Federal Register Vol. 80, No.62,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 62 (April 1, 2015)

Page Range17307-17682
FR Document

80_FR_62
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 17372 - Creating Economic Opportunities for Low- and Very Low-Income Persons and Eligible Businesses Through Strengthened “Section 3” RequirementsPDF
80 FR 17459 - Prospective Grant of Start-Up Exclusive Evaluation Option License Agreement: Pre-Clinical Evaluation and Commercial Development of Anti-Tyrosine Kinase-Like Orphan Receptor 1 Antibody-Drug Conjugates for the Treatment of Human CancersPDF
80 FR 17512 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
80 FR 17541 - Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Company-Lease and Operation Exemption-Rail Line of Norfolk Southern Railway CompanyPDF
80 FR 17545 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Flightcrew Member Duty and Rest RequirementsPDF
80 FR 17542 - First Meeting: RTCA Special Committee 234, Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs)PDF
80 FR 17541 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Certification Procedures for Products and PartsPDF
80 FR 17310 - Special Conditions: Honda Aircraft Company Model HA-420; Single-Place Side-Facing Seat Dynamic Test RequirementsPDF
80 FR 17312 - Special Conditions: Honda Aircraft Company (Honda) Model HA-420, HondaJet; Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) SystemPDF
80 FR 17473 - Light Lists-Changes in Distribution MethodsPDF
80 FR 17388 - Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) ReviewPDF
80 FR 17387 - Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset ReviewsPDF
80 FR 17392 - Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative ReviewPDF
80 FR 17429 - EQI and POM SFIREG; Notice of Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 17430 - Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC): Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 17373 - Discrimination on the Basis of Sex; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 17515 - Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS); Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee on Digital I&C; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 17415 - Applications for New Awards; Minority Science and Engineering Improvement ProgramPDF
80 FR 17420 - Applications for New Awards; Graduate Assistance in Areas of National NeedPDF
80 FR 17515 - Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS); Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee on Plant License Renewal; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 17514 - Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee on Reliability & PRA; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 17390 - Certain Frozen Fish Fillets From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Initiation of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review; 2014-2015PDF
80 FR 17428 - Adequacy Status of the Kenosha and Sheboygan Counties, Wisconsin Area Submitted 8-Hour Ozone Early Progress Plans for Transportation Conformity PurposesPDF
80 FR 17409 - Boltless Steel Shelving Units Prepackaged for Sale from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair ValuePDF
80 FR 17512 - South Carolina Electric and Gas CompanyPDF
80 FR 17392 - Polyvinyl Alcohol From the People's Republic of China: Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014PDF
80 FR 17359 - Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee: Notice of Intent To Establish the Fans and Blowers Working Group To Negotiate a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) for Energy Conservation StandardsPDF
80 FR 17355 - Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee: Notice of Intent To Establish the Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products Working Group To Negotiate a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) for Energy Conservation StandardsPDF
80 FR 17413 - Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 17372 - Consolidated Cruise Ship Security Regulations-Reopening of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 17533 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 17528 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 17538 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 17526 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 17540 - Shipping Coordinating Committee; Notice of Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 17541 - Notice of Public Comments on FY 2016 U.S. Refugee Admissions ProgramPDF
80 FR 17380 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper Management MeasuresPDF
80 FR 17510 - Government-Owned Inventions, Available for LicensingPDF
80 FR 17509 - Government-Owned Inventions, Available for LicensingPDF
80 FR 17508 - Government-Owned Inventions, Available for LicensingPDF
80 FR 17511 - Government-Owned Inventions, Available for LicensingPDF
80 FR 17546 - Art Advisory Panel-Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 17426 - Eagle LNG Partners Jacksonville LLC; Supplemental Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Jacksonville Project and Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
80 FR 17425 - Technical Conference on Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure; Supplemental Notice of Technical ConferencePDF
80 FR 17476 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Enhancement of Survival Permit Applications; Greater Sage-Grouse Umbrella Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances for Wyoming Ranch ManagementPDF
80 FR 17430 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
80 FR 17447 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records NoticePDF
80 FR 17371 - Asset Management PlanPDF
80 FR 17386 - National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning RulePDF
80 FR 17438 - National Dialogue and Pilot To Reduce Reporting Compliance Costs for Federal Contractors and GranteesPDF
80 FR 17450 - Jun Yang: Debarment OrderPDF
80 FR 17439 - Procedures for Meetings of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee; Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 17444 - Proposed Substances To Be Evaluated for Set 29 Toxicological ProfilesPDF
80 FR 17368 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 17411 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Quarterly Financial ReportPDF
80 FR 17386 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Service Annual SurveyPDF
80 FR 17408 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; 2016 Government Units SurveyPDF
80 FR 17507 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Request To Be Selected as PayeePDF
80 FR 17495 - Oil Country Tubular Goods From China; Scheduling of Expedited Five-Year ReviewsPDF
80 FR 17394 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the U.S. Air Force Conducting Maritime Weapon Systems Evaluation Program Operational Testing Within the Eglin Gulf Test and Training RangePDF
80 FR 17475 - Notice of the 2015 Meeting Schedule for Gateway National Recreation Area Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 17486 - 2015 Meeting Schedule of the Big Cypress National Preserve Off-Road Vehicle Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 17502 - Meeting of the Compact Council for the National Crime Prevention and Privacy CompactPDF
80 FR 17442 - Current List of HHS-Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities Which Meet Minimum Standards To Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal AgenciesPDF
80 FR 17469 - Committee Name: Homeland Security Academic Advisory CouncilPDF
80 FR 17445 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Animal Food Labeling; Declaration of Certifiable Color AdditivesPDF
80 FR 17501 - Webinar Meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile JusticePDF
80 FR 17483 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Western Archeological and Conservation Center, Tucson, AZPDF
80 FR 17474 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Gulf Breeze, FLPDF
80 FR 17472 - Enforcement Actions SummaryPDF
80 FR 17485 - Notice of Inventory Completion for Native American Human Remains and Associated Funerary Objects in the Control of the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Gulf Breeze, FL; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 17480 - Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Gulf Breeze, FLPDF
80 FR 17486 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Tuzigoot National Monument, Camp Verde, AZ, and the Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZPDF
80 FR 17470 - Intent to Request Renewal From OMB of One Current Public Collection of Information: TSA Claims Management Branch ProgramPDF
80 FR 17540 - Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 17434 - Jim Burke Automotive, Inc.; Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public CommentPDF
80 FR 17435 - City Nissan Inc., Proposed Consent Order to Aid Public CommentPDF
80 FR 17437 - TT of Longwood, Inc.; Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public CommentPDF
80 FR 17430 - National Payment Network, Inc.; Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public CommentPDF
80 FR 17307 - Prevailing Rate Systems; Abolishment of the Portland, ME, Appropriated Fund Federal Wage System Wage AreaPDF
80 FR 17432 - Matt Blatt Inc. and Glassboro Imports, LLC; Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public CommentPDF
80 FR 17463 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 17459 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 17462 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 17471 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 17481 - Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZPDF
80 FR 17488 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZPDF
80 FR 17466 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 17479 - Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: Logan Museum of Anthropology, Beloit College, Beloit, WIPDF
80 FR 17467 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 17477 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Montezuma Castle National Monument, Camp Verde, AZPDF
80 FR 17366 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 17343 - Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive AuctionsPDF
80 FR 17502 - Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety StandardsPDF
80 FR 17374 - Migratory Bird Permits; Abatement Permit RegulationsPDF
80 FR 17363 - Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee: Notice of Intent To Establish the Commercial Package Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps and Commercial Warm Air Furnaces Working Group To Negotiate Potential Energy Conservation StandardsPDF
80 FR 17440 - Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services; MeetingPDF
80 FR 17522 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use of BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.PDF
80 FR 17538 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Credit LLC; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, to Provide for the Clearance of Additional Standard Emerging Market Sovereign Single NamesPDF
80 FR 17534 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Harmonization of Phlx RulesPDF
80 FR 17525 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rules Change To Amend Listing Rules for New CDX Indexes Available for ClearingPDF
80 FR 17528 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Stock-Option Order HandlingPDF
80 FR 17518 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use of BATS Exchange, Inc.PDF
80 FR 17537 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Europe Limited; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change Relating to Additional European Sovereign CDS ContractsPDF
80 FR 17516 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Establish a Default Management Committee and Address OTC Products That Are Subject to CME's Base Financial SafeguardsPDF
80 FR 17516 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 17445 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 17542 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure DisordersPDF
80 FR 17452 - Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of AuthorityPDF
80 FR 17545 - Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee (IRPAC); NominationsPDF
80 FR 17333 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Idaho; Update to Materials Incorporated by ReferencePDF
80 FR 17475 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 17446 - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 17442 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 17447 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 17441 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 17441 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 17507 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Vinyl Chloride StandardPDF
80 FR 17391 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Permitting, Vessel Identification, and Reporting Requirements for Deepwater Shrimp Fisheries in the Western Pacific RegionPDF
80 FR 17344 - Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Catch Sharing PlanPDF
80 FR 17465 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Extension, With Change, of an Existing Information Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 17441 - Office of Dietary Supplements VDSP Commutability Study 2PDF
80 FR 17307 - Irish Potatoes Grown in Southeastern States; Suspension of Marketing Order ProvisionsPDF
80 FR 17324 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Ontonagon River, Ontonagon, MIPDF
80 FR 17352 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Amendment 14 to the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management PlanPDF
80 FR 17407 - Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council: Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 17327 - Approval and Promulgation of State Implementation Plans; California; Regional Haze Progress ReportPDF
80 FR 17326 - Vessel Requirements for Notices of Arrival and Departure, and Automatic Identification SystemPDF
80 FR 17331 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Montana Second 10-Year Carbon Monoxide Maintenance Plan for Great FallsPDF
80 FR 17428 - Issuance of an Experimental Use PermitPDF
80 FR 17511 - Open Meeting on General Records Schedule (GRS) 6.1, Email Managed Under a Capstone ApproachPDF
80 FR 17314 - Regulations Revising Rules Regarding Agency for a Consolidated GroupPDF
80 FR 17413 - Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 17653 - Open Access and Priority Rights on Interconnection Customer's Interconnection FacilitiesPDF
80 FR 17585 - Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedure for PumpsPDF
80 FR 17499 - Crepe Paper From China; Institution of a Five-Year ReviewPDF
80 FR 17496 - Chloropicrin From China; Institution of a Five-Year ReviewPDF
80 FR 17490 - Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags From China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam; Institution of Five-Year ReviewsPDF
80 FR 17493 - Carbazole Violet Pigment 23 From China and India; Institution of Five-Year ReviewsPDF
80 FR 17547 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013: Implementation in HUD Housing ProgramsPDF
80 FR 17414 - Notice of Availability of Revised Consumer Information PublicationPDF

Issue

80 62 Wednesday, April 1, 2015 Contents Agency Toxic Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry NOTICES Evaluation of Proposed Substances for Set 29 Toxicological Profiles, 17444-17445 2015-07437 Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service RULES Marketing Orders; Suspensions; Irish Potatoes Grown in Southeastern States, 17307-17310 2015-07320 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Forest Service

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection NOTICES Revised Consumer Information Publication, 17414-17415 2015-06568 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: 2016 Government Units Survey, 17408-17409 2015-07433 Quarterly Financial Report, 17411-17412 2015-07435 Service Annual Survey, 17386-17387 2015-07434 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Delegation of Authority: Statements of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority, 17452-17459 2015-07348 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 17445 2015-07352 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Ontonagon River, Ontonagon, MI, 17324-17326 2015-07318 Vessel Requirements for Notices of Arrival and Departure, and Automatic Identification System; Correction, 17326-17327 2015-07228 PROPOSED RULES Consolidated Cruise Ship Security, 17372-17373 2015-07466 NOTICES Light Lists; Changes in Distribution Methods, 17473-17474 2015-07501 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commission Fine Commission of Fine Arts NOTICES Meetings: Commission of Fine Arts, 17413 2015-07155 Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 17413-17414 2015-07468 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Applications for New Awards: Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need, 17420-17425 2015-07483 Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program, 17415-17420 2015-07484 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PROPOSED RULES Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee: Establishment of the Commercial Package Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps and Commercial Warm Air Furnaces Working Group, 17363-17366 2015-07377 Establishment of the Fans and Blowers Working Group; Meetings, 17359-17363 2015-07470 Establishment of the Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products Working Group; Meetings, 17355-17359 2015-07469 Energy Conservation Programs: Test Procedure for Pumps, 17586-17651 2015-06945
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; Regional Haze Progress Report, 17327-17331 2015-07232 Idaho; Update to Materials Incorporated by Reference, 17333-17343 2015-07345 Montana Second 10-Year Carbon Monoxide Maintenance Plan for Great Falls, 17331-17333 2015-07220 NOTICES Experimental Use Permits, 17428 2015-07215 Finding of Adequacy Status: Wisconsin; Kenosha and Sheboygan Counties, Area Submitted 8-Hour Ozone Early Progress Plans for Transportation Conformity Purposes, 17428-17429 2015-07477 Meetings: Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, 17430 2015-07491 EQI and POM SFIREG, 17429-17430 2015-07494 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Special Conditions: Honda Aircraft Company (Honda) Model HA-420, HondaJet; Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) System, 17312-17313 2015-07502 Honda Aircraft Company Model HA-420; Single-Place Side-Facing Seat Dynamic Test Requirements, 17310-17312 2015-07503 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes, 17366-17368 2015-07393 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 17368-17371 2015-07436 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Certification Procedures for Products and Parts, 17541 2015-07510 Flightcrew Member Duty and Rest Requirements, 17545 2015-07513 Meetings: RTCA Special Committee 234, Portable Electronic Devices, 17542 2015-07511 Federal Bureau Federal Bureau of Investigation NOTICES Meetings: National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact Council, 17502 2015-07426 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum through Incentive Auctions, 17343-17344 2015-07391 Federal Contract Federal Contract Compliance Programs Office PROPOSED RULES Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, 17373 2015-07490 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Flood Hazard Determinations; Changes, 2015-07395 17459-17469, 17471-17472 2015-07397 2015-07400 2015-07401 2015-07402 2015-07403 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission RULES Open Access and Priority Rights on Interconnection Customer's Interconnection Facilities, 17654-17682 2015-06953 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Eagle LNG Partners Jacksonville LLC; Jacksonville Project, 17426-17428 2015-07449 Meetings: Technical Conference on Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure, 17425-17426 2015-07448 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration PROPOSED RULES Asset Management Plans, 17371-17372 2015-07443 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders, 17542-17545 2015-07351 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 17430 2015-07445 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Proposed Consent Orders: City Nissan Inc., 17435-17437 2015-07408 Jim Burke Automotive, Inc., 17434-17435 2015-07409 Matt Blatt Inc. and Glassboro Imports, LLC, 17432-17434 2015-07404 National Payment Network, Inc., 17430-17432 2015-07406 TT of Longwood, Inc., 17437-17438 2015-07407 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Migratory Bird Permits: Abatement Permit Regulations, 17374-17380 2015-07387 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Enhancement of Survival Permit Applications: Greater Sage-Grouse Umbrella Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Wyoming Ranch Management, 17476-17477 2015-07446 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Animal Food Labeling; Declaration of Certifiable Color Additive, 17445-17446 2015-07420 Debarment Orders: Jun Yang, 17450-17452 2015-07439 Guidance: Procedures for Meetings of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee, 17439-17440 2015-07438 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: National Advisory Committee for the Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule, 17386 2015-07442 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES National Dialogue and Pilot to Reduce Reporting Compliance Costs for Federal Contractors and Grantees, 17438-17439 2015-07441 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Land Remote Sensing Education, Outreach and Research Activity, 17475-17476 2015-07344 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Council on Alzheimers Research, Care, and Services, 17440-17441 2015-07374 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 17447-17450 2015-07444
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

Transportation Security Administration

See

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

NOTICES Meetings: Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council, 17469-17470 2015-07421
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department PROPOSED RULES Creating Economic Opportunities for Low and Very Low Income Persons: Eligible Businesses through Strengthened Section 3 Requirements; Correction, 17372 C1--2015--06544 Housing Programs: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act Implementation, 17548-17583 2015-06781 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Regulations Revising Rules Regarding Agency for a Consolidated Group, 17314-17324 2015-07182 NOTICES Meetings: Art Advisory Panel, 17546 2015-07451 Requests for Nominations: Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee, 17545-17546 2015-07346 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Advance Notification of Sunset Reviews, 17387-17388 2015-07498 Boltless Steel Shelving Units Prepackaged for Sale from the People's Republic of China, 17409-17411 2015-07475 Certain Frozen Fish Fillets from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 17390-17391 2015-07480 Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews, 17388-17390 2015-07500 Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 17392-17394 2015-07496 Polyvinyl Alcohol from the People's Republic of China, 17392 2015-07471 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Carbazole Violet Pigment 23 from China and India, 17493-17495 2015-06930 Chloropicrin from China, 17496-17499 2015-06940 Crepe Paper from China, 17499-17501 2015-06941 Oil Country Tubular Goods from China, 17495-17496 2015-07430 Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, 17490-17492 2015-06936 Justice Department Justice Department See

Federal Bureau of Investigation

See

Justice Programs Office

Justice Programs Justice Programs Office NOTICES Meetings: Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice; Webinar, 17501-17502 2015-07419 Labor Department Labor Department See

Federal Contract Compliance Programs Office

See

Mine Safety and Health Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Request to be Selected as Payee, 17507 2015-07432 Vinyl Chloride Standard, 17507-17508 2015-07334
Mine Mine Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Petitions for Modification: Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 17502-17506 2015-07388 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Government-Owned Inventions, Available for Licensing, 2015-07452 2015-07453 17508-17511 2015-07454 2015-07455 2015-07456 2015-07457 2015-07458 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Meetings: Open Meeting on General Records Schedule 6.1, Email Managed Under a Capstone Approach, 17511-17512 2015-07184 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Exclusive Licenses: Pre-Clinical Evaluation and Commercial Development of Anti-Tyrosine Kinase-Like Orphan Receptor 1 Antibody-Drug Conjugates for the Treatment of Human Cancers, 17459 C1--2015--06486 Meetings: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 17442 2015-07342 National Institute on Aging, 17441-17442, 17447 2015-07337 2015-07338 2015-07339 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 17446-17447 2015-07343 Office of Dietary Supplements VDSP Commutability Study 2, 17441 2015-07326 National Labor National Labor Relations Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 17512 2015-07565 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries: Amendment 14 to the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan, 17352-17354 2015-07289 Pacific Halibut Fisheries: Catch Sharing Plan, 17344-17352 2015-07329 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper Management Measures, 17380-17385 2015-07459 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Permitting, Vessel Identification, and Reporting Requirements for Deepwater Shrimp Fisheries in the Western Pacific Region, 17391-17392 2015-07333 Meetings: Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council, 17407-17408 2015-07245 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: U.S. Air Force Maritime Weapon Systems Evaluation Program Operational Testing within the Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range, 17394-17407 2015-07429 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Inventory Completions: Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 17488-17490 2015-07398 Gulf Islands National Seashore, Gulf Breeze, FL, 17474-17475 2015-07416 Gulf Islands National Seashore, Gulf Breeze, FL; Corrections, 17485-17486 2015-07414 Montezuma Castle National Monument, Camp Verde, AZ, 17477-17479 2015-07394 Tuzigoot National Monument, Camp Verde, AZ, and the Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 17486-17488 2015-07412 Western Archeological and Conservation Center, Tucson, AZ, 17483-17485 2015-07417 Meetings: 2015 Schedule for Gateway National Recreation Area, Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee, 17475 2015-07428 Big Cypress National Preserve Off-Road Vehicle Advisory Committee 2015 Schedule, 17486 2015-07427 Repatriation of Cultural Items: Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 17481-17483 2015-07399 Gulf Islands National Seashore, Gulf Breeze, FL, 17480-17481 2015-07413 Logan Museum of Anthropology, Beloit College, Beloit, WI, 17479-17480 2015-07396 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Exemptions: South Carolina Electric and Gas Co., 17512-17514 2015-07473 Meetings: Advisory Committee On Reactor Safeguards Subcommittee on Digital I and C, 17515-17516 2015-07485 Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards Subcommittee on Plant License Renewal, 17515 2015-07482 Subcommittee on Reliability and PRA, 17514-17515 2015-07481 Personnel Personnel Management Office RULES Prevailing Rate Systems; Abolishment of the Portland, ME, Appropriated Fund Federal Wage System Wage Area, 17307 2015-07405 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 17516 2015-07355 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 17526-17528, 17533, 17538 2015-07462 2015-07463 2015-07464 2015-07465 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 17518-17522 2015-07363 BATS Y-Exchange, Inc., 17522-17525 2015-07368 Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 17528-17532 2015-07364 Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., 17516-17518, 17525-17526 2015-07361 2015-07365 ICE Clear Credit, LLC, 17538-17540 2015-07367 ICE Clear Europe Ltd., 17537-17538 2015-07362 NASDAQ OMX PHLX, LLC, 17534-17537 2015-07366 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 17540 2015-07410 State Department State Department NOTICES FY 2016 U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, 17541 2015-07460 Meetings: Shipping Coordinating Committee, 17540 2015-07461 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities: Urine Drug Testing for Federal Agencies, 17442-17444 2015-07423 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Lease and Operation Exemptions: Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co. from Rail Line of Norfolk Southern Railway Co., 17541-17542 2015-07560 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Surface Transportation Board

Security Transportation Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals Transportation Security Administration Claims Management Branch Program, 17470-17471 2015-07411 Enforcement Actions Summary, 17472-17473 2015-07415 Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

Immigration U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Electronic Funds Transfer Waiver Request, 17465-17466 2015-07328 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Housing and Urban Development Department, 17548-17583 2015-06781 Part III Energy Department, 17586-17651 2015-06945 Part IV Energy Department, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 17654-17682 2015-06953 Reader Aids

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80 62 Wednesday, April 1, 2015 Rules and Regulations OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT 5 CFR Part 532 RIN 3206-AN11 Prevailing Rate Systems; Abolishment of the Portland, ME, Appropriated Fund Federal Wage System Wage Area AGENCY:

U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing a final rule to abolish the Portland, Maine, appropriated fund Federal Wage System (FWS) wage area and redefine Androscoggin, Cumberland, and Sagadahoc Counties, ME, to the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, survey area and Franklin and Oxford Counties, ME, and Coos County, NH, to the Portsmouth area of application. These changes are necessary because the closure of the Naval Air Station (NAS) Brunswick left the Portland wage area without an activity having the capability to conduct a local wage survey.

DATES:

Effective date: This regulation is effective on April 1, 2015. Applicability date: FWS employees remaining in the Portland wage area will be transferred to the Portsmouth wage area schedule on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after May 1, 2015. For local wage survey purposes, this rule will add Androscoggin, Cumberland, and Sagadahoc Counties, ME, to the survey area for the Portsmouth, NH, wage area beginning with the full-scale wage survey scheduled to begin in September 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Madeline Gonzalez, by telephone at (202) 606-2838 or by email at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On December 9, 2014, OPM issued a proposed rule (79 FR 72997) to abolish the Portland, Maine, appropriated fund FWS wage area and redefine Androscoggin, Cumberland, and Sagadahoc Counties, ME, to the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, survey area and Franklin and Oxford Counties, ME, and Coos County, NH, to the Portsmouth area of application. These changes are necessary because the closure of NAS Brunswick in May 2011 left the Portland wage area without an activity having the capability to conduct a local wage survey. The Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Committee, the national labor-management committee responsible for advising OPM on matters concerning the pay of FWS employees, made a majority recommendation to define the entire wage area to the Portsmouth wage area. The proposed rule had a 30-day comment period, during which OPM received no comments.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

I certify that these regulations will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because they will affect only Federal agencies and employees.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 532

Administrative practice and procedure, Freedom of information, Government employees, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Wages.

U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Katherine Archuleta, Director.

Accordingly, OPM amends 5 CFR part 532 as follows:

PART 532—PREVAILING RATE SYSTEMS 1. The authority citation for part 532 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 5343, 5346; § 532.707 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552.

Appendix A to Subpart B of Part 532—Amended] 2. Appendix A to subpart B of part 532 is amended for the State of Maine by removing the entry for Portland. 3. Appendix C to subpart B is amended by removing the wage area listing for Portland, ME, and revising the wage area listing for the Portsmouth, NH, wage area to read as follows: Appendix C to Subpart B of Part 532—Appropriated Fund Wage and Survey Areas NEW HAMPSHIRE Portsmouth Survey Area Maine: Androscoggin Cumberland Sagadahoc York Massachusetts: The following cities and towns in: Essex County Amesbury Georgetown Groveland Haverhill Merrimac Newbury Newburyport North Andover Salisbury South Byfield West Newbury New Hampshire: Rockingham (except the following cities and towns: Newton, Plaistow, Salem, and Westville) Strafford Area of Application. Survey area plus: Maine: Franklin Oxford New Hampshire: Coos The following cities and towns in: Rockingham County Newton Plaistow Salem Westville
[FR Doc. 2015-07405 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325-39-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 953 [Doc. No. AMS-FV-14-0011; FV14-953-1 IR] Irish Potatoes Grown in Southeastern States; Suspension of Marketing Order Provisions AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Interim rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

This rule continues the previous suspension of the marketing order regulating the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Southeastern states (order). Representatives of the Virginia/North Carolina Irish potato industry met and requested that the suspension of all provisions of the order, and the rules and regulations implemented thereunder be continued through March 1, 2017. The request was based on the belief that the industry needs more time to study changes in the industry, and any new developments which could affect the need for, or status of the order. If the industry does not petition to have the order reactivated by the end of the suspension period, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will propose to terminate the order.

DATES:

Effective April 2, 2015 through March 1, 2017; comments received by June 1, 2015 will be considered prior to issuance of a final rule.

ADDRESSES:

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Corey E. Elliott, Marketing Specialist, or Christian D. Nissen, Regional Director, Southeast Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (863) 324-3375, Fax: (863) 291-8614, or Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This rule is issued under Marketing Agreement No. 104 and Marketing Order No. 953, both as amended (7 CFR part 953), regulating the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Southeastern states, hereinafter referred to as the “order.” The order is effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the “Act.”

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

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

The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. A handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the district court of the United States in any district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review USDA's ruling on the petition, provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling.

This rule continues the previous suspension of the marketing order regulating the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Southeastern states. Even though the Committee does not function under the suspended order and regulations, representatives of the Virginia/North Carolina Irish potato industry met on December 18, 2013, and requested that the suspension of all provisions of the order, and the rules and regulations implemented thereunder be continued through March 1, 2017. The request was based on the belief that the industry needs more time to study changes in the industry, and any new developments which could affect the need for, or status of, the order.

Marketing Order 953 has been in effect since 1948. The order provides for the establishment of grade, size, quality, maturity, and inspection requirements for Irish potatoes grown in Southeastern states. The order also authorizes reporting and recordkeeping functions required for the operation of the order. The order, when functioning, is funded by assessments imposed on handlers.

The Southeastern Potato Committee (Committee) members met on February 17, 2011, and unanimously recommended suspension of the marketing order for a three year period ending on March 1, 2014. They recommended the suspension to eliminate the expense of administering the marketing order, while determining the effects of not having regulations in place. The Committee members wanted the industry to have the alternative of reactivating the order, if deemed appropriate. The rule completing that action was published in the Federal Register on October 21, 2011 (76 FR 65360).

Prior to the December 18, 2013, meeting, USDA sent letters to members of the industry, most of whom were former Committee members. The letter informed them that the suspension of the order would be ending, and of the need to review the state of the industry and determine what action the industry wanted to take in regards to the order. The letter also asked that they make others in the industry aware of the upcoming decision and the opportunity to express their position on what to do with the order. USDA also sent out several follow-up emails, and made several telephone calls to industry representatives in an effort to increase participation in the meeting.

On December 18, 2013, industry representatives of the Virginia/North Carolina Irish potato industry met and unanimously recommended extending the suspension of the order for an additional three years. During their discussion, several industry members expressed concerns that the quality problems experienced prior to promulgation of the order could resurface and additional time was necessary to evaluate if the order is needed. The representatives believe extending the suspension for three more years would provide the industry with further opportunity to study changes in the industry and any new developments, which could affect the need for the order. The representatives also supported suspension rather than termination as they agreed it would be less complicated to reactivate the existing program if it is needed than to promulgate a new marketing order. Several of the industry representatives also indicated that they had spoken with other industry members who could not attend the meeting, and they too were in support of suspension. Therefore, this rule will suspend the order through March 1, 2017.

If the industry does not petition to have the order reactivated by the end of the suspension period, AMS will publish a proposal to terminate the order.

It is hereby determined that Federal Marketing Order No. 953, and the rules and regulations issued thereunder, do not tend effectuate the declared policy of the Act. This action suspends, through March 1, 2017, the provisions of Federal Marketing Order No. 953, and the rules and regulations issued thereunder, including but not limited to: Provisions of the order dealing with the establishment and the responsibilities of the Committee; provisions of the order dealing with expenses and the collection of assessments; all rules and regulations; and, all information collection and reporting requirements.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

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

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

There are approximately 10 handlers of Irish potatoes grown in Southeastern states who are subject to regulation under the order and approximately 20 potato producers in the regulated area. Small agricultural service firms are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts of less than $7,000,000, and small agricultural producers are defined as those having annual receipts of less than $750,000 (13 CFR 121.201).

Using prices reported by AMS' Market News Service, the average F.O.B. price for Southeastern potatoes for the 2012-13 marketing season was around $25 per hundredweight. USDA has estimated production for the 2012-13 season at approximately 600,000 hundredweight of potatoes. Based on this information, average annual receipts for handlers would be less than $7,000,000. Information provided by the National Agricultural Statistics Service indicates that the average producer price for Irish potatoes grown in North Carolina and Virginia in 2012 was approximately $12.16 per hundredweight. Considering estimated production, average producer revenue would be about $400,000 for the 2012-13 season. Therefore, the majority of Southeastern potato handlers and producers may be classified as small entities.

This rule continues the previous suspension of the order and the associated rules and regulations through March 1, 2017. At a meeting on February 17, 2011, the Committee recommended that the order and all of its provisions be suspended through March 1, 2014. The Committee made this decision based on questions regarding the continued need for the order and its associated costs. Industry representatives met on December 18, 2013, and unanimously recommended extending the suspension of the order for three additional years. The continued suspension was recommended to give the industry more time to study changes in the industry, and any new developments which could affect the need for, or the status of, the order. If the industry does not petition to have the order reactivated by the end of the suspension period, AMS will publish a proposal to terminate the order. Authority for this action is provided in section 8c(16)(A) of the Act.

Suspension of the order and its corresponding regulations relieves handlers of quality, inspection, and assessment burdens during the suspension period. Also, handler reports will not be required. Suspension of the order is therefore expected to reduce the regulatory burden on handlers and growers of all sizes.

Even though the Committee does not function under the suspended order and regulations, industry members met and considered two alternatives to this action at the December meeting. The first alternative was to reactivate the order. This alternative received little support as most believe the administrative costs of the order still outweighed the benefits. Industry members also considered terminating the order. However, some members indicated that quality concerns that the order had resolved could return and more time was needed to study changes within the industry. Therefore, both alternatives were rejected.

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the order's information collection requirements have been previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and assigned OMB No. 0581-0178 Vegetable and Specialty Crops. No changes in those requirements are necessary as a result of this action.

This rule will not impose any additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large Southeastern Irish potato handlers. As with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies.

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

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

Further, the industry's meeting was widely publicized throughout the Southeastern Irish potato industry and interested persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in industry deliberations. The December 18, 2013, meeting was an open meeting and entities, both large and small, were able to express their views on this issue. Finally, interested persons are invited to submit comments on this interim rule, including the regulatory and informational aspects of this action on small businesses.

A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/MarketingOrdersSmallBusinessGuide. Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Jeffrey Smutny at the previously mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

This rule invites comments on the continuation of the previous suspension of the marketing order regulating Irish potatoes grown in Southeastern states. Any comments received will be considered prior to finalization of this rule.

After consideration of all relevant material presented, including the industry's request, and other information, it is determined that Federal Marketing Order No. 953 suspended by this interim rule, as herein set forth, does not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, it is also found and determined upon good cause that it is impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest to give preliminary notice prior to putting this rule into effect and that good cause exists for not postponing the effective date of this rule until 30 days after publication in the Federal Register because: (1) This action suspends restrictions on handlers by continuing the previous suspension of Marketing Order No. 953; (2) this rule provides a 60-day comment period and any comments received will be considered prior to the finalization of this rule; (3) no useful purpose would be served by delaying the continued suspension of the order.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 953

Marketing agreements, Potatoes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, under the authority of 7 U.S.C. 601-674, 7 CFR part 953 is suspended effective April 2, 2015, through March 1, 2017.

Dated: March 26, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-07320 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 23 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0720; Special Conditions No. 23-263-SC] Special Conditions: Honda Aircraft Company Model HA-420; Single-Place Side-Facing Seat Dynamic Test Requirements AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for the Honda Aircraft Company HA-420 airplane. This airplane will have a novel or unusual design feature(s) associated with a side-facing passenger seat. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES:

The effective date of these special conditions is April 1, 2015, and is applicable on March 25, 2015. We must receive your comments by May 1, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments identified by docket number [FAA-2015-0720] using any of the following methods:

Federal eRegulations 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 of 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: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://regulations.gov, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.

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 go to the 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:

Bob Stegeman, Federal Aviation Administration, Aircraft Certification Service, Small Airplane Directorate, ACE-111, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri, 816-329-4140, fax 816-329-4090, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The FAA has determined, in accordance with 5 U.S. Code §§ 553(b)(3)(B) and 553(d)(3), that notice and opportunity for prior public comment hereon are unnecessary because the substance of these special conditions has been subject to the public comment process in several prior instances with no substantive comments received. The FAA therefore finds that good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon issuance.

Special condition number Company/airplane model 23-255-SC Embraer Model EMB 500. 23-251-SC Embraer Model EMB 500. 23-105-SC Sino Swearingen Model SJ130. 23-254-SC Embraer Model EMB 505. Comments Invited

We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. We ask that you send us two copies of written comments.

We will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed late if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

Background

On October 11, 2006, Honda Aircraft Company applied for a type certificate for their new Model HA-420 aircraft. On October 10, 2013, Honda Aircraft Company requested an extension with an effective application date of October 1, 2013. This extension changed the type certification basis to amendment 23-62.

The HA-420 is a four to five passenger (depending on configuration), two crew, lightweight business jet with a 43,000-foot service ceiling and a maximum takeoff weight of 9963 pounds. The airplane is powered by two GE-Honda Aero Engines (GHAE) HF-120 turbofan engines.

The HA-420 design incorporates the installation of a side-facing belted passenger seat as a customer configuration option. The implication of the term belted is that the passenger seat will be used during takeoff and landing and so must comply with the provisions of §§ 23.562, 23.785, and any additional requirements that the FAA determines are applicable. In this case, the approval of a side-facing seat to these provisions is considered new and novel and as such will require special conditions and specific methods of compliance to certificate.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.17, Honda Aircraft Company must show that the HA-420 meets the applicable provisions of part 23, as amended by amendment 23-1, dated July 29, 1965, through amendment 23-62, dated December 2, 2011, thereto.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 23) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the HA-420 because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the HA-420 must comply with the fuel vent and exhaust emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34 and the noise certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36. In addition, the FAA must issue a finding of regulatory adequacy under § 611 of Public Law 92-574, the “Noise Control Act of 1972.”

The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in § 11.19, under § 11.38 and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.17(a)(2).

Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would also apply to the other model.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The HA-420 will incorporate the following novel or unusual design feature: Side facing passenger seat intended for taxi/takeoff and landing.

The seat is to incorporate design features that reduce the potential for injury in the event of an accident. In a severe impact, a 2-point seatbelt and the adjacent padded wall will restrain the occupant. In addition to the design features intended to minimize occupant injury during an accident sequence, the adjacent forward wall/bulkhead interior structure will have padding or at least be pliable enough to absorb impact energy, which will provide some protection to the head of the occupant.

Discussion

The Code of Federal Regulations states performance criteria for forward and aft facing seats and restraints in an objective manner. However, none of these criteria are adequate to address the specific issues raised concerning side-facing seats. Therefore, the FAA has determined that, in addition to the requirements of parts 21 and 23, special conditions are needed to address the installation of this seat installation/restraint.

Part 23 was amended August 8, 1988, by amendment 23-36, revised the emergency landing conditions that must be considered in the design of the airplane. Amendment 23-36 revised the static load conditions in § 23.561 and added a new § 23.562 that required dynamic testing for all seats approved for occupancy during takeoff and landing. The intent of amendment 23-36 is to provide an improved level of safety for occupants on part 23 airplanes. Because most seating is forward-facing in part 23 airplanes, the pass/fail criteria developed in amendment 23-36 focused primarily on these forward- and aft-facing seats. Since the regulations do not address side-facing seats, these criteria should be documented in special conditions.

The FAA decision to review compliance with these regulations stems from the fact that the current regulations do not provide adequate and appropriate standards for the type certification of this type of seat. These requirements are substantially similar to other single place side-facing seat installations approved for use on several different part 23 and part 25 aircraft.

Accordingly, these special conditions are for the Honda Aircraft Company model HA-420 side-facing seat location. Other conditions may be developed, as needed, based on further FAA review and discussions with the manufacturer and civil aviation authorities.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the HA-420. Should Honda Aircraft Company apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model of airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability and it affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these features on the airplane.

The substance of these special conditions has been subjected to the notice and comment period in several prior instances, identified above, and has been derived without substantive change from those previously issued. It is unlikely that prior public comment would result in a significant change from the substance contained herein. Therefore, notice and opportunity for prior public comment hereon are unnecessary and the FAA finds good cause, in accordance with 5 U.S. Code §§ 553(b)(3)(B) and 553(d)(3), making these special conditions effective upon issuance. The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described above.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 23

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Signs and symbols.

Citation

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113 and 44701; 14 CFR 21.16 and 21.101; and 14 CFR 11.38 and 11.19.

The Special Conditions

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for Honda Aircraft Company model HA-420 airplanes.

1. Single-Place Side-Facing Seat

In addition to the airworthiness standards in §§ 23.562, amendment 23-50 and 23.785, amendment 23-49, the following special condition provides injury criteria and installation/testing guidelines that represent the minimum acceptable airworthiness standard for single-place side-facing seats:

a. The Injury Criteria

(1) Existing Criteria: All injury protection criteria of § 23.562(c)(1) through (c)(7) apply to the occupant of a side-facing seat. Head Injury Criterion (HIC) assessments are only required for head contact with the seat and/or adjacent structures.

(2) Body-to-Wall/Furnishing Contact: The seat must be installed aft of a structure such as an interior wall or furnishing that will support the pelvis, upper arm, chest, and head of an occupant seated next to the structure. A conservative representation of the structure and its stiffness must be included in the tests. It is recommended, but not required, that the contact surface of this structure be covered with at least two inches of energy absorbing protective padding (foam or equivalent), such as Ensolite.

(3) Thoracic Trauma: Thoracic Trauma Index (TTI) injury criterion must be substantiated by dynamic test or by rational analysis based on previous test(s) of a similar seat installation. Testing must be conducted with a Side Impact Dummy (SID), as defined by 49 CFR part 572, subpart F, or its equivalent. TTI must be less than 85, as defined in 49 CFR part 572, subpart F. SID TTI data must be processed as defined in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) part 571.214, section S6.13.5.

(4) Pelvis: Pelvic lateral acceleration must be shown by dynamic test or by rational analysis based on previous test(s) of a similar seat installation to not exceed 130g. Pelvic acceleration data must be processed as defined in FMVSS part 571.214, section S6.13.5.

(5) Shoulder Strap Loads: Where upper torso straps (shoulder straps) are used for occupants, tension loads in individual straps must not exceed 1,750 pounds. If dual straps are used for restraining the upper torso, the total strap tension loads must not exceed 2,000 pounds.

b. General Test Guidelines

(1) One longitudinal test with the SID ATD or its equivalent, un-deformed floor, no yaw, and with all lateral structural supports (armrests/walls).

Pass/fail injury assessments: TTI and pelvic acceleration.

(2) One longitudinal test with the Hybrid II ATD, deformed floor, with 10 degrees yaw, and with all lateral structural supports (armrests/walls).

Pass/fail injury assessments: HIC; and upper torso restraint load, restraint system retention and pelvic acceleration.

(3) A vertical (15 G's) test is to be conducted with modified Hybrid II ATDs using existing pass/fail criteria.

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri on March 25, 2015. Pat Mullen, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-07503 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 23 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0723; Special Conditions No. 23-264-SC] Special Conditions: Honda Aircraft Company (Honda) Model HA-420, HondaJet; Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) System AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for the Honda Aircraft Company HA-420 airplane. This airplane will have a novel or unusual design feature associated with the use of an electronic engine control system instead of a traditional mechanical control system. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES:

The effective date of these special conditions is April 1, 2015, and is applicable on March 25, 2015.

We must receive your comments by May 1, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments identified by docket number [FAA-2015-0723] using any of the following methods:

Federal eRegulations 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 of 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: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://regulations.gov, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.

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 go to the 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:

John G. VanHoudt, Federal Aviation Administration, Aircraft Certification Service, Small Airplane Directorate, ACE-111, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; 816-329-4142, fax 816-329-4090.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The FAA has determined, in accordance with 5 U.S. Code §§ 553(b)(3)(B) and 553(d)(3), that notice and opportunity for prior public comment hereon are unnecessary because the substance of these special conditions has been subject to the public comment process in several prior instances with no substantive comments received. The FAA therefore finds that good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon issuance.

Special condition number Company/airplane model 23-237-SC Spectrum Aeronautical Model S-40. 23-246-SC Cirrus Design Corporation Model SF50. 23-253-SC Diamond Aircraft Industries Model DA-40NG. Comments Invited

We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. We ask that you send us two copies of written comments.

We will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed late if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

Background

On October 11, 2006, Honda Aircraft Company applied for a type certificate for their new Model HA-420. On October 10, 2013, Honda Aircraft Company requested an extension with an effective application date of October 1, 2013. This extension changed the type certification basis to amendment 23-62.

The HA-420 is a four to five passenger (depending on configuration), two crew, lightweight business jet with a 43,000-foot service ceiling and a maximum takeoff weight of 9963 pounds. The airplane is powered by two GE-Honda Aero Engines (GHAE) HF-120 turbofan engines.

The HA-420 airplane will use an electronic engine control system (FADEC) instead of a traditional mechanical control system. Even though the engine control system will be certificated as part of the engine, the installation of an engine with an electronic control system requires evaluation due to critical environmental effects and possible effects on or by other airplane systems. For example, indirect effects of lightning, radio interference with other airplane electronic systems, shared engine and airplane data and power sources.

The regulatory requirements in 14 CFR part 23 for evaluating the installation of complex systems, including electronic systems and critical environmental effects, are contained in § 23.1309. However, when § 23.1309 was developed, the use of electronic control systems for engines was not envisioned. Therefore, § 23.1309 requirements were not applicable to systems certificated as part of the engine (reference § 23.1309(f)(1)). Parts of the system that are not certificated with the engine could be evaluated using the criteria of § 23.1309. However, the integral nature of these systems makes it unfeasible to evaluate the airplane portion of the system without including the engine portion of the system.

In some cases, the airplane that the engine is used in will determine a higher classification than the engine controls are certificated for; requiring the FADEC systems be analyzed at a higher classification. As of November 2005, FADEC special conditions mandated the classification for § 23.1309 analyses for loss of FADEC control as catastrophic for any airplane using FADEC. This is not to imply an engine failure is classified as catastrophic, but that the digital engine control must provide an equivalent reliability to mechanical engine controls.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.17, Honda Aircraft Company must show that the HA-420 meets the applicable provisions of part 23, as amended by amendments 23-1 through 23-62, thereto.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 23) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the model HA-420 because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the HA-420 must comply with the fuel vent and exhaust emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34 and the noise certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36. In addition, the FAA must issue a finding of regulatory adequacy pursuant to § 611 of Public Law 92-574, the “Noise Control Act of 1972.”

The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in § 11.19, under § 11.38 and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.17(a)(2).

Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would also apply to the other model under the provisions of § 21.101(a)(1).

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The HA-420 will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features: Electronic engine control system.

Discussion

As defined in the summary section, this airplane makes use of an electronic engine control system instead of a traditional mechanical control system is a novel design for this type of airplane. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. Mandating a structured assessment to determine potential installation issues mitigates the concerns that the addition of a full authority engine controller does not produce a failure condition not previously considered.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the model HA-420. Should Honda Aircraft Company apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on the model HA-420 airplanes. It is not a rule of general applicability and it affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these features on the airplane.

The substance of these special conditions has been subjected to the notice and comment period in several prior instances, identified above, and has been derived without substantive change from those previously issued. It is unlikely that prior public comment would result in a significant change from the substance contained herein. Therefore, notice and opportunity for prior public comment hereon are unnecessary and the FAA finds good cause, in accordance with 5 U.S. Code §§ 553(b)(3)(B) and 553(d)(3), making these special conditions effective upon issuance. The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described above.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 23

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Signs and symbols.

Citation

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113 and 44701; 14 CFR 21.16 and 21.17; and 14 CFR 11.38 and 11.19.

The Special Conditions

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for Honda Aircraft Company model HA-420 airplanes.

1. Electronic Engine Control

a. The installation of the electronic engine control system must comply with the requirements of § 23.1309(a) through (d) at amendment 23-62. The intent of this requirement is not to reevaluate the inherent hardware reliability of the control itself, but rather determine the effects, including environmental effects addressed in § 23.1306 and 23.1308 on the airplane systems and engine control system when installing the control on the airplane. When appropriate, engine certification data may be used when showing compliance with this requirement; however, the effects of the installation on this data must be addressed.

b. For these evaluations, the loss of FADEC control will be analyzed utilizing the threat levels associated with a catastrophic failure.

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri on March 25, 2015. Pat Mullen, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-07502 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Parts 1 and 602 [TD 9715] RIN 1545-BH31 Regulations Revising Rules Regarding Agency for a Consolidated Group AGENCY:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION:

Final regulations.

SUMMARY:

This document contains final regulations regarding the agent for an affiliated group of corporations that files a consolidated return (consolidated group). The final regulations provide guidance concerning the identity and authority of the agent for a consolidated group. These final regulations affect all corporations in consolidated groups.

DATES:

Effective Date: These regulations are effective on April 1, 2015.

Applicability Date: For dates of applicability, see § 1.1502-77(j).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Gerald B. Fleming at (202) 317-6975 or Richard M. Heinecke at (202) 317-6065 (not toll-free numbers).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Paperwork Reduction Act

The collection of information contained in these final regulations has been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507) under control number 1545-1699. The collection of information in these final regulations is in paragraphs (c)(4), (c)(5)(iii), (c)(6)(i)(B), (c)(6)(ii), (c)(6)(iv), (c)(7)(i)(A), (c)(7)(i)(B), (c)(7)(ii), and (f)(3) of § 1.1502-77. The collection of information is necessary to make certain that the Commissioner of Internal Revenue (Commissioner), agent for the consolidated group, and members of the group are each informed of the proper identity of the agent for any given period, and are able to timely exercise their privileges and fulfill their responsibilities with respect to the filing of a consolidated return.

For more information, see Rev. Proc. 2015-26, IRB 2015-15, the revenue procedure published to accompany the final regulations that provides instructions with respect to all communications relating to the identification of an agent for a consolidated group.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by the Office of Management and Budget.

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

Background and Explanation of Provisions 1. Introduction

This Treasury Decision contains final regulations that amend 26 CFR part 1, under section 1502 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Code) (Final Regulations). Section 1502 authorizes the Secretary to prescribe regulations for corporations that join in filing consolidated returns and provides that such rules may be different from the provisions of chapter 1 of subtitle A of the Code that would apply if such corporations filed separate returns. These Final Regulations provide guidance under § 1.1502-77 with respect to the agent for a group of affiliated corporations that file a consolidated return (agent), including rules for identifying and communicating with the agent, and determining the scope of the agent's authority.

The Final Regulations apply to consolidated return years beginning on or after April 1, 2015. Regulations in effect before April 1, 2015 will continue to apply to consolidated tax years beginning before April 1, 2015.

Contemporaneously with the publication of the Final Regulations in the Federal Register, the IRS is issuing Rev. Proc. 2015-26, IRB 2015-15, providing instructions regarding the manner of making all communications that relate to the identification of an agent under the Final Regulations. Rev. Proc. 2015-26, IRB 2015-15, will obsolete Rev. Proc. 2002-43, 2002-2 CB 99 (see § 601.601(d)(2)(ii)(b) of this chapter) (Determination of Substitute Agent for a Consolidated Group When the Common Parent Ceases to Exist) with respect to consolidated return years for which these Final Regulations apply. Thus, Rev. Proc. 2002-43 will continue to apply for consolidated return years subject to prior regulations.

2. Overview of Prior Guidance Regarding Agents

On June 28, 2002, the IRS and the Treasury Department promulgated final regulations under § 1.1502-77 in TD 9002, 67 FR 43538, to provide rules concerning the identity and authority of the agent and the designation of a new agent. These regulations were amended by TD 9255 (71 FR 13001) (March 14, 2006) and TD 9343 (72 FR 40066) (July 23, 2007). (The June 28, 2002 regulations and amendments are collectively referred to in this preamble as the 2002 Regulations.)

On June 29, 2002, the IRS released Rev. Proc. 2002-43 to prescribe instructions for all communications relating to the determination of a substitute agent and the designation of a substitute agent by a terminating common parent.

On May 30, 2012, the IRS and the Treasury Department proposed regulations that would replace the 2002 Regulations (2012 Proposed Regulations). The 2012 Proposed Regulations were published in the Federal Register (77 FR 31786). No request for a hearing was received. One comment was received with respect to the 2012 Proposed Regulations, but it made no specific recommendations. No other comments were received, including with respect to the specific request for comments regarding the expansion of the circumstances in which the Commissioner could designate agents, and the ability of an agent to resign.

3. Summary of the 2002 Regulations

Under the 2002 Regulations, the common parent of a group ceased to be the agent if its existence terminated under applicable law, if it became disregarded as an entity separate from its owner for federal tax purposes (a disregarded entity), or if it became an entity classified as a partnership for federal tax purposes. In such cases, the common parent could generally designate its successor, another member of the group, or a group member's successor as the substitute agent for the group (provided such designee was a domestic corporation for federal tax purposes). However, any such designation required affirmative approval by the Commissioner.

Although in general a common parent must be a domestic corporation, a common parent could be an entity created or organized under the laws of a foreign country and treated as a domestic corporation by reason of section 7874 (treating a foreign corporation as a domestic corporation as a result of certain outbound inversion transactions) or an election under section 953(d) to treat a foreign insurance company as a domestic corporation (foreign common parent). In recognition of the logistical problems this could create, the 2002 Regulations permitted the Commissioner to designate a domestic member of the group to act as the agent (domestic substitute agent) in the case of a foreign common parent.

Finally, the 2002 Regulations provided certain rules relating to partnerships and partners subject to sections 6221 through 6234 of the Code, enacted by section 402 of the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (96 Stat. 324) (TEFRA), generally providing that the Commissioner would deal directly with a member that was the tax matters partner (TMP) regarding specified matters for the partners in a TEFRA partnership even if the TMP is not the agent.

4. Overview of the 2012 Proposed Regulations

The 2012 Proposed Regulations retained the general rules, concepts, and examples of the 2002 Regulations. However, the 2012 Proposed Regulations renumbered, restructured, and revised the 2002 Regulations to minimize the circumstances under which the identity of the agent would not be clear. The 2012 Proposed Regulations also increased the number of situations in which the identity of the agent would be determined without action by taxpayers or the Commissioner. The proposed changes are described in the following paragraphs 4.A. through 4.G.

A. Default Successors

The 2002 Regulations generally permitted a terminating agent to designate the substitute agent. However, the IRS observed that terminating agents, to the extent they designated at all, tended to designate their successors rather than another member of their group. To simplify the procedures and align them with taxpayers' practices, the 2012 Proposed Regulations provided that if an agent had a sole successor (default successor), the default successor would automatically become the group's agent when the prior agent ceased to exist, such as in a merger. The terminating agent would not be permitted to designate an agent unless there was no default successor, in which case the agent could only designate an entity that was a member of the group for the consolidated return year (or a successor of such a member). The 2012 Proposed Regulations also prescribed limited circumstances under which the Commissioner could replace a default successor.

B. Entities Eligible To Be an Agent

The 2012 Proposed Regulations included disregarded entities and partnerships among the entities permitted to be agents for prior years in which they or their predecessors were not treated as disregarded. Thus, if a common parent converted or merged into a disregarded entity or partnership, whether by reason of a state law merger, a state law conversion, or a federal tax election, the continuing or successor juridical entity (whether a disregarded entity or partnership) would continue as the agent for the prior periods.

C. TEFRA Partnerships

In general, the Code and regulations governing the treatment of TEFRA partnerships provide that the Commissioner will deal with the TMP regarding specified matters for the partners in a TEFRA partnership. See generally, sections 6221 through 6234. The 2002 Regulations provided two TEFRA specific rules relating to members that were partners in a TEFRA partnership. Under the first rule, a subsidiary that was the TMP of a TEFRA partnership would act in its own name regarding partnership matters, without requiring any action by the agent. Under the second rule, the Commissioner would deal with a subsidiary that was a partner in a TEFRA partnership in the performance of an examination of the TEFRA partnership. This second rule, however, appeared to create some confusion in the context of other provisions of the 2002 Regulations.

To provide more clarity with respect to the second rule, the 2012 Proposed Regulations provided that: (1) The agent will generally act as agent for a member that is a partner in a TEFRA partnership regarding all matters related to the partnership, including execution of a settlement agreement under section 6224(c) (as illustrated in Example 12 in § 1.1502-77(g) of the 2012 Proposed Regulations) and extension of the statute of limitations with respect to items other than the items of the TEFRA partnership (as illustrated in Example 11 in § 1.1502-77(g) of the 2012 Proposed Regulations); and (2) the Commissioner, without having to deal with each member separately by “breaking agency” pursuant to § 1.1502-77(f)(2)(i) of the 2012 Proposed Regulations, may communicate directly with a subsidiary or a disregarded entity owned by a subsidiary that is a partner in a TEFRA partnership whenever the Commissioner determines that such direct communication will facilitate the conduct of an examination, appeal, or settlement with respect to the partnership. However, like the 2002 Regulations, the 2012 Proposed Regulations provided that any member of the group designated as the TMP of a TEFRA partnership will act in its own name and perform its responsibilities with respect to the partnership without requiring any action by the agent.

D. Commissioner's Approval of Substitute Agent

Although the 2002 Regulations required the Commissioner to approve any designation, in practice, designation approval requests were denied only rarely. To simplify procedures, and thereby conserve resources and enhance efficiency, the 2012 Proposed Regulations eliminated the requirement. However, to ensure that IRS records accurately reflect the identity of an agent, the 2012 Proposed Regulations provided that a default successor, or a terminating agent that has no default successor, must notify the IRS (in writing in the manner prescribed by the Commissioner) when the default successor or an entity designated by a terminating agent becomes the group's new agent.

E. Commissioner's Authority To Designate Agent

The 2012 Proposed Regulations provided several limited circumstances in which the Commissioner could designate or replace an agent, either on its own initiative or at the request of other members. Examples were included in the 2012 Proposed Regulations to illustrate the circumstances in which an agent may be designated.

The 2012 Proposed Regulations did not provide the Commissioner with the ability to replace a domestic default successor under circumstances in which it could not replace the common parent.

F. Foreign Entity as Agent

As previously noted, the 2002 Regulations did not preclude foreign entities from acting as agent, but provided that the Commissioner could designate a domestic substitute agent. The IRS and the Treasury Department recognize that such an entity may have the best access to information, but also that these situations present unique logistical issues. Accordingly, the 2012 Proposed Regulations did not preclude a foreign entity from being the agent and preserved the Commissioner's discretion to replace a foreign entity.

G. Post-Dissolution Winding Up Period

Questions arose under the 2002 Regulations with respect to the actions that could be performed by a terminating agent during the “winding up” period following its dissolution. Because winding up statutes vary widely among the states, the IRS and the Treasury Department determined that no single rule for post-dissolution terminating agents would be appropriate in all cases. The 2012 Proposed Regulations resolved the issue by providing that an entity that has dissolved or otherwise ceased to exist under applicable law can no longer be the agent, irrespective of its powers under state or local law during its post-dissolution winding up period.

5. Final Regulations

The rules adopted in these Final Regulations are consistent with those set forth in the 2012 Proposed Regulations. The Final Regulations, however, make several revisions to the 2012 Proposed Regulations. First, as further described in section 5.A. of this preamble, the Final Regulations expand the circumstances under which the Commissioner may replace an agent on the Commissioner's own accord. Second, the Final Regulations clarify that a terminating agent without a default successor may only designate an agent with respect to a completed year. See section 5.A.iii. of this preamble. Third, the Final Regulations organize the provisions that permit the Commissioner to designate an agent into two categories: (1) Those provisions that authorize the Commissioner to replace an agent on the Commissioner's own accord, with or without a written request from a member; and (2) a provision described in section 5.B. of this preamble permitting the Commissioner to replace an agent pursuant to a member's written request. Fourth, as described in section 5.C. of this preamble, the Final Regulations allow an agent to resign under certain circumstances. Fifth, the Final Regulations clarify that an agent other than the common parent generally serves as agent under the same terms and with the same rights as the common parent. A significant exception to this general rule discussed in section 5.A.iii. of this preamble applies in the case of an agent designated by the Commissioner, in that such an agent may not designate an agent upon its termination unless the Commissioner designated the agent solely because a prior agent terminated without a default successor and without designating an agent (other than in the case of a group structure change as defined in § 1.1502-33(f)(1)).

In addition, the Final Regulations contain clarifying and non-substantive changes to the text of the 2012 Proposed Regulations and redesignate the 2002 Regulations as § 1.1502-77B (§ 1.1502-77A continues to apply for consolidated return years beginning before June 28, 2002).

A. Designation on Commissioner's Own Accord

The Final Regulations prescribe four circumstances in which the Commissioner may designate an agent on the Commissioner's own accord. Three of the circumstances are adopted from the 2012 Proposed Regulations: The Commissioner may designate an agent if (1) a terminating agent has no default successor and fails to designate an agent; (2) the Commissioner believes that the agent or its default successor exists but such entity fails to timely respond to notices properly sent by the Commissioner; or (3) the agent is or becomes a foreign entity (for example, through the agent's continuance into a foreign jurisdiction or certain transactions subject to the inversion rules of section 7874). The Final Regulations add an additional situation to the second circumstance so that the Commissioner may designate an agent where the agent either fails timely respond to notices or fails to perform its obligations as agent. Finally, the Final Regulations add a fourth circumstance: The Commissioner may designate a new agent for a current year if a previously designated agent ceases to be a member of the group.

i. Replacing Agent That Fails To Perform Its Obligations

The IRS and the Treasury Department recognize that there may be situations in which an agent is failing to perform its obligations as agent under the Code or regulations. Neither the 2002 Regulations nor the 2012 Proposed Regulations provided a remedy to designate an agent in such situations. As a result, members would not be able to accurately file a return, determine their federal tax liability, or obtain refunds, and the Commissioner might have to deal with each member separately by “breaking agency” pursuant to § 1.1502-77(f)(2)(i) of the 2012 Proposed Regulations. This could, in turn, result in significant uncertainty and undue burden for group members as well as the Commissioner. For example, assume the Commissioner breaks agency for a consolidated return year that has ended (completed year) and then one or more members files a claim for refund of income taxes paid for that year. Because of the uncertainty as to which member(s) would be entitled to all or a portion of the refund, the Government would likely be forced to interplead all potential member-claimants in an ensuing refund case.

The preamble to the 2012 Proposed Regulations requested comments with respect to this issue, but no comments were received. Nevertheless, the IRS and the Treasury Department have considered this issue and determined that the best interests of all concerned would be served by providing the Commissioner the authority to replace an agent that fails to perform its obligations as agent as prescribed by federal tax law. Accordingly, the Final Regulations provide that the Commissioner may, with or without a written request from a member, designate an agent to replace any agent that fails to perform its obligations as agent as prescribed by the Code or regulations promulgated thereunder.

ii. Replacing Agent That Ceases To Be a Member for Current Year

The 2012 Proposed Regulations did not provide guidance for situations in which an agent previously designated by the Commissioner ceases to be a member during a consolidated return year that is not a completed year (current year). Thus, under the 2012 Proposed Regulations, there could be situations in which a group would have a non-member agent or no agent at all. The Final Regulations address these issues by requiring that the agent for the current year be a member of the group. An agent designated by the Commissioner will generally continue as the agent in successive consolidated return years except in three circumstances: (1) If the Commissioner specifies a limited or specific period of agency in the designation; (2) if the agent ceases to be a member of the group; or (3) if the agent is replaced pursuant to the Final Regulations.

The Final Regulations also provide an additional circumstance in which the Commissioner may designate an agent on the Commissioner's own accord. Specifically, the Final Regulations permit the Commissioner, with or without a written request from a member, to designate an agent for the current year if an agent previously designated by the Commissioner ceases to be a member of the group without leaving a default successor in the group. In that situation, a member of the group should request that the Commissioner designate an agent.

iii. Effect of Certain Designations on the Commissioner's Own Accord

The Proposed Regulations permitted an agent that terminates without a default successor to designate an agent. If a terminating agent had no default successor and failed to designate an agent, the Commissioner could designate an agent with or without the request of any member. The Final Regulations generally adopt these rules with one significant modification. If a terminating agent was itself designated by the Commissioner on the Commissioner's own accord and the terminating agent does not have a default successor, the Final Regulations provide that the terminating agent is not permitted to designate an agent if it was designated because the agent it replaced (1) ceased to be a member of the group in a current year; (2) failed to timely respond to notices or failed to fulfill its obligations under the Code or regulations; or (3) became a foreign entity. Because the Commissioner's ability to administer the tax law is impaired under these circumstances, the IRS and the Treasury Department determined that the interests of tax administration would be best served by monitoring of designated agents and groups in these limited cases. Accordingly, the IRS and the Treasury Department determined that the Commissioner, rather than the terminating agent, should designate the agent in these situations. In such cases, any member (including the terminating agent) of the group is permitted to request that the Commissioner designate a new agent. The Final Regulations permit other categories of agents previously designated by the Commissioner to designate an agent upon termination provided the terminating agent does not (1) have a default successor or (2) terminate in a group structure change. The Final Regulations clarify that a terminating agent that is permitted to designate an agent may only do so with respect to completed years.

Finally, to prevent groups from nullifying a designation made by the Commissioner, the Final Regulations provide that a designating agent may not designate as an agent any entity that the Commissioner previously replaced as agent. The designating agent may, however, submit a request that the Commissioner designate as agent the entity previously replaced as agent.

B. Designation Upon Written Request by a Member

The 2002 Regulations and the 2012 Proposed Regulations provided a mechanism whereby upon the written request from a member, the Commissioner could, but was not required to, replace an agent previously designated by the Commissioner. The Final Regulations retain this provision to permit a member to request that the Commissioner designate a new agent in circumstances other than the specifically enumerated circumstances in which the Commissioner may designate an agent on the Commissioner's own accord.

C. Resignation of Agent

Under the 2002 Regulations, a common parent remained the agent for any year for which it was the common parent, with only a termination of the common parent terminating that agency. However, the IRS and the Treasury Department recognize that there could be circumstances in which an agent would want to resign and have another entity take its place as agent. For example, assume P, the common parent of the P consolidated group, becomes a subsidiary of the group in a transaction under § 1.1502-75(d) (resulting in a group structure change described in § 1.1502-33(f)(1)), and the group continues with N as the new common parent and agent. If unrelated X acquires the stock of P, P would leave the group but would still be the agent for the years during which it was the group's common parent. In that situation, it might be more efficient for all concerned if P were to resign as agent in favor of another member. Although the 2012 Proposed Regulations did not include a mechanism for an existing agent to resign, the preamble to the 2012 Proposed Regulations requested comments with respect to this issue. No comments were received. Nevertheless, the IRS and the Treasury Department have considered the issue and determined that it would be in the best interests of all concerned and sound tax administration for agents to have the ability to resign, at least in limited situations.

Accordingly, the Final Regulations provide a mechanism for agents to resign with respect to completed years. However, there are four conditions that must be met. First, the agent must provide written notice to the Commissioner that it no longer intends to be the agent for a completed year. Second, an entity that could have been designated by the resigning agent upon its termination must consent, in writing, to be the agent for that year. Third, immediately after its resignation takes effect, the resigning agent must not be the agent for the current year. Fourth, the Commissioner must not object to the agent's resignation. If these conditions are satisfied, the new agent must notify each member of the group that it has become the agent.

Effective/Applicability Date

The Final Regulations apply to consolidated return years beginning on or after April 1, 2015. The 2002 Regulations, redesignated as § 1.1502-77B, and Rev. Proc. 2002-43 continue to apply with respect to consolidated return years beginning on or after June 28, 2002, and before April 1, 2015. However, the new rules permitting the resignation of agents may be relied upon for completed years otherwise governed by the 2002 Regulations (or any predecessor regulations).

Special Analyses

It has been determined that this Treasury Decision is not a significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. It is hereby certified that these regulations will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This certification is based on the fact that these regulations will affect affiliated groups of corporations that have elected to file consolidated returns, which tend to be larger entities. Therefore, a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) is not required. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, the proposed regulations preceding these final regulations were submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business, and no comments were received.

Drafting Information

The principal author of these final regulations is Richard M. Heinecke, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Corporate). However, other personnel from the IRS and the Treasury Department participated in their development.

List of Subjects 26 CFR Part 1

Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

26 CFR Part 602

Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is amended as follows:

PART 1—INCOME TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 is amended by adding an entry in numerical order to read in part as follows: Authority:

26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

Section 1.1502-77B also issued under 26 U.S.C. 1502 and 6402(j).

§ 1.338-1 [Amended]
Par. 2. Section 1.338-1 is amended by removing the language “§ 1.1502-77(e)(4)” in the last sentence of paragraph (b)(2)(viii) and adding the language “§ 1.1502-77(c)(8)” in its place. Par. 3. Section 1.1502-77A is amended as follows: 1. Paragraph (e)(2) is amended by removing every occurrence of the language “(a)(4)” and adding “(e)(4)” in its place. 2. In paragraph (e)(2), the first sentence is amended by removing the language “§ 1.1502-77” and adding “§ 1.1502-77A” in its place. 3. In paragraph (e)(2), the second sentence is amended by removing the language “§ 1.1502-77(d)” and adding “§ 1.1502-77A(d)” in its place. 4. Paragraph (e)(3) is amended by removing the language “(a)(4)” and adding “(e)(4)” in its place. 5. Paragraph (e)(4) is amended by removing the language “(a)(2)” and adding “(e)(2)” in its place. 6. Paragraph (e)(4)(iii) is amended by removing the language “§ 1.1502-77(d)” and adding “§ 1.1502-77A(d)” in its place. 7. The heading for paragraph (g) is revised.

The revision reads as follows:

§ 1.1502-77A Common parent agent for subsidiaries applicable for consolidated return years beginning before June 28, 2002.

(g) Effective/applicability dates. * * *

§ 1.1502.77 [Redesignated as § 1.1502-77B]
Par. 4. Add an undesignated center heading under § 1.1502.77A, redesignate § 1.1502-77 as § 1.1502-77B and, in newly redesignated § 1.1502-77B, revise the section heading and paragraph (h)(1)(i) to read as follows: Regulations Applicable to Taxable Years Beginning on or After June 28, 2002, and Before April 1, 2015
§ 1.1502-77B Agent for the group applicable for consolidated return years beginning on or after June 28, 2002, and before April 1, 2015.

(h) Effective/applicability date—(1) Application—(i) In general. This section applies to consolidated return years beginning on or after June 28, 2002, and before April 1, 2015. For instructions regarding communications relating to the determination of a substitute agent and other matters under this section, see Rev. Proc. 2002-43, 2002-2 CB 99 (see § 601.601(d)(2)(ii)(b) of this chapter). For rules governing the resignation of certain agents for the group subject to this section, see § 1.1502-77(c)(7) and (j)(2).

Par. 5. Section 1.1502-77 is added to read as follows:
§ 1.1502-77 Agent for the group.

(a) Agent for the group—(1) Sole agent. Except as provided in paragraphs (e) and (f)(2) of this section, one entity (the agent) is the sole agent that is authorized to act in its own name regarding all matters relating to the federal income tax liability for the consolidated return year for each member of the group and any successor or transferee of a member (and any subsequent successors and transferees thereof). The identity of that agent is determined under the rules of paragraph (c) of this section.

(2) Agent for each consolidated return year. Agency for the group is established for each consolidated return year and is not affected by the status or membership of the group in later years. Thus, subject to the rules of paragraph (c) of this section, the agent will generally remain agent for that consolidated return year regardless of whether one or more subsidiaries later cease to be members of the group, whether the group files a consolidated return for any subsequent year, whether the agent ceases to be the agent or a member of the group in any subsequent year, or whether the group continues pursuant to § 1.1502-75(d) with a new common parent in any subsequent year.

(3) Communications under this section. Any designation, notification, objection, request, or other communication made to or by the Commissioner pursuant to paragraphs (c) and (f)(2) of this section must be made in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Commissioner in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (see § 601.601(d)(2)(ii) of this chapter), forms, instructions, or other appropriate guidance.

(b) Definitions. The following definitions apply for purposes of this section only—

(1) Successor. A successor is an individual or entity (including a disregarded entity as defined in paragraph (b)(3) of this section) that is primarily liable, pursuant to applicable law (including, for example, by operation of a state or federal merger statute), for the tax liability of a corporation that was a member of the group but is no longer in existence under applicable law. The determination of tax liability is made without regard to § 1.1502-1(f)(4) or § 1.1502-6(a). (For inclusion of a successor in references to a subsidiary or member, see paragraph (b)(5)(iii) of this section.)

(2) Entity. The term entity includes any corporation, limited liability company, or partnership formed under any state, federal, or foreign jurisdiction. The term entity includes a disregarded entity (as defined in paragraph (b)(3) of this section). The term entity does not include an entity that has terminated even if it is in a winding up period under the law under which it is organized.

(3) Disregarded entity. The term disregarded entity includes any of the following types of entities that are disregarded as separate from their owners—

(i) Qualified real estate investment trust subsidiaries (within the meaning of section 856(i)(2));

(ii) Qualified subchapter S subsidiaries (within the meaning of section 1361(b)(3)(B)); and

(iii) Eligible entities with a single owner (within the meaning of § 301.7701-3 of this chapter).

(4) Default successor. A successor to the agent is the default successor if it is an entity (whether domestic or foreign) that is the sole successor to the agent. A partnership is treated as a sole successor with primary liability notwithstanding that one or more partners may also be primarily liable by virtue of being partners.

(5) Member or subsidiary. All references to a member or subsidiary for a consolidated return year include—

(i) Each corporation that was a member of the group during any part of such year (except that any reference to a subsidiary does not include the common parent);

(ii) Each corporation whose income was included in the consolidated return for such year, notwithstanding that the tax liability of such corporation should have been computed on the basis of a separate return, or as a member of another consolidated group, under the provisions of § 1.1502-75; and

(iii) Except as indicated otherwise, a successor of any of the foregoing corporations.

(6) Completed year. A completed year is a consolidated return year that has ended, or will end at the time of the referenced event.

(7) Current year. A current year is a consolidated return year that is not a completed year.

(c) Identity of the agent—(1) In general. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the agent for a current year is the common parent and the agent for a completed year is the common parent at the close of the completed year or its default successor, if any. Except as specifically provided otherwise in this paragraph (c), any entity that is an agent pursuant to paragraph (c)(3) of this section (agent following group structure change), paragraph (c)(5) of this section (agent designated by agent terminating without default successor), paragraph (c)(6) of this section (agent designated by Commissioner), or paragraph (c)(7) of this section (agent designated by resigning agent) of this section (and any entity that subsequently serves as agent) acts as an agent for and under the same terms and conditions that apply to a common parent. For example, such an agent would generally be able to designate an agent if it terminates without a default successor; however, an entity that became agent pursuant to a designation by the Commissioner under paragraphs (c)(6)(i)(A)(2), (3), or (4) of this section is not permitted to designate an agent if it terminates without a default successor. Other special rules described in this paragraph (c) apply.

(2) Purported agent. If any entity files a consolidated return, or takes any other action related to the tax liability for the consolidated return year, purporting to be the agent but is subsequently determined not to have been the agent with respect to the claimed group, that entity is treated, to the extent necessary to avoid prejudice to the Commissioner, as if it were the agent.

(3) New common parent after a group structure change. If the group continues in existence after a group structure change (as described in § 1.1502-33(f)(1)), the former common parent is the agent until the group structure change, and the new common parent becomes the agent after the group structure change. Following the group structure change, the new common parent is the agent with respect to the entire current year (including the period before the group structure change) and the former common parent is no longer the agent for that year. However, actions taken by the former common parent as the agent before the group structure change are not nullified when the new common parent becomes the agent with respect to the entire consolidated return year. Following the group structure change, the new common parent continues as the agent for succeeding years subject to the rules of this section.

(4) Notification by default successor—(i) In general. Failure to provide notice to the Commissioner pursuant to this paragraph (c)(4)(i) does not invalidate an entity's status as the default successor. However, until the Commissioner receives notification in writing that an entity is the default successor—

(A) Any notice of deficiency or other communication mailed to the predecessor agent, even if no longer in existence, is considered as having been properly mailed to the agent; and

(B) The Commissioner is not required to act on any communication (including, for example, a claim for refund) submitted on behalf of the group by any person (including the default successor) other than the predecessor agent.

(ii) Conversions and continuances. For purposes of the notice requirements under paragraph (c)(4)(i) of this section, any entity that results from the agent's conversion or continuance by operation of state law and that qualifies as a default successor under paragraph (b)(4) of this section is treated as a default successor for purposes of the notice provisions of paragraph (c)(4)(i) of this section, even if applicable state or local law may treat the converted or continued entity as not ceasing to exist.

(5) Designation by terminating agent—(i) In general. Prior to the termination of its existence without a default successor, an agent may designate an entity described in paragraph (c)(5)(ii) of this section to act as agent for any completed year. This designation is effective upon the termination of the designating agent's existence. However, this paragraph (c)(5) does not apply to, and no designation can be made by, an agent that was designated by the Commissioner under paragraphs (c)(6)(i)(A)(2), (3), or (4) of this section, or any successor of such an agent; in such a case, the terminating agent should request that the Commissioner designate an agent pursuant to paragraph (c)(6)(i)(B) of this section.

(ii) Permissible agents—(A) The terminating agent may designate as agent a member of the group during any part of the completed year, or an entity (whether domestic or foreign) that is a successor of such a member, including an entity that will become a successor at the time the agent's existence terminates.

(B) The terminating agent may not designate as agent any entity that was previously replaced as agent by the Commissioner pursuant to paragraphs (c)(6)(i)(A)(2), (3), or (4) of this section, or any successor of such an agent. However, the terminating agent may submit a request pursuant to paragraph (c)(6)(i)(B) of this section that the Commissioner designate such an entity as agent.

(iii) Notification of designation. The terminating agent must notify the Commissioner in writing of its designation of an entity as agent pursuant to paragraph (c)(5)(i) of this section and provide a statement executed by the designated entity acknowledging that it will serve as the agent for each specified completed year for which it is designated as the agent. If the designated entity was not itself a member of the group during any specified year (because it is a successor of a member), the notification must include a statement acknowledging that the designated entity is or will be primarily liable for the tax liability for the specified completed year as a successor of a member.

(iv) Failure to designate an agent. If the agent terminates without a default successor, and no agent is designated pursuant to this paragraph (c)(5)—

(A) Any notice of deficiency or other communication mailed to the agent, even if no longer in existence, is considered as having been properly mailed to the agent; and

(B) The Commissioner is not required to act on any communication (including, for example, a claim for refund) submitted on behalf of the group by any person.

(6) Designation by the Commissioner—(i) In general. The Commissioner has the authority to designate an entity to act as the agent under the circumstances prescribed in this paragraph (c)(6)(i). The designated agent for a completed year must be an entity described in paragraph (c)(5)(ii)(A) of this section when the designation becomes effective. The designated agent for a current year must be a member of the group when the designation becomes effective. If, pursuant to this paragraph (c)(6), the Commissioner replaces the common parent or another entity as the agent, the common parent or other entity, or any successor thereof, may not later act as the agent unless so designated by the Commissioner.

(A) On Commissioner's own accord. With or without a request from any member of the group, the Commissioner may designate an entity to act as the agent if—

(1) The agent's existence terminates, other than in a group structure change, without there being a default successor and without any designation made under paragraph (c)(5)(i) of this section;

(2) An agent previously designated by the Commissioner is no longer a member of the group in the current year and does not have a default successor that is a member of the group;

(3) The Commissioner believes that the agent or its default successor exists but such entity has either not timely responded to the Commissioner's notices (sent to the last known address on file for the entity or left at the usual place of business for such entity) or has failed to perform its obligations as agent as prescribed by the Internal Revenue Code (Code) or regulations promulgated thereunder; or

(4) The agent is or becomes a foreign entity as a result of any action or transaction (including, for example, a continuance into a foreign jurisdiction or certain inversion transactions subject to section 7874 in which a foreign parent is treated as a domestic corporation).

(B) Written request from any member. At the request of any member, in a circumstance not described in paragraph (c)(6)(i)(A) of this section, the Commissioner may, but is not required to, replace an agent previously designated under this paragraph (c)(6).

(ii) Notification by Commissioner. The Commissioner will notify the designated entity in writing of the Commissioner's designation of the entity as agent pursuant to paragraph (c)(6)(i) of this section, and the designation will be effective as prescribed by the Commissioner. The designated entity should give notice of the designation by the Commissioner pursuant to paragraph (c)(6)(i) of this section to each member of the group during any part of the consolidated return year. However, a failure by the designated entity to notify any such member of the group does not invalidate the designation by the Commissioner.

(iii) Term and effect of designation. Unless otherwise provided by the Commissioner in the designation, any agent designated by the Commissioner pursuant to paragraph (c)(6)(i) of this section (new agent) is the agent with respect to the entire consolidated return year for which it is designated and successive years, subject to the rules of this section. An agent immediately preceding a new agent (former agent) ceases to be the agent for a particular consolidated return year once the new agent has been designated for that year, but the designation of the new agent does not nullify actions taken on behalf of the group by the former agent while it was agent. If there is more than one new agent designated by the Commissioner for a consolidated return year, the new agent that is designated last in time by the Commissioner is the agent with respect to the entire consolidated return year. A designation pursuant to this paragraph (c)(6) is effective as prescribed by the Commissioner in such designation or the Internal Revenue Bulletin (see § 601.601(d)(2)(ii) of this chapter), forms, instructions, or other appropriate guidance.

(iv) Request by member of the group where agent previously designated by the Commissioner is no longer a member. If an agent at any time after it is designated as agent by the Commissioner pursuant to paragraph (c)(6)(i) of this section is no longer a member of the group for any current year, and its default successor, if any, is not a member of the group at that time, a member of the group, including the agent that will cease to be a member, should request, in writing, that the Commissioner designate a member of the group to be the new agent pursuant to paragraph (c)(6)(i)(A)(2) of this section. Until such a request is made—

(A) Any notice of deficiency or other communication mailed to the agent, even if no longer a member, is considered as having been properly mailed to the agent; and

(B) The Commissioner is not required to act on any communication (including, for example, a claim for refund) submitted on behalf of the group by any person.

(7) Agent resigns—(i) In general. The agent may resign for a completed year if—

(A) It provides written notice to the Commissioner that it no longer intends to be the agent for that completed year;

(B) An entity described in paragraph (c)(5)(ii)(A) of this section consents, in writing, to be the agent with respect to that completed year;

(C) Immediately after its resignation takes effect, the resigning agent will not be the agent for the current year; and

(D) The Commissioner does not object to the agent's resignation.

(ii) Notification by agent that replaces agent that resigns. If the Commissioner does not object to the agent's resignation, the agent that replaces the agent that resigns should give written notice that it is the new agent to each member of the group for any part of the completed year for which it is designated the agent.

(8) Transactions under the Code. Notwithstanding section 338(a)(2), a target corporation for which an election is made under section 338 is not deemed to terminate for purposes of this section.

(d) Examples of matters subject to agency. With respect to any consolidated return year for which it is the agent—

(1) The agent makes any election (or similar choice of a permissible option) that is available to a subsidiary in the computation of its separate taxable income, and any change in an election (or similar choice of a permissible option) previously made by or for a subsidiary, including, for example, a request to change a subsidiary's method or period of accounting;

(2) All correspondence concerning the income tax liability for the consolidated return year is carried on directly with the agent;

(3) The agent files for all extensions of time, including extensions of time for payment of tax under section 6164, and any extension so filed is considered as having been filed by each member;

(4) The agent gives waivers, gives bonds, and executes closing agreements, offers in compromise, and all other documents, and any waiver or bond so given, or agreement, offer in compromise, or any other document so executed, is considered as having also been given or executed by each member;

(5) The agent files claims for refund, and any refund is made directly to and in the name of the agent and discharges any liability of the Government to any member with respect to such refund;

(6) The agent takes any action on behalf of a member of the group with respect to a foreign corporation including, for example, elections by, and changes to the method of accounting of, a controlled foreign corporation in accordance with § 1.964-1(c)(3);

(7) Notices of claim disallowance are mailed only to the agent, and the mailing to the agent is considered as a mailing to each member;

(8) Notices of deficiencies are mailed only to the agent (except as provided in paragraph (f)(3) of this section), and the mailing to the agent is considered as a mailing to each member;

(9) Notices of final partnership administrative adjustment under section 6223 with respect to any partnership in which a member of the group is a partner may be mailed to the agent, and, if so, the mailing to the agent is considered as a mailing to each member that is a partner entitled to receive such notice (for other rules regarding partnership proceedings, see paragraph (f)(2)(iii) of this section);

(10) The agent files petitions and conducts proceedings before the United States Tax Court, and any such petition is considered as also having been filed by each member;

(11) Any assessment of tax may be made in the name of the agent, and an assessment naming the agent is considered as an assessment with respect to each member; and

(12) Notice and demand for payment of taxes is given only to the agent, and such notice and demand is considered as a notice and demand to each member.

(e) Matters reserved to subsidiaries. Except as provided in this paragraph (e) and paragraph (f)(2) of this section, no subsidiary (unless it is or becomes an agent pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section) has authority to act for or to represent itself in any matter related to the tax liability for the consolidated return year. The following matters, however, are reserved exclusively to each subsidiary—

(1) The making of the consent required by § 1.1502-75(a)(1);

(2) Any action with respect to the subsidiary's liability for a federal tax other than the income tax imposed by chapter 1 of the Code (including, for example, employment taxes under chapters 21 through 25 of the Code, and miscellaneous excise taxes under chapters 31 through 47 of the Code); and

(3) The making of an election to be treated as a Domestic International Sales Corporation under § 1.992-2.

(f) Dealings with members—(1) Identifying members in notice of a lien. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, any notice of a lien, any levy, or any other proceeding to collect the amount of any assessment, after the assessment has been made, must name the entity from which such collection is to be made.

(2) Direct dealing with a member—(i) Several liability. The Commissioner may, upon issuing to the agent written notice that expressly invokes the authority of this provision, deal directly with any member of the group with respect to its liability under § 1.1502-6 for the consolidated tax of the group, in which event such member has sole authority to act for itself with respect to that liability. However, if the Commissioner believes or has reason to believe that the existence of the agent has terminated without an agent being identified under this section, the Commissioner may, if the Commissioner deems it advisable, deal directly with any member with respect to that member's liability under § 1.1502-6 without issuing notice to any other entity.

(ii) Information requests. The Commissioner may, upon issuing to the agent written notice, request information relevant to the consolidated tax liability from any member of the group. However, if the Commissioner believes or has reason to believe that the existence of the agent has terminated without an agent being identified under this section, the Commissioner may request such information from any member of the group without issuing notice to any other entity.

(iii) Members as partners in partnerships subject to the provisions of the Code. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (f)(2)(iii), the general rule of paragraph (a)(1) of this section applies so that the agent is the agent for any subsidiary member that for any part of the consolidated return year is a partner in a partnership subject to the provisions of sections 6221 through 6234 of the Code (as originally enacted by the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 and subsequently amended) and the accompanying regulations (TEFRA partnership). However—

(A) Any subsidiary or any disregarded entity owned by a subsidiary that is designated as tax matters partner of a TEFRA partnership will act in its own name and perform its responsibilities under sections 6221 through 6234 and the accompanying regulations without requiring any action by the agent (but see paragraph (d)(9) of this section regarding the mailing of a final partnership administrative adjustment to the agent); and

(B) The Commissioner may at any time communicate directly with a subsidiary or a disregarded entity owned by a subsidiary that is a partner in a TEFRA partnership, without having to deal with each member separately pursuant to paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section, whenever the Commissioner determines that such direct communication will facilitate the conduct of an examination, appeal, or settlement with respect to the partnership.

(3) Copy of notice of deficiency to entity that has ceased to be a member of the group. A subsidiary that ceases to be a member of the group during or after a consolidated return year may file a written notice of that fact with the Commissioner and request a copy of any notice of deficiency with respect to the tax for a consolidated return year during which it was a member, or a copy of any notice and demand for payment of such deficiency, or both. Such filing does not limit the scope of the agency of the agent provided for in this section. Any failure by the Commissioner to comply with such request does not limit the subsidiary's tax liability under § 1.1502-6.

(g) Examples. Unless otherwise indicated, all entities are domestic and have a calendar year taxable year, and each of P, S, S-1, S-2, S-3, T, V, W, W-1, Y, Z, and Z-1 is a corporation. For none of the consolidated return years at issue does the Commissioner exercise the authority under paragraph (f)(2) of this section to deal with any member separately. Any surviving entity in a merger is either a successor as described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, or a default successor as described in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, as the case may be. Except as otherwise indicated, no agent will be replaced under paragraph (c)(6) of this section or will resign under paragraph (c)(7) of this section, and all communications to and from the Commissioner are made in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Commissioner.

Example 1.

Disposition of all group members where the agent remains the agent. (i) Facts. As of January 1 of Year 1, P is the common parent and agent for the P consolidated group, consisting of P and its two subsidiaries, S and S-1. P files consolidated returns for the P group in Years 1 and 2. On December 31 of Year 1, P sells all the stock of S-1 to X. On December 31 of Year 2, P distributes all the stock of S to P's shareholders. P files a separate return for Year 3.

(ii) Analysis. Although the consolidated group terminates after Year 2 under § 1.1502-75(d)(1) and P is no longer the common parent nor the agent for years after Year 2, P remains the agent for the P group for Years 1 and 2 under paragraph (a)(2) of this section. Accordingly, for as long as P remains in existence, P is the agent for the P group under paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) and (c)(1) of this section for Years 1 and 2.

Example 2.

Acquisition of the agent by another group where the agent remains the agent. (i) Facts. The facts are the same as in Example 1, except on January 1 of Year 3, all of the outstanding stock of P is acquired by Y, which is the common parent and agent of the Y consolidated group. P thereafter joins in the Y group's consolidated return as a member of the Y group.

(ii) Analysis. Although P is a member of the Y group in Year 3 and succeeding years, P remains the agent for the P group for Years 1 and 2 under paragraph (a)(2) of this section. Accordingly, for as long as P remains in existence, P is the agent for the P group under paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) and (c)(1) of this section for Years 1 and 2.

Example 3.

Reverse triangular merger of the agent where the agent remains the agent. (i) Facts. As of January 1 of Year 1, P is the common parent and agent for the P consolidated group consisting of P and its two subsidiaries, S and S-1. P files consolidated returns for the P group in Years 1 and 2. On March 1 of Year 3, W-1, a subsidiary of W, merges into P in a reverse triangular merger qualifying as a reorganization under section 368(a)(1)(A) and (a)(2)(E). P survives the merger with W-1. The transaction constitutes a reverse acquisition under § 1.1502-75(d)(3)(i) because P's shareholders receive more than 50 percent of W's stock in exchange for all of P's stock. The transaction is therefore a group structure change as described in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(ii) Analysis. Because the transaction constitutes a reverse acquisition that results in a group structure change, the P group is treated as remaining in existence with W as its common parent and agent. Under paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) and (c)(1) of this section, P remains the agent for the P group for Years 1 and 2 for as long as P remains in existence, even though the P group continues with W as its new common parent pursuant to § 1.1502-75(d)(3)(i). Until the merger of W-1 and P on March 1 of Year 3, P is the agent for the P group for Year 3. From the time of that merger, W, as common parent of the P group, becomes the agent for the P group with respect to all of Year 3 (including the period through March 1) and succeeding consolidated return years. The actions taken by P before the merger as agent for the P group for Year 3 are not nullified by the fact that W becomes the agent for all of Year 3.

Example 4.

Reverse triangular merger of the agent—subsequent distribution of agent where the agent remains the agent. (i) Facts. The facts are the same as in Example 3, except that on April 1 of Year 4, in a transaction unrelated to the March 1, Year 3 reverse acquisition, P distributes the stock of its subsidiaries S and S-1 to W, and W then distributes the stock of P to the W shareholders.

(ii) Analysis. Although P is no longer a member of the P group after the Year 4 distribution, P remains the agent for the P group under paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) and (c)(1) of this section for Years 1 and 2 for as long as P remains in existence.

Example 5.

Agent Resigns. (i) Facts. The facts are the same as in Example 4, except that on August 1 of Year 4, P provides written notice to the Commissioner that it resigns as the agent for Years 1 and 2. Included with the written notice is a statement executed by either S or S-1 consenting to be the agent for the P group for Years 1 and 2.

(ii) Analysis. Pursuant to paragraph (c)(7) of this section, because P is not the agent in Year 4, the current year, it will not be the agent immediately after its resignation takes effect. Accordingly, if the Commissioner does not object to P's resignation, P may resign with respect to Years 1 and 2, both of which are completed years, and either S or S-1, each an entity described in paragraph (c)(5)(ii)(A) of this section, can be the agent for the P group for Years 1 and 2 if it consents in writing. W cannot be the agent for the P group for Years 1 and 2 because it is not an entity described in paragraph (c)(5)(ii)(A) of this section with respect to the P group for Years 1 and 2.

Example 6.

Qualified stock purchase and section 338 election where the agent remains the agent. (i) Facts. As of January 1 of Year 1, P is the common parent and agent for the P consolidated group consisting of P and its two subsidiaries, S and S-1. P files consolidated returns for the P group in Years 1 and 2. On March 31 of Year 2, V purchases the stock of P in a qualified stock purchase (within the meaning of section 338(d)(3)), and V makes a timely election pursuant to section 338(g) with respect to P.

(ii) Analysis. Although section 338(a)(2) provides that P is treated as a new corporation as of the beginning of the day after the acquisition date for purposes of subtitle A, paragraph (c)(8) of this section provides that P's existence is not deemed to terminate for purposes of this section notwithstanding the general rule of section 338(a)(2). Accordingly, new P is the agent for the P group for Year 1 and the period ending March 31 of Year 2 regardless of the election under section 338(g).

Example 7.

Change in the agent's federal income tax classification to a partnership and the resulting partnership continues as the agent. (i) Facts. P, a State M limited liability partnership with two partners that is formed on January 1 of Year 1, elects pursuant to § 301.7701-3(c) of this chapter to be an association taxable as a corporation for federal income tax purposes effective on the date of formation. P is the common parent and agent for the P consolidated group consisting of P and its two subsidiaries, S and S-1. P files consolidated returns for the P group in Years 1 through 6. On January 1 of Year 7, P elects pursuant to § 301.7701-3(c) of this chapter to be treated as a partnership. P remains in existence under applicable law.

(ii) Analysis. The P group terminates and P is no longer the common parent of a consolidated group after its election to be treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. Because P remains in existence under applicable law, P is the agent for the P group under paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) and (c)(1) of this section for Years 1 through 6. If P merged into a foreign partnership instead of converting to a partnership, the foreign partnership would be P's default successor and agent for the P group for Years 1 through 6. See paragraphs (b)(4) and (c)(1) of this section.

Example 8.

Forward triangular merger of agent—successor as default successor. (i) Facts. As of January 1 of Year 1, P is the common parent and agent for the P consolidated group consisting of P and its two subsidiaries, S and S-1. P files a consolidated return for the P group for Year 1. On January 1 of Year 3, P merges with and into Z-1, a subsidiary of Z, in a forward triangular merger qualifying as a reorganization under section 368(a)(1)(A) and (a)(2)(D). The transaction constitutes a reverse acquisition under § 1.1502-75(d)(3)(i) resulting in a group structure change as described in paragraph (c)(3) of this section because P's shareholders receive more than 50 percent of Z's stock in exchange for all of P's stock. Z-1, the corporation that survives the merger and the successor of P, is the default successor for the P group for Years 1 and 2.

(ii) Analysis. Although Z is the new common parent for the P group (which continues pursuant to § 1.1502-75(d)(3)(i)) for consolidated return years after the merger, and, as a consequence, Z is the new agent as a result of this group structure change, P may not designate an agent for Years 1 or 2 because Z-1 is P's default successor and the agent for the P group for Years 1 and 2. Z-1 must file the P group's consolidated return for Year 2. See paragraphs (b)(4) and (c)(1) of this section.

Example 9.

Merger of the agent into a disregarded entity in exchange for stock of owner in a transaction qualifying as a reorganization under the Code where successor is the default successor. (i) Facts. As of January 1 of Year 1, P is the common parent and agent for the P consolidated group consisting of P and its two subsidiaries, S and S-1. P files a consolidated return for the P group in Year 1. On January 1 of Year 2, the shareholders of P form Y, a State M corporation. On the same date, Y forms Y-1, a State M limited liability company that is a disregarded entity (as defined in paragraph (b)(3) of this section) for federal income tax purposes, and P merges into Y-1 under State M law. In the merger, the P shareholders receive all of the Y stock. Y (through Y-1) is treated as acquiring the assets of P in a transaction qualifying as a reorganization of P into Y under section 368(a)(1)(F), and the P group continues under § 1.1502-75(d)(2) with Y as the common parent and, as a consequence, the transaction is treated as a group structure change as described in paragraph (c)(3) with Y as the P group's agent for Year 2. In Year 4, the Commissioner seeks to extend the period of limitations on assessment with respect to Year 1 of the P group. In Year 5, the Commissioner seeks to extend the period of limitations on assessment with respect to Year 2 of the Y group (formerly the P group).

(ii) Analysis. (A) Year 1 extension. As a result of the January 1, Year 2 merger, Y-1 is the default successor of P, and the agent for the P group for Year 1. See paragraphs (b)(4) and (c)(1) of this section. Therefore, Y-1 is the only party that can sign the extension with respect to the P group for Year 1.

(B) Year 2 extension. Because the January 1, Year 2 merger qualified as a reorganization under section 368(a)(1)(F), the P group remains in existence with Y as the common parent. Therefore, Y, the common parent of the P group after the merger, is the P group's agent for all of Year 2 (see paragraph (c)(3) of this section) and is the only party that can sign the extension with respect to the P group for that year and in succeeding years. See paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) and (c)(1) of this section.

Example 10.

Designation of agent where there is no default successor. (i) Facts. P is incorporated under the laws of State X. Fifty percent of its stock is owned at all times by A, an individual, and 50 percent by BCD, a partnership. On January 1 of Year 1, P forms two subsidiaries, S and T, and becomes the common parent of the P group. P files consolidated returns for the P group beginning in Year 1 and is the agent for the P consolidated group beginning on January 1 of Year 1. On November 30 of Year 3, P dissolves under X law. Under X law, A and BCD are primarily liable for the federal income tax liability of dissolved corporation P. State X law allows the officers of a dissolved corporation to perform certain actions incident to the winding up of its affairs after its dissolution, including the filing of tax returns.

(ii) Analysis. Upon P's dissolution, there is no default successor to P, pursuant to paragraph (b)(4) of this section, because there are two successors. Prior to its dissolution on November 30 of Year 3, pursuant to paragraph (c)(5)(i) of this section, P may designate an agent for the P group for Years 1 and 2 and the short taxable year ending on November 30 of Year 3, to be effective upon P's dissolution. P may designate S or T, pursuant to paragraph (c)(5)(ii)(A) of this section (because they are members of the former group), or BCD (because it is an entity that is a successor to P pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section). P cannot designate A pursuant to paragraph (c)(5)(ii) of this section, because A is not an entity. Under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the officers of P cannot designate an agent for the P group after P dissolves on November 30 of Year 3, notwithstanding the winding up provisions of State X law. Accordingly, P should designate an agent prior to its dissolution to ensure that there is an agent authorized to file the short Year 3 consolidated return. If P does not designate an agent prior to dissolution under paragraph (c)(5)(i) of this section, the Commissioner may designate an agent under paragraph (c)(6)(i)(A)(1) of this section from among S, T, or BCD, upon their request or otherwise. If any of S, T, A, or BCD realizes that P has dissolved without designating an agent, it should request, in writing, a designation of an agent by the Commissioner as soon as possible.

Example 11.

Commissioner designates a new agent. (i) Agent fails to fulfill its obligations. (A) Facts. P is the common parent and agent for the P consolidated group consisting of P and its two subsidiaries, S-1 and S-2, each a State Y corporation. P files a consolidated return for the P group in Year 1. In Year 2, S-3, also a State Y corporation, joins the P group. The P group continues as a consolidated group in Years 2, 3, and 4. As of Year 4, P has failed to file the P group consolidated returns for Years 2 and 3.

(B) Analysis. (1) Scope of designation. Because P failed to perform its obligations as agent as prescribed by federal tax law, the Commissioner may, under the authority of paragraph (c)(6)(i)(A)(3) of this section, on his own accord, with or without a written request from a member, designate another entity described in paragraph (c)(6)(i) of this section to act as the agent for not just Years 2 and 3, but any of Years 1 through 4.

(2) Year 1 designation. The Commissioner may designate either S-1 or S-2, both of which are entities described in paragraphs (c)(6)(i) and (c)(5)(ii)(A) of this section, to act as the agent for the P group for Year 1. Because S-3 was not a member of the group in Year 1, it is not an entity described in paragraphs (c)(6)(i) and (c)(5)(ii)(A) of this section for Year 1 and therefore cannot be the agent for Year 1. Unless otherwise provided in the designation, the designation of either S-1 or S-2 will also be effective for Years 2, 3, and 4 and all succeeding consolidated return years of the group.

(3) Year 2 designation. The Commissioner may designate either S-1, S-2, or S-3, all of which are entities described in paragraph (c)(5)(ii)(A) of this section, to act as the agent for the P group for Year 2. Unless otherwise provided in the designation, the designation of either S-1, S-2, or S-3 will also be effective for Years 3 and 4 and all succeeding consolidated return years of the group.

(4) Year 3 designation. The Commissioner may designate any of S-1, S-2, or S-3 as the agent for Year 3. Unless otherwise provided in the designation, the designation of either S-1, S-2, or S-3 will also be effective for Year 4 and all succeeding consolidated return years of the group.

(5) Year 4 designation. The Commissioner may designate any of S-1, S-2, or S-3 as the agent for Year 4. Unless otherwise provided in the designation, the designation of either S-1, S-2, or S-3 will also be effective for all succeeding consolidated return years of the group.

(ii) Member requests replacement of designated agent. (A) Facts. The facts are the same as in paragraph (i)(A) of this Example 11, except that in Year 4 the Commissioner designates S-1 as agent for Years 1 and succeeding years to replace P for P's failure to fulfill its obligations. After receiving notification that S-1 has been designated, S-3 submits a request in Year 4, pursuant to paragraph (c)(6)(i)(B) of this section, that the Commissioner designate S-2 as the agent because S-1 does not have ready access to the group's books and records, which are located in another state and are in the possession of S-2.

(B) Analysis. In light of S-3's request, the Commissioner may, under the authority of paragraph (c)(6)(i)(B) of this section, designate either S-2 (for all or any years) or S-3 (for any year or years other than Year 1) as agent in lieu of the previously designated agent, S-1. However, notwithstanding S-3's request, the Commissioner is not required to replace S-1 as agent for any of the consolidated return years for which S-1 was designated.

Example 12.

Designated agent ceases to be a member of the group. (i) Facts. The facts are the same as in paragraph (ii)(A) of Example 11, except that in Year 4 no member requests that the Commissioner replace S-1, which accordingly continues to be the agent for the P group in Year 5 pursuant to paragraph (c)(6)(iii) of this section. On May 2 of Year 5, S-1 converts under State Y law into S-1 LLC, a limited liability company that is an entity that is treated as a disregarded entity (as defined in paragraph (b)(3) of this section) and, as a consequence, is no longer a member of the P group after the conversion.

(ii) Analysis for completed years. S-1 LLC, the disregarded entity resulting from the conversion, becomes S-1's default successor. As such, S-1 LLC is the agent for Years 1-4.

(iii) Analysis for current and succeeding years. S-1 is an agent designated by the Commissioner pursuant to paragraph (c)(6)(i)(A)(3) of this section. Because S-1 is no longer a member of the P group after May 2 of Year 5, S-1 is the agent for the P group for Year 5 only while it remains a member (see paragraphs (c)(6)(i) and (iii) of this section). According to paragraph (c)(6)(i) of this section, although S-1 LLC is S-1's default successor, it is not a member of the group for the current year and therefore cannot be its agent. Furthermore, S-1 cannot designate an agent for Year 5 under paragraph (c)(5)(i) of this section because that paragraph pertains only to designations for completed years for which there is no default successor. In addition, S-1 cannot designate an agent for Year 5 under paragraph (c)(5)(i) of this section because S-1 was previously designated by the Commissioner under paragraph (c)(6)(i)(A)(3) of this section.

(iv) Member's notice to Commissioner for Commissioner to designate a member of the group for a current year. A member of the group in Year 5 should request that the Commissioner designate, pursuant to paragraphs (c)(6)(i)(A)(2) and (c)(6)(iv) of this section, another member of the P group to be the agent of the group for Year 5. The Commissioner may then, pursuant to paragraph (c)(6)(i)(A)(2) of this section, designate either S-2, S-3, or P to be the agent for the P group and, once so designated, that member will be, effective on May 3 of Year 5, the agent for all of Year 5 and for succeeding years (subject to the rules of this section) pursuant to paragraph (c)(6)(iii) of this section. No actions taken by S-1 on behalf of the P group through May 2, Year 5, are nullified by the Commissioner's designation of another agent even though the agent so designated will be the agent for all of Year 5.

Example 13.

Fraudulent conveyance of assets. (i) Facts. As of January 1 of Year 1, P is the common parent and agent for the P consolidated group consisting of P and its two subsidiaries, S and S-1. On March 15 of Year 2, P files a consolidated return that includes the income of S and S-1 for Year 1. On December 1 of Year 2, S-1 transfers assets having a fair market value of $100x to U in exchange for $10x. This transfer of assets for less than fair market value constitutes a fraudulent conveyance under applicable state law. On March 1 of Year 5, P executes a waiver extending to December 31 of Year 6 the period of limitations on assessment with respect to the P group's Year 1 consolidated return. On February 1 of Year 6, the Commissioner issues a notice of deficiency to P asserting a deficiency of $30x for the P group's Year 1 consolidated tax liability. P does not file a petition for redetermination in the Tax Court, and the Commissioner makes a timely assessment against the P group. P, S, and S-1 are all insolvent and are unable to pay the deficiency. On February 1 of Year 8, the Commissioner sends a notice of transferee liability to U, which does not file a petition in the Tax Court. On August 1 of Year 8, the Commissioner assesses the amount of the P group's deficiency against U. Under section 6901(c), the Commissioner may assess U's transferee liability within one year after the expiration of the period of limitations against the transferor, S-1. By operation of section 6213(a) and 6503(a), the issuance of the notice of deficiency to P and the expiration of the 90-day period for filing a petition in the Tax Court have the effect of further extending by 150 days the P group's limitations period on assessment from the previously extended date of December 31 of Year 6 to May 30 of Year 7.

(ii) Analysis. Pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the waiver executed by P on March 1 of Year 5 to extend the period of limitations on assessment to December 31 of Year 6 and the further extension of the P group's limitations period to May 30 of Year 7 (by operation of sections 6213(a) and 6503(a)) have the derivative effect of extending the period of limitations on assessment of U's transferee liability to May 30 of Year 8. By operation of section 6901(f), the issuance of the notice of transferee liability to U and the expiration of the 90-day period for filing a petition in the Tax Court have the effect of further extending the limitations period on assessment of U's liability as a transferee by 150 days, from May 30 of Year 8 to October 27 of Year 8. Accordingly, the Commissioner may send a notice of transferee liability to U at any time on or before May 30 of Year 8 and assess the unpaid liability against U at any time on or before October 27 of Year 8. The result would be the same even if S-1 ceased to exist before March 1 of Year 5, the date P executed the waiver.

Example 14.

Consent to extend the statute of limitations for a partnership where a member of the consolidated group is a partner of such partnership subject to the provisions of the Code and the tax matters partner is not a member of the group. (i) Facts. P is the common parent and agent for the P consolidated group consisting of P and its two subsidiaries, S and S-1. The P group has a November 30 fiscal year end and P files consolidated returns for the P group for the years ending November 30, Year 1 and November 30, Year 2. S-1 is a partner in the PRS partnership, which is subject to the provisions of sections 6221 through 6234. PRS has a calendar year end and A, an individual, is the tax matters partner of the PRS partnership. PRS files a partnership return for the year ending December 31, Year 1. On January 10, Year 5, A, as the tax matters partner for the PRS partnership, executes a consent to extend the period for assessment of partnership items of PRS for all partners, and the Commissioner co-executes the consent on the same day for the year ending December 31, Year 1.

(ii) Analysis. A's consent to extend the statute of limitations for the partnership items of PRS partnership for the year ending December 31, Year 1, extends the statute of limitations with respect to the partnership items for all members of the P group, including P, S, and S-1 for the consolidated return year ending November 30, Year 2. This is because S-1 is a partner in the PRS partnership for which A, the tax matters partner for the PRS partnership, consents, pursuant to section 6229(b)(1)(B), to extend the statute of limitations for the year ending December 31, Year 1. However, under paragraph (f)(2)(iii) of this section, such agreement with respect to the statute of limitations for the PRS partnership for the year ending December 31, Year 1 does not obviate the need to obtain a consent from P, the agent for the P consolidated group, to extend the statute of limitations for the P consolidated group for the P group's consolidated return years ending November 30, Year 1 and November 30, Year 2 regarding any items other than partnership items or affected items of the PRS partnership.

Example 15.

Contacting subsidiary member in order to facilitate the conduct of an examination, appeal, or settlement where a member of the consolidated group is a partner of a partnership subject to the provisions of the Code. (i) Facts. P is the common parent and agent for the P consolidated group consisting of P and its two subsidiaries, S and S-1. The P group has a November 30 fiscal year end, and P files consolidated returns for the P group for the years ending November 30, Year 1 and November 30, Year 2. S-1 is a partner in the PRS partnership, which is subject to the provisions of sections 6221 through 6234. PRS has a calendar year end and A, an individual, is the tax matters partner of the PRS partnership. PRS files a partnership return for the year ending December 31, Year 1. The Commissioner, on January 10, Year 4, in the course of an examination of the PRS partnership for the year ending December 31, Year 1, seeks to obtain information in the course of that examination to resolve the audit.

(ii) Analysis. Because the direct contact with a subsidiary member of a consolidated group that is a partner in a partnership subject to the provisions under sections 6221 through 6234 may facilitate the conduct of an examination, appeal, or settlement, the Commissioner, under paragraph (f)(2)(iii) of this section, may communicate directly with either S-1, P, or A regarding the PRS partnership without breaking agency pursuant to paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section. However, if the Commissioner were instead seeking to execute a settlement agreement with respect to S-1 as a partner with respect to its liability as a partner in PRS partnership, P would need to execute such settlement agreement for all members of the group including the partner subsidiary.

(h) Cross-reference. For further rules applicable to groups that include insolvent financial institutions, see § 301.6402-7 of this chapter.

(i) [Reserved]

(j) Effective/applicability date—(1) In general. The rules of this section apply to consolidated return years beginning on or after April 1, 2015. For prior years beginning before June 28, 2002, see § 1.1502-77A. For prior years beginning on or after June 28, 2002, and before April 1, 2015, see § 1.1502-77B.

(2) Application of this section to prior years. Notwithstanding paragraph (j)(1) of this section, an agent may apply the rules of paragraph (c)(7) of this section to resign as agent for a completed year that began before April 1, 2015.

§ 1.1502-78 [Amended]
Par. 6. Section 1.1502-78 is amended as follows: 1. Paragraph (a) is amended by removing every occurrence of the language “(or substitute agent designated under § 1.1502-77(d) for the carryback year)” and adding “(or the agent determined under § 1.1502-77(c) or § 1.1502-77B(d) for the carryback year)” in its place. 2. Paragraph (b)(1) is amended by removing the language “(or substitute agent designated under § 1.1502-77(d) for the carryback year)” and adding “(or the agent determined under § 1.1502-77(c) or § 1.1502-77B(d) for the carryback year)” in its place. 3. Paragraph (c) is amended by removing each occurrence of the language “1966” and adding “2003” in its place; removing the language “1967” and adding “2004” in its place; removing each occurrence of the language “1968” and adding “2005” in its place; and removing each occurrence of the language “1969” and adding “2006” in its place. PART 602—OMB CONTROL NUMBERS UNDER THE PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT Par. 7. The authority citation for part 602 continues to read as follows: Authority:

26 U.S.C. 7805.

Par. 8. In § 602.101, revise paragraph (b) by adding an entry in numerical order to the table to read as follows:
§ 602.101 OMB Control numbers.

(b) * * *

CFR part or section where identified and described Current OMB control No. *    *    *    *    * 1.1502-77B 1545-1699 *    *    *    *    *
John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: February 23, 2015. Mark D. Mazur, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy).
[FR Doc. 2015-07182 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0082] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Ontonagon River, Ontonagon, MI AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is removing the existing drawbridge operation regulation for the S64 drawbridge across Ontonagon River, mile 0.2, at Ontonagon, Ontonagon County, Michigan. The drawbridge was replaced with a fixed bridge in 2006 and the operating regulation is no longer applicable or necessary.

DATES:

This rule is effective April 1, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this final rule, [USCG-2015-0082] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this final rule. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Mr. Lee Soule, Bridge Management Specialist, Ninth Coast Guard District; telephone (216) 902-6085, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Regulatory History and Information

The Coast Guard is issuing this final rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because the S64 drawbridge, that once required draw operations in 33 CFR 117.639, was replaced with a fixed bridge in 2006. Therefore, the regulation is no longer applicable and shall be removed from publication. It is unnecessary to publish an NPRM because this regulatory action does not purport to place any restrictions on mariners but rather removes a restriction that has no further use or value.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective in less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The bridge has been a fixed bridge for 9 years and this rule merely requires an administrative change to the Federal Register, in order to omit a regulatory requirement that is no longer applicable or necessary. The modification has already taken place and the removal of the regulation will not affect mariners currently operating on this waterway. Therefore, a delayed effective date is unnecessary.

B. Basis and Purpose

The S64 drawbridge across the Ontonagon River, mile 0.2, was removed and replaced with a fixed bridge in 2006. It has come to the attention of the Coast Guard that the governing regulation for this drawbridge was never removed subsequent to the removal of the drawbridge and completion of the fixed bridge that replaced it. The elimination of this drawbridge necessitates the removal of the drawbridge operation regulation, 33 CFR 117.639,that pertained to the former drawbridge.

The purpose of this rule is to remove 33 CFR 117.639 from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) since it governs a bridge that is no longer able to be opened.

C. Discussion of Rule

The Coast Guard is changing the regulation in 33 CFR 117.639 by removing restrictions and the regulatory burden related to the draw operations for this bridge that is no longer a drawbridge. The change removes the regulation governing the S64 drawbridge since the bridge has been replaced with a fixed bridge. This Final Rule seeks to update the CFR by removing language that governs the operation of the S64 drawbridge, which in fact is no longer a drawbridge. This change does not affect waterway or land traffic.

D. Regulatory Analyses

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

1. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

The Coast Guard does not consider this rule to be “significant” under that Order because it is an administrative change and does not affect the way vessels operate on the waterway.

2. Impact on Small Entities

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

This rule will have no effect on small entities since this drawbridge has been replaced with a fixed bridge and the regulation governing draw operations for this bridge is no longer applicable. There is no new restriction or regulation being imposed by this rule; therefore, the Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities

3. Collection of Information

This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

4. Federalism

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

5. Protest Activities

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

6. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

7. Taking of Private Property

This rule will not cause a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.

8. Civil Justice Reform

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

9. Protection of Children

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

10. Indian Tribal Governments

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

11. Energy Effects

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

12. Technical Standards

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

13. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have concluded that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves removing drawbridge operating regulations. This rule is categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction.

Under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction, an environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion determination are not required for this rule.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

Bridges.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

§ 117.639 [Removed]
2. Remove § 117.639.
Dated: March 19, 2015. F. M. Midgette, Rear Admiral, U. S. Coast Guard, Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2015-07318 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Parts 161 and 164 [Docket No. USCG-2005-21869] RIN 1625-AA99 Vessel Requirements for Notices of Arrival and Departure, and Automatic Identification System AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Correcting amendments.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard published a final rule in the Federal Register on January 30, 2015, to expand the applicability of notice of arrival and automatic identification system (AIS) requirements and make related amendments regarding AIS. In that rule there is an error in the definition of Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) User and one in the AIS applicability regulation. This rule corrects those errors.

DATES:

This rule is effective April 1, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email call or email Mr. Jorge Arroyo, Office of Navigation Systems (CG-NAV-2), Coast Guard; telephone 202-372-1563, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Ms. Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Viewing Documents Associated With This Rule

To view the final rule published on January 30, 2015 (80 FR 5282), or other documents in the docket for this rulemaking, go to www.regulations.gov, type the docket number, USCG-2005-21869, in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on “Open Docket Folder” in the first item listed. Use the following link to go directly to the docket: www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=USCG-2005-21869.

Background

On January 30, 2015, the Coast Guard published a final rule to expand the applicability of notice of arrival and automatic identification system (AIS) requirements and make related amendments regarding AIS. 80 FR 5282. We have identified two errors in this correction document.

In the final rule, we revised the definition of “VTS User” (Vessel Traffic Service User) in 33 CFR 161.2. 80 FR 5334. Paragraph (3) of that definition should only have included vessels required to install and use a Coast Guard type-approved AIS, instead the definition included all vessels equipped with a Coast Guard type-approved AIS whether it is required or not. The definition published in the final rule is inconsistent with the discussion in the preambles of both the NPRM and final rule which encourage all vessel owners to use AIS. 73 FR 76295, 76301, December 16, 2008; and 80 FR 5311, Jan. 30, 2015. The definition of “VTS User” in the final rule is also inconsistent with our authority to impose VTS User requirements.

Also in the final rule at paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of 33 CFR 164.46, we omitted the word “self-propelled” when describing vessels certificated to carry more than 150 passengers that are required to have on board a properly installed, operational Coast Guard type-approved AIS Class A device. 80 FR 5335. As indicated in the final rule preamble (80 FR 5307, January 30, 2015) and the NPRM proposed rule (73 FR 76317, December 16, 2008), we intended to limit the applicability of § 164.46(b)(1)(iii) to self-propelled vessels.

Need for Corrections

As discussed above, the published definition of “VTS User” in 33 CFR 161.2 and AIS applicability paragraph (b)(1)(iii) in § 164.46 each contain an error which is misleading and needs to be corrected.

List of Subjects 33 CFR Part 161

Harbors, Navigation (water), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Vessels, Waterways.

33 CFR Part 164

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

Accordingly, 33 CFR parts 161 and 164 are corrected by making the following correcting amendments:

PART 161—VESSEL TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT 1. The authority citation for part 161 continues to read as follows: Authority:

33 U.S.C. 1223, 1231; 46 U.S.C. 70114, 70119; Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

2. In § 161.2, add the word “required” before the words “Coast Guard” in paragraph (3) of the definition of “VTS User.” PART 164-NAVIGATION SAFETY REGULATIONS 3. The authority citation for part 164 continues to read as follows: Authority:

33 U.S.C. 1222(5), 1223, 1231; 46 U.S.C. 2103, 3703; E.O. 12234, 45 FR 58801, 3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p. 277; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. Sec. 164.13 also issued under 46 U.S.C. 8502. Sec. 164.46 also issued under 46 U.S.C. 70114 and Sec. 102 of Pub. L. 107-295. Sec. 164.61 also issued under 46 U.S.C. 6101.

4. In § 164.46(b)(1)(iii), add the word “self-propelled” before the word “vessel”. Dated: March 25, 2015. K. Kroutil, Chief, Office of Regulations and Administrative Law, U.S. Coast Guard.
[FR Doc. 2015-07228 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2014-0586; FRL-9924-64-Region 9] Approval and Promulgation of State Implementation Plans; California; Regional Haze Progress Report AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a revision to the California Regional Haze (RH) State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) documenting that the State's existing plan is making adequate progress to achieve visibility goals by 2018. The revision consists of the California Regional Haze Plan 2014 Progress Report that addresses the Regional Haze Rule (RHR) requirements under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to describe progress in achieving visibility goals in Federally designated Class I areas in California and nearby states. EPA is taking final action to approve California's determination that the existing RH SIP is adequate to meet these visibility goals and requires no substantive revision at this time.

DATES:

Effective date: This rule is effective May 1, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2014-0586 for this action. Generally, documents in the docket are available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at EPA Region 9, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California. Please note that while many of the 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, or otherwise voluminous materials), and some may not be available at either location (e.g., confidential business information). To inspect the hard copy materials that are publicly available, please schedule an appointment during normal business hours with the contact listed directly below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Thomas Webb, U.S. EPA, Region 9, Planning Office, Air Division, AIR-2, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Thomas Webb may be reached at telephone number (415) 947-4139 and via electronic mail at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Overview of Proposed Action II. Public Comments and EPA Responses III. Summary of Final Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Overview of Proposed Action

EPA proposed on September 29, 2014, to approve the California Regional Haze Plan 2014 Progress Report (“Progress Report” or “Report”) as a revision to the California RH SIP.1 CARB submitted the Progress Report to EPA on June 16, 2014, to address the RHR requirements at 40 CFR 51.308(g), (h), and (i). As described in our proposal, CARB demonstrated that the emission control measures in the existing California RH SIP are sufficient to enable California, as well as other states with Class I areas affected by emissions from sources in California, to meet all established visibility goals (known as reasonable progress goals or RPGs) for 2018. Based on our evaluation of the Report, we proposed to approve CARB's determination that the California RH SIP requires no substantive revision at this time. We also proposed to find that CARB fulfilled the requirements in 51.308(i)(2), (3), and (4) to provide Federal Land Managers (FLMs) with an opportunity to consult on the RH SIP revision, describe how CARB addressed the FLMs' comments, and provide procedures for continuing the consultation. Please refer to our proposed rule for background information on the RHR, the California RH SIP, and the specific requirements for Progress Reports.

1 79 FR 58302-58309.

II. Public Comments and EPA Responses

EPA's proposed action provided for a public comment period that, upon request, was extended to 60 days ending on November 28, 2014.2 We received one set of comments from the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA).3 NPCA's comments and our responses are summarized below.

2 79 FR 64160.

3 Letter from Nathan Miller (NPCA) to Thomas Webb (EPA) dated November 29, 2014.

A. General Comments

Comment: In a number of its comments, NPCA requested that EPA provide information or analysis that is not included in CARB's Progress Report. In several instances, NPCA requested that EPA include such information by revising the CARB's Progress Report itself. For example, NPCA requested that EPA revise the Report to include emissions from natural sources, impacts of pollutant species, estimates of emission trends from sources outside the State, and reduced RPGs that reflect progress to date,

Response: EPA's role is to review progress reports as they are submitted by the states and to either approve or disapprove them based on a comparison of their content to the requirements of the Regional Haze Rule. EPA is not able to revise a state's progress report, and we are not obligated to develop a progress report ourselves if we approve the state's progress report. In the case of California's Progress Report, EPA's proposed approval is based on our determination that CARB has adequately addressed the requirements in 40 CFR 51.308(g) and (h) through the information provided in its Report. CARB provided an opportunity for public comment before submitting its Report to EPA, which would have been the opportune time to address the contents. Otherwise, the State is under no obligation to provide information beyond what is required by Rule. While additional information or different types of analysis would potentially add value, we must evaluate the State's Progress Report based on its contents in relation to the statutory and regulatory requirements. As explained in our responses to specific comments below, the commenter has not identified any such requirements which the Progress Report fails to meet, nor has the commenter identified any shortcomings in the data or analysis upon which the Report relies. Accordingly, EPA has no obligation to supplement the Progress Report's contents or to disapprove the Report.

Comment: NPCA encouraged EPA and California to begin identifying potential sources of emission reductions for the 2018 SIP revision, including any gaps in monitoring and emission inventories. Two types of sources mentioned are those that were not subject to Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) due to low effects on visibility and non-BART point sources.

Response: We agree that additional source analysis is needed in the next phase of the program.

B. Emission Reductions Achieved

Comment: NPCA argued that while the Progress Report accounts for emission reductions, it does not distinguish between emission reductions achieved as a result of the California RH SIP versus reductions achieved as a result of other enforceable measures and voluntary programs. NPCA requested that EPA require the State to revise the Report to quantify the emission reductions achieved specifically by the RH SIP.

Response: We disagree that the CARB has not properly reported on the emission reductions achieved by implementing the measures in the California RH SIP, as required under 40 CFR 51.308(g)(2). Nothing in this provision of the Rule requires a detailed, causal analysis linking specific emission reductions to specific regional haze SIP measures. The RHR is explicitly designed to facilitate the coordination of emissions management strategies for regional haze with those needed to implement national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS).4 In fact, the RHR prohibits states from adopting RPGs that represent less visibility improvement than is expected to result from the implementation of other CAA requirements during the planning period.5 Given this requirement, California and other states include in their RH SIPs a number of Federal and State regulations that were in effect or were expected to come into effect during the period covered by the Progress Report that were anticipated to result in reductions of visibility impairing pollutants.

4 See 64 FR 33713, 35719-35720 (July 1, 1999).

5 40 CFR 51.308(d)(1)(vi).

The California RH SIP is based on a number of air quality programs that represent some of the most stringent air pollution controls in the country. These measures include those to achieve ozone, fine particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide NAAQS. Emission reductions also are achieved by installing and operating BART controls on the Valero refinery as required by the RHR. Other measures, for example, are related to innovative programs to reduce mobile source emissions or conserve energy. In essence, the State's plan to improve visibility in its Class I areas is inextricably linked to emission reductions from a variety of programs. Given the plan's reliance on a range of control measures, CARB's Progress Report appropriately summarizes all the emission reductions that the RH SIP encompasses.

Comment: NPCA particularly encouraged EPA to include emission reductions from California's only BART source, the Valero refinery in Benicia, California.

Response: CARB states in its Progress Report 6 that BART controls were installed and operating at the main stack of the Valero refinery as of February 2011. These controls include an amine scrubber to reduce sulfur dioxide (SO2), a pre-scrubber to remove SO2 and particulate matter of ten microns or less (PM10), and selective catalytic reduction and low-nitrogen oxide (NOX) burners to remove NOX. CARB states that these improvements have resulted in reductions equivalent to 5,731 tons per year (tpy) of SOX, 237 tpy of NOX, and 22 tpy of PM10. These emission reductions, included in the State's plan and in its Progress Report, primarily benefit visibility at the Point Reyes National Seashore. Thus, the State has provided the information that NPCA requested.

6 California Regional Haze Plan 2014 Progress Report, CARB, May 22, 2014, pages 6-7.

Comment: NPCA also encouraged EPA to include a direct comparison of the emission projections used by the WRAP in its model relied upon by California to establish its RPGs versus the most recent emission inventory, to explain any discrepancies and projected changes to 2018.

Response: The RHR does not require a direct comparison of the emission projections used to establish the RPGs in 2018 for the California RH SIP, with the most recent emission inventory used in the Progress Report to summarize emission reductions achieved. To understand better the difficulty of relying on emission inventories to evaluate visibility conditions at individual Class I areas, please refer to the WRAP Regional Haze Rule Reasonable Progress Report Support Document.7 The Rule does require a state to use updated emission inventories and other data for the comprehensive revision to the RH SIP due in 2018 that establishes new RPGs for 2028.

7 WRAP Regional Haze Rule Reasonable Progress Report Support Document, Emissions Inventories, page 3-11 to 3-29.

C. Changes in Visibility Conditions

Comment: NPCA requested that EPA revise the Progress Report to include “natural conditions and the uniform rate of progress (URP) milestones” since these are “the goals by which visibility progress is measured.” NPCA included a table focusing on visibility improvement on worst days, the salient component of which is comparing the five-year period from 2008-2012 to the URP milestone in 2018.8

8 NPCA letter to EPA dated November 29, 2014, page 8.

Response: The RHR in 51.308(g)(3) requires a state to assess visibility for most impaired and least impaired days based on five-year averages at each Class I area for current conditions, current compared to baseline conditions, and over the past five years. As stated in the title of 40 CFR 51.308(g), these are “[r]equirements for periodic reports describing progress towards the reasonable progress goals.” While the URP to natural conditions, and the resulting URP milestone for 2018, is an important frame of reference, a state is required to report progress toward its RPG for 2018, not the URP milestone. CARB used the five-year period from 2007-2011 as the basis of comparison to the RPGs,9 which was the most current data available at the time of the analysis. CARB also included data on visibility conditions at each Class I area in 2012 in the appendices 10 to indicate further progress, even though this year is outside the time frame of the State's review. We do not agree that the Progress Report needs revision, because CARB has adequately addressed this particular requirement.

9 See Progress Report, Statewide 2018 Reasonable Progress Goals Summary, Table 3, page 12.

10 See Progress Report, Deciview Record (2000-2012), Appendix C, Tables C-1, C-2, and C-3.

Comment: NPCA requested that EPA include the five-year rolling averages of species extinction in graphical and tabular form for each Class I area to illustrate more clearly the impact associated with each pollutant species. Further, NPCA suggested that EPA clearly include estimates of emission trends from relevant sources outside the State that impact California's Class I areas.

Response: The data on species extinction, while potentially informative, is not required by the Rule. As to emission trends of sources outside of California, this information is required in the progress reports from states in which those Class I areas are located. It is worth noting that CARB is required to address any significant changes in anthropogenic emissions within or outside the State that have impeded progress at its Class I areas under 51.308(g)(5), which is addressed further below.

D. Changes in Emissions

Comment: NPCA stated that the emissions inventory in the Report does not include natural sources, which are particularly important due to the role of wildfire in visibility impairment. NPCA requested that EPA include emissions from natural sources in the State's emissions inventory, including projected future values. NPCA further stated that it is unclear whether the emission inventory includes several other growing sources of anthropogenic emissions, including emissions from increased oil and gas production (e.g., from fracking and transportation of crude oil through California by rail). NPCA also noted that the Report did not discuss emissions of ammonia, a precursor to ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate, which impair visibility.

Response: CARB provides statewide emission inventories by source category and pollutant in five-year increments from 2000 to 2020 in the Emission Inventory 2013 Almanac (Appendix B of the Progress Report) that is used as the basis for reporting on emission inventories and trends, including the period from 2005 to 2010. In the context of reducing man-made impairment of visibility, EPA does not expect states to include wildfires in addressing this requirement. While developing an inventory of past wildfire emissions is possible, using this information to project future emissions is highly problematic given the variation in time and place as well as the inherent unpredictability of wildfire events. That said, CARB includes in its Progress Report 11 three case studies that provide a detailed analysis of the impact of documented wildfire events on specific Class I areas. While not appropriate for a trend analysis, this type of information is critical to understanding the effect of wildfires on visibility, especially in Class I areas where wildfires have limited progress toward achieving the RPGs for 2018.

11 Progress Report, Technical Analyses of Factors Impeding Progress, Appendix D, pages 1-23.

CARB did include emissions from oil and gas production. Two source categories are listed for each of the four pollutants (NOX, SOX, volatile organic compounds (VOC), and particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less (PM2.5)) in the Emission Inventory 2013 Almanac.12 The first category, “Oil and Gas Production (Combustion),” is largely emissions from oil field equipment, which are mostly point sources. The second category, “Oil and Gas Production,” consists of evaporative emissions from sources like tanks and leaking valves, which are usually area sources. Another category, listed as “Off-Road Equipment,” includes emissions from drilling rigs. CARB's interactive emission inventory that was used for the Progress Report is available online at http://www.arb.ca.gov/app/emsinv/fcemssumcat2013.php.

12 Progress Report, Appendix B.

It is difficult to determine whether the limited, minor increases in the Oil and Gas inventory are attributable to any increase in production. We consider any potential growth in this sector a prospective issue for the State to address in its next RH SIP revision due in 2018. Nonetheless, according to the Emission Inventory 2013 Almanac (Appendix B), the following trends are discernable:

Oil and Gas Production (Combustion): For this category of oil and gas stationary sources, NOX emissions constitute the largest annual total (3,723 tpy in 2010) of the four pollutants listed in the State's inventory. However, these emissions are projected to decline from 2000 to 2020. SOX emissions from this category increased from 2005 to 2010 (475 to 767 tpy), but overall are projected to decline from 2000 to 2020. VOC emissions are relatively flat (949 tpy in 2005 and 2010). PM2.5, while also relatively flat from 2000 to a projected 2020, increased slightly from 2005 to 2010 (657 to 767 tpy).

Oil and Gas Production: For this category of oil and gas area sources, VOCs constitute the largest annual total (13,615 tpy in 2010), but are projected to decline from 2000 to 2020. For the five-year period from 2005 to 2010, emissions of VOCs decreased about 11 percent from 15,367 to 13,615 tpy. These oil and gas area sources also emit NOX emissions, but at a lower level. Emissions of NOX are expected to decline from 2000 to 2020, including from 986 tpy in 2005 to 803 tpy in 2010. SOX emissions are consistently flat from 2000 to 2020 at about 36 tpy. PM2.5 emissions were 36 tpy in 2005 and are reportedly zero for 2010 and the inventory years thereafter.

Regarding ammonia, the RHR does not require the inclusion of ammonia in the emission inventory. In EPA's General Principles for developing the progress reports, we explained that “[b]ecause nearly all of the initial regional haze SIPs . . . considered only SO2, NOX, and PM as visibility impairing pollutants, the first five-year reports are usually not required to identify or quantify emission reductions for other pollutants, such as ammonia or VOC.” 13 Although not required, information exists regarding whether emissions of ammonia are an issue in California. For example, research by CARB 14 indicates that, due to the relative abundance of ammonia, reducing ammonia emissions are not as effective at reducing ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate as directly reducing NOX and SO2.

13 General Principles for the 5-Year Regional Haze Progress Reports, USEPA, April 2013, page 7.

14 Proposed Revision to the PM2.5 State Implementation Plan for the San Joaquin Valley, Weight of Evidence Analysis, Appendix B, CARB, January 11, 2013, at http://www.arb.ca.gov/planning/sip/sjvpm25/24hrsjvpm25.htm.

E. Anthropogenic Emissions Impeding Progress

Comment: NPCA acknowledged that California discusses the impacts of wildfire, off-shore shipping, and Asian dust, which have impeded progress in some of California's Class I areas. NPCA suggested that EPA do more research in these areas to develop nationally consistent methods to account for emissions from these types of sources. For example, the distinction between prescribed fires and wildfires is confusing in regard to what is natural versus anthropogenic and what is controllable versus uncontrollable given the interconnection between these two categories of fire. Similarly, NPCA encouraged EPA to address emissions from federally regulated sources and to consult with other countries on international sources of haze. NPCA restated its concern regarding the potential for increased emissions related to oil and gas development and production, as well as the importation of crude oil by rail. NPCA also addressed the indirect impacts of climate change on regional haze as warmer temperatures contribute to higher ground level ozone and PM2.5 concentrations.

Response: EPA acknowledges that more research and consistent methods are needed to understand and measure the effects of anthropogenic emissions from sources outside a state's control (e.g., emissions from Asia, Mexico, and Canada). Further research also is needed concerning the anthropogenic component of wildfires and prescribed fires, which is subject to interpretation, and varies over time and place. It is worth noting that the Federal government continues to regulate emissions from mobile and off-shore shipping, for example, which are credited in the RH SIPs. Moreover, we understand and share concerns about the potential effects of climate change on human health and the environment. We continually work with CARB and other air quality agencies in California to update and improve emission inventories in order to evaluate more accurately our progress in improving human health and the environment.

F. Meeting the Reasonable Progress Goals

Comment: NPCA is concerned that the progress that California appears to be making in most Class I areas may not be enforceable or permanent. NPCA encouraged EPA to revise downward the RPGs for 2018 to reflect the progress to date, noting that California has previously committed to reevaluating the RPGs to determine if they should be adjusted to better reflect achievable improvement.

Response: The purpose of the Progress Report is to evaluate whether the State's existing plan is making sufficient progress in achieving the established RPGs for 2018 in its 29 Class I areas, and is not interfering with the ability of other States to make similar progress in nearby Class I areas. The Rule does not make any provision for EPA to require a state to lower its RPGs where it appears from a progress report that they will be achieved.

G. Visibility Monitoring Strategy

Comment: NPCA encouraged EPA to maintain, and consider increasing, funding for the IMPROVE monitoring network, given that a number of California's Class I areas share monitors.

Response: EPA acknowledges NPCA's support for the IMPROVE monitoring network.

H. Determination of Adequacy

Comment: NPCA requested that EPA not approve California's determination of adequacy. NPCA cited the fact that the LAVO 15 monitoring data shows degradation of visibility on the worst days, and is therefore not on track to meet its RPG. This means that the SIP is not sufficient to meet the established visibility goals. NPCA also mentioned California's identification of wildfires, shipping emissions, and Asian dust as relatively significant factors, particularly in relation to the LAVO monitor.

15 LAVO is an IMPROVE monitor collecting air quality data for Lassen Volcanic National Park, Caribou Wilderness Area, and Thousand Lakes Wilderness Area in northern California.

Response: EPA disagrees with NPCA's request to disapprove the State's determination of adequacy. The requested disapproval is based on the commenter's interpretation that the LAVO monitoring data, representing three Class I areas in northern California, indicate that these Class I areas will not achieve the RPG by 2018. As we noted in our proposal,16 LAVO is the only monitor, based on the most recent five-year average (2008-2012), which shows worse visibility conditions (15.6 dv) compared to its baseline (14.1 dv). However, this situation in 2008-2012 does not necessarily mean that the SIP is not adequate to achieve the RPG by 2018, because wildfire smoke, a key contributor to haze in this period, should not be assumed to be the same in 2018 as during 2008-2012. We explained that “CARB provides technical analyses of how wildfire smoke can elevate the deciview value on a sufficient number of the 20 percent worst days to increase the annual average deciview as well as skew the five-year average deciview at a given monitor.” 17 In fact, CARB provides a technical analysis of the factors impeding progress at LAVO in its Progress Report.18 In particular, CARB establishes a positive correlation between documented wildfires in southern Oregon and northern California in 2008 and 2009 with exceptionally high readings of organic carbon at the LAVO monitor on worst days in those same years.19 CARB goes on to document that the worst day averages at the LAVO monitor for 2010 (12.8 dv), 2011 (11.7 dv), and 2012 (14.3 dv) were below or near the baseline average of 14.1 dv.20 Taking this evidence of wildfire impacts into consideration, the LAVO monitor establishes a trend toward meeting the RPG for 2018 of 13.3 dv. It is EPA's determination that CARB adequately demonstrates that no substantive revisions are needed at this time to achieve the established RPGs at the Class I areas.

16 79 FR 58307, September 29, 2014.

17 Ibid.

18 Technical Analyses of Factors Impeding Progress, Appendix D, pages D8-D16.

19 See Figure D-7, Relative Contributions to Total Light Extinction at LAVO, Progress Report, page D-9.

20 Progress Report, page D-13.

III. Summary of Final Action

EPA is taking final action to approve the California Regional Haze Plan 2014 Progress Report submitted to EPA on June 16, 2014, as meeting the applicable RHR requirements as set forth in 40 CFR 51.308(g), (h), and (i). With 29 Class I areas in California, we commend CARB on the Progress Report, and in particular, the development of the case studies in Appendix D that provide an analysis of wildfire impacts at three of the IMPROVE monitors. The comprehensive evaluation of the California RH SIP due in 2018 for the next ten-year planning period is the next opportunity to reassess progress and make any necessary adjustments.

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations.21 Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state decisions, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements, and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

21 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because this action does not involve technical standards; and

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

In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply 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.

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

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

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen oxides, Organic carbon, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Visibility, Volatile organic compounds.

Authority:

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Dated: February 27, 2015. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, EPA 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 paragraph (c)(454) to read as follows:
§ 52.220 Identification of plan.

(c) * * *

(454) The following plan was submitted on June 16, 2014, by the Governor's Designee.

(i) [Reserved]

(ii) Additional materials.

(A) California Air Resources Board (CARB).

(1) CARB Resolution 14-15, dated May 22, 2014, approving the “California Regional Haze Plan 2014 Progress Report.”

(2) The “California Regional Haze Plan 2014 Progress Report”, adopted on May 22, 2014.

3. Section 52.281 is amended by adding paragraph (g) to read as follows:
§ 52.281 Visibility protection.

(g) Approval. On June 16, 2014, the California Air Resources Board submitted the “California Regional Haze Plan 2014 Progress Report” (“Progress Report”). The Progress Report meets the requirements of Clean Air Act sections 169A and 169B and the Regional Haze Rule in 40 CFR 51.308.

[FR Doc. 2015-07232 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2012-0353; FRL-9925-50-Region 8] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Montana Second 10-Year Carbon Monoxide Maintenance Plan for Great Falls AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Montana. On July 13, 2011, the Governor of Montana's designee submitted to EPA a second 10-year maintenance plan for the Great Falls area for the carbon monoxide (CO) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). This maintenance plan addresses maintenance of the CO NAAQS for a second 10-year period beyond the original redesignation. EPA is also approving an alternative monitoring strategy for the Great Falls CO maintenance area, which was submitted by the Governor's designee on June 22, 2012.

DATES:

This final rule is effective May 1, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R08-OAR-2012-0353. All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Program, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop St., Denver, Colorado 80202-1129. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view the hard copy of the docket. You may view the hard copy of the docket Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Adam Clark, U.S. EPA, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129, (303) 312-7104, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Definitions

For the purpose of this document, we are giving meaning to certain words or initials as follows:

(i) The words or initials Act or CAA mean or refer to the Clean Air Act, unless the context indicates otherwise. (ii) The initials CO mean or refer to carbon monoxide. (iii) The words EPA, we, us or our mean or refer to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. (iv) The initials NAAQS mean or refer to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. (v) The initials SIP mean or refer to State Implementation Plan. (vi) The words Montana and State mean or refer to the State of Montana. I. Background

Eight years after an area is redesignated to attainment, Clean Air Act (CAA) section 175A(b) requires the state to submit a subsequent maintenance plan to EPA, covering a second 10-year period.1 This maintenance plan must demonstrate continued compliance with the NAAQS during this second 10-year period. On July 13, 2011, the Governor of Montana's designee submitted to EPA a second 10-year maintenance plan for the Great Falls area for the CO NAAQS.

1 In this case, the initial maintenance period extended through 2012. Thus, the second 10-year period extends through 2022.

Along with the revised Great Falls Maintenance Plan, the State submitted a CO maintenance plan for the Billings, Montana maintenance area, and an alternative strategy for monitoring continued attainment of the CO NAAQS in all of the State's CO maintenance areas on July 13, 2011.2 The State submitted the alternative monitoring strategy in order to conserve resources by discontinuing the gaseous CO ambient monitors in both the Billings and Great Falls CO maintenance areas. We commented on the State's “Alternative Monitoring Strategy,” and the State submitted a revised version of the strategy, which incorporated our comments on June 22, 2012.

2 In addition to Billings and Great Falls, the Missoula, MT CO maintenance area was included in the July 13, 2011 Alternative Monitoring Strategy.

In a document published on December 1, 2014, we proposed approval of the Great Falls second 10-year maintenance plan and the associated “Alternative Monitoring Strategy.” (79 FR 71057)

II. Response to Comments

The comment period for our December 1, 2014 proposed rule was open for 30 days. We did not receive any comments on the proposed action.

III. Final Action

EPA is approving the revised Great Falls Maintenance Plan submitted on July 13, 2011. This maintenance plan meets the applicable CAA requirements and EPA has determined it is sufficient to provide for maintenance of the CO NAAQS over the course of the second 10-year maintenance period out to 2022.

EPA is also approving the State's Alternative Monitoring Strategy, submitted on June 22, 2012, for the Great Falls CO maintenance area. We are not approving application of the Alternative Monitoring Strategy in other areas of Montana with this action, as the Alternative Monitoring Strategy must be considered on a case-by-case basis specific to the circumstances of each particular CO maintenance area rather than broadly.

IV. Statutory and Executive Orders Review

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).

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

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

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

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

Authority:

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Dated: March 17, 2015. Debra H. Thomas, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 8.

40 CFR part 52 is amended to read 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 BB—Montana 2. Section 52.1373 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 52.1373 Control strategy: Carbon monoxide.

(c) Revisions to the Montana State Implementation Plan, revised Carbon Monoxide Maintenance Plan for Great Falls, as submitted by the Governor's Designee on July 13, 2011, and the associated Alternative Monitoring Strategy for Great Falls, as submitted by the Governor's Designee on June 22, 2012.

[FR Doc. 2015-07220 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2014-0906; FRL-9922-65-Region 10] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Idaho; Update to Materials Incorporated by Reference AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule; administrative change.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is updating the materials that are incorporated by reference (IBR) into the Idaho State Implementation Plan (SIP). The regulations affected by this update have been previously submitted by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and approved by the EPA. In this action, the EPA is also notifying the public of corrections to typographical errors and minor formatting changes to the IBR tables. This update affects the SIP materials that are available for public inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center located at the EPA's Headquarters in Washington, DC, and the EPA Regional Office.

DATES:

This action is effective April 1, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

SIP materials which are incorporated by reference into 40 CFR part 52 are available for inspection at the following locations: EPA Region 10, Office of Air, Waste, and Toxics (AWT-150), 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, Washington 98101; the Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Room Number 3334, EPA West Building, Washington, DC 20460; or the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Donna Deneen, EPA Region 10, Office of Air, Waste, and Toxics (AWT-150), 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98101, or at (206) 553-6706.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The SIP is a living document which a state revises as necessary to address its unique air pollution problems. Therefore, the EPA, from time to time, must take action on SIP revisions containing new and/or revised regulations as being part of the SIP. On May 22, 1997 (62 FR 27968), the EPA revised the procedures for incorporating by reference Federally-approved SIPs, as a result of consultations between the EPA and the Office of the Federal Register (OFR). The description of the revised SIP document, IBR procedures and “Identification of plan” format are discussed in further detail in the May 22, 1997, Federal Register document. On January 25, 2005 (70 FR 9450), the EPA published a Federal Register document beginning the new IBR procedure for Idaho. On December 28, 2012 (77 FR 76417), the EPA published an update to the IBR material for Idaho.

Since the publication of the last IBR update, the EPA approved into the Idaho SIP the following regulatory changes: 1

1 See 78 FR 16790 (March 19, 2013), 78 FR 20001 (April 3, 2013), 79 FR 11711 (March 3, 2014), 79 FR 16201 (March 25, 2014), and 79 FR 23273 (April 28, 2014).

A. Added Regulations

1. IDAPA 58.01.01 (Rules for the Control of Air pollution in Idaho): section 624.

2. City and County Ordinances: City of Sandpoint Chapter 8 Air Quality (4-8-1 through 4-8-14), City of Clifton Ordinance No. 120, City of Dayton Ordinance #287, Franklin City Ordinance No. 2012-9-12, Franklin County Ordinance No. 2012-6-25, City of Oxford Memorandum of Understanding, City of Preston Ordinance No. 2012-1, City of Weston Ordinance No. 2012-01.

3. EPA-Approved Idaho Source-Specific Requirements: The Amalgamated Sugar Company LLC—Nampa Factory, Nampa, Idaho (Permit No. T2-2009.0105, date issued 12/23/2011).

B. Revised Regulations

IDAPA 58.01.01 (Rules for the Control of Air pollution in Idaho): sections 006, 107, 220, 222, 617, 618, 620, 622 and 623.

C. Removed Regulations

1. City and County Ordinances: City of Sandpoint Ordinance No. 965 (2/21/1995 City adoption date).

2. EPA-Approved Idaho Source-Specific Requirements: Louisiana Pacific Corporation, Sandpoint, Idaho (State effective date 10/31/2001), The Amalgamated Sugar Company LLC—Nampa Factory, Nampa, Idaho (Permit No. T2-2009.0105, date issued 9/7/2010).

II. EPA Action

In this action, the EPA is announcing the update to the IBR material as of January 15, 2015. The EPA is also correcting typographical errors, including omission and capitalization errors in subsection 52.670(c), table entries 006, 124, and 220. The EPA is also reformatting dates (i.e., month, day and year) and correcting punctuation to display a consistent format throughout the tables in 52.670(c) and (d).

The EPA has determined that today's rule falls under the “good cause” exemption in section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) which, upon finding “good cause,” authorizes agencies to dispense with public participation and section 553(d)(3) which allows an agency to make a rule effective immediately (thereby avoiding the 30-day delayed effective date otherwise provided for in the APA). Today's rule simply codifies provisions which are already in effect as a matter of law in Federal and approved State programs. Under section 553 of the APA, an agency may find good cause where procedures are “impractical, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Public comment is “unnecessary” and “contrary to the public interest” since the codification only reflects existing law. Immediate notice in the CFR benefits the public by removing outdated citations and incorrect table entries.

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because this action does not involve technical standards; and

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

In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where the EPA or an Indian Tribe has demonstrated that a Tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have Tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

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. The 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).

The EPA has also determined that the provisions of section 307(b)(1) of the CAA pertaining to petitions for judicial review are not applicable to this action. Prior EPA rulemaking actions for each individual component of the Idaho SIP compilations had previously afforded interested parties the opportunity to file a petition for judicial review in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit within 60 days of such rulemaking action. Thus, the EPA sees no need in this action to reopen the 60-day period for filing such petitions for judicial review for this “Identification of plan” update action for Idaho.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

Dated: January 27, 2015. Dennis J. McLerran, Regional Administrator, Region 10.

40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart N—Idaho 2. Section 52.670 is amended by: a. Revising paragraph (b). b. Revising paragraph (c). c. Revising paragraph (d).

The revisions read as follows:

§ 52.670 Identification of plan.

(b) Incorporation by reference.

(1) Material listed as incorporated by reference in paragraphs (c) and (d) was approved for incorporation by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. The material incorporated is as it exists on the date of the approval, and notice of any change in the material will be published in the Federal Register. Entries in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section with EPA approval dates on or after January 15, 2015, will be incorporated by reference in the next update to the SIP compilation.

(2)(i) EPA Region 10 certifies that the rules and regulations provided by EPA at the addresses in paragraph (b)(3) of this section are an exact duplicate of the officially promulgated State rules and regulations which have been approved as part of the State implementation plan as of January 15, 2015.

(ii) EPA Region 10 certifies that the source-specific requirements provided by EPA at the addresses in paragraph (b)(3) of this section are an exact duplicate of the officially promulgated source-specific requirements which have been approved in the notebook “40 CFR 52.670(d)—Source Specific Requirements” as part of the State implementation plan as of January 15, 2015.

(3) Copies of the materials incorporated by reference may be inspected at the EPA Region 10 Office of Air, Waste, and Toxics (AWT-150), 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98101; or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

(c) EPA approved regulations.

EPA Approved Idaho Regulations and Statutes State
  • citation
  • Title/subject State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Explanations
    Idaho Administrative Procedures Act (IDAPA) 58.01.01—Rules for the Control of Air Pollution in Idaho 001 Title and Scope 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 004 Catchlines 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 005 Definitions 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 006 General Definitions 4/4/2013, 3/30/2007, 4/11/2006, 7/1/2002, 4/5/2000, 3/20/1997, 5/1/1994 3/3/2014, 79 FR 11711. Except Section 006.49, 006.50, 006.51, 006.66, 006.67, and 006.68(b), 006.114, and 006.116. 007 Definitions for the Purposes of Sections 200 through 225 and 400 through 461 3/30/2007, 4/11/2006, 4/5/2000, 6/30/1995, 5/1/1995, 5/1/1994 6/9/2011, 76 FR 33647 106 Abbreviations 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 107 Incorporations by Reference 4/4/2013, 10/6/2010, 5/8/2009, 3/30/2007, 3/20/2004, 7/1/1997, 5/1/1994 3/3/2014, 79 FR 11711. Except Section 107.03(f) through (m), and with respect to 107.03(c), its incorporation by reference of 40 CFR 52.21(i)(5)(i)(c), (k)(2), and the second sentence of (b)(49)(ii)(a). 121 Compliance Requirements by Department 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 122 Information Orders by the Department 4/5/2000, 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 123 Certification of Documents 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 124 Truth, Accuracy and Completeness of Documents 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 125 False Statements 3/23/1998 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 126 Tampering 3/23/1998 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 127 Format of Responses 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 130 Startup, Shutdown, Scheduled Maintenance, Safety Measures, Upset and Breakdown 4/5/2000 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 131 Excess Emissions 4/5/2000 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 132 Correction of Condition 4/5/2000 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 133 Start-up, Shutdown and Scheduled Maintenance Requirements 4/11/2006, 4/5/2000, 3/20/1997 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 134 Upset, Breakdown and Safety Requirements 4/11/2006, 4/5/2000, 3/20/1997 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 135 Excess Emission Reports 4/11/2006, 4/5/2000, 3/20/1997 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 136 Excess Emission Records 4/5/2000, 3/23/1998, 3/20/1997 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 155 Circumvention 4/11/2006 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 156 Total Compliance 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 157 Test Methods and Procedures 4/5/2000 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 160 Provisions Governing Specific Activities and Conditions 4/5/2000 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 162 Modifying Physical Conditions 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 163 Source Density 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 164 Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 200 Procedures and Requirements for Permits to Construct 4/2/2008 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 201 Permit to Construct Required 7/1/2002 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 202 Application Procedures 4/6/2005, 7/1/2002, 4/5/2000, 5/1/1994 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 203 Permit Requirements for New and Modified Stationary Sources 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 (Except subsection 203.03). 204 Permit Requirements for New Major Facilities or Major Modifications in Nonattainment Areas 4/2/2008, 3/30/2007, 4/6/2005, 4/5/2000, 5/1/1994 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 205 Permit Requirements for New Major Facilities or Major Modifications in Attainment or Unclassifiable Areas 4/2/2008, 3/30/2007, 4/6/2005 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 206 Optional Offsets for Permits to Construct 4/6/2005 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 207 Requirements for Emission Reduction Credit 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 208 Demonstration of Net Air Quality Benefit 4/5/2000, 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 209 Procedures for Issuing Permits 4/11/2006, 4/6/2005, 5/3/2003, 7/1/2002, 4/5/2000, 3/19/1999, 3/23/1998, 5/1/1994 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 211 Conditions for Permits to Construct 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 212 Obligation to Comply 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 213 Pre-Permit Construction 4/11/2006, 5/3/2003, 4/5/2000, 3/23/1998 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 220 General Exemption Criteria for Permit to Construct Exemptions 4/4/2013, 4/5/2000 3/3/2014, 79 FR 11711 221 Category I Exemption 4/5/2000 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 222 Category II Exemption 4/4/2013, 4/11/2006, 4/5/2000, 5/1/1994, 7/1/1997 3/3/2014, 79 FR 11711 400 Procedures and Requirements for Tier II Operating Permits 7/1/2002 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 401 Tier II Operating Permit 4/6/2005, 7/1/2002, 4/5/2000, 5/1/1994 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 Except 401.01.a (bubbles) and 401.04 (compliance date extension). 402 Application Procedures 7/1/2002, 5/1/1994, 4/5/2000, 7/1/2002 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 403 Permit Requirements for Tier II Sources 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 404 Procedure for Issuing Permits 4/11/2006, 4/5/2000, 5/1/1994, 7/1/2002 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 405 Conditions for Tier II Operating Permits 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 406 Obligation to Comply 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 460 Requirements for Emission Reduction Credits 4/11/2006, 4/5/2000, 5/1/1994 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 461 Requirements for Banking Emission Reduction Credits (ERC's) 4/5/2000, 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 500 Registration Procedures and Requirements for Portable Equipment 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 510 Stack Heights and Dispersion Techniques 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 511 Applicability 4/11/2006 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 512 Definitions 4/11/2006, 5/1/1994, 4/5/2000 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 513 Requirements 4/11/2006 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 514 Opportunity for Public Hearing 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 515 Approval of Field Studies and Fluid Models 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 516 No Restriction on Actual Stack Height 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 550 Air Pollution Emergency Rule 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 551 Episode Criteria 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 552 Stages 3/15/2002, 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 553 Effect of Stages 3/15/2002 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 556 Criteria for Defining Levels Within Stages 3/15/2002, 4/5/2000 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 557 Public Notification 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 558 Information To Be Given 3/15/2002, 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 559 Manner and Frequency of Notification 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 560 Notification to Sources 4/11/2006 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 561 General Rules 4/11/2006, 5/1/1994, 3/15/2002 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 562 Specific Emergency Episode Abatement Plans for Point Sources 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 563 Transportation Conformity 3/30/2001 4/12/2001, 66 FR 18873 564 Incorporation by Reference 3/30/2001 4/12/2001, 66 FR 18873 565 Abbreviations 3/30/2001 4/12/2001, 66 FR 18873 566 Definitions for the Purpose of Sections 563 Through 574 and 582 3/30/2001 4/12/2001, 66 FR 18873 567 Agencies Affected by Consultation 3/30/2001 4/12/2001, 66 FR 18873 568 ICC Member Roles in Consultation 3/30/2001 4/12/2001, 66 FR 18873 569 ICC Member Responsibilities in Consultation 3/30/2001 4/12/2001, 66 FR 18873 570 General Consultation Process 3/30/2001 4/12/2001, 66 FR 18873 571 Consultation Procedures 3/30/2001 4/12/2001, 66 FR 18873 572 Final Conformity Determinations by USDOT 3/30/2001 4/12/2001, 66 FR 18873 573 Resolving Conflicts 3/30/2001 4/12/2001, 66 FR 18873 574 Public Consultation Procedures 3/30/2001 4/12/2001, 66 FR 18873 575 Air Quality Standards and Area Classification 4/11/2006 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 576 General Provisions for Ambient Air Quality Standards 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 578 Designation of Attainment, Unclassifiable, and Nonattainment Areas 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 579 Baselines for Prevention of Significant Deterioration 4/5/2000, 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 580 Classification of Prevention of Significant Deterioration Areas 4/5/2000, 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 581 Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Increments 10/6/2010,4/11/2006, 7/1/1997, 5/1/1994 7/17/2012, 77 FR 41916 582 Interim Conformity Provisions for Northern Ada County Former Nonattainment Area for PM-10 3/30/2001 4/12/2001, 66 FR 18873 600 Rules for Control of Open Burning 4/2/2008 8/1/2008, 73 FR 44915 Previous EPA Approval Date of 7/11/2005 removed in response to 9th Circuit remand. 601 Fire Permits, Hazardous Materials and Liability 4/2/2008 8/1/2008, 73 FR 44915 Previous EPA Approval Date of 7/11/2005 removed in response to 9th Circuit remand. 602 Nonpreemption of Other Jurisdictions 4/2/2008 8/1/2008, 73 FR 44915 Previous EPA Approval Date of 7/11/2005 removed in response to 9th Circuit remand. 603 General Restrictions 4/2/2008,3/21/2003, 5/1/1994 8/1/2008, 73 FR 44915 Previous EPA Approval Date of 7/11/2005 removed in response to 9th Circuit remand. 606 Categories of Allowable Burning 4/2/2008 8/1/2008, 73 FR 44915 Previous EPA Approval Date of 7/11/2005 removed in response to 9th Circuit remand. 607 Recreational and Warming Fires 3/21/2003 8/1/2008, 73 FR 44915 Previous EPA Approval Date of 7/11/2005 removed in response to 9th Circuit remand. 608 Weed Control Fires 5/1/1994 8/1/2008, 73 FR 44915 Previous EPA Approval Date of 7/11/2005 removed in response to 9th Circuit remand. 609 Training Fires 3/21/2003 8/1/2008, 73 FR 44915 Previous EPA Approval Date of 7/11/2005 removed in response to 9th Circuit remand. 610 Industrial Flares 3/21/2003 8/1/2008, 73 FR 44915 Previous EPA Approval Date of 7/11/2005 removed in response to 9th Circuit remand. 611 Residential Solid Waste Disposal Fires 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 612 Landfill Disposal Site Fires 3/21/2003 8/1/2008, 73 FR 44915 Previous EPA Approval Date of 7/11/2005 removed in response to 9th Circuit remand. 613 Orchard Fires 3/21/2003, 5/1/1994 8/1/2008, 73 FR 44915 Previous EPA Approval Date of 7/11/2005 removed in response to 9th Circuit remand. 614 Prescribed Burning 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 615 Dangerous Material Fires 3/21/2003 8/1/2008, 73 FR 44915 Previous EPA Approval Date of 7/11/2005 removed in response to 9th Circuit remand. 616 Infectious Waste Burning 3/21/2003 8/1/2008, 73 FR 44915 Previous EPA Approval Date of 7/11/2005 removed in response to 9th Circuit remand. 617 Crop Residue 7/1/2011, 4/2/2008 3/19/2013, 78 FR 16790 618 Permit By Rule 7/1/2011, 4/2/2008 3/19/2013, 78 FR 16790 619 Registration for Permit By Rule 4/2/2008 8/1/2008, 73 FR 44915 620 Registration Fee 7/1/2011, 4/2/2008 3/19/2013, 78 FR 16790 621 Burn Determination 4/2/2008 8/1/2008, 73 FR 44915 622 General Provisions 7/1/2011, 4/2/2008 3/19/2013, 78 FR 16790 623 Public Notification 7/1/2011, 4/2/2008 3/19/2013, 78 FR 16790 624 Spot Burn, Baled Agricultural Residue Burn, and Propane Flaming Permits 7/1/2011 3/19/2013, 78 FR 16790 625 Visible Emissions 4/2/2008 8/1/2008, 73 FR 44915 626 General Restrictions on Visible Emissions from Wigwam Burners 4/5/2000 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 650 Rules for Control of Fugitive Dust 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 651 General Rules 3/30/2007, 5/1/1994 6/9/2011, 76 FR 33647 665 Regional Haze Rules 3/30/2007 6/9/2011, 76 FR 33647 666 Reasonable Progress Goals 3/30/2007 6/9/2011, 76 FR 33647 667 Long-Term Strategy for Regional Haze 3/30/2007 6/9/2011, 76 FR 33647 668 BART Requirement for Regional Haze 3/30/2007 6/9/2011, 76 FR 33647 675 Fuel Burning Equipment—Particulate Matter 4/5/2000 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 676 Standards for New Sources 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 677 Standards for Minor and Existing Sources 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 678 Combinations of Fuels 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 679 Averaging Period 4/11/2006, 5/1/1994 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 680 Altitude Correction 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 681 Test Methods and Procedures 4/5/2000 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 700 Particulate Matter Process Weight Limitations 5/3/2003, 4/5/2000 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 701 Particulate Matter—New Equipment Process Weight Limitations 4/5/2000 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 702 Particulate Matter—Existing Equipment Process Weight Limitations 4/5/2000, 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 703 Particulate Matter—Other Processes 4/5/2000 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 725 Rules for Sulfur Content of Fuels 5/8/2009, 5/1/1994 11/26/2010, 75 FR 72719 785 Rules for Control of Incinerators 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 786 Emission Limits 4/5/2000 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 787 Exceptions 3/23/1998 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 805 Rules for Control of Hot-mix Asphalt Plants 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 806 Emission Limits 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 807 Multiple Stacks 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 808 Fugitive Dust Control 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 815 Rules for Control of Kraft Pulping Mills 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 816 Statement of Policy 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 817 General Rules 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 821 Recovery Furnace Particulate Standards 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 822 Lime Kiln Standards 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 823 Smelt Tank Standards 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 824 Monitoring and Reporting 4/5/2000, 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 (Except subsection 824.01). 825 Special Studies 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 826 Exceptions 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 845 Rules for Control of Sulfur Oxide Emissions from Sulfuric Acid Plants 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 846 Emission Limits 4/5/2000 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 847 Monitoring and Testing 4/5/2000 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 848 Compliance Schedule 5/1/1994 1/16/2003, 68 FR 2217 City and County Ordinances City of Sandpoint Ordinance No. 939 Material Specifications for Street Sanding Material 2/22/1994 (City adoption date) 6/26/2002, 67 FR 43006 Sandpoint PM10 Nonattainment Area Plan. City of Sandpoint Chapter 8 Air Quality (4-8-1 through 4-8-14) Solid Fuel Heating Appliances 9/21/2011 (City adoption date) 4/3/2013, 78 FR 20001 Codified version of City of Sandpoint Ordinance No. 965 as amended by Ordinance No. 1237 and Ordinance No. 1258. Sandpoint PM10 Limited Maintenance Plan. Ada County Ordinance The 1999 Motor Vehicle Emissions Control Ordinance 6/15/1999 (County approval date) 10/28/2002, 67 FR 65713 Northern Ada County CO Maintenance Plan. City of Boise Ordinance The 1999 Motor Vehicle Emissions Control Ordinance 7/20/1999 (City approval date) 10/28/2002, 67 FR 65713 Northern Ada County CO Maintenance Plan. City of Eagle Ordinance The 1999 Motor Vehicle Emissions Control Ordinance 4/27/1999 (City approval date) 10/28/2002, 67 FR 65713 Northern Ada County CO Maintenance Plan. City of Garden City Ordinance The 1991 Vehicle Emission Control Ordinance 8/13/1996 (Most recently amended) 10/28/2002, 67 FR 65713 Northern Ada County CO Maintenance Plan. City of Meridian Ordinance The 1999 Motor Vehicle Emissions Control Ordinance 6/1/1999 (City approval date) 10/28/2002, 67 FR 65713 Northern Ada County CO Maintenance Plan. Boise City Ordinance 4432 Parking Permits 8/13/1979 (City approval date) 6/6/1985, 50 FR 23810 Transportation Control Plan for carbon monoxide, Ada County. City of Garden City Ordinance 514, 533, and 624 Solid Fuel Heating Appliance Ordinance of the City of Garden City, Idaho 5/14/1987, 1/10/1989, 9/13/1994 (City approval dates) 5/30/1996, 61 FR 27019 Northern Ada County PM10 Nonattainment Area Plan. Meridian Ordinance 667 Meridian Clean Air Ordinance 8/16/1994 (City approval date) 5/30/1996, 61 FR 27019 Northern Ada County PM10 Nonattainment Area Plan. City of Eagle Ordinance 245 City of Eagle Clean Air Ordinance 4/26/1994 (City approval date) 5/30/1996, 61 FR 27019 Northern Ada County PM10 Nonattainment Area Plan. Ada County Ordinance 254 Ada County Clean Air Ordinance 11/3/1992 (County adoption date) 5/30/1996, 61 FR 27019 Northern Ada County PM10 Nonattainment Area Plan. Table: Ordinance-1 Explanation of enforcement procedures, responsibilities and sources of funding for the Northern Ada County Wood Burning Control Ordinances 12/30/1994 (date of table) 5/30/1996, 61 FR 27019 Northern Ada County PM10 Nonattainment Area Plan. City of Pocatello Ordinance 2450 Residential wood combustion curtailment ordinance 1/12/1994 7/13/2006, 71 FR 39574 (Portneuf Valley Nonattainment Area Plan and Maintenance Plan). City of Pocatello Ordinance 2726 Revised air quality curtailment levels 9/18/2003 7/13/2006, 71 FR 39574 (Portneuf Valley Nonattainment Area Plan and Maintenance Plan). City of Chubbuck Ordinance 403 Residential wood combustion curtailment ordinance 11/23/1993 7/13/2006, 71 FR 39574 (Portneuf Valley Nonattainment Area Plan and Maintenance Plan). City of Chubbuck Ordinance 582 Revised air quality curtailment levels 12/9/2003 7/13/2006, 71 FR 39574 (Portneuf Valley Nonattainment Area Plan and Maintenance Plan). City of Clifton Ordinance No. 120 Ordinance No. 120 8/11/2012 3/25/2014, 79 FR 16201 Except Section 9 (Penalty). City of Dayton Ordinance #287 Ordinance #287 8/8/2012 3/25/2014, 79 FR 16201 Except Section 9 (Penalty). Franklin City Ordinance No. 2012-9-12 Solid Fuel Heating Appliances 9/12/2012 3/25/2014, 79 FR 16201 Except Section 9 (Penalty). Franklin County Ordinance No. 2012-6-25 Solid Fuel Heating Appliances 6/25/2012 3/25/2014, 79 FR 16201 Except Section 9 (Penalty). City of Oxford Memorandum of Understanding Solid Fuel Heating Appliances 10/22/2012 3/25/2014, 79 FR 16201 Except #2 of the MOA and Section 9 of Exhibit A. City of Preston Ordinance No. 2012-1 Ordinance No. 2012-1 6/11/2012 3/25/2014, 79 FR 16201 Except Section 9 (Penalty). City of Weston Ordinance No. 2012-01 Ordinance No. 2012-01 8/1/2012 3/25/2014, 79 FR 16201 Except Section 9 (Penalty). State Statutes Section 1 of House Bill 557, codified at Idaho Code section 39-114 Open Burning of Crop Residue 3/7/2008 8/1/2008, 73 FR 44915

    (d) EPA approved State Source-specific requirements.

    EPA Approved Idaho Source-Specific Requirements 1 Name of source Permit No. State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Explanation
    LP Wood Polymers, Inc., Meridian, Idaho 001-00115 7/12/2002 10/27/2003, 68 FR 61106 The following conditions: 1.1, 1.3, 3.1, and the Appendix. (Boise/Ada County Maintenance Plan). Consolidated Concrete Company, Boise, Idaho 001-00046 12/3/2001 10/27/2003, 68 FR 61106 The following conditions: 1.1, 1.3, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, and the Appendix. (Boise/Ada County Maintenance Plan). Crookham Company, Caldwell, Idaho 027-00020 1/18/2002 10/27/2003, 68 FR 61106 The following conditions: 1.1, 1.3, 2.1, 2.3, 3.1, 3.1.1, 3.1.2, 3.2, and the Appendix. (Boise/Ada County Maintenance Plan). Double D Service Center, Meridian, Idaho 001-00168 2/4/2002 10/27/2003, 68 FR 61106 The following conditions: 1.1, 1.3, 3.1, 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.2.3, and the Appendix. (Boise/Ada County Maintenance Plan). Plum Creek Northwest Lumber, Inc., Meridian, Idaho 001-00091 7/12/2002 10/27/2003, 68 FR 61106 The following conditions: 1.1, 1.3, 2.1.2, 3.1, and the Appendix. (Boise/Ada County Maintenance Plan). C. Wright Construction, Inc., Meridian, Idaho T2-000033 7/8/2003 10/27/2003, 68 FR 61106 The following conditions: 2 (heading only), 2.5, (2.12, Table 2.2 as it applies to PM10), 2.14, 3 (heading only), 3.3, Table 3.2, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.10, 4 (heading only), 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.7, 5, and Table 5.1. (Boise/Ada County Maintenance Plan). Nelson Construction Co., Boise, Idaho T2-020029 7/21/2003 10/27/2003, 68 FR 61106 The following conditions: 2 (heading only), 2.12, 2.14, 3 (heading only), 3.3, 3.4, 3.6, 3.7, 3.9, 3.10, 3.11, 3.12, 4 (heading only), 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 5, and Table 5.1. (Boise/Ada County Maintenance Plan). Mike's Sand and Gravel, Nampa, Idaho 001-00184 7/12/2002 10/27/2003, 68 FR 61106 The following conditions: 1.1, 1.3, 2.2.1, 3.1, and the Appendix. (Boise/Ada County Maintenance Plan). Idaho Concrete Co., Eagle, Idaho T2-020031 7/8/2003 10/27/2003, 68 FR 61106 The following conditions: 2 (heading only), 2.5, 2.13, 3 (heading only), 3.3, 3.4, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 4 (heading only), and Table 4.1. (Boise/Ada County Maintenance Plan). Idaho Concrete Co., Eagle, Idaho T2-020032 7/8/2003 10/27/2003, 68 FR 61106 The following conditions: 2 (heading only), 2.5, 2.13, 3 (heading only), 3.3, 3.4, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 4 (heading only), and Table 4.1. (Boise/Ada County Maintenance Plan). Idaho Concrete Co. Eagle, Idaho T2-020033 7/8/2003 10/27/2003, 68 FR 61106 The following conditions: 2 (heading only), 2.5, 2.13, 3 (heading only), 3.3, 3.4, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 4 (heading only), and Table 4.1. (Boise/Ada County Maintenance Plan). The Amalgamated Sugar Company LLC, Nampa, Idaho 027-00010 9/30/2002 10/27/2003, 68 FR 61106 and 11/1/2004, 69 FR 63324 The following conditions: 2 (heading only), (2.7, Table 2.2 as it applies to PM10,) 2.10, 2.10.1, 2.10.2, 2.11, 2.11.1, 2.11.2, 2.11.3, 2.11.4, 2.11.5, 2.12, 2.12.1, 2.12.2, 2.12.3, 2.13, 2.13.1, 2.13.2, 2.13.3, 2.14, 2.14.1, 2.14.2, 2.16, 3 (heading only), (3.3, Table 3.2 as it applies to PM10), 3.5, 3.7, 3.8, 3.8.1, 3.8.2, 3.8.3, 3.8.4, 3.8.5, 3.8.6, 3.8.7, 3.8.8, 3.9, 4 (heading only), (4.3, Table 4.1 as it applies to PM10), 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 5 (heading only), (5.3, Table 5.3 as it applies to PM10), 5.5, 5.9, 5.9.1, 5.9.2, 5.9.3, 5.9.4, 5.9.5, 5.9.6, 5.9.7, 5.9.8, 5.9.9, 5.10, 5.11, 6 (heading only), 6.3, Table 6.1, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.7.1, 6.7.2, 6.8, 7 (heading only), 7.3, Table 7.1 as it applies to PM10, 7.5, 7.7, 7.7.1, 7.7.2, 7.8, 8 (heading only), 8.3, Table 8.1, 8.5, 8.7, 8.7.1, 8.7.2, 8.8, 9 (heading only), 9.3, Table 9.1, 9.5, 9.7, 9.7.1, 9.7.2, 9.8, 10 (heading only), 10.3, Table 10.1, 10.6, 10.8, 10.8.1, 10.8.2, 10.9, 11 (heading only), 11.3, Table 11.2, 11.6, 11.8, 11.8.1, 11.8.2, 11.9, 12 (heading only), 12.3, Table 12.1, 12.5, 12.7, 12.7.1, 12.7.2, 12.8, 13 (heading only), 13.1 (except as it applies to condition 13.3, 13.3.1, 13.3.2, 13.5, 13.5.1, 13.5.2, 13.5.3, 13.6, 13.6.1, 13.6.2 and 13.9), Table 13.1 (except conditions 13.3, 13.5 and 13.6), (13.2, Table 13.2 as it applies to PM10), 13.2.1, 13.4, 13.4.1, 13.4.2, 13.4.3, 13.7, 13.7.1, 13.7.2, 13.8, 13.8.1, 13.8.2, 13.8.3, 13.10, and 13.11. (Boise/Ada County PM10 Maintenance Plan). Lake Pre-Mix, Sandpoint, Idaho 777-00182 5/17/1996 6/26/2002, 67 FR 43006 The following conditions for the cement silo vent: 1.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 3.1.1, and 3.1.2. (Sandpoint nonattainment area plan). Interstate Concrete and Asphalt, Sandpoint, Idaho 017-00048 8/2/1999 6/26/2002, 67 FR 43006 The following conditions: for the asphalt plant, 2.2, 3.1.1, 4.1, 4.1.1, 4.1.2, 4.2.1 (as it applies to the hourly PM10 emission limit in Appendix A), 4.2.2, 4.2.2.1, 4.2.2.2, and 4.2.2.3; for the concrete batch plant, 2.1, 3.1.1, 4.1, 4.1.1, and 4.1.2; Appendix A (as it applies to PM10 emission rates after 7/1/96) and Appendix B (as it applies after 7/1/96). (Sandpoint nonattainment area plan). Whiteman Lumber Company, Cataldo, ID 13-1420-062 7/16/1979 (date issued) 7/28/1982, 47 FR 32530 Silver Valley TSP Nonattainment Area Plan. Potlatch Corporation, Pulp and Paper Unit, Lewiston, ID 13-1140-0001-00 7/5/1979 (date issued) 7/28/1982, 47 FR 32530 Lewiston TSP Nonattainment Area Plan. Potlatch Corporation, Clearwater Unit, Lewiston, ID 13-1140-0003 7/5/1979 (date issued) 7/28/1982, 47 FR 32530 Lewiston TSP Nonattainment Area Plan. Coast Trading Company, Inc., Lewiston, ID 13-1140-0011 6/29/1979 (date issued) 7/28/1982, 47 FR 32530 Lewiston TSP Nonattainment Area Plan. Lewis-Clark Terminal Association, Lewiston, ID 13-1140-0010 6/29/1979 (date issued) 7/28/1982, 47 FR 32530 Lewiston TSP Nonattainment Area Plan. Poe Asphalt, Lewiston, ID 0880-0008 3/1/1976 (effective date) 7/28/1982, 47 FR 32530 Lewiston TSP Nonattainment Area Plan. FMC Corporation, Pocatello, ID 2 13-1260-0005 2/26/1980 (date issued) 7/28/1982, 47 FR 32530 Pocatello TSP Nonattainment Area Plan. J.R. Simplot, Pocatello, ID 13-1260-0006-00 3/4/1980 (date issued) 7/28/1982, 47 FR 32530 Pocatello TSP Nonattainment Area Plan. Idaho Portland Cement Company, Inkom, ID 13-0080-0004-00 7/18/1979 (date issued) 7/28/1982, 47 FR 32530 Pocatello TSP Nonattainment Area Plan. J.R. Simplot Company, Conda, ID 13-0420-0021-00 7/18/1979 (date issued) 7/28/1982, 47 FR 32530 Soda Springs TSP Nonattainment Area Plan. Beker Industries, Conda, ID 13-0420-0003-00 7/18/1979 (date issued) 7/28/1982, 47 FR 32530 Soda Springs TSP Nonattainment Area Plan. Monsanto, Soda Springs, ID 13-0420-0001-00 7/18/1979 (date issued) 7/28/1982, 47 FR 32530 Soda Springs TSP Nonattainment Area Plan. Kerr McGee, Soda Springs, ID 13-0420-0002-00 7/18/1979 (date issued) 7/28/1982, 47 FR 32530 Soda Springs TSP Nonattainment Area Plan. J.R. Simplot, Pocatello, Idaho Air Pollution Operating Permit No. T1-9507-114-1; Facility Number No. 077-00006 4/5/2004 7/13/2006, 71 FR 39574 The following conditions: Cover page, facility identification information only, #300 Sulfuric Acid Plant, Permit Conditions 16.1, 16.10, 16.11, #400 Sulfuric Acid Plant, Permit Condition 17.1, 17.7, 17.10, 17.11, Phosphoric acid plant, Permit Condition 12.3, 12.13, Granulation No. 3 Process, Permit Condition 9.2.1, Granulation No. 3 stack, 9.17 (except 9.17.1 through 9.17.6), Reclaim Cooling Towers, Permit Condition 14.2, 14.6.1, Babcock & Wilcox Boiler, Permit Condition 6.4, 6.12, HPB&W Boiler, Permit Condition 5.3, 5.13 through 5.18, 5.21. J.R. Simplot, Pocatello, Idaho Compliance Agreement & Voluntary Order Idaho Code 39-116A 4/16/2004 7/13/2006, 71 FR 39574 The following conditions: No. 300 Sulfuric Acid Plant; Condition 8 and 9. No. 400 Sulfuric Acid Plant; Condition 10, 11, and 12. Granulation No. 1 Plant; Condition 14. Granulation No. 2 Plant; Condition 15. Compliance and Performance Testing; Condition 16. The Amalgamated Sugar Company LLC—Nampa Factory, Nampa, Idaho T2-2009.0105 12/23/2011 (date issued) 4/28/2014, 79 FR 23273 The following conditions: 1.2, including the table of Regulated Emission Point Sources Table, 3.2, 3.3 (first paragraph only), 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 3.11, 3.13, 3.14, 3.15, 3.16, and 4.1. P4 Production, L.L.C., Soda Springs, Idaho T2-2009.0109 11/17/2009 (date issued) 6/22/2011, 76 FR 36329 The following conditions: 1.2 (including Table 1.1), 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, and 2.8. (Regional Haze SIP Revision). 1 EPA does not have the authority to remove these source-specific requirements in the absence of a demonstration that their removal would not interfere with attainment or maintenance of the NAAQS, violate any prevention of significant deterioration increment or result in visibility impairment. Idaho Department of Environmental Quality may request removal by submitting such a demonstration to EPA as a SIP revision. 2 Only a small portion of this facility is located on State lands. The vast majority of the facility is located in Indian Country. It is EPA's position that unless EPA has explicitly approved a program as applying in Indian country, State or local regulations or permits are not effective within the boundaries of that Indian country land for purposes of complying with the CAA. 68 FR 2217, 2220 (January 16, 2003).
    [FR Doc. 2015-07345 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 74 [GN Docket No. 12-268; FCC 14-50] Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; announcement of effective date.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) announces that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved, for a period of three years, information collection requirements associated with the Commission's Report and Order, GN Docket No. 12-268, FCC 14-50. This notice is consistent with the Report and Order, which stated that the Commission would publish a document in the Federal Register announcing OMB approval and the effective date of the requirements.

    DATES:

    The amendment to 47 CFR 74.802(b)(2), published at 79 FR 48442, August 15, 2014 is effective on April 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information contact Cathy Williams, [email protected], (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document announces that, on March 17, 2015, OMB approved the information collection requirements contained in the Commission's Report and Order, FCC 14-50, published at 79 FR 48442, August 15, 2014. The OMB Control Number is 3060-1205. The Commission publishes this notice as an announcement of the effective date of the requirements. If you have any comments on the burden estimates listed below, or how the Commission can improve the collections and reduce any burdens caused thereby, please contact Cathy Williams, Federal Communications Commission, Room 1-C823, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. Please include the OMB Control Number, 3060-1205, in your correspondence. The Commission will also accept your comments via email at [email protected] To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    Synopsis

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), the FCC is notifying the public that it received OMB approval on March 17, 2015, for the new information collection requirements contained in the Commission's rules at 47 CFR 74.802(b)(2).

    Under 5 CFR part 1320, an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a current, valid OMB Control Number.

    No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act that does not display a current, valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number is 3060-1205.

    The foregoing notice is required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, October 1, 1995, and 44 U.S.C. 3507.

    The total annual reporting burdens and costs for the respondents are as follows:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1205.

    OMB Approval Date: March 17, 2015.

    OMB Expiration Date: March 31, 2018.

    Title: Section 74.802, Low Power Auxiliary Stations Co-channel Coordination with TV Broadcast Stations.

    Form Number: Not Applicable.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; not-for-profit institutions; Federal government; and state, local or tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 400 respondents; 227 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement and third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in sections 47 U.S.C. 151, 154, 301, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 325(b), 332, 336(f), 338, 339, 340, 399b, 403, 534, 535, 1404, 1452, and 1454.

    Total Annual Burden: 227 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $56,750.00.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: In general there is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: There are no impacts under the Privacy Act.

    Needs and Uses: The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) received approval for a new collection under OMB Control No. 3060-1205 from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). On June 2, 2014, the Commission released a Report and Order, FCC 14-50, GN Docket No. 12-268, “Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions.” This order adopted a revision to a Commission rule, 47 CFR 74.802(b), to permit low power auxiliary stations (LPAS), including wireless microphones, to operate in the bands allocated for TV broadcasting at revised distances from a co-channel television's contour, and provided LPAS operators to operate even closer to television stations provided that any such operations are coordinated with TV broadcast stations that could be affected by the LPAS operations. The Commission sought Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for a new information collection for the coordination process adopted in the Commission's Report and Order, FCC 14-50, for such co-channel operations, in 47 CFR 74.802d(b)(2).

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Office of the Managing Director.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07391 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 300 [Docket No. 141219999-5289-02] RIN 0648-BE66 Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Catch Sharing Plan AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule announces the approval of the Area 2A (waters off the U.S. West Coast) Catch Sharing Plan (Plan), with modifications recommended by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), and issues implementing regulations for 2015. These actions are intended to conserve Pacific halibut, provide angler opportunity where available, and minimize bycatch of overfished groundfish species. The sport fishing management measures in this rule are an additional subsection of the regulations for the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) published on March 17, 2015.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective April 1, 2015. The 2015 management measures are effective until superseded.

    ADDRESSES:

    Additional requests for information regarding this action may be obtained by contacting the Sustainable Fisheries Division, NMFS West Coast Region, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115. For information regarding all halibut fisheries and general regulations not contained in this rule contact the International Pacific Halibut Commission, 2320 W. Commodore Way Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98199-1287; or this final rule also is accessible via the Internet at the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0159. Electronic copies of the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) prepared for this action may be obtained by contacting Sarah Williams, phone: 206-526-4646, email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah Williams, 206-526-4646, email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Electronic Access

    This rule is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the Federal Register Web site at http://www.access.thefederalregister.org/su_docs/aces/aces140.html. Background information and documents are available at the NMFS West Coast Region Web site at http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/management/pacific_halibut_management.html and at the Council's Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org.

    Background

    The IPHC has promulgated regulations governing the Pacific halibut fishery in 2015, pursuant to the Convention between Canada and the United States for the Preservation of the Halibut Fishery of the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea (Convention), signed at Ottawa, Ontario, on March 2, 1953, as amended by a Protocol Amending the Convention (signed at Washington, DC, on March 29, 1979). Pursuant to the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut Act) at 16 U.S.C. 773b, the Secretary of State accepted the 2015 IPHC regulations as provided by the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut Act) at 16 U.S.C. 773-773k. NMFS published these regulations on March 17, 2015 (80 FR 13771).

    The Halibut Act provides that the Regional Fishery Management Councils may develop, and the Secretary may implement, regulations governing harvesting privileges among U.S. fishermen in U.S. waters that are in addition to, and not in conflict with, approved IPHC regulations. To that end, the Council adopted a Catch Sharing Plan (Plan) allocating halibut among groups of fishermen in Area 2A, which is off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. The Plan allocates the Area 2A catch limit among treaty Indian and non-Indian commercial and sport harvesters. The treaty Indian group includes tribal commercial, tribal ceremonial, and subsistence fisheries. Each year between 1988 and 1995, the Council developed and NMFS implemented a catch sharing plan in accordance with the Halibut Act to allocate the total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific halibut between treaty Indian and non-Indian harvesters and among non-Indian commercial and sport fisheries in Area 2A. In 1995, NMFS implemented the Pacific Council-recommended long-term Plan (60 FR 14651, March 20, 1995). Every year since then, minor revisions to the Plan have been made to adjust for the changing needs of the fisheries.

    NMFS implements the allocation scheme in the Plan through annual regulations for Area 2A. The proposed rule describing the changes the Council recommended to the Plan and resulting proposed Area 2A regulations for 2015 was published on February 3, 2015 (80 FR 5719). The proposed rule was developed prior to the IPHC's decision on a TAC for Area 2A, therefore it did not include final allocations for the relevant areas and subareas. The IPHC held its annual meeting January 26-30, 2015, and selected at TAC of 970,000 pounds for Area 2A. This final rule accounts for that information.

    For 2015, this final rule contains only those regulations implementing the Plan in Area 2A. NMFS published the complete IPHC regulations, which apply to commercial, treaty Indian, and recreational fisheries, separately on March 17, 2015 (80 FR 13771). Therefore anyone wishing to fish for halibut in Area 2A should read both this final rule and the March 17, 2015 final rule that implements the IPHC regulations.

    Changes to the Pacific Fishery Management Council's Area 2A Catch Sharing Plan

    This final rule announces the approval of several Council-recommended changes to the Pacific Fishery Management Council's Area 2A Plan and implements the Plan through annual management measures. For 2015, the Council recommended and NMFS implements in this final rule, several changes to the non-Indian allocations in order to provide the California recreational fishery with an allocation that is closer to recent effort while not substantially reducing the remaining non-Indian allocations. The Council recommendation increases the California sport fishery allocation from 1 to 4 percent of the non-tribal allocation by reducing the Washington and Oregon sport and the commercial allocations each by 1 percent.

    Additionally for 2015, the Council recommended several minor changes to the Plan that would: (1) Remove a reference to the “fall salmon troll fisheries” as a trigger for the rollover of quota from the directed halibut fishery to the incidental salmon troll fishery because there is no defined “fall” salmon fishery; (2) make several changes to the Columbia River subarea including modifying the Oregon contribution to a fixed percentage of the Oregon sport allocation, setting the nearshore fishery allocation to 500 pounds, removing the spring and summer fisheries thus allowing the quota to be used continuously, and adding all flatfish species to the list of incidentally caught fish allowed to be landed with halibut; (3) make several changes to the Oregon central coast subarea including clarifying that the allocation to the Columbia river subarea comes from the total Oregon sport allocation and not from this area's spring fishery, adding incidental flatfish retention consistent with the change in the Columbia River subarea, modifying the spring all depth season allocation from 61 to 63 percent, and removing the provision that allocated a portion of the spring fishery to the Southern Oregon subarea; (4) modify the allocation to the Southern Oregon subarea from 2 to 4 percent of the Oregon sport allocation after the Columbia River allocation has been subtracted; (5) make several changes to the California subarea including modifying the season structure to a 7 days per week fishery when open, with a season length that is based on attainment of the quota instead of a set season, allowing inseason action through joint NMFS, IPHC, and CDFW consultation; and (6) modify the name of the NMFS Northwest Regional Office to “NMFS West Coast Regional Office”, to reflect the recent merger of NMFS offices.

    Incidental Halibut Retention in the Sablefish Primary Fishery North of Pt. Chehalis, Washington and the Salmon Troll Fishery Along the West Coast

    This final rule also implements the allocation for incidental halibut retention in the sablefish primary fishery north of Pt. Chehalis, Washington. The Plan provides that incidental halibut retention in the sablefish primary fishery north of Pt. Chehalis, Washington, will be allowed when the Area 2A TAC is greater than 900,000 lb (408.2 mt), provided that a minimum of 10,000 lb (4.5 mt) is available above the state of Washington recreational allocation of 214,100 lb (97.1 mt). In 2015, the TAC is set at 970,000 lb (439.99 mt); therefore, the allocation for incidental halibut retention in the sablefish fishery is 10,348 lb (4.69 mt). The Council considered whether any changes to the landing restrictions adopted for this fishery in 2014 were necessary for 2015, but because this allocation is similar to recent allocations, the Council made no changes. Therefore, the 2015 incidental halibut landing restrictions are: 75 pounds dressed weight of halibut for every 1,000 lbs dressed weight of sablefish, except that 2 additional halibut may be landed. These restrictions can be found in the groundfish regulations at 50 CFR 660.231(3)(iv).

    The Plan allocates 15 percent of the non-Indian commercial TAC to the salmon troll fishery in Area 2A. For 2015, the allocation for the salmon troll fishery in Area 2A is 29,035 lb (13.17 mt). The Council approved a range of landing restrictions for public review at its recent March meeting. The final landing restrictions will be addressed at its April 2015 meetings.

    Comments and Responses

    NMFS accepted comments on the proposed rule for the Area 2A Plan and annual management measures through March 5, 2015. NMFS received 4 public comment letters: one comment letter each from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recommending season dates for halibut sport fisheries in each state, and one comment from an individual.

    Comment 1: The WDFW held a public meeting following the IPHC's final 2015 TAC decisions to review the results of the 2013 Puget Sound halibut fishery, as the 2014 catch data was not yet finalized, and the preliminary 2014 estimates, and to develop season dates for the 2015 sport halibut fishery. Based on input from stakeholders, WDFW recommended a 2015 season that is similar to the 2014 season because the allocation to this area is the same as in 2014. For the Puget Sound halibut sport fishery, WDFW recommended the following dates: the Eastern Region to be open May 8, 9, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, and 30; and the Western Region to be open May 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24, 29, and 30.

    Response: NMFS believes WDFW's recommended Puget Sound season dates will help keep this area within its quota, while providing for angler enjoyment and participation. Therefore, NMFS implements the dates for this subarea as stated above, in this final rule.

    Comment 2: The ODFW held a public meeting and hosted an online survey following the final TAC decision by the IPHC. Based on public comments received on Oregon halibut fisheries, the ODFW recommended the following days for the spring fishery in the Central Coast subarea, within this subarea's parameters for a Thursday-Saturday season and weeks of adverse tidal conditions skipped: Regular open days May 14-16, 28-30, June 11-13, and 25-27. Back-up dates in case there is sufficient remaining quota will be July 9-11 and 23-25. For the summer all-depth fishery in this subarea, ODFW recommended following the Plan's parameters of opening the first Friday in August, with open days to occur every other Friday-Saturday, unless modified in-season within the parameters of the Plan. Therefore, pursuant to the Plan, the ODFW recommended the 2015 summer all-depth fishery in Oregon's Central Coast Subarea to occur: August 7, 8, 21, 22, September 4, 5, 18, 19, October 2, 3, 16, 17, 30, and 31.

    Response: NMFS believes ODFW's recommended Central Coast season dates will help keep this area within its quota, while providing for angler enjoyment and participation. Therefore, NMFS implements the dates in this final rule.

    Comment 3: The CDFW held a public meeting to solicit comments on the sport fishing seasons. Based on public comments and projected attainment of subarea allocation, the CDFW recommended the following open days May 1-14, June 1-15, July 1-15, August 1-15, and September 1-October 31.

    Response: NMFS agrees with CDFW's recommended season dates. These dates will help keep this area within its quota, while providing for angler enjoyment and participation. Therefore, NMFS implements the dates in this final rule.

    Comment 5: NMFS received one comment from a member of the public that appears to oppose the proposed rule, but does not identify any specific reasons for that opposition.

    Response: NMFS believes the revised Plan and proposed annual regulations will result in effective management of fisheries in Area 2A, keeping catch in the Area within the TAC while allowing for meaningful commercial and recreational fisheries, and full opportunity for the treaty tribes with rights to fish for halibut to exercise those rights. Therefore, NMFS has approved this action.

    Changes From the Proposed Rule

    On February 3, 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule to modify the Plan and recreational management measures for Area 2A (80 FR 5719). Because the proposed rule was finalized before the IPHC determined the TAC for Area 2A, the final subarea allocations based on the TAC and Plan are included for the first time in the final rule. The allocations in this rule are consistent with the final Area 2A TAC of 970,000 lbs and the 2015 Plan as recommended by the Council. Also, season dates as recommended by the states following determination of the TAC are included in the final rule. There are no other substantive changes from the proposed rule.

    Annual Halibut Management Measures

    The sport fishing regulations for Area 2A, included in section 26 below, are consistent with the measures adopted by the IPHC and approved by the Secretary of State, but were developed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and promulgated by the United States under the Halibut Act. Section 26 refers to a section that is in addition to and corresponds to the numbering in the IPHC regulations published on March 17, 2015 (80 FR 13771).

    26. Sport Fishing for Halibut—Area 2A

    (1) The total allowable catch of halibut shall be limited to:

    (a) 214,110 pounds (97.1 metric tons) net weight in waters off Washington;

    (b) 187,259 pounds (84.9 metric tons) net weight in waters off Oregon; and

    (c) 25,220 pounds (11.4 metric tons) net weight in waters off California.

    (2) The Commission shall determine and announce closing dates to the public for any area in which the catch limits promulgated by NMFS are estimated to have been taken.

    (3) When the Commission has determined that a subquota under paragraph (8) of this section is estimated to have been taken, and has announced a date on which the season will close, no person shall sport fish for halibut in that area after that date for the rest of the year, unless a reopening of that area for sport halibut fishing is scheduled in accordance with the Catch Sharing Plan for Area 2A, or announced by the Commission.

    (4) In California, Oregon, or Washington, no person shall fillet, mutilate, or otherwise disfigure a halibut in any manner that prevents the determination of minimum size or the number of fish caught, possessed, or landed.

    (5) The possession limit on a vessel for halibut in the waters off the coast of Washington is the same as the daily bag limit. The possession limit on land in Washington for halibut caught in U.S. waters off the coast of Washington is two halibut.

    (6) The possession limit on a vessel for halibut caught in the waters off the coast of Oregon is the same as the daily bag limit. The possession limit for halibut on land in Oregon is three daily bag limits.

    (7) The possession limit on a vessel for halibut caught in the waters off the coast of California is one halibut. The possession limit for halibut on land in California is one halibut.

    (8) The sport fishing subareas, subquotas, fishing dates, and daily bag limits are as follows, except as modified under the in-season actions in 50 CFR 300.63(c). All sport fishing in Area 2A is managed on a “port of landing” basis, whereby any halibut landed into a port counts toward the quota for the area in which that port is located, and the regulations governing the area of landing apply, regardless of the specific area of catch.

    (a) The area in Puget Sound and the U.S. waters in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, east of a line extending from 48°17.30′ N. lat., 124°23.70′ W. long. north to 48°24.10′ N. lat., 124°23.70′ W. long., is not managed in-season relative to its quota. This area is managed by setting a season that is projected to result in a catch of 57,393 lbs (26 mt).

    (i) The fishing season in eastern Puget Sound (east of 123°49.50′ W. long., Low Point) is May 8, 9, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, and 30. The fishing season in western Puget Sound (west of 123°49.50′ W. long., Low Point) is open May 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24, 29, and 30.

    (ii) The daily bag limit is one halibut of any size per day per person.

    (b) The quota for landings into ports in the area off the north Washington coast, west of the line described in paragraph (2)(a) of section 26 and north of the Queets River (47°31.70′ N. lat.) (North Coast subarea), is 108,030 lbs (49 mt).

    (i) The fishing seasons are:

    (A) Commencing on May 14 and continuing 2 days a week (Thursday and Saturday) until 108,030 lbs (49 mt) are estimated to have been taken and the season is closed by the Commission, or until May 23.

    (B) If sufficient quota remains the fishery will reopen on June 4 and/or June 6, continuing 2 days per week (Thursday and Saturday) until there is not sufficient quota for another full day of fishing and the area is closed by the Commission. After May 23, any fishery opening will be announced on the NMFS hotline at 800-662-9825. No halibut fishing will be allowed after May 23 unless the date is announced on the NMFS hotline.

    (ii) The daily bag limit is one halibut of any size per day per person.

    (iii) Recreational fishing for groundfish and halibut is prohibited within the North Coast Recreational Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (YRCA). It is unlawful for recreational fishing vessels to take and retain, possess, or land halibut taken with recreational gear within the North Coast Recreational YRCA. A vessel fishing in the North Coast Recreational YRCA may not be in possession of any halibut. Recreational vessels may transit through the North Coast Recreational YRCA with or without halibut on board. The North Coast Recreational YRCA is a C-shaped area off the northern Washington coast intended to protect yelloweye rockfish. The North Coast Recreational YRCA is defined in groundfish regulations at § 660.70(a).

    (c) The quota for landings into ports in the area between the Queets River, WA (47°31.70′ N. lat.), and Leadbetter Point, WA (46°38.17′ N. lat.) (South Coast subarea), is 42,739 lbs (19.4 mt).

    (i) This subarea is divided between the all-waters fishery (the Washington South coast primary fishery), and the incidental nearshore fishery in the area from 47°31.70′ N. lat. south to 46°58.00′ N. lat. and east of a boundary line approximating the 30 fm depth contour. This area is defined by straight lines connecting all of the following points in the order stated as described by the following coordinates (the Washington South coast, northern nearshore area):

    (1) 47°31.70′ N. lat, 124°37.03′ W. long;

    (2) 47°25.67′ N. lat, 124°34.79′ W. long;

    (3) 47°12.82′ N. lat, 124°29.12′ W. long;

    (4) 46°58.00´ N. lat, 124°24.24′ W. long.

    The south coast subarea quota will be allocated as follows: 40,739 lbs (18.5 mt) for the primary fishery and 2,000 lbs (0.9 mt) for the nearshore fishery. The primary fishery commences on May 3, and continues 2 days a week (Sunday and Tuesday) until May 19. If the primary quota is projected to be obtained sooner than expected, the management closure may occur earlier. Beginning on May 31 the primary fishery will be open at most 2 days per week (Sunday and/or Tuesday) until the quota for the south coast subarea primary fishery is taken and the season is closed by the Commission, or until September 30, whichever is earlier. The fishing season in the nearshore area commences on May 3, and continues 7 days per week. Subsequent to closure of the primary fishery, the nearshore fishery is open 7 days per week, until is 42,739 lbs (19.4 mt) is projected to be taken by the two fisheries combined and the fishery is closed by the Commission or September 30, whichever is earlier. If the fishery is closed prior to September 30, and there is insufficient quota remaining to reopen the northern nearshore area for another fishing day, then any remaining quota may be transferred in-season to another Washington coastal subarea by NMFS via an update to the recreational halibut hotline.

    (ii) The daily bag limit is one halibut of any size per day per person.

    (iii) Seaward of the boundary line approximating the 30-fm depth contour and during days open to the primary fishery, lingcod may be taken, retained and possessed when allowed by groundfish regulations at 50 CFR 660.360, subpart G.

    (iv) Recreational fishing for groundfish and halibut is prohibited within the South Coast Recreational YRCA and Westport Offshore YRCA. It is unlawful for recreational fishing vessels to take and retain, possess, or land halibut taken with recreational gear within the South Coast Recreational YRCA and Westport Offshore YRCA. A vessel fishing in the South Coast Recreational YRCA and/or Westport Offshore YRCA may not be in possession of any halibut. Recreational vessels may transit through the South Coast Recreational YRCA and Westport Offshore YRCA with or without halibut on board. The South Coast Recreational YRCA and Westport Offshore YRCA are areas off the southern Washington coast established to protect yelloweye rockfish. The South Coast Recreational YRCA is defined at 50 CFR 660.70(d). The Westport Offshore YRCA is defined at 50 CFR 660.70(e).

    (d) The quota for landings into ports in the area between Leadbetter Point, WA (46°38.17′ N. lat.), and Cape Falcon, OR (45°46.00′ N. lat.) (Columbia River subarea), is 10,254 lbs (4.65 mt).

    (i) This subarea is divided into an all-depth fishery and a nearshore fishery. The nearshore fishery is allocated 500 pounds of the subarea allocation. The nearshore fishery extends from Leadbetter Point (46°38.17′ N. lat., 124°15.88′ W. long.) to the Columbia River (46°16.00′ N. lat., 124°15.88′ W. long.) by connecting the following coordinates in Washington 46°38.17′ N. lat., 124°15.88′ W. long. 46°16.00′ N. lat., 124°15.88′ W. long and connecting to the boundary line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth contour in Oregon. The nearshore fishery opens May 4, and continues 3 days per week (Monday-Wednesday) until the nearshore allocation is taken, or September 30, whichever is earlier. The all depth fishing season commences on May 1, and continues 4 days a week (Thursday-Sunday) until 9,754 lbs (4.4 mt) are estimated to have been taken and the season is closed by the Commission, or September 30, whichever is earlier. Subsequent to this closure, if there is insufficient quota remaining in the Columbia River subarea for another fishing day, then any remaining quota may be transferred inseason to another Washington and/or Oregon subarea by NMFS via an update to the recreational halibut hotline. Any remaining quota would be transferred to each state in proportion to its contribution.

    (ii) The daily bag limit is one halibut of any size per day per person.

    (iii) Pacific Coast groundfish may not be taken and retained, possessed or landed when halibut are on board the vessel, except sablefish, Pacific cod, and flatfish species when allowed by Pacific Coast groundfish regulations, during days open to the all depth fishery only.

    (iv) Taking, retaining, possessing, or landing halibut on groundfish trips is only allowed in the nearshore area on days not open to all-depth Pacific halibut fisheries.

    (e) The quota for landings into ports in the area off Oregon between Cape Falcon (45°46.00′ N. lat.) and Humbug Mountain (42°40.50′ N. lat.) (Oregon Central Coast subarea), is 175,633 lbs (79.6 mt).

    (i) The fishing seasons are:

    (A) The first season (the “inside 40-fm” fishery) commences July 1, and continues 7 days a week, in the area shoreward of a boundary line approximating the 40-fm (73-m) depth contour, or until the sub-quota for the central Oregon “inside 40-fm” fishery of 21,076 lbs (9.56 mt), or any in-season revised subquota, is estimated to have been taken and the season is closed by the Commission, whichever is earlier. The boundary line approximating the 40-fm (73-m) depth contour between 45°46.00′ N. lat. and 42°40.50′ N. lat. is defined at § 660.71(k).

    (B) The second season (spring season), which is for the “all-depth” fishery, is open May 14-16, 28-30, June 11-13, and 25-27. Back-up dates will be July 9-11 and 23-25. The projected catch for this season is 110,649 lbs (50.2 mt). If sufficient unharvested quota remains for additional fishing days, the season will re-open. If NMFS decides inseason to allow fishing on any of these re-opening dates, notice of the re-opening will be announced on the NMFS hotline (206) 526-6667 or (800) 662-9825. No halibut fishing will be allowed on the re-opening dates unless the date is announced on the NMFS hotline.

    (C) If sufficient unharvested quota remains, the third season (summer season), which is for the “all-depth” fishery, will be open August 7, 8, 21, 22, September 4, 5, 18, 19, October 2, 3, 16, 17, 30, 31, or until the combined spring season and summer season quotas in the area between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain, OR, are estimated to have been taken and the area is closed by the Commission, or October 31, whichever is earlier. NMFS will announce on the NMFS hotline in July whether the fishery will re-open for the summer season in August. No halibut fishing will be allowed in the summer season fishery unless the dates are announced on the NMFS hotline. Additional fishing days may be opened if sufficient quota remains after the last day of the first scheduled open period on August 7. If, after this date, an amount greater than or equal to 60,000 lb (27.2 mt) remains in the combined all-depth and inside 40-fm (73-m) quota, the fishery may re-open every Friday and Saturday, beginning (insert date of first back up dates) and ending October 31. If after September 7, an amount greater than or equal to 30,000 lb (13.6 mt) remains in the combined all-depth and inside 40-fm (73-m) quota, and the fishery is not already open every Friday and Saturday, the fishery may re-open every Friday and Saturday, beginning September 10 and 11, and ending October 31. After September 7, the bag limit may be increased to two fish of any size per person, per day. NMFS will announce on the NMFS hotline whether the summer all-depth fishery will be open on such additional fishing days, what days the fishery will be open and what the bag limit is.

    (ii) The daily bag limit is one halibut of any size per day per person, unless otherwise specified. NMFS will announce on the NMFS hotline any bag limit changes.

    (iii) During days open to all-depth halibut fishing, no Pacific Coast groundfish may be taken and retained, possessed or landed, when halibut are on board the vessel, except sablefish, Pacific cod, and flatfish species, when allowed by Pacific Coast groundfish regulations.

    (iv) When the all-depth halibut fishery is closed and halibut fishing is permitted only shoreward of a boundary line approximating the 40-fm (73-m) depth contour, halibut possession and retention by vessels operating seaward of a boundary line approximating the 40-fm (73-m) depth contour is prohibited.

    (v) Recreational fishing for groundfish and halibut is prohibited within the Stonewall Bank YRCA. It is unlawful for recreational fishing vessels to take and retain, possess, or land halibut taken with recreational gear within the Stonewall Bank YRCA. A vessel fishing in the Stonewall Bank YRCA may not possess any halibut. Recreational vessels may transit through the Stonewall Bank YRCA with or without halibut on board. The Stonewall Bank YRCA is an area off central Oregon, near Stonewall Bank, intended to protect yelloweye rockfish. The Stonewall Bank YRCA is defined at § 660.70(f).

    (f) The quota for landings into ports in the area south of Humbug Mountain, OR (42°40.50′ N. lat.) to the Oregon/California Border (42°00.00′ N. lat.)(Southern Oregon subarea) is 7,318 lbs (3.3 mt).

    (i) The fishing season commences on May 1, and continues 7 days per week until the subquota is taken, or October 31, whichever is earlier.

    (ii) The daily bag limit is one halibut per person with no size limit.

    (g) The quota for landings into ports south of the Oregon/California Border (42°00.00′ N. lat.) and along the California coast is 25,220 lb (11.4 mt).

    (i) The fishing season will be open May 1-15, June 1-15, July 1-15, August 1-15, and September 1-October 31, or until the subarea quota is estimated to have been taken and the season is closed by the Commission, or October 31, whichever is earlier. NMFS will announce any closure by the Commission on the NMFS hotline (206) 526-6667 or (800) 662-9825.

    (ii) The daily bag limit is one halibut of any size per day per person.

    Classification

    Section 5 of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut Act, 16 U.S.C. 773c) allows the Regional Council having authority for a particular geographical area to develop regulations governing the allocation and catch of halibut in U.S. Convention waters as long as those regulations do not conflict with IPHC regulations. This action is consistent with the Pacific Council's authority to allocate halibut catches among fishery participants in the waters in and off the U.S. West Coast.

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

    NMFS prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) in association with the proposed rule for the 2014 Area 2A Catch Sharing Plan. The final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) incorporates the IRFA, a summary of the significant issues raised by the public comments in response to the IRFA, if any, and NMFS' responses to those comments, and a summary of the analyses completed to support the action. NMFS received no comments on the IRFA. A copy of the FRFA is available from the NMFS West Coast Region (see ADDRESSES) and a summary of the FRFA follows.

    This rule implements changes to the Halibut Catch Sharing Plan (CSP) that addresses the commercial and recreational fisheries within Area 2A (waters off the U.S. West Coast). The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) sets the overall Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and the CSP governs the allocation of that TAC between tribal and non-tribal fisheries, and among non-tribal fisheries. The Council, with input from industry, the states, and the tribes, may recommend changes to the CSP. (Note that the IPHC also sets the commercial fishery opening date(s), duration, and vessel trip limits to ensure that the quota for the non-tribal fisheries is not exceeded.) For non-tribal fisheries, the CSP governs allocations of the TAC between various components of the commercial fisheries and recreational fisheries, and these allocations may vary depending on the level of the TAC. Seasons, gear restrictions, and other management measures implemented through domestic regulations are then used to meet the allocations and priorities of the CSP. There were no significant issues raised by the public comments in response to IRFA.

    These regulations directly affect fin-fish harvesting and charterboat businesses. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established size criteria for all major industry sectors in the US, including fish harvesting and fish processing businesses. A business involved in fish harvesting is a small business if it is independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates) and if it has combined annual receipts, not in excess of $20.5 million for all its affiliated operations worldwide (See 79 FR 33647, effective July 14, 2014). For marinas and charter/party boats, a small business is now defined as one with annual receipts, not in excess of $7.5 million. A seafood processor is a small business if it is independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field of operation, and employs 500 or fewer persons on a full time, part time, temporary, or other basis, at all its affiliated operations worldwide. A wholesale business servicing the fishing industry is a small business if it employs 100 or fewer persons on a full time, part time, temporary, or other basis, at all its affiliated operations worldwide. A small organization is any nonprofit enterprise that is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field. Small governmental jurisdictions such as governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts are considered small jurisdictions if their populations are less than 50,000.

    To determine the number of small entities potentially affected by this rule, NMFS reviewed the number of IPHC issued licenses and other information. In 2014, 591 vessels were issued IPHC licenses to retain halibut. IPHC issued licenses for: The directed commercial fishery and the incidental fishery in the sablefish primary fishery in Area 2A (166 licenses in 2014); incidental halibut caught in the salmon troll fishery (425 licenses in 2014); and the charterboat fleet (127 licenses in 2013, the most recent year available). No vessel may participate in more than one of these three fisheries per year. These license estimates overstate the number of vessels that participate in the fishery. IPHC estimates that 60 vessels participated in the directed commercial fishery, 100 vessels in the incidental commercial (salmon) fishery, and 13 vessels in the incidental commercial (sablefish) fishery. Recent information on charterboat activity is not available, but prior analysis indicated that 60 percent of the IPHC charterboat license holders may be affected by these regulations. There are no projected reporting or record keeping requirements with this rule. There are no large entities involved in the halibut fisheries; therefore, none of these changes will have a disproportionate negative effect on small entities versus large entities.

    The major effect of halibut management on small entities is from the internationally set TAC decisions made by the IPHC. Based on the recommendations of the states, the Council recommended and NMFS is implementing in this final rule minor changes to the Plan to provide increased recreational and commercial opportunities under the allocations that result from the TAC.

    The IPHC increased the Area 2A TAC by 1% from 960,000 lbs (2014) to 970,000 lbs (2015). Within this 1% increase, different subgroups are being affected differently because of the CSP allocation formula.

    Changes to the Plan

    The 2A Halibut Catch Sharing Plan, as outlined above, allocates the TAC at various levels. The commercial fishery is further divided into a directed commercial fishery that is allocated 85 percent of the commercial allocation of the Pacific halibut TAC, and incidental catch in the salmon troll fishery that is allocated 15 percent of the commercial allocation. The directed commercial fishery in Area 2A is confined to southern Washington (south of 46°53.30′ N. lat.), Oregon, and California. North of 46°53.30′ N. lat. (Pt. Chehalis), the Plan allows for incidental halibut retention in the sablefish primary fishery when the overall Area 2A TAC is above 900,000 lb (408.2 mt). The Plan also divides the sport fisheries into seven geographic subareas, each with separate allocations, seasons, and bag limits. The non-tribal allocation is divided into four shares. At the first level, there are specific percentage allocations for tribal and non-tribal fisheries. The non-tribal portion is then allocated to commercial components and to recreational components. The commercial component is then apportioned into directed, incidental troll, and incidental sablefish fisheries. The recreational portions for Oregon and Washington are furthered apportioned into area subquotas and these subquotas are further split into seasonal or depth fisheries (nearshore vs all depths). There may be gear restrictions and other management measures established as necessary to minimize the potential for the allocations to be exceeded.

    At the September meeting, the Council adopted a range of Plan alternatives for public review. For 2015, the Council adopted two types of Plan changes that are discussed separately below. The first were the routine recreational fishery adjustments proposed by the states each year to accommodate the needs of their fisheries. The second were allocation changes to both the non-treaty commercial and recreational fisheries in order to increase the California allocation. The Council made final Plan change recommendations from this range at its November meeting.

    For the non-allocation Plan changes the Council considered changes to the Columbia River, Oregon Central Coast, Southern Oregon, and California subareas. For the Columbia River subarea the Council considered: (1) Status quo seasonal management in a spring and summer fishery and one alternative which removes the seasonal split in the Columbia River subarea to allow for a single continuous season; (2) status quo allocation contributions from Washington and Oregon in equal amounts and one alternative that modifies the Oregon contribution to the Columbia River subarea to 2.3 percent of the Oregon sport allocation; and (3) status quo nearshore fishery allocation of 1,500 pounds and one alternative that modifies the Columbia River nearshore area allocation to 500 pounds. The Council recommended and this final rule implements each of the alternatives for the Columbia River subarea because the status quo alternatives do not match the needs of the fishery. The status quo season structure with an early and late season was rejected because this structure would unnecessarily strand quota later in the year when effort decreases substantially. The status quo Oregon contribution was rejected because it does not match recent effort in this subarea in Oregon. The status quo nearshore allocation was rejected because the allocation did not match the effort in the nearshore area, leaving a large portion of the allocation unavailable for harvest in other areas.

    For the Oregon Central Coast subarea, the Council considered three all-depth season structures and modifications to the allocation from the Oregon Central Coast spring fishery to the Southern Oregon subarea. For the season structure, the Council considered three alternatives: Status quo, which would separate spring and summer seasons; Alternative 1a, which would combine the spring and summer season and open the fishery on May 1; and Alternative 1b, which is the same as 1a, except begin on the first weekend in May that avoid negative tides. For the allocation change the Council considered: Status quo, which allocates a portion of the spring fishery to the Southern Oregon subarea, and one alternative, which allocates a portion of the overall Oregon Central Coast subarea allocation to the Southern Oregon subarea. The Council recommended and this final rule implements the status quo alternative for the season structure and the one alternative for the allocation to the Southern Oregon subarea. The season structure alternatives were rejected because they did not match the needs of this fishery. The allocation in this area is generally caught very quickly, therefore keeping separate seasons allows for two distinct seasons. The status quo alternative allocation to the Southern Oregon subarea was rejected because it does not allow the Southern Oregon subarea an individual allocation, which means any overages in this area could affect other subareas.

    For the Southern Oregon subarea, the Council considered three alternative season dates: Status quo, opening May 1, seven days per week; Alternative 1, open June 1, seven days per week; and Alternative 2, open July 1 seven days per week. The Council recommended and this final rule implements the status quo alternative because the other alternatives do not match the recent effort in this area and does not match the input the ODFW received at their public meetings.

    In the Columbia River and Central Oregon Coast subareas, the Council considered three alternatives to incidental groundfish retention allowances: status quo, only Pacific cod and sablefish are allowed; Alternative 1, revise the bottomfish restrictions such that all groundfish except rockfish and lingcod would be allowed when halibut are onboard; and Alternative 2, revise the bottomfish restrictions such that other flatfish, in addition to Pacific cod and sablefish, would be allowed when halibut are onboard. The Council recommended and this final rule implements Alternative 2 because it allows incidentally caught flatfish species to be landed with halibut without increasing the catch of overfished species. Status quo was rejected because it would not allow incidentally caught flatfish species to be landed. Alternative 1 was rejected because it would likely increase the take of overfished groundfish species to levels that would restrict other fisheries due to the small allocations of overfished species.

    For the California subarea, the Council considered three alternatives: Status quo, fixed season open May 1-July 31 and September 1-October 31, no inseason adjustment; Alternative 1, one month season between May 1 and October 31, to be determined preseason, with inseason adjustment as needed; Alternative 2, 15 consecutive day season between May 1 and October 31, to be determined preseason, with inseason adjustment as needed. The Council recommended and this final rule implements a modified Alternative which allows for a seven day a week fishery, that will be determined preseason through joint consultation between NMFS and CDFW, and allows for inseason adjustment as necessary. The other three alternatives were rejected because they either did not allow for inseason adjustment or predetermined the season dates which would unnecessarily restrict the season.

    No alternatives were considered for the NMFS recommended change to the Regional Office name because it is administrative in nature and simply updates the name of the region from “Northwest” to “West Coast.”

    The changes to the Columbia River subarea allocations and incidentally landed species allowances are expected to increase recreational opportunities by shifting underutilized fishery allocation from the late to the early part of the season when effort is higher and by turning previously discarded incidental flatfish catch into landed catch. Changes to the Oregon Central Coast subarea allocation and incidentally landed species are expected to prolong seasons and increase the total number of fishing days and are expected to increase recreational opportunities by turning previously discarded incidental catch into landed catch. None of these changes are controversial and none are expected to result in substantial environmental or economic impacts. These actions are intended to enhance the conservation of Pacific halibut, to provide angler opportunity where available, and to protect overfished groundfish species from incidental catch in the halibut fisheries. Because the goal of the action is to maximize angler participation and thus to maximize the economic benefits of the fishery, NMFS did not analyze alternatives to the above changes to the Plan other than the proposed changes and the status quo for purposes of the FRFA. Status quo would be the 2014 Plan applied to the 2015 TAC. Effects of the status quo and the final changes are similar because the changes to the Plan for 2015 are not substantially different from the 2014 Plan. The changes to the Plan are not expected to have a significant economic impact.

    Changes to Allocations

    In response to the growing California sport fishery, for 2014, a specific recreational subquota was created—1% of the non-tribal quota or 6,240 lbs. In prior years, the California fishery was a portion of the Southern Oregon/Northern California subquota. Preliminary catch data for 2015 show that the California fishery has taken 31,226 lbs, five times the California subquota. Because the 2014 subquota was insuffiencent to meet the growth in the California fishery, the Council reviewed six alternatives that allocate halibut to the various sectors differently between the sectors depending on the size of the TAC. Status Quo: The non-treaty allocation is apportioned according to the 2014 CSP: Washington sport (36.60%), Oregon sport (30.70%), California sport (1.00%), and commercial (31.70%). Alternative 1: Maintain allocations as described in the CSP (Status Quo), except increase the California sport allocation by two percent, for a total California sport allocation of three percent, by reducing the non-treaty commercial fishery share. Alternative 2, Option A: Same allocations as described in Alternative 1 when the 2A TAC is one million pounds or less. When the 2A TAC is above one million pounds, the California sport allocation would increase by an additional one percent, for a total California sport allocation of four percent, by reducing the non-treaty commercial fishery share. Alternative 2, Option B: Same allocations as described in Alternative 1 when the 2A TAC is one million pounds or less. When the 2A TAC is greater than one million pounds, the first one million pounds of the 2A TAC shall be distributed according to the Alternative 1 allocations. For the portion of the 2A TAC that exceeds one million pounds, the California sport allocation would increase to 30-50 percent of the non-treaty share, and allocation percentages for the non-treaty commercial and recreational (Washington and Oregon) would be reduced to remain proportional to the status quo non-treaty shares. Alternative 3: Increase the California sport allocation by two percent, for a total California sport allocation of three percent, when the 2A TAC is less than one million pounds by reducing the three major non-treaty group allocations (i.e., Washington sport, Oregon sport, and commercial). When the 2A TAC is greater than one million pounds, the first one million pounds of the 2A TAC shall be distributed according to the Alternative 3 allocations. For the portion of the 2A TAC that exceeds one million pounds, the California sport allocation would increase to four percent of the non-treaty share by reducing the three major non-treaty group allocations. Alternative 4: Increase the California sport share by three percent, for a total allocation of four percent, when the 2A TAC is less than one million pounds by reducing the three major non-treaty group allocations. When the 2A TAC is greater than one million pounds, the first one million pounds of the 2A TAC shall be distributed according to the Alternative 4 allocations. For the portion of the 2A TAC that exceeds one million pounds, the California sport allocation would increase to five percent of the non-treaty share by reducing the three major non-treaty group allocations. Alternative 5: Increase the California sport share by four percent, for a total allocation of five percent, when the 2A TAC is less than one million pounds by reducing the three major non-treaty group allocations. When the 2A TAC is greater than one million pounds, the first one million pounds of the 2A TAC shall be distributed according to the Alternative 5 allocations. For the portion of the 2A TAC that exceeds one million pounds, the California sport allocation would increase to six percent of the non-treaty share by reducing the three major non- treaty group allocations. In addition to modifying the commercial and recreational fisheries allocations, suboptions within the allocation alternatives were evaluated for when the TAC is expected to be greater than one million pounds to cap the California allocation. These caps were designed to cap the California allocation to a level that the fishery could reasonably be expected to harvest in order to not strand pounds, therefore, making them unavailable to other fisheries. However, a one million pound TAC is a level the fishery has not experienced in recent years nor is it anticipated for the near term future.

    For 2015, the Council has recommended and this final rule implements Alternative 4 (the preferred alternative). For 2015, the Council recommended to increase the California recreational fishery allocation to 4% of the non-tribal allocation by reducing the Washington and Oregon sport and commercial allocations each by 1 percent. This modification is intended to provide an allocation to California that better matches recent effort. The CDFW has also committed to increased inseason monitoring in collaboration with NMFS. Pacific halibut sport fisheries in California have exceeded the allocation in recent years and therefore the goal of increased inseason monitoring and action, as necessary, is to keep the subarea within its allocation. Further, instead of a fixed season, CDFW will recommend to NMFS, similar to subareas in Washington and Oregon, a season length based on expected catch to attain the subarea quota. The status quo allocation was rejected because if maintained, the California fishery is likely to continue to exceed its quota and suffer an early shutdown. Under the status quo alternative, the overall halibut TAC will run the risk of being exceeded, and therefore it was not selected. Alternatives 1, 2, and 3 provide increases to the recreational fishery based on decreasing the commercial quota by 2 percent. Alternative 5 increases the California subquota by 4 percent by reducing the Oregon and Washington subquota and the non-tribal commercial quota. While this favors the California fishery, it is at the expense of too large of a reduction in the other fisheries, and therefore it was not selected.

    Under Alternative 4, the preferred alternative, the increase of 3% to the California subquota comes from reducing the WA sport quota by 1%, the Oregon sport quota by 1%, and the non-tribal commercial quota by 1%. The overall effect is a shift of 1% reduction of the non-tribal commercial directed quota to the total sport quota allocation. From an economic perspective, it is unclear whether this shift is negative or positive given available analyses. However the overall economic effects of this shift is small as the potential loss of about $300,000 in ex-vessel revenues must be weighed by the gain of increased charterboat recreational activities.

    Pursuant to Executive Order 13175, the Secretary recognizes the sovereign status and co-manager role of Indian tribes over shared Federal and tribal fishery resources. Section 302(b)(5) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act establishes a seat on the Council for a representative of an Indian tribe with federally recognized fishing rights from California, Oregon, Washington, or Idaho. The U.S. Government formally recognizes that 13 Washington tribes have treaty rights to fish for Pacific halibut. The Plan allocates 35 percent of the Area 2A TAC to U.S. treaty Indian tribes in the State of Washington. Each of the treaty tribes has the discretion to administer their fisheries and to establish their own policies to achieve program objectives. Accordingly, tribal allocations and regulations, including the changes to the Plan, have been developed in with the affected tribe(s) and, insofar as possible, with tribal consensus.

    In 2014, an Environmental Assessment (EA) was prepared analyzing the continuing implementation of the Catch Sharing Plan for 2014-2016. The Plan changes for 2015 are not expected to have any effects on the environment beyond those discussed in the EA and in the finding of no significant impact (FONSI).

    NMFS conducted a formal section 7 consultation under the Endangered Species Act for the Area 2A Catch Sharing Plan for 2014-2016 addressing the effects of implementing the Plan on ESA-listed yelloweye rockfish, canary rockfish, and bocaccio in Puget Sound, the Southern Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of green sturgeon, salmon, marine mammals, and sea turtles. In the biological opinion the Regional Administrator determined that the implementation of the Catch Sharing Plan for 2014-2016 is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of Puget Sound yelloweye rockfish, Puget Sound canary rockfish, Puget Sound bocaccio, Puget Sound Chinook, Lower Columbia River Chinook, and green sturgeon. It is not expected to result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat for green sturgeon or result in the destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat for Puget Sound yelloweye rockfish, canary rockfish, bocaccio. In addition, the opinion concluded that the implementation of the Plan is not likely to adversely affect marine mammals, the remaining listed salmon species and sea turtles, and is not likely to adversely affect critical habitat for Southern resident killer whales, stellar sea lions, leatherback sea turtles, any listed salmonids, and humpback whales. Further, the Regional Administrator determined that implementation of the Catch Sharing Plan will have no effect on southern eulachon, this determination was made in a letter dated March 12, 2014. The 2015 Plan and regulations do not change the conclusions from the biological opinion.

    NMFS has initiated consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the effects of the halibut fishery on seabirds, bull trout, and sea otters. This consultation is not completed at this time. NMFS has prepared a 7(a)(2)/7(d) determination memo under the ESA concluding that any effects of the 2015 fishery on listed seabirds are expected to be quite low, and are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any listed species. Further, in no way will the 2015 fishery make an irreversible or irretrievable commitment of resources by the agency.

    NMFS finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness and make this rule effective upon publication in the Federal Register, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), so that this final rule may become effective on April 1, 2015, when incidental halibut retention in the sablefish primary fishery begins. While the 2015 TAC is higher than the 2014 TAC, due to the changes made to the Plan, the allocations for the salmon troll and sablefish primary fisheries are actually lower in 2015 than they were in 2014. Therefore, allowing the 2014 measures to remain in place could result in significant management changes later in the year to prevent exceeding the lower 2015 subarea allocations. Finally, this final rule approves the Council's 2015 Plan that responds to the needs of the fisheries in each state and approves the portions of the Plan allocating incidentally caught halibut in the salmon troll and sablefish primary fisheries, which start April 1. Therefore, allowing the 2014 subarea allocations and Plan to remain in place would not respond to the needs of the fishery and would be in conflict with the Council's final recommendation for 2015. For all of these reasons, a delay in effectiveness could ultimately cause economic harm to the fishing industry and associated fishing communities by reducing fishing opportunity later in the year to keep catch in the subareas within the lower 2015 allocations or result in harvest levels inconsistent with the best available scientific information. As a result of the potential harm to fishing communities that could be caused by delaying the effectiveness of this final rule, NMFS finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness and make this rule effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 300

    Administrative practice and procedure, Antarctica, Canada, Exports, Fish, Fisheries, Fishing, Imports, Indians, Labeling, Marine resources, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Russian Federation, Transportation, Treaties, Wildlife.

    Dated: March 26, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 300 is amended as follows:

    PART 300—INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES REGULATIONS Subpart E—Pacific Halibut Fisheries 1. The authority citation for part 300, subpart E continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 773-773k.

    2. In § 300.63, revise paragraphs (a), (c)(1) introductory text, (c)(3)(ii), and (c)(5), to read as follows:
    § 300.63 Catch sharing plan and domestic management measures in area 2A.

    (a) A catch sharing plan (CSP) may be developed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and approved by NMFS for portions of the fishery. Any approved CSP may be obtained from the Administrator, West Coast Region, NMFS.

    (c) * * *

    (1) The Regional Administrator, NMFS West Coast Region, after consultation with the Chairman of the Pacific Fishery Management Council, the Commission Executive Director, and the Fisheries Director(s) of the affected state(s), or their designees, is authorized to modify regulations during the season after making the following determinations:

    (3) * * *

    (ii) Actual notice of inseason management actions will be provided by a telephone hotline administered by the West Coast Region, NMFS, at 206-526-6667 or 800-662-9825 (May through October) and by U.S. Coast Guard broadcasts. These broadcasts are announced on Channel 16 VHF-FM and 2182 kHz at frequent intervals. The announcements designate the channel or frequency over which the notice to mariners will be immediately broadcast. Since provisions of these regulations may be altered by inseason actions, sport fishers should monitor either the telephone hotline or U.S. Coast Guard broadcasts for current information for the area in which they are fishing.

    (5) Availability of data. The Regional Administrator will compile, in aggregate form, all data and other information relevant to the action being taken and will make them available for public review during normal office hours at the West Coast Regional Office, NMFS, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, Washington.

    [FR Doc. 2015-07329 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 RIN 0648-XD339 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Amendment 14 to the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of agency decision.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces the approval of Amendment 14 to the Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The purpose of Amendment 14 is to specify an estimate of maximum sustainable yield (MSY) for the northern subpopulation of northern anchovy in the CPS FMP. This action promotes the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.

    DATES:

    The amendment was approved on March 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic copies of the CPS FMP as amended through Amendment 14 are available from the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Web site at: http://www.pcouncil.org/coastal-pelagic-species/fishery-management-plan-and-amendments/. Requests for the list of references used in this document should be addressed to: NMFS, West Coast Region, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 501 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802. c/o Joshua Lindsay

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joshua B. Lindsay, Sustainable Fisheries Division, NMFS, at 562-980-4034 or Kerry Griffin, Pacific Fishery Management Council, at 503-820-2280.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The CPS fishery in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the West Coast is managed under the CPS FMP, which was developed by the Council pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Species managed under the CPS FMP include Pacific sardine, Pacific mackerel, jack mackerel, northern anchovy, market squid and krill. The CPS FMP was approved by the Secretary of Commerce and was implemented by regulations at 50 CFR part 660, subpart I.

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that each regional fishery management council submit proposed amendments to a fishery management plan to NMFS for review and approval, disapproval, or partial approval by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary). The Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that, upon receiving a fishery management plan amendment, NMFS immediately publish in the Federal Register a notice that the amendment is available for public review and comment. NMFS determined that Amendment 14 to the FMP is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws, and the Secretary approved Amendment 14 on March 23, 2015. The December 24, 2014, Notice of Availability contains additional information on this action. No changes to Federal regulations are necessary to implement Amendment 14. Amendment 14 will change the CPS FMP so that it now includes a specification of an estimate MSY for the northern subpopulation of northern anchovy. NMFS has determined that the specification of an FMSY of 0.3 as the MSY reference for the northern subpopulation of northern anchovy point as recommended by the Council is appropriate and supported by the best available information.

    At the November 2013 Council meeting the Council adopted an FMSY of 0.3 as the best estimate of MSY for the northern subpopulation of northern anchovy and voted to amend the CPS FMP accordingly to include this reference point. This action was based on data compiled by the CPS Management Team and a recommendation by the Council's Science and Statistical Committee (SSC). An FMSY equal to 0.3, the default exploitation rate for Pacific mackerel, a stock for which more information is known regarding stock variability and productivity, was deemed an appropriate specification of MSY by the SSC. This was deemed appropriate by the SSC because the best available information regarding northern anchovy shows that northern anchovy are likely to be at least as productive as Pacific mackerel, and likely have higher natural mortality, which would typically be associated with a higher FMSY. Speaking further to their recommendation of the FMSY, the SSC stated that due to both high uncertainty in the available biomass estimates and large fluctuations in stock biomass that are known to occur in species such as anchovy, a fixed biomass-based approach to specifying MSY would likely not be appropriate. Additionally, because the northern subpopulation of northern anchovy is lightly fished, with inconsistent effort over time, the existing time series of catch was likely an unreliable indicator of stock status and therefore determining a catch-based MSY would not be meaningful.

    The Notice of Availability for Amendment 14 was published in the Federal Register on December 24, 2014 (79 FR 77426), with a 60-day comment period that ended on February 23, 2015. NMFS received one comment letter during the public comment period. No changes were made in response to these comments. NMFS summarizes and responds to that comment below.

    Comment: The majority of points raised in the comment were outside the scope of Amendment 14 and instead were related to the CPS FMP as a whole and/or other aspects of the management of the northern subpopulation of northern anchovy beyond the establishment of an MSY reference point, which is the purpose and substance of Amendment 14. Those comments will not be addressed here. However, NMFS found the comments valuable and will consider them for future management planning, and will ensure the Council is aware of the comments. Related to Amendment 14, the commenter questioned some of the scientific rationale underlying the MSY recommendation, specifically the commenter states that productivity is not constant and states that the MSY estimate does not account for the current productivity of the stock and may overestimate the productivity of the stock during periods of low natural recruitment, which the commenter states currently appears to be the case from recent NMFS, CalCOFI, and independent surveys and that the use of information on Pacific mackerel to help determine the estimate may not be appropriate. The commenter however did not state that the Amendment should not be approved and expressed encouragement by the establishment of this reference point.

    Response: NMFS agrees with the commenter that productivity of the northern subpopulation of northern anchovy is likely not constant over time. Much like other CPS stocks, the northern subpopulation of northern anchovy is likely subject to relatively large fluctuations in stock biomass that are driven by changes in environmental conditions. As described below, this specific life history trait was in fact part of the rationale for the SSC's recommendation to the Council and subsequent adoption by the Council of an FMSY equal to 0.3 over a fixed biomass-based or catch-based MSY that may not fully take these factors into consideration. Additionally, NMFS points out that by definition MSY is a long-term average, therefore at times any estimate may be an overestimate or an underestimate, however, the MSY estimate is intended to reflect a fishing mortality rate that does not jeopardize the capacity of a stock or stock complex to produce MSY.

    As it relates to the specific information used to make the determination that an FMSY equal to 0.3 is appropriate for use as the MSY reference point for the northern subpopulation of northern anchovy, NMFS has determined the best available scientific information was used. In addition, an FMSY equal to 0.3 was recommended to the Council by its SSC, the scientific advisory body to the Council tasked with making such recommendations based on the best available information. Although the commenter states that there is recent survey information that is contrary to this determination, no specific evidence or citations for this referenced information is provided to show that the a FMSY equal to 0.3 does not represent the best available science for estimating MSY for this stock. Furthermore, the commenter references the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) survey however this survey only occurs off of southern and south-central California, were as the southern extent of the habitat range for the northern subpopulation of northern anchovy is northern California. In making their recommendation on MSY the SSC reviewed all of the available information on the stock, which although limited, included information such as egg and larvae survey data, density and distribution data, stock productivity and vulnerability information and landings data, which was prepared and presented to them by the Council's CPSMT (Agenda Item I.2.c, CPSMT Report 1, November 2010 and references contained within). Included in this scientific and fishery information, and specifically examined for potential use in estimating MSY, were (the only) two estimates of biomass: One from the 1970s (Richardson 1981), and the other from an acoustic survey conducted by researchers at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in 2008 as well as the historical time series of catch going back to the 1950s. In reviewing this information, however, the SSC noted that the available biomass estimates were uncertain and, because there were only two, they provided little information on the variability of stock biomass over time. Furthermore, the SSC also noted that because the northern subpopulation of anchovy has been lightly fished, with inconsistent effort, that the time series of catch was an unreliable indicator of annual stock status. It was therefore determined that because of the paucity of biomass data and the nature of the landings information, that a MSY estimate based either of these sources would not be representative of the biology of the stock, and that it would be more appropriate to use a rate-based approach to estimate MSY instead of biomass or catch-based method.

    Although general biological information on the northern subpopulation of northern anchovy exists, specific productivity information is limited; therefore the SSC looked at information available for the other CPS stocks to help determine an appropriate rate. For instance, the default exploitation rate for Pacific mackerel, a stock for which more information is known regarding stock variability and productivity (stock assessments for Pacific mackerel have occurred since 1978, with annual assessments generally since 2000), is 0.3. Based on what information is known regarding northern anchovy, they are assumed to be at least as productive as Pacific mackerel, and likely have higher natural mortality (Patrick et al. 2009, PFMC 1998, Crone et al. 2011) which would typically be associated with a higher FMSY. Therefore an FMSY equal to 0.3 was deemed an appropriate specification of MSY by the SSC, for the northern subpopulation of northern anchovy, in part, because the previous determination of 0.3 as the default exploitation rate for Pacific mackerel and the existing knowledge of the two stocks.

    References Cited

    The complete citations for the references used in this document can be obtained by contacting NMFS (See ADDRESSES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 23, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07289 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 62 Wednesday, April 1, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 430 [EERE-2011-BT-STD-0043] Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee: Notice of Intent To Establish the Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products Working Group To Negotiate a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) for Energy Conservation Standards AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent; announcement of public meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE or the Department) is giving notice that it intends to establish a negotiated rulemaking working group under the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC) in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act (NRA) to negotiate proposed Federal standards for the energy efficiency requirements of miscellaneous refrigeration standards. The purpose of the working group will be to discuss and, if possible, reach consensus on a proposed rule for the scope and definitions, certain aspects of the test procedure, and energy conservation standards for miscellaneous refrigeration products, as authorized by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, as amended. The working group will consist of representatives of parties having a defined stake in the outcome of the proposed standards, and will consult as appropriate with a range of experts on technical issues. The working group is expected to make a concerted effort to negotiate a final term sheet within four (4) months of its first meeting. At a minimum, within four months (4) of its first meeting, the working group is required to provide a status update to ASRAC. An extension of no more than two (2) months may be provided given formal feedback and recommendation from ASRAC members after deliberation and discussion surrounding the working group's status update. Lastly, DOE is announcing the first Working Group session, which is open to the public, on Monday, May 4, and Tuesday, May 5.

    DATES:

    DOE will hold the first meeting for the Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products Working Group on Monday, May 4, and Tuesday, May 5, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Washington, DC. Written comments and request to be appointed as members of the working group are welcome and should be submitted by April 15, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The first Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products Working Group meeting, which is also open to the public, will be held at the U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 8E-089, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. To attend, please notify [email protected]. Persons can attend the public meeting via webinar. For more information, refer to section V of this document (Public Participation). Interested person may submit comments, identified by docket number EERE-2011-BT-STD-0043 any of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]. Include docket number EERE-2011-BT-STD-0043 in the subject line of the message.

    3. Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, 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.

    4. Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Suite 600, 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.

    No telefacsimilies (faxes) will be accepted.

    Docket: The docket is available for review at www.regulations.gov, including Federal Register notices, public meeting attendee 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph Hagerman, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Building Technologies (EE-2J), 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024. Phone: 202-586-4549. Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Authority II. Background III. Proposed Negotiating Procedures IV. Comments Requested V. Public Participation VI. Approval of the Office of the Secretary I. Authority

    This notice of intent, announcing DOE's intent to negotiate a proposed rule for the enforcement of regional energy conservation standards, was developed under the authority of sections 563 and 564 of the NRA (5 U.S.C. 561-570, Pub. L. 104-320). The regulation of miscellaneous refrigeration products for energy conservation standards that DOE is proposing to develop under a negotiated rulemaking will be developed under the authority of EPCA, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6311(1)(A) and 42 U.S.C. 6291 et seq.

    II. Background

    As required by the NRA, DOE is giving notice that it is establishing a working group under ASRAC to discuss scope and definitions of and potentially develop proposed energy conservation standards for miscellaneous refrigeration products. Miscellaneous refrigeration equipment is not current a covered product under EPCA and there currently are no energy conservation standards for miscellaneous refrigeration products.

    A. Negotiated Rulemaking

    DOE has decided to use the negotiated rulemaking process to discuss the scope and definitions of and develop proposed energy conservation standards for miscellaneous refrigeration products. The primary reason for using the negotiated rulemaking process for this product is that stakeholders strongly support a consensual rulemaking effort. DOE believes such a regulatory negotiation process will be less adversarial and better suited to resolving complex technical issues. An important virtue of negotiated rulemaking is that it allows expert dialog that is much better than traditional techniques at getting the facts and issues right and will result in a proposed rule that will effectively reflect Congressional intent.

    A regulatory negotiation will enable DOE to engage in direct and sustained dialog with informed, interested, and affected parties when drafting the regulation, rather than obtaining input during a public comment period after developing and publishing a proposed rule. Gaining this early understanding of all parties' perspectives allows DOE to address key issues at an earlier stage of the process, thereby allowing more time for an iterative process to resolve issues. A rule drafted by negotiation with informed and affected parties is expected to be potentially more pragmatic and more easily implemented than a rule arising from the traditional process. Such rulemaking improvement is likely to provide the public with the full benefits of the rule while minimizing the potential negative impact of a proposed regulation conceived or drafted without the full prior input of outside knowledgeable parties. Because a negotiating working group includes representatives from the major stakeholder groups affected by or interested in the rule, the number of public comments on the proposed rule may be decreased. DOE anticipates that there will be a need for fewer substantive changes to a proposed rule developed under a regulatory negotiation process prior to the publication of a final rule.

    B. The Concept of Negotiated Rulemaking

    Usually, DOE develops a proposed rulemaking using Department staff and consultant resources. Congress noted in the NRA, however, that regulatory development may “discourage the affected parties from meeting and communicating with each other, and may cause parties with different interests to assume conflicting and antagonistic positions * * *.” 5 U.S.C. 561(2)(2). Congress also stated that “adversarial rulemaking deprives the affected parties and the public of the benefits of face-to-face negotiations and cooperation in developing and reaching agreement on a rule. It also deprives them of the benefits of shared information, knowledge, expertise, and technical abilities possessed by the affected parties.” 5 U.S.C. 561(2)(3).

    Using negotiated rulemaking to develop a proposed rule differs fundamentally from the Department centered process. In negotiated rulemaking, a proposed rule is developed by an advisory committee or working group, chartered under FACA, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, composed of members chosen to represent the various interests that will be significantly affected by the rule. The goal of the advisory committee or working group is to reach consensus on the treatment of the major issues involved with the rule. The process starts with the Department's careful identification of all interests potentially affected by the rulemaking under consideration. To help with this identification, the Department publishes a notice of intent such as this one in the Federal Register, identifying a preliminary list of interested parties and requesting public comment on that list. Following receipt of comments, the Department establishes an advisory committee or working group representing the full range of stakeholders to negotiate a consensus on the terms of a proposed rule. Representation on the advisory committee or working group may be direct; that is, each member may represent a specific interest, or may be indirect, such as through trade associations and/or similarly-situated parties with common interests. The Department is a member of the advisory committee or working group and represents the Federal government's interests. The advisory committee or working group chair is assisted by a neutral mediator who facilitates the negotiation process. The role of the mediator, also called a facilitator, is to apply proven consensus-building techniques to the advisory committee or working group process.

    After an advisory committee or working group reaches consensus on the provisions of a proposed rule, the Department, consistent with its legal obligations, uses such consensus as the basis of its proposed rule, which then is published in the Federal Register. This publication provides the required public notice and provides for a public comment period. Other participants and other interested parties retain their rights to comment, participate in an informal hearing (if requested), and request judicial review. DOE anticipates, however, that the pre-proposal consensus agreed upon by the advisory committee or working group will narrow any issues in the subsequent rulemaking.

    C. Proposed Rulemaking for Energy Conservation Standards Regarding Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products

    The NRA enables DOE to establish an advisory committee or working group if it is determined that the use of the negotiated rulemaking process is in the public interest. DOE intends to develop Federal regulations that build on the depth of experience accrued in both the public and private sectors in implementing standards and programs.

    DOE has determined that the regulatory negotiation process will provide for obtaining a diverse array of in-depth input, as well as an opportunity for increased collaborative discussion from both private-sector stakeholders and government officials who are familiar with energy efficiency of miscellaneous refrigeration products.

    D. Department Commitment

    In initiating this regulatory negotiation process to develop energy conservation standards for miscellaneous refrigeration products, DOE is making a commitment to provide adequate resources to facilitate timely and successful completion of the process. This commitment includes making the process a priority activity for all representatives, components, officials, and personnel of the Department who need to be involved in the rulemaking, from the time of initiation until such time as a final rule is issued or the process is expressly terminated. DOE will provide administrative support for the process and will take steps to ensure that the advisory committee or working group has the dedicated resources it requires to complete its work in a timely fashion. Specifically, DOE will make available the following support services: Properly equipped space adequate for public meetings and caucuses; logistical support; word processing and distribution of background information; the service of a facilitator; and such additional research and other technical assistance as may be necessary.

    To the maximum extent possible consistent with the legal obligations of the Department, DOE will use the consensus of the advisory committee or working group as the basis for the rule the Department proposes for public notice and comment.

    E. Negotiating Consensus

    As discussed above, the negotiated rulemaking process differs fundamentally from the usual process for developing a proposed rule. Negotiation enables interested and affected parties to discuss various approaches to issues rather than asking them only to respond to a proposal developed by the Department. The negotiation process involves a mutual education of the various parties on the practical concerns about the impact of standards. Each advisory committee or working group member participates in resolving the interests and concerns of other members, rather than leaving it up to DOE to evaluate and incorporate different points of view.

    A key principle of negotiated rulemaking is that agreement is by consensus of all the interests. Thus, no one interest or group of interests is able to control the process. The NRA defines consensus as the unanimous concurrence among interests represented on a negotiated rulemaking committee or working group, unless the committee or working group itself unanimously agrees to use a different definition. 5 U.S.C. 562. In addition, experience has demonstrated that using a trained mediator to facilitate this process will assist all parties, including DOE, in identifying their real interests in the rule, and thus will enable parties to focus on and resolve the important issues.

    III. Proposed Negotiating Procedures A. Key Issues for Negotiation

    The following issues and concerns will underlie the work of the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products:

    • Definitions, including scope of coverage;

    • Certain aspect of the test procedure, including key test procedure conditions, as applicable; and

    • Proposed energy conservation standards for miscellaneous refrigeration products.

    To examine the underlying issues outlined above, and others not yet articulated, all parties in the negotiation will need DOE to provide data and an analytic framework complete and accurate enough to support their deliberations. DOE's analyses must be adequate to inform a prospective negotiation—for example, a preliminary Technical Support Document or equivalent must be available and timely.

    B. Formation of Working Group

    A working group will be formed and operated in full compliance with the requirements of FACA and in a manner consistent with the requirements of the NRA. DOE has determined that the working group not exceed 25 members. The Department believes that more than 25 members would make it difficult to conduct effective negotiations. DOE is aware that there are many more potential participants than there are membership slots on the working group. The Department does not believe, nor does the NRA contemplate, that each potentially affected group must participate directly in the negotiations; nevertheless, each affected interest can be adequately represented. To have a successful negotiation, it is important for interested parties to identify and form coalitions that adequately represent significantly affected interests. To provide adequate representation, those coalitions must agree to support, both financially and technically, a member of the working group whom they choose to represent their interests.

    DOE recognizes that when it considers adding covered products and establishing energy efficiency standards for residential products and commercial equipment, various segments of society may be affected in different ways, in some cases producing unique “interests” in a proposed rule based on income, gender, or other factors. The Department will pay attention to providing that any unique interests that have been identified, and that may be significantly affected by the proposed rule, are represented.

    FACA also requires that members of the public have the opportunity to attend meetings of the full committee and speak or otherwise address the committee during the public comment period. In addition, any member of the public is permitted to file a written statement with the advisory committee. DOE plans to follow these same procedures in conducting meetings of the working group.

    C. Interests Involved/Working Group Membership

    DOE anticipates that the working group will comprise no more than 25 members who represent affected and interested stakeholder groups, at least one of whom must be a member of the ASRAC. As required by FACA, the Department will conduct the negotiated rulemaking with particular attention to ensuring full and balanced representation of those interests that may be significantly affected by the proposed rule governing rules of miscellaneous refrigeration energy conservation standards. Section 562 of the NRA defines the term interest as “with respect to an issue or matter, multiple parties which have a similar point of view or which are likely to be affected in a similar manner.” Listed below are parties the Department to date has identified as being “significantly affected” by a proposed rule regarding the energy efficiency of miscellaneous refrigeration.

    • The Department of Energy

    • Trade Associations representing manufacturers of miscellaneous refrigeration products

    • Manufacturers of miscellaneous refrigeration products and component manufacturers and related suppliers

    • Utilities

    • Energy efficiency/environmental advocacy groups

    • Consumers

    One purpose of this notice of intent is to determine whether Federal regulations regarding miscellaneous refrigeration products will significantly affect interests that are not listed above. DOE invites comment and suggestions on its initial list of significantly affected interests.

    Members may be individuals or organizations. If the effort is to be fruitful, participants on the working group should be able to fully and adequately represent the viewpoints of their respective interests. This document gives notice of DOE's process to other potential participants and affords them the opportunity to request representation in the negotiations. Those who wish to be appointed as members of the working group, should submit a request to DOE, in accordance with the public participation procedures outlined in the DATES and ADDRESSES sections of this notice of intent. Membership of the working group is likely to involve:

    • Attendance at approximately four (4), one (1) to two (2) day meetings (with the potentially for two (2) additional one (1) or two (2) day meetings);

    • Travel costs to those meetings; and

    • Preparation time for those meetings.

    Members serving on the working group will not receive compensation for their services. Interested parties who are not selected for membership on the working group may make valuable contributions to this negotiated rulemaking effort in any of the following ways:

    • The person may request to be placed on the working group mailing list and submit written comments as appropriate.

    • The person may attend working group meetings, which are open to the public; caucus with his or her interest's member on the working group; or even address the working group during the public comment portion of the working group meeting.

    • The person could assist the efforts of a workgroup that the working group might establish.

    A working group may establish informal workgroups, which usually are asked to facilitate committee deliberations by assisting with various technical matters (e.g., researching or preparing summaries of the technical literature or comments on specific matters such as economic issues). Workgroups also might assist in estimating costs or drafting regulatory text on issues associated with the analysis of the costs and benefits addressed, or formulating drafts of the various provisions and their justifications as previously developed by the working group. Given their support function, workgroups usually consist of participants who have expertise or particular interest in the technical matter(s) being studied. Because it recognizes the importance of this support work for the working group, DOE will provide appropriate technical expertise for such workgroups.

    D. Good Faith Negotiation

    Every working group member must be willing to negotiate in good faith and have the authority, granted by his or her constituency, to do so. The first step is to ensure that each member has good communications with his or her constituencies. An intra-interest network of communication should be established to bring information from the support organization to the member at the table, and to take information from the table back to the support organization. Second, each organization or coalition therefore should designate as its representative a person having the credibility and authority to ensure that needed information is provided and decisions are made in a timely fashion. Negotiated rulemaking can require the appointed members to give a significant sustained for as long as the duration of the negotiated rulemaking. Other qualities of members that can be helpful are negotiating experience and skills, and sufficient technical knowledge to participate in substantive negotiations.

    Certain concepts are central to negotiating in good faith. One is the willingness to bring all issues to the bargaining table in an attempt to reach a consensus, as opposed to keeping key issues in reserve. The second is a willingness to keep the issues at the table and not take them to other forums. Finally, good faith includes a willingness to move away from some of the positions often taken in a more traditional rulemaking process, and instead explore openly with other parties all ideas that may emerge from the working group's discussions.

    E. Facilitator

    The facilitator will act as a neutral in the substantive development of the proposed standard. Rather, the facilitator's role generally includes:

    • Impartially assisting the members of the working group in conducting discussions and negotiations; and

    • Impartially assisting in performing the duties of the Designated Federal Official under FACA.

    F. Department Representative

    The DOE representative will be a full and active participant in the consensus building negotiations. The Department's representative will meet regularly with senior Department officials, briefing them on the negotiations and receiving their suggestions and advice so that he or she can effectively represent the Department's views regarding the issues before the working group. DOE's representative also will ensure that the entire spectrum of governmental interests affected by the standards rulemaking, including the Office of Management and Budget, the Attorney General, and other Departmental offices, are kept informed of the negotiations and encouraged to make their concerns known in a timely fashion.

    G. Working Group and Schedule

    After evaluating the comments submitted in response to this notice of intent and the requests for nominations, DOE will either inform the members of the working group that they have been selected or determine that conducting a negotiated rulemaking is inappropriate.

    The working group is expected to make a concerted effort to negotiate a final term sheet within four (4) months of its first meeting. At a minimum, within four months (4) of its first meeting, the working group is required to provide a status update to ASRAC. An extension of no more than two (2) months may be provided given formal feedback and recommendation from ASRAC members after deliberation and discussion surrounding the working group's status update.

    DOE will advise working group members of administrative matters related to the functions of the working group before beginning. DOE will establish a meeting schedule based on the settlement agreement and produce the necessary documents so as to adhere to that schedule. While the negotiated rulemaking process is underway, DOE is committed to performing much of the same analysis as it would during a normal standards rulemaking process and to providing information and technical support to the working group.

    IV. Comments Requested

    DOE requests comments on which parties should be included in a negotiated rulemaking to develop draft language pertaining to the energy efficiency of miscellaneous refrigeration and suggestions of additional interests and/or stakeholders that should be represented on the working group. All who wish to participate as members of the working group should submit a request for nomination to DOE.

    V. Public Participation Attendance at the Public Meeting

    The time, date, and location of the public meeting are listed in the DATES and ADDRESSES sections. If you plan to attend the public meeting, please notify [email protected] Please note that foreign nationals participating in the public meeting are subject to advance security screening procedures which require advance notice prior to attendance at the public meeting. If a foreign national wishes to participate in the public meeting, please inform DOE as soon as possible by contacting [email protected] so that the necessary procedures can be completed. Please also note that those wishing to bring laptops into the Forrestal Building will be required to obtain a property pass. Visitors should avoid bringing laptops, or allow an extra 45 minutes.

    In addition, you can attend the public meeting via webinar. Webinar registration information, participant instructions, and information about the capabilities available to webinar participants will be published on DOE's Web site at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/rulemaking.aspx?ruleid=71. Participants are responsible for ensuring their systems are compatible with the webinar software.

    Conduct of the Public Meeting

    DOE will designate a DOE official to preside at the public meeting and may also use a professional facilitator to aid discussion. The meeting will not be a judicial or evidentiary-type public hearing, but DOE will conduct it in accordance with section 336 of EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6306) A court reporter will be present to record the proceedings and prepare a transcript. DOE reserves the right to schedule the order of presentations and to establish the procedures governing the conduct of the public meeting. After the public meeting, interested parties may submit further comments on the proceedings as well as on any aspect of the rulemaking until the end of the comment period.

    The public meeting will be conducted in an informal, conference style. DOE will present summaries of comments received before the public meeting, allow time for prepared general statements by participants, and encourage all interested parties to share their views on issues affecting this rulemaking. Each participant will be allowed to make a general statement (within time limits determined by DOE), before the discussion of specific topics. DOE will allow, as time permits, other participants to comment briefly on any general statements.

    VI. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of today's notice of intent.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 26, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07469 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 430 [EERE-2013-BT-STD-0006] Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee: Notice of Intent To Establish the Fans and Blowers Working Group To Negotiate a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) for Energy Conservation Standards AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent and announcement of public meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE or the Department) is giving notice that it intends to establish a negotiated rulemaking working group under the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC) in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act (NRA) to negotiate proposed definitions, certain aspects of a proposed test procedure (if applicable), and proposed energy conservation standards for fans and blowers. The purpose of the working group will be to discuss and, if possible, reach consensus on the scope of the rulemaking, certain key aspects of a proposed test procedure, and proposed energy conservation standard for fans and blowers, as authorized by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, as amended. As part of its negotiations, the working group will consider scope of coverage and system interaction impacts of potential standards for fans and blowers. The working group will consist of representatives of parties having a defined stake in the outcome of the regulations, including the proposed standards, and will consult as appropriate with a range of experts on technical issues. The working group is expected to make a concerted effort to negotiate a final term sheet within three (3) months of its first meeting. At the completion of negotiation, the term sheet will be presented to ASRAC at an open meeting for their deliberation and decision on whether or not to pass it on as a formal recommendation to DOE. Lastly, DOE is announcing the first Working Group session, which is open to the public, on Wednesday, May 6, and Thursday, May 7, 2015.

    DATES:

    DOE will hold the first meeting for the Fans and Blowers Working Group on Wednesday, May 6, and Thursday, May 7, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Washington, DC. Written comments and request to be appointed as members of the working group are welcome and should be submitted by April 15, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The first Fans and Blowers Working Group meeting, which is also open to the public, will be held at the U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 8E-089, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. To attend, please notify [email protected] Persons can attend the public meeting via webinar. For more information, refer to section V of this document (Public Participation).

    Interested person may submit comments, identified by docket number EERE-2013-BT-STD-0006 by any of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected] Include docket number EERE-2013-BT-STD-0006 in the subject line of the message.

    3. Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, 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.

    4. Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Suite 600, 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.

    No telefacsimilies (faxes) will be accepted.

    Docket: The docket is available for review at www.regulations.gov, including Federal Register notices, public meeting attendee 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ashley Armstrong, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Building Technologies (EE-5B), 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024. Phone: 202-586-6590. Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Authority II. Background III. Proposed Negotiating Procedures IV. Comments Requested V. Public Participation VI. Approval of the Office of the Secretary I. Authority

    This notice of intent, announcing DOE's intent to negotiate a proposed rule for fans and blowers energy conservation standards, was developed under the authority of sections 563 and 564 of the NRA (5 U.S.C. 561-570, Pub. L. 104-320). The regulation of fans and blowers for energy conservation standards that DOE is proposing to develop under a negotiated rulemaking will be developed under the authority of EPCA, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6311(1)(A) and 42 U.S.C. 6291 et seq.

    II. Background

    As required by the NRA, DOE is giving notice that it is establishing a working group under ASRAC to develop proposed energy conservation standards, including the applicability of those standards for various categories of fans and blower currently found on the market. EPCA, as amended, directs DOE to adopt energy conservation standards for fans and blowers for which standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified, and would result in significant energy savings. There currently are no Federal energy conservation standards for fans and blowers.

    A. Negotiated Rulemaking

    DOE has decided to use the negotiated rulemaking process to develop proposed energy conservation standards for fans and blowers. Under EPCA, Congress mandated that DOE develop regulations establishing energy conservation standards for covered consumer and commercial appliances that are designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that are technologically feasible and economically justified. 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A). The primary reason for using the negotiated rulemaking process for developing a proposed Federal standard is that stakeholders strongly support a consensual rulemaking effort. DOE believes such a regulatory negotiation process will be less adversarial and better suited to resolving complex technical issues. An important virtue of negotiated rulemaking is that it allows expert dialog that is much better than traditional techniques at getting the facts and issues right and will result in a proposed rule that will effectively reflect Congressional intent.

    A regulatory negotiation will enable DOE to engage in direct and sustained dialog with informed, interested, and affected parties when drafting the regulation, rather than obtaining input during a public comment period after developing and publishing a proposed rule. Gaining this early understanding of all parties' perspectives allows DOE to address key issues at an earlier stage of the process, thereby allowing more time for an iterative process to resolve issues. A rule drafted by negotiation with informed and affected parties is expected to be potentially more pragmatic and more easily implemented than a rule arising from the traditional process. Such rulemaking improvement is likely to provide the public with the full benefits of the rule while minimizing the potential negative impact of a proposed regulation conceived or drafted without the full prior input of outside knowledgeable parties. Because a negotiating working group includes representatives from the major stakeholder groups affected by or interested in the rule, the number of public comments on the proposed rule may be decreased. DOE anticipates that there will be a need for fewer substantive changes to a proposed rule developed under a regulatory negotiation process prior to the publication of a final rule.

    B. The Concept of Negotiated Rulemaking

    Usually, DOE develops a proposed rulemaking using Department staff and consultant resources. Typically, a preliminary analysis is vetted for stakeholder comments after a Framework Document is published and comments taken thereon. After the notice of proposed rulemaking is published for comment, affected parties may submit arguments and data defining and supporting their positions with regard to the issues raised in the proposed rule. Congress noted in the NRA, however, that regulatory development may “discourage the affected parties from meeting and communicating with each other, and may cause parties with different interests to assume conflicting and antagonistic positions * * *.” 5 U.S.C. 561(2)(2). Congress also stated that “adversarial rulemaking deprives the affected parties and the public of the benefits of face-to-face negotiations and cooperation in developing and reaching agreement on a rule. It also deprives them of the benefits of shared information, knowledge, expertise, and technical abilities possessed by the affected parties.” 5 U.S.C. 561(2)(3).

    Using negotiated rulemaking to develop a proposed rule differs fundamentally from the Department centered process. In negotiated rulemaking, a proposed rule is developed by an advisory committee or working group, chartered under FACA, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, composed of members chosen to represent the various interests that will be significantly affected by the rule. The goal of the advisory committee or working group is to reach consensus on the treatment of the major issues involved with the rule. The process starts with the Department's careful identification of all interests potentially affected by the rulemaking under consideration. To help with this identification, the Department publishes a notice of intent such as this one in the Federal Register, identifying a preliminary list of interested parties and requesting public comment on that list. Following receipt of comments, the Department establishes an advisory committee or working group representing the full range of stakeholders to negotiate a consensus on the terms of a proposed rule. Representation on the advisory committee or working group may be direct; that is, each member may represent a specific interest, or may be indirect, such as through trade associations and/or similarly-situated parties with common interests. The Department is a member of the advisory committee or working group and represents the Federal government's interests. The advisory committee or working group chair is assisted by a neutral mediator who facilitates the negotiation process. The role of the mediator, also called a facilitator, is to apply proven consensus-building techniques to the advisory committee or working group process.

    After an advisory committee or working group reaches consensus on the provisions of a proposed rule, the Department, consistent with its legal obligations, uses such consensus as the basis of its proposed rule, which then is published in the Federal Register. This publication provides the required public notice and provides for a public comment period. Other participants and other interested parties retain their rights to comment, participate in an informal hearing (if requested), and request judicial review. DOE anticipates, however, that the pre-proposal consensus agreed upon by the advisory committee or working group will narrow any issues in the subsequent rulemaking.

    C. Proposed Rulemaking for Fans and Blowers Energy Conservation Standards

    The NRA enables DOE to establish an advisory committee or working group if it is determined that the use of the negotiated rulemaking process is in the public interest. DOE intends to develop Federal regulations that build on the depth of experience accrued in both the public and private sectors in implementing standards and programs.

    DOE has determined that the regulatory negotiation process will provide for obtaining a diverse array of in-depth input, as well as an opportunity for increased collaborative discussion from both private-sector stakeholders and government officials who are familiar with energy efficiency of fans and blowers.

    D. Department Commitment

    In initiating this regulatory negotiation process to develop energy conservation standards for fans and blowers, DOE is making a commitment to provide adequate resources to facilitate timely and successful completion of the process. This commitment includes making the process a priority activity for all representatives, components, officials, and personnel of the Department who need to be involved in the rulemaking, from the time of initiation until such time as a final rule is issued or the process is expressly terminated. DOE will provide administrative support for the process and will take steps to ensure that the advisory committee or working group has the dedicated resources it requires to complete its work in a timely fashion. Specifically, DOE will make available the following support services: Properly equipped space adequate for public meetings and caucuses; logistical support; word processing and distribution of background information; the service of a facilitator; and such additional research and other technical assistance as may be necessary.

    To the maximum extent possible consistent with the legal obligations of the Department, DOE will use the consensus of the advisory committee or working group as the basis for the rule the Department proposes for public notice and comment.

    E. Negotiating Consensus

    As discussed above, the negotiated rulemaking process differs fundamentally from the usual process for developing a proposed rule. Negotiation enables interested and affected parties to discuss various approaches to issues rather than asking them only to respond to a proposal developed by the Department. The negotiation process involves a mutual education of the various parties on the practical concerns about the impact of standards. Each advisory committee or working group member participates in resolving the interests and concerns of other members, rather than leaving it up to DOE to evaluate and incorporate different points of view.

    A key principle of negotiated rulemaking is that agreement is by consensus of all the interests. Thus, no one interest or group of interests is able to control the process. The NRA defines consensus as the unanimous concurrence among interests represented on a negotiated rulemaking committee or working group, unless the committee or working group itself unanimously agrees to use a different definition. 5 U.S.C. 562. In addition, experience has demonstrated that using a trained mediator to facilitate this process will assist all parties, including DOE, in identifying their real interests in the rule, and thus will enable parties to focus on and resolve the important issues.

    III. Proposed Negotiating Procedures A. Key Issues for Negotiation

    The following issues and concerns will underlie the work of the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee on Fans and Blowers Equipment Energy Conservation Standards for fans and blowers:

    • Scope of coverage (including any system interaction effects);

    • Key test procedure conditions, as applicable; and

    • Proposed energy conservation standard.

    To examine the underlying issues outlined above, and others not yet articulated, all parties in the negotiation will need DOE to provide data and an analytic framework complete and accurate enough to support their deliberations. DOE's analyses must be adequate to inform a prospective negotiation—for example, a notice of data availability or equivalent must be available and timely.

    B. Formation of Working Group

    A working group will be formed and operated in full compliance with the requirements of FACA and in a manner consistent with the requirements of the NRA. DOE has determined that the working group not exceed 25 members. The Department believes that more than 25 members would make it difficult to conduct effective negotiations. DOE is aware that there are many more potential participants than there are membership slots on the working group. The Department does not believe, nor does the NRA contemplate, that each potentially affected group must participate directly in the negotiations; nevertheless, each affected interest can be adequately represented. To have a successful negotiation, it is important for interested parties to identify and form coalitions that adequately represent significantly affected interests. To provide adequate representation, those coalitions must agree to support, both financially and technically, a member of the working group whom they choose to represent their interests.

    DOE recognizes that when it establishes energy conservation standards for residential products and commercial equipment, various segments of society may be affected in different ways, in some cases producing unique “interests” in a proposed rule based on income, gender, or other factors. The Department will pay attention to providing that any unique interests that have been identified, and that may be significantly affected by the proposed rule, are represented.

    FACA also requires that members of the public have the opportunity to attend meetings of the full committee and speak or otherwise address the committee during the public comment period. In addition, any member of the public is permitted to file a written statement with the advisory committee. DOE plans to follow these same procedures in conducting meetings of the working group.

    C. Interests Involved/Working Group Membership

    DOE anticipates that the working group will comprise no more than 25 members who represent affected and interested stakeholder groups, at least one of whom must be a member of the ASRAC. As required by FACA, the Department will conduct the negotiated rulemaking with particular attention to ensuring full and balanced representation of those interests that may be significantly affected by the proposed rule governing rules of fans and blowers energy conservation standards. Section 562 of the NRA defines the term interest as “with respect to an issue or matter, multiple parties which have a similar point of view or which are likely to be affected in a similar manner.” Listed below are parties the Department to date has identified as being “significantly affected” by a proposed rule regarding the energy conservation standards of fans and blowers.

    • The Department of Energy

    • Manufacturers of Fans and Blowers

    • Manufacturers of Equipment that Purchase Fans and Blowers

    • Trade Associations Representing Manufacturers of Fans and Blowers or Equipment that Purchase Fans and Blowers

    • Utilities

    • Energy Efficiency/Environmental Advocacy Groups

    • Consumers

    One purpose of this notice of intent is to determine whether Federal regulations regarding fans and blowers energy conservation standards will significantly affect interests that are not listed above. DOE invites comment and suggestions on its initial list of significantly affected interests.

    Members may be individuals or organizations. If the effort is to be fruitful, participants on the working group should be able to fully and adequately represent the viewpoints of their respective interests. This document gives notice of DOE's process to other potential participants and affords them the opportunity to request representation in the negotiations. Those who wish to be appointed as members of the working group, should submit a request to DOE, in accordance with the public participation procedures outlined in the DATES and ADDRESSES sections of this notice of intent. Membership of the working group is likely to involve:

    • Attendance at approximately ten (10); one (1) to two (2) day meetings;

    • Travel costs to those meetings; and

    • Preparation time for those meetings.

    Members serving on the working group will not receive compensation for their services. Interested parties who are not selected for membership on the working group may make valuable contributions to this negotiated rulemaking effort in any of the following ways:

    • The person may request to be placed on the working group mailing list and submit written comments as appropriate.

    • The person may attend working group meetings, which are open to the public; caucus with his or her interest's member on the working group; or even address the working group during the public comment portion of the working group meeting.

    • The person could assist the efforts of a workgroup that the working group might establish.

    A working group may establish informal workgroups, which usually are asked to facilitate committee deliberations by assisting with various technical matters (e.g., researching or preparing summaries of the technical literature or comments on specific matters such as economic issues). Workgroups also might assist in estimating costs or drafting regulatory text on issues associated with the analysis of the costs and benefits addressed, or formulating drafts of the various provisions and their justifications as previously developed by the working group. Given their support function, workgroups usually consist of participants who have expertise or particular interest in the technical matter(s) being studied. Because it recognizes the importance of this support work for the working group, DOE will provide appropriate technical expertise for such workgroups.

    D. Good Faith Negotiation

    Every working group member must be willing to negotiate in good faith and have the authority, granted by his or her constituency, to do so. The first step is to ensure that each member has good communications with his or her constituencies. An intra-interest network of communication should be established to bring information from the support organization to the member at the table, and to take information from the table back to the support organization. Second, each organization or coalition therefore should designate as its representative a person having the credibility and authority to ensure that needed information is provided and decisions are made in a timely fashion. Negotiated rulemaking can require the appointed members to give a significant sustained for as long as the duration of the negotiated rulemaking. Other qualities of members that can be helpful are negotiating experience and skills, and sufficient technical knowledge to participate in substantive negotiations.

    Certain concepts are central to negotiating in good faith. One is the willingness to bring all issues to the bargaining table in an attempt to reach a consensus, as opposed to keeping key issues in reserve. The second is a willingness to keep the issues at the table and not take them to other forums. Finally, good faith includes a willingness to move away from some of the positions often taken in a more traditional rulemaking process, and instead explore openly with other parties all ideas that may emerge from the working group's discussions.

    E. Facilitator

    The facilitator will act as a neutral in the substantive development of the proposed standard. Rather, the facilitator's role generally includes:

    • Impartially assisting the members of the working group in conducting discussions and negotiations; and

    • Impartially assisting in performing the duties of the Designated Federal Official under FACA.

    F. Department Representative

    The DOE representative will be a full and active participant in the consensus building negotiations. The Department's representative will meet regularly with senior Department officials, briefing them on the negotiations and receiving their suggestions and advice so that he or she can effectively represent the Department's views regarding the issues before the working group. DOE's representative also will ensure that the entire spectrum of governmental interests affected by the standards rulemaking, including the Office of Management and Budget, the Attorney General, and other Departmental offices, are kept informed of the negotiations and encouraged to make their concerns known in a timely fashion.

    G. Working Group and Schedule

    After evaluating the comments submitted in response to this notice of intent and the requests for nominations, DOE will either inform the members of the working group that they have been selected or determine that conducting a negotiated rulemaking is inappropriate.

    The working group is expected to make a concerted effort to negotiate a final term sheet within three (3) months of its first meeting. At the completion of negotiation, the term sheet will be presented to ASRAC at an open meeting for their deliberation and decision on whether or not to pass it on as a formal recommendation to DOE. As part of its negotiations, the working group should consider scope of coverage and system interaction impacts of potential standards.

    DOE will advise working group members of administrative matters related to the functions of the working group before beginning. DOE will establish a meeting schedule based on the settlement agreement and produce the necessary documents so as to adhere to that schedule. While the negotiated rulemaking process is underway, DOE is committed to performing much of the same analysis as it would during a normal standards rulemaking process and to providing information and technical support to the working group.

    IV. Comments Requested

    DOE requests comments on which parties should be included in a negotiated rulemaking to develop draft language pertaining to the energy conservation standards of fans and blowers and suggestions of additional interests and/or stakeholders that should be represented on the working group. All who wish to participate as members of the working group should submit a request for nomination to DOE.

    V. Public Participation Attendance at the Public Meeting

    The time, date, and location of the public meeting are listed in the DATES and ADDRESSES sections. If you plan to attend the public meeting, please notify [email protected] Please note that foreign nationals participating in the public meeting are subject to advance security screening procedures which require advance notice prior to attendance at the public meeting. If a foreign national wishes to participate in the public meeting, please inform DOE as soon as possible by contacting [email protected] so that the necessary procedures can be completed. Please also note that those wishing to bring laptops into the Forrestal Building will be required to obtain a property pass. Visitors should avoid bringing laptops, or allow an extra 45 minutes.

    In addition, you can attend the public meeting via webinar. Webinar registration information, participant instructions, and information about the capabilities available to webinar participants will be published on DOE's Web site at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/rulemaking.aspx?ruleid=25. Participants are responsible for ensuring their systems are compatible with the webinar software.

    Conduct of the Public Meeting

    DOE will designate a DOE official to preside at the public meeting and may also use a professional facilitator to aid discussion. The meeting will not be a judicial or evidentiary-type public hearing, but DOE will conduct it in accordance with section 336 of EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6306) A court reporter will be present to record the proceedings and prepare a transcript. DOE reserves the right to schedule the order of presentations and to establish the procedures governing the conduct of the public meeting. After the public meeting, interested parties may submit further comments on the proceedings as well as on any aspect of the rulemaking until the end of the comment period.

    The public meeting will be conducted in an informal, conference style. DOE will present summaries of comments received before the public meeting, allow time for prepared general statements by participants, and encourage all interested parties to share their views on issues affecting this rulemaking. Each participant will be allowed to make a general statement (within time limits determined by DOE), before the discussion of specific topics. DOE will allow, as time permits, other participants to comment briefly on any general statements.

    VI. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of today's notice of proposed rulemaking.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 26, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07470 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 431 [EERE-2013-BT-STD-0007; EERE-2013-BT-STD-0021] Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee: Notice of Intent To Establish the Commercial Package Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps and Commercial Warm Air Furnaces Working Group To Negotiate Potential Energy Conservation Standards AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent and announcement of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE or the Department) is giving notice that it intends to establish a negotiated rulemaking working group under the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC) in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act (NRA) to negotiate regarding energy conservation standards for small, large, and very large, air-cooled commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps as well as commercial warm air furnaces. The purpose of the working group will be to discuss and, if possible, reach consensus regarding the development of energy conservation standards for small, large, and very large, air-cooled commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps as well as commercial warm air furnaces, as authorized by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, as amended. The working group will consist of representatives of parties having a defined stake in the outcome of the energy conservation standards, and will consult as appropriate with a range of experts on technical issues.

    The working group is expected to negotiate a final term sheet regarding energy conservation standards for the aforementioned equipment by Monday, June 15, 2015. The final term sheet will be presented to ASRAC at an open meeting for their deliberation and decision on whether to pass it on as a formal recommendation to DOE.

    DATES:

    Written comments and request to be appointed as members of the CUAC and CWAF Working Group, including an application package, are welcome and should be submitted by April 15, 2015.

    DOE will hold the first meeting for the CUAC and CWAF Working Group on Tuesday, April, 28, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Washington, DC. The meeting will also be broadcast as a webinar. See section V Public Participation for webinar registration information, participant instructions, and information about the capabilities available to webinar participants.

    ADDRESSES:

    The first CUAC and CWAF Working Group meeting, which is also open to the public, will be held at the U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 8E-089, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. To attend, please notify [email protected] Please note that foreign nationals participating in the public meeting are subject to advance security screening procedures which require advance notice prior to attendance at the public meeting. If a foreign national wishes to participate in the public meeting, please inform DOE as soon as possible by contacting [email protected] so that the necessary procedures can be completed. Please also note that those wishing to bring laptops into the Forrestal Building will be required to obtain a property pass. Visitors should avoid bringing laptops, or allow an extra 45 minutes. Persons can attend the public meeting via webinar. For more information, refer to section V of this document (Public Participation).

    Interested person may submit comments, identified by docket number EERE-2013-BT-STD-0007; EERE-2013-BT-STD-0021 by any of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected] Include docket number EERE-2013-BT-STD-0007; EERE-2013-BT-STD-0021 in the subject line of the message.

    3. Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, 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.

    4. Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Suite 600, 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.

    No telefacsimilies (faxes) will be accepted.

    Docket: The docket is available for review at www.regulations.gov, including Federal Register notices, public meeting attendee 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Cymbalsky, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Building Technologies (EE-2J), 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024. Phone: 202-287-1692. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Preamble I. Authority II. Background III. Proposed Negotiating Procedures IV. Comments Requested V. Public Participation I. Authority

    This notice of intent, announcing DOE's intent to negotiate regarding energy conservation standards for small (greater than or equal to 65,000 Btu/h and under 135,000 Btu/h cooling capacity), large, (greater than or equal to 135,000 Btu/h and under 240,000 Btu/h cooling capacity) and very large (greater than or equal to 240,000 Btu/h and under 760,000 Btu/h cooling capacity), air-cooled commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps (CUACs) as well as commercial warm air furnaces (CWAFs), was developed under the authority of sections 563 and 564 of the NRA (5 U.S.C. 561-570, Pub. L. 104-320). The establishment of energy conservation standards for CUACs and CWAFs by DOE is pursuant to authority in EPCA, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6311(1)(A) and 42 U.S.C. 6291, et seq.

    II. Background

    As required by the NRA, DOE is giving notice that it is establishing a working group under ASRAC to negotiate regarding energy conservation standards CUACs and CWAFs. EPCA, as amended, directs DOE to adopt energy conservation standards for CUACs and CWAFs for which standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified, and would result in significant energy savings. The current Federal for CUACs are found in 10 CFR part 431.97(b).

    A. Negotiated Rulemaking

    DOE has decided to use the negotiated rulemaking process to discuss the development of energy conservation standards for CUACs and CWAFs. Under EPCA, Congress mandated that DOE develop regulations establishing energy conservation standards for covered consumer and commercial products that are designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that are technologically feasible and economically justified. 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A). The primary reason for using the negotiated rulemaking process for considering amended energy conservation standards is that stakeholders strongly support a consensual rulemaking effort. DOE believes such a regulatory negotiation process will be less adversarial and better suited to resolving complex technical issues. An important virtue of negotiated rulemaking is that it allows expert dialog that is much better than traditional techniques at getting the facts and issues right and will result in a rulemaking that will effectively reflect Congressional intent.

    A regulatory negotiation will enable DOE to engage in direct and sustained dialog with informed, interested, and affected parties when considering potential revisions to the publically available analysis. Because a negotiating working group includes representatives from the major stakeholder groups affected by or interested in the rule, the number of changes in the analysis resulting from responses to public comments on the proposed rule may be decreased as DOE and the major stakeholder groups affected by the rule have the opportunity to have a discussions about the data, methodology, and analyses.

    B. Rulemaking for CUAC and CWAF Energy Conservation Standards

    The NRA enables DOE to establish an advisory committee or working group if it is determined that the use of the negotiated rulemaking process is in the public interest. DOE intends to develop Federal regulations that build on the depth of experience accrued in both the public and private sectors in implementing standards and programs.

    DOE has determined that the regulatory negotiation process will provide for obtaining a diverse array of in-depth input, as well as an opportunity for increased collaborative discussion from both private-sector stakeholders and government officials who are familiar with energy use and efficiency of CUACs and CWAFs.

    D. Department Commitment

    In initiating this regulatory negotiation process regarding energy conservation standards for CUACs and CWAFs, DOE is making a commitment to provide adequate resources to facilitate timely and successful completion of the process. This commitment includes making the process a priority activity for all representatives, components, officials, and personnel of the Department who need to be involved in the rulemaking, from the time of initiation until such time as a final rule is issued or the process is expressly terminated. DOE will provide administrative support for the process and will take steps to ensure that the advisory committee or working group has the dedicated resources it requires to complete its work in a timely fashion. Specifically, DOE will make available the following support services: properly equipped space adequate for public meetings and caucuses; logistical support; word processing and distribution of background information; the service of a facilitator; and such additional research and other technical assistance as may be necessary.

    To the maximum extent possible consistent with the legal obligations of the Department, DOE will consider the consensus of the advisory committee or working group as the basis for the rulemaking moving forward.

    E. Negotiating Consensus

    As discussed above, the negotiated rulemaking process differs fundamentally from the usual process for developing and revising a typical rulemaking. Negotiation enables interested and affected parties to discuss various approaches to issues rather than asking them only to respond to a proposal developed by the Department. The negotiation process involves a mutual education of the various parties on the practical concerns about the impact of standards. Each advisory committee or working group member participates in resolving the interests and concerns of other members, rather than leaving it up to DOE to evaluate and incorporate different points of view.

    A key principle of negotiated rulemaking is that agreement is by consensus of all the interests. Thus, no one interest or group of interests is able to control the process. The NRA defines consensus as the unanimous concurrence among interests represented on a negotiated rulemaking committee or working group, unless the committee or working group itself unanimously agrees to use a different definition. 5 U.S.C. 562. In addition, experience has demonstrated that using a trained mediator to facilitate this process will assist all parties, including DOE, in identifying their real interests in the rule, and thus will enable parties to focus on and resolve the important issues.

    III. Proposed Negotiating Procedures A. Key Issues for Negotiation

    The following issues and concerns will underlie the work of the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee on CUAC and CWAF Energy Conservation Standards:

    • Additional data that could be considered by the Working Group in potentially revising the analytical tools that DOE used for the proposed rules;

    • Additional methodology assumptions that could be considered by the Working Group in potentially revising the analytical tools that DOE used for the proposed rules;

    • Synergies gained by combining the rulemaking and potential compliance dates for two covered products; and

    • Consideration of energy conservation standards.

    To examine the underlying issues outlined above, and others not yet articulated, all parties in the negotiation will need DOE to provide data and an analytic framework complete and accurate enough to support their deliberations. DOE's analyses must be adequate to inform a prospective negotiation—for example, the notice of proposed rulemakings for CUACs and CWAFs or equivalent must be available and timely.

    B. Formation of Working Group

    A working group will be formed and operated in full compliance with the requirements of FACA and in a manner consistent with the requirements of the NRA. DOE has determined that the working group shall not exceed 25 members. The Department believes that more than 25 members would make it difficult to conduct effective negotiations. DOE is aware that there are many more potential participants than there are membership slots on the working group. The Department does not believe, nor does the NRA contemplate, that each potentially affected group must participate directly in the negotiations; nevertheless, each affected interest can be adequately represented. To have a successful negotiation, it is important for interested parties to identify and form coalitions that adequately represent significantly affected interests. To provide adequate representation, those coalitions must agree to support, both financially and technically, a member of the working group whom they choose to represent their interests.

    DOE recognizes that when it establishes energy conservation standards for consumer products and commercial equipment, various segments of society may be affected in different ways, in some cases producing unique “interests” in a rulemaking based on income, gender, or other factors. The Department will pay attention to providing that any unique interests that have been identified, and that may be significantly affected by the rulemaking, are represented.

    FACA also requires that members of the public have the opportunity to attend meetings of the full committee and speak or otherwise address the committee during the public comment period. In addition, any member of the public is permitted to file a written statement with the advisory committee. DOE plans to follow these same procedures in conducting meetings of the working group.

    C. Interests Involved/Working Group Membership

    DOE anticipates that the working group will comprise no more than 25 members who represent affected and interested stakeholder groups, at least one of whom must be a member of the ASRAC. As required by FACA, the Department will conduct the negotiated rulemaking with particular attention to ensuring full and balanced representation of those interests that may be significantly affected by the rulemaking for energy conservation standards regarding CUACs and CWAFs. Section 562 of the NRA defines the term interest as “with respect to an issue or matter, multiple parties which have a similar point of view or which are likely to be affected in a similar manner.” Listed below are parties the Department to date has identified as being “significantly affected” by a rulemaking regarding the energy conservation standards regarding CUACs and CWAFs.

    • The U.S. Department of Energy • Trade Associations representing manufacturers of CUACs and CWAF; • Utilities • Energy Efficiency/Environmental Advocacy Groups • Consumers

    One purpose of this notice of intent is to determine whether Federal regulations regarding CUACs and CWAFs energy conservation standards will significantly affect interests that are not listed above. DOE invites comment and suggestions on its initial list of significantly affected interests.

    Members may be individuals or organizations. If the effort is to be fruitful, participants on the working group should be able to fully and adequately represent the viewpoints of their respective interests. This document gives notice of DOE's process to other potential participants and affords them the opportunity to request representation in the negotiations. Those who wish to be appointed as members of the CUACs and CWAFs Working Group, should submit a request to DOE, in accordance with the public participation procedures outlined in the DATES and ADDRESSES sections of this notice of intent. Membership of the working group is likely to involve:

    • Attendance at approximately six, one (1) to two (2) day meetings;

    • Travel costs to those meetings; and

    • Preparation time for those meetings.

    Members serving on the working group will not receive compensation for their services. Interested parties who are not selected for membership on the working group may make valuable contributions to this negotiated rulemaking effort in any of the following ways:

    • The person may request to be placed on the working group mailing list and submit written comments as appropriate.

    • The person may attend working group meetings, which are open to the public; caucus with his or her interest's member on the working group; or even address the working group during the public comment portion of the working group meeting.

    • The person could assist the efforts of a workgroup that the working group might establish.

    A working group may establish informal workgroups, which usually are asked to facilitate committee deliberations by assisting with various technical matters (e.g., researching or preparing summaries of the technical literature or comments on specific matters such as economic issues). Workgroups also might assist in estimating costs or drafting regulatory text on issues associated with the analysis of the costs and benefits addressed, or formulating drafts of the various provisions and their justifications as previously developed by the working group. Given their support function, workgroups usually consist of participants who have expertise or particular interest in the technical matter(s) being studied. Because it recognizes the importance of this support work for the working group, DOE will provide appropriate technical expertise for such workgroups.

    D. Good Faith Negotiation

    Every working group member must be willing to negotiate in good faith and have the authority, granted by his or her constituency, to do so. The first step is to ensure that each member has good communications with his or her constituencies. An intra-interest network of communication should be established to bring information from the support organization to the member at the table, and to take information from the table back to the support organization. Second, each organization or coalition should designate as its representative a person having the credibility and authority to ensure that needed information is provided and decisions are made in a timely fashion. Negotiated rulemaking can require the appointed members to give a significant sustained time commitment for as long as the duration of the negotiated rulemaking. Other qualities of members that can be helpful are negotiating experience and skills, and sufficient technical knowledge to participate in substantive negotiations.

    Certain concepts are central to negotiating in good faith. One is the willingness to bring all issues to the bargaining table in an attempt to reach a consensus, as opposed to keeping key issues in reserve. The second is a willingness to keep the issues at the table and not take them to other forums. Finally, good faith includes a willingness to move away from some of the positions often taken in a more traditional rulemaking process, and instead explore openly with other parties all ideas that may emerge from the working group's discussions.

    E. Facilitator

    The facilitator will act as a neutral in the substantive development of the proposed standard. Rather, the facilitator's role generally includes:

    • Impartially assisting the members of the working group in conducting discussions and negotiations; and

    • Impartially assisting in performing the duties of the Designated Federal Official under FACA.

    F. Department Representative

    The DOE representative will be a full and active participant in the consensus building negotiations. The Department's representative will meet regularly with senior Department officials, briefing them on the negotiations and receiving their suggestions and advice so that he or she can effectively represent the Department's views regarding the issues before the working group. DOE's representative also will ensure that the entire spectrum of governmental interests affected by the standards rulemaking, including the Office of Management and Budget, the Attorney General, and other Departmental offices, are kept informed of the negotiations and encouraged to make their concerns known in a timely fashion.

    G. Working Group and Schedule

    After evaluating the comments submitted in response to this notice of intent and the requests for nominations, DOE will either inform the members of the working group that they have been selected or determine that conducting a negotiated rulemaking is inappropriate.

    The working group is expected to negotiate a final term sheet by Monday, June 15, 2015. The final term sheet will be presented to ASRAC at an open meeting for their deliberation and decision on whether or not to pass it on as a formal recommendation to DOE.

    DOE will advise working group members of administrative matters related to the functions of the working group before beginning. DOE will establish a meeting schedule based on the settlement agreement and produce the necessary documents so as to adhere to that schedule. While the negotiated rulemaking process is underway, DOE is committed to performing much of the same analysis as it would during a normal standards rulemaking process and to providing information and technical support to the working group.

    IV. Comments Requested

    DOE requests comments on which parties should be included in a negotiated rulemaking to consider energy conservation standards for CUACs and CWAFs and suggestions of additional interests and/or stakeholders that should be represented on the working group. All who wish to participate as members of the working group should submit a request for nomination to DOE.

    V. Public Participation Attendance at the Public Meeting

    The time, date, and location of the public meeting are listed in the DATES and ADDRESSES sections. If you plan to attend the public meeting, please notify [email protected]

    In addition, you can attend the public meeting via webinar. Webinar registration information, participant instructions, and information about the capabilities available to webinar participants will be published on DOE's Web site at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/rulemaking.aspx?ruleid=106. Participants are responsible for ensuring their systems are compatible with the webinar software.

    Conduct of the Public Meeting

    DOE will designate a DOE official to preside at the public meeting and may also use a professional facilitator to aid discussion. The meeting will not be a judicial or evidentiary-type public hearing, but DOE will conduct it in accordance with section 336 of EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6306) A court reporter will be present to record the proceedings and prepare a transcript. DOE reserves the right to schedule the order of presentations and to establish the procedures governing the conduct of the public meeting. After the public meeting, interested parties may submit further comments on the proceedings as well as on any aspect of the rulemaking until the end of the comment period.

    The public meeting will be conducted in an informal, conference style. DOE will present summaries of comments received before the public meeting, allow time for prepared general statements by participants, and encourage all interested parties to share their views on issues affecting this rulemaking. Each participant will be allowed to make a general statement (within time limits determined by DOE), before the discussion of specific topics. DOE will allow, as time permits, other participants to comment briefly on any general statements.

    VI. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of this notice of intent.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 24, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07377 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0680; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-165-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400, -401, and -402 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of a main landing gear (MLG) parking brake becoming dislodged from its mounting bracket due to an improperly installed quick release pin of the hand pump lever. This proposed AD would require removing the hand pump lever of the parking brake from the right-hand side nacelle. We are proposing this AD to prevent an unsecured lever from migrating from its stowed position, fouling against the MLG, and subsequently puncturing the nacelle structure, which could adversely affect the safe landing of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    • Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    • Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0680; 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 Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cesar Gomez, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7318; fax 516-794-5531.

    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-2015-0680; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-165-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-18, dated June 19, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on certain Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400, -401, and -402 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    There has been one (1) reported in-service incident where the main landing gear (MLG) parking brake hand pump lever was not properly secured in the right-hand (RH) side nacelle and became dislodged from its mounting bracket. During extension of the MLG, the unsecured lever shifted causing a fouling condition with the nacelle and subsequently puncturing the nacelle structure.

    An investigation revealed that the safety restraint pin used to securely stow the lever is susceptible to mishandling. An unsecured parking brake hand pump lever could migrate from its stowed position and foul against the MLG, adversely affecting the safe landing of the aeroplane.

    This [Canadian] AD mandates the removal of the MLG parking brake hand pump lever from the RH side nacelle.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0680.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Bombardier has issued the following service bulletins. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI.

    • Service Bulletin 84-32-99, Revision A, dated October 2, 2012. This service information describes incorporating ModSum 4-113723 by re-locating the hand pump lever of the parking brake from the right-hand side nacelle to the right-hand side equipment bay.

    • Service Bulletin 84-32-118, dated April 8, 2014. This service information describes incorporating Bombardier ModSum 4-113803 by removing the hand pump lever of the parking brake from the right-hand side nacelle.

    This service information is reasonably available; see ADDRESSES for ways to access this service information.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 82 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it would take about 3 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $20,910, or $255 per product.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Bombardier, Inc.: Docket No. FAA-2015-0680; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-165-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by May 18, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400, -401, and -402 airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers (S/N) 4001 through 4419 inclusive.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32, Landing Gear.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of a main landing gear (MLG) parking brake becoming dislodged from its mounting bracket due to an improperly installed quick release pin of the hand pump lever. We are issuing this AD to prevent an unsecured lever from migrating from its stowed position, fouling against the MLG, and subsequently puncturing the nacelle structure, which could adversely affect the safe landing of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Incorporation of Modification Summary (ModSum) 4-113803

    Within 3,000 flight hours or 18 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Incorporate Bombardier ModSum 4-113803 by removing the hand pump lever of the parking brake from the right-hand side nacelle, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-118, dated April 8, 2014.

    Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD:

    The hand pump lever of the parking brake may be re-installed at the operator's discretion to the right-hand side equipment bay, by incorporating ModSum 4-113804 as specified in Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-119, dated June 14, 2013.

    (h) Optional Installation

    Incorporation of ModSum 4-113723 by re-locating the hand pump lever of the parking brake from the right-hand side nacelle to the right-hand side equipment bay, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-99, Revision A, dated October 2, 2012, is acceptable for compliance with the modification specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, provided the incorporation of ModSum 4-113723 is done within the compliance time specified in paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (i) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-99, dated January 26, 2012, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, 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 ACO, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO). If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-18, dated June 19, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0680.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 19, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07393 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0681; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-201-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a determination that a repetitive test is needed to inspect the components on airplanes equipped with a certain air distribution system configuration. This proposed AD would require doing repetitive testing for correct operation of the equipment cooling system and low pressure environmental control system, and corrective actions if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct latent failures of the equipment cooling system and low pressure environmental control system, which could result in smoke in the flight deck and possible loss of aircraft control.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, 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-2015-0681.

    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-2015-0681; 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:

    Stanley Chen, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6585; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-0681; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-201-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We received a report indicating that a repetitive test is needed for inspection of the components on airplanes equipped with an air distribution system that was reconfigured using Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-26-1122, Revision 1, dated August 13, 2009. Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-26-1122, Revision 1, dated August 13, 2009, provided procedures for installing relays and diodes to the J24 junction box assembly and making wiring changes to the environmental control system. Without the repetitive test, failures of components could possibly be latent for extended periods. A cargo fire event, in conjunction with a latent failure of the air distribution system, can possibly result in smoke penetration into occupied areas. This condition, if not corrected, could result in smoke in the flight deck and possible loss of aircraft control.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-26A1137, dated May 22, 2014. The service information describes procedures for repetitive testing for correct operation of the reconfigured equipment cooling system and low pressure environmental control system. Refer to this service information for information on the procedures and compliance times.

    Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-26A1137, dated May 22, 2014, specifies, for certain airplanes, prior or concurrent accomplishment of Boeing Special Attention 737-26-1122, Revision 1, dated August 13, 2009. Boeing Special Attention 737-26-1122, Revision 1, dated August 13, 2009, describes procedures for installing relays and diodes to the J24 junction box assembly and making wiring changes to the environmental control system.

    This service information is reasonably available; see ADDRESSES for ways to access this service information.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously.

    The phrase “corrective actions” is used in this proposed AD. “Corrective actions” are actions that correct or address any condition found. Corrective actions in an AD could include, for example, repairs.

    Explanation of Required for Compliance (RC) Steps in Service Information

    The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the Airworthiness Directives Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement was a new process for annotating which steps in the service information are required for compliance with an AD. Differentiating these steps from other tasks in the service information is expected to improve an owner's/operator's understanding of crucial AD requirements and help provide consistent judgment in AD compliance. The steps identified as RC (required for compliance) in any service information identified previously have a direct effect on detecting, preventing, resolving, or eliminating an identified unsafe condition.

    Steps that are identified as RC in any service information must be done to comply with the proposed AD. However, steps that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those steps that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC), provided the steps identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any substitutions or changes to steps identified as RC will require approval of an AMOC.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 1,372 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 Operational Test 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 per operation test cycle $0 $340 per operation test cycle $466,480 per operation test cycle.

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary isolation and replacements that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these replacements:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Perform system fault isolation and replace faulty component 10 work-hours × $85 per hour = $850 $0 $850 Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-0681; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-201-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by May 18, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 2120, Air Distribution System.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a determination that a maintenance procedure is needed to inspect the components on airplanes equipped with a certain air distribution system. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct latent failures of the equipment cooling system and low pressure environmental control system, which could result in smoke in the flight deck and possible loss of aircraft control.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Operational Test and Corrective Action

    At the applicable times identified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-26A1137, dated May 22, 2014, except as required by paragraph (i) of this AD: Do a test for correct operation of the smoke clearance mode of the equipment cooling system and low pressure environmental control system, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-26A1137, dated May 22, 2014. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the test for correct operation of the smoke clearance mode of the equipment cooling system and low pressure environmental control system thereafter at intervals not to exceed 9,000 flight cycles.

    (h) Concurrent Requirements

    For Group 1 airplanes identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-26A1137, dated May 22, 2014: Before or concurrently with accomplishing the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD, install new relays and do wiring changes to the environmental control system, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-26-1122, Revision 1, dated August 13, 2009.

    (i) Exception to the Service Information

    Where paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-26A1137, dated May 22, 2014, specifies a compliance time “after the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(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) If any service information contains steps that are identified as RC (Required for Compliance), those steps must be done to comply with this AD; any steps that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those steps that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the steps identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any substitutions or changes to steps identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Stanley Chen, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6585; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 19, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07436 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Highway Administration 23 CFR Part 515 [FHWA Docket No. FHWA-2013-0052] RIN 2125-AF57 Asset Management Plan AGENCY:

    Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The FHWA is extending the comment period for a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) and request for comments, which was published on February 20, 2015, at 80 FR 9231. The original comment period is set to close on April 21, 2015. The extension is based on concern expressed by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) that the April 21 closing date does not provide sufficient time to review and provide comprehensive comments. The FHWA recognizes that others interested in commenting may have similar concerns and agrees that the comment period should be extended. Therefore, the closing date for comments is changed to May 29, 2015, which will provide AASHTO and others interested in commenting additional time to discuss, evaluate, and submit responses to the docket.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the proposed rule published on February 20, 2015, at 80 FR 9231, is extended. Comments must be received on or before May 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Mail or hand deliver comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Dockets Management Facility, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, or submit electronically at http://www.regulations.gov. All comments should include the docket number that appears in the heading of this document. All comments received will be available for examination and copying at the above address from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Those desiring notification of receipt of comments must include a self-addressed, stamped postcard or may print the acknowledgment page that appears after submitting comments electronically. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70, Pages 19477-78) or you may visit http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Nastaran Saadatmand, Office of Asset Management, 202-366-1336, [email protected] or Ms. Janet Myers, Office of the Chief Counsel, 202-366-2019, [email protected], Federal Highway Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic Access and Filing

    You may submit or access all comments received by DOT online through: http://www.regulations.gov. Electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines are available on the Web site. It is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. Please follow the instructions. An electronic copy of this document may also be downloaded from the Federal Register's home page at: http://www.federalregister.gov.

    Background

    Section 119 of title 23, U.S.C., requires the Secretary to establish a process that States DOTs would use to develop a State asset management plan. On February 20, 2015, FHWA published in the Federal Register an NPRM proposing to establish a process for the development of a State asset management plan to improve or preserve the condition of the assets and the performance of the National Highway System as they relate to physical assets. State asset management plans must include strategies leading to a program of projects that would: (1) Make progress toward achievement of the State targets for asset condition and performance of the NHS in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 150(d), and (2) support progress toward the achievement of the national goals identified in 23 U.S.C. 150(b). 23 U.S.C. 119(e)(2). The development and implementation of an asset management plan is an important part of the overall Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century framework for enhancing the management and performance of transportation highway infrastructure funded through the Federal-aid highway program.

    The original comment period for the NPRM closes on April 21, 2015. The AASHTO has expressed concern that this closing date does not provide sufficient time to review and provide comprehensive comments on the proposal. The FHWA recognizes that others interested in commenting may have similar concerns and agrees that the comment period should be extended. To allow time for this organization and others to submit comprehensive comments, the closing date is changed from April 21, 2015, to May 29, 2015.

    Authority:

    23 U.S.C. 104(b)(1), 119.

    Issued on: March 25, 2015. Gregory G. Nadeau, Deputy Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07443 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE CODE 4910-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 24 CFR Part 135 [Docket No. FR-4893-P-01] RIN 2529-AA91 Creating Economic Opportunities for Low- and Very Low-Income Persons and Eligible Businesses Through Strengthened “Section 3” Requirements Correction

    In proposed rule document 2015-06544 beginning on page 16520 in the issue of Friday, March 27, 2015, make the following corrections:

    1. On page 16529, in the second column, in the thirty-seventh line, through the third column, in the first line, remove the sentence, “As discussed, the current threshold is based on the receipt of covered funds, not its expenditure.”

    2. On the same page, in the third column, in the thirty-eighth line, at the end of the final line of the paragraph, add, “Further, HUD seeks comment on whether alternative thresholds (e.g., a threshold that applies Section 3 to all construction related projects if a grantee receives a certain amount of HUD funding, or a threshold that would only apply Section 3 to projects or activities that are receiving some minimum amount of housing and community development financial assistance) are more appropriate.”

    3. On the same page, in the first table, in the first column, in rows 1, 3 and 5, the word “agencies” should read “recipients.”

    [FR Doc. C1-2015-06544 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Parts 101, 104, 105, 120, and 128 [Docket Number USCG-2006-23846] RIN 1625-AB30 Consolidated Cruise Ship Security Regulations—Reopening of Comment Period AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is reopening the comment period for the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Consolidated Cruise Ship Security Regulations,” published on December 10, 2014, for 60 days. We are reopening the comment period because we omitted from the docket the accompanying Regulatory Analysis, which informs the proposal.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the NPRM published on December 10, 2014 (79 FR 73255) is reopened. Comments and related material must be submitted to the docket by June 1, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Lieutenant Commander Kevin McDonald, Inspections and Compliance Directorate, Office of Port and Facility Compliance, Cargo and Facilities Division (CG-FAC-2), Coast Guard; telephone 202-372-1168, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Ms. Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Public Participation and Request for Comments

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

    1. Submitting comments

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

    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number (USCG-2010-0194) in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on “Submit a Comment” on the line associated with this rulemaking.

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

    2. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number (USCG-2010-0194) in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    3. Privacy Act

    Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

    B. Regulatory History and Information

    The Coast Guard published an NPRM entitled “Consolidated Cruise Ship Regulations” on December 10, 2014 (79 FR 73255) proposing to amend its regulations on cruise ship terminal security. All comments on this NPRM were due by March 10, 2015.

    C. Background and Purpose

    In the course of reviewing comments submitted to the docket on this rulemaking, we found that the Regulatory Analysis was in fact not available in the docket as stated in the NPRM, and promptly made it available and ensured it was properly posted to the docket. In order to ensure full public participation in this rulemaking, we are reopening the comment period for a period of 60 days to allow commenters to read and comment on the detailed Regulatory Analysis if desired.

    D. Authority

    This notice is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a).

    Dated: March 26, 2015. Jeffrey G. Lantz, Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards, U.S. Coast Guard.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07466 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs 41 CFR Part 60-20 RIN 1250-AA05 Discrimination on the Basis of Sex; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

    Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking and extension of the comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    On January 30, 2015, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register. The NPRM (80 FR 5246) proposed regulations setting forth requirements that covered Federal Government contractors and subcontractors, and federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors, must meet in fulfilling their obligations under Executive Order 11246, as amended. This includes ensuring nondiscrimination in employment on the basis of sex and taking affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their sex.

    This document extends the comment period for the proposed rule for 14 days. You do not need to resubmit your comment if you have already commented on the proposed rule. Should you choose to do so, you can submit additional or supplemental comments. OFCCP will consider all comments received from the date of publication of the proposed rule through the close of the extended comment period.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the NPRM published on January 30, 2015 (80 FR 5246), and scheduled to close on March 31, 2015, is extended. Comments must be received on or before April 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by RIN 1250-AA05, by any of the following methods:

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

    • Fax: (202) 693-1304 (for comments of six pages or fewer).

    • Mail: Debra A. Carr, Director, Division of Policy and Program Development, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Room C-3325, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Debra A. Carr, Director, Division of Policy and Program Development, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Room C-3325, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (202) 693-0104.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On January 30, 2015, OFCCP published a proposed rule entitled “Discrimination on the Basis of Sex” (80 FR 5246). OFCCP was to receive comments on this NPRM on or before March 31, 2015.

    OFCCP, after considering a request to extend the comment period until after the Supreme Court issued an opinion in the then pending case of Young v. United Parcel Service (U.S. No. 12-1226), determined that it is appropriate to provide additional time to review the Court's recent decision and its potential impact on the proposals in the NPRM.

    On March 25, 2015, the Supreme Court issued an opinion in Young v. United Parcel Service, 575__ U.S. __ (2015); 2015 WL 1310745 (Mar. 25, 2015). The Young case addressed the issue of an employer's duty to accommodate pregnant employees. OFCCP's NPRM addresses the issue of discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions, and the obligations of Federal contractors and subcontractors to provide workplace accommodations for these conditions. This issue was before the Court in Young.

    Extension of Comment Period

    OFCCP determined that the public could benefit from additional time to review the Court's decision in Young. Therefore, OFCCP is extending the comment period for the NPRM until April 14, 2015.

    Signed in Washington, DC, this 27th day of March 2015. Debra A. Carr, Director, Division of Policy and Program Development, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07490 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-CM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Parts 13 and 21 [Docket No. FWS-R9-MB-2009-0045; FF09M21200-134-FXMB1232099BPP0] RIN 1018-AW75 Migratory Bird Permits; Abatement Permit Regulations AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We propose permit regulations to govern the use of captive-bred, trained raptors to control or take birds or other wildlife to mitigate damage or other problems, including risks to human health and safety. This action would allow us to respond to increasing public interest in the use of trained raptors to haze (scare) depredating and other problem birds from airports and agricultural crops while maintaining our statutory responsibility to protect migratory birds.

    DATES:

    There are two dates for submissions relevant to this proposed rule. Electronic comments on this proposed rule via http://www.regulations.gov must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on June 30, 2015. Comments submitted by mail must be postmarked no later than June 30, 2015. Comments on the information collection must be submitted by May 1, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    We are soliciting comments on two separate actions with different addresses: (1) A proposed rule, and (2) information collection. You may submit comments for the proposed regulation by either one of the following two methods:

    Federal eRulemaking portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS-R9-MB-2009-0045.

    U.S. mail or hand delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attention: FWS-R9-MB-2009-0045; Division of Policy and Performance Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS MB; Falls Church, VA 22041-3830.

    We will not accept email or faxes. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information that you provide. See the Public Comments section below for more information.

    Submit comments on the information collection requirements to the Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior at Office of Management and Budget (OMB-OIRA) at (202) 395-5806 (fax) or [email protected] (email). Please provide a copy of your comments to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS PPM, Falls Church, VA 22041-3830 (mail), or [email protected] (email).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    George Allen at 703-358-1825.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS or Service) is the Federal agency delegated the primary responsibility for managing migratory birds. This delegation is authorized by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA, 16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.), which implements conventions with Great Britain (for Canada), Mexico, Japan, and the Soviet Union (Russia). We implement the provisions of the MBTA through regulations in parts 10, 13, 20, 21, and 22 of title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Regulations pertaining to migratory bird permits are at 50 CFR part 21; subpart C of part 21 contains regulations for specific permit provisions.

    In response to public interest in the use of trained raptors to haze depredating and other problem birds from airports and agricultural crops, we drafted a policy in 2007 to establish a migratory bird abatement permit. On January 12 of that year, we published a Federal Register notice containing draft permit conditions for abatement permits for public comment (72 FR 1556-1557). On December 10, 2007, we published a Federal Register notice (72 FR 69705-69706) announcing final permit conditions, accompanied by Migratory Bird Permit Memorandum Number 5, Abatement Activities Using Raptors, issued August 22, 2007, available at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/mbpermits/Memorandums/AbatementActivitiesUsingRaptors.pdf.

    The 2007 policy Memorandum and conditions have governed administration of Federal Migratory Bird Special Purpose Abatement (SPA) permits (Federal abatement permits) through the present time. The provisions for abatement in the Memorandum have worked well, but we have seen increased use of the Special Purpose permits, and the States have inquired about abatement activities that are not addressed in the Memorandum. Therefore, on July 6, 2011, we announced through an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) that published in the Federal Register that we were considering developing regulations to govern the use of raptors in abatement (76 FR 39368).

    Most of the comments we received on the ANPR supported development of regulations for abatement. This proposed rule largely incorporates the conditions and procedures that governed abatement permits under the 2007 Memorandum and language developed in response to the public comments. The permit that would be established under the proposed regulations would provide the public with a nonlethal management tool to mitigate problems caused by birds and other wildlife.

    Proposed Permit Provisions

    An abatement permit would authorize the use of trained, captive-bred raptors protected under the MBTA to abate problems caused by migratory birds or other wildlife. A permittee would have to be a Master falconer in good standing under the Federal falconry regulations (50 CFR 21.29). A Master falconer or a General falconer with 3 or more years of experience at the General falconer level would be allowed to conduct abatement activities as a subpermittee. We would issue abatement permits only to U.S. resident Master falconers.

    We would not limit the number of raptors an abatement permit holder may possess under a Federal abatement permit if the raptors are used in abatement and are maintained under humane and healthful conditions as required in 50 CFR 13.41, and if the permittee's facilities and equipment meet the standards in 50 CFR 21.29. We would require each captive-bred MBTA raptor held or used under an abatement permit to be banded with a seamless metal band issued by the Service, unless exempted because of problems caused by the band. State wildlife agencies may have additional requirements for maintaining raptors.

    The abatement permit holder would not be authorized to use birds he or she possesses under other types of permits for abatement activities, except that falconry birds could be used for abatement if no compensation is received for the service. The proposed regulations also would not allow a raptor held under a Federal abatement permit to be used for falconry.

    A Federal abatement permit, by itself, would not authorize the killing, injuring, or other take of migratory birds or other wildlife. Any take of protected migratory birds by an abatement permit holder must be authorized by hunting regulations, a Federal depredation order, or a depredation permit issued to the landowner. Harassment, disturbance, or other take of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), or endangered or threatened species by an abatement permit holder would have to be authorized by the appropriate Federal permit. Abatement activities also would have to be conducted in accordance with any other applicable Federal, State, tribal, or municipal laws.

    Raptors that could be used for abatement under these proposed regulations include all native raptor species listed in 50 CFR 10.13 except bald eagles and golden eagles. Included are falconiformes (forest-falcons, caracaras, and falcons); accipitriformes (vultures, osprey, kites, hawks, and eagles [except bald eagles and golden eagles]); and strigiformes (owls).

    Possession and use for abatement of exotic raptor species that are not on the list of MBTA-protected species at 50 CFR 10.13 is not regulated under the MBTA and is outside the scope of the proposed regulations. However, hybrid raptors of MBTA-protected species are subject to this proposed regulation.

    An applicant for a Federal abatement permit would have to complete and submit Service application form 3-200-79 (http://www.fws.gov/forms/3-200-79.pdf) to his or her Regional Migratory Bird Permit Office.

    Permit Application Processing Fee

    We propose to charge a fee sufficient to offset the estimated costs associated with processing the application and annual reports and our periodic review of these permits. Revised Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circular A-25 directs Executive Branch agencies to recover costs, stating that, “When a service (or privilege) provides special benefits to an identifiable recipient beyond those that accrue to the general public, a charge will be imposed (to recover the full cost to the Federal Government for providing the special benefit, or the market price).” Further, Circular A-25 directs that, “Except as provided in Section 6c, user charges will be sufficient to recover the full cost to the Federal Government (as defined in Section 6d) of providing the service, resource, or good when the Government is acting in its capacity as sovereign.” Thus, the directive to the Service is to recover the costs for working with applicants to issue permits and to summarize reporting. We estimate that processing an abatement permit application will take up to 2 hours of a permit examiner's time (or about $101, on average) and 1/4 hour of a permit supervisor's time (or about $18, on average) at current hourly rates. Our proposed processing fee of $150 should recover our costs for most permits for the next several years.

    Issues From the ANPR

    We considered the comments on the advance notice of proposed rulemaking, and have drafted proposed regulations accordingly.

    Issue. Subpermittees should be allowed to conduct abatement activities outside the direct supervision of the SPA permit holder.

    Response. The proposed regulations would allow subpermittees (Master falconers and General falconers with 3 or more years of experience at the General falconer level) to conduct abatement. Direct supervision by the permittee would not be required.

    Issue. “Limiting the species that should be authorized may encumber abatement activity. NAFA [North American Falconers Association] finds that often the species of bird used will depend on the species to be abated and the circumstances (i.e., gulls soaring over an airport may be best abated by using a falcon, where gulls roosting in an area may best be abated using a goshawk). . . Rabbits may be destroying crops and two of the best raptors for the abatement of rabbits are the red tailed hawk and Harris' hawk. Similarly, restricting the use of golden eagles may be short sighted. Canada geese present huge problems for abatement and the most effective species for use in abatement of the Canada goose may well be the golden eagle. The appropriate species of raptor to be used to conduct abatement should be the permittee's decision.”

    Response. In this proposed regulation, most MBTA-listed raptor species could be used in abatement. However, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668d) does not allow the use of bald eagles for falconry or abatement, and does not allow the use of golden eagles in abatement.

    Issue. The use of all falconry birds, including wild-caught birds, for abatement should be allowed. Falconry birds are trained in the same manner as abatement birds. There appears to be no substantial justification not to allow use of wild-caught falconry raptors in abatement operations.

    Response. We believe that using wild-caught raptors in commercial activities could conflict with the intent of Congress to protect wild populations of birds from commercial exploitation.

    Issue. Any person authorized by the primary permittee should be allowed to care for the birds, such as feeding, watering, and weathering, similar to the provisions found in 50 CFR 21.29(d)(7).

    Response. This proposed regulation allows this care of abatement raptors.

    Issue. Only Master falconers should be permitted for abatement; Master and general falconers should be allowed as subpermittees for both flying and caretaking of raptors.

    Response. This proposed regulation would allow other Master falconers and General falconers with 3 or more years of experience at the General falconer level to be subpermittees.

    Issue. The same housing and facilities standards under the Federal falconry regulations at 50 CFR 21.29 should be applied to abatement permits, including the defined temporary housing husbandry standards. Permit holders' facilities should be inspected and approved for use prior to issuance of the abatement permit as defined under the Federal falconry regulations.

    Response. This proposed regulation would require facilities and care as specified in the falconry regulations.

    Issue. We believe the proposed permitting process can be streamlined, more effectively described, and justified relative to the existing Federal and State falconry permitting system. A simplified process would be to permit abatement activities for State-permitted falconers within the framework of existing regulation rather than to establish stand-alone regulations under abatement permits. Such integration would reduce confusion and administrative complexity to the states.

    Response. Though we appreciate the concern about simplification of regulations, we do not believe it would be appropriate to regulate falconry and abatement under one set of regulations. Falconry is a recreational and sporting activity. Abatement requires the use of falconry techniques in caring for and training abatement raptors, but it is usually a commercial activity that often requires the possession and management of many more birds than falconry requires. In addition, though we expect all falconry permitting to be handled by the States after January 1, 2014, we do not expect abatement permitting to be done by all States.

    Issue. Several commenters wanted the Service to allow the use of falconry birds in abatement: “The Service should allow the use of subpermittees' birds for abatement and for falconry. Hawks are best kept in shape and healthy by pursuing game when not actively doing abatement jobs. Raptors held under abatement permits should be able to conduct both activities to keep them fit.”

    Issue. “Subpermittees should only be allowed to use their own birds if they are master falconers. Allowing falconers to use their own birds would confound the requirement that abatement permit holders be master falconers. Master falconers have a higher level of experience and, thus, are more suited to accomplish abatement activities.”

    Issue. “A subpermittee should be allowed to use captive-bred birds held on his or her falconry permit for abatement activities.”

    Response. We do not propose to allow birds held on abatement permits to be used for falconry. Further, while allowing abatement permittees and subpermittees to use falconry birds in abatement might have some value, we are concerned about potential enforcement difficulties for State and Federal law enforcement officers and about potential exploitation of the liberal possession limits for Master falconers under the falconry regulations. Under the proposed regulations, we would not allow the use of falconry birds in abatement.

    Issue. Falconers with abatement permits, and perhaps subpermittees, too, should be allowed to use their falconry birds for abatement.

    Response. For the reasons provided in the response above, and because of concerns about the use of wild-caught falconry birds for commercial purposes, these proposed regulations would not allow the use of falconry birds in abatement unless the permittee receives no compensation for the abatement services.

    Issue. The Memorandum's stipulation that hybrids be fitted with a minimum of two radio transmitters so that the birds may be tracked and recovered in the event they are lost is consistent with the federal falconry regulations. However, the notice does not include a like stipulation.

    Response. This proposed regulation would require that hybrids be fitted with a minimum of two radio transmitters.

    Issue. Species limits should follow State and Federal falconry regulations. If additional limits are imposed, then a resulting compliance issue will add a further level of complexity to State falconry management. Alternatively, raptors used in abatement activities could be banded with an FWS band as is required for a select number of species under the federal falconry regulations.

    Response. Conducting abatement might require many birds in order to address depredation issues. For example, conducting abatement at a large airport might require that a number of falcons be available to keep rested abatement birds in the air. A concurrent job might require the use of a number of buteos. Therefore, we do not propose to limit the number of raptors an abatement permittee may possess.

    Only captive-bred raptors would be allowed in abatement, and each would have to be banded with a seamless FWS band. We do not believe that additional banding is needed. The raptors could be purchased from, or sold or transferred to, authorized permittees.

    Issue. The abatement permit holder should be required to complete an annual report of all abatement activities, not limited to only those instances where take is involved as required in the Memorandum. Annual reports should include: Location, date, landowner/business owner information, raptors used, subpermittees, and other appropriate information for each abatement activity that is conducted within and outside the permit holder's state of residence.

    Response. An annual report that requires this information is included in the proposed regulations.

    Issue. “I would like to see insurance become a part of the application process.”

    Response. Our authority allows us to require accurate recordkeeping of abatement activities and acquisition and disposition of raptors held under the permit. We do not believe we may put requirements for insurance or other aspects of the business operations for abatement activities into our migratory bird regulations.

    Issue. Contracts between permittees and subpermittees should be left unregulated. These contracts are beyond the scope of the MBTA. The birds are personal property and not of wild origin and beyond the scope of the FWS protecting migratory raptors.

    Response. We do not propose to be involved in the contracts between permittees and subpermittees. However, we disagree that captive-bred raptors are “beyond the scope of the FWS protecting migratory raptors.” Neither the statute nor the regulations excludes protections on the basis of whether the bird was taken from the wild or is captive-bred. In fact, the definition of migratory bird in 50 CFR 10.12 “means any bird, whatever its origin and whether or not raised in captivity, which belongs to a species listed in § 10.13 . . .”

    Public Comments

    You may submit your comments and supporting materials by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We will not consider comments sent by email or fax, or written comments sent to an address other than the one listed in ADDRESSES. Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, are available for public inspection at http://www.regulations.gov. We will post your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—on http://www.regulations.gov. You may request at the top of your document that we withhold personal information such as your street address, phone number, or email address from public review; however, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

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

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

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

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

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

    SBREFA amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide the statement of the factual basis for certifying that a rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. We have examined this proposed rule's potential effects on small entities as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act and determined that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because there are fewer than 100 abatement permittees in the United States. Consequently, we certify that because this proposed rule would not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

    This proposed rule is not a major rule under SBREFA (5 U.S.C. 804(2)). It would not have a significant impact on any small entities.

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

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

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

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    a. This proposed rule would not “significantly or uniquely” affect small governments. A small government agency plan is not required. The proposed regulations changes would not affect small government activities in any significant way.

    b. This proposed rule would not produce a Federal mandate of $100 million or greater in any year. It is not a “significant regulatory action” under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

    Takings

    In accordance with E.O. 12630, the rule would not have significant takings implications. This proposed rule contains no provision that could constitute taking of private property. Therefore, a takings implication assessment is not required.

    Federalism

    This proposed rule would not have sufficient Federalism effects to warrant preparation of a Federalism assessment under E.O. 13132. It would not interfere with the States' abilities to manage themselves or their funds. No significant economic impacts are expected to result from the regulations change.

    Civil Justice Reform

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

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule contains a new information collection for which Office of Management and Budget approval is required under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). We may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. OMB has reviewed and approved the collections of information for (1) applications for abatement and depredation permits, (2) annual reporting for depredation permits, and (3) reporting of acquisition and disposition of migratory birds. These information collections are covered by existing OMB Control No. 1018-0022, which will expire on February 28, 2017. OMB has also approved the recordkeeping and reporting associated with depredation orders and assigned OMB Control Numbers 1018-0022.

    We are asking OMB to approve the following new information collection requirements associated with this proposed rule:

    • Each Abatement permittee must provide each of his or her subpermittees with a legible copy of his or her abatement permit and an original signed and dated letter designating the person as a subpermittee for part or all of the authorized activities (§ 21.32(e)(2)(ii)).

    • Each subpermittee must report take under a depredation order to the permit holder (§ 21.32(e)(2)(iii)(A)).

    • Each permittees must maintain complete and accurate records of the activities conducted under the abatement permit, including, but not limited to: (1) The name and address of the property owner; (2) the location, date(s), and crop or property protected for each abatement job that permit holders and each of their subpermittees conduct; (3) the date, species, and location of any unintentional take that occurs; (4) the name, address, and falconry permit number of each subpermittee, and any subpermittee designation letters; (5) the raptors used for each job; (6) FWS form 3-186A for each acquisition and disposal of birds; and (7) documentation for acquisition and disposal of feathers. You must retain these records for 5 years following the end of the last calendar year covered by the records (§ 21.32(e)(8)(ii) and (iii) and § 21.32(e)(11)).

    • Each permittee must submit an annual report to his or her migratory bird permit issuing office. The report must include the information required in Service form 3-202-22-2133 (§ 21.32(e)(11) and (12)).

    Title: Abatement Permit Reporting and Recordkeeping, 50 CFR 21.32.

    OMB Control Number: 1018-0022.

    Service Form Number: 3-202-22-2133.

    Description of Respondents: Master falconers conducting paid abatement or having subpermittees conduct paid abatement.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit.

    Frequency of Collection: On occasion.

    Activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • Completion time per
  • response
  • Total annual burden hours
    Designation Letter (§ 21.32(e)(2)(ii)) 100 200 10 minutes 331/3 Subpermittees Report of Take (§ 21.32(e)(2)(iii)(A)) 200 200 1 hour 200 Recordkeeping (§ 21.32(e)(8)(ii) and (iii) and § 21.32(e)(11)) 100 100 5 hours 500 Annual Reports (§ 21.32(e)(11) and (12)) 100 100 1 hours 100 Totals 100 200 7 hours ~833

    As part of our continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burdens, we invite the public and other Federal agencies to comment on any aspect of the reporting burden, including:

    • Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, including whether or not the information will have practical utility;

    • The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection of information;

    • Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents.

    Send your comments and suggestions on this information collection to the Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior at OMB-OIRA at (202) 395-5806 (fax) or O[email protected] (email). Please provide a copy of your comments to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS PPM, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3830 (mail), or [email protected] (email).

    National Environmental Policy Act

    We have analyzed this proposed rule in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 432-437(f). Using captive-bred raptors in abatement would mean harassing wildlife to solve depredation or other wildlife problems. Because no raptors could be taken from the wild for this activity and take of migratory birds would not be authorized, this proposed regulation would have negligible environmental effects.

    Categorical exclusion Part 516 8.5(C)(1) in the Department of the Interior Manual is the following.

    The issuance, denial, suspension, and revocation of permits for activities involving fish, wildlife, or plants regulated under 50 CFR Chapter 1, Subsection B, when such permits cause no or negligible environmental disturbance. These permits involve endangered and threatened species, species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), marine mammals, exotic birds, migratory birds, eagles, and injurious wildlife.

    Further, none of the extraordinary circumstances in 43 CFR 46.215 apply to the proposed regulation. Therefore, the proposed regulation is categorically excluded from further NEPA evaluation.

    Endangered and Threatened Species

    Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires that the Secretary of the Interior use other programs in furtherance of the purposes of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1536(a)(1)). It also states that the Federal agency must “insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out . . . is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of [critical] habitat” (16 U.S.C. 1536(a)(2)). This proposed rule would not affect endangered or threatened species or critical habitats. Abatement activities would not be allowed in circumstances where harassment or take of endangered or threatened species could occur. Take of endangered or threatened species would require an ESA permit.

    Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, “Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments” (59 FR 22951), E.O. 13175, and 512 DM 2, we have evaluated potential effects on federally recognized Indian tribes. We have determined that this proposed rule would not interfere with tribes' abilities to manage themselves, their funds, or tribal lands.

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

    E.O. 13211 addresses regulations that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, and use. E.O. 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. This rule is not a significant regulatory action under E.O. 13211, and no Statement of Energy Effects is required.

    Clarity of This Regulation

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must: (1) Be logically organized; (2) use the active voice to address readers directly; (3) use clear language rather than jargon; (4) be divided into short sections and sentences; and (5) use lists and tables wherever possible.

    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

    List of Subjects 50 CFR Part 13

    Administrative practice and procedure, Exports, Fish, Imports, Plants, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation, Wildlife.

    50 CFR Part 21

    Birds, Exports, Imports, Migratory Birds, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation, Wildlife.

    Proposed Regulation Promulgation

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

    PART 13—GENERAL PERMIT PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 13 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 668a, 704, 712, 742j-l, 1374(g), 1382, 1538(d), 1539, 1540(f), 3374, 4901-4916; 18 U.S.C. 42; 19 U.S.C. 1202; 31 U.S.C. 9701.

    2. Amend the table in § 13.11(d)(4) by adding an entry for “Migratory Bird Abatement” immediately following the entry for “Migratory Bird Rehabilitation” to read as follows.
    § 13.11 Application procedures.

    (d) * * *

    (4) User fees. * * *

    Type of permit CFR citation Fee Amendment fee Migratory Bird Treaty Act *         *         *         *         *         *         * Migratory Bird Abatement 50 CFR 21 150 50 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    PART 21—MIGRATORY BIRD PERMITS 3. The authority citation for part 21 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 703-712.

    4. Amend § 21.3 by adding a definition for “Abatement” in alphabetical order to read as follows:
    § 21.3 Definitions.

    Abatement as used in § 21.32 means the use of a trained raptor to scare, flush, or haze wildlife to manage depredation or other damage, including threats to human health and safety, caused by the wildlife.

    5. Amend § 21.29 by revising paragraph (f)(11)(ii) and adding paragraph (f)(11)(iii) to read as follows:
    § 21.29 Falconry standards and falconry permitting.

    (f) * * *

    (11) * * *

    (ii) You may receive payment for providing abatement services if you have an abatement permit (see § 21.32 of this subpart).

    (iii) You may conduct abatement without an abatement permit if you are not compensated for doing so.

    6. Add § 21.32 to read as follows:
    § 21.32 Abatement permit.

    (a) Authorization and scope. (1) An abatement permit authorizes possession and use of captive-bred raptors protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to flush or haze (scare) birds or other wildlife to mitigate depredation or other damage, including threats to human health and safety.

    (2) An abatement permit does not authorize the take (such as capturing, killing, injuring, or collecting) of wildlife. Any take of federally protected wildlife must be authorized by a separate permit or regulation.

    (3) An abatement permit authorizes the purchase, sale, or barter of captive-bred raptors with seamless bands for abatement purposes.

    (4) An abatement permittee may charge for his or her services.

    (5) A permitted falconer may conduct abatement without an abatement permit if he or she is not compensated for doing so.

    (b) Qualification requirement. You must possess a valid U.S. Master falconer permit in accordance with § 21.29 to qualify for an abatement permit.

    (c) Application procedures. You must apply to the appropriate Regional Migratory Bird Permit Office. You can find the addresses for the Regional Offices in § 2.2 of subchapter A of this chapter. Your application package must include a completed application (FWS form 3-200-79) and a copy of your Master falconer permit. You must apply as an individual, but you may include the name of the company under which you are doing business.

    (d) Issuance criteria. Upon receiving a complete application, the Permit Office will decide whether to issue you a permit based on the general criteria of § 13.21 of this chapter and whether you hold a valid U.S. Master falconer permit.

    (e) Permit conditions. In addition to the general permit conditions set forth in part 13 of this chapter, abatement permittees are subject to the following conditions:

    (1) An abatement permit is valid only if your Master falconer permit is valid.

    (2) Subpermittees. We allow certain activities to be carried out by subpermittees as follows:

    (i) Except as provided in paragraph (e)(2)(v) of this section, only a Master falconer or a General falconer with 3 or more years of experience at the General falconer level may be a subpermittee under your abatement permit and conduct abatement activities on your behalf. You are responsible for all activities conducted under your abatement permit.

    (ii) You must provide each subpermittee with a legible copy of your permit and an original signed and dated letter designating the person as a subpermittee for part or all of the authorized activities.

    (iii) Each subpermittee must carry and display a copy of your abatement permit, the designation letter, and a copy of their valid falconry permit when conducting abatement activities under your permit.

    (iv) You are responsible for maintaining current records of who you have designated as a subpermittee, including copies of the designation letters you have provided.

    (v) If your State allows it, you may designate an individual who is not a falconer to provide care for raptors held under your abatement permit.

    (3) Taking protected wildlife. Any take of federally protected wildlife by an abatement permit holder must be authorized by:

    (i) Hunting regulations in effect at the time that the take occurs;

    (ii) A Federal depredation order; or

    (iii) A Federal depredation permit or other Federal permit that identifies you as a subpermittee.

    (A) You must report take under a depredation order as required by the order. You must report all take as a subpermittee on a depredation permit to the permit holder.

    (B) You may not flush, haze, harm, harass, disturb, kill or injure endangered or threatened species, bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), or golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) unless the activity is specifically authorized by an Endangered Species Act permit or Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act permit.

    (C) You must immediately report any unauthorized take of federally protected wildlife, disturbance of bald eagles or golden eagles, or harassment of endangered species to the appropriate Service Regional Law Enforcement office. You can find the addresses for the offices at http://www.fws.gov/le/regional-law-enforcement-offices.html.

    (4) Abatement raptors. (i) A raptor used for abatement must be captive-bred and banded with a seamless band issued by the Service. You may not use wild-caught raptors in abatement. You may purchase the raptors from, or sell or transfer them to, any permittee authorized to possess them.

    (ii) You and your subpermittees may use only raptors that you possess under your abatement permit in abatement.

    (iii) We do not limit the number of captive-bred raptors that you may hold under your abatement permit, but each bird must be used for abatement.

    (iv)You may possess and use any captive-bred falconiform, accipitriform, or strigiform species listed in § 10.13 of this chapter (including a hybrid) in abatement, except that you may not possess or use a bald eagle or golden eagle for abatement.

    (v) A subpermittee may use only species that he or she is authorized to possess under his or her falconry permit.

    (5) Facilities and care requirements. You must house and maintain raptors that you hold under your abatement permit in accordance with the Federal falconry regulations housing and care requirements (see § 21.29).

    (6) Using a hybrid raptor in abatement. When flown free in abatement, a hybrid raptor must have attached at least two functioning radio transmitters to ensure that you can locate the bird.

    (7) Acquisition, transfer, or loss of abatement raptors. You must report acquisition and disposition of a raptor under your abatement permit by submitting Service form 3-186A (the Migratory Bird Acquisition and Disposition Report) completed in accordance with the instructions on the form and filed by you and the recipient, if applicable, to your migratory bird permit issuing office.

    (8) Feathers molted by an abatement bird.—(i) Imping. For imping (replacing a damaged feather with a molted feather), you may possess tail feathers and primary and secondary wing feathers for each species of raptor that you possess or previously held under your abatement permit for as long as you have a valid abatement permit.

    (ii) Donating. You may donate molted feathers to any entity with a valid permit to acquire and possess them, or to an entity exempt from the permit requirement under § 21.12. You may not buy, sell, or barter the feathers. You must keep the documentation for your acquisition and disposal of the feathers.

    (iii) Receiving. You may receive feathers for imping purposes from any entity authorized to donate them to you. You may not buy, sell, or barter the feathers. You must keep the documentation for your acquisition and disposal of the feathers.

    (9) Disposition of carcasses of abatement birds that die. You may donate the carcass, feathers, or parts of any deceased raptor held under your abatement permit to any entity authorized to acquire and possess it.

    (10) Prey items. If your abatement bird kills an animal without your intent, including wildlife taken outside of a regular hunting season, you may allow your abatement bird to feed on the animal, but you may not take the animal into your possession. You must report the take in your annual report.

    (11) Recordkeeping. You must maintain complete and accurate records of the activities conducted under your abatement permit, including, but not necessarily limited to, the name and address of the property owner; the location, date(s), and crop or property protected for each abatement job that you and each of your subpermittees conduct; the date, species, and location of any unintentional take that occurs; the name, address, and falconry permit number of each of your subpermittees, and any subpermittee designation letters; the raptors used for each job; and FWS form 3-186As for each acquisition and disposal of birds. You must retain these records for 5 years following the end of the last calendar year covered by the records.

    (12) Annual report. You must submit an annual report to your migratory bird permit issuing office. Your report must include the information required in Service form 3-202-22-2133, which is available at www.fws.gov/forms/3-202-2133.pdf.

    (13) Inspections. Agents or employees of the Service may inspect your abatement raptors, facilities, equipment, and records in your presence at any reasonable hour on any day of the week.

    (f) Permit tenure. Your abatement permit will expire on the date designated on the face of the permit unless amended or revoked. No abatement permit will have a term of more than 5 years.

    (g) Acquisitions, transfers, and losses of abatement raptors. You must have a copy of a properly completed FWS Form 3-186A (Migratory Bird Acquisition and Disposition Report) for each raptor you acquire transfer, or lose, or that dies.

    Dated: March 17, 2015. Michael J. Bean, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07387 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE CODE 4310-55-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 150226189-5189-01] RIN 0648-BE91 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper Management Measures AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes to implement management measures described in a framework action to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) Fishery Management Council (Council) (2015 Gulf red snapper framework action). If implemented, this proposed rule would increase the commercial and recreational quotas for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico reef fish fishery for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years Quotas for subsequent fishing years would remain at 2017 levels unless changed by future rulemaking. This proposed rule is intended to help achieve optimum yield (OY) for the Gulf red snapper resource without increasing the risk of red snapper experiencing overfishing.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2015-0036” by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docket Detail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0036, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Cynthia Meyer, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    Electronic copies of the framework action, which includes an environmental assessment, Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis and a regulatory impact review, may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cynthia Meyer, telephone 727-824-5305; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS and the Council manage the Gulf reef fish fishery under the FMP. The Council prepared the FMP and NMFS implements the FMP through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

    Background

    All weights given in this rule are in round weight. The total quota for Gulf red snapper (combined commercial and recreational quotas) has increased annually from 5 million lb (2.268 million kg), in 2009, to 11 million lb (4.990 million kg), and since 2013, has been fixed at 11 million lb (4.990 million kg). In order to reduce the likelihood that the recreational sector will exceed its quota, the Council and NMFS implemented an annual catch target (ACT) set at 20 percent below the recreational quota through the 2014 framework amendment (80 FR 14328, March 19, 2015), which is used to set the recreational season length. The commercial sector is managed by an individual fishing quota (IFQ) program that was implemented in 2007, and effectively constrains commercial landings to the commercial quota.

    Status of Stock

    The Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) benchmark assessment for Gulf red snapper, conducted in 2013 and 2014 (SEDAR 31), determined that the red snapper stock is still overfished, but is not undergoing overfishing, and that the acceptable biological catch (ABC) may be increased. The stock is still under a rebuilding plan through 2032.

    The Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) met in February 2015, to review the assessment results with updated provisional 2014 landings data and recommended a new ABC for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. The SSC recommended an ABC of 14.30 million lb (6.49 million kg) for 2015, 13.96 million lb (6.33 million kg) for 2016, and 13.74 million lb (6.23 million kg) for 2017. The Council met in March 2015, and voted to adjust the commercial and recreational quotas to reflect these new ABCs through the 2015 Gulf red snapper framework action.

    Management Measures Contained in This Proposed Rule

    This rule would set the commercial and recreational quotas and the recreational ACTs for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years for red snapper based on the ABCs recommended by the SSC and on the current commercial and recreational allocations (51-percent commercial and 49-percent recreational). Quotas for subsequent fishing years would remain at 2017 levels unless changed by future rulemaking. For 2015, the commercial quota would be set at 7.293 million lb (3.308 million kg) and the recreational quota would be set at 7.007 million lb (3.178 million kg); for 2016, the commercial quota would be set at 7.120 million lb (3.230 million kg) and the recreational quota would be set at 6.840 million lb (3.103 million kg); and for 2017 and subsequent fishing years, the commercial quota would be set at 7.007 million lb (3.178 million kg) and the recreational quota would be set at 6.733 million lb (3.054 million kg.

    Through the 2014 framework amendment, the Council and NMFS implemented a recreational ACT set at 20 percent below the recreational quota. Based on the revised recreational quotas contained in this rule, the revised recreational ACTs for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 would be as follows: For 2015, the recreational ACT would be 5.606 million lb (2.543 million kg); for 2016, the recreational ACT would be 5.472 million lb (2.482 million kg); and for 2017, the recreational ACT would be 5.384 million lb (2.442 million kg). Recreational ACTs for subsequent fishing years would remain at 2017 levels unless changed by future rulemaking.

    The Gulf Headboat Collaborative Fishing Permit (Collaborative) program, implemented through an exempted fishing permit, will continue through 2015 (as a continuation of the 2-year program begun in 2014). The Collaborative program allocates harvest rights to a specified portion of the red snapper recreational sector (2.4396 percent of the recreational quota), and this quantity is subsequently allocated to individual vessels. This program allows anglers to harvest red snapper when fishing on Collaborative vessels throughout the fishing year (until that portion of the quota is met). The proposed increase in the red snapper recreational quota in 2015 would increase the amount of quota allocated to the 19 vessels in this program.

    The red snapper management measures contained in this proposed rule would achieve the goal set by National Standard 1 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which states that conservation and management measures shall prevent overfishing while achieving, on a continuing basis, the OY for the fishery.

    Red Snapper Recreational Fishing Season

    Under 50 CFR 622.34(b), the red snapper recreational fishing season opens each year on June 1. Prior to June 1 each year, NMFS projects the closing date based on the previous year's data, and notifies the public of the closing date for the upcoming season. The red snapper recreational season closure date will be based on when the recreational ACT is projected to be met (as required by the 2014 Gulf red snapper framework amendment). After the final 2014 recreational landings data are available and before the season opens on June 1, 2015, NMFS will announce the 2015 season closure date, which may be in the final rule associated with this action.

    Amendment 40 to the FMP

    The Council developed Amendment 40 to the FMP and NMFS published a notice of availability (NOA) on January 16, 2015 (80 FR 2379) and a proposed rule on January 23, 2015 (80 FR 3541). The public comment period on the proposed rule ended on March 9, 2015, and the NOA comment period ended on March 17, 2015. If approved by the Secretary of Commerce, Amendment 40 and the implementing rule would establish a Federal charter vessel/headboat (for-hire) component and a private angling component within the recreational sector, allocate the red snapper recreational quota and annual catch target (ACT) between the components, and establish separate seasonal closures for the two components. Additionally, Amendment 40 and the rule would establish commercial and recreational ACLs for red snapper, which would be equal to the commercial and recreational quotas. Previously, rather than establishing ACLs for red snapper management, the Council chose to refer to the sector quotas as the functional equivalent of sector ACLs, and the sum of all quotas as the stock ACLs. If Amendment 40 is approved and a final rule is implemented, the final rule implementing this framework action would include the ACLs, component quotas, and ACTs from Amendment 40 in the regulatory text, but they would be adjusted to reflect the increases proposed in this rule.

    Additional Changes to Codified Text

    This proposed rule would make two administrative changes to the Gulf IFQ program regulations. In §§ 622.21 and 622.22, the Web site for the Gulf IFQ program would change from “ifq.sero.fisheries.noaa.gov” to “https://portal.southeast.fisheries.noaa.gov/cs/main.html” to align with the renaming of NMFS Web sites for all of the regions in the U.S. The second change would revise the minimum share transfer percentage for the Gulf red snapper IFQ program from “0.0001 percent” to “0.000001 percent” to align with the Gulf grouper/tilefish program minimum share transfer percentage and allow for smaller percentages of red snapper IFQ shares to be transferred. When the red snapper IFQ program was implemented in 2007, NMFS determined, based on the share cap and red snapper commercial quota, that 0.0001 percent was the appropriate minimum share transfer percentage. Because the red snapper commercial quota has been increasing, NMFS has now determined that the minimum share transfer percentage should be 0.000001 percent. This will give shareholders greater flexibility by allowing transfers of smaller increments of shares. In addition, modifying the minimum share transfer percentage for red snapper would help avoid confusion among shareholders who trade both red snapper and grouper/tilefish shares because both programs would have the same minimum share transfer percentage.

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.

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

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) that this proposed rule, if implemented, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination is as follows:

    The purpose of this proposed rule is to set quotas for the commercial and recreational harvest of red snapper in the Gulf that are consistent with the red snapper rebuilding plan in order to achieve OY, and to make two administrative changes to the IFQ programs. The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this proposed rule.

    This rule, if implemented, would set the red snapper quotas for the commercial and recreational sectors for the 2015 fishing year, 2016 fishing year, and 2017 fishing year and subsequent fishing years. As a result, this rule would be expected to directly affect commercial vessels that harvest red snapper. Over the period 2009-2013, an average of 353 vessels per year recorded commercial red snapper harvests, based on mandatory logbook data. The maximum number of vessels with recorded commercial red snapper harvests during this period was 375 in 2010. However, in 2010, 384 vessels were identified in the red snapper IFQ on-line account program, which tracks red snapper activity. This system, however, is not the official record for trip harvests, nor does it capture all landings, or associated revenues, from all species harvested on all trips by vessels that harvest red snapper. Therefore, data from both sources are used for this assessment to estimate the number of potentially affected entities. As a result, this rule would be expected to apply to 353-384 commercial fishing vessels. The average annual gross revenue from all species harvested on all trips by the vessels identified with recorded red snapper harvests in logbook data over the period 2009-2013 (353 vessels) was approximately $110,000 (2013 dollars).

    With respect to the proposed changes in the red snapper recreational quotas, only recreational anglers are allowed to recreationally harvest red snapper in Federal waters in the Gulf and would be directly affected in changes in the allowable harvest. However, recreational anglers are not small entities under the RFA. Although for-hire businesses (charter vessels and headboats) operate in the recreational sector, these businesses only sell fishing services to recreational anglers and do not, with the exception discussed in the next paragraph, have harvest rights to the red snapper recreational quota. For-hire vessels provide a platform for the opportunity to fish and not a guarantee to catch or harvest any species, though expectations of successful fishing, however defined, likely factor into the decision by anglers to purchase these services. Changing the red snapper recreational quota only defines how much red snapper can be harvested and the quota is a factor in the determination of the length of the red snapper recreational fishing season. Changing the quota does not explicitly prevent the continued offer or sale of for-hire fishing services. In the event of a closed season (zero bag limit), precipitated by a quota reduction, catch and release fishing for a target species can continue, as can fishing for other species. In the event of a quota increase and associated increase in the open season, the basic service offered remains the same, though the list of species that may be retained is expanded. Because the proposed change in the red snapper quota would not directly alter the basic service sold by for-hire vessels, in general, this proposed rule would not directly apply to or regulate their operations. Any change in vessel business would be a result of changes in angler demand for these fishing services that occurs as a result of the behavioral decision by anglers, i.e., to fish or not. This behavioral decision would be a consequence of how anglers determine the change in allowable harvest will affect them. Therefore, any effects on the associated for-hire vessels would be one step removed from the anglers' decision and an indirect effect of the proposed rule. Because the effects on for-hire vessels would be indirect, they fall outside the scope of the RFA.

    The exception to this determination is, however, for the 19 headboats participating in the Collaborative program in 2015 (as a continuation of the 2-year program begun in 2014). The Collaborative program allocates harvest rights to a specified portion (2.4396 percent) of the red snapper recreational allowable catch to the Collaborative, and this quantity is subsequently allocated to individual vessels. This program allows anglers to harvest red snapper when fishing on Collaborative vessels outside the season available to non-participating vessels if the total allowable harvest for the recreational sector has not been taken. Although these fish can still only be harvested by recreational anglers, and not vessel captains or crew, the allocation of harvest rights to these vessels and the increased flexibility on when red snapper may be retained enables the vessels in this program to offer an enhanced product relative to other for-hire vessels. The proposed increase in the red snapper recreational quota in 2015 would increase the amount of quota allocated to the vessels in this program. Average revenue information for these 19 vessels is unknown. However, the average headboat operating in the Gulf is estimated to receive approximately $245,000 (2013 dollars) in annual gross revenue.

    NMFS has not identified any other small entities that would be expected to be directly affected by this proposed rule.

    The Small Business Administration has established size criteria for all major industry sectors in the U.S., including fish harvesters. A business involved in fish 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 receipts not in excess of $20.5 million (NAICS code 114111, finfish fishing) for all its affiliated operations worldwide. The revenue threshold for a business involved in the for-hire fishing industry is $7.5 million (NAICS code 487210, fishing boat charter operation). All commercial and headboat fishing vessels expected to be directly affected by this proposed rule are determined to be small business entities.

    This proposed rule would increase the red snapper commercial quota in 2015, 2016, and 2017 and subsequent fishing years, by 1.683 million lb (0.763 million kg) gutted weight, 1.510 million lb (0.685 million kg), and 1.397 million lb (0.634 million kg), respectively, relative to the status quo. These increases would be expected to result in an increase in total gross revenue (ex-vessel revenue minus the 3-percent cost recovery fee, all vessels) for commercial vessels that harvest red snapper of approximately $6.974 million (2013 dollars), $6.268 million, and $5.811 million, each year, respectively. Across all 3 years, the resultant total increase in gross revenue would be approximately $19.053 million (2013 dollars). The average increase per vessel (353-384 vessels) per year would range (low to high average) from approximately $15,133-$16,462 per vessel ($5.81 million/384 vessels = $15,133 per vessel; $5.81/353 vessels = $16,462 per vessel) in 2017 to approximately $18,161-$19,756 per vessel ($6.97 million/384 vessels = $18,161 per vessel; $6.97/353 vessels = $19,756 per vessel) in 2015. As a result, the expected economic effect of the proposed rule would be increased revenue to the affected small business entities.

    This proposed rule would increase the red snapper recreational quota in 2015, 2016, and 2017 and subsequent fishing years by 1.617 million lb (0.733 million kg), 1.450 million lb (0.658 million kg), and 1.343 million lb (0.609 million kg), respectively, relative to the status quo. As discussed above, the proposed quota increase in 2015 would be expected to directly affect 19 headboats that participate in the Collaborative program. These vessels would not be expected to be directly affected by the proposed quota increases in 2016 and 2017 and subsequent fishing years because the program will only continue through 2015. Quantitative estimates of the expected economic effects of the proposed quota increase in 2015 on these 19 entities are not available. Although the amount of increased quota that would be allocated to this program can be calculated, how this increase would be distributed amongst the vessels in the program cannot be determined because the distribution is subject to decision within the program and not dependent on historical activity or distribution of allowable harvest to date in 2015. Additionally, it is not possible with available data to produce a meaningful estimate of the portion of the increased quota that would be harvested by anglers on new trips (resulting in an increase in the revenue to respective vessels) or would be harvested on trips that would occur in the absence of a change in available harvest (resulting in no change in revenue), or to determine whether the change in available harvest would affect the price per trip that would be charged. Nevertheless, the effects of the increase in quota on these vessels would be expected to be either neutral at worst (i.e., no economic effect) or, more likely, positive, resulting in an increase in vessel revenue and associated profits.

    The proposed changes to the IFQ programs, discussed in the preamble of this proposed rule, are administrative changes and would not be expected to have any direct adverse economic effect on any small entities.

    Based on the discussion above, NMFS determines that this proposed rule, if implemented, would not have a significant adverse economic effect on a substantial number of small entities. As a result, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Commercial, Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf of Mexico, Quotas, Recreational, Red Snapper.

    Dated: March 27, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

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

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

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 622.21, the third sentence in paragraph (b)(1), the second sentence in paragraph (b)(2), the last sentence in paragraph (b)(3)(i), the first sentence in paragraph (b)(3)(iii), the second sentence in paragraph (b)(3)(iv), the only sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(B), the third sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(v), the second and third sentences in paragraph (b)(6)(ii), the second sentence in paragraph (b)(6)(iv), and the first sentence in paragraph (b)(10) are revised to read as follows:
    § 622.21 Individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for Gulf red snapper.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * * An owner of a vessel with a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish, who has established an IFQ account for Gulf red snapper as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section, online via the NMFS IFQ Web site https://portal.southeast.fisheries.noaa.gov/cs/main.html, may establish a vessel account through that IFQ account for that permitted vessel. * * *

    (2) * * * A dealer with a Gulf and South Atlantic dealer permit can download a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement from the NMFS IFQ Web site. * * *

    (3) * * *

    (i) * * * All IFQ landings and their actual ex-vessel prices must be reported via the IFQ Web site.

    (iii) The dealer must complete a landing transaction report for each landing of Gulf red snapper via the IFQ Web site on the day of offload, except if the fish are being trailered for transport to a dealer as specified in paragraph (b)(5)(iv) of this section (in which case the landing transaction report may be completed prior to the day of offload), and within 96 hours from the time of landing reported on the most recent landing notification, in accordance with the reporting form(s) and instructions provided on the Web site. * * *

    (iv) * * * This form is available via the IFQ Web site. * * *

    (5) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (B) * * * Authorized methods for contacting NMFS and submitting the report include calling IFQ Customer Service at 1-866-425-7627, completing and submitting to NMFS a landing notification provided through the VMS unit, or providing the required information to NMFS through the web-based form available on the IFQ Web site.

    (v) * * * Proposed landing locations may be submitted online via the IFQ Web site, or by calling IFQ Customer Service at 1-866-425-7627, at any time; however, new landing locations will be approved only at the end of each calendar-year quarter. * * *

    (6) * * *

    (ii) * * * An IFQ shareholder must initiate a share transfer request by logging onto the IFQ Web site. Following the instructions provided on the IFQ Web site, the shareholder must enter pertinent information regarding the transfer request including, but not limited to, amount of shares to be transferred, which must be a minimum of 0.000001 percent; name of the eligible transferee; and the value of the transferred shares. * * *

    (iv) * * * An IFQ account holder must initiate an allocation transfer by logging onto the IFQ Web site, entering the required information, including but not limited to, name of an eligible transferee and amount of IFQ allocation to be transferred and price, and submitting the transfer electronically. * * *

    (10) * * * On or about January 1 each year, IFQ shareholders will be notified, via the IFQ Web site, of their IFQ share and allocation for the upcoming fishing year. * * *

    3. In § 622.22, the third sentence in paragraph (b)(1), the second sentence in paragraph (b)(2), the last sentence in paragraph (b)(3)(i), the first sentence in paragraph (b)(3)(iii), the second sentence in paragraph (b)(3)(iv), the only sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(B), the third sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(v), the second sentence in paragraph (b)(6)(ii), the second sentence in paragraph (b)(6)(iv), and the first sentence in paragraph (b)(10) are revised to read as follows:
    § 622.22 Individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for Gulf groupers and tilefishes.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * * An owner of a vessel with a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish, who has established an IFQ account for the applicable species, as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section, online via the NMFS IFQ Web site https://portal.southeast.fisheries.noaa.gov/cs/main.html, may establish a vessel account through that IFQ account for that permitted vessel. * * *

    (2) * * * A dealer with a Gulf and South Atlantic dealer permit can download a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement from the NMFS IFQ Web site. * * *

    (3) * * *

    (i) * * * All IFQ landings and their actual ex-vessel prices must be reported via the IFQ Web site.

    (iii) The dealer must complete a landing transaction report for each landing of Gulf groupers or tilefishes via the IFQ Web site on the day of offload, except if the fish are being trailered for transport to a dealer as specified in paragraph (b)(5)(iv) of this section (in which case the landing transaction report may be completed prior to the day of offload), and within 96 hours from the time of landing reported on the most recent landing notification, in accordance with the reporting form(s) and instructions provided on the Web site. * * *

    (iv) * * * This form is available via the IFQ Web site. * * *

    (5) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (B) * * * Authorized methods for contacting NMFS and submitting the report include calling IFQ Customer Service at 1-866-425-7627, completing and submitting to NMFS a landing notification provided through the VMS unit, or providing the required information to NMFS through the web-based form available on the IFQ Web site.

    (v) * * * Proposed landing locations may be submitted online via the IFQ Web site, or by calling IFQ Customer Service at 1-866-425-7627, at any time; however, new landing locations will be approved only at the end of each calendar-year quarter. * * *

    (6) * * *

    (ii) * * * An IFQ shareholder must initiate a share transfer request by logging onto the IFQ Web site. * * *

    (iv) * * * An IFQ account holder must initiate an allocation transfer by logging onto the IFQ Web site, entering the required information, including but not limited to, the name of an eligible transferee and amount of IFQ allocation to be transferred and price, and submitting the transfer electronically. * * *

    (10) * * * On or about January 1 each year, IFQ shareholders will be notified, via the IFQ Web site, of their IFQ shares and allocations, for each of the five share categories, for the upcoming fishing year. * * *

    4. In § 622.39, paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (a)(2)(i) are revised to read as follows:
    § 622.39 Quotas.

    (a) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) Commercial quota for red snapper.

    (A) For fishing year 2015—7.293 million lb (3.308 million kg), round weight.

    (B) For fishing year 2016—7.120 million lb (3.230 million kg), round weight.

    (C) For fishing year 2017 and subsequent fishing years—7.007 million lb (3.178 million kg), round weight.

    (2) * * *

    (i) Recreational quota for red snapper.

    (A) Total recreational quota (Federal charter vessel/headboat and private angling component quotas combined).

    (1) For fishing year 2015—7.007 million lb (3.178 million kg), round weight.

    (2) For fishing year 2016—6.840 million lb (3.103 million kg), round weight.

    (3) For fishing year 2017 and subsequent fishing years—6.733 million lb (3.054 million kg), round weight.

    (B) Federal charter vessel/headboat component quota. The Federal charter vessel/headboat component quota applies to vessels that have been issued a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish any time during the fishing year. This component quota is effective for only the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. For the 2018 and subsequent fishing years, the applicable total recreational quota specified in § 622.39(a)(2)(i)(A) will apply to the recreational sector.

    (1) For fishing year 2015—2.964 million lb (1.344 million kg), round weight.

    (2) For fishing year 2016—2.893 million lb (1.312 million kg), round weight.

    (3) For fishing year 2017—2.848 million lb (1.292 million kg), round weight.

    (C) Private angling component quota. The private angling component quota applies to vessels that fish under the bag limit and have not been issued a Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish any time during the fishing year. This component quota is effective for only the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. For the 2018 and subsequent fishing years, the applicable total recreational quota specified in § 622.39(a)(2)(i)(A) will apply to the recreational sector.

    (1) For fishing year 2015—4.043 million lb (1.834 million kg), round weight.

    (2) For fishing year 2016—3.947 million lb (1.790 million kg), round weight.

    (3) For fishing year 2017—3.885 million lb (1.762 million kg), round weight.

    5. In § 622.41, paragraph (q), as added at 80 FR 14331 (March 19, 2015), effective April 18, 2015, is revised to read as follows:
    § 622.41 Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and accountability measures (AMs).

    (q) Red snapper—(1) Commercial sector. The IFQ program for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico serves as the accountability measure for commercial red snapper. The commercial ACL for red snapper is equal to the applicable commercial quota specified in § 622.39(a)(1)(i).

    (2) Recreational sector. (i) The AA will determine the length of the red snapper recreational fishing season based on when recreational landings are projected to reach the applicable recreational ACT specified in paragraph (q)(2)(iii) of this section, and announce the closure date in the Federal Register. This will serve as an in-season accountability measure. On and after the effective date of the recreational closure notification, the bag and possession limit for red snapper is zero. The recreational ACL is equal to the applicable total recreational quota specified in § 622.39(a)(2)(i).

    (ii) In addition to the measures specified in paragraph (q)(2)(i) of this section, if red snapper recreational landings, as estimated by the SRD, exceed the applicable recreational ACL (quota) specified in § 622.39(a)(2)(i), and red snapper are overfished, based on the most recent Status of U.S. Fisheries Report to Congress, the AA will file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register to reduce the recreational ACL (quota) by the amount of the quota overage in the prior fishing year, and reduce the applicable recreational ACT specified in paragraph (q)(2)(iii) of this section (based on the buffer between the ACT and the quota specified in the FMP), unless the best scientific information available determines that a greater, lesser, or no overage adjustment is necessary.

    (iii) Recreational ACT for red snapper.

    (A) Total recreational ACT (Federal charter vessel/headboat and private angling component ACTs combined).

    (1) For fishing year 2015—5.605 million lb (2.542 million kg), round weight.

    (2) For fishing year 2016—5.473 million lb (2.483 million kg), round weight.

    (3) For fishing year 2017 and subsequent fishing years—5.386 million lb (2.443 million kg), round weight.

    (B) Federal charter vessel/headboat component ACT. The Federal charter vessel/headboat component ACT applies to vessels that have been issued a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish any time during the fishing year. This component ACT is effective for only the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. For the 2018 and subsequent fishing years, the applicable total recreational quota specified in § 622.39(a)(2)(i)(A) will apply to the recreational sector.

    (1) For fishing year 2015—2.371 million lb (1.075 million kg), round weight.

    (2) For fishing year 2016—2.315 million lb (1.050 million kg), round weight.

    (3) For fishing year 2017—2.278 million lb (1.033 million kg), round weight.

    (C) Private angling component ACT. The private angling component ACT applies to vessels that fish under the bag limit and have not been issued a Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish any time during the fishing year. This component ACT is effective for only the 2015, 2016, and 2017 fishing years. For the 2018 and subsequent fishing years, the applicable total recreational quota specified in § 622.39(a)(2)(i)(A) will apply to the recreational sector.

    (1) For fishing year 2015—3.234 million lb (1.467 million kg), round weight.

    (2) For fishing year 2016—3.158 million lb (1.432 million kg), round weight.

    (3) For fishing year 2017—3.108 million lb (1.410 million kg), round weight.

    [FR Doc. 2015-07459 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE CODE 3510-22-P
    80 62 Wednesday, April 1, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule Committee (Committee) will meet in Washington, DC. Attendees may also participate via webinar and conference call. The Committee operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (Pub. L. 92-463). Additional information relating to the Committee, including the meeting summary/minutes, can be found by visiting the Committee's Web site at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/planningrule/committee.

    DATES:

    The meetings will be held in-person and via webinar/conference call on the following dates and times:

    • Tuesday, April 28, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST

    • Wednesday, April 29, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST

    • Thursday, April 30, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST

    All meetings are subject to cancellation. For updated status of meetings prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the USDA Forest Service, Office of International Programs, 1 Thomas Circle, Suite 400, Washington DC 20005. For anyone who would like to attend via webinar and/or conference call, please visit the Web site listed above or contact the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses, when provided, are placed in the record and available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the USDA Forest Service Washington Office—Yates Building. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chalonda Jasper, Committee Coordinator, by phone at 202-260-9400, or by email at [email protected] Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of this meeting is to provide:

    1. Continued deliberations on formulating advice for the Secretary,

    2. Discussion of Committee work group findings,

    3. Dialogue with subject matter experts in the Washington Office around the topics of climate change, adaptive management, restoration, and outreach,

    4. Hearing public comments, and

    5. Administrative tasks.

    This meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral comments of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral comment should submit a request in writing by April 17, 2015 to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the Committee may file written statements with the Committee's staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and time requests for oral comments must be sent to Chalonda Jasper, USDA Forest Service, Ecosystem Management Coordination, 201 14th Street SW., Mail Stop 1104, Washington, DC 20250-1104, or by email at [email protected] The agenda and summary of the meeting will be posted on the Committee's Web site within 21 days of the meeting.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: March 22, 2015. Mary Beth Borst, Acting Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07442 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Service Annual Survey 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 June 1, 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 Anne Russell, U.S. Census Bureau, 8K155, Washington, DC 20233-6500, (301) 763-5173 or via the Internet at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    The Service Annual Survey (SAS), produces annual nationwide estimates of revenue and expenses for service industries. These service industries include all or portions of the following North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors: Utilities (NAICS 22); Transportation and Warehousing (NAICS 48 and 49); Information (NAICS 51); Finance and Insurance (NAICS 52); Real Estate and Rental and Leasing (NAICS 53); Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (NAICS 54); Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (NAICS 56); Educational Services (NAICS 61); Health Care and Social Assistance (NAICS 62); Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (NAICS 71); and Other Services (NAICS 81). Accommodation and Food Services (NAICS 72) will be collected as part of SAS beginning with the 2015 survey year, which will be mailed in January 2016. Previously accommodation and food services industry was collected as part of the Annual Retail Trade Survey (ARTS), OMB number 0607-0013.

    For selected industries in Utilities; Transportation; Finance; Information; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Administrative Support and Waste Management and Remedation Services; and Educational Services, SAS produces estimates of revenue by detailed North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) products. Inventory estimates for selected industries in the Transportation and Information sectors are produced, as well as estimates of expanded revenues for selected industries across multiple sectors. For industries with a significant non-profit component, separate estimates are developed for taxable firms and organizations exempt from federal income tax.

    These data are used to satisfy a variety of public and business needs such as economic market analysis, company performance, and forecasting future demands. Results will be available, at the United States summary level, for selected service industries approximately 11 months after the end of the reference year. The Bureau of Economic Analysis, the primary Federal user of these annual program statistics, uses the information in developing the national income and product accounts, compiling benchmark and annual input-output tables, and computing Gross Domestic Product by industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the data as inputs to its Producer Price Indexes and in developing productivity measurements. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services use the data in the development of the National Health Expenditure Accounts. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) uses the data as a means for assessing FCC policy. The Coalition of Service Industries uses the data for general research and planning. Trade and professional organizations use the data to analyze industry trends and benchmark their own statistical programs, develop forecasts, and evaluate regulatory requirements. The media uses the data for news reports and background information. Private businesses use the data to measure market share; analyze business potential; and plan investment decisions. The Census Bureau uses the data to provide new insight into changing structural and cost conditions that will impact the planning and design of future economic census questionnaires. Private industry also uses the data as a tool for marketing analysis.

    Data are collected from all of the largest firms and from a sample of small- and medium-sized businesses selected using a stratified sampling procedure. The samples are reselected periodically, generally at 5-year intervals. The largest firms continue to be canvassed when the sample is re-drawn, while nearly all of the small- and medium-sized firms from the prior sample are replaced. The sample is updated quarterly to reflect employer business “births” and “deaths”; adding new employer businesses identified in the Business and Professional Classification Survey (OMB number 0607-0189) and deleting firms and Employer Identification Numbers when it is determined they are no longer active.

    A new sample will be introduced with the 2016 SAS. In order to link estimates from the new and prior samples, we will be asking companies to provide data for 2016 and 2015. The 2017 SAS and subsequent years will request one year of data until a new sample is once again introduced.

    II. Method of Collection

    We collect this information online.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0422.

    Form Numbers: The SAS program consists of 162 unique forms, which are too extensive to list here.

    Type of Review: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit organizations, not-for-profit institutions, Government hospitals and Federal Government.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 83,528.

    Estimated Time Per Response: 3 to 9 hours depending on form and year.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 330,810 (3-year average).

    Estimated Total Annual Cost: $0 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    Legal Authority: Title 13 U.S.C., sections 131, 182, 224 and 225.

    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 27, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer, submitting for Census.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07434 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset Reviews AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    Background

    Every five years, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) and the International Trade Commission automatically initiate and conduct a review to determine whether revocation of a countervailing or antidumping duty order or termination of an investigation suspended under section 704 or 734 of the Act would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or a countervailable subsidy (as the case may be) and of material injury.

    Upcoming Sunset Reviews for May 2015

    The following Sunset Reviews are scheduled for initiation in May 2015 and will appear in that month's Notice of Initiation of Five-Year Sunset Review (“Sunset Review”). With respect to the countervailing duty order on Prestressed Concrete Wire Strand from China, we have advanced the initiation date of this Sunset Review upon determining that initiation of the Sunset Reviews for all of the Prestressed Concrete Wire Strand orders on the same date would promote administrative efficiency.

    Antidumping duty proceedings Department contact Barium Chloride from China (202) 482-0650 Charles Riggle (A-570-007) (4th Review). Floor-Standing Metal-Top Ironing Tables and Parts Thereof from China (202) 482-5255 Jacqueline Arrowsmith (A-570-888) (2nd Review). Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand from China (202) 482-0650 Charles Riggle (A-570-945) (1st Review). Stainless Steel Wire Rod from Italy (A-475-820) (3rd Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. Stainless Steel Wire Rod from Japan (A-588-843) (3rd Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. Stainless Steel Wire Rod from Republic of Korea (A-580-829) (3rd Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. Stainless Steel Wire Rod from Spain (A-469-807) (3rd Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. Stainless Steel Wire Rod from Taiwan (A-583-828) (3rd Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. Countervailing Duty Proceedings Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand from China (C-570-946) (1st Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. Suspended Investigations No Sunset Review of suspended investigations is scheduled for initiation in May 2015

    The Department's procedures for the conduct of Sunset Reviews are set forth in 19 CFR 351.218. The Notice of Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews provides further information regarding what is required of all parties to participate in Sunset Reviews.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(c), the Department will maintain and make available a service list for these proceedings. To facilitate the timely preparation of the service list(s), it is requested that those seeking recognition as interested parties to a proceeding contact the Department in writing within 10 days of the publication of the Notice of Initiation.

    Please note that if the Department receives a Notice of Intent to Participate from a member of the domestic industry within 15 days of the date of initiation, the review will continue. Thereafter, any interested party wishing to participate in the Sunset Review must provide substantive comments in response to the notice of initiation no later than 30 days after the date of initiation.

    This notice is not required by statute but is published as a service to the international trading community.

    Dated: March 25, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07498 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) is automatically initiating the five-year review (“Sunset Review”) of the antidumping and countervailing duty (“AD/CVD”) orders listed below. The International Trade Commission (“the Commission”) is publishing concurrently with this notice its notice of Institution of Five-Year Review which covers the same orders.

    DATES:

    Effective: April 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Department official identified in the Initiation of Review section below at AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. For information from the Commission contact Mary Messer, Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission at (202) 205-3193.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department's procedures for the conduct of Sunset Reviews are set forth in its Procedures for Conducting Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders, 63 FR 13516 (March 20, 1998) and 70 FR 62061 (October 28, 2005). Guidance on methodological or analytical issues relevant to the Department's conduct of Sunset Reviews is set forth in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    Initiation of Review

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.218(c), we are initiating Sunset Reviews of the following antidumping and countervailing duty orders:

    DOC ITC Case No. Country Product Department contact A-533-838 731-TA-1061 India Carbazole Violet Pigment 23 (2nd Review) Jacqueline Arrowsmith, (202) 482-5255. C-533-839 701-TA-437 India Carbazole Violet Pigment 23 (2nd Review) Jacqueline Arrowsmith, (202) 482-5255. A-560-822 731-TA-1156 Indonesia Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags (1st Review) David Goldberger, (202) 482-4136. A-557-813 731-TA-1044 Malaysia Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags (2nd Review) David Goldberger, (202) 482-4136. A-570-892 731-TA-1060 PRC CarbazoleViolet Pigment 23 (2nd Review) Jacqueline Arrowsmith, (202) 482-5255. A-570-002 731-TA-130 PRC Chloropicrin (4th Review) Charles Riggle, (202) 482-0650. A-570-895 731-TA-1070-A PRC Crepe Paper (2nd Review) Charles Riggle, (202) 482-0650. A-570-886 731-TA-1043 PRC Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags (2nd Review) David Goldberger, (202) 482-4136. A-583-843 731-TA-779 Taiwan Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags (1st Review) David Goldberger, (202) 482-4136. A-549-821 731-TA-1045 Thailand Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags (2nd Review) David Goldberger, (202) 482-4136. A-552-806 731-TA-1158 Vietnam Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags (1st Review) David Goldberger, (202) 482-4136. C-552-805 701-TA-462 Vietnam Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags (1st Review) Jacqueline Arrowsmith, (202) 482-5255.

    With respect to the orders on Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags from China, Malaysia and Thailand, we have advanced the initiation date of these Sunset Reviews upon determining that initiation of the Sunset Reviews for all of the Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags orders on the same date would promote administrative efficiency.

    Filing Information

    As a courtesy, we are making information related to sunset proceedings, including copies of the pertinent statute and Department's regulations, the Department's schedule for Sunset Reviews, a listing of past revocations and continuations, and current service lists, available to the public on the Department's Web site at the following address: “http://enforcement.trade.gov/sunset/.” All submissions in these Sunset Reviews must be filed in accordance with the Department's regulations regarding format, translation, and service of documents. These rules, including electronic filing requirements via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”), can be found at 19 CFR 351.303.1

    1See also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    Revised Factual Information Requirements

    This notice serves as a reminder that any party submitting factual information in an AD/CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.2 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials as well as their representatives in all AD/CVD investigations or proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013.3 The formats for the revised certifications are provided at the end of the Final Rule. The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the revised certification requirements.

    2See section 782(b) of the Act.

    3See Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (“Final Rule”) (amending 19 CFR 351.303(g)).

    On April 10, 2013, the Department published Definition of Factual Information and Time Limits for Submission of Factual Information: Final Rule, 78 FR 21246 (April 10, 2013), which modified two regulations related to antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings: the definition of factual information (19 CFR 351.102(b)(21), and the time limits for the submission of factual information (19 CFR 351.301). The final rule identifies five categories of factual information in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21), which are summarized as follows: (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 final rule 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. The final rule also modified 19 CFR 351.301 so that, rather than providing general time limits, there are specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. These modifications are effective for all segments initiated on or after May 10, 2013. Review the final rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1304frn/2013-08227.txt, prior to submitting factual information in this segment. To the extent that other regulations govern the submission of factual information in a segment (such as 19 CFR 351.218), these time limits will continue to be applied.

    Revised Extension of Time Limits Regulation

    On September 20, 2013, the Department modified its regulation at 19 CFR 351.302(c) concerning the extension of time limits for submissions in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings: Extension of Time Limits, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013). The modification clarifies that parties may request an extension of time limits before a time limit established under part 351 of the Department's regulations expires, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the time limit established under part 351 expires. For submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10 a.m. on the due date. Under certain circumstances, the Department 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, the Department 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. This modification also requires that an extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission, and clarifies the circumstances under which the Department will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. These modifications are effective for all segments initiated on or after October 21, 2013. Review the final rule, available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in these segments.

    Letters of Appearance and Administrative Protective Orders

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(d), the Department will maintain and make available a public service list for these proceedings. Parties wishing to participate in any of these five-year reviews must file letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)). To facilitate the timely preparation of the public service list, it is requested that those seeking recognition as interested parties to a proceeding submit an entry of appearance within 10 days of the publication of the Notice of Initiation.

    Because deadlines in Sunset Reviews can be very short, we urge interested parties who want access to proprietary information under administrative protective order (“APO”) to file an APO application immediately following publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. The Department's regulations on submission of proprietary information and eligibility to receive access to business proprietary information under APO can be found at 19 CFR 351.304-306.

    Information Required From Interested Parties

    Domestic interested parties, as defined in section 771(9)(C), (D), (E), (F), and (G) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.102(b), wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must respond not later than 15 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation by filing a notice of intent to participate. The required contents of the notice of intent to participate are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(ii). In accordance with the Department's regulations, if we do not receive a notice of intent to participate from at least one domestic interested party by the 15-day deadline, the Department will automatically revoke the order without further review.4

    4See 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(iii).

    If we receive an order-specific notice of intent to participate from a domestic interested party, the Department's regulations provide that all parties wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must file complete substantive responses not later than 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. The required contents of a substantive response, on an order-specific basis, are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3). Note that certain information requirements differ for respondent and domestic parties. Also, note that the Department's information requirements are distinct from the Commission's information requirements. Consult the Department's regulations for information regarding the Department's conduct of Sunset Reviews. Consult the Department's regulations at 19 CFR part 351 for definitions of terms and for other general information concerning antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings at the Department.

    This notice of initiation is being published in accordance with section 751(c) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(c).

    Dated: March 25, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07500 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-552-801] Certain Frozen Fish Fillets From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Initiation of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective April 1, 2015.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“the Department”) received a timely request for a new shipper review (“NSR”) of the antidumping duty (“AD”) order on certain frozen fish fillets (“fish fillets”) from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (“Vietnam”). The Department determines that the request meets the statutory and regulatory requirements for initiation. The period of review (“POR”) for this NSR is August 1, 2014, through January 31, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alexander Montoro, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: 202-482-0238.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The AD order on fish fillets from Vietnam was published in the Federal Register on August 12, 2003.1 On February 27, 2015, pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), and 19 CFR 351.214(b), the Department received an NSR request from Hai Huong Seafood Joint Stock Company (“HHFISH”).2 HHFISH certified that it is a producer and exporter of the subject merchandise and that it exported, or sold for export, subject merchandise to the United States.3

    1See Notice of Antidumping Duty Order: Certain Frozen Fish Fillets From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 68 FR 47909 (August 12, 2003).

    2See Letter from HHFISH, “Frozen Fish Fillets from Vietnam—Request for New Shipper Review,” dated February 27, 2015.

    3Id. at 2 and at Exhibit 2.

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i)(I) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(i), HHFISH certified that it did not export subject merchandise to the United States during the period of investigation (“POI”).4 In addition, pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i)(II) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iii)(A), HHFISH certified that, since the initiation of the investigation, it has never been affiliated with any Vietnamese exporter or producer who exported subject merchandise to the United States during the POI, including those respondents not individually examined during the investigation.5 As required by 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iii)(B), HHFISH also certified that its export activities were not controlled by the central government of Vietnam.6

    4Id.

    5Id.

    6Id.

    In addition to the certifications described above, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iv), HHFISH submitted documentation establishing the following: (1) The date on which it first shipped subject merchandise for export to the United States; (2) the volume of its first shipment; and (3) the date of its first sale to an unaffiliated customer in the United States.7

    7Id. at Exhibit 1.

    Finally, the Department conducted a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) database query and confirmed the price, quantity, date of sale, and date of entry of the sale at issue.8

    8 The Department will place the results of the completed CBP database query along with HHFISH's entry documents on the record shortly after the publication of this notice.

    Initiation of New Shipper Review

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(d)(1), and based on the evidence provided by HHFISH, we find that the request submitted by HHFISH meets the requirements for initiation of the NSR for shipments of fish fillets from Vietnam produced and exported by HHFISH.9 The POR is August 1, 2014, through January 31, 2015.10 Absent a determination that the case is extraordinarily complicated, the Department intends to issue the preliminary results of this NSR within 180 days from the date of initiation and the final results within 270 days from the date of initiation.11

    9See Memorandum to the File from Alexander Montoro, International Trade Compliance Analyst, “Initiation of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review: Certain Frozen Fish Fillets from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (A-552-801),” dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice.

    10See 19 CFR 351.214(g)(1)(i)(B).

    11See section 751(a)(2)(B)(iv) of the Act.

    In cases involving non-market economy countries, the Department requires a company seeking to establish eligibility for an AD rate separate from the country-wide rate to provide evidence of de jure and de facto absence of government control over the company's export activities. Accordingly, we will issue a questionnaire to HHFISH that will include a section requesting information with regard to HHFISH's export activities for separate rate purposes. The review of HHFISH will proceed if the response provides sufficient indication that it is not subject to either de jure and de facto government control with respect to its exports of fish fillets.

    We will instruct CBP to allow, at the option of the importer, the posting, until the completion of the review, of a bond or security in lieu of a cash deposit for each entry of the subject merchandise from the requesting company in accordance with section 751(a)(2)(B)(iii) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(e). Because HHFISH certified that it both produced and exported the subject merchandise, the sale of which is the basis for the NSR request, we will instruct CBP to permit the use of a bond only for subject merchandise which HHFISH both produced and exported.

    Interested parties requiring access to proprietary information in this NSR should submit applications for disclosure under administrative protective order, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305 and 19 CFR 351.306.

    This initiation and notice are published in accordance with section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act, as well as 19 CFR 351.214 and 351.221(c)(1)(i).

    Dated: March 24, 2015. Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07480 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Permitting, Vessel Identification, and Reporting Requirements for Deepwater Shrimp Fisheries in the Western Pacific Region 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 June 1, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Walter Ikehara, (808) 725-5175 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Under the Code of Federal Regulations in Title 50, Part 665, all vessel owners who fish for deepwater shrimp (Heterocarpus spp.), or land these species in ports, in the western Pacific region must obtain a Federal permit from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). They must also mark their vessels for identification. Vessel operators must submit NMFS logbook reports of their fishing activity to NMFS within 72 hours of the end of each fishing trip.

    The information collected is used to identify participants in the fishery, document fishing activities and landings, determine the conditions of the stocks, assess the effectiveness of management measures, evaluate the benefits and costs of changes in management measures, and monitor and respond to accidental takes of protected species, including seabirds, turtles, and marine mammals.

    Vessel owners must identify their vessels to assist in aerial and at-sea enforcement of fishing regulations.

    II. Method of Collection

    Respondents have a choice of either electronic or paper forms. Methods of submittal include email of electronic forms and mail and facsimile transmission of paper forms.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0586.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (extension of a currently approved collection).

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations; individuals or households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 10.

    Estimated Time per Response: Permit applications, 30 minutes; logsheets, 15 minutes; vessel identification, 45 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 75.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $400 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 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 26, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07333 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-879] Polyvinyl Alcohol From the People's Republic of China: Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective April 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mandy Mallott, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-6430.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On October 31, 2014, the Department received a timely request from Sekisui Specialty Chemical America, LLC (“Sekisui”) and Kuraray America Inc. (“Kuraray”) (collectively, “Petitioners”), to conduct an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on polyvinyl alcohol (“PVA”) from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”) with regard to Sinopec Sichuan Vinylon Works (“SVW”). Based upon this request, on November 28, 2014, the Department of Commerce (“Department”) initiated an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on PVA from the PRC with respect to SVW and covering the period of October 1, 2013, to September 30, 2014.1 On February 25, 2015, Petitioners withdrew their request for review of SVW.2

    1See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 79 FR 70850 (November 28, 2014).

    2See Letter from Petitioners titled “Polyvinyl Alcohol from the People's Republic of China: Withdrawal of Request for Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated February 25, 2015.

    Rescission

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Department will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if the parties that requested a review withdraws the request within 90 days of the date of publication of notice of initiation of the requested review. Petitioners withdrew their request for review before the 90-day deadline, and no other party requested an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on PVA from the PRC for the period of review. Therefore, in response to Petitioners' withdrawal of their request for review and pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), we are rescinding this review in its entirety.

    Assessment

    The Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. For the companies for which this review is rescinded, antidumping duties shall be assessed at rates equal to the cash deposit of estimated antidumping duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after publication of this notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as the only reminder to importers for whom this review is being rescinded, as of the publication date of this notice, of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of the antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (“APO”) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305, which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 751 and 777(i)(l) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4).

    Dated: March 25, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07471 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda E. Waters, Office of AD/CVD Operations, Customs Liaison Unit, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482-4735.

    Background

    Each year during the anniversary month of the publication of an antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation, an interested party, as defined in section 771(9) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), may request, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213, that the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) conduct an administrative review of that antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation.

    All deadlines for the submission of comments or actions by the Department discussed below refer to the number of calendar days from the applicable starting date.

    Respondent Selection

    In the event the Department limits the number of respondents for individual examination for administrative reviews initiated pursuant to requests made for the orders identified below, the Department intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) data for U.S. imports during the period of review. We intend to release the CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (“APO”) to all parties having an APO within five days of publication of the initiation notice and to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 21 days of publication of the initiation Federal Register notice. Therefore, we encourage all parties interested in commenting on respondent selection to submit their APO applications on the date of publication of the initiation notice, or as soon thereafter as possible. The Department invites comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection within five days of placement of the CBP data on the record of the review.

    In the event the Department decides it is necessary to limit individual examination of respondents and conduct respondent selection under section 777A(c)(2) of the Act:

    In general, the Department finds that determinations concerning whether particular companies should be “collapsed” (i.e., treated as a single entity for purposes of calculating antidumping duty rates) require a substantial amount of detailed information and analysis, which often require follow-up questions and analysis. Accordingly, the Department will not conduct collapsing analyses at the respondent selection phase of this review and will not collapse companies at the respondent selection phase unless there has been a determination to collapse certain companies in a previous segment of this antidumping proceeding (i.e., investigation, administrative review, new shipper review or changed circumstances review). For any company subject to this review, if the Department determined, or continued to treat, that company as collapsed with others, the Department will assume that such companies continue to operate in the same manner and will collapse them for respondent selection purposes. Otherwise, the Department will not collapse companies for purposes of respondent selection. Parties are requested to (a) identify which companies subject to review previously were collapsed, and (b) provide a citation to the proceeding in which they were collapsed. Further, if companies are requested to complete the Quantity and Value Questionnaire for purposes of respondent selection, in general each company must report volume and value data separately for itself. Parties should not include data for any other party, even if they believe they should be treated as a single entity with that other party. If a company was collapsed with another company or companies in the most recently completed segment of this proceeding where the Department considered collapsing that entity, complete quantity and value data for that collapsed entity must be submitted.

    Deadline for Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), a party that requests a review may withdraw that request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The regulation provides that the Department may extend this time if it is reasonable to do so. In order to provide parties additional certainty with respect to when the Department will exercise its discretion to extend this 90-day deadline, interested parties are advised that, with regard to reviews requested on the basis of anniversary months on or after April 2015, the Department does not intend to extend the 90-day deadline unless the requestor demonstrates that an extraordinary circumstance prevented it from submitting a timely withdrawal request. Determinations by the Department to extend the 90-day deadline will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    The Department is providing this notice on its Web site, as well as in its “Opportunity to Request Administrative Review” notices, so that interested parties will be aware of the manner in which the Department intends to exercise its discretion in the future.

    Opportunity To Request a Review: Not later than the last day of April 2015,1 interested parties may request administrative review of the following orders, findings, or suspended investigations, with anniversary dates in April for the following periods:

    1 Or the next business day, if the deadline falls on a weekend, federal holiday or any other day when the Department is closed.

    2 Interested parties may request an administrative review of all producers or exporters of frontseating service valves from the PRC other than Zhejiang Sanhua Co., Ltd. (“Sanhua”). Sanhua's entries during the 4/1/2014-4/27/2014 period are covered by an on-going administrative review.

    Period of Review Antidumping Duty Proceedings INDIA: 1-Hydroxyethylidene-1, 1-Diphosphonic Acid (HEDP) A-533-847 4/1/14-4/27/14 RUSSIA: Ammonium Nitrate A-821-811 4/1/14-3/31/15 THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: 1-Hydroxyethylidene-1, 1-Diphosphonic Acid (HEDP) A-570-934 4/1/14-4/27/14 Activated Carbon A-570-904 4/1/14-3/31/15 Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks A-570-983 4/1/14-3/31/15 Magnesium Metal A-570-896 4/1/14-3/31/15 Frontseating Service Valves 2 A-570-933 4/1/14-4/27/14 Non-Malleable Cast Iron Pipe Fittings A-570-875 4/1/14-3/31/15 Steel Threaded Rod A-570-932 4/1/14-3/31/15 Countervailing Duty Proceedings THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks C-570-984 1/1/14—12/31/14 Suspension Agreements None

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b), an interested party as defined by section 771(9) of the Act may request in writing that the Secretary conduct an administrative review. For both antidumping and countervailing duty reviews, the interested party must specify the individual producers or exporters covered by an antidumping finding or an antidumping or countervailing duty order or suspension agreement for which it is requesting a review. In addition, a domestic interested party or an interested party described in section 771(9)(B) of the Act must state why it desires the Secretary to review those particular producers or exporters. If the interested party intends for the Secretary to review sales of merchandise by an exporter (or a producer if that producer also exports merchandise from other suppliers) which was produced in more than one country of origin and each country of origin is subject to a separate order, then the interested party must state specifically, on an order-by-order basis, which exporter(s) the request is intended to cover.

    Note that, for any party the Department was unable to locate in prior segments, the Department will not accept a request for an administrative review of that party absent new information as to the party's location. Moreover, if the interested party who files a request for review is unable to locate the producer or exporter for which it requested the review, the interested party must provide an explanation of the attempts it made to locate the producer or exporter at the same time it files its request for review, in order for the Secretary to determine if the interested party's attempts were reasonable, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.303(f)(3)(ii).

    As explained in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003), and Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011) the Department clarified its practice with respect to the collection of final antidumping duties on imports of merchandise where intermediate firms are involved. The public should be aware of this clarification in determining whether to request an administrative review of merchandise subject to antidumping findings and orders.3

    3See also the Enforcement and Compliance Web site at http://trade.gov/enforcement/.

    Further, as explained in Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013), the Department clarified its practice with regard to the conditional review of the non-market economy (NME) entity in administrative reviews of antidumping duty orders. The Department will no longer consider the NME entity as an exporter conditionally subject to administrative reviews. Accordingly, the NME entity will not be under review unless the Department specifically receives a request for, or self-initiates, a review of the NME entity.4 In administrative reviews of antidumping duty orders on merchandise from NME countries where a review of the NME entity has not been initiated, but where an individual exporter for which a review was initiated does not qualify for a separate rate, the Department will issue a final decision indicating that the company in question is part of the NME entity. However, in that situation, because no review of the NME entity was conducted, the NME entity's entries were not subject to the review and the rate for the NME entity is not subject to change as a result of that review (although the rate for the individual exporter may change as a function of the finding that the exporter is part of the NME entity).

    4 In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b)(1), parties should specify that they are requesting a review of entries from exporters comprising the entity, and to the extent possible, include the names of such exporters in their request.

    Following initiation of an antidumping administrative review when there is no review requested of the NME entity, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate entries for all exporters not named in the initiation notice, including those that were suspended at the NME entity rate.

    All requests must be filed electronically in Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”) on Enforcement and Compliance's ACCESS Web site at http://access.trade.gov. 5 Further, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f)(l)(i), a copy of each request must be served on the petitioner and each exporter or producer specified in the request.

    5See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    The Department will publish in the Federal Register a notice of “Initiation of Administrative Review of Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation” for requests received by the last day of April 2015. If the Department does not receive, by the last day of April 2015, a request for review of entries covered by an order, finding, or suspended investigation listed in this notice and for the period identified above, the Department will instruct CBP to assess antidumping or countervailing duties on those entries at a rate equal to the cash deposit of (or bond for) estimated antidumping or countervailing duties required on those entries at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption and to continue to collect the cash deposit previously ordered.

    For the first administrative review of any order, there will be no assessment of antidumping or countervailing duties on entries of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the relevant provisional-measures “gap” period of the order, if such a gap period is applicable to the period of review.

    This notice is not required by statute but is published as a service to the international trading community.

    Dated: March 25, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07496 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD593 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the U.S. Air Force Conducting Maritime Weapon Systems Evaluation Program Operational Testing Within the Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of incidental harassment authorization.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act regulations, NMFS hereby gives notice that NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (Authorization) to the U.S. Air Force, Eglin Air Force Base (Eglin AFB), to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to a Maritime Weapon Systems Evaluation Program (Maritime WSEP) within the Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range in the Gulf of Mexico from February 5 through April 1, 2015. Eglin AFB's activities are military readiness activities per the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2004.

    DATES:

    Effective February 5, 2015, through April 1, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    An electronic copy of the final Authorization, Eglin AFB's application and their final Environmental Assessment (EA) titled, “Maritime Weapons System Evaluation Program are available by writing to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910; by telephoning the contacts listed here, or by visiting the internet at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/military.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeannine Cody, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) directs the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals of a species or population stock, by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if, after NMFS provides a notice of a proposed authorization to the public for review and comment: (1) NMFS makes certain findings; and (2) the taking is limited to harassment.

    Through the authority delegated by the Secretary, NMFS shall grant an Authorization for the incidental taking of small numbers of marine mammals if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant).

    The Authorization must also prescribe, where applicable, the permissible methods of taking by harassment pursuant to the activity; other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on the species or stock and its habitat, and on the availability of such species or stock for taking for subsistence uses (where applicable); and requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking. NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.”

    The National Defense Authorization Act of 2004 (NDAA; Pub. L. 108-136) removed the “small numbers” and “specified geographical region” limitations indicated earlier and amended the definition of harassment as it applies to a “military readiness activity” to read as follows: (i) Any act that injures or has the significant potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A Harassment]; or (ii) any act that disturbs or is likely to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of natural behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, surfacing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering, to a point where such behavioral patterns are abandoned or significantly altered [Level B Harassment].

    Summary of Request

    NMFS received an application on August 5, 2014, from Eglin AFB for the taking, by harassment, of marine mammals, incidental to Maritime WESP operational testing in the spring of 2015 within the Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range (EGTTR). Eglin AFB submitted a revised application to NMFS on October 20, 2014, which provided updated take estimates for marine mammals based on updated acoustic thresholds for explosive sources. Eglin AFB submitted a second revised application to NMFS on December 1, 2014, which provided updated mitigation zones. NMFS determined the application adequate and complete on December 2, 2014 and published a notice of proposed Authorization on December 8, 2014 (79 FR 72631). The notice afforded the public a 30-day comment period on the proposed MMPA Authorization.

    Eglin AFB proposes to conduct Maritime WESP missions within the EGTTR airspace over the Gulf of Mexico, specifically within Warning Area 151 (W-151), which is located approximately 17 miles offshore from Santa Rosa Island, specifically sub-area W-151A. The proposed testing activities would occur during the daytime over a three-week period between February and April, 2015. Eglin AFB proposes to use multiple types of live munitions (e.g., gunnery rounds, rockets, missiles, and bombs) against small boat targets in the EGTTR. These activities qualify as a military readiness activities under the MMPA and NDAA.

    Eglin AFB's Maritime WSEP operations may potentially impact marine mammals at or near the water surface. Thus, the following specific aspect of the proposed WSEP activities have the potential to take marine mammals: Increased underwater sound and pressure generated during the WSEP testing missions. Marine mammals could potentially be harassed, injured, or killed by exploding and non-exploding projectiles, and falling debris. However, based on analyses provided in Eglin AFB's final; Environmental Assessment (EA); their Authorization application, including proposed mitigation and monitoring measures; and for reasons discussed later in this document, NMFS does not anticipate that Eglin's WSEP activities will result in any serious injury or mortality to marine mammals.

    Eglin AFB has requested authorization to take two cetacean species by Level A and Level B harassment. The requested species include: Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis).

    Description of the Specified Activity Overview

    Eglin AFB proposes to conduct live ordnance testing and training in the Gulf of Mexico as part of the Maritime WSEP operational testing. The Maritime WSEP test objectives are to evaluate maritime deployment data, evaluate tactics, techniques and procedures, and to determine the impact of techniques and procedures on combat Air Force training. The need to conduct this type of testing has arisen in response to increasing threats at sea posed by operations conducted from small boats which can carry a variety of weapons; can form in large or small numbers; and may be difficult to locate, track, and engage in the marine environment. Because of limited Air Force aircraft and munitions testing on engaging and defeating small boat threats, the Air Force proposes to employ live munitions against boat targets in the EGTTR in order to continue development of techniques and procedures to train Air Force strike aircraft to counter small maneuvering surface vessels. Thus, the Department of Defense considers the Maritime WSEP activities as high priority for national security.

    The proposed Maritime WSEP missions are similar to Eglin AFB's Maritime Strike Operations where NMFS issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization to Eglin AFB related to training exercises around small boat threats (78 FR 52135, August 22, 2013).

    Dates and Duration

    Eglin AFB proposes to schedule the Maritime WSEP missions over an approximate two- to three-week period that would begin February 6, 2015, and end by April 1, 2015. The proposed missions would occur on weekdays, during daytime hours only, with one or two missions occurring per day. Some minor deviation from Eglin AFB's requested dates is possible and the Authorization, would be effective from February 5, 2015 through April 1, 2015.

    Specified Activity Area

    The specific planned mission location is approximately 17 miles (mi) (27.3 kilometers [km]) offshore from Santa Rosa Island, Florida, in nearshore waters of the continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico. All activities would take place within the EGTTR, defined as the airspace over the Gulf of Mexico controlled by Eglin AFB, beginning at a point three nautical miles (nmi) (3.5 miles [mi]; 5.5 kilometers [km]) from shore. The EGTTR consists of subdivided blocks including Warning Area 151 (W-151) where the proposed activities would occur, specifically in sub-area W-151A.

    NMFS provided detailed descriptions of the activity area in a previous notice for the proposed Authorization (79 FR 72631, December 8, 2014). The information has not changed between the proposed Authorization notice and this final notice announcing the issuance of the Authorization.

    Detailed Description of Activities

    The Maritime WSEP operational testing missions, classified as military readiness activities, include the release of multiple types of inert and live munitions from fighter and bomber aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and gunships against small, static, towed, and remotely-controlled boat targets. Munition types include bombs, missiles, rockets, and gunnery rounds (Table 1).

    Table 1—Live Munitions and Aircraft Munitions Aircraft (not
  • associated with
  • specific munitions)
  • GBU-10 laser-guided Mk-84 bomb F-16C fighter aircraft. GBU-24 laser-guided Mk-84 bomb F-16C+ fighter aircraft. GBU-12 laser-guided Mk-82 bomb F-15E fighter aircraft. GBU-54 Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (LJDAM), laser-guided Mk-82 bomb A-10 fighter aircraft. CBU-105 (WCMD) B-1B bomber aircraft. AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missile B-52H bomber aircraft. GBU-38 Small Diameter Bomb II (Laser SDB) MQ-1/9 unmanned aerial vehicle. AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missile AC-130 gunship. AGM-175 Griffin air-to-surface missile 2.75 Rockets PGU-13/B high explosive incendiary 30 mm rounds 7.62 mm/.50 Cal Key: AGM = air-to-ground missile; CBU = Cluster Bomb Unit; GBU = Guided Bomb Unit; LJDAM = Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition; Laser SDB = Laser Small Diameter Bomb; mm = millimeters; PGU = Projectile Gun Unit; WCMD = wind corrected munition dispenser.

    The proposed activities involve detonations above the water, near the water surface, and under water within the EGTTR. However, because the tests will focus on weapon/target interaction, Eglin AFB will not specify a particular aircraft for a given test as long as it meets the delivery parameters.

    Eglin AFB would deploy the munitions against static, towed, and remotely-controlled boat targets within W-151A. Eglin AFB would operate the remote-controlled boats from an instrumentation barge (Gulf Range Armament Test Vessel; GRATV) anchored on site within the test area. The GRATV would provide a platform for cameras and weapons-tracking equipment and Eglin AFB would position the target boats approximately 182.8 m (600 ft) from the GRATV, depending on the munition type.

    Table 2 provides the number, height, or depth of detonation, explosive material, and net explosive weight (NEW) in pounds (lbs) of each munition proposed for use during the Maritime WSEP activities.

    Table 2—Maritime WSEP Munitions Proposed for Use in the W-151A Test Area. Type of munition Total
  • number
  • of live
  • munitions
  • Detonation type Warhead—explosive
  • material
  • Net explosive weight per munition
    GBU-10 or GBU-24 2 Surface MK-84—Tritonal 945 lbs. GBU-12 or GBU-54 (LJDAM) 6 Surface MK-82—Tritonal 192 lbs. AGM-65 (Maverick) 6 Surface WDU-24/B penetrating blast-fragmentation warhead 86 lbs. CBU-105 (WCMD) 4 Airburst 10 BLU-108 sub-munitions each containing 4 projectiles parachute, rocket motor and altimeter 83 lbs. GBU-38 (Laser Small Diameter Bomb) 4 Surface AFX-757 (Insensitive munition) 37 lbs. AGM-114 (Hellfire) 15 Subsurface (10 msec delay) High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) tandem anti-armor metal augmented charge 20 lbs. AGM-176 (Griffin) 10 Surface Blast fragmentation 13 lbs. 2.75 Rockets 100 Surface Comp B-4 HEI Up to 12 lbs. PGU-12 HEI 30 mm 1,000 Surface 30 x 173 mm caliber with aluminized RDX explosive. Designed for GAU-8/A Gun System 0.1 lbs. 7.62 mm/.50 cal 5,000 Surface N/A N/A. Key: AGL = above ground level; AGM = air-to-ground missile; CBU = Cluster Bomb Unit; GBU = Guided Bomb Unit; JDAM = Joint Direct Attack Munition; LJDAM = Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition; mm = millimeters; msec = millisecond; lbs = pounds; PGU = Projectile Gun Unit; HEI = high explosive incendiary.

    To ensure safety, prior to conducting WSEP activities, Eglin AFB would conduct a pre-test target area clearance procedure for people and protected species. Eglin AFB would deploy support vessels around a defined safety zone to ensure that commercial and recreational boats do not accidentally enter the area. Before delivering the ordnance, mission aircraft would make a dry run over the target area to ensure that it is clear of commercial and recreational boats (at least two aircraft would participate in each test). Due to the limited duration of the flyover and potentially high speed and altitude, pilots will not be able to survey for marine species. NMFS provided detailed descriptions of the WSEP training operations in the previous notice for the proposed Authorization (79 FR 72631, December 8, 2014). This information has not changed between the proposed Authorization notice and this final notice announcing the issuance of the Authorization.

    Based on the results from an acoustic impacts analysis for live ordnance detonations, Eglin AFB would establish a separate disturbance zone around the target for the protection of marine species. Eglin AFB will base the size of the zone on the distance to which energy- and pressure-related impacts will extend for the various type of ordnance listed in Table 2. Based on the acoustic modeling result, the largest possible distance from the target would be approximately 5 km (3.1 miles) from the target area, which corresponds to the Level A harassment threshold range. Support vessels would monitor for marine mammals around the target area. WSEP activities will not proceed until Eglin AFB personnel determine that the target area is clear of unauthorized personnel and protected species.

    In addition to vessel-based monitoring, Eglin AFB will position three video cameras on an instrumentation barge anchored on-site. The cameras, typically used for situational awareness of the target area and surrounding area, would contribute to monitoring the test site for the presence of marine species. A marine species observer would be present in the Eglin control tower, along with mission personnel, to monitor the video feed before and during test activities.

    After each test, Eglin AFB would inspect floating targets to identify and render safe any unexploded ordnance (UXO), including fuzes or intact munitions. The Eglin AFB Explosive Disposal Team will be on hand for each test. If Eglin AFB personnel cannot remove the UXO, personnel will detonate the UXO in place, which could result in the sinking of the target vessel. Once Eglin AFB deems the area clear for re-entry, test personnel will retrieve target debris. Marine species observers would survey the area for any evidence of adverse impacts to protected species.

    Comments and Responses

    A notice of receipt of Eglin AFB's application and NMFS' proposal to issue an Authorization to the USAF, Eglin AFB, published in the Federal Register on December 8, 2014 (79 FR 72631). During the 30-day public comment period, NMFS received comments from the Marine Mammal Commission (Commission) only. Following are the comments from the Commission and NMFS' responses.

    Comment 1: The Commission notes that the Air Force has applied for MMPA authorizations to take marine mammals on an activity-by-activity basis (e.g., naval explosive ordnance disposal school, precision strike weapon, air-to-surface gunnery and maritime strike operation) rather than a programmatic basis. The Commission believes that the agencies should evaluate the impacts of all training and testing activities under a single letter of authorization application and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document rather than segmenting the analyses based on specific types of missions under various authorizations.

    Response: Both Eglin AFB and NMFS concur with the Commission's recommendation to streamline the rulemaking process for future activities conducted within the EGGTR. Currently, Eglin AFB personnel are planning to develop a Programmatic Environmental Assessment as well as a Request for a Letter of Authorization for all testing and training activities that will occur in the Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range over the next five years. These efforts would facilitate a more comprehensive review of actions occurring within the EGGTR that have the potential to take marine mammals incidental to military readiness activities for future MMPA rulemaking requests by Eglin AFB.

    Comment 2: The Commission states that Eglin AFB estimated the zones of exposure (i.e., zones of influence (ZOI) in two ways: (1) Calculating zones based on a single detonation event of each munition type within a three-week period; and (2) calculating zones based on a representative ordnance expenditure scenario of the maximum number of munitions that Eglin AFB could expend within a single day. The Commission further noted that the latter method was an appropriate method for determining distances to the sound exposure level (SEL) thresholds which are the zones of exposure for implementing mitigation.

    However, the Commission states that Eglin AFB overestimated marine mammal take because they based estimates on the former method (i.e., calculating zones based on a single detonation event of each munition type within a three-week period) which multiplied the number of animals estimated to be taken by a single detonation of each munition type by the total number of munitions that would be detonated, irrespective of when those detonations would occur. The Commission states that this method does not consider the accumulation of energy in a 24-hour period which would more accurately correspond to zones of exposure for the representative scenario and serve as more a realistic estimate of the numbers of animals that Eglin AFB could potentially take during the WSEP activities.

    Response: With respect to the first point, Eglin AFB developed an example test day scenario (assumed to be worst case) to calculate impact ranges for all energy metrics in response to the Commission and NMFS' concerns. This is the basis for the mitigation monitoring plan which NMFS presented in Table 7 of the notice for the proposed Authorization (79 FR 72631, December 8, 2014). Based on the ranges presented in Table 7 and factoring in operational limitations associated with survey-based vessel support for the missions, Eglin AFB estimates that during pre-mission surveys, the proposed monitoring area would be approximately 5 km (3.1 miles) from the target area, which corresponds to the Level A harassment threshold range. Eglin AFB proposes to survey the same-sized area for each mission day, regardless of the planned munition expenditures. By clearing the Level A harassment threshold range of protected species, animals that may enter the area after the completed pre-mission surveys but prior to detonation would not reach the smaller slight lung injury or mortality zones.

    With respect to the second point, Eglin AFB's modeling approach for take estimates treated each munition detonation as a separate event impacting a new set of animals which results in a worst case scenario of potential take and is a precautionary overestimate of potential harassment. Briefly, Eglin AFB's model treats each ordnance detonation as a single event and sums the estimated potential impacts from each detonation event to provide a total estimate of take for the entire WSEP testing activities event conducted over a period of 3 weeks. This approach assumes for a continuous population refresh of animals (i.e., a new population of animals is impacted) and sums all exposures for each species for all munitions expended during the three-week period. NMFS and Eglin AFB acknowledge that this approach contributes to the overestimation of take estimates. This approach has multiple conservative assumptions built into the calculations that contribute the overestimation of take estimates. One assumption included a continuous population refresh approach that treated each munition detonation as a separate event impacting a new set of animals. In actuality, multiple detonations will occur in each mission day, and while Eglin AFB plans to release certain munitions on specific days, past experience has shown that Eglin AFB may not be able to execute the missions according to a set plan. Eglin AFB requires flexibility to make last minute changes to the schedule in order to complete all test requirements in the allotted 3-week timeframe. That may include Eglin AFB releasing additional munitions on one day to make up for days when they could not release planned munitions.

    Comment 3: In estimating take, the Commission commented Eglin AFB's model approach was an additive process for estimating each zone of exposure, and thus the associated takes. Effectively, The Commission states that Eglin AFB overestimated the number of take but is unsure to what degree. Further, the Commission recommends that Eglin AFB and NMFS should treat fractions of estimated take appropriately, that is generally, round down if less than 0.50 and round up if greater than or equal to 0.50 before summing the estimates for each species.

    Response: The Commission is correct in its understanding of how Eglin AFB estimated take based on an additive process. Briefly, Eglin AFB estimated the associated takes by adding the zones of exposure together which leads to a double counting of take. For example, potential take associated with the Level B harassment (behavior) includes estimates for takes by mortality, Level A harassment, and Level B harassment (TTS). The potential take for Level B harassment (TTS) includes takes for Level A harassment and mortality and the potential take for Level A harassment (PTS) includes take for Level A harassment (slight lung injury and GI tract injury) and mortality.

    NMFS agrees with the Commission's recommendations and has recalculated the takes by eliminating the double counting of the estimated take for each species and appropriately rounding take estimates before summing the total take. Table 8 in this notice provides the revised number of marine mammals, by species, that Eglin AFB could potentially take incidental to the conduct of Maritime WSEP operations. The re-calculation results in zero take by mortality, zero take by slight lung injury, and zero take by gastrointestinal tract injury. Compared to the take levels that NMFS previously proposed (79 FR 72631, December 8, 2014), the re-estimation has reduced take estimates for Level A harassment (PTS) by approximately five percent to a total of 38 marine mammals; reduced the take estimates for Level B harassment (TTS) by approximately eight percent to a total of 445 marine mammals; and reduced take estimates for Level B harassment (behavioral) by approximately 51 percent to a total of 497 marine mammals. Based on the remodeling of the number of marine mammals potentially affected by maritime strike missions, NMFS would authorize take for Level A and Level B harassment presented in Table 8 of this notice.

    Comment 4: The Commission states that Eglin AFB proposes to use live-feed video cameras to supplement its effectiveness in detecting marine mammals when implementing mitigation measures. However, the Commission is not convinced that those measures are sufficient to effectively monitor for marine mammals entering the training areas during the 30 minute timeframe prior to detonation. In addition, the Commission states that it does not believe that Eglin AFB cannot deem the Level A harassment zone clear of marine mammals when using only three video cameras for monitoring. Thus, the Commission recommends that NMFS require Eglin AFB to supplement its mitigation measures with passive acoustic monitoring and determine the effectiveness of its suite of mitigation measures for activities at Eglin prior to incorporating presumed mitigation effectiveness into its take estimation analyses or negligible impact determinations.

    Response: NMFS has worked closely with Eglin AFB over the past several Authorization cycles to develop proper mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements designed to minimize and detect impacts from the specified activities and ensure that NMFS can make the findings necessary for issuance of an Authorization.

    Monitoring also includes vessel-based observers for marine species up to 30 minutes prior to deploying live munitions in the area. Eglin AFB has submitted annual reports to NMFS every year that describes all activities that occur in the EGTTR. In addition, Eglin AFB submitted annual reports to NMFS at the conclusion of the Maritime Strike Operations testing activities conducted in 2013 and 2014. These missions are similar in nature to the proposed maritime WSEP operations and the Eglin AFB provided information on sighting information and results from post-mission survey observations. Based on those results, NMFS determined that the mitigation measures ensured the least practicable adverse impact to marine mammals. There were no observations of injured marine mammals and no reports of marine mammal mortality during the Maritime Strike Operation activities. The measures proposed for Maritime WSEP are similar, except they will include larger survey areas based on updated acoustic analysis and previous discussions with the Commission and NMFS.

    Eglin AFB will continue to research the feasibility of supplementing existing monitoring efforts with passive acoustic monitoring devices for future missions. Eglin AFB would be willing to discuss alternatives with the Commission and NMFS during the development of the upcoming environmental planning efforts discussed earlier in Comment 1.

    Comment 5: The MMC expressed their belief that all permanent hearing loss should be considered a serious injury and recommends that NMFS propose to issue regulations under section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA and a letter of authorization, rather than an incidental harassment authorization, for any proposed activities expected to cause a permanent threshold shift (PTS).

    Response: NMFS considers PTS to fall under the injury category (Level A Harassment). However, an animal would need to stay very close to the sound source for an extended amount of time to incur a serious degree of PTS, which could increase the probability of mortality. In this case, it would be highly unlikely for this scenario to unfold given the nature of any anticipated acoustic exposures that could potentially result from a mobile marine mammal that NMFS generally expects to exhibit avoidance behavior to loud sounds within the EGTTR.

    NMFS based PTS thresholds on the onset of PTS, meaning an exposure that causes a 40 dB threshold shift (Ward et al., 1958, 1959; Ward, 1960; Kryter et al., 1996; Miller, 1974; Ahroon et al., 1996; Henderson et al., 2008). An animal would exceed the PTS threshold by either being exposed to the sound at a lower level for a long amount of time (not likely with explosives) or receive a shorter exposure at a much higher level (meaning being closer to the source) in order to incur a significantly more serious degree of PTS, beyond onset, would require exposures of even longer durations or higher levels. Taking into consideration marine mammals would likely avoid an area with high levels of training activities; the intermittent and short duration of the proposed activity (4 hours per day within the span of three weeks); combined with the density of marine mammals, it is unlikely that a marine mammal would randomly enter the area where more severe impacts would be a risk. Additionally, some degree of presbycusis (i.e., age-related high-frequency hearing loss) is fairly common in the wild especially with older animals (i.e., animals are adapted to continue to perform normal life functions with some level of PTS). NMFS is unaware of data suggesting whether, or at what a reduction in hearing ability might potentially lead to direct or indirect mortality.

    NMFS has recalculated the takes proposed in the notice for the proposed Authorization (79 FR 72631, December 8, 2014) and the results of the recalculation show zero takes for mortality, zero takes by slight lung injury, and zero takes by gastrointestinal tract injury. Further, the re-estimation has reduced the number of take by Level A harassment (from PTS) and by Level B harassment (TTS and behavioral). Based on this re-estimation, NMFS does not believe that serious injury will result from this activity and that therefore it is not necessary to issue regulations through section 101(a)(5)(A), rather, an Incidental Harassment Authorization may be issued.

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of the Specified Activity

    Table 3 provides the following: marine mammal species with possible or confirmed occurrence in the proposed activity area (Garrison et al., 2008; Navy, 2007; Davis et al., 2000); information on those species' status under the MMPA and the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); and abundance and likelihood of occurrence within the proposed activity area.

    Table 3—Marine Mammals Most Likely To Be Harassed Incidental to Eglin AFB's Activities in W-151A Species Stock name Regulatory status 12 Estimated abundance Relative
  • occurrence in W-151
  • Common bottlenose dolphin Choctawatchee Bay MMPA—S
  • ESA—NL
  • 232
  • CV = 0.06 3
  • Uncommon
    Pensacola/East Bay MMPA—S
  • ESA—NL
  • 33
  • CV = 0.88 4
  • Uncommon
    St. Andrew Bay MMPA—S
  • ESA—NL
  • 124
  • CV = 0.18 4
  • Uncommon
    Gulf of Mexico Northern Coastal MMPA—S
  • ESA—NL
  • 2,473
  • CV = 0.25 5
  • Common
    Northern Gulf of Mexico Continental Shelf MMPA—NC
  • ESA—NL
  • 17,777
  • CV = 0.32 6
  • Uncommon
    Northern Gulf of Mexico Oceanic MMPA—NC
  • ESA—NL
  • 5,806
  • CV = 0.39 7
  • Uncommon
    Atlantic spotted dolphin Northern Gulf of Mexico MMPA—NC
  • ESA—NL
  • 37,611 8
  • CV = 0.28
  • Common
    1 MMPA: D = Depleted, S = Strategic, NC = Not Classified. 2 ESA: EN = Endangered, T = Threatened, DL = Delisted, NL = Not listed. 3 Conn et al. 201; 2012 NMFS Stock Assessment Report (Waring et al., 2013) 4 Blaylock and Hoggard, 1994; 2012 NMFS Stock Assessment Report (Waring et al., 2013) 5 2007 Aerial surveys reported in the 2013 NMFS Stock Assessment Report (Waring et al., 2014) 6 2000-2001 Aerial surveys reported in the 2013 NMFS Stock Assessment Report (Waring et al., 2014) 7 2009 Line transect surveys reported in the 2013 NMFS Stock Assessment Report (Waring et al., 2014) 8 2000-2001 Aerial surveys reported in the 2013 NMFS Stock Assessment Report (Waring et al., 2014)

    An additional 19 cetacean species have confirmed occurrence within the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, mainly occurring at or beyond the shelf break (i.e., water depth of approximately 200 m (656.2 ft)) located beyond the W-151A test area. NMFS and Eglin AFB consider the 19 species to be rare or extralimital in the W-151A test location area. These species are the Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera edeni), sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima), pygmy sperm whale (K. breviceps), pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella atenuarta), Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris), Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris), Gervais' beaked whale (M. europaeus), Clymene dolphin (S. clymene), spinner dolphin (S. longirostris), striped dolphin (S. coeruleoalba), killer whale (Orcinus orca), false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens), pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata), Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus), Fraser's dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei), melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra), rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis), and short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus).

    Of these species, only the sperm whale is listed as endangered under the ESA and as depleted throughout its range under the MMPA. Sperm whale occurrence within W-151A is unlikely because almost all reported sightings have occurred in water depths greater than 200 m (656.2 ft).

    Because these species are unlikely to occur within the W-151A area, Eglin AFB has not requested and NMFS has not proposed the issuance of take authorizations for them. Thus, NMFS does not consider these species further in this notice.

    NMFS has reviewed Eglin AFB's detailed species descriptions, including life history information, distribution, regional distribution, diving behavior, and acoustics and hearing, for accuracy and completeness. NMFS refers the reader to Sections 3 and 4 of the Authorization application and to Chapter 3 in Eglin AFB's EA rather than reprinting the information here.

    Other Marine Mammals in the Proposed Action Area

    The endangered West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) rarely occurs in the area (USAF, 2014). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has jurisdiction over the manatee; therefore, NMFS would not include an authorization to harass manatees and does not discuss this species further in this notice.

    Potential Effects of the Specified Activity on Marine Mammals

    This section of the notice for the proposed Authorization (79 FR 72631, December 8, 2014) included a summary and discussion of the ways that the types of stressors associated with the specified activity (e.g., ordnance detonation and vessel movement) have been observed to impact marine mammals. The “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment” section later in this document will include a quantitative analysis of the number of individuals that NMFS expects Eglin AFB to incidentally take during their activities. The “Negligible Impact Analysis” section will include the analysis of how this specific activity will impact marine mammals and will consider the content of this section, the “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment” section, the “Mitigation” section, and the “Anticipated Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat” section to draw conclusions regarding the likely impacts of this activity on the reproductive success or survivorship of individuals and from that on the affected marine mammal populations or stocks.

    In summary, the Maritime WSEP training exercises proposed for taking of marine mammals under an Authorization have the potential to take marine mammals by exposing them to impulsive noise and pressure waves generated by live ordnance detonation at or near the surface of the water. Exposure to energy or pressure resulting from these detonations could result in Level A harassment (PTS) and by Level B harassment (TTS and behavioral). In addition, NMFS also considered the potential for harassment from vessel operations.

    The potential effects of impulsive sound sources (underwater detonations) from the proposed training activities may include one or more of the following: tolerance, masking, disturbance, hearing threshold shift, stress response, and mortality. NMFS provided detailed information on these potential effects in the notice for the proposed Authorization (79 FR 72631, December 8, 2014). The information presented in that notice has not changed.

    Anticipated Effects on Habitat

    Detonations of live ordnance would result in temporary changes to the water environment. Munitions could hit the targets and not explode in the water. However, because the targets are located over the water, in water explosions could occur. An underwater explosion from these weapons could send a shock wave and blast noise through the water, release gaseous by-products, create an oscillating bubble, and cause a plume of water to shoot up from the water surface. However, these effects would be temporary and not expected to last more than a few seconds.

    Similarly, Eglin AFB does not expect any long-term impacts with regard to hazardous constituents to occur. Eglin AFB considered the introduction of fuel, debris, ordnance, and chemical materials into the water column within its EA. Eglin AFB analyzed the potential effects of each in their EA and determined them to be insignificant. NMFS provided a summary of the analyses in the notice for the proposed Authorization (79 FR 72631, December 8, 2014). The information presented in that notice has not changed.

    Mitigation

    In order to issue an incidental take authorization under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA, NMFS must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and the availability of such species or stock for taking for certain subsistence uses (where relevant).

    The NDAA of 2004 amended the MMPA as it relates to military-readiness activities and the incidental take authorization process such that “least practicable adverse impact” shall include consideration of personnel safety, practicality of implementation, and impact on the effectiveness of the military readiness activity.

    NMFS and Eglin AFB have worked to identify practicable and effective mitigation measures, which include a careful balancing of the likely benefit of any particular measure to the marine mammals with the likely effect of that measure on personnel safety, practicality of implementation, and impact on the “military-readiness activity.” NMFS refers the reader to Section 11 of Eglin AFB's application for more detailed information on the mitigation measures which include the following:

    Vessel-Based Monitoring: Eglin AFB would station a large number of range clearing boats (approximately 20 to 25) around the test site to prevent non-participating vessels from entering the human safety zone. Based on the composite footprint, range clearing boats will be located approximately 15.28 km (9.5 mi) from the detonation point (see Figure 11-1 in Eglin AFB's application). However, the actual distance will vary based on the size of the munition being deployed.

    Trained marine species observers would be aboard five of these boats and will conduct protected species surveys before and after each test. The protected species survey vessels will be dedicated solely to observing for marine species during the pre-mission surveys while the remaining safety boats clear the area of non-authorized vessels. The protected species survey vessels will begin surveying the area at sunrise. The area to be surveyed will encompass the largest applicable zone of influence (ZOI), which is the Level A harassment range. Animals that may enter the area after the pre-mission surveys have been completed and prior to detonation would not reach the predicted smaller slight lung injury, gastrointestinal tract, and/or mortality zones

    Because of human safety issues, observers will be required to leave the test area at least 30 minutes in advance of live weapon deployment and move to a position on the safety zone periphery, approximately 9.5 miles from the detonation point. Observers will continue to scan for marine mammals from the periphery.

    Video Monitoring: In addition to vessel-based monitoring, three high-definition video cameras would be positioned on the GRATV anchored on-site, as described earlier, to allow for real-time monitoring for the duration of the mission. The camera configuration and actual number of cameras used would depend on specific mission requirements. In addition to monitoring the area for mission objective issues, the camera(s) would also monitor for the presence of protected species. A trained marine species observer from Eglin Natural Resources would be located in Eglin AFB's Central Control Facility, along with mission personnel, to view the video feed before and during test activities. The distance to which objects can be detected at the water surface by use of the cameras is considered generally comparable to that of the human eye.

    The GRATV will be located about 183 m (600 ft) from the target. The larger mortality threshold ranges correspond to the modified Goertner model adjusted for the weight of an Atlantic spotted dolphin calf, and extend from 0 to 237 m (0 to 778 ft) from the target, depending on the ordnance, and the Level A ranges for both common bottlenose and Atlantic spotted dolphins extend from 7 to 965 m (23 to 3,166 ft) from the target, depending on the ordnance and harassment criterion. Given these distances, observers could reasonably be expected to view a substantial portion of the mortality zone in front of the camera, although a small portion would be behind or to the side of the camera view. Some portion of the Level A harassment zone could also be viewed, although it would be less than that of the mortality zone (a large percentage would be behind or to the side of the camera view).

    If the high-definition video cameras are not operational for any reason, Eglin AFB will not conduct Maritime WSEP missions.

    In addition to the two types of visual monitoring discussed earlier in this section, Eglin AFB personnel are present within the mission area (on boats and the GRATV) on each day of testing well in advance of weapon deployment, typically near sunrise. They will perform a variety of tasks including target preparation, equipment checks, etc., and will opportunistically observe for marine mammals and indicators as feasible throughout test preparation. However, such observations are considered incidental and would only occur as time and schedule permits. Any sightings would be relayed to the Lead Biologist, as described in the following mitigation sections.

    Pre-Mission Monitoring: The purposes of pre-mission monitoring are to: (1) Evaluate the mission site for environmental suitability, and (2) verify that the ZOI is free of visually detectable marine mammals, as well as potential indicators of these species. On the morning of the mission, the Test Director and Safety Officer will confirm that there are no issues that would preclude mission execution and that weather is adequate to support mitigation measures.

    Sunrise or Two Hours Prior to Mission: Eglin AFB range clearing vessels and protected species survey vessels will be on site at least two hours prior to the mission. The Lead Biologist on board one survey vessel will assess the overall suitability of the mission site based on environmental conditions (sea state) and presence/absence of marine mammal indicators. This information will be communicated to Tower Control and relayed to the Safety Officer in Central Control Facility.

    One and One-Half Hours Prior to Mission: Vessel-based surveys will begin approximately one and one-half hours prior to live weapon deployment. Surface vessel observers will survey the ZOI and relay all marine species and indicator sightings, including the time of sighting, GPS location, and direction of travel, if known, to the Lead Biologist. The lead biologist will document all sighting information on report forms to be submitted to Eglin Natural Resources after each mission. Surveys would continue for approximately one hour. During this time, Eglin AFB personnel in the mission area will also observe for marine species as feasible. If marine mammals or indicators are observed within the ZOI, the range will be declared “fouled,” a term that signifies to mission personnel that conditions are such that a live ordnance drop cannot occur (e.g., protected species or civilian vessels are in the mission area). If no marine mammals or indicators are observed, Eglin AFB would declare the range clear of protected species.

    One-Half Hour Prior to Mission: At approximately 30 minutes to one hour prior to live weapon deployment, marine species observers will be instructed to leave the mission site and remain outside the safety zone, which on average will be 9.5 miles from the detonation point. The actual size is determined by weapon NEW and method of delivery. The survey team will continue to monitor for protected species while leaving the area. As the survey vessels leave the area, marine species monitoring of the immediate target areas will continue at CCF through the live video feed received from the high definition cameras on the GRATV. Once the survey vessels have arrived at the perimeter of the safety zone (approximately 30 minutes after being instructed to leave, depending on actual travel time) the range will be declared “green” and mission will be allowed to proceed, assuming all non-participating vessels have left the safety zone as well.

    Execution of Mission: Immediately prior to live weapon drop, the Test Director and Safety Officer will communicate to confirm the results of marine mammal surveys and the appropriateness of proceeding with the mission. The Safety Officer will have final authority to proceed with, postpone, or cancel the mission. The mission would be postponed if:

    • Any of the high-definition video cameras are not operational for any reason.

    • Any marine mammal is visually detected within the ZOI. Postponement would continue until the animal(s) that caused the postponement is: (1) Confirmed to be outside of the ZOI on a heading away from the targets; or (2) not seen again for 30 minutes and presumed to be outside the ZOI due to the animal swimming out of the range.

    • Large schools of fish or large flocks of birds feeding at the surface are observed within the ZOI. Postponement would continue until these potential indicators are confirmed to be outside the ZOI.

    • Any technical or mechanical issues related to the aircraft or target boats.

    • Non-participating vessels enter the human safety zone prior to weapon release.

    In the event of a postponement, protected species monitoring would continue from the Central Control Facility through the live video feed.

    Post-Mission Monitoring

    Post-mission monitoring is designed to determine the effectiveness of pre-mission mitigation by reporting sightings of any dead or injured marine mammals. Post-detonation monitoring surveys will commence once the mission has ended or, if required, as soon as personnel declare the mission area safe. Vessels will move into the survey area from outside the safety zone and monitor for at least 30 minutes, concentrating on the area down-current of the test site. This area is easily identifiable because of the floating debris in the water from impacted targets. Up to 10 Eglin AFB support vessels will be cleaning debris and collecting damaged targets from this area thus spending many hours in the area once the mission is completed. All vessels will be instructed to report any dead or injured marine mammals to the Lead Biologist. The protected species survey vessels will document any marine mammals that were killed or injured as a result of the mission and, if practicable, recover and examine any dead animals. The species, number, location, and behavior of any animals observed will be documented and reported to Eglin Natural Resources.

    Mission Delays Due to Weather

    Eglin AFB would delay or reschedule Maritime WSEP missions if the Beaufort sea state is greater than number 4 at the time of the test. The Lead Biologist aboard one of the survey vessels will make the final determination of whether conditions are conducive for sighting protected species or not.

    NMFS has carefully evaluated Eglin AFB's proposed mitigation measures in the context of ensuring that we prescribe the means of effecting the least practicable impact on the affected marine mammal species and stocks and their habitat. NMFS' evaluation of potential measures included consideration of the following factors in relation to one another:

    • The manner in which, and the degree to which, the successful implementation of the measure is expected to minimize adverse impacts to marine mammals;

    • The proven or likely efficacy of the specific measure to minimize adverse impacts as planned; and

    • The practicability of the measure for applicant implementation.

    Any mitigation measure(s) prescribed by NMFS should be able to accomplish, have a reasonable likelihood of accomplishing (based on current science), or contribute to the accomplishment of one or more of the general goals listed here:

    1. Avoidance or minimization of injury or death of marine mammals wherever possible (goals 2, 3, and 4 may contribute to this goal).

    2. A reduction in the numbers of marine mammals (total number or number at biologically important time or location) exposed to training exercises that we expect to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing harassment takes only).

    3. A reduction in the number of times (total number or number at biologically important time or location) individuals would be exposed to training exercises that we expect to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing harassment takes only).

    4. A reduction in the intensity of exposures (either total number or number at biologically important time or location) to training exercises that we expect to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to a, above, or to reducing the severity of harassment takes only).

    5. Avoidance or minimization of adverse effects to marine mammal habitat, paying special attention to the food base, activities that block or limit passage to or from biologically important areas, permanent destruction of habitat, or temporary destruction/disturbance of habitat during a biologically important time.

    6. For monitoring directly related to mitigation—an increase in the probability of detecting marine mammals, thus allowing for more effective implementation of the mitigation.

    Based on the evaluation of Eglin AFB's proposed measures, as well as other measures considered, NMFS has determined that the proposed mitigation measures provide the means of effecting the least practicable impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance while also considering personnel safety, practicality of implementation, and the impact of effectiveness of the military readiness activity.

    Monitoring and Reporting

    In order to issue an Authorization for an activity, section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA states that we must set forth “requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.” The MMPA implementing regulations at 50 CFR 216.104(a)(13) indicate that requests for an authorization must include the suggested means of accomplishing the necessary monitoring and reporting that will result in increased knowledge of the species and our expectations of the level of taking or impacts on populations of marine mammals present in the action area.

    Monitoring measures prescribed by us should accomplish one or more of the following general goals:

    1. An increase in the probability of detecting marine mammals, both within the mitigation zone (thus allowing for more effective implementation of the mitigation) and during other times and locations, in order to generate more data to contribute to the analyses mentioned later;

    2. An increase in our understanding of how many marine mammals would be affected by seismic airguns and other active acoustic sources and the likelihood of associating those exposures with specific adverse effects, such as behavioral harassment, temporary or permanent threshold shift;

    3. An increase in our understanding of how marine mammals respond to stimuli that we expect to result in take and how those anticipated adverse effects on individuals (in different ways and to varying degrees) may impact the population, species, or stock (specifically through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival) through any of the following methods:

    a. Behavioral observations in the presence of stimuli compared to observations in the absence of stimuli (i.e., we need to be able to accurately predict received level, distance from source, and other pertinent information);

    b. Physiological measurements in the presence of stimuli compared to observations in the absence of stimuli (i.e., we need to be able to accurately predict received level, distance from source, and other pertinent information);

    c. Distribution and/or abundance comparisons in times or areas with concentrated stimuli versus times or areas without stimuli;

    4. An increased knowledge of the affected species; and

    5. An increase in our understanding of the effectiveness of certain mitigation and monitoring measures.

    The Authorization will require the following measures in the Maritime WSEP Authorization. They are:

    (1) Eglin will track their use of the EGTTR for test firing missions and protected species observations, through the use of mission reporting forms.

    (2) A summary annual report of marine mammal observations and Maritime WSEP activities will be submitted to the NMFS Southeast Regional Office (SERO) and the Office of Protected Resources either at the time of a request for renewal of an Authorization or 90 days after expiration of the current Authorization if a new Authorization is not requested. This annual report must include the following information: (i) Date and time of each Maritime WSEP exercise; (ii) a complete description of the pre-exercise and post-exercise activities related to mitigating and monitoring the effects of Maritime WSEP exercises on marine mammal populations; and (iii) results of the Maritime WSEP exercise monitoring, including numbers by species/stock of any marine mammals noted injured or killed as a result of the missions and number of marine mammals (by species if possible) that may have been harassed due to presence within the activity zone.

    (3) If any dead or injured marine mammals are observed or detected prior to testing, or injured or killed during live fire, a report must be made to NMFS by the following business day.

    (4) Any unauthorized takes of marine mammals (i.e., injury or mortality) must be immediately reported to NMFS and to the respective stranding network representative.

    Estimated Numbers of Marine Mammals Taken by Harassment

    NMFS' analysis identified the physiological responses, and behavioral responses that could potentially result from exposure to underwater explosive detonations. In this section, we will relate the potential effects to marine mammals from underwater detonation of explosives to the MMPA regulatory definitions of Level A and Level B harassment. This section will also quantify the effects that might occur from the proposed military readiness activities in W-151.

    Definition of Harassment

    The NDAA amended the definition of harassment as it applies to a “military readiness activity” to read as follows: (i) Any act that injures or has the significant potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A Harassment]; or (ii) any act that disturbs or is likely to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of natural behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, surfacing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering, to a point where such behavioral patterns are abandoned or significantly altered [Level B Harassment].

    At NMFS' recommendation, Eglin AFB updated the thresholds used for onset of temporary threshold shift (TTS; Level B Harassment) and onset of permanent threshold shift (PTS; Level A Harassment) to be consistent with the thresholds outlined in the Navy's report titled, “Criteria and Thresholds for U.S. Navy Acoustic and Explosive Effects Analysis Technical Report,” which the Navy coordinated with NMFS. NMFS believes that the thresholds outlined in the Navy's report represent the best available science. The report is available on the internet at: http://aftteis.com/Portals/4/aftteis/Supporting%20Technical%20Documents/Criteria_and_Thresholds_for_US_Navy_Acoustic_and_Explosive_Effects_Analysis-Apr_2012.pdf.

    Table 4 in this document outlines the revised acoustic thresholds used by NMFS for this Authorization when addressing noise impacts from explosives.

    Table 4—Impulsive Sound Explosive Thresholds Used by Eglin AFB in its Current Acoustics Impacts Modeling Group Behavior Behavioral TTS Slight injury PTS Gastro-intestinal tract Lung Mortality Mid-frequency Cetaceans 167 dB SEL 172 dB SEL or 23 psi 187 dB SEL or 45.86 psi 104 psi 39.1 M1/3 (1+[DRm/10.081])1/2 Pa-sec
  • Where: M = mass of the animals in kg
  • DRm = depth of the receiver (animal) in meters
  • 91.4 M1/3 (1+DRm/10.081])1/2 Pa-sec
  • Where: M = mass of the animals in kg
  • DRm = depth of the receiver (animal) in meters
  • Eglin AFB conservatively modeled that all explosives would detonate at a 1.2 m (3.9 ft) water depth despite the training goal of hitting the target, resulting in an above water or on land explosion. For sources detonated at shallow depths, it is frequently the case that the explosion may breech the surface with some of the acoustic energy escaping the water column. Table 5 provides the estimated maximum range or radius, from the detonation point to the various thresholds described in Table 4. Eglin AFB uses the range information shown in Table 5 (Table 6.3 in Eglin's application) to calculate the total area of the ZOI and combine the calculated ZOIs with density estimates (adjusted for depth distribution) and the number of live munitions to provide an estimate of the number of marine mammals potentially exposed to the various impact thresholds.

    Table 5—Distances (m) to Harassment Thresholds from Eglin AFB's Explosive Ordnance Munition NEW
  • (lbs)
  • Total
  • number
  • Detonation scenario Mortality Modified
  • Goertner
  • model 1
  • Level A harassment Slight
  • lung
  • injury
  • Modified
  • Goertner
  • model 2
  • GI
  • track
  • injury
  • 237 dB
  • SPL
  • PTS 187 dB SEL 230 dB
  • peak
  • SPL
  • Level B Harassment TTS 172 dB
  • SEL
  • 224 dB
  • Peak
  • SPL
  • Behavioral 167 dB
  • SEL
  • Bottlenose Dolphin GBU-10
  • or GBU-24
  • 945 2 Surface 199 350 340 965 698 1,582 1,280 2,549
    GBU-12
  • or GBU-54
  • 192 6 Surface 111 233 198 726 409 2,027 752 2,023
    AGM-65 (Maverick) 86 6 Surface 82 177 150 610 312 1,414 575 1,874 GBU-39
  • (LSDB)
  • 37 4 Surface 59 128 112 479 234 1,212 433 1,543
    AGM-114 (Hellfire) 20 15 (10 ft
  • depth)
  • 110 229 95 378 193 2,070 354 3,096
    AGM-175 (Griffin) 13 10 Surface 38 83 79 307 165 1,020 305 1,343 2.75 Rockets 12 100 Surface 36 81 77 281 161 1,010 296 1,339 PGU-13
  • HEI 30 mm
  • 0.1 1,000 Surface 0 7 16 24 33 247 60 492
    Atlantic Spotted Dolphin and Unidentified Dolphin1 GBU-10
  • or GBU-24
  • 945 2 Surface 237 400 340 965 698 1,582 1,280 2,549
    GBU-12
  • or GBU-54
  • 192 6 Surface 138 274 198 726 409 2,027 752 2,023
    AGM-65
  • (Maverick)
  • 86 6 Surface 101 216 150 610 312 1,414 575 1,874
    GBU-39
  • (LSDB)
  • 37 4 Surface 73 158 112 479 234 1,212 433 1,543
    AGM-114
  • (Hellfire)
  • 20 15 (10 ft
  • depth)
  • 135 277 95 378 193 2,070 354 3,096
    AGM-175
  • (Griffin)
  • 13 10 Surface 47 104 79 307 165 1,020 305 1,343
    2.75 Rockets 12 100 Surface 45 100 77 281 161 1,010 296 1,339 PGU-13
  • HEI 30 mm
  • 0.1 1,000 Surface 0 9 16 24 33 247 60 492
    AGM = air-to-ground missile; cal = caliber; CBU = Cluster Bomb Unit; ft = feet; GBU = Guided Bomb Unit; HEI = high explosive incendiary; lbs = pounds; mm = millimeters; N/A = not applicable; NEW = net explosive weight; PGU = Projectile Gun Unit; SDB = small diameter bomb; PTS = permanent threshold shift; TTS = temporary threshold shift; WCMD = wind corrected munition dispenser 1 Unidentified dolphin can be either bottlenose or Atlantic spotted dolphin. Eglin AFB based the mortality and slight lung injury criteria on the mass of a newborn Atlantic spotted dolphin.
    Determination of the Mitigation and Monitoring Zones

    The ranges presented in Table 5 represent a radius of impact for a given threshold from a single detonation of each munition/detonation scenario. They do not consider accumulated energies from multiple detonation occurring within the same 24-hour time period. For calculating take estimates, the single detonation approach is more conservative because it multiplies the exposures from a single detonation by the number of munitions and assumes a fresh population of marine mammals is being impacted each time. Eglin AFB used this approach because of the uncertainty surrounding which munitions they would release on a given day. Multiple variables, such as weather, aircraft mechanical issues, munition malfunctions, and target availability may prevent planned munitions releases. By treating each detonation as a separate event and summing those impacts accordingly, Eglin AFB would have maximum operational flexibility to conduct the missions without limitations on either the total number of munitions allowed to be dropped in a day, or on the specific combinations of munitions that could be released.

    While this methodology overestimates the overall potential takes presented in the next section, the ranges do not accurately represent the actual area acoustically impacted for a given threshold from multiple detonations in a given mission day. The total acoustic impact area for two identical bombs detonating within a given timeframe is less than twice the impact area of a single bomb's detonation. This has to do with the accumulated energy from multiple detonations occurring sequentially. When one weapon is detonated, a certain level of transmission loss is required to be calculated to achieve each threshold level which can then be equated to a range. By releasing a second munition in the same event (same place and close in time), even though the total energy is increased, the incremental impact area from the second detonation is slightly less than that of the first; however the impact range for the two munitions is larger than the impact range for one. Since each additional detonation adds energy to the sound exposure level (SEL) metric, all the energy from all munitions released in a day is accumulated. By factoring in the transmission loss of the first detonation added with the incremental increases from the second, third, fourth, etc., the range of the cumulative energy that is below each threshold level can be determined. Unlike the energy component, peak pressure is not an additive factor, therefore Eglin AFB did not consider thresholds expressed as either acoustic impulse or peak SPL metrics (i.e., mortality, slight lung injury, gastrointestinal tract injury) in their calculations.

    Eglin AFB has created a sample day reflecting the maximum number of munitions that could be released and resulting in the greatest impact in a single mission day. However, this scenario is only a representation and may not accurately reflect how Eglin AFB may conduct actual operations. However, NMFS and Eglin AFB are considering this conservative assumption to calculate the impact range for mitigation monitoring measures. Thus, Eglin AFB has modeled, combined, and compared the sum of all energies from these detonations against thresholds with energy metric criteria to generate the accumulated energy ranges for this scenario. Table 6 displays these ranges which form the basis of the mitigation monitoring thresholds.

    Table 6—Distances (m) to Harassment Thresholds for an Example Mission Day Munition NEW
  • (lbs)
  • Total #
  • per day
  • Detonation scenario Level A
  • harassment
  • PTS 187 dB
  • SEL
  • Level B harassment TTS 172 dB
  • SEL
  • Behavioral 67 dB
  • SEL
  • GBU-10 or GBU-24 945 1 Surface 5,120 12,384 15,960 GBU-12 or GBU-54 192 1 Surface AGM-65 (Maverick) 86 1 Surface GBU-39 (LSDB) 37 1 Surface AGM-114 (Hellfire) 20 3 (10 ft depth) AGM-175 (Griffin) 13 2 Surface 2.75 Rockets 12 12 Surface PGU-13 HEI 30 mm 0.1 125 Surface AGM = air-to-ground missile; cal = caliber; CBU = Cluster Bomb Unit; ft = feet; GBU = Guided Bomb Unit; HEI = high explosive incendiary; lbs = pounds; mm = millimeters; N/A = not applicable; NEW = net explosive weight; PGU = Projectile Gun Unit; SDB = small diameter bomb; PTS = permanent threshold shift; TTS = temporary threshold shift; WCMD = wind corrected munition dispenser.

    Based on the ranges presented in Table 6 and factoring operational limitations associated with survey-based vessel support for the missions, Eglin AFB estimates that during pre-mission surveys, the proposed monitoring area would be approximately 5 km (3.1 miles) from the target area, which corresponds to the Level A harassment threshold range. Eglin AFB proposes to survey the same-sized area for each mission day, regardless of the planned munition expenditures. By clearing the Level A harassment threshold range of protected species, animals that may enter the area after the completed pre-mission surveys but prior to detonation would not reach the smaller slight lung injury or mortality zones (presented in Table 5). Because of human safety issues, Eglin AFB would require observers to leave the test area at least 30 minutes in advance of live weapon deployment and move to a position on the safety zone periphery, approximately 9.5 miles (15 km) from the detonation point. Observers would continue to scan for marine mammals from the periphery, but effectiveness would be limited as the boat would remain at a designated station.

    Density Estimation

    Density estimates for bottlenose dolphin and spotted dolphin were derived from two sources (Table 7). NMFS provided detailed information on Eglin AFB's derivation of density estimates for the bottlenose and Atlantic spotted dolphins in the notice for the proposed Authorization (79 FR 72631, December 8, 2014). The information presented in that notice has not changed and NMFS refers the reader to Section 3 of Eglin AFB's application for detailed information on all equations used to calculate densities presented in Table 7.

    Table 7—Marine Mammal Density Estimates Within Eglin AFB's EGTTR Species Density (animals/km 2) Bottlenose dolphin 1 1.194 Atlantic spotted dolphin 2 0.265 Unidentified bottlenose dolphin/Atlantic spotted dolphin 2 0.009 1 Source: Garrison, 2008; adjusted for observer and availability bias by the author. 2 Source: Fulling et al., 2003; adjusted for negative bias based on information provided by Barlow (2003; 2006). Take Estimation

    NMFS recalculated the takes proposed in previous notice for the proposed Authorization (79 FR 72631, December 8, 2014) by eliminating the double counting of the estimated take for each species and appropriately rounding take estimates before summing the total take.

    Table 8 indicates the modeled potential for lethality, injury, and non-injurious harassment (including behavioral harassment) to marine mammals in the absence of mitigation measures. Table 8 includes the revised number of marine mammals, by species, that Eglin AFB could potentially take incidental to the conduct of Maritime WSEP operations. The re-calculation results in zero take by mortality, zero take by slight lung injury, and zero take by gastrointestinal tract injury. Compared to the take levels that NMFS previously proposed (79 FR 72631, December 8, 2014), the re-estimation has reduced take estimates for Level A harassment (PTS) by approximately five percent to a total of 38 marine mammals; reduced the take estimates for Level B harassment (TTS) by approximately eight percent to a total of 445 marine mammals; and reduced take estimates for Level B harassment (behavioral) by approximately 51 percent to a total of 497 marine mammals. Based on the remodeling of the number of marine mammals potentially affected by maritime strike missions, NMFS would authorize take for Level A and Level B harassment presented in Table 8 of this notice.

    Eglin AFB and NMFS estimate that approximately 38 marine mammals could be exposed to injurious Level A harassment noise levels (187 dB SEL) and approximately 942 animals could be exposed to Level B harassment (TTS and behavioral) noise levels.

    Table 8—Re-Modeled Number of Marine Mammals Potentially Affected by Maritime WSEP Operations. Authorized Takes for Level A and Level B Harassment Are the Same as Those Modeled. NMFS Would Not Authorize Takes for Mortality or Serious Injury. Species Mortality Level A
  • harassment
  • (PTS only)
  • Level B
  • harassment
  • (TTS)
  • Level B
  • harassment
  • (behavioral)
  • Bottlenose dolphin 0 33 373 423 Atlantic spotted dolphin 0 5 68 69 Unidentified bottlenose dolphin/Atlantic spotted dolphin 0 0 4 5 Total 0 38 445 497

    Based on the mortality exposure estimates calculated by the acoustic model, zero marine mammals are expected to be affected by pressure levels associated with mortality or serious injury. Zero marine mammals are expected to be exposed to pressure levels associated with slight lung injury or gastrointestinal tract injury.

    NMFS generally considers PTS to fall under the injury category (Level A Harassment). An animal would need to stay very close to the sound source for an extended amount of time to incur a serious degree of PTS, which could increase the probability of mortality. In this case, it would be highly unlikely for this scenario to unfold given the nature of any anticipated acoustic exposures that could potentially result from a mobile marine mammal that NMFS generally expects to exhibit avoidance behavior to loud sounds within the EGTTR.

    NMFS has relied on the best available scientific information to support the issuance of Eglin AFB's authorization. In the case of authorizing Level A harassment, NMFS has estimated that no more than 33 bottlenose dolphins and 5 Atlantic spotted dolphins could, although unlikely, experience minor permanent threshold shifts of hearing sensitivity (PTS). The available data and analyses, as described more fully in notice for the proposed Authorization (79 FR 72631, December 8, 2014) include extrapolation results of many studies on marine mammal noise-induced temporary threshold shifts of hearing sensitivities. An extensive review of TTS studies and experiments prompted NMFS to conclude that possibility of minor PTS in the form of slight upward shift of hearing threshold at certain frequency bands by a few individuals of marine mammals is extremely low, but not unlikely.

    Negligible Impact Analysis and Determination

    As explained previously, the term “negligible impact” is defined as “an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival” (50 CFR 216.103). The lack of likely adverse effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (i.e., population level effects) forms the basis of a negligible impact finding. Thus, an estimate of the number of Level B harassment takes, alone, is not enough information on which to base an impact determination. In addition to considering estimates of the number of marine mammals that might be “taken” through behavioral harassment, NMFS must consider other factors, such as the likely nature of any responses (their intensity, duration, etc.), the context of any responses (critical reproductive time or location, migration, etc.), as well as the number and nature of estimated Level A harassment takes, and the number of estimated mortalities, effects on habitat, and the status of the species.

    In making a negligible impact determination, we consider:

    • The number of anticipated injuries, serious injuries, or mortalities;

    • The number, nature, and intensity, and duration of Level B harassment; and

    • The context in which the takes occur (e.g., impacts to areas of significance, impacts to local populations, and cumulative impacts when taking into account successive/contemporaneous actions when added to baseline data);

    • The status of stock or species of marine mammals (i.e., depleted, not depleted, decreasing, increasing, stable, impact relative to the size of the population);

    • Impacts on habitat affecting rates of recruitment/survival; and

    • The effectiveness of monitoring and mitigation measures to reduce the number or severity of incidental take.

    For reasons stated previously in this document and based on the following factors, Eglin AFB's specified activities are not likely to cause long-term behavioral disturbance, or other non-auditory injury, serious injury, or death.

    The takes from Level B harassment will be due to potential behavioral disturbance and TTS. The takes from Level A harassment will be due to potential PTS. Activities would only occur over a timeframe of two to three weeks in beginning in February, 2015, with one, four-hour mission occurring each day. It is possible that some individuals may be taken more than once if those individuals are located in the exercise area on two different days when exercises are occurring. However, multiple exposures are not anticipated to have effects beyond Level A and Level B harassment.

    Noise-induced threshold shifts (TS, which includes PTS) are defined as increases in the threshold of audibility (i.e., the sound has to be louder to be detected) of the ear at a certain frequency or range of frequencies (ANSI 1995; Yost 2000). Several important factors relate to the magnitude of TS, such as level, duration, spectral content (frequency range), and temporal pattern (continuous, intermittent) of exposure (Yost 2000; Henderson et al. 2008). TS occurs in terms of frequency range (hertz [Hz] or kHz), hearing threshold level (dB), or both frequency and hearing threshold level (CDC 2004).

    In addition, there are different degrees of PTS: Ranging from slight/mild to moderate and from severe to profound (Clark 1981). Profound PTS or the complete loss of the ability to hear in one or both ears is commonly referred to as deafness (CDC 2004; WHO 2006). High-frequency PTS, presumably as a normal process of aging that occurs in humans and other terrestrial mammals, has also been demonstrated in captive cetaceans (Ridgway and Carder 1997; Yuen et al. 2005; Finneran et al. 2005a; Houser and Finneran 2006; Finneran et al. 2007a; Schlundt et al. 2011) and in stranded individuals (Mann et al. 2010).

    In terms of what is analyzed for the potential PTS (Level A harassment) in marine mammals as a result of Eglin AFB's Maritime WSEP operations, if it occurs, NMFS has determined that the levels would be slight/mild because research shows that most cetaceans show relatively high levels of avoidance. Further, it is uncommon to sight marine mammals within the target area, especially for prolonged durations. Results from monitoring programs associated other Eglin AFB activities have shown the absence of marine mammals within the EGTTR during maritime operations. Avoidance varies among individuals and depends on their activities or reasons for being in the area

    While animals may be impacted in the immediate vicinity of the activity, because of the short duration of the actual individual explosions themselves (versus continual sound source operation) combined with the short duration of the Maritime WSEP operations, NMFS has determined that there will not be a substantial impact on marine mammals or on the normal functioning of the nearshore or offshore Gulf of Mexico ecosystems. The proposed activity is not expected to impact rates of recruitment or survival of marine mammals since neither mortality (which would remove individuals from the population) nor serious injury are anticipated to occur. In addition, the proposed activity would not occur in areas (and/or times) of significance for the marine mammal populations potentially affected by the exercises (e.g., feeding or resting areas, reproductive areas), and the activities would only occur in a small part of their overall range, so the impact of any potential temporary displacement would be negligible and animals would be expected to return to the area after the cessations of activities. Although the proposed activity could result in Level A (PTS only, not slight lung injury or gastrointestinal tract injury) and Level B (behavioral disturbance and TTS) harassment of marine mammals, the level of harassment is not anticipated to impact rates of recruitment or survival of marine mammals because the number of exposed animals is expected to be low due to the short-term (i.e., four hours a day) and site-specific nature of the activity, and the severity of effect would not be detrimental to rates of recruitment and survival.

    Moreover, the mitigation and monitoring measures required by the Authorization (described earlier in this document) are expected to further minimize the potential for harassment. The protected species surveys would require Eglin AFB to search the area for marine mammals, and if any are found in the live fire area, then the exercise would be suspended until the animal(s) has left the area or relocated. Moreover, marine species observers located in the Eglin control tower would monitor the high-definition video feed from cameras located on the instrument barge anchored on-site for the presence of protected species. Furthermore, Maritime WSEP missions would be delayed or rescheduled if the sea state is greater than a 4 on the Beaufort Scale at the time of the test. In addition, Maritime WSEP missions would occur no earlier than two hours after sunrise and no later than two hours prior to sunset to ensure adequate daylight for pre- and post-mission monitoring.

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the mitigation and monitoring measures, NMFS finds that Eglin AFB's Maritime WSEP operations will result in the incidental take of marine mammals, by Level A and Level B harassment only, and that the taking from the Maritime WSEP exercises will have a negligible impact on the affected species or stocks.

    Impact on Availability of Affected Species or Stock for Taking for Subsistence Uses

    There are no relevant subsistence uses of marine mammals implicated by this action. Therefore, NMFS has preliminarily determined that the total taking of affected species or stocks would not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for taking for subsistence purposes.

    Endangered Species Act (ESA)

    Eglin AFB initiated consultation with the Southeast Region, NMFS, under section 7 of the ESA regarding the effects of this action on ESA-listed species and critical habitat under the jurisdiction of NMFS. The consultation will be completed and a biological opinion issued prior to any final determinations on the Authorization. Due to the location of the activity, no ESA-listed marine mammal species are likely to be affected; therefore, NMFS has determined that this Authorization would have no effect on ESA-listed marine mammal species. Therefore, NMFS has determined that a section 7 consultation under the ESA is not required.

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    Eglin AFB provided NMFS with an Environmental Assessment titled, Maritime Weapon Systems Evaluation Program (WSEP) Operational Testing In The Eglin Gulf Testing And Training Range (EGTTR), Florida. The EA analyzes the direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts of the specified activities on marine mammals. NMFS, after review and evaluation of the Eglin AFB EA for consistency with the regulations published by the Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) and NOAA Administrative Order 216-6, Environmental Review Procedures for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act, adopted the EA. After considering the EA, the information in the IHA application, and the Federal Register notice, as well as public comments, NMFS has determined that the issuance of an Authorization is not likely to result in significant impacts on the human environment and has prepared a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). An Environmental Impact Statement is not required and will not be prepared for the action.

    Authorization

    NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization to Eglin AFB for conducting Maritime WSEP operations in the EGGTR, provided the previously mentioned mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements are incorporated.

    Dated: March 23, 2015. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07429 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council: Public Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of a meeting of the Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council (Council). The meeting is open to the public, and participants may provide comments at the appropriate time during the meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held Wednesday, April 22, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Thursday, April 23, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT. An opportunity for public comment will be provided on April 23, 2015 at 11:30 a.m. EDT. These times and the agenda topics described below are subject to change.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in the Hubbard Hall Board Room of the National Geographic Society, 1146 16th Street NW., Washington, DC 20036.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gonzalo Cid, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, 1305 East West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. (Phone: 301-713-7278, Fax: 301-713-0404; email: [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    ONMS serves as the trustee for 14 marine protected areas encompassing more than 170,000 square miles of ocean and Great Lakes waters from the Hawaiian Islands to the Florida Keys, and from Lake Huron to American Samoa. National marine sanctuaries protect our Nation's most vital coastal and marine natural and cultural resources, and through active research, management, and public engagement, sustain healthy environments that are the foundation for thriving communities and stable economies. One of the many ways ONMS ensures public participation in the designation and management of national marine sanctuaries is through the formation of advisory councils. The Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council (Council) has been formed to provide advice and recommendations to the Director regarding the relationship of the ONMS with the business community. Additional information on the Council can be found at http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/management/bac/welcome.html.

    Matters To Be Considered: The meeting will provide an opportunity for council representatives to hear how national marine sanctuaries are connected to users, communities, corporations, and economies and the avenues being pursued to enhance these connections. Advisory council representatives will be asked to provide advice on how ONMS can enhance its connections, programming, and marketing to expand its reach beyond a subset of communities. The agenda is subject to change. The latest version will be posted at http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/management/bac/welcome.html.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. Sections 1431, et seq.

    (Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog Number 11.429 Marine Sanctuary Program) Dated: February 27, 2015. Daniel J. Basta, Director, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07245 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-NK-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; 2016 Government Units Survey 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.

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before June 1, 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 Joy P. Pierson by email at [email protected] and Elizabeth Accetta at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Title 13, Section 161 of the United States Code requires the Secretary of Commerce to conduct a Census of Governments every five years, in years ending in “2” and “7”. Section 193 provides for the collection of preliminary and supplementary statistics as related to the main topic of the census. The Census of Governments publishes unit counts and legal descriptions as well as employment and finance data for all county, municipal, township, school district, and special district governments in the United States. Prior to conducting the Census of Governments it is necessary to ensure that the universe of all governments is as accurate and up to date as possible. The Government Units Survey (GUS) is conducted the year prior to the Census of Governments, and is used to evaluate and update the universe of all local and special district governments. The 2016 Government Units Survey (GUS) is the instrument for collecting current information to update the universe of all county, municipal, township, and special district governments for the 2017 Census of Governments. The 2016 GUS provides critical information needed to maintain the frame from which all public sector surveys are drawn. The GUS is particularly beneficial for identifying smaller units that have not been included in surveys in between census years and identifying changes to the universe of special district governments that experience substantial change in a five-year period. The GUS contributes to the quality and timely releases of the other components of the Census of Governments.

    The 2016 GUS will differ slightly from the former version of the Government Units Survey. The 2016 GUS is significantly shorter than the past version of the GUS. The 2016 GUS estimated time to respond is 15 minutes, compared to the 2011 GUS which had an estimated time to respond of 45 minutes. The 2016 GUS is designed to diminish unnecessary burden to respondents, and to collect information essential to maintaining the government universe.

    The 2016 GUS will collect basic background information on all local, general purpose, and special district governments. The most basic information collected will include whether a government is still in existence. As previously noted, there are a number of governments, particularly special district governments, which have not been part of any survey or collection since the 2012 Census of Governments. It is necessary to determine if such governments are still in existence. The 2016 GUS asks a follow-up question for those governments no longer in existence to provide, if applicable, contact information for a newly created or existing entity that may be providing the services or functions of the former government. It is necessary to verify and update all this information in the universe prior to the 2017 Census of Governments.

    The 2016 GUS asks all existing governments for contact information, including a mailing address and, if applicable, Web site address. This information is used to verify what currently exists in the universe and update any discrepancies. The contact information will be used when mailing the 2017 Census of Governments as well as for any public sector surveys conducted over the next five years.

    The 2016 GUS also asks questions on employment and defined-contribution plans, defined-benefit, and post-employment healthcare plans of governments. Specific, detailed questions on defined-benefit plans and defined-contribution plans are important to determine which plans are in scope for current and future public sector surveys the Census Bureau conducts. A Remarks section allows respondents to provide any additional insight that may be helpful to improve the universe of local and special district governments.

    II. Method of Collection

    The 2016 Government Units Survey is a census of all counties, municipalities, townships, and special districts. Respondents have the option of responding by paper, via the Internet, by telephone, or by facsimile. An advance notification informing respondents of the impending arrival of the Government Units Survey will be mailed two weeks prior to mailing the questionnaire. The Government Units Survey questionnaire will be mailed to respondents in February 2016 followed by a reminder letter a month later, and a follow-up mailing in April 2016. The 2016 Government Units Survey questionnaire will provide a Web site for respondents who choose to respond electronically. The Web site is secure and respondents will receive a unique user identification and password, which will be included in a letter accompanying the questionnaire. A toll free number will also be provided to respondents on the questionnaire which respondents may use to ask questions or to provide responses. A telephone number and instructions to respond to the 2016 GUS by facsimile will be provided upon request to respondents.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0930.

    Form Number(s): GUS-1.

    Type of Review: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Affected Public: Public sector entities consisting of local, general purpose, and special district governments.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: Approximately 77,000.

    Estimated Time per Response: 15 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 19,250.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Legal Authority: Title 13 U.S.C. Sections 161 and 193.

    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 27, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer, submitting for Census.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07433 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-018] Boltless Steel Shelving Units Prepackaged for Sale from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: April 1, 2015.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“Department”) preliminarily determines that boltless steel shelving units prepackaged for sale from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”) are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (“LTFV”), as provided in section 733 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”). The period of investigation (“POI”) is January 1, 2014, through June 30, 2014. The estimated margins of sales at LTFV are shown in the “Preliminary Determination” section of this notice. The final determination will be issued 75 days after publication of this preliminary determination in the Federal Register. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kabir Archuletta or Josh Startup, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2593 or (202) 482-5260, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of this investigation covers boltless steel shelving units prepackaged for sale, with or without decks (“boltless steel shelving”). The term “prepackaged for sale” means that, at a minimum, the steel vertical supports (i.e., uprights and posts) and steel horizontal supports (i.e., beams, braces) necessary to assemble a completed shelving unit (with or without decks) are packaged together for ultimate purchase by the end-user. The scope also includes add-on kits. Add-on kits include, but are not limited to, kits that allow the end-user to add an extension shelving unit onto an existing boltless steel shelving unit such that the extension and the original unit will share common frame elements (e.g., two posts). The term “boltless” refers to steel shelving in which the vertical and horizontal supports forming the frame are assembled primarily without the use of nuts and bolts or screws. The vertical and horizontal support members for boltless steel shelving are assembled by methods such as, but not limited to, fitting a rivet, punched or cut tab or other similar connector on one support into a hole, slot or similar receptacle on another support. The supports lock together to form the frame for the shelving unit, and provide the structural integrity of the shelving unit separate from the inclusion of any decking. The incidental use of nuts and bolts or screws to add accessories, wall anchors, tie-bars or shelf supports does not remove the product from scope. Boltless steel shelving units may also come packaged as partially assembled, such as when two upright supports are welded together with front-to-back supports, or are otherwise connected, to form an end unit for the frame. The boltless steel shelving covered by this investigation may be commonly described as rivet shelving, welded frame shelving, slot and tab shelving, and punched rivet (quasi-rivet) shelving as well as by other trade names. The term “deck” refers to the shelf that sits on or fits into the horizontal supports (beams or braces) to provide the horizontal storage surface of the shelving unit.

    The scope includes all boltless steel shelving meeting the description above, regardless of (1) vertical support or post type (including but not limited to open post, closed post and tubing); (2) horizontal support or beam/brace profile (including but not limited to Z-beam, C-beam, L-beam, step beam and cargo rack); (3) number of supports; (4) surface coating (including but not limited to paint, epoxy, powder coating, zinc and other metallic coating); (5) number of levels; (6) weight capacity; (7) shape (including but not limited to rectangular, square, and corner units); (8) decking material (including but not limited to wire decking, particle board, laminated board or no deck at all); or (9) the boltless method by which vertical and horizontal supports connect (including but not limited to keyhole and rivet, slot and tab, welded frame, punched rivet and clip).

    Specifically excluded from the scope are:

    • Wall-mounted shelving, defined as shelving that is hung on the wall and does not stand on, or transfer load to, the floor; 1

    1 The addition of a wall bracket or other device to attach otherwise freestanding subject merchandise to a wall does not meet the terms of this exclusion.

    • Wire shelving units, which consist of shelves made from wire that incorporates both a wire deck and wire horizontal supports (taking the place of the horizontal beams and braces) into a single piece with tubular collars that slide over the posts and onto plastic sleeves snapped on the posts to create the finished shelving unit;

    • Bulk-packed parts or components of boltless steel shelving units; and

    • Made-to-order shelving systems.

    Subject boltless steel shelving enters the United States through Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) statistical subheadings 9403.20.0018 and 9403.20.0020, but may also enter through HTSUS 9403.10.0040. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and Customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

    Methodology

    The Department conducted this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. We calculated export prices and constructed export prices in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Because the PRC is a non-market economy within the meaning of section 771(18) of the Act, normal value (“NV”) was calculated in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum hereby adopted by this notice.2 The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room 7046 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://trade.gov/enforcement//. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    2See “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Determination for the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Boltless Steel Shelving Units Prepackaged for Sale from the People's Republic of China from the People's Republic of China,” from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, dated concurrently with this notice (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”).

    Combination Rates

    In the Initiation Notice, 3 the Department stated that it would calculate combination rates for the respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in this investigation. Policy Bulletin 05.1 describes this practice.4

    3See Boltless Steel Shelving Units Prepackaged for Sale from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty Investigation, 79 FR 56562, 56566 (September 22, 2014) (“Initiation Notice”).

    4See Enforcement and Compliance's Policy Bulletin No. 05.1, regarding, “Separate-Rates Practice and Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigations involving Non-Market Economy Countries,” (April 5, 2005) (“Policy Bulletin 05.1”), available on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/bull05-1.pdf.

    Preliminary Determination

    The preliminary weighted-average antidumping duty (“AD”) margin percentages are as follows:

    Exporter Producer Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Zhongda United Holding Group Co., Ltd Jiaxing Zhongda Metalwork Co., Ltd. 22.64 Jiaxing Zhongda Import & Export Co., Ltd Jiaxing Zhongda Metalwork Co., Ltd 22.64 Nanjing Topsun Racking Manufacturing Co., Ltd Nanjing Topsun Racking Manufacturing Co., Ltd 85.26 Ningbo ETDZ Huixing Trade Co., Ltd Haifa (Ningbo) Office Equipment Co., Ltd 50.23 Ningbo ETDZ Huixing Trade Co., Ltd Ningbo Decko Metal Products Trade Co., Ltd 50.23 Ningbo ETDZ Huixing Trade Co., Ltd Lianfa Metal Product Co., Ltd 50.23 Meridian International Co., Ltd Zhejiang Limai Metal Products Co. Ltd 50.23 Zhejiang Limai Metal Products Co., Ltd Zhejiang Limai Metal Products Co., Ltd 50.23 PRC-Wide Entity 112.68
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to parties in this proceeding within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than seven days after the date on which the final verification report is issued in this proceeding and rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for case briefs.5 A table of contents, list of authorities used, and an executive summary of issues should accompany any briefs submitted to the Department.

    5See 19 CFR 351.309; see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, filed electronically at Enforcement and Compliance's electronic records system, ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.6 Hearing requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues you intend to present at the hearing. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and location to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    6See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Pursuant to section 735(a)(1) of the Act, we will make our final determination no later than 75 days after the date of publication of this preliminary determination.

    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 733(d) of the Act the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to suspend liquidation of all entries of boltless steel shelving units prepackaged for sale from the PRC, as described in the “Scope of the Investigation” section, entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.205(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit 7 equal to the weighted-average amount by which NV exceeds U.S. price, adjusted where appropriate for export subsidies and estimated domestic subsidy pass-through,8 as follows: (1) the cash deposit rate for the exporter/producer combinations listed in the table above will be the rate the Department determines in this preliminary determination; (2) for all combinations of PRC exporters/producers of merchandise under consideration that have not received their own separate rate above, the cash-deposit rate will be the cash deposit rate established for the PRC-wide entity; and (3) for all non-PRC exporters of merchandise under consideration which have not received their own separate rate above, the cash-deposit rate will be the cash deposit rate applicable to the PRC exporter/producer combination that supplied that non-PRC exporter.

    7See Modification of Regulations Regarding the Practice of Accepting Bonds During the Provisional Measures Period in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations, 76 FR 61042 (October 3, 2011).

    8See sections 772(c)(1)(C) and 777A(f) of the Act, respectively. Unlike in administrative reviews, the Department calculates the adjustment for export subsidies in investigations not in the margin calculation program, but in the cash deposit instructions issued to CBP. See Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances: Certain Lined Paper Products from India, 71 FR 45012 (August 8, 2006), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 1.

    Furthermore, consistent with our practice, where the product under investigation is also subject to a concurrent countervailing duty investigation, we instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the amount by which the normal value exceeds the export price or constructed export price, less the amount of the countervailing duty determined to constitute an export subsidy. In this LTFV investigation, export subsidies constitute 3.03 percent 9 of the preliminarily calculated countervailing duty rate in the concurrent countervailing duty investigation, and, thus, we will offset the calculated rates for the mandatory respondents and the PRC-wide rate of 112.68 percent by the countervailing duty rate attributable to export subsidies (i.e., 3.03 percent) to calculate the cash deposit rate for this LTFV investigation. Additionally, the Department did not adjust the preliminary determination AD margins for estimated domestic subsidy pass-through because respondents provided no information to support an adjustment pursuant to section 777A(f) of the Act.10

    9 The following subsidy programs in the preliminary determination of the concurrent countervailing duty investigation are export subsidies: Export Seller's Credits and Export Buyer's Credits from the Export-Import Bank of China (1.76 percent), GOC and Sub-Central Government Subsidies for the Development of Famous Brands and World Top Brands (0.58 percent), International Market Exploration (SME) Fund (0.58 percent), Export Assistance/Outward Expansion Grants in Guangdong Province (0.08 percent), Export Credit Insurance (0.01 percent), Export Subsidy for High-Tech Merchandise (0.02 percent). See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Boltless Steel Shelving Units Prepackaged for Sale From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 80 FR 5089 (January 30, 2015), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 14-15.

    10See Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    International Trade Commission (“ITC”) Notification

    In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, we notified the ITC of our preliminary affirmative determination of sales at LTFV. Section 735(b)(2) of the Act requires the ITC to make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of boltless steel shelving units prepackaged for sale, or sales (or the likelihood of sales) for importation, of the merchandise under consideration within 45 days of our final determination.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: March 24, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum: 1. Initiation 2. Period of Investigation 3. Postponement of Preliminary Determination 4. Scope of the Investigation 5. Scope Comments 6. Selection of Respondents 7. Discussion of the Methodology a. Non-market Economy Country b. Surrogate Country and Surrogate Value Comments c. Separate Rates d. Margin for the Separate Rate Companies e. Combination Rates f. The PRC-wide Entity g. Application of Facts Available and Adverse Facts Available h. Corroboration of Information i. Affiliation/Single Entity j. Date of Sale k. Fair Value Comparisons l. Export Price m. Value-Added Tax n. Normal Value o. Factor Valuation Methodology p. Comparison to Normal Value q. Currency Conversion 8. Verification 9. Section 777A(f) of the Act 10. International Trade Commission Notification 11. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2015-07475 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Quarterly Financial Report 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 June 1, 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 Brandi Maxson, U.S. Census Bureau, HQ-6K083, Washington, DC 20233, Telephone (301) 763-6600 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

    I. Abstract

    This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    The Census Bureau is planning to resubmit to the Office of Management and Budget for approval, the Quarterly Financial Report (QFR) Program information collection forms. The QFR forms to be submitted for approval are: The QFR 200 (MT) long form; QFR 201 (MG) short form; and the QFR 300 (S) long form.

    The QFR program collects and publishes up-to-date aggregate statistics on the financial results and position of U.S. corporations. The QFR target population consists of all corporations engaged primarily in manufacturing with total assets of $250,000 and over, and all corporations engaged primarily in mining; wholesale trade; retail trade; information; or professional and technical services (except legal services) industries with total assets of $50 million and over.

    QFR's last submission for forms approval included an announcement of an expansion of its coverage to include four new service sectors. The new sectors included subsectors in Sector 53 (Real Estate and Rental and Leasing), excluding subsector 533 (Lessors of Nonfinancial Intangible Assets); Sector 56 (Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services); Sector 62 (Health Care and Social Assistance); and Sector 72 (Accommodation and Food Services) based on the 2007 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). However, on June 9, 2014, the QFR ceased collection of these additional sectors due to sample restrictions and budget constraints. Notification of this change was announced on the QFR Business Help Site (BHS) Web site and the QFR Publication.

    The QFR Program has published up-to-date aggregate statistics on the financial results and position of U.S. corporations since 1947. The QFR is a principal economic indicator that also provides financial data essential to the estimation of key Government measures of national economic performance. The importance of this data collection is reflected by the granting of specific authority to conduct the program in Title 13 of the United States Code, Section 91, which requires that financial statistics of business operations be collected and published quarterly. Public Law 109-79 extended the authority of the Secretary of Commerce to conduct the QFR Program under Section 91 through September 30, 2015. Currently, QFR is in the process of reauthorizing this public law.

    The main purpose of the QFR is to provide timely, accurate data on business financial conditions for use by Government and private-sector organizations and individuals. The primary public users are U.S. Governmental organizations with economic measurement and policymaking responsibilities such as Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistic and Federal Reserve Board. In turn, these organizations play a major role in providing guidance, advice, and support to the QFR Program. The primary private-sector data users are a diverse group including universities, financial analysts, unions, trade associations, public libraries, banking institutions, and U.S. and foreign corporations.

    II. Method of Collection

    The Census Bureau uses two forms of data collection: Mail out/mail back paper survey forms, and a secure encrypted Internet data collection system called Centurion. Centurion provides improved quality with automatic data checks and is context-sensitive to assist the data provider in identifying potential reporting problems before submission, thus reducing the need for follow-up. Centurion is completed via the Internet eliminating the need for downloading software and increasing the integrity and confidentiality of the data.

    Companies are asked to respond to the survey within 25 days of the end of the quarter for which the data are being requested. Letters and/or telephone calls encouraging participation are directed to companies in the survey sample that have not responded by the designated time.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0432.

    Form Number: QFR 200 (MT), QFR 201 (MG) and QFR 300 (S).

    Type of Review: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Affected Public: Manufacturing corporations with assets of $250 thousand or more Mining, Wholesale Trade, Retail Trade, Information, Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (excluding legal) with assets of $50 million or more.

    Estimated Number of Respondents:

    Form QFR 200 (MT)—4,800 per quarter = 19,200 annually Form QFR 201 (MG)—5,750 per quarter = 23,000 annually Form QFR 300 (S)—1,350 per quarter = 5,400 annually Total 47,600 annually

    Estimated Time Per Response:

    Form QFR 200 (MT)—Average hours: 3.0

    Form QFR 201 (MG)—Average hours: 1.2

    Form QFR 300 (S)—Average hours: 3.0

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 101,400 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost: $0 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    Legal Authority: Title 13 U.S.C. Sections 91 and 224.

    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 27, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer, submitting for Census.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07435 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    COMMISSION OF FINE ARTS Notice of Meeting

    The next meeting of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts is scheduled for 16 April 2015, at 9:00 a.m. in the Commission offices at the National Building Museum, Suite 312, Judiciary Square, 401 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20001-2728. Items of discussion may include buildings, parks and memorials.

    Draft agendas and additional information regarding the Commission are available on our Web site: www.cfa.gov. Inquiries regarding the agenda and requests to submit written or oral statements should be addressed to Thomas Luebke, Secretary, U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, at the above address; by emailing [email protected]; or by calling 202-504-2200. Individuals requiring sign language interpretation for the hearing impaired should contact the Secretary at least 10 days before the meeting date.

    Dated: March 24, 2015, in Washington, DC. Thomas Luebke, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07155 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6330-01-M
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected costs and burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before May 1, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted directly to OMB within 30 days of the notice's publication, by email at [email protected] Please identify comments by “Swap Data Repositories; Registration and Reporting Requirements (OMB Control No. 3038-0086).” Please provide the Commission with a copy of all submitted comments at the address listed below. Please refer to OMB Reference No. 3038-0086, found on http://reginfo.gov. Comments may also be mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, and Benjamin DeMaria, Division of Market Oversight, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    Comments may also be submitted, regarding the burden estimated or any other aspect of the information collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, identified by “Swap Data Repositories; Registration and Reporting Requirements (OMB Control No. 3038-0086)”, by any of the following methods:

    • Agency Web site, via its Comments Online process: http://comments.cftc.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    • Mail: Send to Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    • Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as Mail, above.

    • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Please submit your comments to the Commission using only one of these methods.

    All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. If you wish the Commission to consider information that is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, a petition for confidential treatment of the exempt information may be submitted according to the procedures set forth in section 145.9 of the Commission's regulations.1

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

    The Commission reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to review, pre-screen, filter, redact, refuse or remove any or all of your submission from www.cftc.gov that it may deem to be inappropriate for publication, such as obscene language. All submissions that have been redacted or removed that contain comments on the merits of the rulemaking will be retained in the public comment file and will be considered as required under the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable laws, and may be accessible under the Freedom of Information Act.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Benjamin DeMaria, Division of Market Oversight, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581; (202) 418-5988; email: [email protected], and refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0086. This contact can also provide a copy of the ICR.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: “Swap Data Repositories; Registration and Reporting Requirements (OMB Control No. 3038-0086).” This is a request for renewal of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: Section 728 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010), specifically requires the CFTC to establish certain standards for the governance, registration, and statutory duties applicable to Swap Data Repositories (SDRs). The CFTC established these standards in part 49 of the CFTC's regulations.

    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. The OMB control numbers for the CFTC's regulations were published on December 30, 1981. See 46 FR 63035 (Dec. 30, 1981). The Federal Register notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on this collection of information was published on January 26, 2015 (80 FR 3956). No responsive comments have been received.

    Burden statement: The CFTC estimates that the total annual respondent burden is:

    Registration

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Swap Data Repositories.

    Estimated number of respondents: 6

    Estimated burden per respondent: 400 hours initially, 45 hours ongoing, 5 hours total for all respondents annually for deregistration.

    Frequency of collection: Annual and occasional.

    Total annual respondent burden: 2400 hours initially, 275 2 hours ongoing.

    2 Five hours is being added here to the total annual ongoing burden for registration that was not included in the 60-day notice of the renewal for collection 3038-0086 (80 FR 3956, Jan. 26, 2015) to reflect the estimate that one registered SDR may deregister every two years. The burden to deregister is estimated at 10 hours per deregistering entity. The total annual ongoing burden for all SDRs for registration is now estimated to be 275 hours.

    Reporting

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Swap Data Repositories.

    Estimated number of respondents: 6.

    Estimated burden per respondent: 40,725 hours initially; 15,325 hours ongoing.

    Frequency of collection: Ongoing.

    Total annual respondent burden: 244,350 hours initially; 91,950 hours ongoing.

    Recordkeeping

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Swap Data Repositories.

    Estimated number of respondents: 6.

    Estimated burden per respondent: 300 hours initially, 254 hours ongoing.

    Frequency of collection: Ongoing.

    Total annual respondent burden: 1800 hours initially, 1524 hours ongoing.

    Disclosure

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Swap Data Repositories.

    Estimated number of respondents: 6.

    Estimated burden per respondent: 100 hours initially, 1 hour ongoing.

    Frequency of collection: Occasional.

    Total annual respondent burden: 600 hours initially, 6 hours ongoing.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: March 27, 2015. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07468 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION Notice of Availability of Revised Consumer Information Publication AGENCY:

    Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) announces the availability of an updated consumer publication, the home buying information booklet, also known as the special information booklet or the settlement cost booklet (Booklet), required under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Regulation X, and Regulation Z. This version of the Booklet incorporates statutory amendments and the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure from the Bureau's final rule, Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) (Integrated Disclosures Final Rule). The title of this publication is “Your Home Loan Toolkit: A Step-by-Step Guide.”

    ADDRESSES:

    The updated consumer publication is available for download on the Bureau's Web site at www.consumerfinance.gov/learnmore and can also be found in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (http://catalog.thefederalregister.org), maintained by Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Publishing Office, Washington, DC 20402.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julie Vore, Originations Analyst, Office of Mortgage Markets; David Friend, Counsel, Office of Regulations, [email protected] or (202) 435-7700.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Bureau is hereby publishing this notice of availability to inform the public of the existence of an updated version of the Home Buying Information Booklet.

    Background on the Booklet

    In its enactment in 1974, section 5 of RESPA required the provision of “special information booklets” to help persons borrowing money to finance the purchase of residential real estate to understand better the nature and costs of real estate settlement services. Public Law 93-553. Since 1976, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) implemented the requirement through publication of the Booklet titled “Shopping for Your Home Loan: Settlement Cost Booklet.”

    Section 1450 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), Public Law 111-203, amended section 5 of RESPA by, among other things, transferring responsibility for the Booklet from HUD to the Bureau. 12 U.S.C. 2604, as amended by the Dodd-Frank Act, requires the Director of the Bureau to prepare, at least once every five years, “a booklet to help consumers applying for federally related mortgage loans to understand the nature and costs of real estate settlement services.” 12 U.S.C. 2604(a). Section 1450 of the Dodd-Frank Act also amended 12 U.S.C. 2604 by adding new content requirements, including information on homeownership counseling services, an explanation of a consumer's responsibilities, liabilities and obligations in a mortgage transaction, and a list of questions a consumer obtaining a federally related mortgage loan should ask regarding the loan, including whether the consumer will have the ability to repay the loan, whether the consumer sufficiently shopped for the loan, whether the loan terms include prepayment penalties or balloon payments, and whether the loan will benefit the borrower. Other statutes, discussed below, have also amended 12 U.S.C. 2604 to include additional information on flood insurance.

    In November 2013, the Bureau issued a final rule that amended section 1024.5 to provide creditors with an exemption from certain RESPA requirements, including the requirements of section 1024.6, for loans subject to the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure requirements. The rule also added section 1026.19(g), which is substantially similar to the requirements of 1024.6, but modified to conform to the usage associated with TILA.

    To reflect the transfer of the Booklet to the Bureau and ensure consistency with the Bureau's rulemakings regulating practices in mortgage origination and servicing that took effect in January 2014, the CFPB made technical and conforming changes to the Booklet and made the revised Booklet available in January 2014. 79 FR 1836 (Jan. 10, 2014).

    Contents of the Updated Version of the Booklet

    The Bureau is updating the Booklet to incorporate: (1) statutory amendments made to 12 U.S.C. 2604 by the Dodd-Frank Act, the Moving Ahead for Progress in 21st Century Act, Public Law 112-141, and the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, Public Law 113-89; (2) the Bureau's Integrated Disclosures final rule effective on August 1, 2015; and (3) additional Bureau contact information, online tools, and information on how to submit complaints. Every effort was made to incorporate all statutory amendments; however, a Dodd-Frank Act amendment to 12 U.S.C. 2604 to provide notice of a loan fraud brochure and the web address and telephone number for obtaining the brochure could not be incorporated, as the brochure is no longer supported by the issuing agency. Instead, the Bureau has provided a link in the Booklet to a HUD Web page on loan fraud.

    The Bureau views this publication as part of the Bureau's broader mission to educate consumers about consumer financial products. The Booklet has also been revised to, among other things, improve the readability and usability of the booklet and link to the Bureau's Web site, regarding tools and resources that consumers can use to make better-informed decisions about homeownership. The Bureau is currently developing a Spanish-language version of the Booklet and will publish a Notice of availability in the Federal Register when that Booklet is released. Pursuant to section 1026.19(g)(2), creditors may not make changes to, deletions from, or additions to the Booklet other than certain types of changes to the cover page.

    Distribution and Use of the Updated Booklet

    Under 12 U.S.C. 2604(a), lenders are required to provide the Booklet to each person from whom it receives an application for a mortgage loan and must deliver the Booklet or place it in the mail not later than 3 business days after the lender receives an application. As the Booklet has been redesigned to help consumers more effectively shop for a mortgage, all market participants are also encouraged to provide the Booklet to consumers at any other time, preferably as early in the home or mortgage shopping process as possible.

    Those who provide the Booklet should be aware that this update includes information on the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure required to be provided to consumers for applications for federally related mortgage loans that are received on or after August 1, 2015. Because previous versions of the Booklet do not reference or explain the new integrated disclosures, the Bureau believes that providing consumers with the updated Booklet in conjunction with the integrated disclosures is important to facilitating consumers' understanding of the transaction.

    Dated: March 12, 2015. Richard Cordray, Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06568 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information:

    Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP)

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.120A.

    DATES:

    Applications Available: April 1, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 1, 2015.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 30, 2015.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The MSEIP is designed to effect long-range improvement in science and engineering education at predominantly minority institutions and to increase the flow of underrepresented ethnic minorities, particularly minority women, into scientific and technological careers.

    Priorities: This notice contains one competitive preference priority and one invitational priority. The competitive preference priority is from the Department's notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs, published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2014 (79 FR 73425).

    Competitive Preference Priority: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is a competitive preference priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award an additional two points to an application that meets this priority.

    The competitive preference priority is:

    Competitive Preference Priority—Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education (2 additional points).

    Priority: Projects that are designed to improve Student Achievement (as defined in this notice) or other related outcomes by identifying and implementing instructional strategies, systems, and structures that improve postsecondary learning and retention, resulting in completion of a degree in a STEM field.

    Note:

    Applicants must indicate in the one-page abstract and on the MSEIP Eligibility Certification Form in the application package whether they intend to address the competitive preference priority.

    Note:

    Through the competitive preference priority, the Department encourages applicants to implement strategies to improve student outcomes, such as increasing the number of students, including High-need Students (as defined in this notice), who persist and graduate in a STEM field. For example, an institution could implement pedagogies of engagement, such as problem-based learning, or provide Authentic STEM experiences (as defined in this notice), for students in science and engineering programs. Applicants addressing this priority should demonstrate how their proposal will improve STEM education and student outcomes.

    Invitational Priority: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), we do not give an application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

    The invitational priority is:

    Invitational Priority—Improving STEM Education in the First Two Years of College.

    Priority: Projects designed to improve retention and other student outcomes in the first two years of college through strategies including, but not limited to, one or more of the following:

    (a) Obtaining institutional support and support from accrediting agencies for changes in curricular, pedagogical, and graduation requirements that are necessary to improve the first two years of STEM coursework.

    (b) Developing early intervention tutorial programs to help students academically deficient in STEM reach college level proficiency.

    Note:

    Through the invitational priority, the Department encourages applicants to address systemic barriers that result in high failure and dropout rates during the introductory years of science and engineering programs. Applicants addressing this priority should demonstrate how their proposal will improve STEM education in the first two years of college.

    Definitions: The following definitions are from the notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs, published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2014 (79 FR 73425), and apply to the priorities in this notice:

    Authentic STEM experiences means laboratory, research-based, or experiential learning opportunities in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subject in informal or formal settings.

    High-minority school means a school as that term is defined by a local educational agency (LEA), which must define the term in a manner consistent with its State's Teacher Equity Plan, as required by section 1111(b)(8)(C) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA). The applicant must provide the definition(s) of high-minority schools used in its application.

    High-need students means students who are at risk of educational failure or otherwise in need of special assistance and support, such as students who are living in poverty, who attend High-minority schools, who are far below grade level, who have left school before receiving a regular high school diploma, who are at risk of not graduating with a diploma on time, who are homeless, who are in foster care, who have been incarcerated, who have disabilities, or who are English learners.

    Regular high school diploma means the standard high school diploma that is awarded to students in the State and that is fully aligned with the State's academic content standards or a higher diploma and does not include a General Education Development (GED) credential, certificate of attendance, or any alternative award.

    Student achievement means—

    For grades and subjects in which assessments are required under section 1111(b)(3) of the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA): (1) A student's score on such assessments; and, as appropriate (2) other measures of student learning, such as those described in the subsequent paragraph, provided that they are rigorous and comparable across schools within a local educational agency (LEA).

    For grades and subjects in which assessments are not required under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA: (1) Alternative measures of student learning and performance, such as student results on pre-tests, end-of-course tests, and objective performance-based assessments; (2) student learning objectives; (3) student performance on English language proficiency assessments; and (4) other measures of student achievement that are rigorous and comparable across schools within an LEA.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1067-1067k.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Education Department debarment and suspension regulations as adopted in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards as adopted in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 646. (e) The notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs, published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2014 (79 FR 73425).

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education only.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

    Estimated Available Funds: $2,800,918.

    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2016 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

    Estimated Range of Awards: Institutional Project Grants: $150,000-$250,000. Special Project Grants: $100,000-$250,000. Cooperative Project Grants: $250,000-$300,000.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: Institutional Project Grants: $200,000. Special Project Grants: $175,000. Cooperative Project Grants: $275,000.

    Maximum Awards: Institutional Project Grants: $250,000. Special Project Grants: $250,000. Cooperative Project Grants: $300,000. We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding the maximum award amount listed for a single budget period of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

    Estimated Number of Awards: Institutional Project Grants: 10; Special Project Grants: 1; Cooperative Project Grants: 1.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: Up to 36 months.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: The eligibility of an applicant is dependent on the type of MSEIP grant the applicant seeks. There are four types of MSEIP grants:

    Institutional project, special project, cooperative project, and design project.

    Institutional project grants are grants that support the implementation of a comprehensive science improvement plan, which may include any combination of activities for improving the preparation of minority students for careers in science.

    There are two types of special project grants. First, there are special project grants for which only minority institutions are eligible. These special project grants support activities that: (1) Improve quality training in science and engineering at minority institutions; or (2) enhance the minority institutions' general scientific research capabilities. There also are special project grants for which all applicants are eligible. These special project grants support activities that: (1) Provide a needed service to a group of eligible minority institutions; or (2) provide in-service training for project directors, scientists, and engineers from eligible minority institutions.

    Cooperative project grants assist groups of nonprofit accredited colleges and universities to work together to conduct a science improvement program.

    Design project grants assist minority institutions that do not have their own appropriate resources or personnel to plan and develop long-range science improvement programs. We will not award design project grants in the FY 2015 competition.

    (a) For institutional project grants, eligible applicants are limited to:

    (1) Public and private nonprofit institutions of higher education that (i) Award baccalaureate degrees; and (ii) are minority institutions;

    (2) Public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education that (i) award associate degrees; and (ii) are minority institutions that (A) have a curriculum that includes science or engineering subjects; and (B) enter into a partnership with public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education that award baccalaureate degrees in science and engineering.

    (b) For special project grants for which only minority institutions are eligible, eligible applicants are described in paragraph (a).

    (c) For special project grants for which all applicants are eligible, eligible applicants include those described in paragraph (a), and

    (1) Nonprofit science-oriented organizations, professional scientific societies, and institutions of higher education that award baccalaureate degrees that: (i) Provide a needed service to a group of minority institutions; or (ii) provide in-service training to project directors, scientists, and engineers from minority institutions; or

    (2) A consortium of organizations that provide needed services to one or more minority institutions, the membership of which may include (i) institutions of higher education which have a curriculum in science or engineering; (ii) institutions of higher education that have a graduate or professional program in science or engineering; (iii) research laboratories of, or under contract with, the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense or the National Institutes of Health; (iv) relevant offices of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology; (v) quasi-governmental entities that have a significant scientific or engineering mission; or (vi) institutions of higher education that have State-sponsored centers for research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

    (d) For cooperative project grants, eligible applicants are groups of nonprofit accredited colleges and universities whose primary fiscal agent is an eligible minority institution as defined in 34 CFR 637.4(b).

    Note:

    As defined in 34 CFR 637.4(b), “minority institution” means an accredited college or university whose enrollment of a single minority group or a combination of minority groups exceeds 50 percent of the total enrollment.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application via the Internet at Grants.gov. If you do not have access to the Internet, please contact Dr. Stacey Slijepcevic, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20006-8517. Telephone: (202) 219-7124 or Dr. Bernadette Hence, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20006-8517. Telephone: (202) 219-7038.

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer disc) by contacting the program contact persons listed in this section.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition.

    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We have established a mandatory page limit for the application narrative of each type of MSEIP grant project application as follows:

    Institutional project grant: 40 pages;

    Special project grant: 35 pages;

    Cooperative project grant: 50 pages.

    You must limit the application narrative (Part III) to these established page limits, using the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides. Page numbers and a document identifier may be within the 1″ margin.

    • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, except titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, captions, and all text in charts, tables, and graphs. These items may be single spaced; however, they will count toward the page limit.

    • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger, or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch). However, you may use a 10 point font in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

    If you use some but not all of the allowable space on a page, it will be counted as a full page in determining compliance with the page limit.

    The page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the budget justification; Part III, the one-page abstract, the table of contents, the MSEIP Eligibility Certification Form, required letter(s) of commitment, evidence of partnerships; and Part IV, the assurances and certifications. If you include any attachments or appendices not specifically requested, these items will be counted as part of the program narrative (Part III) for purposes of the page limit requirement. You must include your complete responses to the selection criteria in the program narrative.

    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit, or if you apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit. We will also reject your application if you fail to provide the MSEIP Eligibility Certification Form.

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Applications Available: April 1, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 1, 2015.

    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 30, 2015.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to E.O. 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under E.O. 12372 is in the application package for this competition.

    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one-to-two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:

    Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in Grants.gov, and before you can submit an application through Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.

    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

    Applications for grants under the MSEIP, CFDA Number 84.120A, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

    You may access the electronic grant application for the MSEIP at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.120, not 84.120A).

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. Additional, detailed information on how to attach files is in the application instructions.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

    Note:

    The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system;

    and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Dr. Stacey Slijepcevic, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6014, Washington, DC 20006-8517. Fax: (202) 502-7861 or Dr. Bernadette Hence, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6152. Fax: (202) 502-7861.

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address:

    U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.120A), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address:

    U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.120A), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

    If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are from 34 CFR 637.32(a) through (j). Applicants should address each of the selection criteria. The total weight of the selection criteria is 100 points; the weight of each criterion is noted in parentheses. Please see the application package for a detailed explanation of these criteria. The selection criteria are as follows:

    (a) Identification of need for the project (Total 5 points).

    (b) Plan of operation (Total 20 points).

    (c) Quality of key personnel (Total 5 points).

    (d) Budget and cost effectiveness (Total 10 points).

    (e) Evaluation plan (Total 15 points).

    (f) Adequacy of resources (Total 5 points).

    (g) Potential institutional impact of the project (Total 15 points).

    (h) Institutional commitment to the project (Total 5 points).

    (i) Expected outcomes (Total 10 points).

    (j) Scientific and educational value of the proposed project (Total 10 points).

    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    Tiebreaker for Institutional, Special Project, and Cooperative Grants. If there are insufficient funds for all applications with the same total scores, applications will receive preference in the following manner. The Secretary gives priority to applicants which have not previously received funding from the program and to previous grantees with a proven record of success, as well as to applications that contribute to achieving balance among funded projects with respect to: (1) Geographic region; (2) Academic discipline; and (3) Project type.

    3. Special Conditions: Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    4. Performance Measures: The Secretary has established the following key performance measures for assessing the effectiveness of the MSEIP: (1) The percentage of change in the number of full-time, degree-seeking minority undergraduate students at the grantee's institution enrolled in the fields of engineering or physical or biological sciences, compared to the average minority enrollment in the same fields in the three-year period immediately prior to the beginning of the current grant; (2) the percentage of minority students enrolled at four-year minority-serving institutions in the fields of engineering or physical or biological sciences who graduate within six years of enrollment. Please see the application package for details of data collection and reporting requirements for these measures.

    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Agency Contacts FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Stacey Slijepcevic, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6014, Washington, DC 20006-8517. Telephone: (202) 219-7124, or by email: [email protected] or Dr. Bernadette Hence, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6152. Telephone: (202) 219-7038 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact persons listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII of this notice.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated authority to Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary, to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

    Dated: March 27, 2015. Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07484 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information:

    Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Program

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.200A.

    DATES:

    Applications Available: April 1, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 29, 2015.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 28, 2015.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The GAANN Program provides grants to academic departments and programs of institutions of higher education (IHEs) to support graduate fellowships for students with excellent academic records who demonstrate financial need and plan to pursue the highest degree available in their course of study at the institution.

    Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), the absolute priority is from the regulations for this program (34 CFR 648.33(a) and Appendix to part 648—Academic Areas).

    Absolute Priority: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year for which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.

    The absolute priority is:

    Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need.

    A project must provide fellowships in one or more of the following areas of national need: Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies; Biological Sciences/Life Sciences; Chemistry; Computer and Information Sciences; Engineering; Foreign Languages; Mathematics; Nursing; Physics; Psychology; and Educational Evaluation, Research, and Statistics.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1135.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474. (c) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 648.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply only to IHEs.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants redistributed as graduate fellowships to individual fellows.

    Estimated Available Funds: $23,629,000.

    Contingent on the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards for FY 2016 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.

    Estimated Range of Awards: $140,877 to $281,754.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $189,032.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 125.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: Up to 36 months.

    Stipend Level: The Secretary will determine the fellowship stipend for the GAANN Program for the 2015-2016 academic year based on the level of support provided by the graduate fellowships of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, as of February 1, 2015. However, the Secretary will adjust the amount as necessary so as not to exceed the fellow's demonstrated level of financial need as calculated for purposes of the Federal Student Financial Aid Programs under title IV, part F, of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.

    Institutional Payment: The Secretary will determine the institutional payment for the 2015-2016 academic year by adjusting the previous academic year's institutional payment, which is $14,959 per fellow, by the U.S. Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index for the 2014 calendar year.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants:

    (a) Any academic department of an IHE that provides a course of study that—

    (i) Leads to a graduate degree in an area of national need; and

    (ii) Has been in existence for at least four years at the time of an application for a grant under this competition.

    (b) An academic department of an IHE that—

    (i) Satisfies the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section; and

    (ii) Submits a joint application with one or more eligible non-degree-granting institutions that have formal arrangements for the support of doctoral dissertation research with one or more degree-granting institutions.

    Note:

    Students are not eligible to apply for grants under this program.

    2. a. Cost Sharing or Matching: An institution must provide, from non-Federal funds, an institutional matching contribution equal to at least 25 percent of the grant amount received. (See 34 CFR 648.7.)

    b. Supplement-Not-Supplant: This program involves supplement-not-supplant funding requirements. (See 34 CFR 648.20(b)(5).)

    3. Other: For requirements relating to selecting fellows, see 34 CFR 648.40.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: Rebecca Ell, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 7105, K-OPE-7-7063, Washington, DC 20006. Telephone: (202) 502-7779 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the program contact person listed in this section.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this program. Page Limit: The project narrative, Part II of the application, is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit the project narrative (Part II) to no more than 40 pages, using the standards listed below. A partial page will count as a full page toward the page limit. For purposes of determining compliance with the page limit, each page on which there are words will be counted as one full page, except as specifically discussed below:

    • A project narrative in a single discipline must be limited to no more than 40 pages.

    • An inter-disciplinary project narrative must be limited to no more than 40 pages. An inter-disciplinary application must request funding for a single proposed program of study that involves two or more academic disciplines.

    • A multi-disciplinary project narrative must be limited to no more than 40 pages for each academic department included in the proposal. A multi-disciplinary application must request funding for two or more academic departments in areas of national need designated as priorities by the Secretary that are independent and unrelated to one another.

    • A “page″ is 8.5″ x 11″ , on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application project narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions. Charts, tables, figures, and graphs in the project narrative may be single spaced and will count toward the page limit.

    • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch). However, you may use a 10 point font in charts, tables, figures, graphs, footnotes, and endnotes.

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

    • Appendices are limited to the following: Curriculum Vitae (no more than two pages per faculty member); a course listing; letters of commitment; a bibliography; and one additional optional appendix relevant to the support of the proposals, not to exceed five pages.

    The page limit does not apply to Part I, the Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424) and the Department of Education Supplemental Information for the SF 424 Form; the one-page Abstract; the GAANN Statutory Assurances Form; the GAANN Budget Spreadsheet(s) Form; the Appendices; or Part III, the Assurances and Certifications. The page limit also does not apply to a two-page Table of Contents, if you include one. However the page limit does apply to all of the project narrative section in Part II.

    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit.

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Applications Available: April 1, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 29, 2015.

    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 28, 2015.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this program.

    5. Funding Restrictions: We specify unallowable costs in 34 CFR 648.64. We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:

    Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.

    7. Other Submission Requirements:

    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

    Applications for grants under the GAANN Program, CFDA number 84.200A, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

    You may access the electronic grant application for the GAANN Program at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this program by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.200, not 84.200A).

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this program to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at http://www.G5.gov.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, the GAANN Budget Spreadsheet(s) Form, and the GAANN Statutory Assurances, and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

    Note:

    The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system;

    and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days; or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Rebecca Ell, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 7105, K-OPE-7-7063, Washington, DC 20006. FAX: (202)502-7857.

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address:

    U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.200A), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address:

    U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.200A), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays. Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are in 34 CFR 648.31.

    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    Additional factors we consider in selecting an application for an award are in 34 CFR 648.32.

    3. Special Conditions: Under current 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12 and, when grants are made under this NIA, 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable or, when grants are awarded, the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN) or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118 and 34 CFR 648.66. If you wish to view the performance report currently required, visit the GAANN Program Web site at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/gaann/performance.html. Please be advised that the report is for informational purposes only and does not reflect the actual reporting instrument that you will use should you receive a GAANN grant. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    (c) Grantees will be required to submit a supplement to the Final Performance Report two years after the expiration of their GAANN grant. The purpose of this supplement is to identify and report the educational outcome of each GAANN fellow.

    4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the following measures will be used by the Department in assessing the performance of the GAANN Program:

    (1) The percentage of GAANN fellows completing the terminal degree in the designated areas of national need.

    (2) The percentage of GAANN fellows from traditionally underrepresented groups.

    (3) The median time to completion of Master's and Doctorate degrees for GAANN students.

    If funded, you will be required to collect and report data in your project's annual performance report (34 CFR 75.590) on those measures and steps taken toward improving performance on those outcomes. Consequently, applicants are advised to include these outcomes in conceptualizing the design, implementation, and evaluation of their proposed projects. Their measurement should be a part of the project evaluation plan, along with measures of your progress and on the goals and objectives specific to your project.

    All grantees will be expected to submit an annual performance report documenting their success in addressing these performance measures.

    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rebecca Ell, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 7105, K-OPE-7-7063, Washington, DC 20006. Telephone: (202) 502-7779 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated authority to Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary, to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

    Dated: March 27, 2015. Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07483 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No., AD15-4-000] Technical Conference on Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure; Supplemental Notice of Technical Conference

    As announced in the Notice of Technical Conferences issued on December 9, 2014 1 and the Supplemental Notice of Technical Conferences issued on January 6, 2015,2 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) staff will hold a Central region 3 technical conference to discuss implications of compliance approaches to the Clean Power Plan proposed rule, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on June 2, 2014.4 The technical conference will focus on issues related to electric reliability, wholesale electric markets and operations, and energy infrastructure in the Central region. The Commission will hold the Central region technical conference on March 31, 2015, from approximately 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel, 9801 Natural Bridge Road, St. Louis, MO 63134 (Phone: (314) 429-1100). This conference is free of charge and open to the public. Commission members may participate in the conference. The agenda for the Central region technical conference is attached to this Supplemental Notice of Technical Conference.

    1 Technical Conference on Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure, Docket No. AD15-4-000, (Dec. 9, 2014) (Notice of Technical Conferences), available at http://www.ferc.gov/CalendarFiles/20141209165657-AD15-4-000TC.pdf.

    2 Technical Conference on Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure, Docket No. AD15-4-000, (Jan. 6, 2015) (Supplemental Notice of Technical Conferences), available at http://www.ferc.gov/CalendarFiles/20150106170115-AD15-4-000TC1.pdf.

    3 For purposes of this conference, the Central Region includes the following Commission-approved Order No. 1000 planning regions: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO) and Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP). This region also includes the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

    4 Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, 79 FR 34,830 (2014) (Proposed Rule), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-06-18/pdf/2014-13726.pdf.

    If you have not already done so, those who plan to attend the technical conference are strongly encouraged to complete the registration form located at: https://www.ferc.gov/whats-new/registration/03-31-15-form.asp. There is no registration deadline or fee to attend the conference.

    The Commission will post information on the technical conference on the Calendar of Events on the Commission's Web site, http://www.ferc.gov, prior to the conference. The Central region technical conference will also be transcribed. Transcripts of the technical conference will be available for a fee from Ace-Federal Reporters, Inc. (202) 347-3700). There will also be a free audio cast of the conference. The audio cast will allow persons to listen to the Central region technical conference, but not participate. Anyone with internet access who desires to watch the Central region conference can do so by navigating to the Calendar of Events on the Commission's Web site, http://www.ferc.gov, and locating the Central region technical conference in the Calendar. The Central region technical conference will contain a link to its audio cast.5

    5 The audio cast will continue to be available on the Calendar of Events on the Commission's Web site, http://www.ferc.gov, for three months after the conference.

    Commission conferences are accessible under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For accessibility accommodations, please send an email to [email protected] or call toll free (866) 208-3372 (voice) or (202) 502-8659 (TTY), or send a FAX to (202) 208-2106 with the required accommodations.

    For more information about the technical conferences, please contact:

    Logistical Information, Sarah McKinley, Office of External Affairs, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8368, [email protected] Legal Information, Alan Rukin, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8502, [email protected] Technical Information, Jessica L. Cockrell, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8190, [email protected] Technical Information, Michael Gildea, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8420, [email protected] Dated: March 25, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07448 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF15-7-000] Eagle LNG Partners Jacksonville LLC; Supplemental Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Jacksonville Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

    On February 24, 2015, the Commission issued a “Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Jacksonville Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting” (NOI). It has come to our attention that the environmental mailing list was not provided copies of the NOI; therefore, we are issuing this Supplemental NOI to extend the scoping period and provide additional time for interested parties to file comments on environmental issues.

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Jacksonville Project (Project) involving construction and operation of facilities by Eagle LNG Partners Jacksonville LLC (Eagle LNG) in Duval County, Florida. The Commission will use this EIS in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity.

    The Commission and its cooperating agencies continue to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the project. This process is referred to as scoping. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EIS. The initial NOI identified March 26, 2015 as the close of the scoping period. Please note that the scoping period is now extended and will close on April 24, 2015.

    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing list for this Project. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this planned Project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

    A fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled “An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?” is available for viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). This fact sheet addresses a number of typically asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission's proceedings.

    Summary of the Planned Project

    Eagle LNG proposes to construct, own and operate the Jacksonville LNG facility located within the City of Jacksonville, Florida, on industrially zoned land adjacent to the St. Johns River.

    The facility would receive domestically produced natural gas, transported through existing and expanded local utility pipelines, and utilize super-cooling to create liquefied natural gas (LNG) for temporary onsite storage. The Project would include three liquefaction trains, one (possibly two) LNG storage tanks, and a marine load-out facility and dock on the St. Johns River that could accommodate small to mid-size LNG vessels and bunkering barges. LNG would be periodically loaded for transport onto trucks, containers, or ocean-going vessels, and marketed for use in U.S. vehicular and high-horsepower engines, domestic ship fueling (marine bunkering), and international export.

    As currently planned, the Jacksonville Project would consist of the following facilities:

    • Three liquefaction trains, each with a capacity of 0.18 million tons per annum;

    • inlet natural gas boost compression;

    • interconnect piping (including potential non-jurisdictional expansion of existing public utility lines);

    • one 30,283 cubic meter single containment LNG storage tank;

    • an LNG vessel docking and loading terminal;

    • an LNG truck loading area;

    • flare stack; and

    • power, water, and communications facilities (including off-site non-jurisdictional facilities leading to the Project site).

    The general location of the Project site is shown in Appendix 1.1

    1 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called “eLibrary” or from the Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

    Land Requirements for Construction

    The planned Jacksonville Project would encompass a 193 acre site along the St. Johns River that is currently zoned for industrial development by the City of Jacksonville, and located in an area that hosts other bulk fuel terminals. The Project site includes a submerged land lease covering lands extending approximately 600 feet from the shoreline into the St. Johns River. Based on the Project's initial design, the facility construction footprint would occupy approximately 40 of the 193 acres; laydown area requirements during construction are included within the 40 acres. Eagle LNG is still in the planning phase for the Jacksonville Project and the required property title assignments have not been finalized.

    The EIS Process

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from an action whenever it considers the authorization of LNG facilities under section 3(a) of the Natural Gas Act. NEPA also requires us 2 to discover and address concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as scoping. The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EIS on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EIS. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EIS.

    2 “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

    In the EIS, we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the planned Project under these general headings:

    • Geology and soils;

    • land use;

    • water resources and wetlands;

    • cultural resources;

    • vegetation, fisheries, and wildlife;

    • socioeconomics;

    • air quality and noise;

    • endangered and threatened species;

    • public safety and reliability; and

    • cumulative impacts.

    We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the planned Project or portions of the Project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

    Although no formal application has been filed, we have already initiated our NEPA review under the Commission's pre-filing process. The purpose of the pre-filing process is to encourage early involvement of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before the FERC receives an application. As part of our pre-filing review, we have begun to contact some federal and state agencies to discuss their involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the EIS. In addition, representatives from the FERC participated in the public open house sponsored by Eagle LNG in Jacksonville, Florida in January 2015 to explain the environmental review process and answer questions to interested stakeholders.

    The EIS will present our independent analysis of the issues. We will publish and distribute the draft EIS for public comment. After the comment period, we will consider all timely comments and revise the document, as necessary, before issuing a final EIS. To ensure we have the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section beginning on page 5 of this notice.

    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues related to this Project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EIS.3 Agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the Public Participation section of this notice. Currently, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have expressed their intention to participate as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS.

    3 The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6.

    Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

    In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation with the Florida State Division of Historical Resources (State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)), and to solicit its views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the Project's potential effects on historic properties.4 We will define the project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO as the Project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include construction area, contractor storage yards, and access roads). Our EIS for this Project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106.

    4 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regulations are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register for Historic Places.

    Currently Identified Environmental Issues

    We have already identified several issues that we think deserve attention based on a preliminary review of the planned facilities and the environmental information provided by Eagle LNG. This preliminary list of issues may change based on your comments and our continued analysis. Issued identified include:

    • Potential impacts on recreational fishing and aquatic resources in the vicinity of Bartram Island and along the St Johns River Shipping Channel;

    • potential water quality impact from dredging and disposal;

    • visual effects on surrounding areas;

    • public safety and hazards associated with the transport of natural gas and LNG; and

    • potential impacts and potential benefits of construction workforce on local housing, infrastructure, public services, and economy.

    Public Participation

    You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the Project. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please send your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before April 24, 2015. This is not your only public input opportunity; please refer to the Environmental Review Process flowchart in Appendix 2.

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the Project docket number (PF15-7-000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected]

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment (http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp) feature located on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings (http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp). This is an easy method for interested persons to submit brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically using the eFiling (http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp) feature located on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” (http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/eregistration.asp). You must select the type of filing you are making. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing”; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address:

    Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426. Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for Project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the Project. We will update the environmental mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that we send the information related to this environmental review to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the planned Project.

    Copies of the completed draft EIS will be sent to the environmental mailing list for public review and comment. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of the document instead of the CD version or would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached Information Request (Appendix 3).

    Becoming an Intervenor

    Once Eagle LNG files its application with the Commission, you may want to become an “intervenor” which is an official party to the Commission's proceeding. Intervenors play a more formal role in the process and are able to file briefs, appear at hearings, and be heard by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission's final ruling. An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a request to intervene. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are in the “Document-less Intervention Guide” under the “e-filing” link on the Commission's Web site. Motions to intervene are more fully described at http://www.ferc.gov/help/how-to/intervene.asp. Please note that the Commission will not accept requests for intervenor status at this time. You must wait until the Commission receives a formal application for the Project.

    Additional Information

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search” and enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., PF15-7). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Finally, public meetings or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

    Dated: March 25, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07449 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0066; FRL-9923-90] Issuance of an Experimental Use Permit AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA has granted an experimental use permit (EUP) to the following pesticide applicant. An EUP permits use of a pesticide for experimental or research purposes only in accordance with the limitations in the permit.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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

    This action is directed to the public in general. Although this action may be of particular interest to those persons who conduct or sponsor research on pesticides, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action.

    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-2015-0066 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. EUP EPA has issued the following EUP:

    67760-EUP-2. Issuance. Cheminova, Inc. 1600 Wilson Blvd., Suite 700 Arlington, VA 22209. This EUP allows the use of 132 gallons formulated product (137 pounds active ingredient) of the fungicide flutriafol on 600 acres of soybean to evaluate the control of Sudden Death Syndrome and Charcoal Rot. The program is authorized only in the States of Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa. The EUP is effective from March 27, 2015 to March 27, 2016.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: March 23, 2015. Susan Lewis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07215 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0075; FRL 9925-56-Region 5] Adequacy Status of the Kenosha and Sheboygan Counties, Wisconsin Area Submitted 8-Hour Ozone Early Progress Plans for Transportation Conformity Purposes AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice of adequacy.

    SUMMARY:

    In this notice, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is notifying the public that we have found that the motor vehicle emissions budgets (MVEBs) for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX) in the Kenosha and Sheboygan, Wisconsin 8-hour ozone nonattainment areas are adequate for use in transportation conformity determinations. Wisconsin submitted Early Progress Plans for Kenosha and Sheboygan Counties on January 16, 2015. As a result of our finding, these areas must use these MVEBs for future transportation conformity determinations.

    DATES:

    This finding is effective April 16, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Leslie, Environmental Engineer, Control Strategies Section (AR-18J), Air Programs Branch, Air and Radiation Division, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-6680, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, whenever “we”, “us” or “our” is used, we mean EPA.

    Background

    Today's notice is simply an announcement of a finding that we have already made. On March 13, 2015, EPA sent a letter to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources stating that the 2015 MVEBs contained in the Early Progress Plans for Kenosha and Sheboygan Counties in Wisconsin are adequate for transportation conformity purposes. Receipt of these MVEBs was announced on EPA's transportation conformity Web site, and no comments were submitted. The finding is available at EPA's conformity Web site: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/adequacy.htm.

    The 2015 MVEBs, in tons per day (tpd), for VOCs and NOX for Kenosha and Sheboygan, Wisconsin areas are as follows:

    Area 2015 NOX (tpd) 2015 VOCs (tpd) Kenosha County 4.379 1.994 Sheboygan County 4.435 1.972

    Transportation conformity is required by section 176(c) of the Clean Air Act. EPA's conformity rule requires that transportation plans, programs, and projects conform to state air quality implementation plans and establishes the criteria and procedures for determining whether or not they do conform. Conformity to a State Implementation Plan (SIP) means that transportation activities will not produce new air quality violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely attainment of the national ambient air quality standards.

    The criteria by which we determine whether a SIP's MVEBs are adequate for transportation conformity purposes are outlined in 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4). Please note that an adequacy review is separate from EPA's completeness review, and it also should not be used to prejudge EPA's ultimate approval of the SIP. Even if we find a budget adequate, the SIP could later be disapproved.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401-7671q.

    Dated: March 23, 2015. Susan Hedman, Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07477 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0086; FRL-9925-03] EQI and POM SFIREG; Notice of Public Meeting AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO)/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG), Joint EQI and POM Committee will hold a 2-day meeting, beginning on April 13, 2015 and ending April 14, 2015. This notice announces the location and times for the meeting and sets forth the tentative agenda topics.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Monday, April 13, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday April 14, 2015.

    To request accommodation of a disability you should please contact the person listed in this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATON CONTACT. Please contact EPA 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 EPA, One Potomac Yard (South Bldg.) 2777 Crystal Dr., Arlington VA. 1st Floor South Conference Room.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ron Kendall, Field and External Affairs Division (7506P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 305-5561; fax number: (703) 305-5884; email address: [email protected] or Amy Bamber, SFIREG Executive Secretary, at [email protected]

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

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you are interested in pesticide regulation issues affecting States and any discussion between EPA and SFIREG on FIFRA field implementation issues related to human health, environmental exposure to pesticides, and insight into EPA's decision-making process. You are invited and encouraged to attend the meetings and participate as appropriate. Potentially affected entities may include, but are not limited to, persons who are or may be required to conduct testing of chemical substances under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (FFDCA), or the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and those who sell, distribute or use pesticides, as well as any non-government organization. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity please consult the person in this notice listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    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-2015-0086, 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. Tentative Agenda Topics 1. OPP/OECA program updates. 2. Emergence of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UVA) for agricultural applications. 3. State updates on environmental quality issues. 4. Present results of the SFIREG Pesticides of Interest Tracking System (POINTS) evaluation. 5. Aggregation of National Endangered Species Act (ESA) data by the FIFRA Endangered Species Task Force. 6. States use of EPA developed benchmarks for pesticides in water. 7. State managed pollinator protection plan measures. 8. Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. 9. Design for the Environment (DfE) survey results. 10. Oregon neonicotinoid ban. 11. Drift Reduction Technology (DRT) Program and the Spray Drift PR Notice. 12. Respirator label language in the label review manual. III. How can I request to participate in this meeting?

    This meeting is open for the public to attend. You may attend the meeting without further notification.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: March 25, 2015. Patricia L. Parrott, Acting Director, Field and External Affairs Division, Office of Pesticide Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07494 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9925-68-OAR] Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC): Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces upcoming public meetings of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC). The EPA established the CAAAC on November 19, 1990, to provide independent advice and counsel to EPA on policy issues associated with implementation of the Clean Air Act of 1990. The Committee advises on economic, environmental, technical, scientific and enforcement policy issues.

    Dates & Addresses: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. App. 2 Section 10(a) (2), notice is hereby given that the CAAAC will hold its next face-to-face meeting on April 22, 2015, tentatively from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Washington National Airport hotel, 1480 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202.

    Inspection of Committee Documents: The committee agenda, confirmed times for the meetings, and any documents prepared for these meetings will be publicly available on the CAAAC Web site at http://www.epa.gov/oar/caaac/ prior to the meeting. Thereafter, these documents, together with CAAAC meeting minutes, will also be available on the CAAAC Web site or by contacting the Office of Air and Radiation Docket and requesting information under docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0075. The docket office can be reached by email at: [email protected] or FAX: 202-566-9744.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For more information about the CAAAC, please contact Jim Ketcham-Colwill, Interim Designated Federal Officer (DFO), Office of Air and Radiation, U.S. EPA by email at [email protected] or by telephone at (202) 564-1676. Additional information about this meeting, CAAAC, and its subcommittees can be found on the CAAAC Web site: http://www.epa.gov/oar/caaac/.

    For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Lorraine Reddick at (202) 564-1293 or [email protected], preferably at least 10 days prior to the meeting to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    Dated: March 25, 2015. Jim Ketcham-Colwill, Interim Designated Federal Officer, Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, Office of Air and Radiation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07491 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-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 16, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (Jacquelyn K. Brunmeier, Assistant Vice President) 90 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55480-0291:

    1. Joel Sanders, Oakland, California, and James N. Sanders, Plymouth, Minnesota, as trustees of the Joel Sanders GRAT dated December 1, 2014, Oakland, California (GRAT); Sheva Sanders, Minneapolis, Minnesota, as a voting member of Rifkind Sanders, LLC, Minneapolis, Minnesota (LLC); Miriam Sanders, Minneapolis, Minnesota, as trustee of the Disclaimer Trust, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Disclaimer Trust); and Jerel Shapiro and Judith Shapiro, both of Minneapolis, Minnesota, as trustees of both the Judith T. Shapiro GST Trust, Minneapolis, Minnesota (JTS Trust), and the Jonathan J. Tychman Non-Exempt Trust, Minneapolis, Minnesota (JJT Trust), for retroactive permission for the GRAT, LLC, Disclaimer Trust, JTS Trust, and JJT Trust to join the Tychman/Sanders group, which controls 25 percent or more of The Tysan Corporation, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and thereby indirectly gain control of Lake Community Bank, Long Lake, Minnesota, and Pine Country Bank, Little Falls, Minnesota.

    In addition, Jerel Shapiro and Judith Shapiro individually, and as trustees, of several Tychman/Sanders Group Trusts, to retain 25 percent or more of the shares of The Tysan Corporation, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, March 27, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07445 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 132 3285] National Payment Network, Inc.; 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 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/natpaynetconsent online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “National Payment Network, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 132 3285” on your comment and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/natpaynetconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “National Payment Network, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 132 3285” 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:

    Daniel Dwyer, Bureau of Consumer Protection, (202) 326-2957, 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 26, 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 27, 2015. Write “National Payment Network, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 132 3285” 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/natpaynetconsent 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 “National Payment Network, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 132 3285” 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 27, 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”) has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from National Payment Network, Inc., also known as NPN, Inc. 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 FTC will again review the agreement and the 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 is a company that offers an auto payment program to consumers financing a motor vehicle. The matter involves its advertising of the auto payment program to consumers. According to the FTC complaint, respondent has represented that consumers who enroll in its biweekly payment program in order to pay off their auto-financing contract will save money, often including a specific amount of savings in interest. Respondent failed to disclose, however, that it charged fees that in many cases offset any savings under the program, and also failed to disclose the total amount of these fees. These facts would be material to consumers in their decision to enroll in respondent's biweekly payment program. The complaint alleges therefore that respondent's failure to disclose the above-mentioned facts is a deceptive practice in violation of section 5 of the FTC Act.

    The proposed order is designed to prevent respondent from engaging in similar deceptive practices in the future. Section I prohibits respondent from representing that a payment program or add-on product or service will save consumers money, including interest, unless the amount of savings is greater than the total amount of fees associated with the product or service or any qualifying information is clearly and conspicuously disclosed. Section I also prohibits respondent from representing that a payment program or add-on product or service will save any consumer a specific amount of money, including interest, unless the specified amount is the amount of savings after deducting any fees or any qualifying information relating to savings is clearly and conspicuously disclosed.

    Section II of the proposed order prohibits respondent from making misrepresentations related to any payment programs, including regarding the existence, amount, timing, or manner of any fees, the program's benefits, performance, or efficacy, or the ability of any payment program to affect consumer credit.

    Section III of the proposed order prohibits respondent from making misrepresentations related to any add-on products or services, including regarding the total costs of the add-on and the benefits, performance, or efficacy of the add-on, any restrictions or conditions associated with the add-on, the nature or terms of any refund, cancellation, or exchange of an add-on and that any add-on product can improve, repair or otherwise affect a consumer's credit.

    Section IV requires respondent to substantiate any representations about the benefits, performance or efficacy of any add-on product or service or any payment program.

    Section V prohibits respondent from collecting cancellation fees from consumers who have finished paying off their financing contract through NPN's Plan.

    Section VI of the proposed order requires respondent to pay consumers two million four hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars ($2,475,000.00) in monetary relief. The proposed order permits respondent to pay the monetary relief amount by: (1) Refunding customers a total of $1,526,000.00 within thirty days of service of the order; (2) waiving an additional $949,000.00 in fees for current customers. If respondent is unable to provide refunds or fee waivers in the stated amount, it must remit the balance to the Commission.

    Section VII of the proposed order requires respondent to keep copies of relevant advertisements and materials substantiating claims made in the advertisements. Section VIII requires that respondent provide copies of the order to certain of its personnel. Section IX requires notification of the Commission regarding changes in corporate structure that might affect compliance obligations under the order. Section X requires the respondent to file compliance reports with the Commission. Finally, section XI is a provision “sunsetting” the order after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions.

    The purpose of this analysis is to aid public comment on the proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the complaint or proposed order, or to modify in any way the proposed order's terms.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07406 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 132 3285] Matt Blatt Inc. and Glassboro Imports, 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 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment at http://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/mattblattconsent online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Matt Blatt Inc. and Glassboro Imports, LLC Consent Agreement; File No. 1323285” on your comment and file your comment online at http://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/mattblattconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “Matt Blatt Inc. and Glassboro Imports, LLC Consent Agreement; File No. 1323285” 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:

    Daniel Dwyer, Bureau of Consumer Protection, (202) 326-2957, 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 26, 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 27, 2015. Write “Matt Blatt Inc. and Glassboro Imports, LLC Consent Agreement; File No. 1323285” 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 http://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/mattblattconsent 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 “Matt Blatt Inc. and Glassboro Imports, LLC Consent Agreement; File No. 1323285” 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 27, 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”) has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from Matt Blatt Inc., also known as Matt Blatt KIA and as Matt Blatt Egg Harbor Township (“Matt Blatt Inc.”), and from Glassboro Imports, LLC, also known as Matt Blatt Glassboro Suzuki, as Matt Blatt Glassboro, and as Matt Blatt Auto Sales (“Glassboro Imports”). 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 FTC will again review the agreement and the 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 respondents are dealerships that offer an auto payment program to consumers financing a motor vehicle. The matter involves the dealerships' sale of the auto payment program to consumers. According to the FTC complaint, respondents have represented that consumers who enroll in its biweekly payment program in order to pay off their auto-financing contract will save money or achieve other benefits through the program. However, respondents failed to disclose that consumers who enroll in the program are charged fees that in many cases offset any savings under the program, and also failed to disclose the total amount of these fees. These facts would be material to consumers in their decision to enroll in the biweekly payment program sold by respondents. The complaint alleges therefore that respondents' failure to disclose the above-mentioned facts is a deceptive practice in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.

    The proposed order is designed to prevent respondents from engaging in similar deceptive practices in the future. Section I prohibits respondents from representing that a payment program or add-on product or service will save consumers money, including interest, unless the amount of savings is greater than the total amount of fees associated with the product or service or any qualifying information is clearly and conspicuously disclosed. Section I also prohibits respondents from representing that a payment program or add-on product or service will save any consumer a specific amount of money, including interest, unless the specified amount is the amount of savings after deducting any fees or any qualifying information relating to savings is clearly and conspicuously disclosed.

    Section II of the proposed order prohibits respondents from making misrepresentations related to any payment programs, including regarding the existence, amount, timing, or manner of any fees, the program's benefits, performance, or efficacy.

    Section III of the proposed order prohibits respondents from making misrepresentations related to any add-on products or services, including regarding the total costs of the add-on and the benefits, performance, or efficacy of the add-on, any restrictions or conditions associated with the add-on, the nature or terms of any refund, cancellation, or exchange of an add-on, and that any add-on product can improve, repair or otherwise affect a consumer's credit.

    Section IV requires respondents to substantiate any representations about the benefits, performance or efficacy of any add-on product or service or any payment program.

    Section V of the proposed order requires respondents to pay to the Commission One Hundred Eighty Four Thousand Two Hundred Eighty dollars ($184,280.00) in monetary relief.

    Section VI of the proposed order requires respondent to keep copies of relevant advertisements and materials substantiating claims made in the advertisements. Section VII requires that respondent provide copies of the order to certain of its personnel. Section VIII requires notification of the Commission regarding changes in corporate structure that might affect compliance obligations under the order. Section IX requires the respondent to file compliance reports with the Commission. Finally, Section X is a provision “sunsetting” the order after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions.

    The purpose of this analysis is to aid public comment on the proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the complaint or proposed order, or to modify in any way the proposed order's terms.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07404 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 152 3036] Jim Burke Automotive, Inc.; 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 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/jimburkeconsent online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Jim Burke Automotive, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 1523036” on your comment and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/jimburkeconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “Jim Burke Automotive, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 1523036” 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:

    Sana Chriss, Southeast Regional Office, (404) 656-1364, 225 Peachtree Street NE., Suite 1500, Atlanta, Georgia 30303.

    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 26, 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 27, 2015. Write “Jim Burke Automotive, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 1523036” 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/jimburkeconsent 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 “Jim Burke Automotive, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 1523036” 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 27, 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”) has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from Jim Burke Automotive, Inc., also doing business as Jim Burke Nissan. 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 FTC will again review the agreement and the 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 is a motor vehicle dealer. This matter involves the respondent's advertising of the purchase and financing of its motor vehicles. According to the FTC's complaint, the respondent has advertised that vehicles are available for purchase at the prices prominently advertised when in fact, the complaint alleges, consumers must pay an additional $3,000 to purchase the advertised vehicles. The complaint alleges therefore that the representations are false or misleading in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.

    The complaint further alleges that the respondent has advertised that specific discounts, rebates, bonuses, or incentives are generally available to consumers, when in fact, according to the complaint, they are not generally available to consumers. The complaint alleges therefore that the representations are false or misleading in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.

    In addition, the complaint alleges that the respondent violated the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and Regulation Z by failing to disclose or disclose clearly and conspicuously certain costs and terms when advertising credit.

    The proposed order is designed to prevent the respondent from engaging in similar deceptive practices in the future. Part I.A of the proposed order prohibits the respondent from misrepresenting the cost of: (1) Purchasing a vehicle with financing, including but not necessarily limited to the amount or percentage of the down payment, the number of payments or period of repayment, the amount of any payment, and the repayment obligation over the full term of the loan, including any balloon payment; or (2) leasing a vehicle, including but not limited to the total amount due at lease inception, the down payment, amount down, acquisition fee, capitalized cost reduction, any other amount required to be paid at lease inception, and the amounts of all monthly or other periodic payments. Part I.B prohibits the respondent from misrepresenting any other material fact about the price, sale, financing, or leasing of any vehicle.

    Part II.A of the proposed order prohibits respondent from representing that a discount, rebate, bonus, incentive or price is available to consumers unless, it is available to all consumers and for all vehicles advertised; or the representation clearly and conspicuously discloses all material qualifications or restrictions, if any, including but not limited to qualifications or restrictions on: (a) A consumer's ability to obtain the discount, rebate, bonus, incentive or price and (b) the vehicles available at the discount, rebate, bonus, incentive or price. Part II.B prohibits respondent from misrepresenting: (1) The existence or amount of any discount, rebate, bonus, incentive or price; (2) the existence, price, value, coverage, or features of any product or service associated with the motor vehicle purchase; (3) the number of vehicles available at particular prices; or 4) any other material fact about the price, sale, financing, or leasing of motor vehicles.

    Part III of the proposed order addresses the TILA allegation. Part III.A requires the respondent to make all of the disclosures required by TILA and Regulation Z when any of its advertisements state relevant triggering terms. It also requires that if any finance charge is advertised, the rate be stated as an “annual percentage rate” using that term or the abbreviation “APR.” In addition, Part III.C prohibits the respondent from failing to comply in any respect with TILA and Regulation Z.

    Part IV of the proposed order requires respondent to keep copies of relevant advertisements and materials substantiating claims made in the advertisements. Part V requires that respondent provide copies of the order to certain of its personnel. Part VI requires notification to the Commission regarding changes in corporate structure that might affect compliance obligations under the order. Part VII requires the respondent to file compliance reports with the Commission. Finally, Part VIII is a provision “sunsetting” the order after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions.

    The purpose of this analysis is to aid public comment on the proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the complaint or proposed order, or to modify in any way the proposed order's terms.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07409 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 132 3114] City Nissan Inc., 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 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/citynissanconsent online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “City Nissan Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 1323114” on your comment and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/citynissanconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “City Nissan Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 1323114” 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:

    John Jacobs, Western Region—Los Angeles, (310) 824-4360, 10877 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, California 90024.

    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 26, 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 27, 2015. Write “City Nissan Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 1323114” 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/citynissanconsent 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 “City Nissan Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 1323114” 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 27, 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”) has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from City Nissan, Inc., also doing business as Ross Nissan. 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 FTC will again review the agreement and the 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 is a motor vehicle dealer. According to the FTC complaint, the respondent has advertised promotions for the leasing and financing of automobiles. In advertising lease offers, the complaint alleges, the respondent has misrepresented that consumers can pay $0 at lease inception to lease the vehicles shown in the advertisements for the advertised monthly payment amount. The complaint alleges that, in fact, consumers must pay substantially more to drive off with these vehicles. The complaint alleges therefore that the representations are false and misleading in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.

    The complaint further alleges that the respondent has advertised an annual percentage rate of 0% to finance the vehicles shown in the advertisements for the advertised monthly payment. The complaint alleges that in fact, the annual percentage rate is substantially greater than 0%. The complaint alleges therefore that the representations are false and misleading in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.

    Additionally, the complaint alleges violations of the Consumer Leasing Act (“CLA”) and Regulation M for failing to disclose or to disclose clearly and conspicuously certain costs and terms when advertising credit. Finally, the complaint alleges violations of the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and Regulation Z for failing to disclose or to disclose clearly and conspicuously certain costs and terms when advertising credit.

    The proposed order is designed to prevent the respondent from engaging in similar deceptive practices in the future. Part I.A of the proposed order prohibits the respondent from misrepresenting the cost of: (1) Leasing a vehicle, including but not limited to the total amount due at lease inception, the down payment, amount down, acquisition fee, capitalized cost reduction, any other amount required to be paid at lease inception, and the amounts of all monthly or other periodic payments; or (2) purchasing a vehicle with financing, including but not necessarily limited to the amount or percentage of the down payment, the number of payments or period of repayment, the amount of any payment, the annual percentage rate or any other finance rate, and the repayment obligation over the full term of the loan, including any balloon payment. Part I.B prohibits the respondent from misrepresenting any other material fact about the price, sale, financing, or leasing of any vehicle.

    Part II of the proposed order addresses the CLA allegations. Part II.A prohibits the respondent from stating the amount of any payment or that any or no initial payment is required at lease inception without disclosing clearly and conspicuously: (1) That the transaction advertised is a lease; (2) the total amount due at lease signing or delivery; (3) whether or not a security deposit is required; (4) the number, amounts, and timing of scheduled payments; and (5) that an extra charge may be imposed at the end of the lease term in a lease in which the liability of the consumer at the end of the lease term. Part II.B prohibits the respondent from violating any provision of the CLA or Regulation M.

    Part III of the proposed order addresses the TILA allegation. Part III.A requires the respondent to make all of the disclosures required by TILA and Regulation Z when any of its advertisements state relevant triggering terms. It also requires that if any finance charge is advertised, the rate be stated as an “annual percentage rate” using that term or the abbreviation “APR.” In addition, Part III.C prohibits the respondent from failing to comply in any respect with TILA and Regulation Z.

    Part IV of the proposed order requires the respondent to keep copies of relevant advertisements and materials substantiating claims made in the advertisements. Part V requires the respondent to provide copies of the order to certain of its personnel. Part VI requires notification to the Commission regarding changes in corporate structure that might affect compliance obligations under the order. Part VII requires the respondent to file compliance reports with the Commission. Finally, Part VIII is a provision “sunsetting” the order after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions.

    The purpose of this analysis is to aid public comment on the proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the complaint or proposed order, or to modify in any way the proposed order's terms.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-07408 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 152 3047] TT of Longwood, Inc.; 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 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/coryfairbanksmazdaconsent online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “TT of Longwood, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 1523047” on your comment