pilot chemicals: Chlorpyrifos, malathion, and diazinon. The agencies will cover the following topics in their presentations: Description of the federal action and opportunities for refinement, USDA's geospatial data for mapping agricultural uses of pesticides, other sources of geospatial data for mapping non-agricultural uses of pesticides, species range data, risk hypotheses and approaches to weight-of-the-evidence analysis, and application of the interim scientific methods using examples for aquatic and terrestrial listed species.

    The agencies' interim approach document entitled, “Interagency Approach for Implementation of the National Academy of Sciences Report”, dated November 13, 2013, and the presentation materials from the November 2013 stakeholder workshop are available at the following Web site: http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/endanger/2013/nas.html.

    Presentations by the agencies supporting this stakeholder workshop will be made available on the EPA Web site on April 1st (http://www.epa.gov/espp), and in the docket identified by EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0233 prior to the workshop. Presentations supporting the previous stakeholder workshops held in April and October 2014 are also available in this docket.

    Representatives from Federal agencies will join the dialogue to answer clarifying questions regarding the pesticide registration process and Endangered Species Act consultation process. The agencies see this workshop as an integral component of the stakeholder engagement process developed for pesticide consultations that contributes to the agencies' commitment to adapt and refine the interim approaches as we progress through initial consultations.

    III. How can I request to participate in this meeting?

    You may submit a request to participate in this meeting to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Do not submit any information in your request that is considered CBI. Requests to attend the meeting in person, or via webinar and teleconference, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0233, must be received on or before April 7, 2015.

    Public parking is available for attendees; follow blue signs to the lot. There is a fee for all day parking.

    Attendees will need to present identification at the Security check-in.

    Webinar and teleconference information will be provided to participants requesting access via webinar and telephone.

    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. 2015-06931 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0690; FRL-9922-35-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; EPA's Light-Duty In-Use Vehicle Testing Program (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “EPA's Light-Duty In-Use Vehicle Testing Program (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 0222.10, OMB Control No. 2060-0086) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through March 31, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (79 FR 57928) on September 26, 2014 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. 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.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before April 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0690, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method) or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lynn Sohacki, Compliance Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000 Traverwood, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105; telephone number: 734-214-4851; fax number: 734-214-4869; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents, which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting, are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: EPA has an ongoing program to evaluate the emission performance of in-use light-duty (passenger car and light truck) motor vehicles through surveillance and compliance testing, as well as special investigations in compliance with the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7541).

    This ICR involves light-duty surveys and vehicle testing, which is strictly voluntary. A group of 25 to 50 potential participants is identified from state vehicle registration records. Three of the respondent pool are asked survey questions concerning vehicle condition, operation and maintenance. Additional groups of potential participants may be contacted until a sufficient number of vehicles have been obtained. Owners verify the survey information when they deliver their vehicles to EPA, release the vehicle to EPA, voluntarily provide maintenance records for copying, receive a cash incentive and, if requested, a loaner car, then receive the vehicle from EPA at the conclusion of the testing.

    Form Numbers: 5900-304, 5900-305, 5900-306, 5900-307, 5900-308, 5900-309.

    Respondents/affected entities: Vehicle owners.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Voluntary.

    Estimated number of respondents: 160 (total).

    Frequency of response: On occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 505 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $11,277, which includes $0 annualized capital or operational & maintenance costs.

    Changes in Estimates: There is a decrease of 16 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. This decrease is due to an adjustment of testing estimates based on the number and type of testing that has been conducted in this program over the past few years.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06906 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0719; FRL-9925-35-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Effluent Guidelines and Standards for the Airport Deicing Category (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “Effluent Guidelines and Standards for the Airport Deicing Category (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 2326.03, OMB Control No. 2040-0285) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through March 31, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (79 FR 78428) on December 30, 2014 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. 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.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before April 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0719, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected]. Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarita Hoyt, State and Regional Branch, Water Permits Division, OWM Mail Code: 4203M, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-1471; email address: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents, which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting, are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: This ICR calculates the burden and costs associated with information collection and reporting activities required by EPA's Effluent Limitations Guidelines and New Source Performance Standards for the Airport Deicing Category (40 CFR 449.10 and 449.20). Respondents affected by this information collection request are covered by either EPA's Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP), an equivalent state stormwater general permit, or an individual stormwater permit, and the NPDES permitting authorities receive, process, and review permit applications, and Notices of Intent (NOIs). Permitting authorities will also process and review certifications of non-use of urea-based deicers, and monitoring data as applicable.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Commercial airports with at least 1,000 annual non-propeller aircraft departures.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR 449.10 and 449.20).

    Estimated number of respondents: 198 (total).

    Frequency of response: Annual.

    Total estimated burden: 198 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $6,534 (per year), includes $0 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is no change in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06908 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Privacy Act System of Records AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission or Agency)

    ACTION:

    Notice; one new Privacy Act system of records.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to subsection (e)(4) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552a), the FCC proposes to add a new system of records, FCC/OMD-32, “FCC Telework Program.” The FCC's Human Resources Management (HRM) division in the Office of Managing Director (OMD) will use the information contained in FCC/OMD-32 to cover the personally identifiable information (PII) that is required as part of the FCC's employee telework program. The FCC Telework Program provides employees with the voluntary opportunity to work from home or another FCC approved telework location, including but not limited to other approved alternate worksite(s). This system will cover the personally identifiable information (PII) that employees provide when they complete the FCC Telework Request Form and Agreement, Home Safety Self-Certification Checklist for Home-Based Telecommuters and related documentation to apply voluntarily for permission to telework and any related information that their supervisor may include as part of the terms and conditions for teleworking. The FCC uses the information in this form and related documentation to manage the telework program and to conduct telework evaluations and audits.

    DATES:

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4) and (e)(11) of the Privacy Act, as amended, any interested person may submit written comments concerning this new system of records on or before April 27, 2015. The Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which has oversight responsibility under the Privacy Act to review the system of records, and Congress may submit comments on or before May 5, 2015. The proposed new system of records will become effective on May 5, 2015 unless the FCC receives comments that require a contrary determination. The Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register notifying the public if any changes are necessary. As required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) of the Privacy Act, the FCC is submitting reports on this proposed new system to OMB and Congress.

    ADDRESSES:

    Address comments to Leslie F. Smith, Privacy Analyst, Information Technology (IT), Office of Managing Director (OMD), Room 1-C216, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554, or via the Internet at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

    Contact Leslie F. Smith, Information Technology (IT), Office of Managing Director (OMD), Room 1-C216, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554, (202) 418-0217, or via the Internet at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As required by the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4) and (e)(11), this document sets forth notice of the proposed new system of records maintained by the FCC. This notice is a summary of the more detailed information about the proposed new system of records, which may be obtained or viewed pursuant to the contact and location information given above in the ADDRESSES section. The purpose for establishing this new system of records, FCC/OMD-32, “FCC Telework Program” is to cover the PII where the information is maintained for each FCC employee's telework application and related documentation that may be included by their supervisor as part of the terms and conditions for teleworking. The FCC will use the information in this form and related documentation to manage, evaluate, and audit the telework program. This notice meets the requirement documenting the proposed new system of records that is to be added to the systems of records that the FCC maintains, and provides the public, OMB, and Congress with an opportunity to comment.

    FCC/OMD-32 SYSTEM NAME:

    FCC Telework Program.

    SECURITY CLASSIFICATION:

    The FCC's CIO team will provide a security classification to this system based on NIST FIPS-199 standards.

    SYSTEM LOCATION(S):

    Human Resources Management (HRM), Office of Managing Director (OMD), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554; and Individual FCC Bureaus and Offices (B/O), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

    The categories of individuals in this system include FCC employees who voluntarily apply for permission to telework from their home, a satellite office, or other FCC approved alternate worksite(s), and their supervisors who review, approve, deny, and/or renew the telework applications.

    CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

    The categories of records in the system include but are not limited to, the information that FCC employees are (voluntarily) required to provide on FCC Telework Request Form and Agreement, Home Safety Self-Certification for Home-Based Telecommuters, Certificate of Completion of telework training, and/or Reasonable Accommodation Requests 1 to apply for permission to telework from home or at another FCC approved alternate worksite(s). These records include, but are not limited to:

    1 The FCC system of records notice (SORN), FCC/OWD-1, “Reasonable Accommodation Requests under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,” (76 FR 17234, 17268 published on April 5, 2006) covers the PII contained in requests for reasonable accommodations.

    1. FCC employee's name; title, series, grade; bureau/division/branch; date of request and date telework training completed; and supervisor's name and telephone number;

    2. Employee telework request: Routine (regular/recurring) and/or situational (ad hoc), start date and end date; regular/recurring days during pay period week 1 and/or week 2—Monday(s) to Friday(s);2 Emergency Response Group (ERG) membership for Continuity of Operations (COOP) and continuity plan activation;

    2 The FCC SORN, FCC/OMD-28, “FCC Time and Attendance (T&A) Records,” (76 FR 51975 published on August 19, 2011 (correction notice) and 76 FR 55388 published on September 7, 2011) and two OPM government-wide system of records notices, OPM/GOVT-2, “Employee Performance File Systems Records (71 FR 35342, 35347 published on June 19, 2006) and OPM/GOVT-3, “Records of Adverse Actions, Performance Based Reduction in Grade and Removal Actions, and Termination of Probationers” (71 FR 35342, 35350 published on June 19, 2006), cover the PII related to an employee's teleworking information that is included in their bi-weekly time and attendance submission.

    3. Description of work to be performed during telework, including supervisor's conditions specific to telework agreement (e.g., that includes but is not limited to contact expectations, reporting requirements, etc.); and ERG responsibilities (if applicable);

    4. Employee's Official Duty Station: Address and telephone number(s);

    5. Employee's alternate worksite: Address and telephone number(s); employee's email address (if different from work email); fax number; and tour of duty (hours);

    6. Approvals (including terms of the telework agreement): Employee's signature and date; supervisor's signature and date; cancellation/denial, including reason; renewal; and supervisor and employee's initials and date;

    7. Self-certification for home safety;

    8. Telework Training certificate (i.e., Home Safety Self-certification checklist for home-based telecommuters; also known as Home Self-certification Form);

    9. Reasonable Accommodation Requests; and

    10. Rosters of teleworking employees maintained by the Bureaus and Offices (B/O) for (routine and emergency) contact purposes.

    AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

    The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 (December 9, 2010); Public Law 111-292, codified primarily at 5 U.S.C. 6501-6506.

    PURPOSE(S):

    The FCC provides a telework program for Commission employees. The telework program is voluntary, but employees must qualify to participate in this program by: (1) Filling out FCC Telework Request Form and Agreement and Home Safety Self-Certification Checklist for Home-Based Telecommuters, and (2) completing telework training. This system covers the personally identifiable information (PII) that FCC employees must provide when they apply for permission to telework from home or at other FCC approved alternate worksite(s); and the terms and conditions that relate to this telework agreement. The FCC will use the information in the FCC Telework Request Form and Agreement and related documentation to manage the telework program, to conduct telework evaluations and audits, and to prepare reports, as required by Congress and other Federal agencies, which include but are not limited to DOL, GAO, GSA, OMB, and OPM.

    The B/O may also maintain employee teleworking rosters for contact purposes.

    ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:

    Information about individuals in this system of records may routinely be disclosed under the following conditions. The FCC will determine whether disclosure of the records is compatible with the purpose for which the records were collected in each of these cases.

    1. FCC Program Management—A record from this system may be accessed and used by the FCC's HRM and B/O supervisory staff in their duties associated with the management and operation of the FCC Telework Program participants for FCC employees. This information may be used to conduct audits, evaluations, and/or investigations of the telework program (for the purposes, which include, but are not limited to, eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in the telework program). This information may be shared with an employee's supervisors or co-workers, staff in OMD, and/or the Office of Inspector General (OIG), as necessary;

    2. FCC Contractors—Records from this system (including paper documents and electronic records and data) may be disclosed to and used by contractors working at the FCC as required in the performance of their assigned duties as directed by the HRM and IT supervisors and staff;

    3. Congressional Investigations and Inquiries—A record from this system may be disclosed to either House of Congress, or, to the extent of matter within its jurisdiction, any committee or subcommittee thereof, for the purposes of an official Congressional investigation, which includes but is not limited to information concerning the FCC Telework Program, and/or in response to an inquiry made by an individual to the Congressional office for the individual's own records;

    4. Government-wide Program Management and Oversight—When requested by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the General Services Administration (GSA), and/or the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for the purpose of records management studies conducted under authority of 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906 (such disclosure(s) shall not be used to make a determination about individuals); when the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is contacted in order to obtain that department's advice regarding disclosure obligations under the Freedom of Information Act; or when the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is contacted in order to obtain that office's advice regarding obligations under the Privacy Act;

    5. General Services Administration (GSA)—A record from this system may be disclosed to GSA when FCC employees and contractors use a GSA approved alternate worksite for the purposes that include, but are not limited to security regulations, facilities management (that include, but are not limited to facility space allocation and management requirements, staffing requirements, and related work-space arrangements), and/or other GSA function(s); or when an emergency at the FCC headquarters and/or FCC facilities requires FCC employees to relocate to a GSA approved alternate worksite(s) until they can return to their normal FCC work location;

    6. Department of Labor—A record from this system may be disclosed to the Department of Labor (DOL) for telework labor management issues, which include but are not limited to when an employee sustains injuries while working at home, emergency office relocation requirements, and other issues that impact an employee teleworking at home or at approved alternate worksites.

    7. Law Enforcement and Investigation—Where there is an indication of a violation or potential violation of a statute, regulation, rule, or order, records from this system may be shared with appropriate federal, state, or local authorities either for purposes of obtaining additional information relevant to a FCC decision or for referring the record for investigation, enforcement, or prosecution by another agency;

    8. Adjudication and Litigation—Where by careful review, the Agency determines that the records are both relevant and necessary to litigation and the use of such records is deemed by the Agency to be for a purpose that is compatible with the purpose for which the Agency collected the records, these records may be used by a court or adjudicative body in a proceeding when: (a) The Agency or any component thereof; or (b) any employee of the Agency in his or her official capacity; or (c) any employee of the Agency in his or her individual capacity where the Agency has agreed to represent the employee; or (d) the United States Government is a party to litigation or has an interest in such litigation;

    9. Department of Justice—A record from this system of records may be disclosed to the Department of Justice (DOJ) or in a proceeding before a court or adjudicative body when:

    (a) The United States, the Commission, a component of the Commission, or, when represented by the government, an employee of the Commission is a party to litigation or anticipated litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and

    (b) The Commission determines that the disclosure is relevant or necessary to the litigation;

    10. Breach of Federal Data—A record from this system may be disclosed to appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when: (1) The Commission suspects or has confirmed that the security or confidentiality of information in the system of records has been compromised; (2) the Commission has determined that as a result of the suspected or confirmed compromise there is a risk of harm to economic or property interests, identity theft or fraud, or harm to the security or integrity of this system or other systems or programs (whether maintained by the Commission or another agency or entity) that rely upon the compromised information; and (3) the disclosure made to such agencies, entities, and persons is reasonably necessary to assist in connection with the Commission's efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm;

    11. Labor Relations—A record from this system may be disclosed to officials of labor organizations recognized under 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 upon receipt of a formal request and in accord with the conditions of 5 U.S.C. 7114 when relevant and necessary to their duties of exclusive representation concerning personnel policies, practices, and matters affecting working conditions;

    12. Employment, Clearances, Licensing, Contract, Grant, or other Benefits Decisions by the agency—A record from this system may be disclosed to a Federal, State, local, foreign, tribal, or other public agency or authority maintaining civil, criminal, or other relevant enforcement records, or other pertinent records, or to another public authority or professional organization, if necessary to obtain information relevant to an investigation concerning the retention of an employee or other personnel action (other than hiring), the retention of a security clearance, the letting of a contract, or the issuance or retention of a grant, or other benefit; and

    13. Employment, Clearances, Licensing, Contract, Grant, or other Benefits Decisions by other than the agency—A record from this system may be disclosed to a Federal, State, local, foreign, tribal, or other public agency or authority of the fact that this system of records contains information relevant to the retention of an employee, the retention of a security clearance, the letting of a contract, or the issuance or retention of a license, grant, or other benefit. The other agency or licensing organization may then make a request supported by the written consent of the individual for the entire records if it so chooses. No disclosure will be made unless the information has been determined to be sufficiently reliable to support a referral to another office within the agency or to another Federal agency for criminal, civil, administrative, personnel, or regulatory action.

    DISCLOSURE TO CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCIES:

    None.

    POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM: STORAGE:

    The information pertaining to the FCC Telework Program includes electronic records, files, and data and paper documents, records, and files. HRM and the B/O will jointly manage these electronic data and paper document files:

    1. The electronic data will be stored in the computer files housed in the FCC's computer network databases.

    2. The paper documents, files and records will be stored in filing cabinets in the HRM office suite and, in the appropriate B/O files, as applicable for teleworking employees.

    RETRIEVABILITY:

    Information in the FCC Telework Program may be retrieved by various identifiers, including, but not limited to the individual's name, B/O, address, home phone number, and residential address, and supervisor's name.

    SAFEGUARDS:

    Access to the electronic files is restricted to authorized HRM and B/O supervisors and staff, and the contractor's supervisors and staff, who manage the FCC computer network databases. The FCC requires that these computer network databases be protected by various security protocols and safeguards, which include, but are not limited to, controlled access, passwords, and other security features. In addition, data in the network servers are routinely backed-up. The servers are stored in a secured environment to protect the data.

    The paper documents, including all forms and related documentation, are maintained in file cabinets that are located in HRM and B/Os. The file cabinets are locked when not in use and at the end of the business day. Access to these files is restricted to authorized HRM, B/O supervisors, staff, and contractors. Only authorized staff may be granted access to contact rosters. Paper copies of such rosters must be under the control of the employee or locked in a secure container when not in use. Safeguards in place adhere to Federal standards, including the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) and FCC standards.

    RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:

    The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has not established a records schedule for the information in the FCC Telework Program. Consequently, the FCC will maintain the information in the telework program files until NARA approves the appropriate records schedule.

    SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS:

    Human Resources Management (HRM), Office of Managing Director (OMD), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554; and Individual FCC Bureaus and Offices, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE:

    Privacy Analyst, Information Technology (IT), Office of Managing Director (OMD), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES:

    Privacy Analyst, Information Technology (IT), Office of Managing Director (OMD), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES:

    Privacy Analyst, Information Technology (IT), Office of Managing Director (OMD), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:

    The sources for the information in the FCC Telework Program include, but are not limited to:

    1. The information that the FCC employees are required to provide on the FCC Telework Request Form and Agreement, Telework Training Certificate, and Home Safety Self-Certification when they voluntarily seek to participate in the telework program; Reasonable Accommodations Requests; and

    2. Information related to an employee's application, which the supervisor may include as part of the terms and conditions for an employee's telework review and approval, disapproval, and/or renewal.

    EXEMPTIONS CLAIMED FOR THE SYSTEM:

    None.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06935 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-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 23, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of New York (Ivan Hurwitz, Vice President) 33 Liberty Street, New York, New York 10045-0001:

    1. Royal Bank of Canada, Montreal, Canada and its wholly-owned subsidiary, RBC USA Holdco, New York, New York; to acquire City National Corporation and thereby indirectly acquire City National Bank, both in Los Angeles, California. In connection with this application, RBC USA Holdco Corporation, New York, New York, has applied to become a bank holding company.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, March 23, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06925 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Mid-Tier Bank Holding Company To Conduct a Minority Stock Issuance

    The bank holding company listed in this notice has applied to the Board for approval to conduct a minority stock issuance in accordance with the Board's regulations governing mutual holding companies.

    The application listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, is available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The application will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing.

    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 23, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (Prabal Chakrabarti, Senior Vice President) 600 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02210-2204:

    1. Provident Bancorp and Provident Bancorp, Inc., both in Amesbury, Massachusetts; to conduct a minority stock issuance in accordance with the Board's Regulation MM. Provident Bancorp and Provident Bancorp, Inc. control Provident Bank.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, March 23, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06924 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than April 13, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (Dennis Denney, Assistant Vice President), 1 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64198-0001:

    1. Scott Warren Cooper, Garnett, Kansas; to retain voting shares of Garnett Bancshares, Inc., and thereby indirectly retain voting shares of Patriots Bank, both in Garnett, Kansas.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, March 23, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06923 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 132 3150] BMW of North America, LLC; Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed consent agreement.

    SUMMARY:

    The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the draft complaint and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 20, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/bmwnorthamericaconsent online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “BMW of North America, LLC—Consent Agreement; File No. 1323150” on your comment and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/bmwnorthamericaconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “BMW of North America, LLC—Consent Agreement; File No. 1323150” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Svetlana Gans, Bureau of Consumer Protection, (202) 326-3708, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for March 19, 2015), on the World Wide Web at: http://www.ftc.gov/os/actions.shtm.

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before April 20, 2015. Write “BMW of North America, LLC—Consent Agreement; File No. 1323150” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site.

    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential,” as discussed in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).1 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

    1 In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/bmwnorthamericaconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

    If you file your comment on paper, write “BMW of North America, LLC—Consent Agreement; File No. 1323150” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before April 20, 2015. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

    Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

    The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) has accepted, subject to final approval, a consent agreement applicable to BMW of North America, LLC (“respondent”).

    The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for thirty (30) days for receipt of comments by interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After thirty (30) days, the Commission will again review the agreement and comments received, and will decide whether it should withdraw from the agreement and take appropriate action or make final the agreement's proposed order.

    The Respondent's MINI Division provides purchasers of new MINI passenger cars a Service and Warranty Information Statement (“Warranty Statement”). According to the FTC complaint, language in the Warranty Statement violates the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (“Warranty Act”), 15 U.S.C. 2302(c), by conditioning warranty coverage on the consumer's use of genuine MINI parts and MINI dealers to perform maintenance and repair work.

    The FTC enforces the Warranty Act, which regulates consumer warranties and the procedures used to resolve warranty disputes. The broad purposes of the Warranty Act are (1) to improve the adequacy of warranty information available to consumers, and thereby facilitate consumer choice; (2) to prevent deception; and (3) to improve competition in the marketing of consumer products. Among other things, the Warranty Act prohibits a warrantor from conditioning a consumer product's warranty on the consumer's use of an article or a service (other than an article or a service provided without charge) which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name. 15 U.S.C. 2302(c) (“the anti-tying provision”).

    According to the FTC complaint, in connection with the warranty for certain MINI models, respondent has required owners to have routine maintenance, such as oil changes, performed by MINI dealers and to use genuine MINI parts. The complaint alleges that this requirement appears in two places in the Warranty Statement.

    First, in order to have a warranty claim approved, owners must demonstrate that they obtained regular maintenance of their vehicles by having a MINI dealer place a stamp in the warranty booklet. See Complaint at ¶ 12. Second, the Warranty Statement states that it “is not obligated to pay for repairs that include non-genuine MINI parts. . . .” (emphasis added). Although respondent provides, with the purchase of its vehicles, a free scheduled maintenance program, many of the models have a three-year maintenance program, but a four-year new vehicle warranty. Thus, according to the complaint, there is one year during the warranty period in which consumers must pay for their maintenance and repair work while being required to use MINI dealers and MINI parts to retain warranty coverage.

    The proposed consent order contains provisions designed to prevent respondent from engaging in similar acts or practices in the future. Specifically, Part I prohibits respondent, in connection with the sale of any MINI Division good or service, from violating any provision of the Warranty Act, including, but not limited to, the anti-tying provision. Part II prohibits respondent, in connection with the sale of any MINI good or service, from misrepresenting that vehicles, in order to operate safely or maintain value, must have maintenance work performed by a MINI dealer. Part II also prohibits respondent from misrepresenting any material fact concerning any warranty or maintenance requirements of any MINI good or service.

    Part III requires respondent to send notices to all affected consumers informing them that their warranties are not conditioned on repair work being performed by MINI dealers or on the use of genuine MINI parts.

    Parts IV through VIII of the proposed order are reporting and compliance provisions. Part IV requires respondent to maintain, and make available to the Commission upon written request, copies of Owner's Manuals and Warranty Statements for each motor vehicle sold by respondent. Part V requires dissemination of the order, now and in the future, to persons with responsibilities relating to the MINI Division and the subject matter of the order. Part VI ensures notification to the FTC of changes in corporate status. Part VII mandates that respondent submit an initial compliance report to the FTC, and make subsequent reports available to the FTC, upon request. Part VIII is a provision “sunsetting” the order after twenty (20) years, within certain exceptions.

    The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the proposed order or to modify its terms in any way.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06903 Filed 3-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Periodically, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will publish a summary of information collection requests under OMB review, in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). To request a copy of these documents, call the SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer on (240) 276-1243.

    Project: Community Mental Health Services Block Grant and Substance Abuse and Prevention Treatment Block Grant FY 2016-2017 Plan and Report Guidance and Instructions (OMB No. 0930-0168)—Revision

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is requesting approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a revision of the 2016 and 2017 Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG) and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) Plan and Report Guidance and Instructions.

    Currently, the SABG and the MHBG differ on a number of their practices (e.g., data collection at individual or aggregate levels) and statutory authorities (e.g., method of calculating MOE, stakeholder input requirements for planning, set asides for specific populations or programs, etc.). Historically, the Centers within SAMHSA that administer these block grants have had different approaches to application requirements and reporting. To compound this variation, states have different structures for accepting, planning, and accounting for the block grants and the prevention set aside within the SABG. As a result, how these dollars are spent and what is known about the services and clients that receive these funds varies by block grant and by state.

    Increasingly, under the Affordable Care Act, more individuals are eligible for Medicaid and private insurance. This expansion of health insurance coverage will continue to have a significant impact on how State Mental Health Authorities (SMHAs) and Single State Agencies (SSAs) use their limited resources. In 2009, more than 39 percent of individuals with serious mental illnesses (SMI) or serious emotional disturbances (SED) were uninsured. Sixty percent of individuals with substance use disorders whose treatment and recovery support services were supported wholly or in part by SAMHSA block grant funds were also uninsured. A substantial proportion of this population, as many as six million people, will gain health insurance coverage in 2014 and will have various outpatient and other services covered through Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance. However, these plans will not provide access to the full range of support services necessary to achieve and maintain recovery for most of these individuals and their families.

    Given these changes, SAMHSA has conveyed that block grant funds be directed toward four purposes: (1) To fund priority treatment and support services for individuals without insurance or who cycle in and out of health insurance coverage; (2) to fund those priority treatment and support services not covered by Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance offered through the exchanges and that demonstrate success in improving outcomes and/or supporting recovery; (3) to fund universal, selective and targeted prevention activities and services; and (4) to collect performance and outcome data to determine the ongoing effectiveness of behavioral health prevention, treatment and recovery support services and to plan the implementation of new services on a nationwide basis.

    To help states meet the challenges of 2016 and beyond, and to foster the implementation of an integrated physical health and mental health and addiction service system, SAMHSA must establish standards and expectations that will lead to an improved system of care for individuals with or at risk of mental and substance use disorders. Therefore, this application package includes fully exercising SAMHSA's existing authority regarding states', territories' and the Red Lake Band of the Chippewa Tribe's (subsequently referred to as “states”) use of block grant funds, and a shift in SAMHSA staff functions to support and provide technical assistance for states receiving block grant funds as they fully integrate behavioral health services into health care.

    Consistent with previous applications, the FY 2016-2017 application has sections that are required and other sections where additional information is requested. The FY 2016-2017 application requires states to submit a face sheet, a table of contents, a behavioral health assessment and plan, reports of expenditures and persons served, an executive summary, and funding agreements and certifications. In addition, SAMHSA is requesting information on key areas that are critical to the states success in addressing health care integration. Therefore, as part of this block grant planning process, SAMHSA is asking states to identify their technical assistance needs to implement the strategies they identify in their plans for FY 2016 and 2017.

    To facilitate an efficient application process for states in FY 2016-2017, SAMHSA convened an internal workgroup to develop the application for the block grant planning section. In addition, SAMHSA consulted with representatives from SMHAs and SSAs to receive input regarding proposed changes to the block grant. Based on these discussions with states, SAMHSA is proposing several changes to the block grant programs, discussed in greater detail below.

    Changes to Assessment and Planning Activities

    The revisions reflect changes within the planning section of the application. The most significant of these changes relate to evidenced based practice for early intervention