Federal Register Vol. 80, No.81,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 81 (April 28, 2015)

Page Range23441-23671
FR Document

80_FR_81
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 23443 - Temporary Employment of Foreign Workers in the United States; CFR CorrectionPDF
80 FR 23572 - Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee, FLPDF
80 FR 23520 - Application for Proposed Project for Clean Line Plains & Eastern Transmission LinePDF
80 FR 23589 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee, FLPDF
80 FR 23573 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Petrified Forest National Park, Petrified Forest, AZPDF
80 FR 23538 - Interconnection of the Grande Prairie Wind Farm, Holt County, Nebraska (DOE/EIS-0485)PDF
80 FR 23595 - National Commission on Forensic Science Notice of Charter Renewal and Solicitation of Applications for Additional Commission MembershipPDF
80 FR 23635 - Culturally Significant Object Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Frederick Leighton's Flaming June”PDF
80 FR 23584 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, De Soto National Memorial, Bradenton, FLPDF
80 FR 23585 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Arkansas Archeological Survey, Fayetteville, AR; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 23579 - Notice of Inventory Completion: San Bernardino County Museum, Redlands, CAPDF
80 FR 23636 - In the Matter of the Designation of Christodoulos Xiros as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Pursuant to Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224, as AmendedPDF
80 FR 23594 - Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items: Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NYPDF
80 FR 23580 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, WAPDF
80 FR 23593 - Notice of Intent To Repatriate a Cultural Item: State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines, IAPDF
80 FR 23635 - In the Matter of the Designation of Nikolaos Maziotis. Also Known as Nikos Maziotis as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Pursuant to Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224, as AmendedPDF
80 FR 23498 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 23571 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC, and the Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, WAPDF
80 FR 23582 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology, Phillips Academy, Andover, MAPDF
80 FR 23592 - Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: San Bernardino County Museum, Redlands, CAPDF
80 FR 23576 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Wisconsin Historical Society, Museum Division, Madison, WIPDF
80 FR 23612 - Crystal River Nuclear Generating Plant, Unit 3; Consideration of Approval of Transfer of License and Conforming AmendmentPDF
80 FR 23597 - Nuclear Innovation North America LLC; South Texas Project, Units 3 and 4PDF
80 FR 23487 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Attainment Demonstration for the Dallas/Fort Worth 1997 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area; Determination of Attainment of the 1997 Ozone StandardPDF
80 FR 23583 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, WAPDF
80 FR 23572 - Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst College, Amherst, MA; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 23507 - Applications for New Awards; Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants Program-Enhanced Assessment InstrumentsPDF
80 FR 23577 - Notice of Inventory Completion: California State University, Sacramento, Sacramento, CA, and Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: California State University, Sacramento, Sacramento, CA; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 23589 - Notice of Inventory Completion for Native American Human Remains and Associated Funerary Objects in the Possession of the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, New Orleans, LA; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 23542 - Notice of a Public Meeting and Webinar: Input on Potential Actions To Prepare for and Respond to Cyanotoxins in Drinking WaterPDF
80 FR 23574 - Notice of Inventory Completion: State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City, IAPDF
80 FR 23545 - Notice of Availability of Work Plan Chemical Problem Formulation and Initial Assessment for 1,4-Dioxane; Request for Public CommentPDF
80 FR 23543 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 23610 - Department of Energy; Idaho Spent Fuel Facility Independent Spent Fuel Storage InstallationPDF
80 FR 23591 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Isle Royale National Park, Houghton, MIPDF
80 FR 23611 - Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 23581 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, WAPDF
80 FR 23588 - Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: School for Advanced Research, Indian Arts Research Center, Santa Fe, NMPDF
80 FR 23586 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZPDF
80 FR 23598 - Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS); Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee on Planning and Procedures; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 23484 - Special Local Regulation; Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix; Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota, FLPDF
80 FR 23609 - Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS); Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee on Reliability & PRA; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 23445 - Safety Zones and Regulated Navigation Area; Shell Arctic Drilling/Exploration Vessels and Associated Voluntary First Amendment Area, Puget Sound, WAPDF
80 FR 23610 - Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS); Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee on Fukushima; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 23454 - Radio Broadcasting Services; Shelter Island, New YorkPDF
80 FR 23636 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for the Update of an Information Collection (Revision)PDF
80 FR 23542 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; State Small Business Stationary Source Technical and Environmental Compliance Assistance Programs (SBTCP) Annual Reporting Form (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 23637 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments for Periodic Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 23455 - National Organic Program; Origin of LivestockPDF
80 FR 23556 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 23555 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 23551 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 23540 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Disclosure Requirements (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 23541 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Lead-Based Paint Pre-Renovation Information Dissemination (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 23497 - U.S. Department of Agriculture Stakeholder Workshop on CoexistencePDF
80 FR 23551 - General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Information Collection; Identification of Products With Environmental AttributesPDF
80 FR 23552 - GSA's Digital Innovation and Strategy Hack-A-ThonPDF
80 FR 23615 - National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations MeetingPDF
80 FR 23618 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; SS&C Technologies, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Application for Exemption From Registration as a Clearing AgencyPDF
80 FR 23532 - Bison Peak Pumped Storage, LLC; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 23525 - McMahan Hydroelectric L.L.C.; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Soliciting Additional Study Requests and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Relicensing and a Deadline for Submission of Final AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 23538 - Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 23544 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Monthly Progress Reports (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 23497 - Notice of Availability of a Pest Risk Analysis for the Importation of Fresh Pitahaya From Israel Into the Continental United StatesPDF
80 FR 23549 - Petition of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. for Initiation of Rulemaking; Notice of Filing and Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 23514 - Applications for New Awards; Indian Education Discretionary Grants Programs-Demonstration Grants for Indian Children ProgramPDF
80 FR 23550 - Labor-Management Relations Information Collection RequestsPDF
80 FR 23452 - Reform of Rules Governing the 800 MHz Cellular ServicePDF
80 FR 23639 - Designation of One Individual and One Entity Pursuant to Executive Order 13581, “Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations”PDF
80 FR 23499 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Arizona Advisory Committee to Discuss and Vote on its School Equity Report and Plan Future ProjectPDF
80 FR 23498 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Illinois Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Review and Vote on Its Hate Crime ReportPDF
80 FR 23499 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Mississippi Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Hear Testimony on Civil Rights Concerns Relating to Distribution of Federal Child Care Subsidies in MississippiPDF
80 FR 23558 - Request for Public Comment: 60-Day; Proposed Information Collection: Indian Health Service; Loan Repayment Program (LRP)PDF
80 FR 23557 - Meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDSPDF
80 FR 23559 - Office of Tribal Self-Governance Program; Planning Cooperative Agreement; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 23558 - Office of Tribal Self-Governance Program; Negotiation Cooperative Agreement; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 23634 - Georgia Disaster #GA-00063PDF
80 FR 23635 - West Virginia Disaster Number WV-00035PDF
80 FR 23634 - Florida Disaster # FL-00104PDF
80 FR 23634 - Tennessee Disaster Number TN-00087PDF
80 FR 23570 - Renewal of Agency Information Collection for Law and Order on Indian Reservations-Marriage and Dissolution ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 23523 - Western Refining Pipeline, LLC; Notice for Temporary Waiver of Filing and Reporting RequirementsPDF
80 FR 23525 - Benjamin Riggs v. Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission Notice of Petition For EnforcementPDF
80 FR 23523 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 23596 - Public Availability of the National Science Foundation FY 2014 Service Contract Inventory and Associated DocumentsPDF
80 FR 23567 - Early Scoping for an Anticipated Application for Incidental Take Permit and Draft Habitat Conservation Plan; Copenhagen Wind Farm, LLCPDF
80 FR 23496 - Notice of May 15 President's Global Development Council MeetingPDF
80 FR 23505 - Establishment of Expedited Trade Mission ProceduresPDF
80 FR 23504 - Establishment of a Ready Applicant Pool for Department of Commerce Trade MissionsPDF
80 FR 23547 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 23548 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 23500 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 23503 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 23506 - Global Markets Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 23625 - Equity Market Structure Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 23640 - Agency Information Collection (Reimbursement of Certain Medical Expenses for Camp Lejeune Family Members)PDF
80 FR 23493 - Special Load Line Exemption for Lake Michigan/Muskegon Route: Petition for RulemakingPDF
80 FR 23445 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Lewis and Clark River, Astoria, ORPDF
80 FR 23444 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Willamette River, Portland, ORPDF
80 FR 23505 - Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory BoardPDF
80 FR 23554 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 23441 - Special Conditions: Boeing Model 787-9, Dynamic Test Requirements for Single-Occupant Oblique (Side-Facing) Seats With Airbag DevicesPDF
80 FR 23548 - Federal Advisory Committee Act; Downloadable Security Technology Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 23562 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 23560 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 23560 - National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 23562 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 23561 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 23562 - National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 23560 - National Toxicology Program Board of Scientific Counselors; Announcement of Meeting; Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 23496 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 23564 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Service Coordinators in Multifamily HousingPDF
80 FR 23449 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Pennsylvania; Redesignation of the Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle-York Nonattainment Areas to Attainment for the 1997 Annual and the 2006 24-Hour Fine Particulate Matter Standard; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 23566 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Certification of Consistency With Sustainable Communities Planning and ImplementationPDF
80 FR 23565 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Family Self Sufficiency Program DemonstrationPDF
80 FR 23618 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change Related to Equipment and Communication on the Exchange's Trading FloorPDF
80 FR 23625 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to NASDAQ Market Center Participant Registration and Sponsored AccessPDF
80 FR 23615 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc. Relating to NASDAQ OMX BX Equities Market Participant Registration and Sponsored AccessPDF
80 FR 23628 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, Relating to the Listing and Trading of the Shares of the WisdomTree Western Unconstrained Bond Fund of the WisdomTree TrustPDF
80 FR 23596 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Water ActPDF
80 FR 23598 - Biweekly Notice; Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving No Significant Hazards ConsiderationsPDF
80 FR 23643 - Assistance to States for the Education of Children With DisabilitiesPDF
80 FR 23529 - Murphy Dam, LLC; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 23528 - Green Mountain Power Corporation; Notice of Application for Amendment of License and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
80 FR 23526 - Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P. and Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
80 FR 23534 - Bradley D. Reeves, Kevin Drone; Notice of Termination of Exemption by Implied Surrender and Soliciting Comments, Protests, and Motions To IntervenePDF
80 FR 23527 - JBBR Pipeline LLC; Notice of Request for WaiverPDF
80 FR 23522 - Notice of Staff Attendance at Southwest Power Pool Regional Entity Trustee, Regional State Committee, Members' and Board of Directors' MeetingsPDF
80 FR 23535 - Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Mountain Valley Pipeline Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping MeetingsPDF
80 FR 23524 - Georgia Power Company; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document (Pad), Commencement of Pre-Filing Process, and Scoping; Request for Comments on the Pad and Scoping Document, and Identification of Issues and Associated Study RequestsPDF
80 FR 23530 - Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Abandonment and Capacity Restoration Project Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
80 FR 23533 - Los Angeles County Public Works; Notice of Preliminary Determination of a Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility and Soliciting Comments and Motions To IntervenePDF
80 FR 23528 - Notice of Intent To Update the Guidelines for Reporting on Cultural Resources Investigations for Pipeline Projects and Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 23501 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 23449 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management DistrictPDF
80 FR 23487 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management DistrictPDF
80 FR 23443 - Period of Limitations on Assessment for Listed Transactions Not Disclosed Under Section 6011; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 23506 - Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council); Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 23478 - Large Bank Deposit Insurance Determination ModernizationPDF
80 FR 23563 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Petition To Remove the Conditions on Residence, Form I-751; Revision of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF

Issue

80 81 Tuesday, April 28, 2015 Contents Agency Agency for International Development NOTICES Meetings: President's Global Development Council, 23496 2015-09803 Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service PROPOSED RULES National Organic Program; Origin of Livestock, 23455-23477 2015-09851 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 23496-23497 2015-09774
Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Meetings: USDA Stakeholder Workshop on Coexistence, 23497-23498 2015-09845 Pest Risk Analyses: Importation of Fresh Pitahaya from Israel into the Continental U.S., 23497 2015-09834 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 23554-23555 2015-09785 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 23555-23557 2015-09849 2015-09850 Chemical Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 23498 2015-09913 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Arizona Advisory Committee, 23499 2015-09827 Illinois Advisory Committee, 23498-23499 2015-09826 Mississippi Advisory Committee, 23499-23500 2015-09825 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Lewis and Clark River, Astoria, OR, 23445 2015-09788 Willamette River, Portland, OR, 23444 2015-09787 Safety Zones and Regulated Navigation Areas: Shell Arctic Drilling/Exploration Vessels and Associated Voluntary First Amendment Area, Puget Sound, WA, 23445-23448 2015-09858 PROPOSED RULES Special Load Line Exemption for Lake Michigan, Muskegon Route, 23493-23495 2015-09790 Special Local Regulations: Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix; Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota, FL, 23484-23487 2015-09860 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 23500-23504 2015-09741 2015-09795 2015-09796 2015-09797
Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Meetings: Global Markets Advisory Committee, 23506-23507 2015-09794 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 23507 2015-09829 Education Department Education Department RULES Assistance to States for the Education of Children with Disabilities, 23644-23671 2015-09755 NOTICES Applications for New Awards: Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants Program, Enhanced Assessment Instruments, 23507-23514 2015-09898 Indian Education Discretionary Grants Programs -- Demonstration Grants for Indian Children Program, 23514-23520 2015-09832 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration RULES Temporary Employment of Foreign Workers in the United States; CFR Correction, 23443 2015-09948 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

See

Western Area Power Administration

NOTICES Applications: Clean Line Plains and Eastern Transmission Line, 23520-23522 2015-09941
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Redesignation of the Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle-York Nonattainment Areas to Attainment for the 1997 Annual and the 2006 24-Hour Fine Particulate Matter Standard, PA; Correction, 23449 2015-09771 Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District; CA, 23449-23452 2015-09737 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Texas; Attainment Demonstration for the Dallas/Fort Worth 1997 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area; Determination of Attainment of the 1997 Ozone Standard, 23487-23493 2015-09901 Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District; CA, 23487 2015-09735 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Availability of Work Plan Chemical Problem Formulation and Initial Assessment for 1,4-Dioxane, 23545-23546 2015-09888 Lead-Based Paint Pre-Renovation Information Dissemination, 23541-23542 2015-09846 Monthly Progress Reports, 23544-23545 2015-09837 Pre-Manufacture Review Reporting and Exemption Requirements for New Chemical Substances and Significant New Use Reporting Requirements for Chemical Substances, 23543-23544 2015-09882 Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Disclosure Requirements, 23540-23541 2015-09847 State Small Business Stationary Source Technical and Environmental Compliance Assistance Programs Annual Reporting Form, 23542-23543 2015-09853 Meetings: Input on Potential Actions to Prepare for and Respond to Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water; Webinars, 23542 2015-09891 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Special Conditions: Boeing Model 787-9; Single-Occupant Oblique Seats, Airbag Devices; Test Requirements, 23441-23443 2015-09784 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Radio Broadcasting Services: Shelter Island, NY, 23454 2015-09855 Reform of Rules Governing the 800 MHz Cellular Service, 23452-23454 2015-09830 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 23547-23549 2015-09798 2015-09799 Meetings: Downloadable Security Technology Advisory Committee, 23548 2015-09783 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation PROPOSED RULES Large Bank Deposit Insurance Determination Modernization, 23478-23484 2015-09650 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Bison Peak Pumped Storage, LLC., 23532-23533 2015-09840 McMahan Hydroelectric LLC, 23525-23526 2015-09839 Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co., LLC, 23538 2015-09838 Combined Filings, 23523-23524 2015-09808 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC; Abandonment and Capacity Restoration Project, 23530-23532 2015-09746 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC; Public Scoping Meetings, 23535-23538 2015-09748 Guidelines for Reporting on Cultural Resources Investigations for Pipeline Projects, 23528-23529 2015-09744 Hydroelectric Applications: Erie Boulevard Hydropower, LP and Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, 23526-23527 2015-09752 License Amendment Applications: Green Mountain Power Corporation, 23528 2015-09753 License Applications: Georgia Power Company, 23524-23525 2015-09747 Petitions: Benjamin Riggs v. Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission; Enforcement, 23525 2015-09809 Preliminary Permit Applications: Murphy Dam, LLC, 23529-23530 2015-09754 Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facilities: Los Angeles County Public Works, 23533-23534 2015-09745 Requests for Waivers: JBBR Pipeline, LLC, 23527 2015-09750 Staff Attendances, 23522 2015-09749 Temporary Waivers of Filing and Reporting Requirements: Western Refining Pipeline, LLC, 23523 2015-09810 Termination of Exemptions: Bradley D. Reeves, Kevin Drone, 23534-23535 2015-09751 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 23636-23639 2015-09852 2015-09854 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Petitions: National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, 23549-23550 2015-09833 Federal Mediation Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Labor-Management Relations, 23550-23551 2015-09831 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 23551 2015-09848 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Applications: Copenhagen Wind Farm, LLC; Early Scoping for an Incidental Take Permit and Draft Habitat Conservation Plan, 23567-23570 2015-09806 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 23639-23640 2015-09828 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Identification of Products with Environmental Attributes, 23551-23552 2015-09844 Digital Innovation and Strategy Hack-a-Thon, 23552-23554 2015-09843 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Indian Health Service

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Meetings: Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, 23557-23558 2015-09823
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Certification of Consistency with Sustainable Communities Planning and Implementation, 23566-23567 2015-09770 Family Self Sufficiency Program Demonstration, 23565-23566 2015-09769 Service Coordinators in Multifamily Housing, 23564 2015-09773 Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Law and Order on Indian Reservations -- Marriage and Dissolution Applications, 23570-23571 2015-09812 Indian Health Indian Health Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program, 23558-23559 2015-09824 Office of Tribal Self-Governance Program; Negotiation Cooperative Agreement; Correction, 23558 2015-09820 Office of Tribal Self-Governance Program; Planning Cooperative Agreement; Correction, 23559-23560 2015-09822 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Indian Affairs Bureau

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Period of Limitations on Assessment for Listed Transactions Not Disclosed under the Internal Revenue Code; Correction, 23443-23444 2015-09710 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Establishment of a Ready Applicant Pool for Department of Commerce Trade Missions, 23504-23505 2015-09800 Establishment of Expedited Trade Mission Procedures, 23505 2015-09802 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Charter Renewals: National Commission on Forensic Science; Requests for Applications, 23595-23596 2015-09934 Proposed Consent Decrees: Clean Water Act, 23596 2015-09762 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Meetings: Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Board, 23505-23506 2015-09786 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: National Cancer Institute, 23561-23562 2015-09777 National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 23562-23563 2015-09776 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 23562 2015-09781 National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, 23560 2015-09779 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 23560 2015-09780 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 23562 2015-09778 National Toxicology Program Board of Scientific Counselors, 23560-23561 2015-09775 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Meetings: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 23506 2015-09671 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items: Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst College, Amherst, MA; Corrections, 23572 2015-09899 Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, 23594-23595 2015-09925 School for Advanced Research, Indian Arts Research Center, Santa Fe, NM, 23588-23589 2015-09864 U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee, FL, 23572-23573 2015-09942 Inventory Completions: Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 23586-23588 2015-09863 Arkansas Archeological Survey, Fayetteville, AR; Corrections, 23585-23586 2015-09929 California State University, Sacramento, Sacramento, CA,; Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items; Corrections, 23577-23578 2015-09897 Native American Human Remains, Associated Funerary Objects in the Possession of the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, New Orleans, LA; Corrections, 23589 2015-09892 Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA, 23582-23583 2015-09911 San Bernardino County Museum, Redlands, CA, 23579-23580 2015-09927 State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, 23574-23576 2015-09890 Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 23580-23584 2015-09865 2015-09900 2015-09922 U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC, and the Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 23571-23572 2015-09912 U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee, FL, 23589-23591 2015-09940 U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, De Soto National Memorial, Bradenton, FL, 23584-23585 2015-09931 U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Isle Royale National Park, Houghton, MI, 23591-23592 2015-09868 U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Petrified Forest National Park, Petrified Forest, AZ, 23573-23574 2015-09939 Wisconsin Historical Society, Museum Division, Madison, WI, 23576-23577 2015-09909 Repatriation of Cultural Items: San Bernardino County Museum, Redlands, CA, 23592-23593 2015-09910 State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines, IA, 23593-23594 2015-09921 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Service Contract Inventories, 23596 2015-09807 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined License Applications: Nuclear Innovation North America LLC; South Texas Project, Units 3 and 4, 23597-23598 2015-09904 Direct Transfers of Licenses: Crystal River Nuclear Generating Plant, Unit 3, 23612-23615 2015-09907 Facility Operating and Combined Licenses: Applications and Amendments Involving No Significant Hazards Considerations, etc., 23598-23609 2015-09758 License Amendment Applications: Department of Energy; Idaho Spent Fuel Facility Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation, 23610 2015-09872 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, 23611-23612 2015-09867 Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards Subcommittee on Fukushima, 23610-23611 2015-09857 Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards Subcommittee on Planning and Procedures, 23598 2015-09862 Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards Subcommittee on Reliability and PRA, 23609-23610 2015-09859 Personnel Personnel Management Office NOTICES Meetings: National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations, 23615 2015-09842 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Meetings: Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee, 23625 2015-09792 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 23618 2015-09766 NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., 23615-23618 2015-09764 SS and C Technologies, Inc., 23618-23625 2015-09841 The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 23625-23634 2015-09763 2015-09765 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Disaster Declarations: Florida, 23634 2015-09817 Georgia, 23634 2015-09819 Tennessee; Amendment 1, 23634-23635 2015-09814 West Virginia; Amendment 1, 23635 2015-09818 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Object Imported for Exhibition: Frederick Leighton's Flaming June, 23635 2015-09933 Designations as Global Terrorists: Christodoulos Xiros, 23636 2015-09926 Nikolaos Maziotis a.k.a. Nikos Maziotis, 23635 2015-09914 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

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80 81 Tuesday, April 28, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0692; Special Conditions No. 25-580-SC] Special Conditions: Boeing Model 787-9, Dynamic Test Requirements for Single-Occupant Oblique (Side-Facing) Seats With Airbag Devices AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special condition; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for the Boeing Model 787-9 airplane. This airplane has a novel or unusual design feature associated with side-facing, oblique seats. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for occupants of seats installed at an angle of greater than 18 degrees, but substantially less than 90 degrees, to the centerline of the airplane, nor for airbag devices. 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:

This action is effective on April 28, 2015. We must receive your comments by June 12, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2015-0692 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 or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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

Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://www.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 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:

Jeff Gardlin, Airframe and Cabin Safety, ANM-115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2136; facsimile 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The FAA has determined that notice of, and opportunity for prior public comment on, these special conditions are impracticable because these procedures would significantly delay issuance of the design approval and thus delivery of the affected airplane.

The FAA therefore finds that good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

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 will consider all comments we receive by the closing date for comments. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

Background

On July 5, 2009, The Boeing Company applied for an amendment to Type Certificate No. T00021SE to include the new Model 787-9 airplane. The Model 787-9, which is a derivative of the Model 787 airplane currently approved under Type Certificate No. T00021SE, is a wide-body twin-jet with wing-mounted engines. It has a 420-passenger capacity, a maximum takeoff weight of 553,000 lb, and is equipped with two Rolls-Royce Trent T1000 or General Electric GENx engines.

Amendment 25-15 to part 25, dated October 24, 1967, introduced the subject of side-facing seats and a requirement that each occupant in a side-facing seat must be protected from head injury by a safety belt and a cushioned rest that will support the arms, shoulders, head, and spine.

Subsequently, Amendment 25-20, dated April 23, 1969, clarified the definition of sideward-facing seats to require that each occupant of a seat that is positioned at more than an 18-degree angle to the vertical plane containing the airplane centerline must be protected from head injury by a safety belt and an energy-absorbing rest that supports the arms, shoulders, head, and spine; or by a safety belt and shoulder harness that prevents the head from contacting injurious objects. The FAA concluded that a maximum 18-degree angle would provide an adequate level of safety based on tests that were performed at that time, and thus adopted that standard.

Part 25 was amended June 16, 1988, by Amendment 25-64, to revise the emergency-landing conditions that must be considered in the design of the airplane. Amendment 25-64 revised the static-load conditions in § 25.561, and added a new § 25.562 that required dynamic testing for all seats approved for occupancy during takeoff and landing. The intent of Amendment 25-64 is to provide an improved level of safety for occupants on transport-category airplanes. Because most seating is forward-facing on transport-category airplanes, the pass/fail criteria developed in Amendment 25-64 focused primarily on these seats. As a result, the FAA issued Policy Memorandums ANM-03-115-30, “Side-facing Seats on Transport Category Airplanes,” and PS-ANM-100-2000-00123 “Guidance for Demonstrating Compliance with Seat Dynamic Testing for Plinths and Pallets,” to provide the additional guidance necessary to demonstrate the level of safety required by the regulations for fully side-facing seats.

To reflect current research findings, the FAA developed a methodology to address all fully side-facing seats (i.e, seats oriented in the airplane with the occupant facing 90 degrees to the direction of airplane travel) and has documented those requirements in a set of proposed new special conditions. The FAA issued Policy Statement PS-ANM-25-03-R1 to document the injury criteria associated with neck and leg injuries for fully side-facing seats that will be used in special conditions issued after the implementation of the policy.

The criteria described in the above policy statements were written for fully side-facing seats and do not fully address the complex occupant-loading conditions introduced by a seat that is at an oblique angle to the centerline of the airplane. The Model 787-9 business-class seat installation is novel such that the current Model 787 side-facing seat special conditions do not adequately convey occupant protection expectations for an oblique-seat installation. Therefore, the configuration Boeing proposes requires new special conditions.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.101, Boeing must show that the 787-9, as changed, continues to meet the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in Type Certificate No. T00021SE, or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change, except for earlier amendments as agreed upon by the FAA. The regulations listed in the type certificate are commonly referred to as the “original type-certification basis.”

The regulations listed in T00021SE are as follows:

The type-certification basis for the Model 787-9 airplane is 14 CFR part 25, effective February 1, 1965, as amended by Amendments 25-1 through 25-128, except § 25.795, Security Considerations, at Amendment 25-106; and § 25.125, Landing, at Amendment 25-108.

In addition, the certification basis includes certain special conditions, exemptions, or later amended sections of the applicable part that are not relevant to these special conditions.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Boeing Model 787-9 airplane because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

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, or should any other model already included on the same type certificate be modified to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would also apply to the other model.

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Boeing Model 787-9 airplane 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.

The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type-certification basis under § 21.101.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The Boeing Model 787-9 airplane will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features:

Installation of Zodiac Seats France Cirrus III model oblique business-class passenger seats manufactured by Zodiac Seats UK, which are seats installed at an angle of 30 degrees to the airplane centerline. These seats will include airbag devices for occupant restraint and injury protection. This particular design allows for the upper torso to align with the impact vector, but may restrict the knees/legs from fully aligning. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for occupants of seats installed in the proposed configuration.

To provide a level of safety equivalent to that afforded to occupants of forward- and aft-facing seats, additional airworthiness standards, in the form of special conditions, are necessary. Although we have issued side-facing-seat special conditions applicable to the 787, these existing special conditions do not fully address the complex occupant-loading conditions introduced by a seat that is at an oblique angle to the centerline of the airplane. Special Conditions 25-458-SC, “Boeing Model 787 Series Airplanes; Single-place Side-facing Seats with Inflatable Lapbelts,” apply to fully side-facing (90 degree) seats installed on the 787. Special Conditions 25-552-SC, “Boeing Model 787-9, Side-Facing Seats,” were applicable to a specific 49-degree oblique seat installation, and do not contain sufficient criteria for general oblique seat installations.

Boeing is installing airbag devices on these seats, either in the lapbelts or mounted in the structure around the seats. Airbag devices installed in lapbelts on the 787 are addressed by Special Conditions 25-431-SC, “Boeing Model 787 Series Airplanes; Seats With Inflatable Lapbelts.” We are currently developing special conditions to apply to structure-mounted airbag devices installed on the 787.

Discussion

The business-class seating configuration proposed by Boeing is unique due to the seat installation at a 30-degree angle to the airplane centerline. Special Conditions 25-458-SC and 25-552-SC were not intended to address this configuration, nor is this configuration specifically addressed by Policy Statement PS-ANM-25-03-R1 (which is intended to address fully side-facing seats, i.e., 90-degree installation angle). However, we believe the occupant-injury criteria conveyed in this policy statement is applicable to this type of configuration as it applies to evaluating neck injuries. Due to the unique seat-installation angle, these special conditions also include spinal-loading injury criteria.

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.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the Boeing Model 787-9 airplane. These special conditions can be applied to oblique seats installed at an angle greater than 18 degrees but less than 46 degrees to the vertical plane containing the airplane centerline. Should Boeing 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. The angle of installation and detailed design features will determine the nature of the occupant response. The FAA will amend these special conditions or issue new special conditions, should unusual occupant response in the required dynamic tests, or additional research into occupant-injury mechanisms, indicate these special conditions are inadequate. Any future special conditions would include due public notice.

Conclusion

This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model of airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability.

Under standard practice, the effective date of final special conditions would be 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register; however, as the certification date for the Boeing Model 787-9 airplane is imminent, the FAA finds that good cause exists to make these special conditions effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704.

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 Boeing Model 787-9 airplanes modified by Boeing.

Side-Facing Seats Conditions

In addition to the requirements of § 25.562:

1. Existing Criteria: Compliance with § 25.562(c)(5) is required, except that, if the anthropomorphic test device (ATD) has no apparent contact with the seat/structure but has contact with an inflatable restraint, a head-injury criterion (HIC) unlimited score in excess of 1000 is acceptable, provided the HIC15 score for that contact is less than 700.

2. Body-to-Wall/Furnishing Contact: If a seat is installed aft of structure (e.g., an interior wall or furnishing) that does not provide a homogenous contact surface for the expected range of occupants and yaw angles, then additional analysis and/or test(s) may be required to demonstrate that the injury criteria are met for the area which an occupant could contact. For example, if different yaw angles could result in different inflatable-restraint performance, then additional analysis or separate test(s) may be necessary to evaluate performance.

3. Neck Injury Criteria: The seating system must protect the occupant from experiencing serious neck injury. The assessment of neck injury must be conducted with the inflatable restraint activated unless there is reason to also consider that the neck-injury potential would be higher below the inflatable-restraint threshold.

a. The Nij must be below 1.0, where Nij = Fz/Fzc + My/Myc, and Nij intercepts limited to:

i. Fzc = 1530 lb for tension.

ii. Fzc = 1385 lb for compression.

iii. Myc = 229 lb-ft in flexion.

iv. Myc = 100 lb-ft in extension.

b. In addition, peak Fz must be below 937 lb in tension and 899 lb in compression.

c. Rotation of the head about its vertical axis relative to the torso is limited to 105 degrees in either direction from forward-facing.

d. The neck must not impact any surface.

4. Spine and Torso Injury Criteria:

a. The shoulders must remain aligned with the hips throughout the impact sequence, or support for the upper torso must be provided to prevent forward or lateral flailing beyond 45 degrees from the vertical during significant spinal loading.

b. Significant concentrated loading on the occupant's spine, in the area between the pelvis and shoulders during impact, including rebound, is not acceptable. During this type of contact, the interval for any rearward (X direction) acceleration exceeding 20g must be less than 3 milliseconds as measured by the thoracic instrumentation specified in 49 CFR part 572, subpart E, filtered in accordance with SAE International (SAE) J211-1.

c. Occupant must not interact with the armrest or other seat components in any manner significantly different than would be expected for a forward-facing seat installation.

5. Longitudinal test(s), as necessary, must be performed with the FAA Hybrid III ATD, undeformed floor, most-critical yaw case(s) for injury, and with all lateral structural supports (armrests/walls) installed. For the pass/fail injury assessments, see the criteria listed in special conditions 1 through 4, above.

Note: Boeing must demonstrate that the installation of seats via plinths or pallets meets all applicable requirements. Compliance with the guidance contained in FAA Policy Memorandum PS-ANM-100-2000-00123, dated February 2, 2000, titled “Guidance for Demonstrating Compliance with Seat Dynamic Testing for Plinths and Pallets,” is acceptable to the FAA.

Inflatable Lapbelt Conditions

If inflatable lapbelts are installed on single-place side-facing seats, the inflatable lapbelt(s) must meet Special Conditions 25-431-SC.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 14, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-09784 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration 20 CFR Part 655 Temporary Employment of Foreign Workers in the United States; CFR Correction

In Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 500 to 656, revised as of April 1, 2014, on page 314, in § 655.10, the second paragraph (h) and the second paragraph (i) are removed.

[FR Doc. 2015-09948 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 301 [TD 9718] RIN 1545-BH37 Period of Limitations on Assessment for Listed Transactions Not Disclosed Under Section 6011; Correction AGENCY:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION:

Correcting amendments.

SUMMARY:

This document contains corrections to final regulations (TD 9718) that were published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 (80 FR 16973). The final regulations relating to the exception to the general three-year period of limitations on assessment under section 6501(c)(10) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) for listed transactions that taxpayer failed to disclosed as required under section 6011.

DATES:

This correction is effective on April 28, 2015, and is applicable March 31, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Danielle Pierce at (202) 317-6845 (not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The final regulation (TD 9718) that is the subject of this correction is under section 6011.

Need for Correction

As published, final regulations (TD 9718) contain errors that may prove to be misleading and are in need of clarification.

List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 301

Employment taxes, Estate taxes, Excise taxes, Gift taxes, Income taxes, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Correction of Publication

Accordingly, 26 CFR part 301 is amended by making the following correcting amendments:

PART 301—PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

Par. 2. Section 301.6501(c)-1 is amended by revising the first sentence of paragraph (g)(5)(i)(D) to read as follows:
§ 301.6501(c)-1 Exceptions to general period of limitations on assessment and collection.

(g) * * *

(5) * * *

(i) * * *

(D) * * * Unless an earlier expiration is provided for in paragraph (g)(6) of this section, the time to assess tax under this paragraph (g) will not expire before one year after the date on which the Secretary is furnished the information from the taxpayer that satisfies all of the requirements of paragraphs (g)(5)(i)(A) and (B) of this section and, if applicable, paragraph (g)(5)(i)(C) of this section. * * *

Martin V. Franks, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration).
[FR Doc. 2015-09710 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0289] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Willamette River, Portland, OR AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of temporary deviation from drawbridge regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that govern three Multnomah County bridges: The Broadway Bridge, mile 11.7, the Morrison Bridge, mile 12.8, and the Hawthorne Bridge, mile 13.1, all crossing the Willamette River at Portland, OR. The deviation is necessary to accommodate the annual Rock `n' Roll Half Marathon event. This deviation allows the bridges to remain in the closed-to-navigation position to allow safe roadway movement of event participants.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 3 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. on May 17, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-0289] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Steven Fischer, Bridge Administrator, Thirteenth Coast Guard District; telephone 206-220-7282, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Multnomah County has requested a temporary deviation from the operating schedule for the Broadway Bridge, mile 11.7, the Morrison Bridge, mile 12.8, and the Hawthorne Bridge, mile 13.1, all crossing the Willamette River at Portland, OR. The requested deviation is to accommodate the annual Rock `n' Roll Half Marathon event. The Broadway Bridge, mile 11.7, provides a vertical clearance of 90 feet in the closed position, the Morrison Bridge, mile 12.8, provides a vertical clearance of 69 feet in the closed position, and the Hawthorne Bridge, mile 13.1, provides a vertical clearance of 49 feet in the closed position; all clearances are referenced to the vertical clearance above Columbia River Datum 0.0. Waterway usage on this part of the Willamette River includes vessels ranging from commercial tug and barge to small pleasure craft.

The normal operating schedule for all three bridges, detailed in 33 CFR 117.897(c)(3), states that the bridges open on signal if notice is given to the given to the drawtender of the Hawthorne Bridge. The normal operating schedule for the Broadway Bridge and the Morrison Bridge stipulates that a one-hour notice is to be given from 8 a.m. to 5 a.m., Monday through Friday, and two-hour notice is to be given at all other times. The normal operating schedule for the Hawthorne Bridge does not require advance notice.

To facilitate the annual Rock `n' Roll Half Marathon event, the draws of the Broadway Bride, the Morrison Bridge, and the Hawthorne Bridge will be maintained in the closed-to-navigation positions from 3 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. on May 17, 2015. The bridges will be able to open for emergencies. There is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass. Vessels able to pass through the bridges in the closed positions may do so at anytime.

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

In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), the drawbridges must return to their regular operating schedules immediately at the end of the designated time period. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

Dated: April 21, 2015. Steven M. Fischer, Bridge Administrator, Thirteenth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2015-09787 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0351] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Lewis and Clark River, Astoria, OR AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Oregon State (Lewis and Clark River) highway Bridge across the Lewis and Clark River, mile 1.0, at Astoria, OR. The deviation is necessary to accommodate bridge maintenance activities on the bridge. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position and need not open to maritime traffic.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 7 a.m. on May 11, 2015 to 5 p.m. on August 30, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-0351] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Steven M. Fischer, Thirteenth Coast Guard District Bridge Program Administrator, telephone 206-220-7282, email d13-pf-d13bridgesuscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has requested that the Lewis and Clark River Bridge, mile 1.0, remain in the closed-to-navigation position, and need not open to vessel traffic Monday through Friday expect on Mondays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. when given 3 hours advanced notice. The deviation is necessary to facilitate bridge maintenance activities to include repairing and preserving the bascule drawbridge structural steel. The Lewis and Clark Bridge provides a vertical clearance of 17.3 feet above mean high water when in the closed-to-navigation position. The normal operating schedule of the Oregon State highway bridge can be found in 33 CFR 117.899(c). This deviation period is from 7 a.m. on May 11, 2015 to 5 p.m. on August 30, 2015. The deviation allows the bascule span of the Lewis and Clark Bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position Monday through Friday except to open the span(s) on Mondays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a three-hour advance notice. The bridge will operate as normal on Saturday and Sunday. Waterway usage on the Lewis and Clark River is primarily small recreational boaters and fishing vessels transiting to and from Fred Wahl Marine Construction Inc.

The bascule spans of the bridge will have a containment system installed which will reduce the vertical clearance navigation clearance by 5 feet from 17.3 feet above mean high water to 12.3 feet above mean high water. Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed positions may do so at anytime. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies if a three-hour notice is given from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; on Saturdays and Sundays the bridge will be able to open in accordance with 33 CFR 117.899(c), and there is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

Dated: April 21, 2015. Steven M. Fischer, Bridge Administrator, Thirteenth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2015-09788 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0295] RIN 1625-AA00; 1625-AA11 Safety Zones and Regulated Navigation Area; Shell Arctic Drilling/Exploration Vessels and Associated Voluntary First Amendment Area, Puget Sound, WA AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing temporary safety zones around each vessel associated with Royal Dutch Shell's (Shell) planned Arctic oil drilling and exploration operations, and any vessel actively engaged in towing or escorting those vessels, while located in the U.S. Territorial and Internal Waters of the Sector Puget Sound Captain of the Port Zone. In addition, the Coast Guard is establishing a regulated navigation area to designate a Voluntary First Amendment Area for individuals that desire to exercise their First Amendment free speech rights with regards to Shell's operations. The safety zones and regulated navigation area created by this rule are necessary to ensure the mutual safety of all waterways users including the specified vessels and those individuals that desire to exercise their First Amendment rights.

DATES:

This rule is effective without actual notice from April 28, 2015 until June 30, 2015. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from the date the rule was signed, April 15, 2015, until April 28, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2015-0295 to view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Lieutenant Matthew Beck, Waterways Management Division, Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound; telephone (206) 217-6051, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Barbara Hairston, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary final rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because publishing an NPRM would be impracticable since the regulation is immediately necessary to help ensure the safety of all waterway users including the specified vessels and those individuals that desire to exercise their First Amendment rights and holding a notice and comment period at this time would delay regulatory implementation beyond the arrival of the Shell contracted vessel “BLUE MARLIN” and expected start of First Amendment activities regarding Shell's operations, thereby increasing the safety risk to all waterways users.

Current projections indicate that the BLUE MARLIN will arrive in U.S. Territorial Waters in the vicinity of Puget Sound on or about April 17, 2015. Of particular note, Greenpeace international members boarded the BLUE MARLIN at sea without authorization. They have since departed the vessel but may seek to re-board and subsequently remain aboard when the vessel enters U.S. jurisdiction. Additionally, environmental groups have announced an intention to form a “kayak flotilla” in the Puget Sound to exercise their First Amendment rights regarding Shell's operations in the region, making this regulation time critical to helping ensure maritime safety.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. For reasons identical to those described above, delaying the effective date until 30 days after publication would be impracticable since the regulation is immediately necessary to help ensure the safety of all waterway users.

B. Basis and Purpose

The legal basis for this rule is the Coast Guard's authority to establish limited access areas: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701, 3306, 3703; 50 U.S.C. 191, 195; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Public Law 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

Shell is planning Arctic oil drilling and exploration operations for the spring and summer of 2015. In preparation for those operations, it is staging a large number of vessels in the Puget Sound area. Recently, it has come to the Coast Guard's attention that a significant amount of First Amendment activity related to Shell's operations is likely to occur in the Puget Sound. We also note that First Amendment activity has already included the unauthorized boarding of a Shell vessel on the high seas by Greenpeace members and the formation of a “kayak flotilla” in the Puget Sound to advocate against Shell's operations in the region. Draft restrictions, vessel maneuvering characteristics, and geographic/environmental conditions may constrain the ability of large commercial vessels (the Shell-contracted vessels) to maneuver in close quarters with other vessels, particularly small craft piloted by recreational operators. Intentional close-in interaction of these vessels will create an increased risk of collision, grounding, or personal injury for all parties. Furthermore, while moored or at anchor the vessels will have ongoing operations occurring onboard, some of which could pose a safety risk to other maritime traffic, including, for example, the offloading of the POLAR PIONEER from the BLUE MARLIN. The myriad of potential safety risks to all parties and the port itself is best addressed by mandating a minimum zone of separation. For these reasons, the Coast Guard believes that safety zones around the Shell-contracted vessels are necessary to ensure the safety of all waterways users.

Additionally, the Coast Guard believes that given the nature of the First Amendment activity expected and the likely type of vessels used by individuals desiring to express their First Amendment rights, namely kayaks and other small vessels, a regulated navigation area designating a Voluntary First Amendment Area is necessary to ensure the safety of those vessels and persons. The regulated navigation area encompassing the Voluntary First Amendment Area would do so by establishing it as a “no wake” area, which is particularly important for small boats such as kayaks, to better enable persons and vessels to congregate and exercise their First Amendment rights safely and without interference from or interfering with other maritime traffic.

C. Discussion of the Final Rule

In this rule, the Coast Guard is establishing safety zones around specified vessels related to Shell's Arctic oil drilling and exploration operations, and a regulated navigation area for a Voluntary Free Speech Area that will allow individuals a meaningful opportunity to be heard in exercising their First Amendment rights while not compromising the safety of maritime traffic or the individuals exercising their First Amendment rights.

The safety zones are established in subsection (a) of this temporary regulation. Per subsection (a)(1)(i), while transiting, the safety zone around each of the vessels will encompass all waters within 500 yards of the vessel in all directions. Per subsection (a)(1)(ii), while moored or anchored, the safety zone around each of the vessels will encompass all waters within 100 yards of the vessel in all directions. Persons and/or vessels that desire to enter these safety zones must request permission to do so from the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound by contacting the Joint Harbor Operations Center at 206-217-6001, or the on-scene Law Enforcement patrol craft, if any, via VHF-FM CH 16.

The Coast Guard is also establishing a regulated navigation area to ensure the safety of individuals that desire to exercise their First Amendment rights related to Shell's activities in subsection (b) of this regulation. The Voluntary First Amendment Area is being established in an area where we believe individuals will be able to effectively communicate their message, without posing an undue risk to maritime safety, after analyzing maritime traffic patterns and other environmental factors as well as meeting with some groups who have expressed a desire to exercise their First Amendment rights. The regulated navigation area encompassing the Voluntary First Amendment Area will ensure the safety of small boats by establishing it as a “no wake” area for persons and/or vessels to congregate and exercise their First Amendment rights safely and without interference from or interfering with other maritime traffic. The “no wake” provisions will ensure all interactions between vessels within the area occur at a low rate of speed, thereby reducing risk of collision and personal injury. Likewise, the designation of a Voluntary First Amendment Area will help to ensure that a large congregation of vessels does not impede or endanger other commercial and recreational users who are not associated with Shell's arctic drilling and exploration operations or the associated First Amendment activity.

These provisions are particularly vital given the expected presence of the “kayak flotilla” described above. Persons or vessels desiring to exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech regarding Shell's Arctic drilling and exploration operations may enter the regulated navigation area at any time. All other persons or vessels are advised to avoid the regulated navigation area. When inside the regulated navigation area, all vessels must proceed at “no wake” speed and with due regard for all other persons and/or vessels inside the regulated navigation area.

D. Regulatory Analyses

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

1. Regulatory Planning and Review

This rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of Executive Order 12866 or under section 1 of Executive Order 13563. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under those Orders. This rule is not a significant regulatory action as the safety zones and regulated navigation area are limited in both size and duration and any person and/or vessel needing to transit through the safety zones or regulated navigation area may be allowed to do so in accordance with the regulatory provisions.

2. Impact on Small Entities

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule will affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: the owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the affected waterways when the safety zones and regulated navigation areas are in effect. The safety zones and regulated navigation areas will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, however, because the safety zones and regulated navigation area are limited in both size and duration and any person and/or vessel needing to transit through the safety zones or regulated navigation area may be allowed to do so in accordance with the regulatory provisions.

3. Assistance for Small Entities

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

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

4. Collection of Information

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

5. Federalism

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

6. First Amendment Activities

The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of all individuals. This regulation establishes a regulated navigation area to create a Voluntary First Amendment Area so that persons and vessels can congregate and exercise their First Amendment free speech rights safely and without interference from or interfering with other maritime traffic. Of particular note, large vessels operating in restricted waters cannot maneuver freely, nor can they stop immediately. As such, any First Amendment activity taking place in immediate proximity to such vessels can quickly result in extremis. The Voluntary First Amendment Area has been located to allow individuals a meaningful opportunity to be heard. Individuals that desire to exercise their First Amendment rights are asked utilize the designated area to the extent possible, however, its use is voluntary. Individuals that desire to exercise their First Amendment rights outside the designated area are requested to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate their activities so that their message can be heard, without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places, or vessels.

7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

8. Taking of Private Property

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

9. Civil Justice Reform

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

10. Protection of Children

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

11. Indian Tribal Governments

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

12. Energy Effects

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

13. Technical Standards

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

14. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)(42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves the establishment of temporary safety zones and a regulated navigation area to deal with an emergency situation that is one week or longer in duration. This rule is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

2. Add § 165.T13-289 to read as follows:
§ 165.T13-289 Safety Zones and Regulated Navigation Area; Shell Arctic Drilling/Exploration Vessels and Associated Voluntary First Amendment Area, Puget Sound, WA.

(a) Safety zones—(1) Location. The following areas are designated as safety zones:

(i) All waters within 500 yards of the following vessels while transiting within the U.S. Territorial or Internal Waters of the Sector Puget Sound Captain of the Port Zone as defined in 33 CFR 3.65-10: NOBLE DISCOVERER, BLUE MARLIN, POLAR PIONEER, AIVIQ, FENNICA, NORDICA, ROSS CHOUEST, TOR VIKING, OCEAN WIND, OCEAN WAVE, HARVEY SISUAQ, HARVEY CHAMPION, HARVEY SUPPORTER, HARVEY EXPLORER, NANUQ, GUARDSMAN, KLAMATH, PT OLIKTOK, ARCTIC ENDEAVOR, CORBIN FOSS, ACS, ARCTIC CHALLENGER, ARCTIC SEAL, CROWLEY DIANA G, LAUREN FOSS, TUUQ, BARBARA FOSS, AMERICAN TRADER, and any other vessel actively engaged in towing or escorting those vessels.

(ii) All waters within 100 yards of the following vessels while moored or anchored within the U.S. Territorial or Internal Waters of the Sector Puget Sound Captain of the Port Zone as defined in 33 CFR 3.65-10: NOBLE DISCOVERER, BLUE MARLIN, POLAR PIONEER, AIVIQ, FENNICA, NORDICA, ROSS CHOUEST, TOR VIKING, OCEAN WIND, OCEAN WAVE, HARVEY SISUAQ, HARVEY CHAMPION, HARVEY SUPPORTER, HARVEY EXPLORER, NANUQ, GUARDSMAN, KLAMATH, PT OLIKTOK, ARCTIC ENDEAVOR, CORBIN FOSS, ACS, ARCTIC CHALLENGER, ARCTIC SEAL, CROWLEY DIANA G, LAUREN FOSS, TUUQ, BARBARA FOSS, AMERICAN TRADER, and any other vessel actively engaged in towing or escorting the listed vessels.

(2) Regulations. In accordance with the general regulations in subpart C of this part, no persons or vessels may enter these safety zones unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound or his designated representative. To request permission to enter one of these safety zones contact the Joint Harbor Operations Center at 206-217-6001, or the on-scene Law Enforcement patrol craft, if any, via VHF-FM CH 16. If permission for entry into one of these safety zones is granted, vessels must proceed at a minimum speed for safe navigation.

(b) Regulated navigation area—(1) Location. The following area is designated as a regulated navigation area: All waters of Elliot Bay encompassed by lines connecting the following points located between Seacrest Park and Terminal 5: 47°35′20.47″ N., 122°21′53.32″ W.; thence south to 47°35′11.54″ N., 122°21′53.24″ W.; thence west to 47°35′11.47″ N., 122°22′26.44″ W.; thence north to 47°35′20.47″ N., 122°22′26.40″ W.; thence back to the point of origin.

(2) Regulations. In accordance with the general regulations in subpart B of this part, persons or vessels desiring to exercise their First Amendment right to free speech regarding Royal Dutch Shell's Arctic drilling and exploration operations may enter the regulated navigation area at any time. All other persons or vessels are advised to avoid the regulated navigation area. When inside the regulated navigation area, all vessels must proceed at no wake speed and with due regard for all other persons and/or vessels inside the regulated navigation area.

(c) Dates. This rule will be enforced from April 15, 2015, through June 30, 2015.

Dated: April 15, 2015. D.L. Cottrell, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Commander, Thirteenth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2015-09858 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0525; FRL-9926-79-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Pennsylvania; Redesignation of the Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle-York Nonattainment Areas to Attainment for the 1997 Annual and the 2006 24-Hour Fine Particulate Matter Standard; Correction AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule; correcting amendment.

SUMMARY:

This document corrects errors in the rule language of a final rule pertaining to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's requests to redesignate to attainment the Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle and York nonattainment areas for the 1997 annual fine particulate matter (PM2.5) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) and the Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle-York 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS nonattainment area, which was published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, December 8, 2014 (79 FR 72552).

DATES:

This document is effective on April 28, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rose Quinto, (215) 814-2182 or by email at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On December 8, 2014, (79 FR 72552), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rulemaking action announcing the approval of Pennsylvania's requests to redesignate to attainment the Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle and York nonattainment areas for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS and the Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle-York 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS nonattainment area.

Need for Correction

As published, the final redesignation contains errors. EPA inadvertently did not include a table for the 2017 and 2025 PM2.5 and nitrogen oxides (NOX) motor vehicle emissions budgets (MVEBs) for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS for Lebanon County. The Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle Area is comprised of Cumberland, Dauphin and Lebanon Counties. This action corrects the title of the table entitled, “Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle Area's Motor Vehicle Emissions Budget for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS in tons per year,” to add “for Cumberland and Dauphin Counties” and adds a table for the 2017 and 2025 PM2.5 and NOX MVEBs for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS for Lebanon County.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

Dated: April 16, 2015. William C. Early, Acting Regional Administrator, EPA Region III.

Accordingly, 40 CFR part 52 is corrected by making the following correcting amendments:

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 NN—Pennsylvania 2. Section 52.2059 paragraph (k) is amended: a. In the table heading by revising the heading to the second table; and b. By adding a third table at end of paragraph (k).

The revision and addition read as follows:

§ 52.2059 Control strategy: Particular matter.

(k) * * *

Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle Area's Motor Vehicle Emission Budgets for Cumberland and Dauphin Counties for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS in Tons per Year Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle Area's Motor Vehicle Emission Budgets for Lebanon County for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS in Tons per Year Type of control strategy SIP Year PM2.5 NOX Effective date of SIP
  • approval
  • Maintenance Plan 2017 76 2,252 12/08/14 2025 52 1,446 12/08/14
    [FR Doc. 2015-09771 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2014-0873; FRL-9926-19-Region 9] Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve revisions to the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District (YSAQMD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions concern volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from solvent cleaning and degreasing operations. We are approving local rules that regulate these emission sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on June 29, 2015 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comments by May 28, 2015. If we receive such comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register to notify the public that this direct final rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments, identified by docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2014-0873 by one of the following methods:

    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions.

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Mail or deliver: Andrew Steckel (Air-4), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.

    Instructions: All comments will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Information that you consider CBI or otherwise protected should be clearly identified as such and should not be submitted through www.regulations.gov or email. www.regulations.gov is an “anonymous access” system, and EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send email directly to EPA, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the public comment. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Arnold Lazarus, EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3024 [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Table of Contents I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit? B. Are there other versions of these rules? C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule revisions? II. EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is EPA evaluating the rules? B. Do the rules meet the evaluation criteria? C. EPA Recommendations To Further Improve the Rules D. Public Comment and Final Action III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit?

    Table 1 lists the rules we are approving with the dates that they were adopted by the local air agency and submitted by the California Air Resources Board.

    Table 1—Submitted Rules Local agency Rule No. Rule title Adopted/
  • Revised
  • Rescinded Submitted
    YSAQMD 1.1 General Provisions and Definitions 5/8/2013 N/A 2/10/14 YSAQMD 2.13 Organic Solvents (Rescinded) 5/25/94 * 9/4/14 YSAQMD 2.15 Disposal and Evaporation of Solvents (Rescinded) 1978 * 9/4/14 YSAQMD 2.24 Solvent Cleaning Operations (Degreasing) (Rescinded) 11/14/90 * 9/4/14 YSAQMD 2.31 Solvent Cleaning and Degreasing 5/8/13 N/A 2/10/14 * See letter from Mat Ehrhardt, Executive Director, YSAQMD to Kurt Karperos, Chief, Air Quality Planning and Science Division, California Air Resources Board, requesting that YSAQMD Rules 2.13, 2.15 and 2.24 be withdrawn from the California SIP.

    On May 5, 2014, EPA determined that the submittal for YSAQMD Rules 1.1 and 2.31 met the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 51 Appendix V, which must be met before formal EPA review.

    B. Are there other versions of these rules?

    There are previous versions of Rules 1.1 and 2.31 in the SIP. YSAQMD adopted earlier versions of these rules on August 13, 1997 and April 27, 1994 respectively, and CARB submitted them to us on July 26, 2000 and November 30, 1994 respectively. We approved these versions of Rule 1.1 and 2.31 into the SIP on March 22, 2004 (69 FR 13234) and April 2, 1999 (64 FR 15922) respectively.

    C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule revisions?

    VOCs help produce ground-level ozone and smog, which harm human health and the environment. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires States to submit regulations that control VOC emissions. Rule 1.1—“General Provisions and Definitions,” contains definitions for specific terms applicable to all District rules. The revisions include additions to the exempt organic compound definition to coincide with those that EPA has determined to have negligible photochemical reactivity as listed in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 51.100 (40 CFR 51.100.) Rule 2.31, “Solvent Cleaning and Degreasing” establishes VOC limits and workplace requirements for cleaning and degreasing products sold, distributed or used within the District. It also prescribes administrative requirements for recordkeeping and test methods. YSAQMD has rescinded Rule 2.13, “Organic Solvents,” Rule 2.15 “Disposal and Evaporation of Solvents,” and Rule 2.24, “Solvent Cleaning Operations (Degreasing)” because the requirements of those rules are now included in the revised Rule 2.31, “Solvent Cleaning and Degreasing” and had they not been rescinded, there would have been redundancies between them and Rule 2.31. EPA's technical support documents (TSDs) have more information about these rules.

    II. EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is EPA evaluating the rules?

    Generally, SIP rules must be enforceable (see section 110(a) of the Act), must require Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for each category of sources covered by a Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) document as well as each VOC major source in ozone nonattainment areas classified as moderate or above (see sections 182(b)(2) and 182(f)), and must not relax existing requirements (see sections 110(l) and 193). The YSAQMD regulates an ozone nonattainment area classified as Severe for the 8-hour ozone (NAAQS 40 CFR part 81.305), so Rules 1.1 and 2.31 must be consistent with RACT requirements.

    Guidance and policy documents that we use to evaluate enforceability and RACT requirements consistently include the following:

    1. “State Implementation Plans; General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990,” 57 FR 13498 (April 16, 1992); 57 FR 18070 (April 28, 1992).

    2. “Issues Relating to VOC Regulation Cutpoints, Deficiencies, and Deviations,” EPA, May 25, 1988 (the Bluebook).

    3. “Guidance Document for Correcting Common VOC & Other Rule Deficiencies,” EPA Region 9, August 21, 2001 (the Little Bluebook).

    4. Control of Volatile Organic Emissions from Solvent Metal Cleaning” EPA-450/2-77-022, November 1977.

    5. “Control Technique Guidelines for Industrial Cleaning Solvents” EPA-453/R-06-001, September 2006.

    6. “Control Technique Guidelines for Flexible Package Printing” EPA 453/R-06-003, September 2006.

    7. “Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Coating Operations at Aerospace manufacturing and Rework Operations” EPA-453/R-97-004, December 1997.

    8. CARB's RACT/BARCT guidance titled, “Organic Solvent Cleaning and Degreasing Operations” (July 18, 1991)

    B. Do the rules meet the evaluation criteria?

    We believe these rules are consistent with the relevant policy and guidance regarding enforceability, RACT, and SIP relaxations. The TSDs have more information on our evaluation.

    C. EPA Recommendations To Further Improve the Rules

    The TSDs describe additional rule revisions that we recommend for the next time the local agency modifies the rules.

    D. Public Comment and Final Action

    As authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the Act, EPA is fully approving submitted YSAQMD Rules 1.1 and 2.31 for incorporation into the SIP and to replace in the SIP YSAQMD Rules 2.13, 2.15, 2.24, because we believe action on these rules fulfills all relevant requirements. We are also removing YSAQMD rules 2.13, 2.15 and 2.24 from the SIP because 2.31 contains more stringent requirements and eliminates redundancies. We do not think anyone will object to this approval, so we are finalizing it without proposing it in advance. However, in the Proposed Rules section of this Federal Register, we are simultaneously proposing the same action on these rules. If we receive adverse comments by May 28, 2015, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register to notify the public that the direct final approval will not take effect and we will address the comments in a subsequent final action based on the proposal. If we do not receive timely adverse comments, the direct final approval will be effective without further notice on June 29, 2015. This will incorporate YSAQMD Rules 1.1 and 2.31 and replace YSAQMD Rules 2.13, 2.15 and 2.24 into the federally enforceable SIP.

    Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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 29, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action.

    Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the Proposed Rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. 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, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: March 30, 2015. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region IX.

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

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart F—California 2. Section 52.220, is amended by adding paragraph (c)(442)(i)(F) to read as follows:
    § 52.220 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    (442) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (F) Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District.

    (1) Rule 1.1, “General Provisions and Definitions,” revised on May 8, 2013.

    (2) Rule 2.31, “Solvent Cleaning and Degreasing,” revised on May 8, 2013.

    [FR Doc. 2015-09737 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 22 [WT Docket No. 12-40; RM 11510; FCC 14-181] Reform of Rules Governing the 800 MHz Cellular Service 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, the information collection requirements associated with the Commission's Report and Order, WT Docket No. 12-40, RM 11510, FCC 14-181. This document 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:

    47 CFR 22.165(e), 22.948, and 22.953, published at 79 FR 72143, December 5, 2014, are effective on May 19, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document announces that, on March 31, 2015, April 9, 2015, and April 20, 2015, OMB approved the revised information collection requirements contained in the Commission's Report and Order, FCC 14-181, published at 79 FR 72143, December 5, 2014. The OMB Control Numbers are 3060-0508, 3060-0800, and 3060-1058. The Commission publishes this document 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 Numbers, 3060-0508, 3060-0800, and 3060-1058 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 31, 2015, April 9, 2015, and April 20, 2015, for the revised information collection requirements contained in the Commission's rules at 47 CFR 22.165(e), 22.948, and 22.953.

    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 Numbers are 3060-0508, 3060-0800, and 3060-1058.

    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: 3060-0508.

    OMB Approval Date: April 9, 2015.

    OMB Expiration Date: April 30, 2018.

    Title: Parts 1 and 22 Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements.

    Form Number: Not applicable.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities, Individuals or households, and State, Local or Tribal Governments.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 15,713 respondents; 15,713 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 15 minutes-10 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement; On occasion, quarterly, and semi-annual reporting requirements.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 154, 222, 303, 309 and 332.

    Total Annual Burden: 4,894 hours.

    Annual Cost Burden: $19,445,250.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: Yes.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information. The information to be collected will be made available for public inspection. Applicants may request materials or information submitted to the Commission be given confidential treatment under 47 CFR 0.459 of the Commission's rules.

    Needs and Uses: The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) received approval for a revision of OMB Control No. 3060-0508 from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The purpose of this revision was to obtain OMB approval of rules applicable to Part 22 800 MHz Cellular Radiotelephone (“Cellular”) Service licensees and applicants, as adopted by the Commission in a Report and Order (Report and Order) on November 7, 2014 (WT Docket No. 12-40; RM No. 11510; FCC 14-181). By the Report and Order, the Commission eliminates or streamlines certain Cellular Service filing requirements, thereby reducing the information collection burdens for Cellular Service respondents.

    The information collected is used to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether or not to grant licenses authorizing construction and operation of wireless telecommunications facilities to common carriers. Further, this information is used to develop statistics about the demand for various wireless licenses and/or the licensing process itself, and occasionally for rule enforcement purposes.

    OMB Control No.: 3060-0800.

    OMB Approval Date: March 31, 2015.

    OMB Expiration Date: March 31, 2018.

    Title: FCC Application for Assignments of Authorization and Transfers of Control: Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and/or Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.

    Form No.: FCC Form 603.

    Respondents: Individuals or households; business or other for-profit entities; not-for-profit institutions; State, local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 2,447 respondents; 2,447 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.5-1.75 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement; on occasion reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in 47 U.S.C. 4(i), 154(i), 303(r) and 309(j).

    Total Annual Burden: 2,759 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $366,975.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: In general there is no need for confidentiality. On a case by case basis, the Commission may be required to withhold from disclosure certain information about the location, character, or ownership of a historic property, including traditional religious sites.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: Yes.

    Needs and Uses: FCC Form 603 is a multi-purpose form used to apply for approval of assignment or transfer of control of licenses in the wireless services. The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) received approval for a revision of OMB Control No. 3060-0800 from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This revised information collection reflects changes in rules applicable to Part 22 800 MHz Cellular Radiotelephone (“Cellular”) Service licensees and applicants, as adopted by the Commission in a Report and Order (Report and Order) on November 7, 2014 (WT Docket No. 12-40; RM No. 11510; FCC 14-181). In addition to other rule revisions that do not affect this information collection, the Commission adopted a revised rule Section 22.948(a) to require the electronic submission of maps (in GIS format and PDF) when the Cellular applicant submits Form 603 to apply for Partitioning and Disaggregation. This requirement very slightly increases the total annual burden hours for this information collection. FCC Form 603 itself is not being revised.

    The data collected on this form is used by the FCC to determine whether the public interest would be served by approval of the requested assignment or transfer. This form is also used to notify the Commission of consummated assignments and transfers of wireless and/or public safety licenses that have previously been consented to by the Commission or for which notification but not prior consent is required. This form is used by applicants/licensees in the Public Mobile Services, Personal Communications Services, General Wireless Communications Services, Private Land Mobile Radio Services, Broadcast Auxiliary Services, Broadband Radio Services, Educational Radio Services, Fixed Microwave Services, Maritime Services (excluding ships), and Aviation Services (excluding aircraft).

    The purpose of this form is to obtain information sufficient to identify the parties to the proposed assignment or transfer, establish the parties' basic eligibility and qualifications, classify the filing, and determine the nature of the proposed service. Various technical schedules are required along with the main form applicable to Auctioned Services, Partitioning and Disaggregation, Undefined Geographical Area Partitioning, Notification of Consummation or Request for Extension of Time for Consummation.

    OMB Control No.: 3060-1058.

    OMB Approval Date: April 20, 2015.

    OMB Expiration Date: April 30, 2018.

    Title: FCC Application or Notification for Spectrum Leasing Arrangement: Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and/or Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.

    Form No.: FCC Form 608.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; not-for-profit institutions; State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 991 respondents; 991 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement and on occasion reporting requirement. Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 155, 158, 161, 301, 303(r), 308, 309, 310, 332 and 503.

    Total Annual Burden: 996 hours.

    Annual Cost Burden: $1,282,075.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: In general there is no need for confidentiality. On a case by case basis, the Commission may be required to withhold from disclosure certain information about the location, character, or ownership of a historic property, including traditional religious sites.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: Not applicable.

    Needs and Uses: FCC Form 608 is a multipurpose form. It is used to provide notification or request approval for any spectrum leasing arrangement (“Lease”) entered into between an existing licensee in certain wireless services and a spectrum lessee. This form also is required to notify or request approval for any spectrum subleasing arrangement (“Sublease”). The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) received approval for a revision of OMB Control No. 3060-1058 from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The revised information collection reflects changes in rules applicable to Part 22 800 MHz Cellular Radiotelephone (“Cellular”) Service licensees and applicants, as adopted by the Commission in a Report and Order (“R&O”) on November 7, 2014 (WT Docket No. 12-40; RM No. 11510; FCC 14-181). In addition to other rule revisions that do not affect this information collection, the Commission adopted a revised rule Section 22.948(d) to require the electronic submission of maps (in GIS format and PDF) when the Cellular Service applicant submits Form 608. The requirement very slightly increases the total annual burden hours for this information collection. FCC Form 608 itself is not being revised.

    The data collected on the form is used by the FCC to determine whether the public interest would be served by the Lease or Sublease. The form is also used to provide notification for any Private Commons Arrangement entered into between a licensee, lessee, or sublessee and a class of third-party users (as defined in Section 1.9080 of the Commission's Rules).

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Office of the Managing Director.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09830 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 73 [MB Docket No. 14-255, RM-11742, DA 15-442] Radio Broadcasting Services; Shelter Island, New York AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Audio Division amends the FM Table of Allotments, by allotting Channel 277A at Shelter Island, New York, as the community's first local service. A staff engineering analysis indicates that Channel 277A can be allotted to Shelter Island consistent with the minimum distance separation requirements of the Commission's Rules with a site restriction located 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) south of the community. The reference coordinates are 40-57-54 NL and 72-22-59 WL.

    DATES:

    Effective: May 25, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rolanda F. Smith, Media Bureau, (202) 418-2700.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a synopsis of the Commission's Report and Order, MB Docket No. 14-255, adopted April 9, 2015, and released April 10, 2015. The full text of this Commission decision is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC's Reference Information Center at Portals II, CY-A257, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. This document does not contain information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. The Commission will send a copy of the Report and Order in a report to be sent to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 73

    Radio, Radio broadcasting.

    Federal Communications Commission. Nazifa Sawez, Assistant Chief, Audio Division, Media Bureau.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 73 as follows:

    PART 73—RADIO BROADCAST SERVICES 1. The authority citation for part 73 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 303, 334, 336, and 339.

    § 73.202 [Amended]
    2. Section 73.202(b), the Table of FM Allotments under New York, is amended by adding Shelter Island, Channel 277A.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09855 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    80 81 Tuesday, April 28, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 205 [Document Number AMS-NOP-11-0009; NOP-11-04PR] RIN 0581-AD08 National Organic Program; Origin of Livestock AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS) proposes to amend the origin of livestock requirements for dairy animals under the USDA organic regulations. This proposed action would specify that a producer can transition dairy animals into organic production once. This proposed action would clarify that, after completion of this one-time transition, any new dairy animals that a producer adds to a dairy farm would need to be managed organically from the last third of gestation or sourced from dairy animals that already completed their transition into organic production. This proposed action would also clarify how breeder stock should be managed on organic livestock farms.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may submit written comments on this proposed rule using one of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Scott Updike, Agricultural Marketing Specialist, National Organic Program, USDA-AMS-NOP, Room 2646—So., Ag Stop 0268, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-0268.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the docket number AMS-NOP-11-0009; NOP-11-04PR, and/or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 0581-AD08 for this rulemaking. Commenters should identify the topic and section of the proposed rule to which their comment refers. All commenters should refer to the GENERAL INFORMATION section for more information on preparing your comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov.

    Docket: For access to the docket, including background documents and comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Comments submitted in response to this proposed rule will also be available for viewing in person at USDA-AMS, National Organic Program, Room 2646—South Building, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (except official Federal holidays). Persons wanting to visit the USDA South Building to view comments received in response to this proposed rule are requested to make an appointment in advance by calling (202) 720-3252.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew Perry, Director, Standards Division, Telephone: (202) 720-3252; Fax: (202) 205-7808.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Executive Summary A. Purpose of Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would create greater consistency in the implementation of a standard for the transition of dairy animals into organic production and for the management of breeder stock. AMS has determined that the current regulations regarding the transition of dairy animals and the management of breeder stock on organic operations need additional specificity and clarity to improve AMS' ability to efficiently administer the National Organic Program (NOP). A stated purpose of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) (7 U.S.C. 6501-6522) is to assure consumers that organically produced products meet a consistent and uniform standard (7 U.S.C. 6501). This action would facilitate and improve compliance with and enforcement of the USDA organic regulations (7 CFR part 205) and maintain consumer trust in the consistency of the Organic seal.

    B. Summary of Provisions

    This proposed rule would update the regulation by explicitly requiring that milk or milk products labeled, sold or represented as organic be from dairy animals organically managed since at least the last third of gestation, with a one-time exception for transition. This exception would allow a producer, as defined by the regulations, to transition nonorganic dairy animals to organic milk production one time, under specific conditions.

    This proposal would specify that a producer (e.g., an individual or corporation starting or operating a dairy farm) could transition nonorganic dairy animals to organic milk production one time over a single twelve-month period. The proposal would require that all transitioning animals end the transition process at the same time. This twelve-month period is consistent with OFPA's requirement that there be a minimum period of one year of organic management before milk from dairy animals can be sold as organic (7 U.S.C. 6509(e)(2)).

    This proposal would specify that, once the transition into organic production is complete, that a producer would not be allowed to conduct any additional transitions. After the transition, the producer would only be able to expand the number of dairy animals or replace culled dairy animals on any dairy farm in two ways: (1) Add dairy animals that had been under continuous organic management since the last third of gestation, or (2) add transitioned dairy animals that had already completed the transition on another dairy farm during that producer's one-time transition.

    The proposal would define a dairy farm as a specific premises with a milking parlor where at least one lactating animal is milked. For the purpose of this definition, a milking parlor should be considered a physical structure (e.g., barn, parlor) in which dairy animals are milked. Because the dairy farm definition, in part, drives the eligibility for a producer to transition animals to organic production, this action would mean that producers that only raise heifers for organic dairy farms would not be eligible to transition conventional animals to organic. Such producers do not milk animals and, therefore, would not be considered eligible for the one-time transition exception. However, such producers could continue raising heifers for organic dairy farms as long as the animals were under continuous organic management from the last third of gestation.

    This proposed rule reiterates that breeder stock may be brought from a nonorganic operation onto an organic operation at any time. While the regulations prohibit organic livestock from being removed and managed on a nonorganic operation and subsequently returned to an organic operation (i.e., cycling in and out of organic production), this provision does not extend to nonorganic breeder stock that are themselves not certified or eligible for slaughter, sale, and labeling as organic. Further, OFPA specifically allows breeder stock to be purchased from any source if the stock is not in its last third of gestation. Consistent with OFPA and USDA organic regulations, a producer has flexibility in its sourcing and its management of nonorganic breeder stock after its organic calf is weaned and before it begins the last third of gestation for the next offspring. However, a producer must continue to prevent commingling of organic and nonorganic products and prevent contact of any organic production or products with prohibited substances (7 CFR 205.201(a)(5)). AMS is proposing additional provisions for organic management of breeder stock during the time when the breeder stock is directly contributing to the nourishment of organic offspring, from the last third of gestation through the end of the nursing period.

    C. Costs and Benefits

    AMS estimates the following costs and benefits of this proposed rule.

    Costs (range) Benefits $288,000-$935,000
  • This range indicates the estimated costs for dairy producers to purchase organic replacement heifers instead of transitioned heifers. (AMS had no data to estimate costs for dairy sheep and goat farms) AMS believes the lower bound is a conservative estimate of the costs and actual costs could be less. The upper limit accounts for an assumed organic premium for organic heifers. The difference between the lower bound and upper limit is believed to be an intra-industry transfer of costs and benefits, not a net cost
  • Will create a consistent, level playing field for all existing organic dairy producers, regardless of how they transitioned into organic production.
  • Facilitates more consistent enforcement of organic dairy standards.
  • Maintains consumer confidence in the USDA organic seal.
  • Table of Contents I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me? B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for AMS? II. Background A. Dairy Transition B. Breeder Stock C. Development of Existing Standards D. Discussion of Past Comments Received III. Overview of Proposed Amendments A. Dairy Transition i. Implementation Considerations B. Breeder Stock C. Additional Clarifications D. Other Amendments Considered IV. Related Documents V. Statutory and Regulatory Authority A. Executive Order 12866 and 13563 i. Need for the Rule ii. Baseline iii. Alternatives Considered iv. Costs of Proposed Rule v. Benefits of Proposed Rule vi. Conclusions B. Executive Order 12988 C. Regulatory Flexibility Act D. Executive Order 13175 E. Paperwork Reduction Act F. Civil Rights Impact Analysis VI. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 205 I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you are engaged in the dairy industry. Potentially affected entities may include, but are not limited to:

    • Individuals or business entities that are considering starting a new dairy farm and that plan to seek organic certification for that farm.

    • Existing dairy farms that are currently certified organic under the USDA organic regulations.

    • Existing conventional dairy farms that are considering converting their farm to certified organic production.

    • Businesses engaged in raising heifers for sale to certified organic operations.

    • Certifying agents accredited under the USDA organic regulations to certify organic livestock operations.

    • Certifying agents accredited under the USDA organic regulations who may seek to certify transitioned dairy animals or transitional crops.

    This listing is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be affected by this action. Other types of entities not listed in this section could also be affected. To determine whether you or your business may be affected by this action, you should carefully examine the proposed regulatory text. If you have questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for AMS?

    Your comments should clearly indicate whether or not they support the action being proposed for any or all of the items in this proposed rule. You should clearly indicate the reason(s) for the stated position. Your comments should also offer any recommended language changes that would be appropriate for your position. Please include relevant information and data to further support your position (e.g. scientific, environmental, industry impact information, etc.).

    Specifically, AMS is requesting comments on the following topics:

    1. The cost and benefit analysis presented, including assumptions and estimates, of limiting dairy transition to a one-time exception for a given producer;

    2. Procedures that certifying agents would use under this proposal to determine whether a producer is eligible for the one-time transition; and

    3. The proposed implementation approach for this rule.

    II. Background A. Dairy Transition

    AMS' National Organic Program (NOP) is authorized by OFPA. Through the NOP, AMS oversees national standards for the production and handling of organically produced agricultural products. This action is being taken by AMS to create greater consistency in the implementation of the origin of livestock requirements for organic dairy animals, and to facilitate and improve compliance with and enforcement of the USDA organic regulations. This action is also being taken to satisfy consumer expectations that organic livestock meet a consistent and uniform standard.

    Section 6509 of OFPA authorizes the USDA to implement regulations regarding standards for organic livestock products, including the transition of dairy animals into organic production. OFPA establishes that in general, organic livestock will be managed organically since the last third of gestation (7 U.S.C. 6509(b)). As an exception for dairy animals, OFPA requires a minimum period of one year of organic management before milk from non-organic dairy animals can be sold as organic (7 U.S.C. 6509(e)(2)). OFPA also addresses the use of breeder stock on livestock farms (7 U.S.C. 6509(b)). Furthermore, OFPA authorizes the creation of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to advise USDA about the implementation of standards and practices for organic production (7 U.S.C. 6518).

    The USDA organic regulations regarding the origin of livestock (7 CFR 205.236(a)) require that all livestock products (e.g., meat, fiber) sold, labeled, or represented as being organic must be from livestock under continuous organic management from the last third of gestation onward. For dairy animals, the USDA organic regulations provide an exception at section 205.236(a)(2) that allows for the transition of a dairy herd into organic production as long as they are under continuous organic management for the one-year period prior to production of organic milk or milk products. During this one-year period, dairy animals may consume crops and forage from land which is in the third year of organic management and included in the organic system plan, but has not yet been certified organic (7 CFR 205.236(a)(2)(i)). Section 205.236(a)(2)(iii) requires that once an entire distinct herd has transitioned to organic production, all dairy animals shall be managed organically from the last third of gestation.

    While the regulations allow for the transition of a conventional herd to organic milk production after one year of organic management, the regulations do not define a herd. As such, stakeholders have interpreted the term “herd” in a variety of ways. For example, some operations and certifying agents consider a herd to include all of the animals on the farm, whereas others consider a herd to be a group of animals on a farm that are managed together over time.

    Additionally, organic operations and certifying agents have interpreted the USDA organic regulations differently regarding when the transition of a herd into organic production should be considered complete. Some dairy operations continuously transition conventional dairy animals as new “distinct” herds into organic production. This can be a cost savings to a farmer because he or she does not have to purchase organic dairy animals to either expand their herd or replace their cull animals. Other dairy operations have only used the transition exception once when they initially converted a “herd” to organic production. Current practice also does not always align with the intent of the May 2003 NOSB recommendation and the regulations that dairy herd transition be used only one time, when a producer with a farm initially transitions from conventional to organic production. AMS is updating the transition exception through this proposed rulemaking.

    In July 2013, the USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) published an audit report on organic milk operations stating that certifying agents were interpreting the origin of livestock requirements differently.1 According to the OIG report, three of the six certifiers interviewed by OIG allowed producers to continuously transition additional herds to organic milk production, while the other three certifiers did not permit this practice. OIG recommended that a proposed rule be issued to clarify the standard and ensure that all certifiers consistently apply and enforce the origin of livestock requirements. This proposed rule responds to the OIG finding on this issue.

    1 The July 2013 Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit report on organic milk operations may be accessed at the following Web site: http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/01601-0002-32.pdf.

    B. Breeder Stock

    OFPA states that breeder stock may be purchased from any source if such stock is not in the last third of gestation (7 U.S.C. 6509(b)). The USDA organic regulations define breeder stock as female livestock whose offspring may be incorporated into an organic operation at the time of their birth (7 CFR 205.2). OFPA and the regulations limit breeder stock to nonorganic females who may produce organic offspring if certain conditions are met. The regulations specify that such breeder stock may be brought from a nonorganic operation onto an organic operation at any time (7 CFR 205.236(a)(3)). If breeder stock is gestating and its offspring are to be raised as organic, the regulations require that the breeder stock be brought onto the facility no later than the last third of gestation and be under continuous organic management until the offspring are weaned from the breeder stock (7 CFR 205.236(a)).

    Stakeholders, through public comment to the NOSB and comments to NOP have expressed concern that some operations may bring breeder stock onto an organic operation, manage them organically for the last third of gestation so that the breeder stock can produce organic offspring, and then return that breeder stock to nonorganic management. Some stakeholders, including the NOSB, have suggested that such a practice does not align with a regulatory provision that prohibits livestock removed from an organic operation and subsequently managed on a nonorganic operation to be sold, labeled, or represented as organically produced (section 205.236(b)).2

    2 National Organic Standards Board April 2003 Recommendation on Breeder Stock: Clarification of Rule. Available online at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3104547.

    C. Development of Existing Standards

    Between 1994 and 2006, the NOSB made six recommendations regarding origin of dairy animals; several of which included recommendations on the management of breeder stock.3 Between 1997 and 2000, AMS issued two proposed rules and a final rule regarding national standards for production and handling of organic products, including livestock and their products. 4 5 AMS also issued a proposed rule and final rule implementing congressional amendments to the OFPA regarding feed for transitioning dairy animals.6 The NOSB as well as the public commented on these rulemakings with regard to the origin of livestock and exception for transition. Key points from these actions that led to the development of the existing standards on origin of livestock are summarized below.

    3 A complete listing of related documents and NOSB recommendations is found in Section III below.

    4 62 FR 65850; 65 FR 13512.

    5 65 FR 80548.

    6 71 FR 32803.

    (1) In June 1994, the NOSB recommended a series of provisions to address the source of livestock on organic farms. Within this recommendation, the NOSB stated that dairy stock be fed certified organic feeds and raised under organic management practices for not less than 12 months prior to the sale of their milk as organic.7

    7 NOSB Final Recommendation, 2 June 1994. Available online at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=stelprdc5058940.

    (2) On December 16, 1997, AMS responded to the June 1994 NOSB recommendation through publication of a proposed rule.8 The language contained within that proposed rule echoed the NOSB's recommendation. The proposal would have required that dairy animals must be on a certified organic facility beginning no later than 12 months prior to the production of milk or milk products sold, labeled, or represented as organic. The 1997 proposed rule also proposed that all feed provided to organic dairy livestock consist of organically produced and handled agricultural products, including pasture and forage. However, the proposed rule included a provision to allow nonorganic feed up to a maximum of 20 percent of the animal's diet. The 20 percent level was roughly representative of the nutrients provided from supplemental grain feeding, in addition to nutrients provided by pasture and forage. The proposed language also contained a provision that, if necessary, a herd of dairy livestock converting to organic management for the first time could be provided with nonorganic feed until 90 days prior to the production of organic milk or milk products. This proposed rule was never finalized.9

    8 62 FR 65850.

    9 Due to the volume and content of public comments submitted in response to the 1997 proposed rule, AMS withdrew the proposal and issued a second proposed rule prior to the final rule that established the National Organic Program (NOP) (published December 21, 2000).

    (3) In March 1998, the NOSB provided a second recommendation reaffirming its 1994 recommendation on the source of livestock.10 The March 1998 NOSB recommendation also recommended that livestock comprising part of a mixed crop/livestock operation should qualify to be certified organic at the end of the transition period.

    10 NOSB Committee Report and Adopted Recommendations, 16 March 1998. Available online at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=stelprdc5058929.

    (4) On March 13, 2000, AMS published a proposed rule that would establish the USDA organic regulations.11 Within this proposed rule, AMS responded to the NOSB's March 1998 recommendation on the source of livestock. AMS proposed to require that livestock be under continuous organic management beginning no later than one year prior to the production of organic milk or milk products. Unlike AMS' 1997 proposal, the 2000 proposed rule did not include a provision for the allowance of nonorganic feed during the 12-month transition period.

    11 65 FR 13512.

    (5) On June 12, 2000, the NOSB commented on the second proposed rule with respect to the origin of dairy livestock. The NOSB stated that livestock should be under organic management for one full year prior to the sale of organic milk with an exception for conversion of an entire, distinct herd into organic production. The NOSB laid out the following three conditions for conversion of a herd into organic production:

    • For the first nine months of the final twelve-month dairy herd transition period, animals must be fed at least 80 percent feed that is either organic or self-raised transitional feed. The remaining 20 percent could be nonorganic during those nine months.

    • For the final three months, animals must be fed 100 percent organic feed.

    • Once a dairy operation has been converted to organic production, all dairy animals shall be under organic management from the last third of gestation, except that transitional feed raised on the farm may be fed to young stock up to 12 months prior to milk production.

    (6) On December 21, 2000, AMS published a final rule establishing the USDA organic regulations.12 Through this action, AMS finalized the origin of livestock provision, including a requirement that organic milk be produced from animals under organic management beginning no later than one year prior to the production of milk or milk products sold, labeled, or represented as organic. The rule further incorporated the exceptions recommended by the NOSB by allowing 80 percent organic feed and 20 percent nonorganic feed (i.e., the “80/20” rule) for transitioned animals. AMS did not include NOSB's recommendation allowing young stock to be fed transitional feeds. In the preamble to the final rule, AMS explained that such a provision would allow animals to transition at different times, rather than as a herd, thereby making it incompatible with the notion that the whole herd transition was a distinct one-time event.13 AMS further described that the exception to transition is a one-time opportunity for producers to implement a conversion strategy for an established discrete dairy herd in conjunction with the land resources that sustain it. This rule went into effect on February 20, 2001, and was fully implemented on October 21, 2002.

    12 65 FR 80548.

    13 65 FR 80570.

    (7) In October 2002, the NOSB recommended that all replacement and expansion dairy animals be raised as organic from the last third of gestation onward. The NOSB believed that this would ensure consistency with the current regulations at section 205.236(a)(2)(iii). Their recommendation also included a provision for breeder stock (7 CFR 205.236(a)(3)) requiring that breeder stock remain under organic management indefinitely after their introduction onto an organic farm; that is to say, the recommendation was to prohibit breeder stock from rotating in and out of organic management.

    (8) In May 2003, the NOSB recommended that following a transition, all dairy livestock, including replacement stock, remain under organic management from the last third of gestation onward.14 Concurrently, the NOSB made a separate recommendation regarding breeder stock.15 They recommended a requirement for operations to continuously manage all breeder stock as organic if they were brought onto an organic farm to produce organic offspring. The NOSB further advocated that the NOP issue guidance in the form of questions and answers to clarify the management of breeder stock to the industry.

    14 National Organic Standards Board May 2003 Recommendation on Origin of Livestock: Recommendation for Rule Change (document dated April 2003). Available online at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3104546.

    15 National Organic Standards Board May 2003 Recommendation on Breeder Stock: Clarification of Rule (document dated April 2003). Available online at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3104547.

    (9) In October 2003, a legal challenge was filed against USDA stating that, among other things, the OFPA required organic dairy animals be fed 100 percent organic feeds, and thus, the 80/20 rule for the transition of dairy animals was in violation of the statute.16

    16Harvey v. Veneman, 297 F.Supp. 2d 334 (D. Maine 2004).

    (10) On January 26, 2005, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued a decision in the case.17 The court upheld the USDA organic regulations in general, but remanded the case to the lower court, for, among other things, the entry of a declaratory judgment with respect to the 80/20 dairy transition allowance, then codified in section 205.236(a)(2)(i) of the regulations. The lower court found the 80/20 dairy transition provisions at section 205.236(a)(2)(i) to be contrary to the OFPA and in excess of the Secretary's rulemaking authority.18

    17 Harvey v. Veneman, 396 F.3d 28 (1st Cir. 2005).

    18Harvey v. Johanns. Civil No. 02-216-P-H. Consent Final Judgment and Order, 9 June 2005. Available online at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3013564&acct=noprulemaking.

    (11) On November 10, 2005, Congress amended the OFPA to allow a special provision for transitioning dairy livestock to organic production (7 U.S.C. 6509(e)(2)(B)). This amendment provided a new provision to allow crops and forage from land included in the organic system plan of a farm that was in the third year of organic management to be consumed by the dairy animals on the farm during the 12 month period immediately prior to the sale of organic milk and milk products.

    (12) On April 27, 2006, AMS published a proposed rule entitled “Revisions to Livestock Standards Based on Court Order” to address the November 2005 amendments to OFPA.19 AMS received nearly 12,400 comments on the issue of dairy animal replacement during the comment period for this proposed rule. Additionally, in response to the April 13, 2006, advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on access to pasture, AMS received over 325 comments on the issue of dairy animal replacement.20 Neither of these actions intended to address the dairy replacement or transition issue as an objective. Accordingly, the comments were not a part of subsequent rulemaking for either action as they were beyond the scope of these rules. They are, however, acknowledged and discussed in this proposed rule.

    19 71 FR 24820.

    20 71 FR 19131.

    (13) On May 12, 2006, the NOSB commented on the “Revisions to Livestock Standards Based on Court Order (Harvey v. Johanns) and 2005 Amendment to the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990” proposed rule published April 27, 2006.21 The NOSB amended its May 2003 dairy replacement recommendation to read: “Once a dairy operation has been converted to organic production, all dairy animals, including all young stock whether born on or brought onto the operation, shall be under organic management from the last third of the mother's gestation.”

    21 71 FR 24820.

    (14) On June 7, 2006, AMS published a final rule entitled “Revisions to Livestock Standards Based on Court Order” to implement the November 2005 statutory change.22 The amendments reflected the new OFPA allowance permitting transitioning dairy animals to be fed feedstuffs from transitioning lands in their last of the three-year period (7 CFR 205.236(a)(2)(i)), as well as setting a termination date of June 9, 2007, for the existing 80/20 feed conversion rule (7 CFR 205.236(a)(2)(ii)). In the preamble to the 2006 final rule, AMS noted that additional clarity could be provided regarding the transition of dairy animals into organic production.

    22 71 FR 32803.

    D. Discussion of Past Comments Received

    The approximately 12,725 combined comments received on the April 2006 proposed rule addressing the court order and the April 2006 advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on access to pasture provided AMS with information needed to develop this proposed action. In general, comments requested greater clarity on the parameters for transitioning dairy animals into organic production, and called for elimination of the “two-track” system. The “two-track” system refers to an April 2003 NOP statement that once an entire, distinct herd transitioned using the 80/20 provision (20% nonorganic feed in the 12 months before milking), all offspring then had to be managed organically and no transitioned replacements could be purchased.23 The NOP also stated that, for those that did not use the 80/20 provision, the dairy animals only needed to be under continuous organic management starting no later than 12 months prior to production (i.e., producers could continue to transition animals into organic over time).

    23 National Organic Program, Origin of Livestock Statement. April 11, 2003. Available online at www.regulations.gov under “Related Documents” for docket number AMS-NOP-11-0009.

    The majority of commenters stated that the “two-track” system could be addressed by conveying that, once a dairy operation is certified organic, regardless of how that operation transitioned into organic, all new dairy animals added to that operation should be managed organically from the last third of gestation. Commenters stated that this principle should apply to those animals born on the farm and those purchased as replacement and expansion animals to increase herd size.

    Commenters stated that only allowing organic dairy operations to add animals who have been managed organically since the last third of gestation supports consumer confidence in the organic milk sector. They reiterated that consumers expect that organic milk is produced without the use of excluded methods and substances prohibited under the regulations (i.e., hormones, antibiotics, and certain animal medications), and believe that greater clarity on how animals can transition into organic production is needed. Some commenters stressed that organic dairy products were keystone products for consumer confidence and a major stepping-stone to additional purchases in other organic categories.

    Commenters stated that continued transition of conventional animals increases the supply of animals able to produce organic milk, depresses the value of organic heifers and limits the incentives to produce organic replacement animals. They also stated that the allowance to transition a large number of animals, rather than purchasing or raising animals as organic from last third of gestation, results in surplus organic heifer calves being sold into the conventional market. Some commenters stated that the practice of allowing some operations to transition conventional animals on a regular basis encouraged development of heifer development farms. They based this belief on the position that it is easier and cheaper to purchase transitioned animals from heifer development farms than it is to raise animals that are organic from birth. Commenters claimed that raising organic dairy animals is twice as expensive as raising conventional dairy animals during their first year of life. They contended that producers who sell organic calves and replace them with transitioned conventionally raised heifers, have an economic advantage over those who raise animals organically from birth, due to lower cost of conventional feed and ability to shorten the interval before milk production by purchasing older animals. Commenters believed that for the organic heifer market to develop, and for there to be more organic stock available at an appropriate market value, greater clarity is needed in the regulations to convey that organic heifers are required in every case, except for the one-time initial transition of a dairy operation.

    At the time of the 2006 proposed rule, commenters stated that at least nine U.S.-based certifying agents were requiring the dairy operations they certified (approximately 1,100 certified and 150 transitioning operations) to manage all replacement dairy animals organically from the last third of gestation. This accounted for roughly 50% of the organic dairy operations at that time. Other certifying agents were allowing the other approximately 50% of dairy operations to transition conventional animals to organic on a continual basis. Commenters stressed that a main purpose of the OFPA was consumer assurance that organically produced products met a consistent standard and that the current origin of livestock standard needs further specificity to meet that purpose.

    Since receiving these comments in response to the 2006 proposed rule, diverse stakeholders including trade associations, organic dairy producer groups, consumer organizations, and certifying agents continue to submit letters to NOP requesting greater clarity on the origin of livestock provisions of the regulations. In response to those requests, NOP engaged stakeholders in ongoing discussions over the last two years related to potential changes and any associated costs and benefits of these changes. AMS developed this proposed rule in response to the public comments and feedback we have received regarding the origin of livestock provisions.

    III. Overview of Proposed Amendments A. Dairy Transition

    AMS is proposing to add five new terms: Organic management, dairy farm, transitioned animal, transitional crop, and third-year transitional crop to those defined at section 205.2. Organic management would be defined as management of an organic production or handling operation in compliance with all applicable production and handling provisions under the regulations. Stakeholders have questioned whether the term “organic management” in the regulations is related to compliance with the regulations or to some other generic use or understanding of the term. Providing a definition for this term would confirm that its use is directly tied to the regulations. For example, the regulations allow crops and forage in their third year of organic management to be fed to livestock transitioning to organic production. In the case of crops and forage in their third year of organic management, this means that the land they are grown on must meet certain requirements of the regulations as it transitions into certified organic production (e.g., per section 205.202(b), no prohibited substances applied to land). Further, during the transition period for dairy animals, they must be under organic management in compliance with the regulations. This means producers need to meet all of the livestock requirements during that transition period (e.g., per section 205.237, provide animals with a specified amount of dry matter from pasture during the farm's grazing season).

    Under this proposal, AMS would define a dairy farm as a premises, which must have a milking parlor, where one or more lactating animals raised on that premises are milked. This definition is similar to the definitions of a dairy farm used by the AMS Dairy Grading Program.24

    24 USDA AMS. July 2011. Milk for Manufacturing Purposes and its Production and Processing. Recommended Requirements. Dairy Programs.

    This proposal would define a transitioned animal to clarify which animals are eligible to produce organic milk, but are not eligible for certification as organic slaughter stock or eligible for certification for purpose of organic fiber production. This definition supports the current requirement that meat or fiber come from animals under continuous organic management since the last third of gestation (7 CFR 205.236(a)). The transitioned animal definition and its relevance to this action are discussed in more detail below.

    This proposal would define a transitional crop as any agricultural crop or forage from land, included in the organic system plan of a producer's operation, that has had no application of prohibited substances within one year prior to harvest of the crop or forage. Based upon this definition, AMS would add a related definition for third-year transitional crop. A third-year transitional crop would be defined as crops and forage from land, included in the organic system plan of a producer's operation, that has had no application of prohibited substances within 2 years prior to harvest of the crop or forage. Third-year transitional crops need to meet all other requirements of the regulations (e.g., soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standard (section 205.203); use of organic seed if commercially available (section 205.204)). OFPA and the regulations currently allow producers to feed these third year transitional crops to dairy animals in transition (7 U.S.C. 6509(e)(2)(b); existing section 205.236(a)(2)(i)).

    AMS is proposing to amend the introductory text at section 205.236(a)(2) to reflect that the one-time exception to transition to organic dairy production would be limited to a given producer. A producer is defined under the regulations as “a person who engages in the business of growing or producing food, fiber, feed, and other agricultural-based consumer products” (section 205.2). The regulations also define a person as an “individual, partnership, corporation, association, cooperative or other entity” (section 205.2). This definition is based on the definition of person under OFPA (7 U.S.C 6502(15)). A producer must be a person as described in section 205.2 to be eligible for a one-time transition. Because the one-time transition is tied to the producer (i.e., a farm or business), employees of that producer are not themselves considered a producer utilizing a one-time transition. Under the proposal, such employees would retain their ability to establish a new business entity as a producer that may be eligible for its own one-time transition.

    In addition, while the definition of person includes cooperatives, cooperatives would not themselves seek a one-time exception to transition animals into organic production. There are business entities, including cooperatives, within the organic dairy sector that are typically certified as organic handlers, not as organic producers, and who would not meet the definition of a dairy farm. Instead, these entities contract with multiple organic producers for their milk supply. Under this proposal, the eligibility for a one-time transition is tied to a producer, as specified on an organic certificate, and they would need to meet the definition of a dairy farm and other proposed requirements.

    Dairy producers with multiple farms would need to make a decision about how to transition to organic production. Producers with multiple farms have a single twelve month period in which they may transition conventional dairy animals to organic milk production. During this transition period, these producers may transition all animals on all the farms, some of the animals on some of the farms, all the animals on one of the farms, or some of the animals on one of the farms. The producer would initiate the transition to organic milk production at least 12 months prior to completing the transition and obtaining organic certification. However, once the transition period ends, the producers may not themselves transition any additional animals into organic production. Instead, they would need to source animals as organically managed since the last third of gestation or those already transitioned to organic production on a different producer's dairy farm.

    The proposed amendments would replace the current text at section 205.236(a)(2) to specify that each producer would be able to conduct one transition. To be eligible for a transition, the proposal language specifies that the producer must start a new organic dairy farm or transition an existing conventional dairy farm to organic certification. This transition would need to occur over a single, continuous 12-month period prior to production of milk or milk products that are to be sold, labeled, or represented as organic. After completing a transition, that producer would not be able to transition any new animals into organic production.

    For example, if producer A already completed a transition on dairy farm A, then producer A would not be eligible to transition animals into organic production on dairy farm B. Under this proposal, once a producer completes its transition of dairy animals into organic production, a producer would have two options for bringing any new dairy animals onto a producer's organic dairy farm(s) (whether for expansion or replacement purposes): (1) Add animals that are under continuous organic management from the last third of gestation; or (2) add transitioned animals sourced from a certified organic dairy producer.

    Because the dairy farm definition, in part, would drive the eligibility for a producer to transition animals to organic production, producers that only raise heifers for organic dairy farms would not be eligible to transition conventional animals to organic. Such producers do not milk animals and, therefore, would not be eligible for a transition. Such producers could continue raising heifers for organic dairy farms as long as the animals were under continuous organic management from the last third of gestation.

    AMS considered alternatives to our proposal that would link the transitioned exception to a producer. These alternatives included linking the one-time transition exception to a dairy farm, an operation, persons responsibly connected, and the current unit of regulation, a herd. We did not choose the dairy farm by itself as the criterion for eligibility to transition because it would allow a given producer to transition dairy animals on multiple dairy farms over time. This proposal was drafted to create greater consistency in the implementation of the transition mechanism so that it is not used as a continual means of producing organic milk without purchasing organic stock once a producer has converted to organic production. Furthermore, AMS could not identify how a producer and a certifying agent could verify that a transition had not already occurred on a given dairy farm. This would be especially difficult as time went on and a dairy farm may have changed ownership multiple times. By linking the transition to a given producer, a producer (e.g., an individual or a corporation) can attest to a certifying agent as part of their application for certification that they have not already completed a dairy transition and certifying agents could verify such attestations by checking past certification records associated with that producer.

    AMS also considered linking the transition exception to the operation. Based on stakeholder feedback and past NOSB recommendations, the term “operation” is used at times, as is the term “producer”, to describe how a one-time exception to transition into organic dairy production could be structured. Upon review, AMS is proposing to link the transition to a given producer rather than an operation because both producer and person are already defined under OFPA and the implementing regulations.

    Other stakeholders suggested limiting the transition such that after an operation completed its one-time transition, any persons responsibly connected to that operation could not transition additional animals into organic production. “Responsibly connected” is defined under the current regulations as “any person who is a partner, officer, director, holder, manager, or owner of 10 percent or more of the voting stock of an applicant or a recipient of certification or accreditation” (7 CFR 205.2). This approach would require a person with an operation to list all persons responsibly connected to that operation to document the relationship various individuals had to the dairy farm. This approach would be difficult to document and difficult for a certifier to verify for the purpose of certification. This approach also would be overly prescriptive. For example, under this approach, new managers on a farm, who had never been part of a transition, would be restricted from starting a new dairy farm on a different location and completing their own transition of dairy animals into organic production. This approach could also restrict the ability for children of organic dairy producers to transition animals into organic production. Children could be “responsibly connected” to their parents' farm if they served as managers or partners. If their parents had already completed a transition, then these children, who were managers or partners, could not transition any additional animals if they bought that farm because they would be considered “responsibly connected” to the parents' operation. For these reasons, AMS is not proposing this approach. Rather, under the proposed language that a one-time exception is tied to a given “producer”, employees, such as managers or partners, including children, could start up a new business entity with a dairy farm and be eligible for their own one-time transition.

    AMS also did not choose the current herd standard because a given operation can have a new herd every year, or even multiple per year, allowing farmers to transition new animals annually, if not more often. The intent of our proposal is to provide a clear, consistent standard that when implemented will reflect the NOSB recommendation to allow for a producer to use a one-time transition of animals into organic milk production. Providing a producer with a one-time exception to transition dairy animals to organic milk production best captures the intent of the NOSB's recommendation. It also supports the concept discussed in the 2000 final rule establishing the USDA organic regulations that transition to organic dairy should be a distinct, one-time event for a producer.25

    25 65 FR 80569-80570.

    Under the proposed amendments, any transition would need to meet certain conditions. Proposed section 205.236(a)(2)(i) would specify that dairy animals must be under continuous organic management during the 12-month transition period. This aligns with the provision in OFPA which requires that dairy animals be managed as organic for at least 12 months prior to the production of organic milk.26 During the 12-month period, proposed section 205.236(a)(2)(ii) would specify that the producer should describe its transition approach as part of the organic system plan already required at section 205.200. Under existing section 205.401, the producer must submit this organic system plan as part of an application for certification to a certifying agent. We are proposing this provision to ensure that applicants for organic certification can demonstrate their ability to comply early on in the certification process. The intent is to support communication between the applicant and the certifying agent about the transition approach and to minimize situations in which a producer approaches a certifying agent after 12 months of transitioning animals only to realize that they did not complete the transition as specified in the regulations.

    26 7 U.S.C. 6509(e)(2)(A).

    This proposal would make minor revisions to a provision under the current regulations that allows dairy animals undergoing transition to consume “third-year” crops. The proposed provision would appear at section 205.236(a)(2)(iii) and would specify that, during the 12-month transition, dairy animals may consume third-year transitional crops which this proposal would define at section 205.2.

    During the development of this proposed rule, the exception for transitioning dairy animals raised the question about the eligibility of those animals and their offspring for certification as organic slaughter stock or for the purpose of organic fiber. Third-year crops and forages are allowed by OFPA as feed for transitioned animals that will produce organic milk.27 However, these crops are not yet certified organic and should be treated as nonorganic feeds when determining if an animal has been raised organically since the last third of gestation.

    27 7 U.S.C. 6509(e)(2)(B).

    Therefore, to clarify the status of offspring born during and just after the transition period and whether they would be eligible for certification as organic slaughter stock or for organic fiber, AMS is proposing to add a definition for a transitioned animal at section 205.2. Transitioned animal would be defined as: (1) Any dairy animal that transitioned during the one-time transition exception to organic milk production after 12 months of continuous organic management; (2) any offspring born during or after the 12- month transition period to a transitioned animal that, during its last third of gestation, consumes crops and forages in the third year of organic management; or (3) any offspring born during the one-time transition exception that themselves consume crops and forages in the third year of organic management. The proposed definition specifies that such animals must not be sold, labeled, or represented as organic slaughter stock or for the purpose of organic fiber.28 The current regulations already require that slaughter stock and livestock, with the exception of poultry and certain dairy animals, be under continuous organic management since the last third of gestation (7 CFR 205.236(a)). This proposed rule does not change, but rather reiterates how that requirement applies to animals that were part of a dairy transition. This term is used in proposed section 205.236(a)(2)(iv) which specifies that offspring must be considered transitioned animals if they were born during or after the 12-month dairy herd transition period and not fed certified organic feed from the last third of gestation onward.

    28 Organic slaughter stock is defined in the regulations as any animal intended to be slaughtered for consumption by humans or other animals (7 CFR 205.2).

    For a producer and certifying agent to determine whether offspring is eligible for organic dairy, meat and/or fiber, the length of gestation for different dairy animals (e.g., cows, goats, sheep) and feed source must be considered. For offspring to be certified organic for meat and fiber, it must be under continuous organic management, including receiving certified organic feed, from the last third of gestation (7 CFR 205.236(a)). This requirement is reiterated through proposed section 205.236(a)(2)(v). A practical summary of how certifying agents and producers would apply the proposed amendments about the status of offspring at sections 205.236(a)(2)(iv)-(v) is shown in Table 1.

    Table 1—Status of Offspring Part of a Dairy Transition Type of feed consumed by offspring during transition or during its last third of gestation Is it considered a transitioned animal? Could it be certified to produce organic milk? Could it be certified to produce organic meat or fiber? Third year transitional crops Yes Yes No. Certified organic crops No Yes Yes.

    Proposed section 205.236(a)(2)(vi) would require that all dairy animals for a given producer end the transition at the same time. AMS considered allowing dairy animals to have staggered transition periods, but chose not to allow that option as it could complicate the transition process. As a practical matter, a staggered transition would create more difficulty in animal management for the producer since animal transitions would start and end at different times. Furthermore, it would require more advanced records management creating a greater burden on the producer, more difficulty in overseeing the process, and increased room for error or potential violation. If a producer wants to bring in additional animals after the producer completes its transition, then the producer may use breeder stock or source organic dairy animals (either last third gestation animals or transitioned animals from a certified organic dairy farm that already completed its transition). If a producer decides to increase the number of animals undergoing transition during a one-time transition period, then the producer could (1) source organic dairy animals, or (2) source nonorganic animals and extend the transition period for all animals undergoing transition such that they end their transition together after 12-months of organic management.

    Proposed section 205.236(a)(2)(vii) would specify that dairy animals that completed the 12-month transition are transitioned animals as defined under section 205.2. In practical terms, this would mean that these dairy animals can produce organic milk, but are not eligible for certification as organic slaughter stock or for the purpose of organic fiber. This is consistent with the existing requirement at section 205.236(a) that, with the exception of poultry and dairy, livestock products must be from animals that are under continuous organic management since the last third of gestation.

    Proposed section 205.236(a)(2)(viii) would specify that, after the 12 month transition period, transitioned animals may produce organic milk on any organic dairy farm as long as the animal is under continuous organic management at all times on a certified organic dairy farm. Movement of transitioned animals to other certified organic dairies would not affect the status of the animals to produce organic milk. Based on some stakeholder comments, AMS considered limiting transitioned animals to produce organic milk only on the dairy farm upon which they were transitioned. However, AMS believes that some movement or inter-farm sales of transitioned animals is reasonable and expected. For example, if an existing organic dairy producer purchased an adjoining organic farm, it may be necessary for that farmer's transitioned animals to leave their original premises of transition to take advantage of the new adjoining pastureland. Similarly, if an organic dairy producer wanted to move his/her operation to an updated organic facility on another property, it would create an excessive burden if transitioned animals were not permitted to move to the new facility. This provision will also allow the transitioned dairy animals to continue producing organic milk if there is a change in ownership to a different producer, provided the dairy animals are under continuous organic management throughout this time.

    AMS is also proposing new section 205.236(ix) to specify that, after the 12-month period ends, any new dairy animal brought onto a producer's dairy farm(s) must be an animal under continuous organic management from the last third of gestation or a transitioned animal sourced from a certified organic dairy farm. This provision would ensure that, after a producer completes one transition on a dairy farm, that producer would not be allowed to themselves transition additional dairy animals into organic production on any dairy farm. This requirement supports the NOSB's intent that transition should be a one-time event for producers to transition to organic dairy and is intended to create one standard that would be equally applied to all dairy operations once they have transitioned to certified organic production.

    Implementation Considerations

    Certifying agents would have certain responsibilities under this proposed rule. Certifying agents would need to:

    • Establish and maintain procedures for determining whether or not a producer (e.g. a new applicant for certification) is eligible to transition dairy animals into organic production and for determining whether offspring that are part of a transition are eligible to produce organic milk, meat or fiber;

    • Ensure that certified organic dairy producers maintain sufficient records (7 CFR 205.103) to identify all organically managed animals, including whether they are transitioned animals and, thus, not eligible for certification as organic slaughter stock (7 CFR 205.236(b)(2) and 205.236(c));

    • Hire and/or train sufficient, qualified staff (7 CFR 205.501(a)(4)) to examine production and certification history of certified organic dairy producers or applicants for certification which involve the transition of dairy animals from conventional to organic production; and

    • Maintain records of applications for certification or certified operations, including records pertaining to the origin of all livestock, for at least 10 years from the date of their creation, pursuant to section 205.510(b)(2).

    Certifying agents already address many of these responsibilities through the current regulations. For example, certifying agents should have procedures in place to ensure that operations identify whether dairy animals are organically managed from the last third of gestation and, thus, potentially eligible for certification as organic slaughter stock, or transitioned into organic production, and, thus, not eligible as organic slaughter stock (section 205.236(b)(2) and (c)). The primary new responsibility for certifying agents will be establishing and implementing a procedure for determining whether a producer is eligible for a one-time transition. AMS is seeking comments from certifying agents on how these responsibilities are best implemented given the proposed action.

    In addition, organic livestock producers are already required to maintain records that fully disclose all activities and transactions of the certified operation in sufficient detail as to be readily understood and audited (7 CFR 205.103(b)(2)). Under existing regulation, section 205.236(c), organic producers must already maintain records sufficient to preserve the identity of all organically managed animals. Examples of records to verify compliance with the origin of livestock requirements include livestock purchase records, organic certificates for livestock purchased as organic, animal reproduction: breeding, birth and/or hatch records, and herd conversion/organic management records.29 Under this proposed rule, organic dairy producers would need to maintain the same records. There are no new records that would be required under this proposal. In accordance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations (5 CFR part 1320) that implement the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520) (PRA), the information collection requirements associated with the NOP, including the recordkeeping and reporting requirements related to origin of livestock, have been previously approved by OMB and assigned OMB control number 0581-0191.

    29 National Organic Program. March 2011. Organic Livestock Plan Template, Origin of Livestock: L2-page 1. Available online at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5091032.

    AMS also recognizes that some producers and certifying agents will need time to implement any regulatory changes. Over the last several years, the NOSB and stakeholders have been engaged in extensive discussion about how organic dairies would need to change their practices as a result of any modification to the current USDA organic regulations. AMS is considering and seeking public comment on the following implementation proposal: Producers who are certified as of the effective date for any final action would be allowed to complete any transition that was already approved under their organic system plan by a certifying agent. However, as of the effective date, producers who are certified would be required to source or raise any new animals from last third of gestation or source animals already transitioned under another producer's one-time exception. As of the effective date, producers who are new applicants for organic certification (i.e., startup organic dairies or nonorganic dairies transitioning to organic production) would be allowed to use the transition exception once when first applying for organic certification.

    Under the current regulations at section 205.672, organic dairy animals can return to organic milk production if a Federal or state emergency pest or disease treatment program requires use of a prohibited substance. This allowance for re-transition is independent of the transition exception being proposed here. A dairy farm, that had not used its one-time exception to transition based on section 205.236, would retain that one-time exception to transition even if the farm used the section 205.672 allowance to re-transition after an emergency pest or disease treatment.

    Under the current regulations at section 205.290, organic producers, through their certifying agent, can request a temporary variance from the livestock practice standards for reasons such as natural disasters, severe weather and other business interruptions. The NOP Instruction on Processing Requests for Temporary Variances (NOP 2606) 30 clarifies the policy that variances will not be granted for feeding non-organic feed to livestock.

    30 NOP 2606. July 22, 2011. Available online at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5087115.

    B. Breeder Stock

    Under this proposal, AMS would restructure section 205.236(a)(3) to reiterate that breeder stock may be brought from a nonorganic operation onto an organic operation at any time and to further clarify how breeder stock should be managed for the purpose of producing organic offspring.

    Consistent with an April 2003 NOSB recommendation on breeder stock, AMS considered amending the regulations at existing section 205.236(a)(3) to require that breeder stock that was brought onto an organic farm, but subsequently was removed from organic management, be prohibited from returning as breeder stock for the purpose of organic production. The NOSB recommendation suggests that allowing breeder stock to return to organic management after a period of nonorganic management does not align with a regulatory provision that prohibits livestock removed from an organic operation and subsequently managed on a nonorganic operation to be sold, labeled, or represented as organically produced (7 CFR 205.236(b)).31

    31 National Organic Standards Board Recommendation May 2003 on Breeder Stock: Clarification of Rule. Available online at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3104547.

    However, OFPA states that breeder stock may be purchased from any source (7 U.S.C. 6509(b)); there is no requirement in OFPA that the source be organic. Further, while the current regulations at section 205.236(b)(1) prohibit livestock from being removed and subsequently managed on a nonorganic operation (i.e., cycling in and out of organic production), this provision does not extend to nonorganic breeder stock that are themselves not certified organic or eligible for slaughter, sale, and labeling as organic (7 CFR 205.236(b)(2)). Therefore, AMS does not believe that restrictions on how nonorganic breeder stock are managed outside of the last third of gestation through weaning of organic offspring are warranted.

    At proposed sections 205.236(a)(3) and 205.236(a)(3)(i), AMS is reiterating that breeder stock may be brought from a nonorganic operation onto an organic operation at any time as long as such breeder stock are on the organic operation no later than the last third of gestation. In practical terms, this means that between the end of nursing its organic offspring and the beginning of the last third of gestation for the next organic offspring, nonorganic breeder stock may be managed as the producer chooses. If a producer is managing nonorganic breeder stock on its organic operation, the current regulations already require that they implement practices to prevent contact of organic animals with prohibited substances (e.g., from certain fly tags that might be used with nonorganic breeder stock) (7 CFR 205.201(a)(5)).

    AMS is proposing a provision related to organic management of breeder stock only when the breeder stock is directly contributing to the nourishment of organic offspring, from the last third of gestation through the end of the nursing period. Under proposed section 205.236(a)(3)(ii), such breeder stock would need to be managed organically throughout the last third of gestation and the lactation period during which time they may nurse their own offspring. Allowing organic calves to nurse on nonorganic breeder stock as long as they are all under organic management supports the natural behavior of the animals (7 CFR 205.239(a)). Breeder stock may not be used as nurse cows on dairy farms to be a source of milk for other organic calves, though inadvertent suckling by non-offspring would not cause loss of organic status to the calves.

    C. Additional Clarifications

    In conjunction with the proposed amendments discussed above, AMS is proposing additional amendments to provide greater clarity on the restrictions at sections 205.236(b)(1) and 205.236(b)(2). Section 205.236(b)(1) states that livestock or edible livestock products that are removed from an organic operation and subsequently managed on a nonorganic operation may not be sold, labeled, or represented as organically produced. We are proposing the addition of “non-edible” to this provision to specify that non-edible animal products, such as animal fiber, are also subject to this provision. Section 205.236(b)(2) is proposed to be amended to specify that transitioned animals must not be sold, labeled, or represented as organic slaughter stock. This change is needed for consistency with the proposed definition for transitioned animal and the proposed provisions for dairy transition.

    We are also proposing a change to section 205.236(c) to reiterate that producers are responsible for maintaining records that show whether a dairy animal is a transitioned animal and, therefore, not eligible for certification as organic slaughter stock or for the purpose of organic fiber. Producers should already be tracking whether an animal is eligible for organic slaughter or fiber given the last third of gestation requirement. Table 2 provides an overview of all the proposed amendments.

    D. Other Amendments Considered

    AMS recently received requests from stakeholders to consider providing an exception to transition fiber producing animals to organic fiber production, just as dairy animals can be transitioned to organic milk production. OFPA authorizes a transition for dairy animals entering organic milk production. As such, AMS is not proposing a transition for fiber under this proposed rule. In practical terms, this means that producers can transition sheep from conventional milk production to organic milk production, but would need to source animals organically managed since the last third of gestation in order to produce organic wool.

    Table 2—Proposed Action—Origin of Livestock Section title Current wording Type of action Proposed action 205.2 N/A New terms added Dairy Farm, Organic Management, Third-Year Transitional Crop, Transitional Crop, Transitioned animal. 205.236(a) Livestock products that are to be sold, labeled, or represented as organic must be from livestock under continuous organic management from the last third of gestation or hatching: Except, That: No Change N/A—Included for Completeness. 205.236(a)(1) Poultry. Poultry or edible poultry products must be from poultry that has been under continuous organic management beginning no later than the second day of life; No Change N/A—Included for Completeness. 205.236(a)(2) Dairy animals. Milk or milk products must be from animals that have been under continuous organic management beginning no later than 1 year prior to the production of the milk or milk products that are to be sold, labeled, or represented as organic, Except, Revision Dairy animals. A producer as defined in § 205.2 may transition dairy animals into organic production only once. A producer is eligible for this transition only if the producer starts a new organic dairy farm or converts an existing nonorganic dairy farm to organic production. A producer must not transition any new animals into organic production after completion of this one-time transition. This transition must occur over a continuous 12-month period prior to production of milk or milk products that are to be sold, labeled, or represented as organic, and meet the following conditions: 205.236(a)(2)(i) That, crops and forage from land, included in the organic system plan of a dairy farm, that is in the third year of organic management may be consumed by the dairy animals of the farm during the 12-month period immediately prior to the sale of organic milk and milk products; and Revision During the 12-month period, dairy animals must be under continuous organic management; 205.236(a)(2)(ii) That, when an entire, distinct herd is converted to organic production, the producer may, provided no milk produced under this subparagraph enters the stream of commerce labeled as organic after June 9, 2007: (a) For the first 9 months of the year, provide a minimum of 80-percent feed that is either organic or raised from the land included in the organic system plan and managed in compliance with organic crop requirements; and (b) Provide feed in compliance with § 205.237 for the final 3 months Revision During the 12-month period, the producer should describe the transition as part of its organic system plan and submit this as part of an application for certification to a certifying agent, as required in § 205.401; 205.236(a)(2)(iii) Once an entire, distinct herd has been converted to organic production, all dairy animals shall be under organic management from the last third of gestation Revision During the 12-month period, dairy animals and their offspring may consume third year transitional crops; 205.236(a)(2)(iv) N/A New section added Offspring born during or after the 12-month period are transitioned animals if they consume third-year transitional crops during the transition or if the mother consumes third year transitional crops during the offspring's last third of gestation; 205.236(a)(2)(v) N/A New section added Offspring born from transitioning dairy animals are organic if they are under continuous organic management and if only certified organic crops and forages are used from their last third of gestation; 205.236(a)(2)(vi) N/A New section added All dairy animals must end the transition at the same time; 205.236(a)(2)(vii) N/A New section added Dairy animals that complete the transition are transitioned animals and must not be used for organic livestock products other than organic milk; 205.236(a)(2)(viii) N/A New section added After the 12-month period ends, transitioned animals may produce organic milk on any organic dairy farm as long as the animal is under continuous organic management at all times on a certified organic operation; and 205.236(a)(2)(ix) N/A New section added After the 12-month period ends, any new dairy animal brought onto a producer's dairy farm(s) for organic milk production must be an animal under continuous organic management from the last third of gestation or a transitioned animal sourced from another certified organic dairy farm. 205.236(a)(3) Breeder stock. Livestock used as breeder stock may be brought from a nonorganic operations onto an organic operation at any time: Provided, that, if such livestock are gestating and the offspring are to be raised as organic livestock, the breeder stock must be brought onto the facility no later than the last third of gestation Revision Breeder stock. Livestock used as breeder stock may be brought from a nonorganic operation onto an organic operation at any time, Provided, That the following conditions are met: 205.236(a)(3)(i) N/A New section added Such breeder stock must be brought onto the operation no later than the last third of gestation if its offspring are to be raised as organic livestock; and 205.236(a)(3)(ii) N/A New section added Such breeder stock must be managed organically throughout the last third of gestation and the lactation period during which time they may nurse their own offspring. 205.236(b) The following are prohibited: No Change N/A—Included for Completeness. 205.236(b)(1) Livestock or edible livestock products that are removed from an organic operation and subsequently managed on a nonorganic operation may not be sold, labeled or represented as organically produced Revision Livestock, edible livestock products, or nonedible livestock products such as animal fiber that are removed from an organic operation and subsequently managed on a nonorganic operation may not be sold, labeled, or represented as organically produced. 205.236(b)(2) Breeder or dairy stock that has not been under continuous organic management since the last third of gestation may not be sold, labeled, or represented as organic slaughter stock. Revision Breeder stock, dairy stock, or transitioned animals that have not been under continuous organic management since the last third of gestation may not be sold, labeled, or represented as organic slaughter stock. 205.236(c) The producer of an organic livestock operation must maintain records sufficient to preserve the identity of all organically managed animals and edible and nonedible animal products produced on the operation. Revision The producer of an organic livestock operation must maintain records sufficient to preserve the identity of all organically managed animals, including whether they are transitioned animals, and edible and nonedible animal products produced on the operation. IV. Related Documents

    Documents related to this proposed rule include the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, as amended, (7 U.S.C. 6501-6522) and its implementing regulations (7 CFR part 205). The NOSB deliberated and made the recommendations described in this proposal at public meetings announced in the following Federal Register Notices: (1) 67 FR 19375, (May 7, 2002); (2) 67 FR 54784, (September 17, 2002); (3) 67 FR 62949, (October 19, 2002); and (4) 68 FR 23277, (May 13, 2003). AMS also considered NOSB recommendations from June 2, 1994, and March 20, 1998, in the development of this proposed rule. NOSB meetings are open to the public and allow for public participation.

    AMS published a series of proposed rules that addressed, in part, the origin of livestock provisions at: (1) 62 FR 65850, (December 16, 1997); (2) 65 FR 13512, (March 13, 2000); and (3) 71 FR 24820, (April 27, 2006). Past final rules relevant to this topic were published at: (1) 65 FR 80548, (December 21, 2000); and 71 FR 32803, (June 7, 2006).

    V. Statutory and Regulatory Authority

    The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, as amended, authorizes AMS to administer the NOP (7 U.S.C. 6501-6502). Under the NOP, AMS oversees national standards for the production and handling of organically produced agricultural products. One of the purposes of OFPA is to assure consumers that organically produced products meet a consistent standard (7 U.S.C. 6501(2)). Section 6509 of the OFPA also requires that livestock to be slaughtered, sold or labeled as organic be managed in accordance with the Act, allows for the use of breeder stock, and provides for an exception to transition dairy stock to organic milk production.

    A. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives, and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has been designated as a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, and, therefore, has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    Need for the Rule

    This action is necessary to create greater consistency in the implementation of a standard for the transition of dairy animals into organic production and for the management of breeder stock. AMS has determined that the current regulations regarding the transition of dairy animals and the management of breeder stock on organic operations need additional specificity and clarity to improve AMS' ability to efficiently administer the NOP. A stated purpose of the OFPA is to assure consumers that organically produced products meet a consistent and uniform standard (7 U.S.C. 6501). This action is being taken to facilitate and improve compliance and enforcement and to satisfy consumer expectations that organic livestock meet a consistent and uniform standard, regardless of how a producer transitioned into organic production.

    In a 2006 final rule related to this issue, AMS acknowledged that the regulations provide different allowances for replacing organic dairy animals dependent on how a producer transitioned to organic production.32 AMS further stated that, given the almost 13,000 comments on the 2006 proposed rule, the issue remained a significant concern of the organic community, including organic dairy producers, certifying agents, trade organizations, and consumers. AMS developed this proposal in response to this stakeholder feedback.

    32 71 FR 32804.

    Further, as cited in the July 2013 OIG audit of organic milk operations,33 implementation of the origin of livestock requirements continues to differ across producers and certifying agents. As part of this audit, some certifying agents conveyed that the current regulations create challenges in implementation such that some organic dairy producers may have a competitive advantage over others. Similarly, certifying agents and organic operations have recommended more detail in the regulations on the management of breeder stock to support implementation across the organic sector.

    33 The July 2013 Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit report on organic milk operations may be accessed at the following Web site: http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/01601-0002-32.pdf.

    This action is also necessary to address the persistent requests to AMS for further developed origin of livestock standards that meet the expectations of the NOSB and the majority of stakeholders. Setting an enforceable practice standard would ensure consistency across the industry. Because organic products cannot be distinguished from nonorganic products based on sight inspection, consumers rely on process verification methods such as certification to a uniform standard to ensure that organic claims are true. For this reason, organic products have been described as “credence goods” in the economics literature.34 35 Credence goods have properties that are difficult to verify, both before and after purchase. Organic dairy products are an example of a “credence good” for which consistent implementation of a common production standard across the sector supports continued consumer confidence. This action would help maintain consumer trust in the organic seal. “Customers” includes both consumers purchasing organic milk, yogurt, butter, ice-cream, and cheese at retail markets and organic livestock producers purchasing organic dairy animals for their own operations.

    34 Caswell, Julie A. and Eliza M. Mojduszka. 1996. “Using Informational Labeling to Influence the Market for Quality in Food Products.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics. Vol. 78, No. 5: 1248-1253.

    35 Zorn, Alexander, Christian Lippert, and Stephan Dabbert. 2009. “Economic Concepts of Organic Certification.” Deliverable 5 for Project CERTCOST: Economic Analysis of Certification Systems in Organic Food and Farming. http://www.certcost.org/Lib/CERTCOST/Deliverable/D11_D5.pdf.

    While a dairy transition is permitted by the OFPA, this proposed rule would limit dairy animal transition. As discussed, AMS received extensive comments in 2006 on the issue of dairy transition. Commenters stated that consumers expect that organic milk is produced without the use of excluded methods and substances prohibited under the regulations such as hormones, antibiotics, and certain pesticides. Market research suggests that these comments are indicative of a customer base who expects “organic” to be produced without the use of such substances. In 2013, a report assessing trends in the organic market stated that consumers identified “absence of pesticides”, “absence of growth hormones”, and “absence of antibiotics” as properties they associate with the term “organic” in 64%, 59%, and 55% of the responses respectively.36 Over thirty percent of those surveyed for this report indicated that avoidance of prohibited substances motivated them to buy organic products.37 Based on past comments, stakeholders argue that sourcing or raising animals as organic from last third of gestation is better aligned with the expectation that animals producing organic milk have never received prohibited substances such as antibiotics or growth hormones.

    36 The Hartman Group, Inc., The Organic and Natural Consumer 2013: Traits and Trends. The Cultural Context Around Behavior. Of 1,569 respondents responding in 2012 to the question, “From the following list, what properties do you think are implied or suggested by the term “organic”?

    37 Ibid. Of 1,036 respondents responding in 2012 to the question about the reasons why they continue to purchase organic products, 38% stated to avoid products that rely on pesticides or other chemicals, 34% stated to avoid genetically modified products, 34% stated to avoid products that rely on growth hormones, and 29% stated to avoid products that rely on antibiotics.

    Baseline

    This baseline focuses on the current market and production of heifers and cows as the predominant portion of the industry that would be affected and for which data is available. The baseline and subsequent calculations do not include quantitative estimates for dairy production related to sheep or goats. AMS used multiple data sources to describe the baseline and build quantitative estimates for this proposed rule. The first source is the NOP list of all certified operations. In January of each calendar year, every certifying agent is required to submit an annual list of their certified operations to the NOP (7 CFR 205.501(a)(15)(ii)). The NOP consolidates this information once per year into a public, searchable database.38 Another source of data is the Organic Trade Association's (OTA) 2014 Organic Industry Survey. The Nutrition Business Journal conducts this survey on behalf of OTA to summarize market information and trends within the organic industry across food and non-food sectors.39 AMS also utilized information from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) 2011 Organic Production Survey.40 The NASS data includes acreage, production and sales data for organic crops and livestock. USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) also conducts the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS), which includes questions about organic production practices.41 In 2010, ERS conducted a supplemental ARMS that focused on organic dairy operations. AMS worked with ERS to analyze recent ARMS data and develop an estimation of organic dairy production practices and costs for this proposed rule. Finally, AMS used summary information from a 2013 ERS report on organic production.42 The ERS report was based on data from state and private certifying agents.

    38 The most recent list of certified operations may be found at the following link: http://apps.ams.usda.gov/nop/.

    39 Organic Trade Association (OTA)/Nutrition Business Journal, 2014 Organic Industry Survey. Nutrition Business Journal conducted a survey between Jan 27, 2014 and April 5, 2014 to obtain information for their estimates. Over 200 organic firms responded to the survey. NBJ used secondary data from SPINS, Nielsen, and IRI to supplement the survey and build market statistics.

    40 The NASS survey may be found at the following link: http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1859.

    41 The ERS ARMS survey information may be found at the following link: http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/arms-farm-financial-and-crop-production-practices.aspx.

    42 The ERS 2013 Summary of Organic Production may be found at the following link: http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/organic-production.aspx.

    The Organic Dairy Market

    According to the 2013 Organic Trade Association (OTA) Industry Survey, U.S. organic food, fiber, and agricultural product sales were over $32 billion in 2013, up 11.4 percent from 2012.43 Organic dairy is the second largest sector in organic retail sales (15.2%), after fruits and vegetables (36%). Sales of organic dairy products, including milk, cream, yogurt, cheese, butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, and ice-cream, reached almost $4.2 billion in 2012. Table 3 shows the organic dairy market characteristics by subcategory.

    43 OTA 2014 Organic Industry Survey.

    Table 3—Organic Dairy Market—Retail Sales by Subcategory Subcategory 2013 Sales 2013 Growth
  • (percent)
  • Percentage of organic dairy sales  a
    Milk/Cream 2,813 7.3 62.7 Yogurt 1,021 −0.2 22.8 Cheese 331 18.9 7.4 Butter/Cottage Cheese/Sour Cream 261 17.9 5.8 Ice-Cream 60 19.1 1.3 a While Organic Trade Association's 2014 Organic Industry Survey included eggs as a subcategory for its summary on organic dairy sales, we have excluded the data on eggs from this table.

    While the majority of organic dairy products are marketed under regional or national brands, sales of products under private label arrangements accounted for between 30-40% of the organic dairy market in 2013.44 Both OTA's 2013 and 2014 Organic Industry Surveys cite drought and feed costs as the key constraints on market growth. However, constraints to market growth vary regionally and across different size operations. According to a 2009 ERS report that analyzed 2005 ARMS data, 55% of farms in the West reported sourcing inputs as the most difficult aspect of organic milk production versus only 24% of farms in the Upper Midwest region and 19% of farms in the Northeast.45 This is likely correlated with size of operation since organic dairies in the West tend to be larger in size and, therefore, have increased feed demand. Certification and compliance were cited as the most difficult aspect of organic milk production for farms in the Upper Midwest and Northeast (51% and 32% respectively).

    44 Organic Trade Association (OTA)/Nutrition Business Journal, 2013 Organic Industry Survey. Private label arrangements allow businesses to offer or sell their products under another company's brand name, often a store brand.

    45 Economic Research Service. 2009. Characteristics, Costs, and Issues for Organic Dairy Farming (pg. 33). Report by William McBride and Catherine Greene. Statistics based on 2005 ARMS data. Report available online at: http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err82.aspx.

    Overview of Organic Dairy Production

    Current dairy production and husbandry practices provide important context for the baseline and cost analysis. This section describes nonorganic and organic heifer development and highlights how they differ. Principles of management for other species would be similar, but the timing will be different. For example, a goat begins its first lactation at 1 year of age while a cow begins its first lactation at 2 years of age.

    When a heifer calf is born on a dairy farm, the producer ensures that the calf receives colostrum, either from a bottle or nursing her dam. The heifer calf is then separated from the dam and placed in group, pair, or single housing. Some larger dairy producers contract with heifer development farms to raise replacement heifers. These heifer development farms pick up the heifer calves and raise them at another location until they are within a month or two of their first lactation. Heifer calves are raised on a diet of milk replacer or liquid milk with free choice roughages and grains. Once the calves have learned how to eat grains and roughages, the calves are weaned from the milk.

    After weaning, the heifers are developed to grow at a moderate pace until they are ready to be bred. During this time, the heifers may be raised on pasture, fed a complete ration or a mixture of both. Once the heifers are about 14 or 15 months of age, they are bred, gestate for about 9 months, and calve around 2 years of age. Usually once the heifers are bred or “settled,” they will be fed a diet which allows them to slowly grow in terms of frame size and body weight. As the heifer approaches her due date, she is termed a “springer” or is described as “freshening.” After she calves, she begins lactating, is moved to the milking herd and called a “first calf heifer.”

    Organic producers follow similar timelines, but use some different practices. Organic producers must provide a feed ration comprised of certified organic agricultural feedstuffs. At this point in time, AMS is not aware of any certified organic milk replacer produced in the US. As a result, organically raised dairy calves must be fed organic milk. This makes the practice of sending young calves to heifer development farms less feasible for organic producers as these heifer development farms may not have access to certified organic milk. In addition, organic regulations require that all organically managed ruminants receive 30% of their dry matter intake from pasture during the grazing season, though dairy calves under 6 months of age are excluded from this provision. By the age of 6 months, dairy calves must be on pasture during the grazing season. Nonorganic calves do not have a pasture requirement.

    Organic producers must also follow certain health care practices. For example, organic producers may not use antibiotics to prevent disease. Instead, organic producers must prevent the animals from getting sick using other management practices such as vaccinations. However, if an animal does get sick, organic producers are required to use medication to restore the animal to health even if the animal loses organic status. Once the animal loses organic status, the animal could return to organic milk production only as part of a one-time transition with another producer.

    Organic producers also may not use hormonal methods to synchronize estrus. Nonorganic producers may use hormonal products to both initiate estrus and synchronize estrus among the heifers to aid in conception. Certain synchronization protocols allow for a timed breeding method that does not require observation of a standing heat to identify estrus.

    Dairy farms and heifer development farms which produce transitioned dairy animals are able to raise the heifer calves nonorganically until 12 months before organic milk production begins. The pre-weaning phase of life is the time in which heifer calf mortality is the highest and the diet is the most expensive on a per calorie basis. Nonorganic practices to reduce mortality and expense during this pre-weaning phase include the use of milk replacer and, at times, antibiotics. By the time the dairy heifer reaches one year of age, most health threats are past and the animal is consuming a less expensive diet.

    AMS is not aware of any national survey that compares the culling rate of organic dairy animals with nonorganic dairy animals. In 2007, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) conducted the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) survey for dairy animals; a follow-up is planned for 2014.46 In this survey of dairy animals, the national rate of permanently removing a dairy animal from a farm was 23.6 percent. However, this included animals that were sold as replacement females to other dairies. This also excluded the percentage of animals which died. The percentage of cows culled did not vary depending upon the size of the producer nor did it vary depending upon the region of the U.S. in which the dairy was located. Most dairy cows were removed for udder problems or reproductive problems, followed by lameness or poor milking ability. Overall, mortality rates were 7.8% for un-weaned heifers, 1.8% for weaned heifers, and 5.7% for cows.

    46 USDA APHIS. NAHMS Dairy 2007 Part I: Reference of Dairy Cattle Health and Management Practices in the United States, 2007. This survey included both nonorganic and organic dairy animals. Available online at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/banner/help?1dmy&urile=wcm%3apath%3a%2Faphis_content_library%2Fsa_our_focus%2Fsa_animal_health%2Fsa_monitoring_and_surveillance%2Fsa_nahms%2Fct_nahms_dairy_studies#dairy2014.

    From this information, an average dairy farm would sell 23.6% of its milking cattle and would lose 5.7% of its milking cattle to death. This would require that the average dairy farm in the U.S. be able to raise or purchase females that represent about 30% of the farm's herd size just to maintain current size. Based on this average national need for replacements, the overall U.S. dairy herd (both nonorganic and organic) would have excess replacement females available for development. At this rate, the organic milking herd should be able to be maintained by last third gestation replacement females. In addition, the organic milking herd should also provide a sufficient quantity of females if market conditions lead to an expansion of the number of organic dairy animals.

    Specific to organic production, the U.S. had approximately 1,850 organic dairy farms that milked 200,000 cows in 2011.47 Of these farms, 1,823 farms were producing organic milk from dairy cows and 19 farms were producing organic milk from goats. The number of certified organic sheep, buffalo, and bison dairy operations for that period is not known. This proposed action would apply to any animals (e.g., heifers/cows, goats, sheep) that produce milk for an organic operation. The baseline discussion and the following cost analysis focus on heifers and cows as the predominant portion of the industry affected by this proposed action and due to the limited data available on other types of dairy animals.

    47 USDA NASS. 2011. Census of Agriculture—Organic Production Survey. Available online at: http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1859.

    Based on the NASS survey, Table 4 shows that the highest concentration of organic dairy farms is in the Northeast and Upper Midwest.

    Table 4—Top States With Organic Dairy Farms Compared to Production Number of
  • organic dairy
  • farms
  • Percent of U.S. of organic dairy farms Milk
  • production
  • (pounds)
  • Percent of U.S. milk
  • production
  • United States 1,823 2,797,845,926 Wisconsin 397 21.7 313,991,661 11.2 Pennsylvania 236 12.9 148,704,869 5.3 New York 235 12.9 218,597,110 7.8 Vermont 180 9.9 149,649,913 5.3 Texas 8 0.4 423,558,952 15.1 California 72 3.9 469,148,296 16.8

    The four states with the largest number of certified organic dairy farms (Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New York, and Vermont) account for 57 percent of the total farms. However, those states represent less than 30 percent of national organic milk production. By contrast, the West and Southwest account for the highest milk production per farm. The two highest-producing states (California and Texas) represented only 4.3 percent of total certified organic dairy farms, while producing 31.9 percent of the total organic milk nationally. According to 2010 ARMS data, the mean size of an organic dairy farm nationally was 77 cows. In the Northeast and the Upper Midwest, the mean number of organic cows per farm was 64. In the West, the mean number of organic cows per farm was 288. Both ARMS and NASS surveys demonstrate similar distributions of both farms and milk production. The 2010 ARMS data also shows that organic dairies averaged about 13,900 pounds of milk annually per cow, or a daily average of 46 pounds of milk per cow (assuming a 300-day lactation period).

    According to 2010 ARMS data, nearly 99 percent of the dairies responding to the organic dairy survey reported using replacement heifers that were born on the farm, with 96.5 percent reporting that the heifers were both born and raised on their operation. For the only 3.5 percent of dairies that did not raise their replacement heifers on their operation, they presumably hired heifer development farms to raise the heifers prior to rejoining the herd. Of the farms reporting using replacement heifers born on the farm, the average number of replacement heifers sourced by this method was 31 head per farm. These heifers, born in 2010, would have been added to the milking herd in 2012.

    Some dairy operations also bought replacement heifers. It is unknown whether these replacement heifers were certified organic when purchased or were nonorganic animals then transitioned into organic production. We would expect a mixture of certified organic heifers and transitioning heifers entering organic production that is dependent on the producer's current transition approach. Of the farms responding to the ARMS, 7.3 percent reported purchasing dairy cows and 5.3 percent reported buying replacement heifers. Farms that purchased milk cows purchased an average of 8 cows per farm and those that purchased heifers bought an average of 15 head.

    Overall, in 2010, organic dairy farms added 58,500 cows and heifers to their operations, with 95.7 percent of those born on the operation. The remainder of animals came from off farm sources and included milk cows, 1,100 head (1.8 percent), and heifers, 1,425 head (2.5 percent).

    Most organic dairies (91 percent) reported selling cull cows. Some dairy farms also reported selling milk cows and replacement heifers. Of the farms responding to the ARMS, 17.0 percent reported selling milk cows and 17.0 percent reported selling replacement heifers. Farms that sold milk cows sold an average of 14 cows per farm and those that sold replacement heifers sold an average of 11 head. Overall, dairies sold 4,400 milk cows and 3,500 replacement heifers. Farms could have sold these animals into the nonorganic or organic market.

    Information on how many of replacement heifers bought were transitioned heifers and how many were managed organically from the last third of gestation is not available, and, therefore, AMS is not able to quantify the baseline. Certifying agents do not maintain aggregated data on what transition approach producers are currently implementing. Therefore, we do not have data on how many producers are bringing heifers into organic production as nonorganic animals and transitioning them into organic versus sourcing and managing animals as organic from the last third of gestation. However, the two largest producers of branded organic fluid milk both require their supplying dairies to supply milk from organic cows, as opposed to transitioning new nonorganic animals into organic production. Based on discussions with the industry, AMS assumes that, qualitatively, the vast majority of replacement heifers purchased is managed organically from the last third of gestation and, therefore, would not need to change practices due to this proposed action. We seek comment on this assumption and data on current industry practice to help refine our estimates.

    As discussed in the BACKGROUND section, under the current baseline, we know that producers differ in their transition strategies dependent on how the term “herd” in the regulations is interpreted and applied. The difference in transition approach across producers is, as previously discussed, due to both a lack of definition for what a “herd” is and different interpretations of when the transition of a herd into organic production should be considered completed. Within the existing industry, there are some organic producers who transitioned a single “herd” of animals into organic production, consider their transition complete, and only source animals that are managed organically from the last third of gestation. There are other organic producers who transitioned their operation to organic, but continue to expand their operation by bringing nonorganic animals into organic production as additional “herds”. In some cases, these operations have multiple fields on a given location or multiple locations under their business and, therefore, consider the herd in a given field or location as distinct for the purpose of their transition approach. For producers using this kind of multi-herd approach for their operation, the proposed action would require them to source organic animals or previously transitioned animals across all of their herds, regardless of location or multi-herd management strategy. This will, in turn, increase their costs as discussed in the cost analysis that follows.

    Alternatives Considered

    As required by E.O. 12866, various alternatives were considered to achieve the objectives of this rule. The alternatives considered include: (Option A) revising the standard to allow producers to transition dairy animals into organic production over a 12-month period on a continuous basis; and (Option B) revising the standard to clearly convey that a producer with a dairy farm has a one-time exception over a 12-month period to transition dairy animals into organic production. These options are shown in Table 5 below.

    Table 5—Alternatives Considered Alternative Description Option A—Continuous Transition Revise standard to allow a producer to transition dairy animals into organic production over a 12-month period on a continuous basis. Option B—Use “Dairy Farm” as Unit of Regulation Revise standard to tie the one-time transition exception to a given dairy farm (premises) over a 12-month period. Option C—Proposed Rule Revise standard to tie the one-time transition exception to a given producer with a dairy farm over a 12-month period.

    As discussed, maintaining the status quo (i.e., the baseline unit of regulation as a “herd”) does not further our objective to provide additional guidance to the organic dairy industry and, therefore, was not considered as a viable alternative. Since 2006, vast stakeholder comments have requested that AMS engage in rulemaking to support greater consistency in the application of the origin of livestock requirements across certifying agents and operations. In addition to stakeholder comments, the OIG identified this issue in its July 2013 audit of organic milk operations and recommended that AMS undertaking rulemaking.

    Option A

    The first alternative considered (Option A) would amend the regulations to specify that a producer could transition dairy animals into organic production over a 12-month period on a continuous basis. Under OFPA, a dairy animal from which milk or milk products will be sold or labeled as organically produced must be raised in accordance with OFPA for not less than the 12-month period immediately prior to the sale of such milk and milk products (7 U.S.C. 6509(e)(2)(A)). AMS could allow transition of any dairy animal into organic production, without further limitation, as long as it is organically managed for a 12-month period prior to the sale of organic milk or milk products. In effect, this would mean that a producer could continuously transition conventional dairy animals into organic production on an ongoing basis, as opposed to allowing a producer to transition animals into organic production once.

    While this alternative could achieve the regulatory objective by setting a consistent and uniform standard across the organic dairy industry, numerous NOSB recommendations and stakeholder comments have not suggested this approach. Further, in assessing the baseline, this approach would increase the number of nonorganic animals transitioned into organic production. If the demand shifts to nonorganic animals for transition into organic production, this would reduce the current demand, and, thus, value of organic heifers. Further, because consumers expect milk to be produced without the use of certain inputs that can be used in nonorganic animals (e.g., antibiotics), this approach could have unknown, but likely negative, impacts on consumer confidence in the growing organic dairy sector.

    Option B

    The second alternative considered (Option B) would amend the regulations to specify that a dairy farm, as defined by the regulation, could transition dairy animals into organic production one-time over a 12-month period. This would mean that a transition could occur only once on a given premises. Under this alternative, a producer could transition dairy animals on multiple dairy farms over time as long as animals had not been previously transitioned on a given premises. For example, if dairy farm location X, Y, and Z had never had animals transitioned to organic on their respective premises, then producer A could conduct transition on each location (X, Y, and Z) once. If producer B then purchased these dairy farms from producer A, producer B could not complete a transition on these premises because the location had already experienced a one-time transition to organic.

    We did not choose this alternative because it would only meet the intent of this regulatory action in a limited way. While it would reduce the number of transitions over time, it would allow a given producer, with a single organic certificate, to transition dairy animals on multiple dairy farms. As discussed in the BACKGROUND section, this proposal was drafted to create greater consistency in the implementation of the transition mechanism so that it is not used as a continual means of producing organic milk without purchasing organic stock once a producer has converted to organic production. Furthermore, AMS could not identify how a producer and a certifying agent could verify that a transition had not already occurred on a given dairy farm. This would be especially difficult as time went on and a dairy farm may have changed ownership multiple times.

    Option C

    The third alternative considered, and selected for this proposed action, would provide a limited exception (i.e., a one-time opportunity for producers) to transition dairy animals into organic production that aligns with both OFPA and the NOSB recommendations. While the NOSB recommendations do not provide the level of specificity needed to implement this approach, the intent of the NOSB is to require that, once an operation is certified organic, any new animals added to that operation should be organically managed since last third of gestation. This proposed rule would address the NOSB recommendation, adding specificity to ensure successful implementation of a uniform and consistent standard. AMS considered many options for how to best operationalize a one-time exception to transition dairy animals into organic production. These options include linking the one-time exception to a dairy farm, an operation, persons responsibly connected, and the current unit of regulation, a herd. For the reasons previously discussed in the OVERVIEW OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS section, AMS is proposing to link the transition exception to a producer.

    Based on NOSB recommendations and almost 13,000 stakeholder comments, this approach would retain the opportunity for new producers to transition into organic dairy production and ensure that organic products meet a consistent standard to support consumer confidence. This approach would require a small number of dairy farms to change their current practices for sourcing dairy animals and, as a result, would impose some limited costs. This approach is also the more pragmatic to implement through the certification and verification process as compared to linking the one-time transition to a dairy farm (Option B). By linking the transition to a given producer (Option C), a producer (e.g., an individual or a corporation) can attest to a certifying agent as part of their application for certification that they have not already completed a dairy transition and certifying agents could verify such attestations by checking past certification records associated with that producer.

    The costs and benefits of this approach are discussed in more detail below.

    Costs of Proposed Rule

    The proposed rule has the potential to increase production costs on dairy producers who currently purchase transitioned dairy animals as replacements, assuming that transitioned animals are currently being sold at a discount to organic replacement animals. Organic dairy farmers who regularly purchase transitioned dairy animals as replacements and organic operations in the process of expansion are likely to face higher costs of production if this rule were finalized as proposed. The cost of implementing the proposed rule will fall primarily on organic dairies that currently purchase transitioned heifers, although dairies currently purchasing organic heifers would be expected to pay higher prices in the short-term due to increased competition for these animals. Farms that sell their excess organic replacement heifers may see an increase in demand for their heifers while farms that exclusively raise their own organic replacement heifers would not be affected by the proposed rule.

    Overall, this cost analysis uses existing data on the number of replacement animals purchased on organic operations to estimate costs. Using data by organic operation differs from the proposed unit of regulation, which is by producer (i.e., a business entity). We do not have data explicitly available by producer. However, we believe that this analysis using data by organic operation would be similar to any analysis by producer because, in many cases, the operation and producer are functionally one in the same. Further, while we do not have data on multi-herd producers, this analysis assumes that costs will be equivalent on a per cow basis. We are seeking comment on these assumptions and any data relevant to sheep and goat dairy production.

    Estimated Costs for Dairies

    The ARMS included the total amount spent on replacement heifers, but the survey did not distinguish between organic and transitioned heifers. For purposes of this analysis, we will assume that 25% to 50 percent of all purchased heifers are transitioned heifers, or between 360 and 720 head. This is a broad estimate though we believe that the proportion is likely smaller than 50% based on discussions with organic dairy producers. The survey results indicated that the average replacement heifer cost approximately $898. The University of Minnesota Farm Financial Database (FINBIN) includes the average replacement cost for organic heifers; between 2006 and 2012 the cost per head ranged between $1,200 and $1,900. Extension officials at the University of Vermont estimated that organic replacement heifers typically cost between $1,600 and $2,000.48 Data on the cost of transitioned heifers is not available. Using the upper end of these ranges ($2,000), the cost of purchasing organic replacement heifers of all weights would be $7.6 million per year. This is the total cost, not the additional cost of purchasing organic heifers instead of transitioned heifers, so the incremental costs will be considerably less. These costs only reflect dairy cattle. Costs for purchasing dairy sheep and goats are not included in this analysis.

    48 Conversation with Dr. Bob Parsons, Extension Associate Professor at University of Vermont, June 4, 2013.

    AMS previously contacted several state extension dairy experts who explained that supplies of organic replacement heifers and milk cows were in excess supply creating a soft demand.49 In addition, the ARMS shows that organic dairy farms retained 56,000 replacement heifers while selling 32,000 head as cull cattle, milk cows, or replacement heifers, indicating that there are ample supplies of replacement heifers available. Therefore, the additional demand for organic replacement heifers is not expected to lead to an increase in the price of replacement heifers. However, to be conservative in estimating the additional costs of the proposed rule, the analysis will assume that the increased demand will increase the cost of an organic replacement heifer by 25 percent, or $500.

    49 Conversations with Dr. Bob Parsons, Extension Associate Professor at University of Vermont, June 4, 2013; Bradley J. Heins, Assistant Professor of Organic Dairy Production at University of Minnesota, June 5, 2013; and A. Fay Benson, Small Dairy Support, Cornell University SCNY Regional Team, June 6, 2013.

    Because the price of transitioned heifers is not available, the analysis will use the cost of conventional springers 50 as a substitute. Since the cost of a transitioned heifer is likely to be more than the cost of a conventional heifer, using the conventional springer price will generally overstate the cost of compliance with the proposed rule and so provide an upper bound of costs incurred.

    50 A springer is a heifer that is 7-9 months pregnant and will begin producing milk within 2 months.

    AMS Livestock, Poultry, and Grain Market News reports on five dairy auction markets 51 in the U.S. Using the reports from the period May 6, 2013 to June 5, 2013, the average auction price for Approved 52 springers was $1,200 per head. The difference in cost between organic heifers and conventional heifers is $800 per head. As discussed, we assume that the cost of transitioned heifer is, at a minimum, equivalent to a conventional heifer. With the assumed $500 increase in cost of organic heifers, the total difference will be $1,300. The difference in cost between a transitioned heifer and an organic heifer is summarized in Table 6.

    51 The markets are the Mammoth Cave Dairy Auction, Smiths Grove, KY; Springfield Livestock Marketing Center, Springfield, MO; Producers Auction Yards, Norwood, MO; New Holland Sales Stables, New Holland, PA; and Toppenish Monthly Dairy Replacement Sale, Toppenish, WA.

    52 Dairy cattle are classified into four categories: Supreme, Approved, Medium, and Common. The most common category of springers sold is Approved.

    Table 6—Difference in Cost Between a Transitioned Heifer and an Organic Heifer Low end of range High end of range Value used Cost of organic replacement heifer $1,200 $2,000 $2,000 Increased premium for organic heifer due to increased demand (assumed) 500 Total cost of organic replacement heifer 2,500 Cost of conventional heifer (used as lower bound for cost of transitioned heifer) 1,000 1,435 1,200 Cost difference per heifer 1,300

    According to the NASS 2011 Certified Organic Production Survey, the U.S. had approximately 1,850 organic dairy farms that milked 200,000 cows. Based on the NASS survey results for the total number of organic dairy operations and ARMS data on the number of replacement heifers purchased, we estimate the total increase in cost of purchasing organic heifers instead of transitioned heifers at a maximum of $935,000 per year with the assumption that 50% of replacement animals purchased are transitioned dairy animals and $468,000 per year with the assumption that 25% of replacement animals purchased are transitioned dairy animals. If the cost of organic replacement heifers does not increase due to current market conditions, the estimate of the total increase in cost is significantly less at $576,000 for the 50% assumption and $288,000 for the 25% assumption. The additional cost of purchasing organic heifers for replacement purposes is summarized in Table 7.

    Table 7—Additional Cost Incurred To Purchase Organic Heifers Price difference used Total additional cost for dairy producers 25% Assumption 50% Assumption Low Estimate Uses $800 difference between conventional and organic heifers $288,000 $576,000. High Estimate Uses $1,300 difference ($800 above plus $500 in assumed organic premium) $468,000 ($180,000 of which is an intra-industry transfer) $935,000 ($359,000 of which is an intra-industry transfer.

    The cost difference between the low and high estimate ($359,000 or $180,000) should not be considered a net cost, but rather an intra-industry transfer. While some producers who need to purchase organic heifers will have additional costs if there is a $500 premium for these animals, this premium will stay within the organic dairy sector as a benefit to those producers supplying organic heifers. Any intra-industry transfer is expected to benefit small operations as such operations tend to have more flexibility in capacity (e.g., available pasture) to accommodate raising organic replacement heifers for the organic market. This flexibility is less apparent for large operations. Furthermore, the actual costs of this action may be considerably less than the low estimate. This analysis is based on a conservative assumption that 50 percent of all purchased heifers are transitioned heifers. Based on discussions with organic dairy producers, we believe that this proportion is likely smaller which would decrease the low cost estimate.53 The costs of the proposed action will vary by size of operation because the proportion of dairies that source at least some of their replacement heifers from their own calves also varies by size of operation. Of the largest operations in the ARMS data, those with 200 or more cows, 96 percent reported that at least some of their replacement heifers were born on their operations. All operations with between 100 and 199 cows reported that at least some of their replacement heifers were born on their operations, and 99 percent of operations with fewer than 50 cows and those with between 50 and 99 cows reported that at least some of their replacement heifers were born on their operations.

    53 Between April 2012 and December 2013, AMS staff contacted 8 organic dairy producers of various sizes to determine the extent to which heifers are raised or purchased on their farms.

    Purchases of milk cows and replacement heifers also vary by size. Ten percent of operations with fewer than 50 cows reported purchasing milk cows, and the average number purchased was 6 head. Five percent of operations with between 50 and 99 cows reported purchasing milk cows, and the average number purchased was 14 head. Three percent of operations with between 100 and 199 cows reported purchasing milk cows, and the average number purchased was 10 head. No operations with 200 or more cows reported purchasing milk cows.

    The pattern is different for purchasing heifers. Four percent of operations with fewer than 50 cows reported purchasing heifers, and the average number purchased was 10 head. Seven percent of operations with between 50 and 99 cows reported purchasing heifers, and the average number purchased was 10 head. Three percent of operations with between 100 and 199 cows reported purchasing heifers, and the average number purchased was 5 head. Eight percent of operations with 200 or more cows reported purchasing heifers, and the average number purchased was 76 head. Based on a cost difference of $1,300 per head between transitioned replacement heifers and organic replacement heifers, and assuming that half of replacement heifers currently purchased are transitioned, dairies with fewer than 50 cows would pay an additional $270,000, dairies with between 50 and 99 cows would pay an additional $280,000, dairies with between 100 and 199 cows would pay an additional $30,000 and dairies with 200 or more cows would pay an additional $355,000. The costs by size of operation are summarized in Table 8.

    Table 8—Costs by Size of Operation for Purchasing Organic Heifers Fewer than 50 cows 50-99 cows 100-199 cows 200 or more cows Size of Operation Percent of operations that purchased replacement heifers 4% 7% 3% 8%. Average number of replacement heifers purchased 10 head 10 head 5 head 76 head. Total cost for purchase of replacement heifers across size class $270,000 $280,000 $30,000 $355,000. Cost per operation (25% to 50% transitioned heifers) $3,250-$6,500 $3,250-$6,500 $1,600-$3,250 $29,700-$49,400. Effects on Heifer Development Operations

    Heifer development operations raise heifers either from wet calves or weaned calves and generally sell them as springers at about 24 months of age. To raise organic or transitioned heifers, these operations must have organic pasture available for the heifers to graze. Operations that raise transitioned heifers may have to increase their ownership or leasing of organic pasture to continue to operate at their current capacity since organic heifer calves will need access to organic pasture for a longer period than transitioned heifers will need access to pasture.

    Since the locations, numbers, and sizes of heifer development operations are not known, it is not possible to estimate the increased costs this will entail. However, it is possible that, to the extent that organic heifers sell at a premium to transitioned heifers, the increased costs may be at least partially offset by increases in revenues from selling organic replacement heifers. We are seeking data related to the likely impacts on heifer development operations and those for sheep and goats.

    Effects on Consumers

    Nearly 99 percent of all dairies report that they source at least some of their replacement cows from their own calves, and only 4.3 percent of all dairies purchase replacement heifers. The 95.7 percent of producers that do not purchase replacement heifers would not see an increase in costs. To replace purchased transitioned heifers, dairies would have to either raise their own replacements or buy them from an operation that sells organic replacement heifers. Since the current market for replacement heifers is soft and there are ample supplies, as detailed above, it is unlikely that the proposed rule would significantly increase producer, and therefore, milk costs to the consumer.

    Benefits of the Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would bring specificity and clarity to the regulations relating to the origin of dairy livestock and the management of breeder stock. Greater clarity and specificity will create uniform application of the practice standards applied in organic production and in turn will help maintain consumer confidence in purchasing organic products.

    The Organic Trade Association's (OTA) 2013 U.S. Families' Organic Attitudes and Beliefs tracking study identified that 13 percent of organic buyers surveyed who saw or heard a negative news story about organic chose to buy less organic foods. Further, nearly half of non-buyers of organic products surveyed displayed a decrease in their average level of trust in organic products' authenticity from 5.3 on a 10-point scale in 2012 to 4.4 in 2013.54

    54 Organic Trade Association. 2013. U.S. Families' Organic Attitudes and Beliefs: 2013 Tracking Study. www.ota.com.

    Conclusions

    A clear and consistent standard for transition of dairy animals into organic production is needed and anticipated by dairy producers, consumers, trade associations, certifying agents, and the OIG. This proposed rule would provide a foundation for compliance and enforcement in support of fair competition among dairy producers through a single, well-defined standard. AMS is pursing the regulatory option that retains the opportunity for new producers to transition into organic dairy production once. In the event of emergencies, producers, through their certifiers could apply for a temporary variance provided for in section 205.290(a).

    AMS is seeking comments on the actual economic impacts, both costs and benefits, of this action on the industry. We are specifically interested in validating the accuracy of the number of farms impacted, validating the accuracy of the estimated number of replacement animals, and understanding the number and size of heifer development operations that may be affected by this action. The costs and benefits are summarized in the Executive Summary and were described in detail in this section.

    In addition, and in support of our validation efforts, we also are requesting comments on or submissions of applicable farm or industry data, data sources, reports, research and other relevant information that would help us better understand the full range of impacts of the rule on farm income and profitability.

    B. Executive Order 12988

    Executive Order 12988 instructs each executive agency to adhere to certain requirements in the development of new and revised regulations in order to avoid unduly burdening the court system. This proposed rule is not intended to have a retroactive effect.

    States and local jurisdictions are preempted under the OFPA from creating programs of accreditation for private persons or State officials who want to become certifying agents of organic farms or handling operations. A governing State official would have to apply to USDA to be accredited as a certifying agent, as described in section 6514(b) of the OFPA. States are also preempted under sections 6503 and 6507 of the OFPA from creating certification programs to certify organic farms or handling operations unless the State programs have been submitted to, and approved by, the Secretary as meeting the requirements of the OFPA.

    Pursuant to section 6507(b)(2) of the OFPA, a State organic certification program may contain additional requirements for the production and handling of organically produced agricultural products that are produced in the State and for the certification of organic farm and handling operations located within the State under certain circumstances. Such additional requirements must: (a) Further the purposes of the OFPA, (b) not be inconsistent with the OFPA, (c) not be discriminatory toward agricultural commodities organically produced in other States, and (d) not be effective until approved by the Secretary.

    Pursuant to section 6519(f) of the OFPA, this proposed rule would not alter the authority of the Secretary under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601-624), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 451-471), or the Egg Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 1031-1056), concerning meat, poultry, and egg products, nor any of the authorities of the Secretary of Health and Human Services under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 301-399), nor the authority of the Administrator of the EPA under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 136-136(y)).

    Section 6520 of the OFPA provides for the Secretary to establish an expedited administrative appeals procedure under which persons may appeal an action of the Secretary, the applicable governing State official, or a certifying agent under this title that adversely affects such person or is inconsistent with the organic certification program established under this title. The OFPA also provides that the U.S. District Court for the district in which a person is located has jurisdiction to review the Secretary's decision.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612) requires agencies to consider the economic impact of each rule on small entities and evaluate alternatives that would accomplish the objectives of the rule without unduly burdening small entities or erecting barriers that would restrict their ability to compete in the market. The purpose is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to the action.

    The RFA permits agencies to prepare the initial RFA in conjunction with other analyses required by law, such as the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA). AMS notes that several requirements to complete the RFA overlap with the RIA. For example, the RFA requires a description of the reasons why action by the agency is being considered and an analysis of the proposed rule's costs to small entities. The RIA describes the need for this proposed rule, the alternatives considered and the potential costs and benefits of this proposed rule. In order to avoid duplication, we combine some analyses as allowed in section 605(b) of the RFA. As explained below, AMS expects that the entities that could be impacted by this proposed rule would qualify as small businesses. In the RIA, the discussion of alternatives and the potential costs and benefits pertain to impacts upon all entities, including small entities. Therefore, the scope of those analyses is applicable to the RFA. The RIA should be referred to for more detail.

    AMS has considered the economic impact of this proposed action on small entities. Small entities include producers transitioning into organic dairy production, existing organic dairy producers, and producers that raise replacement animals for organic dairies. AMS believes that the cost of implementing the proposed rule will fall primarily on organic dairies that currently purchase transitioned heifers, although dairies currently purchasing organic heifers would be expected to pay higher prices in the short-term due to increased competition for these animals. Farms that sell their excess organic replacement heifers may see an increase in demand for their heifers while farms that raise their own organic replacement heifers would not be affected by the proposed rule. AMS believes there may be a limited number of heifer development operations who could be impacted by this action. However, since the locations, numbers, and sizes of heifer development operations are not known, it is not possible to estimate the number of such entities and any increased costs for those entities.

    This proposed rule would also affect certifying agents that certify organic dairy operations. The Small Business Administration (SBA) defines small agricultural service firms, which includes certifying agents, as those having annual receipts of less than $7,000,000 (North American Industry Classification System Subsector 115—Support Activities for Agriculture and Forestry). There are currently 84 USDA-accredited certifying agents; based on a query of the NOP certified organic operations database, there are approximately 53 certifying agents who are currently involved in the certification of organic dairies. AMS believes that these certifying agents would meet the criterion for a small business. While certifying agents are small entities that will be affected by this proposed rule, we do not expect these certifying agents to incur significant costs as a result of this action. Certifying agents already must comply with the current regulations, e.g., maintaining certification records for organic dairy operations. Their primary new responsibility under this proposal will be to determine, through the existing application process for organic certification, a producer's eligibility for a one-time transition into organic production.

    For the RFA analysis, AMS focused on estimating how different size organic dairy operations (small versus large) would be impacted as a result of purchasing all organic dairy replacement animals. As discussed above, we do not have data on heifer development operations that raise dairy replacement heifers and are unable to estimate the impacts on these entities. As defined by the SBA (13 CFR 121.201), small agricultural producers are defined as those having annual receipts of less than $750,000. AMS used this SBA criterion to identify large organic dairy operations, those with cash receipts of more than $750,000, and small operations, those with cash receipts of $750,000 or less. The ARMS dataset estimates that 95 percent had cash receipts below $750,000 and 5 percent had cash receipts above $750,000. Using the NASS estimate for the total number of organic dairy operations, AMS estimates that, in 2011, there were 91 large operations and 1,756 operations that would be considered small under the SBA criterion.

    AMS notes that there is little variation in the proportion of organic dairies that source at least some of their replacement heifers from their own calves. Of the large operations, 96 percent reported that at least some of their replacement heifers were born on their operations. About 99 percent of small operations reported sourcing at least some of their replacement heifers from calves born on their operations.

    While the frequency of purchases of replacement heifers varied little by size, our analysis shows that the mean number of replacement heifers purchased was significantly different across size categories. Small operations were slightly less likely to buy replacement heifers (5.3 percent versus 5.5 percent). Of the small operations that purchased replacement heifers, the average number purchased was 10 head, compared with an average purchase of 107 head for large operations. For this cost analysis, we assumed a cost difference of $1,300 per head between transitioned replacement heifers and organic replacement heifers and assumed that half of replacement heifers currently purchased are transitioned.55 Based on our analysis, AMS estimates that, under the proposed rule, small operations would collectively spend an additional $588,000 for heifers. Large operations would collectively pay an additional $347,000 for heifers. Of the operations that purchased heifers, the average additional cost per operation would be $6,300 for small operations and $70,000 for large operations. AMS notes that this analysis assumed that there is no difference in the cost per head paid by large and small operations for purchases of replacement heifers. Table 9 summarizes the cost analysis using the SBA criterion for small businesses (i.e., producers with less than $750,000 in cash receipts).

    55 The determination of a cost difference of $1,300 per head and the assumption about the proportion of replacement heifers that are transitioned is discussed in the RIA. See section on EO 12866 and 13563.

    Table 9—Cost of Organic Replacement Heifers by SBA Criterion for Small Businesses Small operations (<$750,000) Large operations (>=$750,000) Total cost (all operations) $588,000 $347,000 Per operation purchasing replacement heifers (25% to 50% transitioned replacements) 3,150-6,300 35,000-70,000

    To understand the potential costs in context, we used the higher average cost estimate per operation from Table 9 for the purchase of organic replacement heifers (i.e., $6,300 for small; $70,000 for large) and compared it to the average gross cash farm income for each size category. In 2011, the average gross farm cash income for small operations was $211,375, and $2,348,345 for large operations. For both small and large operations, the average additional costs imposed by the requirement to purchase organic replacement heifers accounts for approximately 2.9 percent of an operation's average gross cash farm income. AMS believes that any costs incurred by producers in complying with this proposed action would be offset by a stronger marketplace for organic dairy products. If implemented, this action would, as discussed in the benefits portion of the RIA, ensure that consumer expectations are met and support the growing market for these organic products. AMS believes that, over the long run, the economic impact on producers of not implementing this proposed rule would be greater than the economic impact of this proposed rule due to the need for greater consistency in applying the origin of livestock standard across the organic dairy sector.

    In addition, AMS has not identified any relevant Federal rules that are currently in effect that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this proposed rule. This action provides additional clarity on the origin of livestock requirements that are specific and limited to the USDA organic regulations.

    D. Executive Order 13175

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

    AMS has assessed the impact of this rule on Indian tribes and determined that this rule may have tribal implications that require tribal consultation under EO 13175. If a Tribe requests consultation, AMS will work with the Office of Tribal Relations to ensure meaningful consultation is provided where changes, additions and modifications identified herein are not expressly mandated by Congress.

    E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    No additional collection or recordkeeping requirements are imposed on the public by this proposed rule. Accordingly, OMB clearance is not required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501, Chapter 35.

    F. Civil Rights Impact Analysis

    AMS has reviewed this proposed rule in accordance with the Department Regulation 4300-4, Civil Rights Impact Analysis (CRIA), to address any major civil rights impacts the rule might have on minorities, women, and persons with disabilities. After a careful review of the rule's intent and provisions, AMS has determined that this rule would only impact the organic practices of organic producers and that this rule has no potential for affecting producers in protected groups differently than the general population of producers. This rulemaking was initiated to clarify a regulatory requirement and enable consistent implementation and enforcement.

    Protected individuals have the same opportunity to participate in the NOP as non-protected individuals. The USDA organic regulations prohibit discrimination by certifying agents. Specifically, section 205.501(d) of the current regulations for accreditation of certifying agents provides that “No private or governmental entity accredited as a certifying agent under this subpart shall exclude from participation in or deny the benefits of the NOP to any person due to discrimination because of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status.” Paragraph 205.501(a)(2) requires “certifying agents to demonstrate the ability to fully comply with the requirements for accreditation set forth in this subpart” including the prohibition on discrimination. The granting of accreditation to certifying agents under section 205.506 requires the review of information submitted by the certifying agent and an on-site review of the certifying agent's operation. Further, if certification is denied, section 205.405(d) requires that the certifying agent notify the applicant of their right to file an appeal to the AMS Administrator in accordance with section 205.681. These regulations provide protections against discrimination, thereby permitting all producers, regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status, who voluntarily choose to adhere to the rule and qualify, to be certified as meeting NOP requirements by an accredited certifying agent. This proposed rule in no way changes any of these protections against discrimination.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 205

    Administrative practice and procedure, Agriculture, Animals, Archives and records, Imports, Labeling, Organically produced products, Plants, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Seals and insignia, Soil conservation.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 205 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 205—NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 205 continues to read: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 6501-6522.

    2. Section 205.2 is amended by adding in alphabetical order definitions for “dairy farm,” “organic management,” third-year transitional crop,” “transitional crop,” and “transitioned animal” to read as follows:
    § 205.2 Terms defined.

    Dairy farm. A premises with a milking parlor where at least one lactating animal is milked.

    Organic management. Management of a production or handling operation in compliance with all applicable production and handling provisions under this part.

    Third-year transitional crop. Crops and forage from land, included in the organic system plan of a producer's operation, that has had no application of prohibited substances within 2 years prior to harvest of the crop or forage.

    Transitional crop. Any agricultural crop or forage from land, included in the organic system plan of a producer's operation, that has had no application of prohibited substances within one year prior to harvest of the crop or forage.

    Transitioned animal. A dairy animal that was converted to organic milk production in accordance with § 205.236(a)(2); offspring borne to a transitioned animal that, during its last third of gestation, consumes third year transitional crops; or offspring borne during the one-time transition exception that themselves consume third year transitional crops. Such animals must not be sold, labeled, or represented as organic slaughter stock or for the purpose of organic fiber.

    3. Section 205.236 is revised to read as follows:
    § 205.236 Origin of livestock.

    (a) Livestock products that are to be sold, labeled, or represented as organic must be from livestock under continuous organic management from the last third of gestation or hatching: Except, That:

    (1) Poultry. Poultry or edible poultry products must be from poultry that has been under continuous organic management beginning no later than the second day of life;

    (2) Dairy animals. A producer as defined in § 205.2 may transition dairy animals into organic production only once. A producer is eligible for this transition only if the producer starts a new organic dairy farm or converts an existing nonorganic dairy farm to organic production. A producer must not transition any new animals into organic production after completion of this one-time transition. This transition must occur over a continuous 12-month period prior to production of milk or milk products that are to be sold, labeled, or represented as organic, and meet the following conditions:

    (i) During the 12-month period, dairy animals must be under continuous organic management;

    (ii) During the 12-month period, the producer should describe the transition as part of its organic system plan and submit this as part of an application for certification to a certifying agent, as required in § 205.401;

    (iii) During the 12-month period, dairy animals and their offspring may consume third-year transitional crops;

    (iv) Offspring born during or after the 12-month period are transitioned animals if they consume third-year transitional crops during the transition or if the mother consumes third year transitional crops during the offspring's last third of gestation;

    (v) Offspring born from transitioning dairy animals are organic if they are under continuous organic management and if only certified organic crops and forages are used from their last third of gestation;

    (vi) All dairy animals must end the transition at the same time;

    (vii) Dairy animals that complete the transition are transitioned animals and must not be used for organic livestock products other than organic milk;

    (viii) After the 12-month period ends, transitioned animals may produce organic milk on any organic dairy farm as long as the animal is under continuous organic management at all times on a certified organic operation; and

    (ix) After the 12-month period ends, any new dairy animal brought onto a producer's dairy farm(s) for organic milk production must be an animal under continuous organic management from the last third of gestation or a transitioned animal sourced from another certified organic dairy farm.

    (3) Breeder stock. Livestock used as breeder stock may be brought from a nonorganic operation onto an organic operation at any time, Provided, That the following conditions are met:

    (i) Such breeder stock must be brought onto the operation no later than the last third of gestation if its offspring are to be raised as organic livestock; and

    (ii) Such breeder stock must be managed organically throughout the last third of gestation and the lactation period during which time they may nurse their own offspring.

    (b) The following are prohibited:

    (1) Livestock, edible livestock products, or nonedible livestock products such as animal fiber that are removed from an organic operation and subsequently managed on a nonorganic operation may not be sold, labeled, or represented as organically produced.

    (2) Breeder stock, dairy stock, or transitioned animals that have not been under continuous organic management since the last third of gestation may not be sold, labeled, or represented as organic slaughter stock.

    (c) The producer of an organic livestock operation must maintain records sufficient to preserve the identity of all organically managed animals, including whether they are transitioned animals, and edible and nonedible animal products produced on the operation.

    4. Section 205.237 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 205.237 Livestock feed.

    (a) The producer of an organic livestock operation must provide livestock with a total feed ration composed of agricultural products, including pasture and forage, that are organically produced and handled by operations certified to the NOP, except as provided in § 205.236(a)(2)(iii), except, that, synthetic substances allowed under § 205.603 and nonsynthetic substances not prohibited under § 205.604 may be used as feed additives and feed supplements, Provided, That, all agricultural ingredients included in the ingredients list, for such additives and supplements, shall have been produced and handled organically.

    5. Section 205.239 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:
    § 205.239 Livestock living conditions.

    (a) * * *

    (3) Appropriate clean, dry bedding. When roughages are used as bedding, they shall have been organically produced in accordance with this part by an operation certified under this part, except as provided in § 205.236(a)(2)(iii), and, if applicable, organically handled by operations certified to the NOP.

    Dated: April 23, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09851 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION 12 CFR Part 360 RIN 3064-AE33 Large Bank Deposit Insurance Determination Modernization AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR).

    SUMMARY:

    The FDIC is seeking comment on whether certain insured depository institutions that have a large number of deposit accounts, such as more than two million accounts should be required to undertake actions to ensure that, if one of these banks were to fail, depositors would have access to their FDIC-insured funds in a timely manner (usually within one business day of failure). Specifically, the FDIC is seeking comment on whether these banks should be required to: (1) Enhance their recordkeeping to maintain (and be able to provide the FDIC) substantially more accurate and complete data on each depositor's ownership interest by right and capacity (such as single or joint ownership) for all or a large subset of the bank's deposit accounts; and (2) develop and maintain the capability to calculate the insured and uninsured amounts for each depositor by deposit insurance capacity for all or a substantial subset of deposit accounts at the end of any business day. This ANPR does not contemplate imposing these requirements on community banks.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by the FDIC no later than July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the advance notice of proposed rulemaking using any of the following methods:

    Agency Web site: http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal/propose.html. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the agency Web site.

    Email: [email protected] Include RIN 3064-AE33 on the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary, Attention: Comments, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20429.

    Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 550 17th Street Building (located on F Street) on business days between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

    • Public Inspection: All comments received, including any personal information provided, will be posted generally without change to http://www.fdic.gov/regulations.laws/federal/.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Marc Steckel, Deputy Director, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, 571-858-8224; Teresa J. Franks, Assistant Director, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, 571-858-8226; Christopher L. Hencke, Counsel, Legal Division, 202-898-8839; Karen L. Main, Counsel, Legal Division, 703-562-2079.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Deposit Insurance

    Under section 11 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (“FDI Act”), the FDIC is responsible for paying deposit insurance “as soon as possible” following the failure of an insured depository institution. 1 2 While the FDIC may pay insurance either in cash (a “payout”) or by making available to each depositor a “transferred deposit” in another insured depository institution (which could be a bridge bank),3 in most cases the FDIC uses transferred deposits.

    1 As used in this ANPR, the term “bank” is synonymous with “insured depository institution.”

    2 12 U.S.C. 1821(f)(1).

    3Id.

    Although the statutory requirement that the FDIC pay insurance “as soon as possible” 4 does not obligate the FDIC to pay insurance within a specific period of days or weeks, the FDIC strives to pay insurance promptly. Indeed, the FDIC strives to make most insured deposits available to depositors by the next business day after a bank fails (usually the Monday following a Friday failure). For several reasons, the FDIC believes that prompt payment of deposit insurance is essential. First, prompt payment of deposit insurance maintains public confidence in the FDIC guarantee as well as confidence in the banking system. Second, depositors must have prompt access to their insured funds in order to meet their financial needs and obligations. Third, a delay in the payment of deposit insurance—especially in the case of the failure of one of the largest insured depository institutions—could have systemic consequences and harm the national economy. Fourth, a delay could reduce the franchise value of the failed bank and thus increase the FDIC's resolution costs.5

    4Id.

    5See 70 FR 73652, 73653-54 (December 13, 2005).

    Under section 11 of the FDI Act, the FDIC pays insurance up to the “standard maximum deposit insurance amount” or “SMDIA” of $250,000.6 In applying the SMDIA, the law requires the FDIC to aggregate the amounts of all deposits in the insured depository institution that are maintained by a depositor “in the same capacity and the same right.” 7 For example, before the $250,000 limit is applied, all single ownership accounts owned by a particular depositor must be aggregated. Such accounts, however, are insured separately from joint ownership accounts because joint ownership represents a separate “capacity and right.”

    6 12 U.S.C. 1821(a)(1)(E).

    7 12 U.S.C. 1821(a)(1)(C).

    In accordance with section 11, the FDIC has recognized a number of ownership “capacities” or account categories. Some of the most common account categories are the following: (1) Single ownership accounts; (2) joint ownership accounts; (3) certain retirement accounts; and (4) revocable trust accounts (informal “payable-on-death” accounts as well as formal “living trust” accounts).8 Appendix A contains a list of deposit insurance account categories.

    8See 12 CFR 330.6 (governing the coverage of single ownership accounts); 12 CFR 330.9 (joint ownership accounts); 12 CFR 330.14(b)(2) (retirement accounts); 12 CFR 330.10 (revocable trust accounts).

    While the FDIC is authorized to rely upon the account records of the failed insured depository institution to identify owners and insurance categories,9 the failed bank's records are often ambiguous or incomplete. For example, the FDIC might discover multiple accounts under one name but at different addresses. Conversely, the FDIC might discover accounts under different names but at the same address. In such circumstances, the FDIC is faced with making a potentially erroneous overpayment or delaying the payment of insured amounts to depositors while it manually reviews files and obtains additional information from the account holders about the ownership of the accounts.

    9See 12 U.S.C. 1822(c); 12 CFR 330.5.

    The problem identifying the owners of deposits is exacerbated when an account at a failed bank has been opened through a deposit broker or other agent or custodian. In this scenario, neither the name nor the address of the owner may appear in the failed bank's records. The only party identified in the records might be the custodian. The FDIC is faced with decision to overpay erroneously deposit insurance or to delay payment to insured depositors until information is obtained from the custodian as to the actual owners and their respective interests.10

    10 In the case of accounts held by agents or custodians, the FDIC provides “pass-through” insurance coverage (meaning that the coverage “passes through” the agent or custodian to each of the actual owners). See 12 CFR 330.7. The FDIC cannot apply the $250,000 limit on a “pass-through” basis, however, until the FDIC has obtained records from the custodian as to the identities and interests of the actual owners. See 12 CFR 330.5.

    In some cases, even when the owner of a particular account is clearly disclosed in the failed bank's account records, the FDIC may be required to obtain additional information before applying the $250,000 limit. For example, in the case of revocable trust accounts, the account owner's coverage depends upon the number of testamentary beneficiaries (the coverage generally is $250,000 times the number of beneficiaries).11 Generally, when an account is an informal “pay-on-death” or “POD” account, the identities of the beneficiaries are contained in the bank's records, but are not electronically stored in a structured way using standardized formatting. When an account has been opened in the name of a formal revocable “living trust,” the beneficiaries typically are not contained in the bank's records at all. As a result, if the balance of the account exceeds $250,000, the FDIC is faced with the decision to overpay erroneously deposit insurance or delay payment to insured depositors until the account owner provides the FDIC with a copy of the trust agreement (or otherwise provides the FDIC with information about the account beneficiaries). To complicate the insurance determination further, bank records on trust accounts are often in paper form, microfiche, or electronically scanned images that the FDIC must manually review, since these records cannot be processed electronically. This manual review is time consuming. As with brokered or other custodial deposits, the number of such trust accounts could be quite large at certain institutions.

    11See 12 CFR 330.10.

    II. Section 360.9—Large Bank Deposit Insurance Determination Modernization

    The FDIC previously attempted to enhance its ability to make prompt deposit insurance determinations at larger insured depository institutions through the adoption of § 360.9 of its regulations.12 Effective August 18, 2008,13 § 360.9 requires insured institutions covered by its requirements to maintain processes that would provide the FDIC with standard deposit account information promptly in the event of the institution's failure. In addition, § 360.9 requires these institutions to maintain the technological capability to automatically place and release holds on deposit accounts. If certain banks with a large number of deposit accounts were to fail with little prior warning, however, additional measures are likely to be needed to ensure the rapid application of deposit insurance limits to all deposit accounts.

    12 12 CFR 360.9.

    13See 73 FR 41180 (July 17, 2008).

    Section 360.9 applies to “covered institutions,” with the term “covered institution” defined as an insured depository institution with at least $2 billion in domestic deposits and at least (1) 250,000 deposit accounts; or (2) $20 billion in total assets.14 Section 360.9 requires a covered institution to have in place an automated process for placing and removing holds on deposit accounts and certain other types of accounts concurrent with or immediately following the daily deposit account processing on the day of failure.

    14 12 CFR 360.9(b)(1).

    Under § 360.9, a covered institution is also required to be able to produce upon request data files that use a standard data format populated by mapping preexisting data elements regarding deposit accounts.15 For accounts in most of the deposit insurance categories recognized by the FDIC, the required information includes the deposit insurance category.16 The required information also includes the customer's name and address.17 At failure (or before), § 360.9 contemplates that the covered institution would transmit its § 360.9 data to the FDIC so that the FDIC could determine specifically which amounts were insured and which were not. In general, the determination would not be made on closing night, and, for many accounts, would not be made on closing weekend.

    15 12 CFR 360.9(d).

    16 12 CFR 360.9, appendix C.

    17 12 CFR 360.9, appendix F.

    The self-described purpose of § 360.9 is the following: “This section is intended to allow the deposit and other operations of a large insured depository institution (defined as a `Covered Institution') to continue functioning on the day following failure. It also is intended to permit the FDIC to fulfill its legal mandates regarding the resolution of failed insured institutions[,] to provide liquidity to depositors promptly, enhance market discipline, ensure equitable treatment of depositors at different institutions and reduce the FDIC's costs by preserving the franchise value of a failed institution.” 18

    18 12 CFR 360.9(a).

    III. The Need for Additional Rulemaking

    The lessons of the financial crisis, which peaked in the months following the promulgation of the FDIC's Final Rule prescribing § 360.9, illustrate definitively that further changes are needed to ensure that the FDIC can maintain the public trust in the banking system and can fulfill its statutory obligation to make insured depositors whole “as soon as possible.”

    A significant change to the banking industry resulting from the financial crisis affecting FDIC deposit insurance determinations arises out of further consolidation of the industry, particularly for larger firms. In 2005 the FDIC noted:

    Industry consolidation raises practical concerns about the FDIC's current business model for conducting a deposit insurance determination. Larger institutions—especially those initiating recent merger activity—are considerably more complex, have more deposit accounts, greater geographic dispersion, more diversity of systems and data consistency issues arising from mergers than has been the case historically. . . . Should such trends continue, deposits will become even more concentrated in the foreseeable future.19

    19 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 70 FR 73652, 76354 (December 13, 2005).

    Such trends have not only continued, they accelerated as a result of the crisis, as reflected in Table A.

    Table A—Deposit Account Concentrations June 2008 December 2014 Percent
  • increases
  • Largest number of deposit accounts at a single bank 59,604,549 84,491,835 42 Number of deposit accounts at the 10 banks having the most deposit accounty 254,180,422 318,809,420 25

    As a result of this concentration, many institutions are more complex with more serious systems and data consistency challenges.

    The financial crisis also reinforced the challenges posed by multiple and rapid resolution of banks. Since the beginning of 2008, 511 insured depository institutions failed, comprising a total asset value of approximately $696 billion. These failed banks range in asset value from a few million to over $300 billion. Still other firms, including some of the largest banking organizations, were spared from failure only by extraordinary government intervention. These experiences indicate to the FDIC that the provisional account holds and other requirements finalized in § 360.9 are not sufficient to mitigate the complexities of large institution failures. Further measures are required. This is especially true because the experience of the financial crisis indicates that failures can often happen with no or little notice and time for the FDIC to prepare. Since 2009, the FDIC has been called upon to resolve 47 institutions within 30 days from the launch of the resolution process to the ultimate closure of the bank. In addition to these rapid failures, the financial condition of two banks with a large number of accounts—Washington Mutual Bank and Wachovia Bank—deteriorated very quickly in 2008, leaving the FDIC little time to prepare.

    The implementation of § 360.9 requirements by covered firms also underscores the need for further measures. The FDIC has worked with covered institutions for several years to implement § 360.9. Based on its experience reviewing banks' deposit data, deposit systems and mechanisms for imposing provisional holds, staff has concluded that § 360.9 has not been as effective as had been hoped in enhancing the capacity to make prompt deposit insurance determinations. For the reasons discussed below, the FDIC has concluded, that, if certain banks with a large number of accounts were to fail with little prior notice and an insurance determination were required, additional measures would be needed, beyond those set out in § 360.9, to provide assurance that a deposit insurance determination would be made promptly and accurately. Because delays in insurance determinations could lead to bank runs or other systemic problems, the FDIC believes that improved strategies must be implemented to ensure prompt deposit insurance determinations at failures of banks with a large number of deposit accounts.

    First, in reviewing covered institutions for compliance with § 360.9 requirements, the FDIC has often found inconsistent and missing data.

    Second, the continued growth following the promulgation of § 360.9 in the number of deposit accounts at larger banks and the number and complexity of deposit systems (or platforms) in many of these banks would exacerbate the difficulties at making prompt deposit insurance determinations.

    Third, using the FDIC's information technology systems to make deposit insurance determinations at a failed bank with a large number of deposit accounts would require the transmission of massive amounts of deposit data from the bank's systems (now held by the bank's successor) to the FDIC's systems. The FDIC would have to process this data. The time required to transmit and process such a large amount of data present a challenge in making an insurance determination on the night of closing (“closing night”) or possibly even on closing weekend, if the bank was closed on a Friday. A failed bank that has multiple deposit systems would further complicate the aggregation of deposits owned by a particular depositor in a particular right and capacity, causing additional delay.

    Finally, if a bank with a large number of deposit accounts were to fail suddenly because of liquidity problems, the FDIC's opportunity to prepare for the bank's closing would be limited, thus further exacerbating the challenge in making a prompt deposit insurance determination.20

    20See 71 FR 74857, 74859 (December 13, 2006).

    IV. Possible Solution

    The FDIC is seeking comment on what additional regulatory action should be taken to ensure that deposit insurance determinations can be made promptly when certain banks with a large number of deposit accounts, such as more than two million accounts, fail. The two million account threshold would affect about 37 banks as of December 31, 2014. In determining whether to initiate the rulemaking process, the FDIC will carefully consider all comments from the public, as well as any relevant data or information submitted by the public.

    Based on the FDIC's experience, however, and as reflected in the discussion that follows, it seems likely that certain banks with a large number of deposit accounts (e.g., more than two million accounts) will have to: (1) Enhance their recordkeeping to maintain substantially more accurate and complete data on each depositor's ownership interest by right and capacity (such as single or joint ownership) for all or a large subset of the bank's deposit accounts; and (2) develop and maintain the capability to calculate the insured and uninsured amounts for each depositor by deposit insurance category for all or a substantial subset of deposit accounts at the end of any business day. This ANPR does not, however, contemplate imposing additional requirements on community banks.

    The goal of any regulatory action would be to: (1) Address the additional challenges in making deposit insurance determinations posed by certain banks with a large number of deposit accounts, which have only increased in magnitude following the financial crisis; (2) enhance capabilities to make prompt deposit insurance determinations in the event of the sudden failure of one of these banks; (3) safeguard the Deposit Insurance Fund by avoiding overpayment of deposit insurance and other potential consequences from the failure of a bank with a large number of accounts; and (4) ensure that public confidence is maintained and depositors' expectations of prompt payment of insured deposits are met.

    If certain banks with a large number of deposit accounts were to fail and a deposit insurance determination were necessary, one possible process for making deposit insurance determinations (described here for purposes of soliciting comment) would be as follows. For a large subset of deposits (“closing night deposits”), including those where depositors have the greatest need for immediate access to funds (such as transaction accounts and money market deposit accounts (“MMDAs”)), deposit insurance determinations would be made on closing night. The failed bank's information technology systems and data would be used to calculate insured and uninsured amounts. As discussed below, the FDIC seeks comment on the types of deposits that should be deemed “closing night deposits.”

    To make a deposit insurance determination on closing night would require that certain banks with a large number of deposit accounts:

    1. Obtain and maintain data on all closing night deposits, including outstanding official items, that are sufficiently accurate and complete to allow the determination of the insured and uninsured amounts for each depositor by deposit insurance right and capacity (that is, by deposit insurance category) at the end of any business day (since failure can occur on any business day). To allow the FDIC to examine banks' data, banks with a large number of deposit accounts would have to maintain this data using a standard format and the data would have to meet quality and completeness standards; and

    2. Develop and maintain an information technology system that can calculate the insured and uninsured amounts of closing night deposits for each depositor by deposit insurance category at the end of any business day.

    Deposit insurance determinations on all other deposits (“post-closing deposits”) would be made after closing night, either on closing weekend (if the bank fails and is closed on a Friday) or thereafter. The FDIC envisions that, as currently contemplated by § 360.9, the failed bank's information technology and deposit systems would be used to place provisional holds on post-closing deposits on closing night. The FDIC also envisions that the failed bank's information technology and deposit systems would be used to calculate the insured and uninsured amounts of post-closing deposits.

    For this process to work, it would require that a bank with a large number of deposit accounts obtain and maintain data on all post-closing deposits that are sufficiently accurate and complete to allow a prompt determination of the insured and uninsured amounts for each depositor by deposit insurance category. Moreover, this data will likely have to be more accurate and complete than the data some of these banks maintain now and would have to be maintained using a standard format. Alternatively, this information might be gathered post-failure using a claims administration process where depositors would be required to submit a proof of claim to the FDIC. As discussed below, the FDIC seeks comment on which types of deposits should be deemed post-closing deposits and on data requirements for various types of potential post-closing deposits.

    The FDIC recognizes that the deposit insurance determination processes described above and the requirements they would impose could require banks with a large number of deposit accounts to make substantial changes to their recordkeeping and information systems. The complexity of the deposit insurance coverage rules contributes to the challenge of making deposit insurance determinations at these banks. As shown in Appendix A, there are more than a dozen different deposit insurance categories or “rights and capacities” in which a depositor can own funds in an FDIC-insured institution.

    Simplifying deposit insurance coverage rules likely would enable the FDIC to perform deposit insurance determinations much more quickly and accurately but might also entail reduced insurance coverage to some affected depositors. For example, deposit insurance coverage for trust accounts is complex in part because it depends upon the number of beneficiaries, whose names often do not appear in bank records. Replacing “per beneficiary” coverage with “per grantor” or “per trust” coverage would greatly simplify the insurance determination but result in reduced insurance coverage.

    V. Request for Comment

    By describing the processes above for making deposit insurance determinations at certain banks with a large number of deposit accounts that fail and discussing the requirements these processes would entail for these banks, the FDIC does not intend to preclude consideration of other possible solutions to the problem of making prompt deposit insurance determinations if one of these banks were to fail. On the contrary, the FDIC is interested in exploring all means that would result in prompt deposit insurance determinations. The FDIC invites comments on the processes described above and the requirements they would impose, as well as suggestions for and comment on other possible solutions.

    The FDIC also requests comment on the questions set out below. In addition, the FDIC is requesting the opportunity to schedule meetings with interested parties during the development of a regulatory proposal. Any such meetings will be documented in the FDIC's public files to note the institution's or entity's general views on the ANPR or their answers to questions that have been posed in this ANPR. Any institution or organization that would like to request such a meeting to discuss the proposal in more detail and make suggestions or comments should contact Marc Steckel, Deputy Director, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, 571-858-8224.

    General Issues Applicability

    This ANPR presents potential options that, if adopted, would impose requirements only on certain banks with a large number of deposit accounts.

    • In general, which banks should be subject to the requirements discussed in this ANPR?

    • To what size banks, as measured by number of deposit accounts, should possible rulemaking apply? Should requirements be tiered based on these criteria?

    • Should other factors or a combination of factors be used to determine which banks would be subject to the requirements?

    • Should bank affiliates of certain banks with a large number of deposit accounts be subject to the requirements, regardless of their size or number of deposit accounts? Why or why not?

    Challenges, Costs and Tradeoffs

    • Which requirements would likely cause the most significant changes to banks' deposit operations and systems?

    • What are the costs associated with the requirements; for example, what is the cost of—

    ○ Obtaining and maintaining data on all closing night deposits that is sufficiently accurate and complete to allow the determination of the insured and uninsured amounts for each depositor at the end of any business day;

    ○ Developing and maintaining an information technology system that, on closing night, can calculate the insured and uninsured amounts of closing night deposits for each depositor by deposit insurance category at the end of any business day;

    ○ Obtaining and maintaining more accurate and complete data on post-closing deposits; and

    ○ Disclosing and making available each customer's level of insured and uninsured deposits on a daily basis?

    • Which requirements would be the most costly to implement? Why? Please provide estimates of the potential cost(s).

    • Could the implementation and maintenance costs be mitigated while still meeting the FDIC's objective of timely deposit insurance determinations? Are there any adjustments to the processes and requirements discussed above that would reduce costs while still meeting the objectives? If so, please describe them.

    • How could the current IT capabilities at banks with a large number of deposit accounts best be used to minimize the cost of the requirements?

    • Are there related bank activities or regulatory requirements that would reduce the cost of implementation or would implementation of any requirements considered in this ANPR reduce the costs of implementing other rules? If so, what are the activities or requirements, and how might they be used to reduce costs? For example, could banks reduce regulatory costs by leveraging work on—

    ○ Liquidity measurement, which may require categorizing deposits so as to measure stressed outflows;

    ○ Stress testing, which may require analyzing and/or segmenting deposits to determine how they would behave during a period of stress;

    ○ Anti-money laundering requirements that may require frequent tracking of deposits; and

    ○ Resolution planning for many insured depository institutions, which requires banks to develop credible resolution plans?

    • Banks have operational schedules for synchronizing systems for reporting at month-end, quarter-end and year-end. How disruptive or expensive would off-period reporting be? How long would it take to develop the ability for off-period reporting?

    • What is the current state of IT systems for tracking deposit accounts and customers at certain banks that have a large number of deposit accounts? Are the systems modern and effective? Are banks already planning upgrades for other reasons? Are there currently shortcomings in these systems that impede the ability to process transactions effectively, maintain data security and implement cross-product marketing strategies?

    Benefits

    • In light of the financial crisis, what are the potential benefits arising from reduced losses to the DIF and to public confidence and financial stability from systems upgrades that ensure the ability of certain banks with a large number of deposit accounts to make prompt deposit insurance determinations in the event of failure?

    • Are there potential spillover benefits that would accrue from the proposed systems changes considered in this ANPR in terms of banks' ability to process transactions, maintain data security, and implement cross-product marketing strategies? Would the benefits of the changes considered in this ANPR accrue only to the public in the FDIC's ability to carry out a deposit insurance determination, or would there be spillover benefits for the banks themselves?

    Timetable for Implementation

    The FDIC recognizes that banks with a large number of deposit accounts may need substantial time to implement the requirements described in this ANPR.

    • How long should banks with a large number of deposit accounts be given to implement the requirements contemplated by this ANPR and why?

    • Are there particular requirements that would take more time to implement? If so, which requirements would pose these delays? Why?

    • If new requirements are adopted, should the FDIC set a single implementation date or phase in the requirements?

    Providing Depositors with the Insured and Uninsured Amount of Their Deposits

    • If a bank can readily determine the amount of FDIC-insured funds in a depositor's accounts, would it be beneficial to provide this information to the depositor? Should banks be required to provide this information to depositors?

    Closing Night Deposits and Post-Closing Deposits

    The discussion that follows focuses on when deposit insurance determinations should be made for various types of deposit accounts.

    Savings and Time Accounts

    At a minimum, to meet depositors' immediate liquidity needs, deposit insurance determinations would have to be made on transaction and MMDA accounts on closing night. One possibility would focus on making deposit insurance determinations only for transaction and MMDA accounts on closing night, so that banks with a large number of deposit accounts would have to create the capacity to calculate insured and uninsured amounts and debit uninsured balances on closing night only for these types of accounts. Holds would be placed on other types of accounts. Shortly after failure, insurance determinations would be completed for these accounts, and the holds would be replaced with the appropriate debits and credits.

    • Should this approach be used? Why or why not?

    • How important is it to depositors to be able to have immediate or quick access to accounts other than transaction accounts and MMDAs? Does it depend on the size of the deposit? What are the potential costs associated with delays for these accounts?

    • What problems or complications might arise if this approach were used?

    • From a depositor's perspective, this approach would differ from the approach now used by the FDIC at smaller banks. At smaller banks, the insurance determination for all accounts (except those where more information is needed from a depositor) is completed over the weekend following a Friday night bank failure and depositors generally have access to their funds the next business day after the bank fails. How confusing would this be for depositors? What types of problems might this differing treatment introduce?

    Pass-Through Coverage Accounts

    In the case of accounts held by agents or custodians, the FDIC provides “pass-through” insurance coverage (i.e., coverage that “passes through” the agent or custodian to each of the actual owners).21 This coverage is not available, however, unless certain conditions are satisfied. One of these conditions is that information about the actual owners must be held by either the insured depository institution or by the agent or custodian or other party.22 In most cases, the agent or custodian holds the necessary information and the insured depository institution does not, thus making it impossible to determine deposit insurance coverage on closing night. The need to obtain information from the agents or custodians delays the calculation of deposit insurance by the FDIC, which may result in delayed payments of insured amounts or erroneous overpayment of insurance. At certain banks with a large number of deposit accounts and large numbers of pass-through accounts, potential delays or erroneous overpayments could be substantial. A few options to resolve this problem are described below.

    21See 12 CFR 330.7.

    22See 12 CFR 330.5.

    Option 1: Require banks with a large number of deposit accounts to identify pass-through accounts, and place holds on these accounts as if the full balance were uninsured. If such a bank failed, brokers, agents and custodians would have to submit required information in a standard format within a certain time. The standard format could expedite deposit insurance determinations.

    Option 2: A bank with a large number of deposit accounts would have to maintain up-to-date records sufficient to allow immediate or prompt insurance determinations either for all pass-through accounts or for certain types of pass-through accounts where depositors need access to their funds immediately.

    • In addition to brokered deposits that are reported on the Call Report, how many accounts with pass-through coverage do banks with a large number of deposit accounts have (numbers and dollars)?

    • For what types of brokered, agent or custodial accounts at banks with a large number of deposit accounts would owners likely need immediate or near-immediate access to funds after failure?

    • How difficult would it be for banks with a large number of deposit accounts to maintain current records on beneficial owners of pass-through accounts? Are there certain types of pass-through accounts where maintaining current records might be relatively easy or relatively difficult?

    • In particular, do banks with a large number of deposit accounts maintain full and up-to-date information on the owners of brokered deposit accounts where the broker is an affiliate of the bank? If not, how difficult would it be for banks to maintain current records on beneficial owners of pass-through accounts where the broker is an affiliate of the bank?

    • What would the challenges and costs be for agents and custodians to provide information to banks on each principal and beneficiary's interest and to update that information whenever it changes? How do these costs compare to the cost of providing the data in a standard format at closing?

    • Which option for pass-through accounts should the FDIC adopt? Why? Is another option preferable? If so, please describe it.

    Prepaid Card Accounts

    The FDIC's rules for “pass-through” insurance coverage of accounts held by agents or custodians apply to all types of custodial accounts, including accounts held by prepaid card companies or similar companies. After collecting funds from cardholders (in exchange for the cards), the prepaid card company might place the cardholders' funds into a custodial account at an insured depository institution. Some cardholders might use these cards (and the funds in the custodial account) as a substitute for a checking account. In the event of the failure of the insured depository institution, the cardholders will likely need immediate access to the funds in the custodial account to meet their basic financial needs and obligations.

    • To prevent delays in the payment or erroneous insurance overpayments, should the FDIC impose recordkeeping or other requirements on banks with a large number of deposit accounts that would enable a prompt determination of the extent of deposit insurance coverage for prepaid cards, possibly on closing night?

    • How difficult would it be for banks with a large number of deposit accounts to maintain current records on each prepaid cardholder's ownership interest?

    How difficult would it be for prepaid card issuers to regularly provide current information on each cardholder's ownership interest to banks with a large number of deposit accounts?

    Trust Accounts

    In the case of revocable and irrevocable trust accounts, the FDIC provides “per beneficiary” insurance coverage subject to certain conditions and limitations.23 For informal trusts (payable-on-death accounts), the bank may have either structured or unstructured information about beneficiaries. In many cases, however, the FDIC cannot calculate “per beneficiary” coverage until it obtains a copy of the trust agreement (with information about the number of beneficiaries and the respective interests of the beneficiaries) from the depositor. The need to obtain and review the trust agreement delays the FDIC's calculation of insurance and may result in delay of insurance payments or overpayment of insurance amounts. Delays or erroneous overpayments may also occur even if the bank has the information for the informal trusts, but the information is not contained in its § 360.9 data. Two potential options for solving these problems are discussed below. These options are similar to the options discussed above for pass-through accounts.

    23See 12 CFR 330.10; 12 CFR 330.13.

    Option 1: A bank with a large number of deposit accounts would have to maintain standardized data on trust accounts to ensure that insured depositors can be paid promptly at failure. These banks would have to collect and maintain relevant information about beneficiaries.

    Option 2: Require that banks with a large number of deposit accounts maintain complete information under § 360.9 to identify trust accounts and their owners (but not necessarily beneficiaries). If such a bank failed, preliminary insured and uninsured amounts would be calculated based on the assumption that there is one qualified beneficiary for each trust. Owners of potentially uninsured trust accounts would have to submit required information in a standard format within a certain time to receive greater coverage for multiple beneficiaries.

    • How many trust accounts do banks with a large number of deposit accounts have (numbers and dollar amounts)?

    • How many trust accounts are transaction accounts that depositors will likely need access to immediately after failure? Would providing access to up to $250,000 immediately after failure be sufficient (with additional insured funds being provided later, when the insurance determination is completed)?

    • What challenges would trust account holders face if they had to submit information in a standard format to gain the full benefits of insurance coverage beyond $250,000 per grantor? Would the associated costs exceed the cost of the alternative, which could entail potentially lengthy delays in gaining the additional insurance coverage?

    • How difficult would it be for banks with a large number of deposit accounts to maintain current records on each beneficiary's ownership interest? How much information do banks already collect and retain on beneficiaries?

    • How difficult would it be for trustees to supply the information to banks and keep it current?

    • Under the two options for trust accounts described above, trust account holders would be treated differently at banks with a large number of deposit accounts compared to other banks, since neither option is required at any bank now. What problems might that cause?

    • Which option should the FDIC adopt? Why? Is another option preferable?

    • In conjunction with considering how trust accounts should be treated on and post-closing night, how should the FDIC revise the rules for the coverage of trust accounts?

    Special Deposit Insurance Categories Created by Statute

    Special statutory rules apply to the insurance coverage of certain types of accounts, including retirement accounts,24 employee benefit plan accounts 25 and government accounts.26 In some cases, the FDIC cannot apply these special statutory rules without obtaining information from the depositor, which delays the calculation and payment of deposit insurance. Though the FDIC cannot change these special statutory rules, the FDIC could pursue options that are similar to those discussed in the previous section for pass-through accounts.

    24See 12 U.S.C. 1821(a)(3).

    25See 12 U.S.C. 1821(a)(1)(D).

    26See 12 U.S.C. 1821(a)(2).

    • How many of these accounts do banks with a large number of deposit accounts have (numbers and dollar amounts)?

    • How urgently do depositors need immediate or near-immediate access to these types of funds after failure?

    • These accounts often have characteristics similar to accounts with pass-through coverage. Can banks with a large number of deposit accounts reliably distinguish these special statutory accounts from accounts with pass-through insurance coverage?

    • How difficult would it be for banks with a large number of deposit accounts to maintain full and up-to-date information on the owners of these accounts? How difficult would it be for depositors to supply the information and keep it current? Are there certain types of accounts where maintaining current records might be relatively easy or relatively difficult?

    • Should the FDIC apply any of the options for pass-through accounts (described above) to these accounts? If so, which one? Why? Is another option preferable?

    Appendix A—Deposit Insurance Categories

    The following is a list of the various deposit insurance categories with references to the FDIC's regulations or to statute. Several of the categories have a statutory basis, but only the reference to the FDIC's implementing regulation is given.

    1. Revocable trust accounts. (12 CFR 330.10.) 2. Irrevocable trust accounts. (12 CFR 330.13.) 3. Joint accounts. (12 CFR 330.9.) 4. Employee benefit accounts. (12 CFR 330.14.) 5. Public unit accounts. (12 CFR 330.15.) 6. Mortgage escrow accounts for principal and interest payments. (12 CFR 330.7(d).) 7. Business organizations. (12 CFR 330.11.) 8. Single accounts. (12 CFR 330.6.) 9. Public bonds accounts. (12 CFR 330.15(c).) 10. Irrevocable trust account with an insured depository institution as trustee. (12 CFR 330.12.) 11. Annuity contract accounts. (12 CFR 330.8.) 12. Custodian accounts for American Indians. (12 CFR 330.7(e).) 13. Accounts of an insured depository institution pursuant to the bank deposit financial assistance program of the Department of Energy. (12 U.S.C . 1817 (i)(3).) 14. Certain retirement accounts. (12 CFR 330.14 (b) and (c).)

    Pass-through insurance (12 CFR 330.5 and 330.7) is not a deposit insurance category, but can be applied to the categories listed above.

    By order of the Board of Directors.

    Dated at Washington, DC, this 21st day of April 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09650 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0216] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix; Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota, FL AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is proposing to amend a special local regulation on the waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the vicinity of Sarasota, Florida during the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix. The event is scheduled to take place annually on the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of July from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The proposed amendment to the special local regulation is necessary to protect the safety of race participants, participant vessels, spectators, and the general public on the navigable waters of the United States during the event. The special local regulation would restrict vessel traffic in the Gulf of Mexico near Sarasota, Florida. It would establish the following three areas: A race area, where all persons and vessels, except those persons and vessels participating in the high speed boat races, are prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within; a spectator area, where all vessels must be anchored or operate at No Wake Speed; and an enforcement area where designated representatives may control vessel traffic as determined by prevailing conditions.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before May 11, 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 Junior Grade Brett S. Sillman, Sector St. Petersburg Prevention Department, Coast Guard; telephone (813) 228-2191, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register A. Public Participation and Request for Comments

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

    1. Submitting Comments

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

    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number USCG-2015-0216 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on “Submit a Comment” on the line associated with this rulemaking.

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

    2. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number USCG-2015-0216 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

    3. Privacy Act

    Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

    4. Public Meeting

    We do not plan to hold a public meeting, but you may submit a request for one, using one of the methods specified under ADDRESSES. Please explain why you believe a public meeting would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

    B. Regulatory History and Information

    The Coast Guard is proposing to amend the special local regulation on the waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the vicinity of Sarasota, Florida during the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix. The event is scheduled to take place the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in July from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This proposed rule is necessary to protect the safety of race participants, participant vessels, spectators, and the general public on the navigable waters of the United States during the event.

    C. Basis and Purpose

    The legal basis for the proposed rule is the Coast Guard's authority to establish special local regulations: 33 U.S.C. 1233 and 33 CFR 1.05-1.

    The purpose of the proposed rule is to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters of the United States during the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix.

    D. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule is necessary to amend a special local regulation that will encompass certain waters of the Gulf of Mexico in Sarasota, Florida. The proposed special local regulation would be enforced annually during the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of July from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The proposed special local regulations will establish the following three areas:

    • A race area, where all persons and vessels, except those persons and vessels participating in the high speed boat races, are prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within;

    • A spectator area, where all vessels must be anchored or operate at No Wake Speed; and

    • An enforcement area where designated representatives may control vessel traffic as determined by the prevailing conditions.

    The enforcement area encompasses both the race area and the spectator area.

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

    E. Regulatory Analyses

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

    1. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    The economic impact of this proposed rule is not significant for the following reasons: The special local regulations would be enforced for only seven hours a day for three days; although persons and vessels are prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the race area or enforcement area without authorization from the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative, they may operate in the surrounding area during the enforcement period; persons and vessels may still enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the race area and enforcement area if authorized by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative; and the Coast Guard would provide advance notification of the special local regulations to the local maritime community by Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners and/or on-scene designate representatives.

    2. Impact on Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered the impact of this proposed rule on small entities. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    The impact on small entities of this proposed rule is not significant for the following reasons: The special local regulations would be enforced for only seven hours a day for three days; although persons and vessels are prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the race area or enforcement area without authorization from the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative, they may operate in the surrounding area during the enforcement period; persons and vessels may still enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the race area and enforcement area if authorized by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative; and the Coast Guard would provide advance notification of the special local regulations to the local maritime community by Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners and/or on-scene designate representatives.

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

    3. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    4. Collection of Information

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

    5. Federalism

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

    6. Protest Activities

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

    7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    8. Taking of Private Property

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

    9. Civil Justice Reform

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

    10. Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks

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

    11. Indian Tribal Governments

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

    12. Energy Effects

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

    13. Technical Standards

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

    14. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)(42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 100

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

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 100 as follows:

    PART 100—SAFETY OF LIFE ON NAVIGABLE WATERS 1. The authority citation for part 100 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1233, 33 CFR 1.05-1, Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1(II)(70).

    2. Revise § 100.720 to read as follows:
    § 100.720 Special Local Regulations; Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix, Gulf of Mexico; Sarasota, FL.

    (a) Regulated areas. The following regulated areas are established as special local regulations. All coordinates are North American Datum 1983.

    (1) Race area. All waters of the Gulf of Mexico encompassed by a line connecting the following points: 27°18.19′ N., 82°34.29′ W., thence to 27°17.42′ N., 82°35.00′ W., thence to 27°18.61′ N., 82°36.59′ W., thence to 27°19.58′ N., 82°35.54′ W., thence back to the original point 27°18.19′ N., 82°34.29′ W.

    (2) Enforcement area. All waters of the Gulf of Mexico encompassed by a line connecting the following points: 27°17.87′ N., 82°33.93′ W., thence to position 27°16.61′ N., 82°34.69′ W., thence to position 27°18.53′ N., 82°37.52′ W., thence to position 27°20.04′ N., 82°35.76′ W., thence back to the original position 27°17.87′ N., 82°33.93′ W.

    (3) Spectator area. All waters of within the enforcement area that are more than 500 yards from the race area.

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

    (c) Regulations. (1) All persons and vessels are prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the race area unless an authorized race participant.

    (2) Designated representatives may control vessel traffic throughout the enforcement area as determined by the prevailing conditions.

    (3) All vessels in the spectator area are to be anchored or operate at a No Wake Speed. On-scene designated representatives will direct spectator vessels to the spectator area.

    (4) All vessel traffic not involved with the event shall enter and exit Sarasota Bay via Big Sarasota Pass and stay clear of the enforcement area.

    (5) New Pass will be closed to all inbound and outbound vessel traffic at the COLREGS Demarcation Line. Vessels are allowed to utilize New Pass to access all areas inland of the Demarcation Line via Sarasota Bay. New Pass may be opened at the discretion of the Captain of the Port.

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

    (d) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced annually the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of July from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT daily.

    Dated: April 2, 2015. G.D. Case, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port St. Petersburg.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09860 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2014-0873; FRL-9926-18-Region 9] Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve revisions to the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District (YSAQMD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions concern volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from organic solvents cleaning operations. We are proposing to rescind and approve local rules to regulate these emission sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act).

    DATES:

    Any comments on this proposal must arrive by May 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments, identified by docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2014-0873 by one of the following methods:

    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions.

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Mail or deliver: Andrew Steckel (Air-4), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.

    Instructions: All comments will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Information that you consider CBI or otherwise protected should be clearly identified as such and should not be submitted through www.regulations.gov or email. www.regulations.gov is an “anonymous access” system, and EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send email directly to EPA, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the public comment. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Arnold Lazarus, EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3024, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposal addresses the following local rules: YSAQMD Rule 1.1 “General Provisions and Definitions,” Rule 2.13 “Organic Solvents,” Rule 2.15 “Disposal and Evaporation of Solvents,” Rule 2.24 “Solvent Cleaning Operations (Degreasing),” and Rule 2.31 “Solvent Cleaning and Degreasing.” In the Rules and Regulations section of this Federal Register, we are approving Rule 1.1 and Rule 2.31 and rescinding Rule 2.13, Rule 2.15 and Rule 2.24, all local rules, in a direct final action without prior proposal because we believe these SIP revisions are not controversial. If we receive adverse comments, however, we will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule and address the comments in subsequent action based on this proposed rule. Please note that if we receive adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, we may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    We do not plan to open a second comment period, so anyone interested in commenting should do so at this time. If we do not receive adverse comments, no further activity is planned. For further information, please see the direct final action.

    Dated: March 30, 2015. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region IX.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09735 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0098; FRL-9926-92-Region-6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Attainment Demonstration for the Dallas/Fort Worth 1997 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area; Determination of Attainment of the 1997 Ozone Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to disapprove revisions to the Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted to meet certain requirements under section 182(c) of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) for the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) nonattainment area under the 1997 8-hour ozone standard. The revisions address the attainment demonstration submitted on January 17, 2012, by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for the DFW Serious nonattainment area. The EPA is also proposing to determine that the DFW 8-hour ozone nonattainment area is currently attaining the 1997 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). This determination is based upon certified ambient air monitoring data that show the area has monitored attainment of the 1997 ozone NAAQS for the 2012-2014 monitoring period. If this proposed determination is made final, the requirements for this area to submit an attainment demonstration, a reasonable further progress (RFP) plan, contingency measures, and other planning SIPs related to attainment of the 1997 ozone NAAQS shall be suspended for so long as the area continues to attain the 1997 ozone NAAQS. This proposed action is consistent with the requirements of section 110 and part D of the CAA.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before May 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0098, by one of the following methods:

    www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions.

    Email: Ms. Carrie Paige at [email protected]

    Mail or delivery: Mr. Guy Donaldson, Chief, Air Planning Section (6PD-L), Environmental Protection Agency, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0098. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Carrie Paige, telephone (214) 665-6521, email address [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please contact Ms. Paige or Mr. Bill Deese at (214) 665-7253.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, “we,” “us,” and “our” means EPA.

    Table of Contents I. What is the EPA proposing? II. Our Action Under Section 182(c) of the CAA (the Serious Area Requirements) A. Background B. What is the EPA proposing to disapprove? C. What are the consequences of a disapproved SIP? III. Our Action Under the Clean Data Determination A. Background B. EPA's Analysis of the Relevant Air Quality Data IV. Proposed Action V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What is the EPA proposing?

    The EPA is proposing to disapprove Texas's 8-hour ozone attainment demonstration for the DFW Serious nonattainment area because the area failed to attain the 1997 ozone NAAQS by the June 15, 2013 attainment date. EPA's analysis and findings are discussed in this proposed rulemaking.

    We are also proposing to determine that the DFW ozone nonattainment area is currently in attainment of the 1997 ozone standard based on the most recent 3 years of quality-assured air quality data. Certified ambient air monitoring data show that the area has monitored attainment of the 1997 ozone NAAQS for the 2012-2014 monitoring period. This action is also known as a “Clean Data Determination” (see 40 CFR 51.1118).

    This proposal is based on EPA's review of complete, quality assured and certified ambient air quality monitoring data for the 2010-2012 and 2012-2014 monitoring periods that are available in the EPA Air Quality System (AQS). The AQS report for these monitors, for 2010 through 2014, is provided in the docket for this rulemaking.

    II. Our Action Under Section 182(c) of the CAA (the Serious Area Requirements) A. Background 1. The National Ambient Air Quality Standards

    Section 109 of the CAA requires the EPA to establish NAAQS for pollutants that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare and to develop a primary and secondary standard for each NAAQS. The primary standard is designed to protect human health with an adequate margin of safety and the secondary standard is designed to protect public welfare. The EPA has set NAAQS for six common air pollutants, also referred to as criteria pollutants: Carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. These standards present state and local governments with the minimum air quality levels they must meet to comply with the Act.

    2. What is a State Implementation Plan?

    The SIP is a plan for clean air, required by section 110 and other provisions of the CAA. The Act requires states to develop air pollution regulations and control strategies to ensure that for each area designated nonattainment for a NAAQS, state air quality will improve and meet the NAAQS established by the EPA. A SIP is a set of air pollution regulations, control strategies, other means or techniques, and technical analyses developed by the state, to ensure that the state meets the NAAQS. A SIP protects air quality primarily by addressing air pollution at its point of origin. A SIP can be extensive, containing state regulations or other enforceable documents, and supporting information such as emissions inventories, monitoring networks, and modeling demonstrations. When a state makes changes to the regulations and control strategies in its SIP, such revisions must be submitted to the EPA for approval and incorporation into the federally-enforceable SIP.

    3. What is ozone and what is the 1997 8-hour ozone standard?

    Ozone is a gas composed of three oxygen atoms. Ground-level ozone is generally not emitted directly from a vehicle's exhaust or an industrial smokestack, but is created by a chemical reaction between volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX) in the presence of sunlight.1 Ozone is known primarily as a summertime air pollutant. Motor vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions, gasoline vapors, chemical solvents and natural sources emit NOX and VOCs. Urban areas tend to have high concentrations of ground-level ozone, but areas without significant industrial activity and with relatively low vehicular traffic are also subject to increased ozone levels because wind carries ozone and its precursors hundreds of miles from their sources.2

    1 VOC and NOX are often referred to as “precursors” to ozone formation.

    2 For additional information on ozone, please visit www.epa.gov/groundlevelozone.

    On July 18, 1997, the EPA promulgated an 8-hour ozone NAAQS of 0.08 parts per million (ppm), known as the 1997 ozone standard.3 See 62 FR 38856 and 40 CFR 50.10. Under EPA regulations at 40 CFR part 50, Appendix I, the 1997 ozone standard is attained when the 3-year average of the annual fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour average ambient ozone concentration is less than or equal to 0.08 ppm.

    3 On March 27, 2008 (73 FR 16436), the EPA promulgated a revised 8-hour ozone NAAQS of 0.075 ppm, known as the 2008 ozone standard. On April 30, 2012, the EPA promulgated designations under the 2008 ozone standard (77 FR 30088) and in that action, the EPA designated 10 counties in the DFW area as a Moderate ozone nonattainment area: Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, and Wise. The EPA's actions herein do not address the DFW nonattainment area for the 2008 ozone standard.

    4. The DFW Nonattainment Area and Its Current Nonattainment Classification Under the 1997 Ozone Standard

    On April 30, 2004, the EPA designated and classified the 9-county DFW area (consisting of Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall and Tarrant counties) as a Moderate nonattainment area under the 1997 ozone standard with an attainment date of no later than June 15, 2010 (see 69 FR 23858 and 69 FR 23951). However, the DFW area failed to attain the 1997 ozone standard by June 15, 2010, and was accordingly reclassified as a Serious ozone nonattainment area with an attainment date of no later than June 15, 2013 (75 FR 79302, December 20, 2010). Following reclassification to Serious, the State submitted a revised attainment plan for the DFW area dated January 17, 2012. The area failed to attain the 1997 ozone standard by June 15, 2013, and in a separate rulemaking, the EPA proposed to determine that the area did not attain the standard by the attainment date and to reclassify the area to Severe (see 80 FR 8274, February 17, 2015).

    5. What is an attainment demonstration?

    In general, an attainment demonstration shows how an area will achieve the standard as expeditiously as practicable, but no later than the attainment date specified for its classification. A typical attainment demonstration is made with the use of air quality models that simulate the changes of pollutant concentrations in the atmosphere encompassing the nonattainment area and thus is an estimate.4 As a part of this showing, the demonstration should simulate projected emissions growth due to factors such as population growth and pollution reductions due to imposition of controls.

    4 For more information regarding an attainment demonstration, please see the General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the CAA Amendments of 1990 at 57 FR 13498, 13510 (April 16, 1992); 40 CFR 51.112; and 40 CFR 51.908.

    6. What did the state submit?

    The TCEQ's January 17, 2012 attainment demonstration submittal for the DFW Serious nonattainment area included air quality modeling and a weight-of-evidence analysis in which the state purported that the area would attain by the area's attainment date of June 13, 2013; Motor Vehicle Emissions Budgets (MVEBs) for transportation conformity purposes; an analysis for Reasonably Available Control Measures (RACM); an analysis for Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT); and a contingency plan. In addition, as part of the submission, the state addressed the CAA requirements for enhanced ambient monitoring and the clean-fuel fleet programs (CFFPs) at section 182(c) of the Act. On November 12, 2014, the EPA approved the RFP plan for the DFW Serious nonattainment area 5 and the associated contingency plan and found that the State has fulfilled the CAA requirements for enhanced ambient monitoring and the CFFPs (see 79 FR 67068). On March 27, 2015, the EPA approved the portion of the January 17, 2012 submittal that addresses the RACT requirements (see 80 FR 16291).

    5 Separately on January 17, 2012, the TCEQ submitted the RFP plan, with contingency measures, for the DFW Serious nonattainment area. That submittal and EPA's action are available at www.regulations.gov, docket number EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0099.

    B. What is the EPA proposing to disapprove?

    We are proposing to disapprove the DFW Serious area attainment demonstration because it was not adequate for the area to attain the 1997 ozone standard by its attainment date. Because we are disapproving the attainment demonstration, we must also disapprove the associated RACM analysis and MVEBs that are included within that attainment demonstration. Under the Act's RACM requirements, a State must implement all reasonable measures. EPA relates this requirement to the attainment demonstration by interpreting the requirement to call for any reasonable measures be implemented that would accelerate attainment of the standard. Because of the relationship to the attainment demonstration, the RACM analysis cannot be approved. Finally, approvable MVEBs must be consistent with an approvable attainment plan.

    C. What are the consequences of a disapproved SIP?

    This section explains the consequences of disapproval of a SIP that addresses a mandatory requirement under the CAA. The CAA stipulates the imposition of sanctions and the promulgation of a federal implementation plan (FIP) if EPA disapproves a required plan submission and the deficiency is not corrected within the relevant timeframe.

    1. What are the Act's provisions for sanctions?

    If the EPA disapproves a required SIP or component(s) of a required SIP, section 179(a) of the Act provides for the imposition of sanctions unless the deficiency is corrected within 18 months of the effective date of the final disapproval. The imposition of sanctions would be stayed if the state submits a SIP for which the EPA proposes full or conditional approval and sanctions would not apply or would be lifted once EPA approves a SIP correcting the deficiency. Additionally, if EPA finalizes a clean data determination (CDD) for the area within the 18 months, the sanctions clocks will be tolled so long as the area remains clean. If the deficiency is not corrected within such timeframe and no CDD is finalized, the first sanction would apply 18 months after the EPA's disapproval of the SIP is effective. Under the EPA's sanctions regulations at 40 CFR 52.31, the first sanction would be an offset ratio of 2:1 for sources subject to the new source review requirements under section 173 of the Act. The second sanction would apply 24 months after the effective date of the final disapproval, unless the deficiency is corrected by that time. The second sanction is a limitation on the use of federal highway funds as provided by section 179(b)(1) of the Act. The EPA also has authority under CAA section 110(m) to sanction a broader area, but is not proposing to take such action in today's rulemaking.

    2. What are the Act's provisions for a Federal Implementation Plan?

    In addition to sanctions, if the EPA disapproves the required SIP revision, or a portion thereof, section 110(c)(1) of the Act provides that the EPA must promulgate a FIP no later than 2 years from the effective date of the disapproval if the deficiency has not been corrected within that time period. The deficiency would be corrected if the state submits and EPA approves a SIP correcting the deficiency.

    3. What action would stop the imposition of sanctions and a FIP?

    The State must address the deficiency forming the basis of the disapproval. The sanctions and FIP clocks would also stop (or any imposed sanctions would be lifted) if the area attains the 1997 ozone standard and EPA approves a redesignation substitute for the 1997 ozone NAAQS.6 Alternatively, if EPA finalizes the Clean Data Determination (CDD) it is proposing in this action, the sanctions clock and EPA's obligation to promulgate an attainment demonstration FIP would be tolled for so long as the CDD remains in place.7

    6 In EPA's final rule to implement SIP requirements under the 2008 ozone standard (the SIP requirements rule or SRR), among other things, we revoked the 1997 ozone standard and finalized a redesignation substitute procedure for a revoked standard. See 80 FR 12264, March 6, 2015 and 40 CFR 51.1105(b). Under this redesignation substitute procedure for a revoked NAAQS, the demonstration must show that the area has attained that revoked NAAQS due to permanent and enforceable emission reductions and that the area will maintain that revoked NAAQS for 10 years from the date of EPA's approval of this showing.

    7 In the SRR, the EPA finalized the same approach with respect to the Clean Data Policy for the 2008 ozone NAAQS as it applied in the Phase 1 Rule for the 1997 ozone NAAQS. That is, a determination of attainment would suspend the obligation to submit attainment planning SIP elements for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. Such a determination would suspend the obligation to submit any attainment-related SIP elements not yet approved in the SIP, for so long as the area continues to attain the 2008 ozone NAAQS. In addition, the EPA replaced 40 CFR 51.918 with 40 CFR 51.1118 to consolidate in one regulation a comprehensive provision applicable to determinations of attainment for the current and former ozone NAAQS. Thus, 40 CFR 51.1118 will apply to a determination of attainment that is made with respect to any revoked or current ozone NAAQS—the 1-hour, the 1997 or the 2008 ozone NAAQS. Accordingly, a final CDD would suspend the duty to submit the Serious area SIP revisions and the sanctions and FIP clocks. However, should the area violate the 1997 ozone standard after the CDD is finalized, the EPA would rescind the CDD and the sanctions and FIP clocks would resume. See 80 FR 12264, 12296 and 12317 and 40 CFR 51.1118.

    4. What are the ramifications regarding conformity?

    In an attainment demonstration SIP the state addresses, among other issues, transportation conformity. Conformity to a SIP means that transportation activities will not produce new air quality violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely attainment of the NAAQS. Conformity is required by section 176(c) of the Act for ensuring that the effects of emissions from all on-road sources are consistent with attainment of the standard. The federal conformity rules at 40 CFR 93.120 require the implementation of a conformity freeze when the EPA disapproves an attainment demonstration SIP. A conformity freeze can affect an area's long range transportation plans and transportation improvement programs (TIPs). However, EPA's final rule addressing SIP requirements under the 2008 ozone standard and revoking the 1997 ozone standard for all purposes, including transportation conformity, became effective on April 6, 2015 (see 80 FR 12264). Therefore, no conformity freeze will occur for the DFW area upon a final disapproval (see 80 FR 12264, 12284).

    III. Our Action Under the Clean Data Determination A. Background

    If EPA's determination that the area is currently attaining the eight-hour ozone standard is finalized, 40 CFR 51.1118 of EPA's ozone implementation rule provides that the requirements for the States to submit certain RFP plans, attainment demonstrations, contingency measures and any other attainment planning requirements of the CAA related to attainment of that standard shall be suspended for as long as the area continues to attain the standard. However, a CDD does not constitute a redesignation to attainment under section 107(d)(3)(E) of the Act, and if EPA determines that the area subsequently violates the standard, that suspension of the requirement to submit the attainment planning SIP provisions is lifted, and those requirements are once again due. Even though EPA has finalized revocation of the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS, under 40 CFR 51.1118, an area remains subject to the obligations for a revoked NAAQS under 40 CFR 51, Appendix S to Subpart AA, Section VII(A) until either (i) the area is redesignated to attainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS; or (ii) the EPA approves a demonstration for the area in a redesignation substitute procedure for a revoked NAAQS per the provisions of § 51.1105(b). Under this redesignation substitute procedure for a revoked NAAQS, and for this limited anti-backsliding purpose, the demonstration must show that the area has attained that revoked NAAQS due to permanent and enforceable emission reductions and that the area will maintain that revoked NAAQS for 10 years from the date of EPA's approval of this showing. We also note that the Clean Data Determination does not constitute a Determination of Attainment by an Area's Attainment Date under sections 179(c) and 181(b)(2) of the Act.

    B. EPA's Analysis of the Relevant Air Quality Data

    For ozone, an area is considered to be attaining the 1997 ozone NAAQS if there are no violations, as determined in accordance with 40 CFR part 50, based on three complete, consecutive calendar years of quality-assured air quality monitoring data. Under EPA regulations at 40 CFR part 50, the 1997 ozone standard is attained when the 3-year average of the annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentrations at an ozone monitor is less than or equal to 0.08 parts per million (ppm), (i.e., 0.084 ppm, when rounding, based on the truncating conventions in 40 CFR part 50, Appendix P). This 3-year average is referred to as the design value. When the design value is less than or equal to 0.084 ppm at each monitor within the area, then the area is meeting the NAAQS. Also, the data completeness requirement is met when the average percent of days with valid ambient monitoring data is greater than or equal to 90%, and no single year has less than 75% data completeness as determined in Appendix P of 40 CFR part 50. The data must be collected and quality-assured in accordance with 40 CFR part 58, and recorded in the EPA Air Quality System (AQS). The monitors generally should have remained at the same location for the duration of the monitoring period required for demonstrating attainment. For ease of communication, many reports of ozone concentrations are given in parts per billion (ppb); ppb = ppm × 1,000. Thus, 0.084 ppm equals 84 ppb.

    The EPA reviewed the DFW area ozone monitoring data from ambient ozone monitoring stations for the ozone seasons 2012 through 2014. The 2012-2014 ozone season data for all the ozone monitors in the DFW area have been quality assured and certified by the EPA. The design value for 2012-2014 is 81 ppb. At the time of this writing, the preliminary ozone data for 2015 are posted on the TCEQ Web site, but are not yet posted in AQS.8 The data for the three ozone seasons 2012-2014, and preliminary data for 2015, show that the DFW area is attaining the 1997 ozone NAAQS.

    8 See http://www.tceq.texas.gov/agency/data/ozone_data.html.

    Table 1 shows the fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentrations for the DFW nonattainment area monitors for the years 2012-2014. (To find the overall design value for the area for a given year, simply find the highest design value from any of the 17 monitors for that year.)

    Table 1—The DFW Area Fourth High 8-Hour Ozone Average Concentrations and Design Values (ppm) for 2012-2014 Site name and No. 4th Highest daily max 2012 2013 2014 Design value
  • (2012-2014)
  • Fort Worth Northwest, 48-439-1002 0.077 0.084 0.079 0.080 Keller, 48-439-2003 0.079 0.080 0.074 0.077 Frisco, 48-085-0005 0.084 0.078 0.074 0.078 Midlothian OFW, 48-139-0016 0.078 0.075 0.062 0.071 Denton Airport South, 48-121-0034 0.081 0.085 0.077 0.081 Arlington Municipal Airport, 48-439-3011 0.092 0.068 0.065 0.075 Dallas North No. 2, 48-113-0075 0.086 0.077 0.070 0.077 Rockwall Heath, 48-397-0001 0.080 0.073 0.066 0.073 Grapevine Fairway, 48-439-3009 0.086 0.083 0.073 0.080 Kaufman, 48-257-0005 0.073 0.075 0.062 0.070 Eagle Mountain Lake, 48-439-0075 0.087 0.077 0.073 0.079 Parker County, 48-367-0081 0.076 0.074 0.072 0.074 Cleburne Airport, 48-251-0003 0.082 0.077 0.071 0.076 Dallas Hinton St., 48-113-0069 0.087 0.081 0.066 0.078 Dallas Executive Airport, 48-113-0087 0.085 0.074 0.062 0.073 Pilot Point, 48-121-1032 0.078 0.084 0.075 0.079 Italy, 48-139-1044 0.071 0.072 0.060 0.067
    As shown in Table 1, the 8-hour ozone design value for 2012-2014, which is based on a three-year average of the fourth-highest daily maximum average ozone concentration at the monitor recording the highest concentrations, is 81 ppb, which meets the 1997 ozone NAAQS. Data for 2015 not yet certified also indicate that the area continues to attain the 1997 ozone NAAQS. The AQS data reports for the DFW area for the three years 2012 through 2014 and a technical support document are included in the docket for this rulemaking. IV. Proposed Action

    The EPA is proposing to disapprove certain elements of the attainment demonstration SIP submitted by the TCEQ for the DFW Serious ozone nonattainment area under the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Specifically, we are proposing to disapprove the attainment demonstration, the demonstration for RACM, and the attainment demonstration MVEBs for 2012. The EPA is proposing to disapprove these SIP revisions because the area failed to attain the standard by its June 15, 2013 attainment date, and thus we have determined that the plan was insufficient to demonstrate attainment by the attainment date. The EPA is also proposing to determine that the DFW 8-hour ozone nonattainment area is currently attaining the 1997 ozone NAAQS. This determination is based upon certified ambient air monitoring data that show the area has monitored attainment of the 1997 ozone NAAQS for the 2012-2014 monitoring period.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the 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 act on state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law.

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

    This proposed action is not a “significant regulatory action” under the terms of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and is therefore not subject to review under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011).

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed action does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., because this proposed SIP disapproval under section 110 and subchapter I, part D of the CAA will not in-and-of itself create any new information collection burdens but simply disapproves certain State requirements for inclusion into the SIP. Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) generally requires an agency to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small not-for-profit enterprises, and small governmental jurisdictions. For purposes of assessing the impacts of today's rule on small entities, small entity is defined as: (1) A small business as defined by the Small Business Administration's (SBA) regulations at 13 CFR 121.201; (2) a small governmental jurisdiction that is a government of a city, county, town, school district or special district with a population of less than 50,000; and (3) a small organization that is any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.

    After considering the economic impacts of today's proposed rule on small entities, I certify that this action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule does not impose any requirements or create impacts on small entities. This proposed SIP disapproval under section 110 and subchapter I, part D of the CAA will not in-and-of itself create any new requirements but simply disapproves certain State requirements for inclusion into the SIP. Accordingly, it affords no opportunity for EPA to fashion for small entities less burdensome compliance or reporting requirements or timetables or exemptions from all or part of the rule. The fact that the CAA prescribes that various consequences (e.g., higher offset requirements) may or will flow from this disapproval does not mean that EPA either can or must conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis for this action. Therefore, this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    We continue to be interested in the potential impacts of this proposed rule on small entities and welcome comments on issues related to such impacts.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This action contains no Federal mandates under the provisions of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538 for State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector.” EPA has determined that the proposed disapproval action does not include a Federal mandate that may result in estimated costs of $100 million or more to either State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate, or to the private sector. This action proposes to disapprove pre-existing requirements under State or local law, and imposes no new requirements. Accordingly, no additional costs to State, local, or tribal governments, or to the private sector, result from this action.

    E. Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.” “Policies that have federalism implications” is defined in the Executive Order to include regulations that have “substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.”

    This proposed action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132, because it merely disapproves certain State requirements for inclusion into the SIP and does not alter the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established in the CAA. Thus, Executive Order 13132 does not apply to this action.

    F. Executive Order 13175, Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    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, this proposed action 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).

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

    EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern health or safety risks, such that the analysis required under section 5-501 of the Executive Order has the potential to influence the regulation. This proposed action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it because it is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This proposed SIP disapproval under section 110 and subchapter I, part D of the CAA will not in-and-of itself create any new regulations but simply disapproves certain State requirements for inclusion into the SIP.

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

    This proposed action is not subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (“NTTAA”), Public Law 104-113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. NTTAA directs EPA to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when the Agency decides not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards.

    The EPA believes that this proposed action is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of NTTAA because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA.

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

    Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994) establishes federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States.

    EPA lacks the discretionary authority to address environmental justice in this proposed action. In reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve or disapprove state choices, based on the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely proposes to disapprove certain State requirements for inclusion into the SIP under section 110 and subchapter I, part D of the CAA and will not in-and-of itself create any new requirements. Accordingly, it 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.

    K. Statutory Authority

    The statutory authority for this action is provided by section 110 of the CAA, as amended (42 U.S.C. 7410).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: April 17, 2015. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09901 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 46 CFR Part 45 [Docket No. USCG-2013-0954] Special Load Line Exemption for Lake Michigan/Muskegon Route: Petition for Rulemaking AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of decision.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 27, 2014, the Coast Guard published a Notice of Availability and Request for Public Comment regarding a petition for a rulemaking action. The petition requested that the Coast Guard establish a load line-exempted route on Lake Michigan, along the eastern coast to Muskegon, MI. Upon review of the comments as well as analysis of safety considerations and other factors described in the discussion section, the Coast Guard has decided not to proceed with the requested rulemaking. The public comments, and the Coast Guard's reasoning for its decision, are discussed in this notice.

    DATES:

    The petition for rulemaking published on May 27, 2014 (79 FR 30061) is denied.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice, contact Mr. Thomas Jordan, Naval Architecture Division (CG-ENG-2), U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, at telephone 202-372-1370, or by email at [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

    All Federal Register notices, public comments, and other documents cited in this notice may be viewed in the on-line docket at www.regulations.gov (enter docket number “USCG-2014-0954” in the search box).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Regulatory History and Background:

    The purpose of a load line (LL) assignment is to ensure that a vessel is seaworthy for operation on exposed coastal and offshore waters, including the Great Lakes. In general, LL assignment requires that vessels are robustly constructed, fitted with watertight and weathertight closures, and are inspected annually to ensure that they are being maintained in a seaworthy condition. (A more-detailed discussion of LL assignment is given in our previous Notice of Availability, 79 FR 30061 on May 27, 2014.)

    Because river barges are not typically constructed to the required hull strength standards for load line assignment, nor subject to the same periodic inspections, they are not normally allowed to operate on the Great Lakes. However, certain river barges are allowed on carefully-evaluated routes, under restricted conditions as follows. There are currently three such routes on Lake Michigan:

    Burns Harbor route: In 1985, a LL-exempted route was established along the southern shore of Lake Michigan to allow river barges to operate under fair weather conditions between Calumet (Chicago), IL, and Burns Harbor, IN, a distance of 27 nautical miles (NM), with several ports of refuge along the way (the longest distance between them is just 11 NM). The tows must remain within 5 NM of shore, and the barges are prohibited from carrying liquid or hazardous cargoes, and must have a minimum freeboard of 24 inches.

    Milwaukee route: In 1992, a special LL regime was established along the western shore of Lake Michigan, between Calumet and Milwaukee, WI, a distance of 92 NM (the longest distance between ports of refuge is 33 NM). This special LL regime revised the normal robust construction requirements for a Great Lakes LL, in conjunction with similar cargo restrictions, weather limitations, and freeboard assignment as for the Burns Harbor route. Barges more than 10 years old are required to have an initial dry-dock inspection to verify the material condition of the hull, but a newer barge could obtain the special LL provided it passed an initial afloat inspection by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). All barges were subject to annual ABS inspections to verify that they were being maintained in a seaworthy condition. Tows are limited to three barges, and the towing vessel must be least 1,000 HP.

    Milwaukee route risk assessment study: However, the towing industry still considered the cost of the special LL assignment to be too prohibitive for establishing river barge service to Milwaukee. Accordingly, in 2000, the Port of Milwaukee organized a risk assessment (RA) working group that included port officials, towing & barge companies, and terminal operators (the Risk Assessment report can be viewed on-line in the docket). The RA group reviewed meteorological information and evaluated the viability of the ports of refuge along the route, and concluded that restricting the age of eligible rivers barges to 10 years, in conjuction with self-inspection and self-certication by barge owners/operators, provided the same level of seaworthiness assurance as LL assignment by ABS.

    The RA meetings were attended by USCG representatives, and the recommendations were reviewed by the Ninth Coast Guard District, which endorsed them. The Milwaukee route exemption went into effect in 2002.

    Muskegon route: Meanwhile, in 1996, the special LL regime for the Milwaukee route was extended along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan to Muskegon, a distance of 119 NM beyond Burns Harbor. River barges can still operate as far as Burns Harbor without any LL, but must obtain the special LL to proceed beyond that point to Muskegon. Recognizing the longer distance and more severe weather conditions on the eastern side of Lake Michigan, there were some additional requirements pertaining to the towing vessel.

    Because the Muskegon route was not evaluated as part of the Milwaukee risk assessment study, it was not included in the exemption.

    Petition for LL exemption on the Muskegon route: In October 2013, the Coast Guard received two letters requesting that we establish a load line exemption for river barges on the Muskegon route. The basis for the request was that the LL requirements (route restrictions and load line inspection requirements) were preventing Michigan from transporting agricultural products on river barges via the Mississippi-Illinois River system.

    In response to the petition request, the Coast Guard opened a public docket USCG-2014-0954 and published a Notice of Availability and Request for Public Comment (79 FR 30061, May 27, 2014) with a 90-day comment period. The comment period closed on August 25, 2014.

    Discussion of Comments

    In response to the notice, 92 comments were posted in the docket, submitted by 42 individuals, 16 commercial companies (mostly agricultural-associated), several trade associations, resolutions signed by various Michigan municipal organizations as well as state and Congressional representatives. All comments can be viewed on-line in the docket.

    To summarize, the comments fall into three categories:

    Supportive: 59 comments supported the petition on general principles. They commented on the potential economic benefits, such as reduced shipping costs for northbound cargoes (fertilizer was mentioned) and southbound cargoes (grain), as well as employment/job creation. However, none of these comments included any specific details or estimates with respect to shipment costs, cargo volumes, employment levels, etc.

    One supportive commenter reported that a local steel fabricator could not compete on a contract for steel tanks that could have been transported by a non-LL river barge from Muskegon for downriver delivery to the Gulf of Mexico. Because of the extra cost of using a LL barge to get the steel tanks to Calumet and then transhipping it onto a river barge, the company could not compete.

    Another supportive comment mentioned the impending shut-down of the B. C. Cobb power plant in Muskegon, which burns 640,000 tons of coal per year, delivered by Lake freighters. Without the annual tonnage of coal delivery, the port would no longer qualify for dredging support by the Army Corps of Engineers. The commenter viewed the route exemption as a possible means of encouraging new cargo movements through the port (such as fertilizer and grain), and thereby maintain its dredging eligibility.

    Opposed: 23 comments opposed the petition, typically over concerns about catastrophic environmental impact if a cargo were lost (especially a load of fertilizer). Several mentioned the Lake Erie algae bloom in the summer of 2014, which shut down the Toledo municipal water supply for several days.

    Other opposing comments expressed concern that the route would cause the spread of Asian carp and/or other invasive species from the Mississippi River system.

    From a vessel safety perspective, several opposing commenters stated that the eastern side of Lake Michigan has the most unpredictable weather and is the most-exposed. One commenter pointed out that the voyage distance to Muskegon was approximately 114 miles, which would take 16 to 23 hours, more than enough time (in their opinion) for the weather to change unexpectedly. Another commenter (an experienced Lake tug & barge operator) stated that attempting to get a string of three barges into any of the ports-of-refuge under adverse weather conditions would be very difficult and risky; they felt that the tug master would be more likely to take a chance and try to ride out the weather on the open Lake rather than risk entry into a refuge, thus exposing river barges to storm conditions and increasing the likelihood of a casualty.

    Conditionally supportive, or concerned: 10 commenters either expressed conditional support for the petition provided that the environmental risks were addressed, or simply expressed their concerns about possible adverse effects (without clearly supporting or opposing the petition).

    Discussion of Decision

    Upon review of the petition itself and the docket comments, the Coast Guard has decided to deny the rulemaking petition. The Coast Guard will not amend the regulations to provide for the requested route exemption, for reasons discussed below.

    The Coast Guard recognizes that there are similarities between the two Lake Michigan routes, which invites comparison between the LL-exempted Milwaukee route and the LL-required Muskegon route. For example, barges on both routes are built to the same structural (river-service) standards and subject to the same level of weather restrictions. However, there are some significant differences between the routes that affect operational safety, as further explained below. The public comments submitted to the docket did not provide sufficient information that alleviates the operational safety concerns found on this route.

    Weather/Safety considerations: Although several comments spoke of “improved forecasting technology” over the years since the earlier rulemakings, no specific details were provided. The evaluations conducted during consideration of the earlier exempted or conditional load line routes noted that the prevailing weather patterns on the eastern side of Lake Michigan are generally more severe than the western side. The survey/certification requirements in the existing special LL regime provide an additional, necessary safety net to account for risks associated with severe weather. An exemption from the special LL regime could be detrimental to safety.

    Ports-of-refuge: the Muskegon route extends approximately 119 NM beyond Burns Harbor. There are three large harbors along the route (St. Joseph, Holland, and Grand Haven), and two smaller harbors that might be suitable ports-of-refuge. However, the current viability of these harbors has not been verified (Army Corps of Engineering fact sheets for these ports mention that several of them have experienced channel shoaling due to winter storms and Hurricane Sandy). Furthermore, the intermediate distance between Burns Harbor and St. Joseph is 41 NM, and between St. Joseph and Holland is 47 NM. These distances are much longer than the longest intermediate distance on the Milwaukee route (33 NM). The availability of and distance to a port of safe refuge is a critical element in the evaluation of load line conditional or exempted routes. The ability to reach a port of safe refuge is important if unexpected weather or damage causes the need to seek safety from the open Lake.

    Economic benefits: Although several comments suggested that further reductions/relaxation of certain loadline requirements could result in economic, operational benefits. These economic benefits have not been quantified and may be offset by the costs associated with other safety requirements necessary to protect river barges operating along this exposed route, for example, costs associated with complying with mandatory maximum age-restrictions on the barges, similar to the Milwaukee route. As such, the Coast Guard is unable to verify the claims of economic benefits. The existing special LL regime on the Muskegon route is a less restrictive LL regime than that required for an unrestricted Great Lakes LL. River barges are already permitted to operate on this route, under certain controlled conditions.

    Risk assessment: Unlike the Milwaukee route, no risk assessment has been performed for the Muskegon route. In the absence of such a risk assessment, and in consideration of the more-volatile weather patterns and the longer transit times between ports of refuge, the Coast Guard believes that the initial and annual LL surveys, undertaken per the special loadline requirements for this route, provide a necessary margin of seaworthiness assurance.

    For the reasons above, the Coast Guard denies the petition and will not undertake the requested rulemaking.

    This notice is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 553(e), 555(e) and 46 U.S.C. 5108.

    Dated: April 21, 2015. J.G. Lantz, Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards, U.S. Coast Guard.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09790 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    80 81 Tuesday, April 28, 2015 Notices AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT Notice of May 15 President's Global Development Council Meeting AGENCY:

    United States Agency for International Development.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, notice is hereby given of a meeting of the President's Global Development Council (GDC). The purpose of the meeting is to solicit public input on key global development issues.

    Date: Friday, May 15, 2015.

    Time: 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Location: U.S. Agency for International Development, The Ronald Reagan Building—Pavilion Room, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20004. Please use at the entrance on Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Agenda I. Opening Remarks II. Update on the work of the GDC III. Group Discussion and Q&A IV. Overview of GDC Next Steps V. Feedback and Input VI. Closing Comments Stakeholders

    The meeting is free and open to the public. Persons wishing to attend should RSVP to [email protected] Please note that capacity is limited. Additional information on web streaming will be forthcoming on www.whitehouse.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jayne Thomisee, 202-712-5506.

    Date: April 21, 2015. Jayne Thomisee, Executive Director & Policy Advisor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09803 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request April 22, 2015.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques and other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by May 28, 2015 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725—17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Commentors are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Forest Service

    Title: Forest Products Removal Permits and Contracts.

    OMB Control Number: 0596-0085.

    Summary of Collection: Individuals and businesses that wish to remove forest products from national forest lands must request a permit. 16 U.S.C. 551 requires the promulgation of regulations to regulate forest use and prevent destruction of the forests. Regulations at 36 CFR 223.1 and 223.2 govern the sale of forest products such as Christmas trees, pinecones, moss, and mushrooms. Regulations at 36 CFR 223.5 through 223.11 authorize the free use or sale of timber or forest products. Upon receiving a permit, the permittee must comply with the terms of the permit at 36 CFR 216.6 that designate the forest products that can be harvested and under what conditions, such as limiting harvest to a designated area or permitting harvest of only specifically designated material.

    Both the Forest Service (FS) and Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will use the Forest Products Removal Permit and Cash Receipt to collect information.

    With the renewal submission of this collection, the title will be changed from “Forest Products Free Use Permit, Removal Permit and Cash Receipt, and Sale Permit and Cash Receipt” to “Forest Products Removal Permits and Contracts.”

    Need and Use of the Information: Using forms FS-2400-1/BLM-5450-24, FS-2400-4ANF and FS-2400-8, FS and BLM will collect the name, vehicle information, address and tax identification number from persons applying for permits. The information will be used to keep a record of persons buying forest products and to determine if the applicant meets the criteria under which free use or sale of forest products is authorized by the regulations and to ensure that the permittee has not received product values in excess of the amount allowed by regulation in any one fiscal year and complies with the regulations and terms of the permit. This information is also needed to allow FS compliance personnel to identify permittees in the field. Without the forest product removal program, achieving multiple use management programs such as reducing fire hazard and improving forest health on the National Forest would be impaired.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households; Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 212,068.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion; Recordkeeping.

    Total Burden Hours: 37,107.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09774 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2015-0012] Notice of Availability of a Pest Risk Analysis for the Importation of Fresh Pitahaya From Israel Into the Continental United States AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    We are advising the public that we have prepared a pest risk analysis that evaluates the risks associated with importation of fresh pitahaya fruit from Israel into the continental United States. Based on the analysis, we have determined that the application of one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of fresh pitahaya from Israel. We are making the pest risk analysis available to the public for review and comment.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0012.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2015-0012, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0012 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Richard Schading, Regulatory Policy Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-2045.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the regulations in “Subpart-Fruits and Vegetables” (7 CFR 319.56-1 through 319.56-71, referred to below as the regulations), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) prohibits or restricts the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of the world to prevent plant pests from being introduced into or disseminated within the United States.

    Section 319.56-4 contains a performance-based process for approving the importation of certain fruits and vegetables that, based on the findings of a pest risk analysis, can be safely imported subject to one or more of the designated phytosanitary measures listed in paragraph (b) of that section.

    APHIS received a request from the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Israel to allow the importation of fresh pitahaya fruit into the continental United States. As part of our evaluation of Israel's request, we have prepared a pest risk assessment (PRA) to identify pests of quarantine significance that could follow the pathway of importation into the continental United States from Israel. Based on the PRA, a risk management document (RMD) was prepared to identify phytosanitary measures that could be applied to the pitahaya to mitigate the pest risk. We have concluded that fresh pitahaya fruit can be safely imported from Israel to the continental United States using one or more of the five designated phytosanitary measures listed in § 319.56-4(b). These measures are:

    • The pitahaya must be imported as commercial consignments only;

    • Each consignment of pitahaya must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Israel; and

    • Each consignment of pitahaya is subject to inspection upon arrival at the port of entry to the United States.

    Therefore, in accordance with § 319.56-4(c), we are announcing the availability of our PRA and RMD for public review and comment. The documents may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above for a link to Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room). You may request paper copies of the PRA and RMD by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Please refer to the subject of the analysis you wish to review when requesting copies.

    After reviewing any comments we receive, we will announce our decision regarding the import status of fresh pitahaya fruit from Israel in a subsequent notice. If the overall conclusions of our analysis and the Administrator's determination of risk remain unchanged following our consideration of the comments, then we will authorize the importation of fresh pitahaya fruit from Israel into the continental United States subject to the requirements specified in the RMD.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 450, 7701-7772, and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of April 2015. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09834 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2013-0047] U.S. Department of Agriculture Stakeholder Workshop on Coexistence ACTION:

    Notice; reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We are reopening the comment period for issues and proposals discussed during the workshop on agricultural coexistence that was held on March 12-13, 2015. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the notice published on February 3, 2015 (80 FR 5729) and extended in a notice published on March 30, 2015 (80 FR 16621) is reopened. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before May 11, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0047.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2013-0047, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Any comments we receive may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0047 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Michael Tadle, Program Analyst, Planning, Evaluation, and Decision Support, PPD, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 120, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-3140; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On February 3, 2015, we published in the Federal Register (80 FR 5729-5731, Docket No. APHIS-2013-0047) a notice 1 to announce that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was holding a workshop on agricultural coexistence, the objective of which was to advance an understanding of agricultural coexistence and discuss how to make coexistence achievable for all stakeholders. The 2-day workshop, which was held on March 12-13, 2015, also provided an opportunity to learn from stakeholders representing a wide range of interests with respect to agricultural coexistence.

    1 To view the workshop notice and comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0047.

    In that notice, we stated that public comments on issues and proposals discussed during the workshop would be accepted from March 13, 2015, through March 27, 2015. On March 30, 2015, we published another notice in the Federal Register (80 FR 16621) to extend the comment period on Docket No. APHIS-2013-0047 for an additional 14 days to April 10, 2015.

    We are reopening the comment period on Docket No. APHIS-2013-0047 from the date of this notice through May 11, 2015. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments. We will also consider all comments that were received between April 11, 2015, and the date of this notice.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of April 2015. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09845 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 a.m.] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    CHEMICAL SAFETY AND HAZARD INVESTIGATION BOARD Sunshine Act Meeting TIME AND DATE:

    May 6, 2015, 2014, 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. EDT.

    PLACE:

    U.S. Chemical Safety Board, 2175 K St. NW., 4th Floor Conference Room, Washington, DC 20037.

    STATUS:

    Open to the public.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) will convene a public meeting on May 6, 2015, starting a 9:30 a.m. at the CSB's headquarters located at 2175 K St. NW., 4th Floor Conference Room, Washington, DC 20037. At the public meeting, the Board will discuss and may vote on motions related to the following:

    1. Proposed amendments to 40 CFR 1600 to provide for regular Sunshine Act meetings and to address timely voting on calendared notation item votes;

    2. Proposed schedule for regular CSB public business meetings;

    3. Notation Item 2015-07 relating to Board governance, the issuance of two Board Orders on Scoping and Investigations, respectively, and the administrative closure of three investigations (calendared on March 10, 2015); and the

    4. 2015 CSB Action Plan;

    Additionally, the Board will hear status reports on the development of an overall CSB investigations plan and the process for updating the CSB's investigation protocol.

    Additional Information

    The meeting is free and open to the public. If you require a translator or interpreter, please notify the individual listed below as the contact person for further information, at least three business days prior to the meeting.

    The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating accidents and hazards that result, or may result, in the catastrophic release of extremely hazardous substances. The agency's Board Members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents and hazards, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

    This public meeting will be principally focused on the business-related issues described in the agenda, above.

    Public Comment

    Members of the public are invited to make brief statements to the Board concerning the agenda items outlined in this Federal Register notice. The time provided for public statements will depend upon the number of people who wish to speak. Speakers should assume that their presentations will be limited to five minutes or less, but commenters may submit written statements for the record.

    Contact Person for Further Information

    Hillary J. Cohen, Communications Manager, [email protected] or (202) 446-8094. General information about the CSB can be found on the agency Web site at: www.csb.gov.

    Dated: April 23, 2015. Mark Griffon, Board Member.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09913 Filed 4-24-15; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6350-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Illinois Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Review and Vote on Its Hate Crime Report AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act that the Illinois Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Monday, May 18, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. CST for the purpose of discussing and voting on a Committee report regarding hate crimes and discrimination against religious institutions in Illinois. The committee previously gathered testimony on the topic August 21, 2014.

    Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-427-9411, conference ID: 6379535. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. The conference call operator will ask callers to identify themselves, the organization they are affiliated with (if any), and an email address prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Member of the public are also invited and welcomed to make statements at the end of the conference call. In addition, members of the public may submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by June 18, 2015. Written comments may be mailed to the Regional Programs Unit, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 55 W. Monroe St., Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60615. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353-8324, or emailed to Administrative Assistant, Carolyn Allen at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (312) 353-8311.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=246 and clicking on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda
    Welcome and Introductions Barbara Abrajano, Chair Discussion and Vote on Hate Crimes Report Illinois Advisory Committee Administrative Matters David Mussatt, DFO Open Comment Adjournment DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Monday, May 18, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. CST.

    Public Call Information

    Dial: 888-427-9411.

    Conference ID: 6379535.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Mussat, DFO, at 312-353-8311 or [email protected]

    Dated: April 23, 2015. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09826 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Arizona Advisory Committee to Discuss and Vote on its School Equity Report and Plan Future Project AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the Arizona Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, for the purpose of discussing and voting upon the committee report regarding school equity. The Committee will also discuss a plan for a potential project on police practices. The meeting will be held at Chicanos por la Causa, 1242 E. Washington Street, Suite 200, Phoenix, AZ 85034. It is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. and adjourn at approximately 4:30 p.m.

    Members of the public are entitled to make comments in the open period at the end of the meeting. Members of the public may also submit written comments. The comments must be received in the Western Regional Office of the Commission by June 19, 2015. The address is Western Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 300 N. Los Angeles Street, Suite 2010, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Persons wishing to email their comments may do so by sending them to Angelica Trevino, Civil Rights Analyst, Western Regional Office, at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information should contact the Western Regional Office, at (213) 894-3437, (or for hearing impaired TDD 913-551-1414), or by email to [email protected] Hearing-impaired persons who will attend the meeting and require the services of a sign language interpreter should contact the Regional Office at least ten (10) working days before the scheduled date of the meeting.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=235 and clicking on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Western Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Western Regional Office at the above email or street address.

    Agenda: Introductions Discussion and Vote on School Equity Report Discussion of Future Project on Police Practices Open Comment Adjourment DATES:

    Tuesday, May 19, 2015 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. PST

    ADDRESSES:

    Chicanos por la Causa, 1242 E. Washington Street, Suite 200, Phoenix, AZ 85034.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peter Minarik, DFO, at (213) 894-3437 or [email protected].

    Dated: April 23, 2015. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Coordination Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09827 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Mississippi Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Hear Testimony on Civil Rights Concerns Relating to Distribution of Federal Child Care Subsidies in Mississippi AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act that the Mississippi Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. CST for the purpose of hearing testimony on civil rights concerns relating to potential disparities in the distribution of federal child care subsidies in Mississippi on the basis of race or color. The committee previously gathered testimony on the topic April 29, 2015. The testimony heard during this meeting will be upon the previous information obtained.

    Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-572-7033, conference ID: 9576533. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. The conference call operator will ask callers to identify themselves, the organization they are affiliated with (if any), and an email address prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Member of the public are also invited and welcomed to make statements at the end of the conference call. In addition, members of the public may submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by June 13, 2015. Written comments may be mailed to the Midwestern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 55 W. Monroe St., Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60615. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353-8324, or emailed to Administrative Assistant, Carolyn Allen at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Midwestern Regional Office at (312) 353-8311.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=257 and clicking on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Midwestern Regional Office at the above email or street address.

    AGENDA:

    Welcome and Introductions 1:30 p.m. to 1:35 p.m., Susan Glisson, Chair Panel Presentations on Childcare Subsidies in MS 1:35 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Question and Answer Session with MS Advisory Committee 2:30 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. Open Comment 2:50 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Adjournment 3:00 p.m. DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. CST.

    Public Call Information: Dial: 888-572-7033, Conference ID: 9576533.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Mussat, DFO, at 312-353-8311 or [email protected]

    Dated: April 23, 2015. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09825 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: Bureau of Industry and Security.

    Title: Request for the Appointment of a Technical Advisory Committee.

    Form Number(s): N/A.

    OMB Control Number: 0694-0100.

    Type of Request: Regular.

    Burden Hours: 5 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 1 respondent.

    Average Hours per Response: 5 hours per response.

    Needs and Uses: This collection of information is required by the Export Administration Regulations and the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) were established to advise and assist the U.S. Government on export control matters such as proposed revisions to export control lists, licensing procedures, assessments of the foreign availability of controlled products, and export control regulations. Under this collection, interested parties may submit a request to BIS to establish a new TAC. The Bureau of Industry and Security provides administrative support for these Committees.

    Affected Public: Businesses and other for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: April 23, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09797 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: Bureau of Industry and Security.

    Title: Request for Investigation Under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act.

    Form Number(s): N/A.

    OMB Control Number: 0694-0120.

    Type of Request: Regular.

    Burden Hours: 3,000 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 400 respondents.

    Average Hours per Response: 7.5 hours per response.

    Needs and Uses: Upon request, BIS will initiate an investigation to determine the effects of imports of specific commodities on the national security, and will make the findings known to the President for possible adjustments to imports through tariffs. The findings are made publicly available and are reported to Congress. The purpose of this collection is to account for the public burden associated with the surveys distributed to determine the impact on national security.

    Affected Public: Businesses and other for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain benefits.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: April 23, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09795 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: U.S. Census Bureau.

    Title: American Community Survey.

    OMB Control Number: 0607-XXXX.

    Form Number(s): ACS-1, ACS-1(SP), ACS-1(PR), ACS-1(PR)SP, ACS-1(GQ), ACS-1(PR)(GQ), GQFQ, ACS CATI (HU), ACS CAPI (HU), ACS RI (HU), and AGQ QI, AGQ RI.

    Type of Request: Regular Submission.

    Number of Respondents: 3,760,000.

    Average Hours Per Response: 40 minutes for the average household questionnaire.

    Burden Hours: The estimate is an annual average of 2,455,868 burden hours.

    Needs and Uses: The U.S. Census Bureau requests authorization from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for revisions to the American Community Survey (ACS). The content of the proposed 2016 ACS questionnaire and data collection instruments for both Housing Unit and Group Quarters operations reflect changes to content and instructions that were proposed as a result of the 2014 ACS Content Review.

    The American Community Survey (ACS) is one of the Department of Commerce's most valuable data products, used extensively by businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local governments, and many federal agencies. In conducting this survey, the Census Bureau's top priority is respecting the time and privacy of the people providing information while preserving its value to the public. The 2016 survey content changes are the initial step in a multi-faceted approach to reducing respondent burden. The Census Bureau is currently carrying out this program of research, which includes several components as discussed briefly below.

    One of the areas with strong potential to reduce respondent burden is to reuse information already supplied to the federal government in lieu of directly collecting it again through particular questions on the ACS. The Census Bureau is conducting groundbreaking work aimed at understanding the extent to which existing government data can reduce redundancy and improve efficiency. The tests we are conducting in the next two years will tell us whether existing government records can provide substitute data for households that have not responded to the ACS.

    In addition, we continue to look into the possibility of asking questions less often beginning initial efforts on the martial history series of questions. For example, asking a question every other year, every third year, or asking a question of a subset of the respondents each year. We also want to examine ways we can better phrase our questions to reduce respondent concern, especially for those who may be sensitive to providing information.

    The outcome of these future steps will be a more efficient survey that minimizes respondent burden while continuing to provide quality data products for the nation. We expect to make great progress during fiscal 2015 on this front, and will be reporting our progress to the Secretary of Commerce at the end of the fiscal year.

    Since the founding of the nation, the U.S. Census has mediated between the demands of a growing country for information about its economy and people, and the people's privacy and respondent burden. Beginning with the 1810 Census, Congress added questions to support a range of public concerns and uses, and over the course of a century questions were added about agriculture, industry, and commerce, as well as occupation, ancestry, marital status, disabilities, and other topics. In 1940, the U.S. Census Bureau introduced the long form and since then only the more detailed questions were asked of a sample of the public.

    The ACS, launched in 2005, is the current embodiment of the long form of the census, and is asked each year of a sample of the U.S. population in order to provide current data needed more often than once every ten years. In December of 2010, five years after its launch, the ACS program accomplished its primary objective with the release of its first set of estimates for every area of the United States. The Census Bureau concluded it was an appropriate time to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the ACS program. This program assessment focused on strengthening programmatic, technical, and methodological aspects of the survey to assure that the Census Bureau conducts the ACS efficiently and effectively.

    In August 2012, the OMB and the Census Bureau chartered the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP) Subcommittee for the ACS to “provide advice to the Director of the Census Bureau and the Chief Statistician at OMB on how the ACS can best fulfill its role in the portfolio of Federal household surveys and provide the most useful information with the least amount of burden.” The Subcommittee charter also states that the Subcommittee would be expected to “conduct regular, periodic reviews of the ACS content . . . designed to ensure that there is clear and specific authority and justification for each question to be on the ACS, the ACS is the appropriate vehicle for collecting the information, respondent burden is being minimized, and the quality of the data from ACS is appropriate for its intended use.”

    The formation of the ICSP Subcommittee on the ACS and the aforementioned assessment of the ACS program also provided an opportunity to examine and confirm the value of each question on the ACS, which resulted in the 2014 ACS Content Review. This review, which was an initial step in a multi-faceted approach of a much larger content review process, included examination of all 72 questions contained on the 2014 ACS questionnaire, including 24 housing-related questions and 48 person-related questions.

    The Census Bureau proposed the two analysis factors—benefit as defined by the level of usefulness and cost as defined by the level of respondent burden or difficulty in obtaining the data, which was accepted by the ICSP Subcommittee. Based on a methodology pre-defined by the Census Bureau with the input and concurrence of the ICSP Subcommittee on the ACS, each question received a total number of points between 0 and 100 based on its benefits, and 0 and 100 points based on its costs. These points were then used as the basis for creating four categories: High Benefit and Low Cost; High Benefit and High Cost; Low Benefit and Low Cost; or Low Benefit and High Cost. For this analysis, any question that was designated as either Low Benefit and Low Cost or Low Benefit and High Cost and was NOT designated as Mandatory (i.e., statutory) by the Department of Commerce Office of General Counsel (OGC) or NOT Required (i.e., regulatory) with a sub-state use, was identified as a potential candidate for removal. The Department of Commerce OGC worked with its counterparts across the federal government to determine mandatory, required, or programmatic status, as defined below:

    Mandatory—a federal law explicitly calls for use of decennial census or ACS data on that question Required—a federal law (or implementing regulation) explicitly requires the use of data and the decennial census or the ACS is the historical source; or the data are needed for case law requirements imposed by the U.S. federal court system Programmatic—the data are needed for program planning, implementation, or evaluation and there is no explicit mandate or requirement. Based on the analysis, the following questions were initially proposed for removal: Housing Question No. 6—Business/Medical Office on Property Person Question No. 12—Undergraduate Field of Degree Person Question No. 21—(In the Past 12 mos, did this person) Get Married, Widowed, Divorced • Person Question No. 22—Times Married • Person Question No. 23—Year Last Married

    For reports that provide a full description of the overall 2014 ACS Content Review methods and results, see “Final Report—American Community Survey FY14 Content Review Results” (Attachment V); additional reports about the 2014 ACS Content Review are also available at http://www.census.gov/acs/www/about_the_survey/methods_and_results_report/.

    Regarding the business/medical office on property question, the Census Bureau received 41 comments from researchers, and individuals. Most of these comments came from researchers who felt that the Census Bureau should keep all of the proposed questions in order to keep the survey content consistent over time, or felt that modifications to the question could potentially make it more useful. Housing Question No. 6—Business/Medical Office on Property is currently not published by the Census Bureau in any data tables. The only known use of the question is to produce a variable for the Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS), a recode for the Specified Owner (SVAL) variable that allows users to compare other datasets. The Content Review did not reveal any uses by federal agencies, and the comments to the Federal Register notice did not reveal any non-federal uses. Additionally, there were no uses uncovered in meetings with stakeholders, data user feedback forms, or other methods employed to understand the uses of ACS data. Lastly, independent research conducted on behalf of the Census Bureau did not uncover any further uses. Though the question has a low cost, it has no benefit to federal agencies, the federal statistical system, or the nation. The Census Bureau plans to remove this question, beginning with the 2016 ACS content.

    Regarding the field of degree question, the Census Bureau received 625 comments from researchers, professors and administrators at many universities, professional associations that represent science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers and industries, members of Congress, the National Science Foundation, and many individuals interested in retaining this question. A number of commenters (92) cited the importance of these estimates for research that analyzes the effect of field of degree choice on economic outcomes, including earnings, education, occupation, industry, and employment. University administrators (37) commented that this information allows for analysis of postsecondary outcomes, and allows them to benchmark their graduates' relative success in different fields as well as to plan degree offerings. While some commenters used the estimates to understand fields such as humanities or philosophy (56), the majority of these comments (125) addressed the value of knowing about the outcomes of people who pursued degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These commenters felt that knowing more about the people currently earning STEM degrees and the people currently working in STEM fields would enable universities, advocacy groups, and policy makers to encourage more people to pursue STEM careers, and to encourage diversity within STEM careers.

    The initial analysis of Person Question No. 12—Undergraduate Field of Degree did not uncover any evidence that the question was Mandatory or Required. However, comments to the Federal Register notice uncovered the existence of a relationship between the Census Bureau and the National Science Foundation, dating back to 1960. Over the course of this established relationship, long-form decennial census data was used as a sampling frame for surveys that provided important information about scientists and engineers. These comments demonstrated that the Field of Degree question on the ACS continues this historical use of decennial long-form and ACS data for this purpose, and makes this process more efficient. Many commenters (58) also cited the necessity of the National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG), and recommended retaining the question because it is needed as a sampling frame for the NSCG. Though commenters theorized that the NSCG might still be able to produce STEM estimates without the ACS, a number of commenters (16) thought that doing so would be very expensive, costing as much as $17 million more (1).

    Additionally, many comments also indicated uses of this question to understand the economic outcomes of college graduates at local geographic levels, especially those with STEM degrees. These commenters included professional, academic, congressional, and policy-making stakeholders who expressed concerns that the absence of statistical information about STEM degrees would harm the ability to understand characteristics of small populations attaining STEM degrees. Given the importance of this small population group to the economy, the federal statistical system and the nation, bolstered by the new knowledge of historical precedent brought to light by commenters to the Federal Register notice, the Census Bureau therefore plans to retain this question on the 2016 ACS.

    Regarding the marital history questions, the Census Bureau received 1,361 comments from researchers and professors, professional associations that represent marriage and family therapists, the Social Security Administration (SSA), and many individuals interested in retaining these questions. SSA commented that it uses the marital history questions to estimate future populations by marital status as part of the Board of Trustees annual report on the actuarial status (including future income and disbursements) of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also uses these questions to distinguish households in which a grandparent has primary responsibility for a grandchild or grandchildren, as well as to provide family formation and stability measures for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

    The focus of the proposed elimination is on the marital history questions only with no change to collection of marital status. Over 400 additional comments to the Federal Register notice cited concerns that the proposed elimination of the marital history questions was an indication of whether the government views information about marriage as somehow less valuable than other ACS question topics that were not proposed for removal. While the Census Bureau had always planned to continue collecting information about the “marital status” for each person in a household (Person Question No. 20) and their relationships to each other (Person Question No. 2), the Census Bureau remains sensitive to these criticisms

    More than 100 supporters of retaining the marital history questions mentioned their utility for research into marital status changes over time and they correctly noted that there is currently no other national source of the marital history information. As a result, many commenters felt they would not be able to compare marriage characteristics and patterns with other nations in the same depth that is possible today. Similarly, without these questions, the commenters felt that the analysis of changes in marriage events (especially those due to changing societal values and pressures or policy changes) would be less robust. In particular, comments focused on 6 research areas that would be more difficult to analyze without the marital history questions:

    • Family formation and stability (23) • Patterns/trends of marriage and divorce (168) • Marital effects on earnings, education and employment (45) • Marital effects on child wellbeing (6) • Same-sex marriages, civil unions and partnerships (70) • New government policy effects on marriage (9)

    Because the initial analysis of Person Question Nos. 21-23 on marital history did not uncover any evidence that data from these questions were “Required” for federal use at sub-state geographies, those questions received a lower benefit score than many other ACS questions. However, in deference to the very large number (1,367) of comments received on the Census Bureau proposal to eliminate those questions, the Census Bureau plans to retain those questions on the 2016 ACS.

    The Census Bureau takes very seriously respondent concerns and recognizes that the Content Review and the resulting, proposed question changes discussed above are only initial steps to addressing them. The Census Bureau has implemented an extensive action plan on addressing respondent burden and concerns. The work completed, and the comments received, on the 2014 Content Review provide a foundation for ongoing and future efforts to reduce burden and concerns. In addition to the immediate content changes (proposed above), the Census Bureau is also currently testing the language on the survey materials that may cause concern such as reminding people that their responses are required by law. In order to be responsive to these concerns about the prominence of the mandatory message on the envelopes, we are conducting research with a subset of ACS respondents in May 2015. Over the summer, we will work with external methodological experts to test other revisions of the ACS mail materials to check respondent perceptions of the softened references to the mandatory nature of participation in the ACS. The preliminary results of those tests will be available in the fall, and the Census Bureau will make changes to the 2016 ACS mail materials based on those results.

    Concurrently we also are identifying additional questions that we may only need to ask intermittently, rather than each month or year. The current ACS sample design asks all of the survey questions from all selected households in order to produce estimates each year for small geographies and small populations. However, during the Content Review we learned about over 300 data needs that federal agencies require to implement their missions. We see several potential opportunities to either include some questions periodically, or ask a smaller subset of ACS respondents in cases where those agencies do not need certain data annually. The Census Bureau plans to engage the federal agencies and external experts on this topic during 2015. In addition, we need to assess the operational and statistical issues associated with alternate designs. The alternate designs will result in a reduction in the number of questions asked of individual households.

    We are also conducting research on substituting the direct collection of information with the use of information already provided to the government. It is possible that the Census Bureau could use administrative records from federal and commercial sources in lieu of asking particular questions on the ACS.

    Lastly, we are examining our approaches to field collection to reduce the number of in-person contact attempts while preserving data quality. For example, based on research conducted in 2012, we implemented changes in 2013 which led to an estimated reduction of approximately 1.2 million call attempts per year, while sustaining the 97 percent response rate for the survey overall. For the person visit operation, we are researching a reduction in the number of contact attempts. We plan to field test this change in August 2015. If successful we would implement nationwide in spring 2016.

    We will continue to look for other opportunities to reduce respondent burden while maintaining survey quality. Taken together, these measures will make a significant impact on reducing respondent burden in the ACS.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Frequency: Response to the ACS is on a one-time basis.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    Legal Authority: Title 13, United States Code, Sections 141, 193, and 221.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view the Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202)395-5806.

    Dated: April 22, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09741 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: Bureau of Industry and Security.

    Title: Miscellaneous Short Supply Activities.

    Form Number(s): N/A.

    OMB Control Number: 0694-0102.

    Type of Request: Regular.

    Burden Hours: 201 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 1 respondent.

    Average Hours Per Response: 201 hours per response.

    Needs and Uses: This information collection is comprised of two rarely used short supply activities: “Registration Of U.S. Agricultural Commodities For Exemption From Short Supply Limitations On Export”, and “Petitions For The Imposition Of Monitoring Or Controls On Recyclable Metallic materials; Public Hearings.” These activities are statutory in nature and, therefore, must remain a part of BIS's information collection budget authorization.

    Affected Public: Businesses and other for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain benefits.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: April 23, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09796 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Establishment of a Ready Applicant Pool for Department of Commerce Trade Missions AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Department of Commerce (Department), International Trade Administration (ITA), is establishing a Ready Applicant Pool initiative, the Ready Applicant Pool (RAP), for organizations and companies that would like to receive information directly from the Department, when it organizes a trade mission aligned with the products, services, technologies, sectors, target markets or goals of the applicant. Applicants willing and interested to send a high-level representative to participate on an expedited trade mission to any location, at any time, on very short notice are especially encouraged to apply for the RAP. Applications to join the RAP can be found at http://www.export.gov/trademissions/eg_main_023185.asp and will be accepted at any time.

    DATES:

    The RAP is established as of April 28, 2015. Applications may be submitted at any time at http://www.export.gov/trademissions/eg_main_023185.asp. Applications will be evaluated quarterly and those accepted will be notified as soon as possible. Applicants will be selected for the current RAP term and will need to reapply when the term ends on December 31, 2016. Each term will last two years.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The United States Department of Commerce (the Department), International Trade Administration (ITA), is establishing a Ready Applicant Pool (RAP) initiative for companies and organizations that would like to receive information directly from the Department when it organizes a trade mission aligned with the products, services, technology, sectors, target markets or goals of the applicant. The program is entitled the Ready Applicant Pool (RAP).

    One of the primary goals of the RAP is to provide a fast and efficient method for the Department to recruit for expedited trade missions. Expedited trade missions will utilize expedited procedures, web-based notification, and will have short application deadlines. Because of their expedited nature, the Department will rely heavily on the members of the RAP for recruitment, especially those RAP members that are willing to send a high-level representative to participate on a mission to any location, at any time, on very short notice. The Department may also rely on appropriate RAP members in its recruitment for other trade missions. Specifically, the Department intends to directly contact those RAP members with products, services, technologies, target sectors, target markets or goals that align with a particular trade mission.

    The benefits of joining the RAP are: (1) To ensure the Department will contact the current point-of-contact when it organizes a trade mission that it determines is aligned with the RAP member's products, services, technologies, target sectors, target markets or goals; (2) to speed up the trade mission selection process by providing the Department with the information necessary for pre-screening with respect to participation generally in its trade missions and (3) to indicate in advance a willingness to apply for and potentially participate in expedited trade missions to any location at any time, possibly on very short notice.

    Any member of the U.S. business community may apply to become a member of the RAP. The U.S. business community consists of corporations, partnerships, and other business associations created under the laws of the United States or of any state; U.S. citizens; state or local economic development or international trade office or agency; trade association and other non-profit organizations that represent a sector or sectors of the U.S. economy; university competitiveness programs; and any other U.S. entity seeking to promote United States business interests abroad.

    The criteria for evaluating applicants for selection for the RAP are:

    • Whether the applicant will be a suitable representative of the U.S. industry sector in which it operates;

    • The applicant's potential for helping to advance Department of Commerce strategic priorities;

    • The applicant's past, present, and prospective business activities abroad;

    • The applicant's conduct on past trade missions; and

    • Whether the applicant is willing to send a high-level representative to participate on an expedited trade mission to any location, at any time, on very short notice.

    The last criterion will not be dispositive for RAP selection but it will be weighted significantly in selection for the RAP. Applicants that cannot fulfill this criterion will not be excluded from the RAP.

    Applicants selected for the RAP will be contacted directly by the Department when it organizes a trade mission aligned with the products, services, technologies, target sectors, target markets or goals of the applicant. The Department will have up-to-date contact information for RAP members, ensuring that trade mission information reaches the correct company contact. When contacted, RAP members will be given step-by-step instructions on how to apply for the mission. Selection for the RAP does not guarantee or assure selection for a particular trade mission. But, RAP members are pre-screened with respect to participation generally in Department trade missions.

    Applications for the RAP may be submitted at any time at http://www.export.gov/trademissions/eg_main_023185.asp. They will be evaluated on a quarterly basis and those accepted will be notified as soon as possible. Once selected, the Department will reach out to the RAP member for updated contact information every six months. This ensures that the Department has current information about the applicant's products, services, technologies, target sectors, target markets and goals. The RAP term will end every two years. The first RAP term will begin immediately and conclude on December 31, 2016. At that time, all members will be required to reapply in order to gain membership for the following term (January 1, 2017—December 31, 2018). Applications received after July 1, 2016 will be reviewed for both the first and second cohorts of the RAP.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Frank Spector, Acting Director, Trade Missions Program, Phone: (202) 482-2054, Email: [email protected]

    Frank Spector, Acting Director, Trade Missions Program.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09800 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Establishment of Expedited Trade Mission Procedures AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, is establishing new procedures for Expedited Trade Missions. When the Secretary approves a Decision Memo justifying the use of expedited procedures, the Department of Commerce will endeavor to conduct recruitment and selection for the mission within 2-3 weeks. Applicants should be aware that mission statements for Expedited Trade Missions will NOT be notified in the Federal Register. Instead, they will be posted online at: http://www.export.gov/trademissions/eg_main_023185.asp.

    Applicants should also be aware that deadlines for applying for Expedited Trade Missions will be extremely short. The procedures for selecting participants for Expedited Trade Missions will be compressed. All interested parties that meet the conditions of participation are encouraged to apply, and all applicants will be evaluated on an equal basis with respect to the participation criteria.

    DATES:

    Expedited Trade Mission procedures are established as of April 28, 2015.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Commerce endeavors to plan trade missions as far in advance as is feasible. However, in certain circumstances it is in the Department's interest, and consistent with its priorities, to lead a trade mission on an expedited basis, contingent on the availability of Departmental resources.

    The Department is establishing new procedures for Expedited Trade Missions that will allow it, upon the approval of the Secretary, Deputy Secretary or Under Secretary of International Trade, to lead trade missions on an expedited basis. When the Secretary, Deputy Secretary or Under Secretary of International Trade approves a Decision Memo justifying the use of expedited procedures, the Department will endeavor to conduct recruitment and selection for the mission within 2-3 weeks.

    The mission statements for Expedited Trade Missions will only be posted on the Web site above. The mission statement will include the conditions of participation and the participation criteria for the Expedited Trade Mission. Any party interested in participating is encouraged to apply if it meets the conditions of participation. All applicants will be evaluated on an equal basis with respect to the participation criteria.

    The deadline to apply for an Expedited Trade Mission may be extremely short, potentially as little as 5 business days from the date the mission statement is posted. Short deadlines are needed to allow for recruitment and selection to be completed within 2-3 weeks. In most cases, as specified in the mission statement, applications received after the indicated deadline will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit.

    The selection process for Expedited Trade Missions will not differ substantively from other trade missions, but will be compressed. The Department will endeavor to complete selection within 5 business days after the application deadline. Applicants for Expedited Trade Missions will be informed promptly whether or not they have been selected.

    The timing for Expedited Trade Missions is expected to be extremely compressed. We encourage those selected for an Expedited Trade Mission to begin making arrangements to participate immediately. Business or entry visas may be required to participate on the mission. Applying for and obtaining such visas will be the responsibility of the mission participant. Government fees and processing expenses to obtain such visas are not included in the participation fee. However, the Department of Commerce will provide instructions to each participant on the procedures required to obtain necessary business visas.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Frank Spector, Acting Director, Trade Missions Program, Phone: (202) 482-2054, Email: [email protected].

    Frank Spector, Acting Director, Trade Missions Program.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09802 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Board AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Open Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announces that the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Advisory Board will hold an open meeting on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held Tuesday, May 19, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites Phoenix-Scottsdale, 4415 E. Paradise Village Parkway South, Phoenix, AZ 85032. Please note admittance instructions in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kari Reidy, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 4800, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-4800, telephone number (301) 975-4919, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The MEP Advisory Board (Board) is authorized under section 3003(d) of the America COMPETES Act (Pub. L. 110-69); codified at 15 U.S.C. 278k(e), as amended, in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. The Board is composed of 10 members, appointed by the Director of NIST. Hollings MEP is a unique program, consisting of centers across the United States and Puerto Rico with partnerships at the state, federal, and local levels. The Board provides a forum for input and guidance from Hollings MEP program stakeholders in the formulation and implementation of tools and services focused on supporting and growing the U.S. manufacturing industry, provides advice on MEP programs, plans, and policies, assesses the soundness of MEP plans and strategies, and assesses current performance against MEP program plans.

    Background information on the Board is available at http://www.nist.gov/mep/about/advisory-board.cfm.

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App., notice is hereby given that the MEP Advisory Board will hold an open meeting on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time. This meeting will focus on updates from the Advisory Board Sub-committees on (1) Technology Acceleration and (2) Board Governance. In addition, the board will engage in a discussion about MEP workforce activities. The final agenda will be posted on the MEP Advisory Board Web site at http://www.nist.gov/mep/about/advisory-board.cfm. This meeting is being held in conjunction with the MEP Update meeting that will be held May 20-21, 2015, also at the Embassy Suites Phoenix-Scottsdale in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Admittance Instructions: Anyone wishing to attend the MEP Advisory Board meeting should submit their name, email address and phone number to Kari Reidy ([email protected] or 301-975-4919) no later than Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

    Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to offer comments and suggestions related to the MEP Advisory Board's business are invited to request a place on the agenda. Approximately 15 minutes will be reserved for public comments at the beginning of the meeting. Speaking times will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. The amount of time per speaker will be determined by the number of requests received but is likely to be no more than three to five minutes each. The exact time for public comments will be included in the final agenda that will be posted on the MEP Advisory Board Web site as http://www.nist.gov/mep/about/advisory-board.cfm. Questions from the public will not be considered during this period. Speakers who wish to expand upon their oral statements, those who had wished to speak but could not be accommodated on the agenda, and those who were unable to attend in person are invited to submit written statements to the MEP Advisory Board, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 4800, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-4800, or via fax at (301) 963-6556, or electronically by email to [email protected]

    Kevin Kimball, Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09786 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD917 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its Ad Hoc Red Snapper Charter For-Hire Advisory Panel (AP).

    DATES:

    The meeting will convene on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council office, 2203 North Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL, 33607.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Ava Lasseter, Anthropologist, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; telephone: (813) 348-1630; fax: (813) 348-1711; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The items of discussion on the agenda are as follows:

    Ad Hoc Red Snapper Charter For-Hire Advisory Panel Agenda, Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 8:30 a.m. Until 5 p.m. I. Adoption of Agenda II. Election of Chair and Vice-chair III. Overview of the Charter For-hire Component IV. Red Snapper Management Approaches for the Charter For-hire Component V. Recommendations to the Council VI. Other Business—Adjourn—

    The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version will be posted on the Council's file server. For meeting materials see folder “Ad Hoc Red Snapper Charter For-Hire” on the Gulf Council file server. To access the file server, the URL is https://public.gulfcouncil.org:5001/webman/index.cgi, or go to the Council's Web site and click on the FTP link in the lower left of the Council Web site (http://www.gulfcouncil.org). The username and password are both “gulfguest”.

    The meeting will be webcast over the internet. A link to the webcast will be available on the Council's Web site, http://www.gulfcouncil.org.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kathy Pereira at the Council Office (see ADDRESSES), at least 5 working days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: April 22, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09671 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Global Markets Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announces that on May 14, 2015, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. the Global Markets Advisory Committee (GMAC) will hold a public meeting at the CFTC's Washington, DC headquarters. The meeting will focus on issues related to assessing clearinghouse safeguards and the CFTC's proposal on the cross-border application of its margin requirements for uncleared swaps. The meeting will consist of two panels. The first panel will discuss clearinghouse capital contributions as well as clearinghouse stress testing. The second panel will discuss the CFTC's proposal regarding cross-border application of its margin requirements for uncleared swaps.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Thursday, May 14, 2015, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Members of the public who wish to submit written statements in connection with the meeting should submit them by May 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will take place in the Conference Center at the CFTC's headquarters, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581. Written statements should be submitted by mail to: Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581, attention: Office of the Secretary; or by electronic mail to: [email protected] Please use the title “Global Markets Advisory Committee” in any written statement you submit. Any statements submitted in connection with the committee meeting will be made available to the public, including publication on the CFTC Web site, www.cftc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Danielle Barrett, GMAC Designated Federal Officer, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581; (202) 418-5010.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The meeting will be open to the public with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of the public may also listen to the meeting by telephone by calling a domestic toll-free telephone or international toll or toll-free number to connect to a live, listen-only audio feed. Call-in participants should be prepared to provide their first name, last name, and affiliation.

    Domestic Toll Free: 1-866-844-9416.

    International Toll and Toll Free: Will be posted on the CFTC's Web site,http://www.cftc.gov, on the page for the meeting, under Related Documents.

    Pass Code/Pin Code: CFTC.

    After the meeting, a transcript of the meeting will be published through a link on the CFTC's Web site, http://www.cftc.gov. All written submissions provided to the CFTC in any form will also be published on the CFTC's Web site. Persons requiring special accommodations to attend the meeting because of a disability should notify the contact person above.

    Authority:

    5 U.S.C. app. 2 section 10(a)(2).

    Dated: April 23, 2015. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09794 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351--
    CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE Information Collection; Submission for OMB Review, Comment Request AGENCY:

    Corporation for National and Community Service.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has submitted a public information collection request (ICR) entitled Opportunity Youth Evaluation Bundling study for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, (44 U.S.C. chapter 35). Copies of this ICR, with applicable supporting documentation, may be obtained by calling the Corporation for National and Community Service, Adrienne DiTommaso, at 202-606-3611 or email to [email protected] Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY-TDD) may call 1-800-833-3722 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    DATES:

    Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, within May 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service, by any of the following two methods within 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register:

    (1) By fax to: 202-395-6974, Attention: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service; or

    (2) By email to: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The OMB is particularly interested in comments which:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of CNCS, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Propose ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Propose ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments

    A 60-day Notice requesting public comment was published in the Federal Register on 1/30/2015 at 80 FR 5093. This comment period ended 3/31/15. One public comment was received, however it was non-responsive to the proposed ICR and thus was not addressed.

    Description: This is a new information collection request. This study would administer a 20 minute, online, telephone, or paper and pencil survey to opportunity youth who are engaged as AmeriCorps members in select programs participating in the study. Additionally, a statistically matched comparison group of opportunity youth not engaged as AmeriCorps members would receive the survey. The survey consists of three sections of questions querying respondents about educational attainment, employment status, and civic engagement, intending to assess educational, employment and civic engagement outcomes achieved as a result of participating in the AmeriCorps program.

    Type of Review: New.

    Agency: Corporation for National and Community Service.

    Title: Opportunity Youth Evaluation Bundling project.

    OMB Number: None.

    Agency Number: None.

    Affected Public: Opportunity youth engaged in select AmeriCorps State and National programs, and a group of statistically matched comparison youth not participating in an AmeriCorps State and National program.

    Total Respondents: 1266.

    Frequency: Three times over a period of two years.

    Average Time per Response: 20 minutes.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 1266 hours total.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): None.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): None.

    Dated: April 22, 2015. Mary Hyde, Acting Director of Research and Evaluation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09829 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants Program—Enhanced Assessment Instruments AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information

    Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants Program—Enhanced Assessment Instruments.

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.368A. DATES:

    Applications Available: April 28, 2015.

    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: May 28, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 29, 2015.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 26, 2015.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grant program, also called the Enhanced Assessment Grants (EAG) program, is to enhance the quality of assessment instruments and systems used by States for measuring the academic achievement of elementary and secondary school students.

    Background

    States are continuing to improve their college- and career-ready assessment systems. These improvement efforts include initiatives to use technology to enhance the quality of assessments and timeliness and utility of the results, emphasize the leveraging of information gained from assessments in support of personalized learning, and survey existing State and local assessment frameworks to determine whether the assessment is serving its intended purpose to help schools meet their goals. For example, the Department appreciates that States need to continue developing new, innovative item types for use in summative assessments to find new, more authentic methods for collecting evidence about what a student knows and is able to do as it relates to State learning standards. Examples of this could include items that provide multi-step mathematics problems where students demonstrate their approach to solving each step; items that permit graphs or other visual response types; or simulated game environments where students interact with stimuli and interaction information is collected.

    As technology continues to advance and become embedded in the classroom, assessment developers and educational leaders are looking for ways to leverage these advancements to improve the testing experience for students. For example, computer-adaptive tests could be used to capture a greater range of student performance. Leveraging technology could also improve the timeliness of reporting results, provide more options in the search for alternative ways to capture student knowledge and abilities, and improve the capability to automatically score non-multiple choice items.

    These enhancements—improved assessments, faster assessment results, and alternative ways to capture student knowledge—are also important to support an initiative many States and school districts are pursuing, personalized learning for all students. Personalized classroom instruction is dependent upon having diagnostic, formative, interim, and summative assessments that produce reliable, valid, fair, and timely results in order to inform and tailor instruction for each student.

    In addition, recently, there has been significant discussion about the amount of time students spend in formal testing, including classroom, district, and State assessments. Some State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and schools are currently in the process of reviewing assessments administered to students in kindergarten through grade 12 to better understand if each assessment is of high quality, maximizes instructional goals, has a clear purpose and utility, and is designed to provide information on students' progress toward achieving proficiency on State standards and assessments. The Department wants to invest in and recognize States that are reviewing and streamlining their assessments, including eliminating redundant and unnecessary assessments, for the purposes of identifying promising practices that could be followed by other SEAs, LEAs, and schools to maximize the utility of assessments to parents, educators, and students.

    The Department also wants to invest in and support the development and enhancement of assessment systems to better measure the knowledge and abilities of all students, as is reflected in the priorities for this year's competition.

    Priorities: This competition includes four absolute priorities, two competitive preference priorities, and three invitational priorities. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), the absolute priorities are from section 6112 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), 20 U.S.C. 7301a. The competitive preference priorities are 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).

    Absolute Priorities: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet one or more of the absolute priorities.

    These priorities are:

    Absolute Priority 1—Collaboration

    Collaborate with institutions of higher education, other research institutions, or other organizations to improve the quality, validity, and reliability of State academic assessments beyond the requirements for these assessments described in section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA.

    Absolute Priority 2—Use of Multiple Measures of Student Academic Achievement

    Measure student academic achievement using multiple measures of student academic achievement from multiple sources.

    Absolute Priority 3—Charting Student Progress Over Time

    Chart student progress over time.

    Absolute Priority 4—Comprehensive Academic Assessment Instruments

    Evaluate student academic achievement through the development of comprehensive academic assessment instruments, such as performance- and technology-based academic assessments.

    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), the Department awards up to an additional 15 points to an application depending on how well the application meets competitive preference priority 1 and up to an additional 15 points to an application depending on how well the application meets competitive preference priority 2, for a total of up to 30 points if both competitive preference priorities are addressed.

    These priorities are:

    Competitive Preference Priority 1—Implementing Internationally Benchmarked College- and Career-Ready Standards and Assessments

    Projects that are designed to support the implementation of, and transition to, internationally benchmarked college- and career-ready standards and assessments, including projects in one or more of the following:

    (a) Developing and implementing student assessments (such as formative assessments, interim assessments, and summative assessments) or performance-based tools that are aligned with those standards, that are accessible to all students.

    (b) Developing and implementing strategies that use the standards and information from assessments to inform classroom practices that meet the needs of all students.

    Within this competitive preference priority, we are particularly interested in applications that address the following invitational priority.

    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.

    This priority is:

    Invitational Priority 1—Developing Innovative Item Types

    Projects that develop new, innovative item types for use in summative assessments to find new, more authentic methods for collecting evidence about a student's knowledge and abilities.

    Competitive Preference Priority 2—Leveraging Technology To Support Instructional Practice and Professional Development

    Projects that are designed to leverage technology through one or more of the following:

    (a) Implementing high-quality accessible digital tools, assessments, and materials that are aligned with rigorous college- and career-ready standards.

    (b) Using data platforms that enable the development, visualization, and rapid analysis of data to inform and improve learning outcomes, while also protecting privacy in accordance with applicable laws.

    Within this competitive preference priority, we are particularly interested in applications that address the following invitational priority.

    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.

    This priority is:

    Invitational Priority 2—Leveraging Technology To Support Personalized Learning and To Improve Assessment Tools

    Projects that focus on leveraging technology to:

    (a) Support personalized learning, including diagnostic, formative, interim, and summative assessments that can inform instruction;

    (b) Develop new types of test items that use alternative or innovative methods to capture student knowledge and abilities; or

    (c) Improve the capability to automatically score non-multiple choice items, such as to aid the development of computer-adaptive testing or improve the timeliness of reporting results.

    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.

    This priority is:

    Invitational Priority 3—Audit of State and Local Assessment Systems

    Projects that propose exemplary approaches for reviewing existing assessments to ensure that each test is of high quality, maximizes instructional goals, has a clear purpose and utility, and is designed to help students demonstrate mastery of State standards.

    Requirements: The following requirements for this competition are from the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this program published in the Federal Register on April 19, 2011 (76 FR 21985).

    An eligible applicant awarded a grant under this program must:

    (a) Evaluate the validity, reliability, and fairness of any assessments or other assessment-related instruments developed under a grant from this competition, and make available documentation of evaluations of technical quality through formal mechanisms (e.g., peer-reviewed journals) and informal mechanisms (e.g., newsletters), both in print and electronically;

    (b) Actively participate in any applicable technical assistance activities conducted or facilitated by the Department or its designees, coordinate with Race To The Top Assessment program in the development of assessments under this program, and participate in other activities as determined by the Department;

    (c) Develop a strategy to make student-level data that result from any assessments or other assessment-related instruments developed under a grant from this competition available on an ongoing basis for research, including for prospective linking, validity, and program improvement studies; 1

    1 Eligible applicants awarded a grant under this program must comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and 34 CFR part 99, as well as State and local requirements regarding privacy.

    (d) Ensure that any assessments or other assessment-related instruments developed under a grant from this competition will be operational (ready for large-scale administration) at the end of the project period;

    (e) Ensure that funds awarded under the EAG program are not used to support the development of standards, such as under the English language proficiency assessment system priority or any other priority;

    (f) Maximize the interoperability of any assessments and other assessment-related instruments developed with funds from this competition across technology platforms and the ability for States to move their assessments from one technology platform to another by doing the following, as applicable, for any assessments developed with funds from this competition by—

    (1) Developing all assessment items in accordance with an industry-recognized open-licensed interoperability standard that is approved by the Department during the grant period, without non-standard extensions or additions; and

    (2) Producing all student-level data in a manner consistent with an industry-recognized open-licensed interoperability standard that is approved by the Department during the grant period;

    (g) Unless otherwise protected by law or agreement as proprietary information, make any assessment content (i.e., assessments and assessment items) and other assessment-related instruments developed with funds from this competition freely available to States, technology platform providers, and others that request it for purposes of administering assessments, provided that those parties receiving assessment content comply with consortium or State requirements for test or item security; and

    (h) For any assessments and other assessment-related instruments developed with funds from this competition, use technology to the maximum extent appropriate to develop, administer, and score the assessments and report results.

    Definitions: The following definitions are from the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this program published in the Federal Register on April 19, 2011 (76 FR 21985), the notice of final priorities, requirement, definitions, and selection criteria for this program published in the Federal Register on May 23, 2013 (78 FR 31343), and 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).

    English learner means a child, including a child aged three and younger, who is an English learner consistent with the definition of a child who is “limited English proficient,” as applicable, in section 9101(25) of the ESEA.

    Formative assessment (also known as a classroom-based or ongoing assessment) means assessment questions, tools, and processes—

    (a) That are—

    (1) Specifically designed to monitor children's progress;

    (2) Valid and reliable for their intended purposes and their target populations; and

    (3) Linked directly to the curriculum; and

    (b) The results of which are used to guide and improve instructional practices.

    Student with a disability means a student who has been identified as a child with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as amended.

    Program Authority:

    20 U.S.C. 7301a and 7842.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this program published in the Federal Register on April 19, 2011 (76 FR 21985). (e) The notice of final priorities, requirement, definitions, and selection criteria for this program published in the Federal Register on May 23, 2013 (78 FR 31343). (f) 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 73426).

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

    Estimated Available Funds: $8,945,000-$17,870,000.

    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.

    Estimated Range of Awards: $1,000,000 to $6,000,000.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $2,500,000.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 3-6.

    Note:

    Applicants should submit a single budget request for a single budget and propose a project period of up to 48 months. Applicants should request a time period that is up to 48 months, based on a timeline that takes into account the urgency of the need of the final project findings and products to be accessible to the field. Subject to the availability of future years' funds, the Department may make supplemental grant awards to the grants awarded in this competition.

    Note:

    Applicants may not propose a budget for Invitational Priority 3, if addressed, of greater than $100,000.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: Up to 48 months.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: SEAs as defined in section 9101(41) of the ESEA and consortia of such SEAs.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not require cost sharing or matching.

    3. Other: An application from a consortium of SEAs must designate one SEA as the fiscal agent.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address To Request Application Package: You can access the electronic grant application for the Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants Program at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.368, not 84.368A). You can also obtain a copy of the application package by contacting the program contact, Erin Shackel, Enhanced Assessment Grants Program, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W111, Washington, DC 20202-6132. Telephone: (202) 453-6423 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 person listed under Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.

    2. a. 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 project narrative (part 3 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 3) to the equivalent of no more than 65 pages, using the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the project narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.

    • Use Times New Roman font no smaller than 11.0 point for all text in the project narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables figures, and graphs. Font sizes that are smaller than 11 but round up to 11, such as 10.7 point, will be considered smaller than 11.0.

    • Any screen shots included as part of the narrative should follow these standards or, if other standards are applied, be sized to equal the equivalent amount of space if these standards were applied.

    The page limit applies to the project narrative (part 3), including the table of contents, which must include a discussion of how the application meets one or more of the absolute priorities; if applicable, how the application meets one or both of the competitive preference priorities; if applicable, how the applicant addresses the invitational priorities; and how well the application addresses each of the selection criteria. The page limit also applies to any attachments to the project narrative other than the references/bibliography. In other words, the entirety of part 3 of the application, including the aforementioned discussion and any attachments to the project narrative, must be limited to the equivalent of no more than 65 pages. The only allowable attachments other than those included in the project narrative are outlined in part 6, “Other Attachments Forms,” in the application package. Any attachments other than those included within the page limit of the project narrative and those outlined in part 6 will not be reviewed.

    The 65-page limit, or its equivalent, does not apply to the following sections of an application: Part 1 (including the response regarding research activities involving human subjects); part 2 (two-page project abstract); part 4 (the budget sections, including the chart and narrative budget justification); part 5 (standard assurances and certifications); and part 6 (memoranda of understanding or other binding agreement, if applicable; copy of applicant's indirect cost rate agreement; letters of commitment and support from collaborating SEAs and organizations; and other attachments forms, including, if applicable, references/bibliography for the project narrative and individual résumés for project director(s) and key personnel). Applicants are encouraged to limit each résumé to no more than five pages.

    In addition, do not use hyperlinks in an application. Reviewers will be instructed not to follow hyperlinks if included. Our reviewers will not read any pages of your project narrative that exceed the page limit, or the equivalent of the page limit if you apply other standards. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications that meet the page limit following the standards outlined in this section rather than submitting applications that are the equivalent of the page limit applying other standards.

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Applications Available: April 28, 2015.

    Deadline for Notice of Intent To Apply: May 28, 2015.

    We will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing grant applications if we have a better understanding of the number of applicants that intend to apply for funding under this competition. Therefore, we strongly encourage each potential applicant to notify us of the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding. This notification should be brief, and provide the applicant organization's name and the SEA the applicant will designate as the fiscal agent for an award. Submit this notification by email to [email protected] with “Intent to Apply” in the email subject line or mail to Erin Shackel, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W111, Washington, DC 20202-6132. Applicants that do not provide this email notification may still apply for funding.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 29, 2015.

    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 26, 2015.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition 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 in 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 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 EAG competition, CFDA number 84.368A, 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 EAG competition at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.368, not 84.368A).

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

    Note:

    The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system; and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Erin Shackel, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W111, Washington, DC 20202-6132. FAX: (202) 205-0310.

    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 84.368A), 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 84.368A), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

    If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from EDGAR General Selection Criteria 34 CFR 75.210 and are listed in the application package. Specifically, the following general selection criteria apply to this competition: need for project, significance, quality of the project design, quality of project services, quality of project personnel, adequacy of resources, quality of the management plan, quality of the project evaluation, and strategy to scale.

    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    3. Special Conditions: Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, the Department has developed four measures to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants program: (1) The number of States that participate in Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants projects funded by this competition; (2) the percentage of grantees that, at least twice during the period of their grants, make available to SEA staff in non-participating States and to assessment researchers information on findings resulting from the Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants through presentations at national conferences, publications in refereed journals, or other products disseminated to the assessment community; (3) for each grant cycle and as determined by an expert panel, the percentage of Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants that yield significant research, methodologies, products, or tools regarding assessment systems or assessments; and (4) for each grant cycle and as determined by an expert panel, the percentage of Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants that yield significant research, methodologies, products, or tools specifically regarding accommodations and alternate assessments for students with disabilities and limited English proficient students. Grantees will be expected to include in their interim and final performance reports information about the accomplishments of their projects because the Department will need data on these measures.

    VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Erin Shackel, Enhanced Assessment Grants Program, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W111, Washington, DC 20202-6132. Telephone: (202) 453-6423 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 in this notice.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: April 23, 2015. Deborah S. Delisle, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09898 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Indian Education Discretionary Grants Programs—Demonstration Grants for Indian Children Program AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information: Indian Education Discretionary Grants Programs—Demonstration Grants for Indian Children Program Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.299A.

    Dates

    Applications Available: April 28, 2015.

    Deadline for Notice of Intent To Apply: June 2, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 29, 2015.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 26, 2015.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Demonstration Grants for Indian Children program is to provide financial assistance to projects that develop, test, and demonstrate the effectiveness of services and programs to improve the educational opportunities and achievement of preschool, elementary, and secondary Indian students.

    Background: The priority for Native Youth Community Projects is a new priority under the Demonstration Grants program and a major part of the Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) Initiative. These projects will provide funding to support community-driven, comprehensive projects to help American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children become college- and career-ready.

    Given the interconnectedness of in-school and out-of-school factors, the Department intends to award several grants to encourage a community-wide approach to providing academic, social, and other support services, for AI/AN students and students' family members that will result in improved educational outcomes, and specifically college- and career-readiness. Grantees' project evaluations will help inform future practices that effectively improve outcomes for AI/AN youth.

    Priorities: This competition contains one absolute priority and five competitive preference priorities. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), the absolute priority is from the notice of final regulations (34 CFR 263.21(c)(1) and 263.20) for this program (NFR), published in the Federal Register on April 22, 2015 (80 FR 22403). In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), competitive preference priority one is from section 263.21(c)(5) of the NFR, competitive preference priorities two and four are from section 263.21(b) of the NFR, competitive preference priority three paragraph (b) is from section 263.21(c)(2) of the NFR, and competitive preference priority five is from section 263.21(a) of the NFR. Competitive preference priority three paragraph (a) (relating to Promise Zones) is from the notice of final priority published in the Federal Register on March 27, 2014 (79 FR 17035).

    Absolute Priority: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.

    This priority is: Native Youth Community Projects.

    A native youth community project is—

    (1) Focused on a defined local geographic area;

    (2) Centered on the goal of ensuring that Indian students are prepared for college and careers;

    (3) Informed by evidence, which could be either a needs assessment conducted within the last three years or other data analysis, on—

    (i) The greatest barriers, both in and out of school, to the readiness of local Indian students for college and careers;

    (ii) Opportunities in the local community to support Indian students; and

    (iii) Existing local policies, programs, practices, service providers, and funding sources;

    (4) Focused on one or more barriers or opportunities with a community-based strategy or strategies and measurable objectives;

    (5) Designed and implemented through a partnership of various entities, which—

    (i) Must include—

    (A) One or more tribes or their tribal education agencies; and

    (B) One or more Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)-funded schools, one or more local educational agencies (LEAs), or both; and

    (ii) May include other optional entities, including community-based organizations, national nonprofit organizations, and Alaska regional corporations; and

    (6) Led by an entity that—

    (i) Is eligible for a grant under the Demonstration Grants for Indian Children program; and

    (ii) Demonstrates, or partners with an entity that demonstrates, the capacity to improve outcomes that are relevant to the project focus through experience with programs funded through other sources.

    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we will award up to an additional 9 points to an application, depending on how well the application meets one or more of these priorities.

    These priorities are:

    Competitive Preference Priority One

    We award three points to an application proposing to serve a rural local community. To meet this priority, a project must include an LEA that is eligible under the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) or Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) programs or a BIE-funded school that is located in an area designated by the U.S. Census Bureau with a locale code of 42 or 43.

    Competitive Preference Priority Two

    We award three points to an application submitted by an eligible Indian tribe, Indian organization, or Indian institution of higher education (IHE). A consortium of eligible entities or a partnership is eligible to receive the points only if the lead applicant is an Indian tribe, Indian organization, or Indian IHE.

    Competitive Preference Priority Three

    We award two points to an application that is either—

    (a) Designed to serve a local community within a federally designated Promise Zone; or

    (b) Submitted by a partnership or consortium in which the lead applicant or one of its partners has received a grant in the last four years under one or more of the following grant or enhancement programs:

    (1) State Tribal Education Partnership (title VII, part A, subpart 3).

    (2) Sovereignty in Indian Education Enhancements (Department of the Interior).

    (3) Alaska Native Education Program (title VII, part C).

    (4) Promise Neighborhoods.

    Note:

    An application will not receive points for both (a) and (b).

    Competitive Preference Priority Four

    We award one point to an application that is not eligible under Priority 2 and is submitted by a consortium of eligible entities or a partnership that includes an Indian tribe, Indian organization, or Indian IHE.

    Competitive Preference Priority Five

    We award one point to an application with a plan for combining two or more of the activities described in section 7121(c) of the ESEA over a period of more than one year.

    Note:

    Applications that propose a project to meet the absolute priority will likely meet this competitive preference priority.

    Application Requirements: The following requirements apply to all applications submitted under this competition and are from section 263.22 of the NFR, published in the Federal Register on April 22, 2015 (80 FR 22403). Each application must contain:

    (a) A description of how Indian tribes and parents of Indian children have been, and will be, involved in developing and implementing the proposed activities.

    (b) Assurances that the applicant will participate, at the request of the Secretary, in any national evaluation of this program.

    (c) Information demonstrating that the proposed project is based on scientific research, where applicable, or an existing program that has been modified to be culturally appropriate for Indian students.

    (d) A description of how the applicant will continue the proposed activities once the grant period is over.

    (e) Evidence, which could be either a needs assessment conducted within the last three years or other data analysis, of—

    (1) The greatest barriers, both in and out of school, to the readiness of local Indian students for college and careers;

    (2) Opportunities in the local community to support Indian students; and

    (3) Existing local policies, programs, practices, service providers, and funding sources.

    (f) A copy of an agreement signed by the partners in the proposed project, identifying the responsibilities of each partner in the project. The agreement can be either—

    (1) A consortium agreement that meets the requirements of 34 CFR 75.128, if each of the entities are eligible entities under this program; or

    (2) Another form of partnership agreement, such as a memorandum of understanding or a memorandum of agreement, if not all the partners are eligible entities under this program.

    (g) A plan, which includes measurable objectives, to evaluate reaching the project goal or goals.

    Statutory Hiring Preference:

    (a) Awards that are primarily for the benefit of Indians are subject to the provisions of section 7(b) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (Pub. L. 93-638). That section requires that, to the greatest extent feasible, a grantee—

    (1) Give to Indians preferences and opportunities for training and employment in connection with the administration of the grant; and

    (2) Give to Indian organizations and to Indian-owned economic enterprises, as defined in section 3 of the Indian Financing Act of 1974 (25 U.S.C. 1452(e)), preference in the award of contracts in connection with the administration of the grant.

    (b) For purposes of this section, an Indian is a member of any federally recognized Indian tribe.

    Program Authority:

    20 U.S.C. 7441.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Government-wide Debarment and Suspension (Non-procurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 263, including the recent amendments of the NFR, published in the Federal Register on April 22, 2015 (80 FR 22403).

    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: $3,000,000.

    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2016 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.

    Estimated Range of Awards: $400,000-600,000.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $500,000.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 5-7.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: Up to 48 months.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Eligible applicants for this program are State educational agencies; LEAs, including charter schools that are considered LEAs under State law; Indian tribes; Indian organizations; BIE-funded schools; Indian institutions (including Indian IHEs); or a consortium of any of these entities.

    An application from a consortium of eligible entities must meet the requirements of 34 CFR 75.127 through 75.129, including the requirement to include a signed consortium agreement with the application. Letters of support do not meet the requirement for a consortium agreement.

    Applicants applying in a consortium with or as an Indian organization must demonstrate that they meet the definition of “Indian organization” in 34 CFR 263.20.

    The term “Indian institution of higher education” means an accredited college or university within the United States cited in section 532 of the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 301 note), any other institution that qualifies for funding under the Tribally Controlled College or University Assistance Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), and Dine College (formerly Navajo Community College) authorized in the Navajo Community College Assistance Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. 640a et seq.).

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not require cost sharing or matching.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs).

    To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: www.ed.gov/gund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html.

    To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: [email protected].

    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this program or competition as follows: CFDA number 84.299A.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the person or team listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII of this notice.

    2. a. 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.

    Notice of Intent to Apply: The Department will be able to review grant applications more efficiently if we know the approximate number of applicants that intend to apply. Therefore, the Assistant Secretary strongly encourages each potential applicant to notify us of their intent to submit an application for funding. To do so, please email [email protected] with the subject line “Intent to Apply,” and include the following information:

    1. Applicant's name, mailing address, and phone number;

    2. Contact person's name and email address;

    3. A defined local geographical community to be served;

    4. Name(s) of partnering LEA(s) or BIE-funded school(s);

    5. Names of partnering tribe(s) or TEA(s); and

    6. If appropriate, names of other partnering organizations.

    Applicants that do not submit a notice of intent to apply may still apply for funding; applicants that do submit a notice of intent to apply are not bound to apply or bound by the information provided.

    Pre-Application Webinar: The Department intends to hold a pre-application Webinar designed to provide technical assistance to interested applicants. Information about Webinar times and instructions for registering are on the Department Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/indiandemo/applicant.html.

    Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. The suggested page limit for the application narrative is 35 pages. The suggested standards for the narrative include:

    • A page is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double space all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.

    • Use a font that is 12 point or larger but no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial.

    The suggested page limit does not apply to the cover sheet; the budget section, including the budget narrative justification; the consortium agreement or partnership agreement; the assurances and certifications; or the abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or other required attachments.

    b. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications for the Demonstration Grants for Indian Children, an application may include business information that the applicant considers proprietary. The Department's regulations define “business information” in 34 CFR 5.11.

    Because we plan to make successful applications available to the public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business information.

    Consistent with E. O. 12600, please designate in your application any information that you feel is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act. In the appropriate Appendix section of your application, under “Other Attachment Form,” please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Applications Available: April 28, 2015.

    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: June 2, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 29, 2015.

    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 26, 2015.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition 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: 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 Indian Education—Demonstration Grants for Indian Children program, CFDA number 84.299A, 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 Indian Education—Demonstration Grants for Indian Children 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 84.299, not 84.299A).

    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 www.G5.gov.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: the Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that the 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: David E. Emenheiser, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W215, Washington, DC 20202-6335. FAX: (202) 401-0606.

    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 84.299A) 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 84.299A) 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

    If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition include general selection criteria from 34 CFR 75.210 and selection criteria based on regulatory requirements in 34 CFR part 263, including the recent amendments of the NFR, published in the Federal Register on April 22, 2015 (80 FR 22403), in accordance with 34 CFR 75.209(a). We will award up to 100 points to an application under the selection criteria; the total possible points for each selection criterion are noted in parentheses.

    a. Need for project (Maximum 15 points). The Secretary considers the need for the proposed project. In determining the need for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factor:

    (i) The extent to which the project is informed by evidence, which could be either a needs assessment conducted within the last three years or other data analysis, of:

    (1) The greatest barriers both in and out of school to the readiness of local Indian students for college and careers;

    (2) Opportunities in the local community to support Indian students; and

    (3) Existing local policies, programs, practices, service providers, and funding sources.

    b. Quality of the project design (Maximum 25 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (i) The extent to which the project is focused on a defined local geographic area.

    (ii) The extent to which the proposed project is based on scientific research, where applicable, or an existing program that has been modified to be culturally appropriate for Indian students.

    (iii) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable.

    (iv) The extent to which the design of the proposed project is appropriate to, and will successfully address, the needs of the target population or other identified needs.

    (v) The extent to which the proposed project is supported by strong theory (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c)).

    (vi) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project involve the collaboration of appropriate partners for maximizing the effectiveness of project services.

    c. Quality of project personnel (Maximum 10 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry out the proposed project. In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. In addition, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (i) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of the project director or principal investigator.

    (ii) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel.

    Note:

    Please note that section 7(b) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act requires that to the greatest extent feasible, a grantee must give to Indians preference and opportunities in connection with the administration of the grant, and give Indian organizations and Indian-owned economic enterprises, as defined in section 3 of the Indian Financing Act of 1974 (25 U.S.C. 1452(e)), preference in the award of contracts in connection with the administration of the grant.

    d. Adequacy of resources (Maximum 10 points). The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed project. In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (i) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project.

    (ii) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the number of persons to be served and to the anticipated results and benefits.

    e. Quality of Experience (Maximum 10 points). The Secretary considers the quality of experience for the proposed project. In determining the quality of experience for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factor:

    The extent to which the applicant, or one of its partners, demonstrates capacity to improve outcomes that are relevant to the project focus through experience with programs funded through other sources.

    f. Quality of the management plan (Maximum 20 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (i) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks.

    (ii) The adequacy of procedures for ensuring feedback and continuous improvement in the operation of the proposed project.

    (iii) The extent to which Indian tribes and parents of Indian children have been, and will be, involved in developing and implementing the proposed activities.

    g. Quality of the project evaluation (Maximum 10 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (i) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative data to the extent possible.

    (ii) The extent to which the evaluation will provide guidance about effective strategies suitable for replication or testing in other settings.

    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    3. Special Conditions: Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has developed the following performance measures for measuring the overall effectiveness of the Demonstration Grants for Indian Children program:

    (1) The percentage of the annual measurable objectives, as described in the application, that are met by grantees; and

    (2) The percentage of grantees that report a significant increase in community collaborative efforts that promote college and career readiness of Indian children.

    These measures constitute the Department's indicators of success for this program. Consequently, we advise an applicant for a grant under this program to give careful consideration to these measures in developing the proposed project and identifying the method of evaluation. Each grantee will be required to provide, in its annual performance and final reports, data about its progress in meeting 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 Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David E. Emenheiser, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W215, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 260-1488 or by email: [email protected]

    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 disk) on request to the program contact person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII of this notice.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: April 23, 2015. Deborah S. Delisle, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09832 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. TPF-01] Application for Proposed Project for Clean Line Plains & Eastern Transmission Line AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Application.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) requests public comment on the first complete application submitted in response to its June 10, 2010 Request for Proposals for New or Upgraded Transmission Line Projects Under Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 in the Federal Register (75 FR 32940) (2010 RFP). In response to the 2010 RFP, Clean Line Energy Partners, LLC, submitted an application for its Plains & Eastern Clean Line project. The project would include an overhead ±600-kilovolt (kV) high voltage, direct current electric transmission system and associated facilities with the capacity to deliver approximately 3,500 megawatts primarily from renewable energy generation facilities in the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle regions to load-serving entities in the Mid-South and Southeast United States via an interconnection with the Tennessee Valley Authority electrical grid. DOE has concluded that Clean Line's application was responsive to the 2010 RFP and is making it available for public review.

    DATES:

    Comments on the application must be submitted on or before June 12, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be addressed as follows: 1222 Program, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE-20), U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. Electronic comments can be emailed to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Angela Colamaria at 202-287-5387 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) (42 U.S.C. 16421), the Secretary of Energy, acting through the Southwestern Power Administration (Southwestern) or the Western Area Power Administration (Western), has the authority to design, develop, construct, operate, maintain, or own, or participate with other entities in designing, developing, constructing, operating, maintaining, or owning two types of projects: (a) Electric power transmission facilities and related facilities needed to upgrade existing transmission facilities owned by Southwestern or Western (42 U.S.C. 16421(a)), or (b) new electric power transmission facilities and related facilities located within any State in which Southwestern or Western operates (42 U.S.C. 16421(b)). In carrying out either type of section 1222 project (Project), the Secretary may accept and use funds contributed by another entity for the purpose of executing the Project (42 U.S.C. 16421(c)).

    In order to exercise the authority to engage in these activities under section 1222, the Secretary, in consultation with the applicable Power Marketing Administrator, must first determine that a proposed Project satisfies certain statutory criteria:

    i. The proposed Project must be either:

    (A) Located in an area designated under section 216(a) of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 824p(a)) and will reduce congestion of electric transmission in interstate commerce; or

    (B) Necessary to accommodate an actual or projected increase in demand for electric transmission capacity;

    ii. The proposed Project must be consistent with both:

    (A) Transmission needs identified, in a transmission expansion plan or otherwise, by the appropriate Transmission Organization (as defined in the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791a et seq.) if any, or approved regional reliability organization; and

    (B) Efficient and reliable operation of the transmission grid;

    iii. The proposed Project will be operated in conformance with prudent utility practice;

    iv. The proposed Project will be operated by, or in conformance with the rules of, the appropriate Transmission Organization, if any; or if such an organization does not exist, regional reliability organization; and

    v. The proposed Project will not duplicate the functions of existing transmission facilities or proposed facilities which are the subject of ongoing or approved siting and related permitting proceedings.

    In June 2010, DOE issued Request for Proposals for New or Upgraded Transmission Line Projects Under Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (75 FR 32940) (2010 RFP). To be responsive to the 2010 RFP, the application must demonstrate how the proposed Project meets all of the above statutory criteria, as well as several additional criteria, including, but not limited to, the following:

    1. Whether the Project is in the public interest;

    2. Whether the Project will facilitate the reliable delivery of power generated by renewable resources;

    3. The benefits and impacts of the Project in each state it traverses, including economic and environmental factors;

    4. The technical viability of the Project, considering engineering, electrical, and geographic factors; and

    5. The financial viability of the Project.

    In response to the 2010 RFP, Clean Line Energy Partners LLC of Houston, Texas, the parent company of Plains and Eastern Clean Line LLC and Plains and Eastern Clean Line Oklahoma LLC (collectively referred to with its subsidiaries as Clean Line or the Applicant) submitted a proposal to DOE in July 2010 for the Plains & Eastern Clean Line Project. In August 2011, Clean Line modified the proposal. In December 2014, DOE requested additional information from the Applicant to supplement and update its original application. This “Part II” application and other documentation are now available for a 45-day public comment period.

    Clean Line proposes to construct an overhead ±600-kilovolt (kV), high voltage direct current (HVDC) electric transmission system and associated facilities with the capacity to deliver approximately 3,500 megawatts primarily from renewable energy generation facilities in the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle regions to load-serving entities in the Mid-South and Southeast United States via an interconnection with the Tennessee Valley Authority electrical grid. Major associated facilities identified in the application consist of converter stations; an approximate 720-mile, ±600kV HVDC transmission line; an alternating current (AC) collection system; and access roads. Clean Line requests that Southwestern participate in development of the facilities in Oklahoma and Arkansas. As part of their environmental review of the project pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), DOE has identified and analyzed potential environmental impacts for several additional alternatives. These alternatives include an Arkansas converter station (capable of supplying an additional 500 megawatts of energy into the Arkansas electrical grid) and alternative routes for the HVDC transmission line.

    Procedural Matters: Prior to making a determination whether or not to participate in the proposed Project, DOE, in consultation with Southwestern, must evaluate the proposed Project for compliance with section 1222 of EPAct, the criteria in the 2010 RFP, and NEPA. On December 21, 2012, DOE issued a Notice of Intent to Draft an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS; 77 FR 75623) pursuant to NEPA. On December 17, 2014, DOE issued a Notice of Availability and announced public hearings for the Draft EIS (79 FR 75132). DOE made the Draft EIS available on DOE's Plains & Eastern EIS Web site (www.PlainsandEasternEIS.com) and the DOE NEPA Web site (www.energy.gov/nepa). The Draft EIS assesses the potential environmental effects of participating in the proposed Project. DOE hosted fifteen public hearings across the proposed Project area. The public comment period for the NEPA review is scheduled to end on April 20, 2015. DOE will address the public comments in the Final EIS, which will inform the Department's determination.

    In addition to conducting a NEPA review, DOE is conducting due diligence on other factors related to the statutory criteria identified above. DOE's review will include making all required statutory findings and will consider all criteria listed in section 1222 of EPAct, as well as all factors included in DOE's 2010 RFP. This due diligence is the reason for today's notice. DOE is requesting comments on whether the proposed Project meets the statutory criteria and the factors identified within the 2010 RFP.

    Any person may comment on the application by filing such comment at the address provided above. Copies of the application are available by accessing the program Web site at http://www.energy.gov/oe/services/electricity-policy-coordination-and-implementation/transmission-planning/section-1222-0.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on April 23, 2015. Patricia A. Hoffman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09941 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Staff Attendance at Southwest Power Pool Regional Entity Trustee, Regional State Committee, Members' and Board of Directors' Meetings

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) hereby gives notice that members of its staff may attend the meetings of the Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP) Regional Entity Trustee (RE), Regional State Committee (RSC), SPP Members Committee and Board of Directors, as noted below. Their attendance is part of the Commission's ongoing outreach efforts.

    All meetings will be held at the Tulsa Hyatt Regency Downtown, 100 East Second Street, Tulsa, OK 74103.

    SPP RE April 27, 2015 (8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.) SPP RSC April 27, 2015 (1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.) SPP Members/Board of Directors April 28, 2015 (8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.)

    The discussions may address matters at issue in the following proceedings:

    Docket No. EL05-19, Southwestern Public Service Company Docket No. ER05-168, Southwestern Public Service Company Docket No. ER06-274, Southwestern Public Service Company Docket No. ER09-35, Tallgrass Transmission, LLC Docket No. ER09-36, Prairie Wind Transmission, LLC Docket No. ER09-548, ITC Great Plains, LLC Docket No. EL11-34, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER11-1844, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER11-4105, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. EL12-28, Xcel Energy Services Inc., et al. Docket No. EL12-59, Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, Inc. Docket No. EL12-60, Southwest Power Pool, Inc., et al. Docket No. ER12-480, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER12-959, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER12-1179, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER12-1586, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER13-366, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER13-367, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER13-1173, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER13-1864, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER13-1937, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER13-1939, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. EL14-21, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. EL14-30, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. EL14-93, Kansas Corporation Commission v. Westar Energy, Inc. Docket No. ER14-67, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER14-781, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER14-1174, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER14-1713, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER14-2022, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER14-2081, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER14-2107, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER14-2363, Southwestern Public Service Company Docket No. ER14-2399, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER14-2445, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER14-2553, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER14-2570, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER14-2850, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER14-2851, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-10, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-21, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-279, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-509, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-534, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-763, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-879, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-929, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-964, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-990, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-1139, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-1140, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-1152, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-1163, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-1228, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-1293, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-1304, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-1340, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-1370, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-1401, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-1414, Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    These meetings are open to the public.

    For more information, contact Patrick Clarey, Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at (317) 249-5937 or [email protected].

    Dated: April 16, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09749 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. OR13-14-001] Western Refining Pipeline, LLC; Notice for Temporary Waiver of Filing and Reporting Requirements

    On April 20, 2015, Western Refining Pipeline, LLC (Western) filed a Request to Amend previously granted waiver of Interstate Commerce Act tariff and reporting requirements and Commission's related implementing regulations.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest in this proceeding must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant. In reference to filings initiating a new proceeding, interventions or protests submitted on or before the comment deadline need not be served on persons other than the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 4 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St. NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above proceedings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: May 13, 2015.

    Dated: April 22, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09810 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC15-127-000.

    Applicants: Calpine Greenleaf, Inc.

    Description: Application For Approval Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Expedited Action of Calpine Greenleaf, Inc.

    Filed Date: 4/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150421-5235.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/12/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG15-71-000.

    Applicants: Seville Solar One LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of EWG Status of Seville Solar One LLC.

    Filed Date: 4/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150421-5258.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/12/15.

    Docket Numbers: EG15-72-000.

    Applicants: Tallbear Seville LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of EWG Status of Tallbear Seville LLC.

    Filed Date: 4/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150421-5259.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/12/15.

    Docket Numbers: EG15-73-000.

    Applicants: Garrison Energy Center LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of Garrison Energy Center LLC.

    Filed Date: 4/22/15.

    Accession Number: 20150422-5172.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/13/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER11-4505-001; ER11-4506-001.

    Applicants: Backyard Farms Energy LLC, Devonshire Energy LLC.

    Description: Notification of Change in Status of Backyard Farms Energy LLC and Devonshire Energy LLC.

    Filed Date: 4/22/15.

    Accession Number: 20150422-5161.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-523-002.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Florida, Inc., Duke Energy Progress, Inc., Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: Compliance Filing Lottery to be effective 6/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 4/22/15.

    Accession Number: 20150422-5241.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1547-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): 1st Quarter 2015 Updates to OA/RAA Membership Lists to be effective 3/31/2015.

    Filed Date: 4/22/15.

    Accession Number: 20150422-5242.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1548-000.

    Applicants: Central Maine Power Company.

    Description: Tariff Withdrawal per 35.15: Notice of Cancellation of Service Agreement No. 158 (CSIA) to be effective 4/14/2015.

    Filed Date: 4/22/15.

    Accession Number: 20150422-5265.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/13/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following qualifying facility filings:

    Docket Numbers: QF14-682-000.

    Applicants: President and Fellows of Harvard College.

    Description: Refund Report of President and Fellows of Harvard College.

    Filed Date: 4/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150421-5174.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/12/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: April 22, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09808 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2413-117] Georgia Power Company; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document (Pad), Commencement of Pre-Filing Process, and Scoping; Request for Comments on the Pad and Scoping Document, and Identification of Issues and Associated Study Requests

    a. Type of Filing: Notice of Intent to File License Application for a New License and Commencing Pre-filing Process.

    b. Project No.: 2413-117.

    c. Dated Filed: February 18, 2015.

    d. Submitted By: Georgia Power Company (Georgia Power).

    e. Name of Project: Wallace Dam Pumped Storage Project.

    f. Location: On the Oconee River, in Hancock, Putnam, Green, and Morgan Counties, Georgia. The project occupies about 370 acres of federal land administered by the U.S. Forest Service.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: 18 CFR part 5 of the Commission's Regulations.

    h. Potential Applicant Contact: Courtenay R. O'Mara, P.E., Wallace Dam Hydro Relicensing Manager, Southern Company Generation, BIN 10193, 241 Ralph McGill Blvd. NE., Atlanta, GA 30308-3374; (404) 506-7219; [email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Allan Creamer at (202) 502-8365, or email at [email protected]

    j. Cooperating agencies: Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to environmental issues that wish to cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document should follow the instructions for filing such requests described in item o below. Cooperating agencies should note the Commission's policy that agencies that cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document cannot also intervene. See 94 FERC ¶ 61,076 (2001).

    k. With this notice, we are initiating informal consultation with: (1) the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or the National Marine Fisheries Service under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and the joint agency regulations thereunder at 50 CFR, Part 402; and (2) the State Historic Preservation Officer, as required by section 106 of the National Historical Preservation Act, and the implementing regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation at 36 CFR 800.2.

    l. With this notice, we are designating Georgia Power as the Commission's non-federal representative for carrying out informal consultation, pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

    m. Georgia Power filed with the Commission a Pre-Application Document (PAD; including a proposed process plan and schedule), pursuant to 18 CFR 5.6 of the Commission's regulations.

    n. A copy of the PAD is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room, or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site (http://www.ferc.gov) using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the docket number field, to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], or toll free at 1-866-208-3676, or for TTY, (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at http://www.georgipower.com/about-energy/energy-sources/hydro-power/hydro-projects/wallace/home.cshtml, or the address in paragraph h.

    Register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    o. With this notice, we are soliciting comments on the PAD and Commission staff's Scoping Document 1 (SD1), as well as study requests. All comments on the PAD and SD1, as well as study requests should be sent to the address above in paragraph h. In addition, all comments on the PAD and SD1, study requests, requests for cooperating agency status, and all communications to and from Commission staff related to the merits of the potential application must be filed with the Commission. Documents may be filed electronically via the Internet. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support. Although the Commission strongly encourages electronic filing, documents may also be paper-filed. To paper-file, mail an original and five copies to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    All filings with the Commission must include on the first page, the project name and number (i.e., Wallace Dam Pumped Storage Project, P-2413-117), and bear the appropriate heading: “Comments on Pre-Application Document,” “Study Requests,” “Comments on Scoping Document 1,” “Request for Cooperating Agency Status,” or “Communications to and from Commission Staff.” Any individual or entity interested in submitting study requests, commenting on the PAD or SD1, and any agency requesting cooperating status must do so by June 19, 2015.

    p. Although our current intent is to prepare an environmental assessment (EA), there is the possibility that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be required. Nevertheless, this meeting will satisfy the NEPA scoping requirements, irrespective of whether an EA or EIS is issued by the Commission.

    Scoping Meetings

    Commission staff will hold two scoping meetings in the vicinity of the project at the time and place noted below. The daytime meeting will focus on resource agency, Indian tribes, and non-governmental organization concerns, while the evening meeting is primarily for receiving input from the public. We invite all interested individuals, organizations, and agencies to attend one or both of the meetings, and to assist staff in identifying particular study needs, as well as the scope of environmental issues to be addressed in the environmental document. The times and locations of these meetings are as follows:

    Daytime Scoping Meeting

    Date: Wednesday, May 20, 2015.

    Time: 1:00 p.m.

    Location: Rock Eagle 4-H Center, Sutton Hall, 350 Rock Eagle Road, Eatonton, Georgia 31024.

    Phone: (706) 484-2868.

    Evening Scoping Meeting

    Date: Wednesday, May 20, 2015.

    Time: 6:30 p.m.

    Location: Rock Eagle 4-H Center, Sutton Hall, 350 Rock Eagle Road, Eatonton, Georgia 31024.

    Phone: (706) 484-2868.

    SD1, which outlines the subject areas to be addressed in the environmental document, was mailed to the individuals and entities on the Commission's mailing list. Copies of SD1 will be available at the scoping meetings, or may be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link. Follow the directions for accessing information in paragraph n. Based on all oral and written comments, a Scoping Document 2 (SD2) may be issued. SD2 may include a revised process plan and schedule, as well as a list of issues, identified through the scoping process.

    Environmental Site Review

    The potential applicant and Commission staff will conduct an Environmental Site Review of the project on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, starting at 9:00 a.m. All participants should meet at Georgia Power's Old Salem Park, located at 1530 Old Salem Road, Greensboro, Georgia 30642. Anyone with questions about the site visit should contact Ms. Courtenay O'Mara, Southern Company Generation, at (404) 506-7219, or at [email protected], on or before May 5, 2015. Participants of the tour must provide identification, sign a liability waiver, and wear appropriate clothing and closed toed shoes. If any participant attending any part of the site visit is disabled or has special needs, please send an email to Oconee Relicensing at [email protected]

    Meeting Objectives

    At the scoping meetings, Commission staff will: (1) Initiate scoping of the issues; (2) review and discuss existing conditions and resource management objectives; (3) review and discuss existing information and identify preliminary information and study needs; (4) review and discuss the process plan and schedule for pre-filing activities that incorporates the time frames provided for in Part 5 of the Commission's regulations and, to the extent possible, maximizes coordination of federal, state, and tribal permitting and certification processes; and (5) discuss the appropriateness of any federal or state agency or Indian tribe acting as a cooperating agency for development of an environmental document.

    Meeting participants should come prepared to discuss their issues and/or concerns. Please review the PAD in preparation for the scoping meetings. Directions on how to obtain a copy of the PAD and SD1 are included in item n. of this document.

    Meeting Procedures

    The meetings will be recorded by a stenographer. The transcripts will be placed in the public record for the project.

    Dated: April 17, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09747 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL15-61-000] Benjamin Riggs v. Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission Notice of Petition For Enforcement

    Take notice that on April 21, 2015, Benjamin Riggs (Petitioner) filed a Petition for Enforcement, pursuant to section 210(h)(2) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), requesting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) to exercise its authority and initiate enforcement action against the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission to ensure that PURPA regulations are properly and lawfully implemented. Petitioner alleges that the Rhode Island Public Utility Commission on August 16, 2010, as directed by the Rhode Island General Assembly, approved a 20-year Purchase Power Agreement between Deepwater Wind Block Island, LLC and National Grid that appears to constitute a violation of the Federal Power Act, to include 16 U.S.C. 791 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 824, and the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Petitioner.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on May 12, 2015.

    Dated: April 22, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09809 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 4093-035] McMahan Hydroelectric L.L.C.; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Soliciting Additional Study Requests and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Relicensing and a Deadline for Submission of Final Amendments

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: Subsequent license.

    b. Project No.: P-4093-035.

    c. Date filed: March 30, 2015.

    d. Applicant: McMahan Hydroelectric L.L.C.

    e. Name of Project: Bynum Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On the Haw River, in Chatham County, North Carolina. No federal lands are occupied by the project works or located within the project boundary.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Andrew J. McMahan, President, McMahan Hydroelectric L.L.C., 105 Durham Eubanks Road, Pittsboro, NC 27312l; (336) 509-2148; email—[email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Sean Murphy at (202) 502-6145; or email at [email protected]

    j. Cooperating agencies: Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to environmental issues that wish to cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document should follow the instructions for filing such requests described in item l below. Cooperating agencies should note the Commission's policy that agencies that cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document cannot also intervene. See, 94 FERC ¶ 61,076 (2001).

    k. Pursuant to section 4.32(b)(7) of 18 CFR of the Commission's regulations, if any resource agency, Indian Tribe, or person believes that an additional scientific study should be conducted in order to form an adequate factual basis for a complete analysis of the application on its merit, the resource agency, Indian Tribe, or person must file a request for a study with the Commission not later than 60 days from the date of filing of the application, and serve a copy of the request on the applicant.

    l. Deadline for filing additional study requests and requests for cooperating agency status: June 14, 2015.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file additional study requests and requests for cooperating agency status using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-4093-035.

    m. The application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    n. The 600-kilowatt (kW) Bynum project is located on the Haw River, in Chatham County, North Carolina. No federal lands are affected. The principal project works consist of: (1) A 750-foot-long, 10-foot-high stone masonry dam with an uncontrolled spillway and a 150-foot-long non-overflow section; (2) a 2000-foot-long canal, between 25 and 40 feet wide; (3) a powerhouse separate from the dam containing a 600-kW generating unit; (4) a reservoir with a surface area of 20 acres at normal pool elevation of 315 feet mean sea level and a gross storage capacity of 100 acre-feet; and (5) appurtenant facilities. The project operates run-of-river and generates and estimated average of 2,461,000 kW hours a year.

    o. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    p. With this notice, we are designating McMahan Hydroelectric L.L.C. as the Commission's non-federal representative for carrying out informal consultation pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and section 305(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; and consultation pursuant to section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

    q. Procedural schedule and final amendments: The application will be processed according to the following preliminary Hydro Licensing Schedule. Revisions to the schedule will be made as appropriate.

    Issue Notice of Acceptance June 2015. Issue Scoping Document 1 for comments July 2015. Comments on Scoping Document 1 due September 2015. Issue Scoping Document 2 September 2015. Issue notice of ready for environmental analysis September 2015. Commission issues EA March 2016. Comments on EA due April 2016. Commission issues final EA June 2016.

    Final amendments to the application must be filed with the Commission no later than 30 days from the issuance date of the notice of ready for environmental analysis.

    Dated: April 14, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09839 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 7518-018] Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P. and Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Types of Application: Surrender of License.

    b. Project No.: 7518-018.

    c. Date Filed: January 21, 2015.

    d. Applicants: Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P. (Erie) and Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (Tribe).

    e. Name of Projects: Hogansburg Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On the St. Regis River in Franklin County, New York. The project does not occupy any federal lands.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791a-825r.

    h. Applicant Contact: For Erie, Mr. John A. Whittaker, IV, Winston & Strawn LLP, 1700 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20006, Phone: 202-282-5766, Email: [email protected] For Tribe: Mr. John J. Privitera, McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams, P.C., 677 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207, Phone: 518-447-3200, Email: [email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: M. Joseph Fayyad at (202) 502-8759, or email at [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene and protests, is 30 days from the issuance date of this notice. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. All documents may be filed using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. Please include the project number (P-7518-018) on any comments, motions to intervene, protests, or recommendations filed.

    k. Description of Request: The applicants propose to surrender the license for the Hogansburg Project due to uneconomic conditions resulting from a number of issues regarding project's potential effects on fish passage and water quality that were raised during relicensing proceedings. The applicants have consulted with the relevant state and federal resource agencies and stakeholders and have entered into a Settlement Agreement with those entities endorsing the surrender and decommissioning process. As part of the Surrender, the applicants intend to decommission the project facilities.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. This filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208- 3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “PROTEST”, or “MOTION TO INTERVENE”, as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). All comments, motions to intervene or protests should relate to project works which are the subject of the license surrender. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. If an intervener files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    p. As provided for in 18 CFR 4.34(b)(5)(i), the applicant must file, no later than 60 days following the date of issuance of this notice of acceptance: (1) a copy of the water quality certification; (2) a copy of the request for certification, including proof of the date on which the certifying agency received the request; or (3) evidence of waiver of water quality certification.

    Dated: April 16, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09752 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. OR15-22-000] JBBR Pipeline LLC; Notice of Request for Waiver

    Take notice that on March 24, 2015, JBBR Pipeline LLC requested waiver of the verified statement requirements under 18 CFR 342.4(c) that would otherwise require a verified statement in support of initial committed rates, or subsequent contractual adjustments to those rates, filed pursuant to the declaratory order framework approved in Docket No. OR15-3.1

    1JBBR Pipeline LLC, 150 FERC ¶ 61,012 (2015).

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest in this proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Petitioner.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St. NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above proceedings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on May 6, 2015.

    Dated: April 21, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09750 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 12766-005] Green Mountain Power Corporation; Notice of Application for Amendment of License and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Application Type: Amendment of License.

    b. Project No: 12766-005.

    c. Date Filed: February 9, 2015.

    d. Applicant: Green Mountain Power Corporation.

    e. Name of Project: Clay Hill Road Line 66 Transmission Project.

    f. Location: The Clay Hill Road Line 66 Transmission Project is located along Clay Hill Road in Windsor County, Vermont.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Kim Jones, P.E., Green Mountain Power Corporation, 2152 Post Road, Rutland Town, Vermont 05701; telephone (802) 488-4589.

    i. FERC Contact: Linda Stewart, telephone (202) 502-6680 or email [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests is 30 days from the issuance date of this notice by the Commission. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene, protests, or comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include the project number (P-12766-005).

    k. Description of Request: Green Mountain Power Corporation (Green Mountain) proposes to delete from the project license a section of the existing 12.5-kilovolt (kV) transmission line. Specifically, the amendment proposal would remove a 3.525-mile-long section of the approximately 6-mile-long transmission line, thereby reducing the total transmission line length to 2.276 miles.

    As currently licensed, the 12.5-kV transmission line extends approximately 6 miles from Pole 115, via Pole 62x, to the Quechee substation. Green Mountain plans to interconnect a 150-kilowatt net-metered solar electric generator at Pole 62x. As a result, the 3.525-mile-long section of transmission line from Pole 62x to the Quechee substation would become necessary to transmit power from the solar generation project. Green Mountain, therefore, proposes to delete that section of transmission line from the project license.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. This filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “PROTEST”, or “MOTION TO INTERVENE” as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). All comments, motions to intervene, or protests should relate to project works which are the subject of the proposed amendment. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. If an intervener files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Dated: April 16, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09753 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. AD15-10-000] Notice of Intent To Update the Guidelines for Reporting on Cultural Resources Investigations for Pipeline Projects and Request for Comments

    The staff of the Office of Energy Projects (OEP) is in the process of reviewing its Guidelines for Reporting on Cultural Resources Investigations for Pipeline Projects (Guidelines), dated December 2002, to determine if updates or improvements are appropriate. The staff is asking for public input and suggestions for modifications to the Guidelines from federal and state agencies, Native American tribes, environmental consultants, inspectors, natural gas industry, construction contractors, and other interested parties with special expertise with respect to historic and cultural resources commonly associated with pipeline projects. Please note that this comment period will close on July 20, 2015.

    The Guidelines are referred to at 18 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 380.12(f). Full text of the current version of the Guidelines can be viewed on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/guidelines.asp.

    Based on the input received in response to this notice, OEP staff anticipates issuing draft changes to the Guidelines by fall 2015, and will make them available for public comment. We will then consider all timely comments on the drafts before issuing the final version.

    Interested parties can help us determine the appropriate updates and improvements to make by providing us comments or suggestions that focus on the specific sections requiring clarification, updates to reflect current laws and regulations, or improved measures to avoid or minimize impacts on historic or cultural resources. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. A detailed explanation of your submissions and/or any references of scientific studies associated with your comments would greatly help us with this process.

    For your convenience, there are three methods which you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances please reference the docket number (AD15-10-000) 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 feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for interested persons to submit brief, text-only comments;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically using the eFiling feature 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.” You must select the type of filing you are making, 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.

    All of the information related to the proposed updates to the Guidelines and submitted comments can be found 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., AD15-10). 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) 502-8258. 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 now 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 www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Dated: April 21, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09744 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14670-000] Murphy Dam, LLC; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing Applications

    On March 20, 2015, Murphy Dam, LLC, filed an application for a preliminary permit, pursuant to section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), proposing to study the feasibility of the Murphy Dam Hydroelectric Project (Murphy Dam Project) to be located on the Connecticut River, near Pittsburg, Coos County, New Hampshire. The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owners' express permission.

    The proposed project would consist of the following: (1) An existing 100-foot-high, 2,100-foot-long earthen embankment dam; (2) an adjacent 300-foot-long concrete spillway with a stoplog and flashboard crest elevation of 1,385 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD); (3) the existing 2,020-acre Lake Francis with a storage capacity of 96,000 acre-feet; (4) a new 8-foot-diameter, 500-foot-long steel penstock connected to an existing 916-foot-long, steel-lined concrete outlet conduit and concrete intake structure; (5) a new 30-foot-wide, 40-foot long, 20-foot high powerhouse containing one Kaplan turbine-generator unit having a total installed capacity of 3.0 megawatts; (6) a new 30-foot-wide, 10-foot-deep, 100-foot-long, riprap-lined tailrace; (7) a new 1,600-foot-long, 12-kilovolt transmission line connecting the powerhouse to the Public Service of New Hampshire distribution system; and (8) appurtenant facilities. The estimated annual generation of the Murphy Dam Project would be about 12,400 megawatt-hours. The existing Murphy Dam and appurtenant works is owned by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.

    Applicant Contact: Mr. Mark Boumansour, Murphy Dam LLC, c/o Gravity Renewables, Inc. 1401 Walnut Street, Suite 220, Boulder, CO 80302; phone: (303) 615-3101; email: [email protected]

    FERC Contact: Patrick Crile; phone: (202) 502-8042 or email: [email protected]

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications: 60 Days from the issuance of this notice. Competing applications and notices of intent must meet the requirements of 18 CFR 4.36.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, notices of intent, and competing applications using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14670-000.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the “eLibrary” link of Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14670) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: April 21, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09754 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-88-000] Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Abandonment and Capacity Restoration Project Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Abandonment and Capacity Restoration Project (Project) involving abandonment of facilities by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC (Tennessee). The Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity.

    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the project. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EA. Please note that the scoping period will close on May 18, 2015. You may submit comments in written form. Further details on how to submit written comments are in the Public Participation section of this notice.

    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 proposed project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

    If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a pipeline company representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the proposed facilities. The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if the Commission approves the project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with state law.

    Tennessee provided landowners with a fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled “An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?” 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. It is also available for viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov).

    Summary of the Proposed Project

    Tennessee proposes to abandon in place and remove from service approximately 964 miles of Tennessee's existing pipelines that run from Natchitoches Parish, LA, to Columbiana County, Ohio. Tennessee currently operates six parallel pipelines that transport natural gas from the Gulf of Mexico region to the Northeast markets. The proposed Project would occur on Tennessee's existing 100 and 200 Lines. In order to replace capacity that would be lost due to the abandonment, Tennessee would modify and construct certain facilities along the existing pipelines not proposed for abandonment.

    Tennessee would abandon in place the following facilities:

    • 677 miles of Tennessee's 24-inch-diameter 100-1 Line from Compressor Station 40 in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, to Compressor Station 106 in Powel County, Kentucky;

    • 77 miles of Tennessee's 26-inch-diameter 100-3 Line from Compressor Station 106 to Compressor Station 200 in Greenup County, Kentucky; and

    • 210 miles of Tennessee's 26-inch-diameter 200-3 Line from Compressor Station 200 to MLV 216 in Columbiana County, Ohio, including disconnection of the 200-3 Line from an aerial crossing at either side of the Ohio River headers.

    Tennessee would construct and install the following facilities:

    • An additional 10,771 horsepower (hp) compressor unit at Compressor Station 875, to be constructed by Tennessee as part of the Broad Run Expansion Project (FERC Docket CP15-77-000) in Madison County, Kentucky;

    • Two compressor units at Tennessee's existing Compressor Station 110 in Rowan County, Kentucky, adding 32,000 hp;

    • Four new mid-point compressor stations, (Compressor Stations 202.5, 206.5, 211.5, and 216.5), on lines 200-1, 200-2, and 200-4, adding a total of 82,000 hp in Jackson, Morgan, Tuscarawas, and Mahoning counties, Ohio;

    • A 7.6-mile-long new pipeline loop1 in Carter and Lewis Counties, Kentucky to continue Tennessee's Line 100-7; and

    1 A pipeline loop is a segment of pipe constructed parallel to an existing pipeline to increase capacity.

    • Removal of certain crossovers, taps, valves and miscellaneous pipe, and the relocation and/or installation of new taps to complete the physical separation of the Abandoned Line from Tennessee's retained pipelines.

    Land Requirements

    Project activities, including abandonment, construction and modification of existing facilities, would disturb about 463 acres of land. Following abandonment and construction activities, Tennessee would maintain about 256.4 acres for permanent operation of the project's facilities; the remaining acreage would be restored and revert to former uses. About 105.3 acres of land would be disturbed by the construction of new compressor stations in Jackson, Morgan, Tuscarawas, and Mahoning counties, Ohio (60.3 acres would be permanently maintained for operation). Construction of the 7.6-mile-long new pipeline would disturb about 163 acres of land in Carter and Lewis Counties, Kentucky (46.3 acres would be permanently maintained for operation). Land disturbed by modifications to existing compressor stations and removal, relocation and/or installation of crossovers, taps, valves and miscellaneous pipe on Tennessee's existing pipeline would be mostly within Tennessee's existing right-of-way. The general location of the Project is shown in appendix 1.2

    2 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of 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.

    Future Use of the Abandoned Pipeline Facilities

    Following the abandonment of Tennessee's pipeline facilities, if the Commission approves the Project, Tennessee indicates that it would complete necessary work to disconnect and transfer the Abandoned Line and associated facilities to Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline, LLC (UMTP) who would convert the Abandoned Line to natural gas liquids (NGL) products transportation service (UMTP Project). These activities involving future use of the Abandoned Line are not under the FERC's jurisdiction, and therefore, are not subject to the FERC's review procedures. In the EA, we will provide available descriptions of the future use and non-jurisdictional activities, including the UMTP Project, and discuss them in our analysis of cumulative impacts.

    The EA 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 issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires us 3 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 EA on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EA.

    3 “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

    In the EA we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the proposed project under these general headings:

    • Geology and soils;

    • Land use;

    • Water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;

    • Cultural resources;

    • Vegetation and wildlife;

    • Air quality and noise;

    • Endangered and threatened species; and

    • Public safety.

    We will also evaluate reasonable alternatives to the proposed project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

    The EA will present our independent analysis of the issues. The EA will be available in the public record through eLibrary. Depending on the comments received during the scoping process, we may also publish and distribute the EA to the public for an allotted comment period. We will consider all comments on the EA before making our recommendations to the Commission. To ensure we have the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section on page 5.

    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues of this project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EA 4 . 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.

    4 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 applicable State Historic Preservation Office(s) (SHPO), and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the project's potential effects on historic properties.5 We will define the project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO(s) as the project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, and access roads). Our EA for this project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106.

    5 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's 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 of Historic Places.

    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 May 18, 2015.

    For your convenience, there are three methods which you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances please reference the project docket number (CP15-88-000) 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 feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. 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 feature 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.” 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 abandonment 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 proposed project.

    If we publish and distribute the EA, copies 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 2).

    Becoming an Intervenor

    In addition to involvement in the EA scoping process, 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 User's Guide under the “e-filing” link on the Commission's Web site.

    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 at 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., CP15-88). 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 now 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 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: April 17, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09746 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14201-001] Bison Peak Pumped Storage, LLC; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing Applications

    On January 2, 2015, the Bison Peak Pumped Storage, LLC., filed an application for a successive preliminary permit, pursuant to section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), proposing to study the feasibility of the Bison Peak Pumped Storage Project (Bison Peak Project or project) to be located in the Tehachapi Mountains south of Tehachapi, Kern County, California. The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owners' express permission.

    The proposed project would be a closed-loop pumped storage project with an upper reservoir and the applicant has proposed three alternatives for the placement of a lower reservoir, termed “West,” “South,” and “East”. Water for the initial fill of each of the alternatives would be obtained from local water agency infrastructure via a route that would be identified during studies.

    A ring dam of varying heights and a perimeter of 6,000 feet would form the project's upper reservoir. The upper reservoir would have a total storage capacity of 4,196 acre-feet and a surface area of 45.4 acres at an elevation of 7,800 feet mean sea level (msl) and a concrete lined intake/tailrace facility. The upper reservoir would be connected to one of the three proposed lower reservoir alternatives as described below.

    The West lower reservoir alternative would consist of the following: (1) The upper reservoir; (2) a 43-acre lower reservoir at 5,380 feet msl created by a dam with a crest height of 250 feet, crest length of 1,435 feet, and a storage capacity of 5,347 acre-feet; (3) four 10-foot diameter, 5,890-foot-long penstocks from the concrete lined intake/tailrace facility at the upper reservoir; (4) an underground powerhouse with four 250-megawatt (MW) reversible pump-turbines; (5) an intake/tailrace facility; and (6) appurtenant facilities. The estimated annual generation of the Bison Peak Pumped Storage Project West lower reservoir alternative would be about 2,190 gigawatt-hours.

    The South lower reservoir alternative proposal would consist of the following: (1) The upper reservoir; (2) a 41.8-acre lower reservoir at 4,875 feet msl created by a dam with a crest height of 260 feet, crest length of up to 1,285 feet, and a storage capacity of 4,616 acre-feet; (3) four 10-foot diameter, 9,420-foot-long penstocks from the concrete lined intake/tailrace facility at the upper reservoir to; (4) an underground powerhouse with four 250-megawatt (MW) reversible pump-turbines; (5) an intake/tailrace facility; and (6) appurtenant facilities. The estimated annual generation of the Bison Peak Pumped Storage Project South lower reservoir alternative would be about 2,190 gigawatt-hours.

    The East lower reservoir alternative would consist of the following: (1) The upper reservoir; (2) a 47-acre lower reservoir at 5,800 feet msl created by a dam with a crest height of 320 feet, crest length of 1,150 feet, and a storage capacity of 5,724 acre-feet; (3) three 12-foot diameter, 5,890-foot-long penstocks from the concrete lined intake/tailrace facility at the upper reservoir to; (4) an underground powerhouse with three 250-megawatt (MW) reversible pump-turbines; (5) an intake/tailrace facility; and (6) appurtenant facilities. The estimated annual generation of the Bison Peak Pumped Storage Project East lower reservoir alternative would be about 1,642 gigawatt-hours.

    Applicant Contact: Mario Lucchese, Bison Peak Pumped Storage, LLC. 9795 Cabrini Dr., Ste. 206, Burbank, CA 91504; phone: (818) 767-5552.

    FERC Contact: Matt Buhyoff; phone: (202) 502-6824.

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications: 60 days from the issuance of this notice. Competing applications and notices of intent must meet the requirements of 18 CFR 4.36.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, notices of intent, and competing applications using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14201-001.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the “eLibrary” link of Commission's Web site athttp://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14201) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: April 14, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09840 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No., CD15-23-000] Los Angeles County Public Works; Notice of Preliminary Determination of a Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility and Soliciting Comments and Motions To Intervene

    On April 14, 2015, Los Angeles County Public Works filed a notice of intent to construct a qualifying conduit hydropower facility, pursuant to section 30 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), as amended by section 4 of the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013 (HREA). The proposed M7W Pressure Reducing Station Hydroelectric Project would have an installed capacity of 215 kilowatts (kW) and would be located at the Quartz Hill Water Treatment Plant, which treats water for municipal consumption. The project would be located near the Town of Palmdale in Los Angeles County, California.

    Applicant Contact: Paul Maselbas, Los Angeles County Public Works, Waterworks Division, 900 S. Freemont Ave., Alhambra, CA 91803, (626) 300-3302.

    FERC Contact: Robert Bell, Phone No. (202) 502-6062, email: [email protected]

    Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility Description: The proposed project would consist of: (1) an existing 51-foot by 38-foot building, which will serve as the powerhouse; (2) an existing 30-inch-diameter pipe to the treatment plant; (3) one proposed turbine-generator unit with an installed capacity of 215 kW, which will replace pressure reducing valve CV5; (4) an existing 125-foot-long, 30-inch-diameter discharge pipe that delivers potable water to storage tanks for distribution to parts of the City of Palmdale, California and (5) appurtenant facilities. The proposed project would have an estimated annual generating capacity of 730 megawatt-hours.

    A qualifying conduit hydropower facility is one that is determined or deemed to meet all of the criteria shown in the table below.

    Table 1—Criteria for Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility Statutory provision Description Satisfies
  • (Y/N)
  • FPA 30(a)(3)(A), as amended by HREA The conduit the facility uses is a tunnel, canal, pipeline, aqueduct, flume, ditch, or similar manmade water conveyance that is operated for the distribution of water for agricultural, municipal, or industrial consumption and not primarily for the generation of electricity Y FPA 30(a)(3)(C)(i), as amended by HREA The facility is constructed, operated, or maintained for the generation of electric power and uses for such generation only the hydroelectric potential of a non-federally owned conduit Y FPA 30(a)(3)(C)(ii), as amended by HREA The facility has an installed capacity that does not exceed 5 megawatts Y FPA 30(a)(3)(C)(iii), as amended by HREA On or before August 9, 2013, the facility is not licensed, or exempted from the licensing requirements of Part I of the FPA Y

    Preliminary Determination: Based upon the above criteria, Commission staff preliminarily determines that the proposal satisfies the requirements for a qualifying conduit hydropower facility, which is not required to be licensed or exempted from licensing.

    Comments and Motions to Intervene: Deadline for filing comments contesting whether the facility meets the qualifying criteria is 45 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    Deadline for filing motions to intervene is 30 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    Anyone may submit comments or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210 and 385.214. Any motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified deadline date for the particular proceeding.

    Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: All filings must (1) bear in all capital letters the “COMMENTS CONTESTING QUALIFICATION FOR A CONDUIT HYDROPOWER FACILITY” or “MOTION TO INTERVENE,” as applicable; (2) state in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) state the name, address, and telephone number of the person filing; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of sections 385.2001 through 385.2005 of the Commission's regulations.1 All comments contesting Commission staff's preliminary determination that the facility meets the qualifying criteria must set forth their evidentiary basis.

    1 18 CFR 385.2001-2005 (2014).

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene and comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Locations of Notice of Intent: Copies of the notice of intent can be obtained directly from the applicant or such copies can be viewed and reproduced at the Commission in its Public Reference Room, Room 2A, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The filing may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number (e.g., CD15-23000) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, call toll-free 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected] For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: April 16, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09745 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 6142-008] Bradley D. Reeves, Kevin Drone; Notice of Termination of Exemption by Implied Surrender and Soliciting Comments, Protests, and Motions To Intervene

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric proceeding has been initiated by the Commission:

    a. Type of Proceeding: Termination of exemption by implied surrender

    b. Project No.: 6142-008

    c. Date Initiated: April 16, 2015

    d. Exemptees: Bradley D. Reeves and Kevin Drone

    e. Name and Location of Project: The Dardanelles Creek Hydroelectric Project is located on the Dardanelles and Pond Creeks, in Placer County, California, on federal lands managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Bureau of Reclamation (BOR).

    f. Issued Pursuant to: 18 CFR 4.106 (Standard Article 1 of the Exemption)

    g. Exemptee Contact Information: Bradley D. Reeves, 6335 Broken Bow Court Foresthill, CA 95631, (916) 887-1443, and Kevin Drone, 22234 Todd Valley Road Foresthill, CA 95631, (530) 863-3643 Or c/o Sackheim Consulting, 5096 Cocoa Palm Way, Fair Oaks, CA 95628, (301) 401-5978.

    h. FERC Contact: M. Joseph Fayyad, (202) 502-8759, [email protected]

    i. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene and protests, is 30 days from the issuance date of this notice. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. All documents may be filed using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. Please include the project number (P-6142-008) on any comments, motions to intervene, protests, or recommendations filed.

    j. Description of Project Facilities: (1) A 5-foot-high by 20-foot-long diversion structure on Dardanelles Creek and a 2-foot-high by 8-foot-long diversion structure on Pond Creek; (2) a 8-inch-diameter, 4,000-foot-long conduit from Dardanelles Creek, and a 2-foot-wide, 2,700-foot-long ditch from Pond Creek; (3) a settling basin, 60-foot-long, 30-foot-wide, and 8-foot-deep; (4) a 6-inch-diameter, 1,660-foot-long penstock; (5) a powerhouse with a single Canyon turbine unit rated at 224 kilowatts (kW), and connected to a Toshiba induction generator rated at 240 kW; and (6) appurtenant facilities.

    k. Description of Proceeding: The exemptee is in violation of Standard Article 1 of its exemption, which was granted on October 8, 1982 (21 FERC ¶62,018). Article 1 provides, among other things, that the Commission may terminate an exemption if any term or condition of the exemption is violated.

    Commission records show The Dardanelles Creek Hydroelectric Project has been non-operational since before 2009. The project is located on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and has ongoing compliance issues with both agencies. By letter dated September 26, 2011, BLM copied the Commission on a fully executed duplicate original 5-year license (permit to use federal lands) to Mr. Bradley Reeves, exemptee for the project. On October 17, 2011, Mr. Reeves advised the Commission that he had sold the project to Mr. Kevin Drone as of September 15, 2011. By letter dated October 28, 2011, to the new owner, Mr. Drone, the Commission requested the filing of documentation he has the rights to use or occupy the federal lands affected by the project, and a plan and schedule for making the project operational. On March 6, 2012, Mr. Drone filed a letter with the Commission stating he declined the exemption transfer until Mr. Reeves resolves non-compliance and outstanding debt liability issues. Commission, BLM, and BOR staff has tried to contact both parties. The parties have shown no movement towards restoring project operation or removing abandoned equipment, and no longer claim ownership of the project. Last correspondence with Mr. Reeves was returned with no forwarding address. The Commission is pursuing an implied surrender of the exemption due to noncompliance with its Standard Article 1. Doing so will also facilitate the BLM and/or the BOR efforts to pursue legally the current and/or the previous owner of the project.

    l. This notice is available for review and reproduction at the Commission in the Public Reference Room, Room 2A, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the Docket number (P-6142-008) excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the notice. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call toll-free 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected] For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments and Protests—Anyone may submit comments, protests or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210 and 385.211. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified deadline date for the particular proceeding.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents—Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS, PROTEST, or MOTION TO INTERVE”, as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the project number of the proceeding to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person commenting or protesting; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, protests, or motion to intervene must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). All comments or protests should relate to project works which are the subject of the termination of exemption. A copy of any protest must be served upon each representative of the exemptee specified in item g above. A copy of all other filings in reference to this notice must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    p. Agency Comments—Federal, state, and local agencies are invited to file comments on the described proceeding. If any agency does not file comments within the time specified for filing comments, it will be presumed to have no comments.

    Dated: April 16, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09751 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF15-3-000] Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Mountain Valley Pipeline Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings

    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 Mountain Valley Pipeline Project (MVP Project) involving construction and operation of natural gas facilities by Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC (Mountain Valley), a joint venture between affiliates of EQT Corporation and NextEra Energy, Inc., in West Virginia and Virginia. For further details about the project facilities and locations, see “Summary of the Proposed Project” below. The Commission will use this EIS in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity.

    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the project. 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. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EIS. 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 June 16, 2015.

    If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the opening of the docket on October 27, 2014, you will need to re-file those comments in Docket No. PF15-3-000 to ensure they are considered as part of this proceeding. Any comments submitted after the establishment of a project docket do not need to be re-filed.

    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.

    If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a Mountain Valley representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the planned facilities. The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if the Commission approves the project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with state law.

    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.

    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 June 16, 2015.

    For your convenience, there are four methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the project docket number (PF15-3-000) 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 feature located on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents & Filings. 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 feature located on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents & 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. 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.

    (4) In lieu of sending written or electronic comments, the Commission invites you to attend one of the public scoping meetings its staff will conduct in the project area, scheduled as follows.

    FERC Public Scoping Meetings—MVP Project Date and time Location Monday, May 4, 2015, 7:00 p.m. James Monroe High School, Route 1, Lindside, WV 24951 Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 7:00 p.m. Eastern Montgomery High School, 4695 Crozier Road, Elliston, VA 24087 Thursday, May 7, 2015, 7:00 p.m. Chatham High School, 100 Cavalier Circle, Chatham, VA 24531 Monday, May 11, 2015, 7:00 p.m. Robert C. Byrd Center, 992 North Fork Road, Pine Grove, WV 26419 Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 7:00 p.m. West Virginia University Jackson's Mill, 160 WVU Jackson Mill, Weston, WV 26452 Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 7:00 p.m. Nicholas County High School, 30 Grizzly Road, Summersville, WV 26651

    We 1 will begin our sign-up of speakers one hour prior to the start of each meeting (at 6:00 p.m.). The scoping meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m., with a description of our environmental review process by Commission staff, after which speakers will be called. Each meeting will end once all speakers have provided their comments or when our contracted time for the facility closes. Please note that there may be a time limit of three minutes to present comments, and speakers should structure their comments accordingly. If time limits are implemented, they will be strictly enforced to ensure that as many individuals as possible are given an opportunity to comment. The meetings will be recorded by a stenographer to ensure comments are accurately recorded. Transcripts will be entered into the formal record of the Commission proceeding. The Commission will give equal consideration to all comments received, whether filed in written form or provided verbally at the scoping meeting.

    1 “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

    Mountain Valley representatives will be present one hour prior to the start of the scoping meetings to provide additional information about the project and answer questions.

    Summary of the Planned Project

    The MVP Project would involve the construction and operation of about 294 miles of 42-inch-diameter buried steel pipeline in Wetzel, Harrison, Doddridge, Lewis, Braxton, Webster, Nicholas, Greenbrier, Fayette, Summers, and Monroe Counties, West Virginia and Giles, Montgomery, Roanoke, Franklin, and Pittsylvania Counties in Virginia. The pipeline would originate at Equitrans, L.P.'s existing transmission system in Wetzel County, West Virginia and terminate at the existing Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company LLC's existing Zone 5 Compressor Station 165 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Additional facilities would include 4 new compressor stations in Wetzel, Braxton, and Fayette Counties, West Virginia and Montgomery County, Virginia; 4 new meter stations; 49 main line valves, and 6 pig 2 launchers and/or receivers.

    2 A “pig” is an internal tool that the pipeline company inserts into and pushes through the pipeline for cleaning, inspections, or other purposes.

    The MVP Project would provide about 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day to markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. The general location of the project facilities are shown in appendix 1.3

    3 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

    Construction of the planned facilities would disturb about 5,458 acres of land for the pipeline and aboveground facilities, not including temporary access roads which are not yet determined. Following construction, Mountain Valley would maintain about 2,687 acres for permanent operation of the project's facilities, not including permanent access roads; the remaining acreage would be restored and revert to former uses. About 15 percent of the planned pipeline route parallels existing pipeline, utility, and road rights-of-way.

    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 issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. The NEPA also requires us 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 (including verbal comments presented at the public scoping meetings) during the preparation of the EIS.

    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;

    • Water resources and wetlands;

    • Vegetation and wildlife;

    • Cultural resources;

    • Land use, recreation, and visual resources;

    • Socioeconomics;

    • Air quality and noise;

    • Cumulative impacts; and

    • Public safety.

    As part of our analysis under the NEPA, we will consider or recommend measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate impacts on specific resources. We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the planned project or portions of the project. Mountain Valley has proposed a number of alternatives, developed through the company's route selection process or identified by stakeholders, in draft Resource Report 10 filed with the FERC in Docket No. PF15-3-000 on April 14, 2015. During scoping, we are specifically soliciting comments on the range of alternatives for the project.

    Although no formal application has been filed, we have already initiated our environmental 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 a formal application from Mountain Valley. During the pre-filing process, we contacted federal and state agencies to discuss their involvement in scoping and the preparation of the EIS.

    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.4 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. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Jefferson National Forest (USFS); U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington and Norfolk Districts; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 3; U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; West Virginia Department of Natural Resources; and West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection expressed their intention to participate as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS.

    4 The Council on Environmental Quality implementing regulations for the NEPA addresses cooperating agency responsibilities at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6.

    The EIS will present our independent analysis of the issues. We will publish and distribute a 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.

    Proposed Actions of the USFS

    The USFS is participating as a cooperating agency because the MVP Project would cross the Jefferson National Forest in West Virginia and Virginia. As a cooperating agency, the USFS intends to adopt the EIS per Tile 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1506.3 to meet its responsibilities under the NEPA regarding Mountain Valley's planned application to the USFS for a Right-of-Way Grant and Temporary Use Permit for crossing federally administered lands. The USFS additionally will assess how the planned pipeline conforms to the directions contained in the Jefferson National Forest's Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP). Changes in the LRMP could be required if the pipeline is authorized across the National Forest. The EIS will provide the documentation to support any needed amendments to the LRMP.

    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 applicable State Historic Preservation Offices, and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the project's potential effects on historic properties.5 We will define the project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPOs as the project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, 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.

    5 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation implementing regulations for the National Historic Preservation Act 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 of Historic Places.

    Currently Identified Environmental Issues

    We have already identified several issues that we think deserve attention in the EIS, from our preliminary review of the planned facilities, environmental information provided by Mountain Valley, and comments by stakeholders. This preliminary list of issues may change based on your comments and our further analyses. These issues include:

    • Karst terrain, sinkholes, and caves;

    • Domestic water sources, wells, springs, and waterbodies;

    • Forested areas;

    • Federally-listed threatened and endangered species, including mussels and bats;

    • National Register of Historic Places listed Rural Historic Districts and other historic properties;

    • Appalachian Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, and other scenic by-ways;

    • Residential developments and property values;

    • Tourism and recreation;

    • Local infrastructure and emergency response systems;

    • Public safety;

    • Operational noise from planned compressor stations; and

    • Alternatives and their potential impacts on a range of resources.

    Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Indian tribes and Native American organizations; 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 provides a mailing addressed when they submit 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 2).

    Becoming an Intervenor

    Once Mountain Valley files its formal 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 User's Guide under the e-filing link on the Commission's Web site. Please note that the Commission will not accept requests for intervenor status during the pre-filing process. You must wait until the Commission receives a formal application for the project from Mountain Valley, and the FERC issues a Notice of Application.

    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., PF15-3). 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 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: April 17, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09748 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP15-169-000] Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Notice of Application

    Take notice that on April 13, 2015, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company LLC (Transco), 2800 Post Oak Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77056, filed in the above referenced docket an application pursuant to section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA), to amend the certificate of public convenience and necessity granted by the Commission by order issued on March 19, 2015 in the reference proceeding, which order authorized Transco's Rock Spring Expansion Project (Project). The amendment seeks authorization to amend the Project's certificate to incorporate a minor route modification of approximately 0.69 miles in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The filing is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC at [email protected] or call toll-free, (886) 208-3676 or TYY, (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions concerning this application may be directed to Bill Hammons, P.O. Box 1396, Houston, Texas 77251, by telephone at (713) 215-2130.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules (18 CFR 157.9), within 90 days of this Notice, the Commission staff will either: complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    There are two ways to become involved in the Commission's review of this project. First, any person wishing to obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings for this project should, on or before the comment date stated below file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211) and the Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.10). A person obtaining party status will be placed on the service list maintained by the Secretary of the Commission and will receive copies of all documents filed by the applicant and by all other parties. A party must submit five copies of filings made in the proceeding with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party. Only parties to the proceeding can ask for court review of Commission orders in the proceeding.

    However, a person does not have to intervene in order to have comments considered. The second way to participate is by filing with the Secretary of the Commission, as soon as possible, an original and two copies of comments in support of or in opposition to this project. The Commission will consider these comments in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but the filing of a comment alone will not serve to make the filer a party to the proceeding. The Commission's rules require that persons filing comments in opposition to the project provide copies of their protests only to the party or parties directly involved in the protest.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commentors will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commentors will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commentors will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Comment Date: April 24, 2015.

    Dated: April 14, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09838 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Interconnection of the Grande Prairie Wind Farm, Holt County, Nebraska (DOE/EIS-0485) AGENCY:

    Western Area Power Administration, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Record of Decision.

    SUMMARY:

    Western Area Power Administration (Western) received a request from Grande Prairie Wind, LLC (Grande Prairie Wind), a subsidiary of Geronimo Wind Energy, LLC d.b.a. Geronimo Energy, LLC to interconnect their proposed Grande Prairie Wind Farm (Project) to Western's power transmission system. The proposed interconnection point would be on Western's existing Fort Thompson to Grand Island 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line, approximately seven miles east of the town of O'Neill in Holt County, Nebraska. The Project would be built on private and State cropland and pasture.

    On January 16, 2015, the Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Interconnection of the Grande Prairie Wind Farm, Holt County, Nebraska (DOE/EIS-0485) was published in the Federal Register (80 FR 2414). After considering the environmental impacts, Western has decided to execute an interconnection agreement with Grande Prairie Wind to interconnect the proposed Project to Western's transmission system and to construct, own, and operate a new switchyard adjacent to its Fort Thompson to Grand Island 345-kV transmission line to accommodate that interconnection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information, please contact Mr. Rod O'Sullivan, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 281213, Lakewood, CO 80228-8213, telephone (720) 962-7260, fax (720) 962-7263, or email: [email protected] For general information on DOE's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process, please contact Carol M. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance, GC-54, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC 20585, telephone (202) 586-4600 or (800) 472-2756, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Western is a Federal agency under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that markets and transmits wholesale electrical power through an integrated 17,000-circuit mile, high-voltage transmission system across 15 central and western states. Western's Open Access Transmission Service Tariff (Tariff) provides open access to its electric transmission system. Considering the requester's objectives, Western provides transmission services if there is sufficient available capacity and the reliability of the transmission system is maintained.

    Proposed Federal Action

    Western's Proposed Federal Action is to execute an interconnection agreement with Grande Prairie Wind to interconnect the proposed Project to Western's transmission system and to construct, own, and operate a new switchyard adjacent to its Fort Thompson to Grand Island 345-kV transmission line to accommodate that interconnection.

    Grande Prairie Wind's Proposed Project

    Grande Prairie Wind proposes to construct and operate a 400-megawatt (MW) wind energy generation facility in Holt County in northern Nebraska. The proposed Project would interconnect to Western's 345-kV Fort Thompson to Grand Island transmission line at a new switchyard constructed, owned and operated by Western. The Project area would occupy approximately 54,250 acres in portions of Willowdale, Antelope, Grattan, Iowa, Scott, and Steel Creek Townships. Grande Prairie Wind proposes to build up to 266 wind turbines, up to 85 miles of access roads, an underground electrical power collection system, collector substations, a step-up substation, a 14-mile overhead transmission line, meteorological towers, maintenance buildings, and other associated ancillary facilities. Grande Prairie Wind proposes to begin construction as early as spring 2015. The life of the Project is anticipated to be a minimum of 20 years.

    Description of Alternatives

    Under its Proposed Action Alternative, Western would execute an interconnection agreement with Grande Prairie Wind to interconnect their proposed Project to Western's transmission system and to construct, own, and operate a new switchyard adjacent to its Fort Thompson to Grand Island 345-kV transmission line to accommodate that interconnection. Grande Prairie Wind would construct and operate the 400-MW Project northeast of O'Neill in Holt County, Nebraska.

    Under the No Action Alternative, Western would not enter into an interconnection agreement and would not construct a switchyard for the proposed Project interconnection. Although Grande Prairie Wind could still construct and operate their Project, the wind farm would need to rely on different means of power transmission. For purposes of the NEPA analysis, the No Action Alternative assumed the proposed Project would not be built. Western has identified the No Action alternative as its environmentally preferred alternative as there would likely be no new impacts. Grande Prairie Wind's objectives relating to renewable energy development would not be met.

    Public Involvement

    The public and interested parties were notified of the proposed Project and public comment opportunity through a Notice of Intent published in the Federal Register on April 16, 2012 (77 FR 22569). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a NOA of the Draft EIS in the Federal Register on June 20, 2014 (79 FR 35346). The public comment period closed on August, 4, 2014. On January 16, 2015, the EPA published a NOA of the Final EIS for the Project in the Federal Register (80 FR 2414).1

    1 The Final EIS can be found on Western's Web site at: http://www.wapa.gov/ugp/Environment/documents/FEIS_GrandePrairie_2014-12-29.pdf.

    Each official notification published in the Federal Register was accompanied concurrently by direct mailings of notices to State and Federal agencies, Tribal governments, landholders and interested parties, and widely distributed local notices and advertisements.

    Mitigation

    The design features, best management practices (BMPs), and avoidance and minimization measures are considered an integral part of the proposed Project to be implemented by Grande Prairie Wind as requirements of their agreements with their construction contractors. These design features, BMPs, and avoidance and minimization measures described in detail in the Final EIS reflect all practicable means to avoid or minimize environmental harm from Grande Prairie Wind's Project and Western's proposed action.

    Each resource section in the Final EIS provides specific mitigation measures to address potential impacts of the proposed Project on that resource and can be reviewed in detail in chapter 4 of the Final EIS. Western's decision to execute an interconnection agreement considers Grande Prairie Wind's commitments to implement these design features, BMPs, and avoidance and minimization measures, along with the attendant reduction in environmental impacts that would result from their implementation. A Mitigation Action Plan is not required for Western's proposed action.

    Endangered Species Act

    Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 United States Code [U.S.C.] 1531 et seq.) requires Federal agencies to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on their Federal actions and how they may affect federally listed threatened or endangered species. Western requested concurrence with their Biological Assessment, Formal Conferencing on the Project's effects on Northern Long Eared Bat, and Formal Consultation on the Project's effects on the American Burying Beetle by letter on October 1, 2014. Subsequently, the USFWS issued its Biological Opinion on March 24, 2015, and a separate Conferencing Opinion on March 30, 2015.

    National Historic Preservation Act

    Final cultural resource reports and effects determination were sent to the Nebraska State Historical Preservation Officer (SHPO) and were subsequently approved. A Memorandum of Agreement addressing effects to properties on or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places for the preservation of eligible properties was signed by Grand Prairie Wind, the SHPO, and Western on March 25, 2015, in compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act.

    Comments on the Final EIS

    One comment was received by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In their February 17, 2015, letter, EPA recommended additional alternatives be considered in Western's future NEPA documents.

    Decision

    Western's decision is to execute an interconnection agreement with Grande Prairie Wind to interconnect their proposed Project to Western's transmission system and to construct, own, and operate a new switchyard adjacent to its Fort Thompson to Grand Island 345-kV transmission line to accommodate that interconnection.2 Western's decision to grant this interconnection request satisfies the agency's statutory mission and Grande Prairie Wind's objectives while minimizing harm to the environment. Full implementation of this decision is contingent upon Grande Prairie Wind's obtaining all other applicable permits and approvals as well as executing an interconnection agreement in accordance with Western's Tariff. This decision is based on the information contained in the Interconnection of the Grande Prairie Wind Farm Final EIS. This ROD was prepared pursuant to the requirements of the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508) and DOE's NEPA Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021).

    2 On November 16, 2011, DOE's Acting General Counsel restated the delegations to Western's Administrator of all the authorities of the General Counsel respecting Environmental Impact Statements.

    Dated: April 20, 2015. Mark A. Gabriel, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09938 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2013-0811; FRL 9926-56-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Disclosure Requirements (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA has submitted the following information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA): “Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Disclosure Requirements (Renewal),” identified by EPA ICR No. 1710.07 and OMB Control No. 2070-0151. The ICR, which is available in the docket along with other related materials, provides a detailed explanation of the collection activities and the burden estimate that is briefly summarized in this document. EPA did not receive any comments in response to the previously provided public review opportunity issued in the Federal Register on July 24, 2014 (79 FR 71603). With this submission, EPA is providing an additional 30 days for public review.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before May 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2013-0811, to both EPA and OMB as follows:

    • To EPA online using http://www.regulations.gov (our preferred method) or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    • To OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the docket without change, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI), or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Colby Lintner, Environmental Assistance Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Mail code: 7408-M, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-554-1404; fax number: 202-564-8251; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Docket: Supporting documents, including the ICR that explains in detail the information collection activities and the related burden and cost estimates that are summarized in this document, are available in the docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is (202) 566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    ICR status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on April 30, 2015. Under OMB regulations, the Agency may continue to conduct or sponsor the collection of information while this submission is pending at OMB.

    Under PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., 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 are displayed either by publication in the Federal Register or by other appropriate means, such as on the related collection instrument or form, if applicable. The display of OMB control numbers for certain EPA regulations is consolidated in 40 CFR part 9.

    Abstract: Section 1018 of the Residential Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (42 U.S.C. 4852d) requires that sellers and lessors of most residential housing built before 1978 disclose known information on the presence of lead based paint and lead based paint hazards, and provide an EPA approved pamphlet to purchasers and renters before selling or leasing the housing. Sellers of pre-1978 housing are also required to provide prospective purchasers with ten days to conduct an inspection or risk assessment for lead based paint hazards before obligating purchasers under contracts to purchase the property. The rule does not apply to rental housing that has been found to be free of lead-based paint, zero-bedroom dwellings, housing for the elderly, housing for the handicapped, or short term leases.

    Responses to the collection of information are mandatory (see 40 CFR part 745, subpart F, and 24 CFR part 35, subpart H). Respondents may claim all or part of a response confidential. EPA will disclose information that is covered by a claim of confidentiality only to the extent permitted by, and in accordance with, the procedures in TSCA section 14 and 40 CFR part 2.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Persons engaged in selling or leasing certain residential dwellings built before 1978, or who are real estate agents representing such parties.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory.

    Estimated number of respondents: 39,645,600.

    Frequency of response: On occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 6,467,176 hours per year. Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $125,683,576 per year, includes $0 annualized capital or operation and maintenance costs.

    Changes in the estimates: There is a decrease of 470,154 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with that identified in the ICR currently approved by OMB. This decrease reflects a gradual reduction in the annual number of real estate sales involving target housing subject to the rule's requirements and an overall decrease in real estate sales. There has also been a notable decrease in the overall growth of the real estate agent profession which reduces the number of new entrants who have start-up burden and cost related to this ICR activity. While the number of property rentals increased over the past year, fewer parties are involved in those transactions so the increases in the rental market were not enough to offset the decrease in the sales market in terms of burden and cost related to this ICR.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09847 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0486; FRL 9926-20-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Lead-Based Paint Pre-Renovation Information Dissemination (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted a new information collection request (ICR), “Lead-Based Paint Pre-Renovation Information Dissemination (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1669.07, OMB Control No. 2070-0158) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through April 30, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (79 FR 78084) on December 29, 2014, during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A full description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before May 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0486, to (1) EPA online using http://www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Colby Lintner, Environmental Assistance Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Mail code: 7408-M, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-554-1404; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents, which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting, are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: This information collection involves third-party notification to owners and occupants of housing that will inform such individuals about the dangers of lead-contaminated dust and lead-based paint debris that are sometimes generated during renovations of housing where lead-based paint is present, thereby aiding them in avoiding potentially hazardous exposures and protecting public health. Since young children are especially susceptible to the hazards of lead, owners and occupants with children can take action to protect their children from lead poisonings. Section 406(b) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires EPA to promulgate regulations requiring certain persons who perform renovations for compensation on target housing to provide a lead hazard information pamphlet (developed under TSCA section 406(a)) to the owner and occupants of such housing prior to beginning the renovation. Further, the firm performing the renovation must keep records acknowledging receipt of the pamphlet on file for three years after completion of work. Those who fail to provide the pamphlet or keep records as required may be subject to both civil and criminal sanctions.

    Responses to the collection of information are mandatory (see 40 CFR part 745, subpart E). Respondents may claim all or part of a response confidential. EPA will disclose information that is covered by a claim of confidentiality only to the extent permitted by, and in accordance with, the procedures in TSCA section 14 and 40 CFR part 2.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Certain persons performing renovations of target housing, constructed prior to 1978, for compensation.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory.

    Estimated number of respondents: 320,504 (total).

    Frequency of response: On occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 2,577,280 hours per year. Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $140,498,539 per year, includes $0 annualized capital or operation and maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is no change in the total estimated respondent burden compared with that identified in the ICR currently approved by OMB.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09846 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL9926-89-OW] Notice of a Public Meeting and Webinar: Input on Potential Actions To Prepare for and Respond to Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces an opportunity for public input on potential actions states and public water systems can take to prepare for and respond to cyanotoxin health risks in drinking water. The Agency is holding a public meeting for interested parties to provide input either in person or online via a webinar. EPA is preparing Cyanotoxin Health Advisories and seeks to engage with stakeholders on other information the Agency can provide to best support states and public water systems in addressing cyanotoxin public health concerns in drinking water.

    DATES:

    The public meeting will be held on May 11, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Savings Time. Registration and check-in begins at 9:30 a.m. Persons wishing to attend the meeting in person or online via webinar must register by May 8, 2015, as described in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will be held at Potomac Yard South Building, 1st Floor Conference Center (One Potomac Yard, 2777 S. Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202). All attendees must show government-issued photo identification (e.g., a driver's license) when signing in. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to allow time to clear security. This meeting will also be simultaneously broadcast as a webinar, available on the Internet.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Members of the public who wish to receive further information about the public meeting or have questions about this notice should contact Hannah Holsinger at (202) 564-0403 or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information

    a. How may I participate in this meeting/webinar? Persons wishing to attend the meeting in person or online via the webinar must register in advance no later than 5:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Savings Time, on May 8, 2015. To register, go online to Eventbrite at http://us-epa-cyanotoxins-drinking-water-public-meeting.eventbrite.com. Teleconferencing will be available for individuals participating via the webinar. The number of seats and webinar connections available for the meeting is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Early registration is strongly encouraged to ensure proper accommodations. EPA will do its best to include all those interested in either meeting in person or via the webinar.

    b. How can I get a copy of the meeting/webinar materials? Prior to the public meeting, the meeting materials will be sent by email to the registered attendees; copies will also be available for attendees at the meeting. For persons unable to attend the meeting, please contact Jini Mohanty at [email protected] to request meeting materials.

    c. Special Accommodations: Individuals with disabilities who wish to attend the meeting in person can request special accommodations by contacting Jini Mohanty at [email protected] no later than May 8, 2015.

    II. Background

    Cyanobacteria are naturally occurring organisms similar to algae. These organisms can occur in fresh water and may rapidly multiply causing “blooms” under favorable conditions. Conditions that enhance bloom formation and persistence include light intensity and duration, nutrient availability (such as nitrogen and phosphorus), water temperature, pH and water column stability. Some blooms produce cyanotoxins such as microcystin, cylindrospermopsin and anatoxin-a, which can be a health concern. For additional background information on cyanotoxins in drinking water, please go to: http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-08/documents/cyanobacteria_factsheet.pdf.

    EPA is developing health advisories for two cyanotoxins: microcystin and cylindrospermopsin. A health advisory is an estimate of acceptable drinking water levels for a contaminant based on health effects and other information, and also provides recommended analytical and treatment techniques. Health advisories are intended to assist federal, state, and local officials and public water system managers in achieving public health goals. A health advisory is not a legally enforceable standard under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

    The focus of this public meeting is to gather input on additional information the Agency can provide to states and public water systems to help them prepare for and respond to potential cyanotoxin health concerns in drinking water.

    Dated: April 20, 2015. Peter Grevatt, Director, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09891 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OA-2007-0706; FRL-9924-59-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; State Small Business Stationary Source Technical and Environmental Compliance Assistance Programs (SBTCP) Annual Reporting Form (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “State Small Business Stationary Source Technical and Environmental Compliance Assistance Programs (SBTCP) Annual Reporting Form (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1748.10, OMB Control No. 2060-0337) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through May 31, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (79 FR 73576) on December 11, 2014 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before May 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OA-2007-0706, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected]. Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paula Hoag, Office of Small Business Programs, (1230A), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-566-2496; fax number 202-566-0266; email address: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: As part of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the U.S. Congress required that each state establish a Small Business Stationary Source Technical and Environmental Compliance Assistance Program to assist small business in compliance with the Act. These programs are generally known as Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs (SBEAPs). EPA's Small Business Ombudsman must oversee the overall 507 program and be able to provide the Congress with periodical reports on the effectiveness, difficulties encountered and other relevant information about the program. Each state will submit requested information to EPA for compilation and summarization. This collection of information will assist the EPA Ombudsman with its requirement to monitor the effectiveness of small businesses as authorized under section 507(a), (d) and (e) of the Clean Air Act as amended in 1990, Public Law 101-549, November 15, 1990. Information that is collected is aggregated and is not of a confidential nature. None of the information collected by this action results in/or requests sensitive information of any nature from the states.

    Form Numbers: 6500-03.

    Respondents/affected entities: State and/or state appointed entities of the 507 program.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (section 507, parts (a), (d) and (e)).

    Estimated number of respondents: 53 (total).

    Frequency of response: Annual.

    Total estimated burden: 2,120 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $112,106 (per year), includes $0 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is no change of hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09853 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0735; FRL-9924-76] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), this document announces that EPA is planning to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The ICR, entitled: “Pre-Manufacture Review Reporting and Exemption Requirements for New Chemical Substances and Significant New Use Reporting Requirements for Chemical Substances” and identified by EPA ICR No. 0574.17 and OMB Control No. 2070-0012, represents the renewal of an existing ICR that is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2015. Before submitting the ICR to OMB for review and approval, EPA is soliciting comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection that is summarized in this document. The ICR and accompanying material are available in the docket for public review and comment.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0735, by one of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Document Control Office (7407M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information contact: Greg Schweer, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-8469; email address: [email protected]

    For general information contact: The TSCA-Hotline, ABVI-Goodwill, 422 South Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620; telephone number: (202) 554-1404; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. What information is EPA particularly interested in?

    Pursuant to PRA section 3506(c)(2)(A) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), EPA specifically solicits comments and information to enable it to:

    1. Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility.

    2. Evaluate the accuracy of the Agency's estimates of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used.

    3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

    4. Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. In particular, EPA is requesting comments from very small businesses (those that employ less than 25) on examples of specific additional efforts that EPA could make to reduce the paperwork burden for very small businesses affected by this collection.

    II. What information collection activity or ICR does this action apply to?

    Title: Pre-Manufacture Review Reporting and Exemption Requirements for New Chemical Substances and Significant New Use Reporting Requirements for Chemical Substances.

    ICR number: EPA ICR No. 0574.17.

    OMB control number: OMB Control No. 2070-0012.

    ICR status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on December 31, 2015. 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 EPA's regulations in title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), after appearing in the Federal Register when approved, are listed in 40 CFR part 9, are displayed either by publication in the Federal Register or by other appropriate means, such as on the related collection instrument or form, if applicable. The display of OMB control numbers for certain EPA regulations is consolidated in 40 CFR part 9.

    Abstract: Section 5 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires manufacturers (defined by TSCA to include importers) of new chemical substances to submit to EPA notice of intent to manufacture a new chemical substance 90 days before manufacture begins. EPA reviews the information contained in the notice to evaluate the health and environmental effects of the new chemical substance. On the basis of the review, EPA may take further regulatory action under TSCA, if warranted. If EPA takes no action within 90 days, the submitter is free to manufacture the new chemical substance without restriction.

    TSCA section 5 also authorizes EPA to issue Significant New Use Rules (SNURs). EPA uses this authority to take follow-up action on new or existing chemicals that may present an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment if used in a manner that may result in different and/or higher exposures of a chemical to humans or the environment. Once a use is determined to be a significant new use, persons must submit a notice to EPA 90 days before beginning manufacture or processing of a chemical substance for that use. Such a notice allows EPA to receive and review information on such a use and, if necessary, regulate the use before it occurs. Finally, TSCA section 5 also permits applications for exemption from section 5 review under certain circumstances. An applicant must provide information sufficient for EPA to make a determination that the circumstances in question qualify for an exemption. In granting an exemption, EPA may impose appropriate restrictions. This information collection addresses the reporting and recordkeeping requirements associated with TSCA section 5.

    Responses to the collection of information are mandatory (see 40 CFR parts 700, 720, 721, 723 and 725). Respondents may claim all or part of a document confidential. EPA will disclose information that is covered by a claim of confidentiality only to the extent permitted by, and in accordance with, the procedures in TSCA section 14 and 40 CFR part 2.

    Burden statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to range between 0.725 hours and 508 hours per response, depending upon the type of response. Burden is defined in 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    The ICR, which is available in the docket along with other related materials, provides a detailed explanation of the collection activities and the burden estimate that is only briefly summarized here:

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Entities potentially affected by this ICR are companies that manufacture or process chemical substances.

    Estimated total number of potential respondents: 372.

    Frequency of response: On occasion.

    Estimated total average number of responses for each respondent: 11.3.

    Estimated total annual burden hours: 102,846 hours.

    Estimated total annual costs: $35,722,737. This includes an estimated burden cost of $35,722,737 and an estimated cost of $0 for capital investment or maintenance and operational costs.

    III. Are there changes in the estimates from the last approval?

    There is a decrease of 14,316 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with that identified in the ICR currently approved by OMB. This decrease reflects EPA's revision of the expected number of annual submissions, from 2,126 to 1,907, with a corresponding decrease in the associated burden. This change is an adjustment.

    IV. What is the next step in the process for this ICR?

    EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as appropriate. The final ICR package will then be submitted to OMB for review and approval pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.12. EPA will issue another Federal Register document pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.5(a)(1)(iv) to announce the submission of the ICR to OMB and the opportunity to submit additional comments to OMB. If you have any questions about this ICR or the approval process, please contact the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: April 19, 2015. James Jones, Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09882 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OARM-2011-0748; FRL-9924-62-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Monthly Progress Reports (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “Monthly Progress Reports (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1039.14, OMB Control No. 2030-0005) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through May 31, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (80 FR 6703) on February 6, 2015 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before May 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OARM-2011-0748, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas Valentino, Policy Training and Oversight Division, Office of Acquisition Management, (3802R), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-564-4522; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: Government surveillance of contractor performance is required to give reasonable assurance that efficient methods and effective cost controls are being used for various cost-reimbursable and fixed-rate contracts. Per 48 CFR 1552.211 regulations, the Agency on a monthly basis requires contractors to provide the Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) with a report detailing: a) what was accomplished on the contract for that period, b) expenditures for the same period of time, and c) what is expected to be accomplished on the contract for the next month. Responses to the information collection are mandatory for contractors and are required for the contractors to receive monthly payments.

    Form Numbers: 1900-68.

    Respondents/affected entities: Private contractors.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (48 CFR 1552.211).

    Estimated number of respondents: 266 (total).

    Frequency of response: Monthly.

    Total estimated burden: 77,406 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b)

    Total estimated cost: $7,207,568 (per year), includes $39,900 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is an increase of 16,506 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. This is due to an increase in the number of contracts that are being awarded.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09837 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2015-0078; FRL-9923-84] Notice of Availability of Work Plan Chemical Problem Formulation and Initial Assessment for 1,4-Dioxane; Request for Public Comment AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    With this notice, EPA is announcing that it will be publishing a problem formulation and initial assessment or data needs assessment document for each TSCA Work Plan Chemical prior to conducting further risk analysis. This notice is also announcing the availability of a problem formulation and initial assessment document for the Work Plan Chemical 1,4-Dioxane and opening the 60-day public comment period for the document. Based on experience in conducting TSCA Work Plan Chemical assessments to date and stakeholder feedback, starting in 2015 EPA will publish a problem formulation and initial assessment or data needs assessment for each TSCA Work Plan Chemical as a stand-alone document to facilitate public and stakeholder input prior to conducting further risk analysis. EPA believes publishing problem formulations and initial assessments for TSCA Work Plan Chemicals will increase transparency about EPA's thinking and analysis process, provide opportunity for the public and stakeholders to comment on EPA's approach and provide the opportunity to receive additional information/data to supplement or refine the assessment approach prior to EPA conducting detailed risk analysis and risk characterization.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2015-0078, by one of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Document Control Office (7407M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information contact: Stanley Barone, Risk Assessment Division (7403M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-1169; email address: [email protected]

    For general information contact: The TSCA-Hotline, ABVI-Goodwill, 422 South Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620; telephone number: (202) 554-1404; email address: [email protected]

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

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including those interested in environmental and human health; the chemical industry; chemical users; consumer product companies and members of the public interested in the assessment of chemical risks. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action.

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    II. What action is the Agency taking?

    EPA is announcing that it will be publishing a problem formulation and initial assessment or data needs assessment document for each TSCA Work Plan Chemical prior to conducting further risk analysis. Based on experience in conducting TSCA Work Plan Chemical assessments to date and stakeholder feedback, starting in 2015 EPA will publish a problem formulation and initial assessment or data needs assessment document for each TSCA Work Plan Chemical as a stand-alone document. A problem formulation and initial assessment document will serve to inform the public and other interested stakeholders about EPA's initial scoping of findings and plan for any further risk assessment. Problem formulation and initial assessment is the analytical phase of the assessment in which the purpose for the assessment is articulated, the problem defined and a plan for analyzing and characterizing risk is determined.

    Outcomes of a problem formulation and initial assessment are: (a) Conceptual Model—including a visual representation and written description of actual or predicted relationships between chemicals and human or wildlife; (b) Analysis Plan—describing the intentions regarding the technical aspects of the risk assessment. In some instances, as a result of problem formulation and initial assessment, EPA identifies data gaps (uses, exposure pathways, toxicity data) so significant as to prevent conducting a meaningful risk assessment. In these cases, EPA will publish a Data Needs Assessment document and provide opportunity for the public and stakeholders to comment, identify or provide data or information that may fill identified data gaps prior to EPA pursing data collection via TSCA authorities.

    To facilitate public and stakeholder input prior to conducting further risk analysis, EPA will open a public docket for receiving comments, data or information from interested stakeholders when it publishes each problem formulation and initial assessment or data needs assessment document. EPA believes publishing problem formulation and initial assessment documents for TSCA Work Plan Chemicals will increase transparency of EPA's thinking and analysis process, provide opportunity for the public and stakeholders to comment on EPA's approach and provide additional information or data to supplement or refine assessment approaches prior to EPA conducting detailed risk analysis and risk characterization. Following receipt of comments on the problem formulation and initial assessment document and consideration of any additional data or information received, EPA will initiate a risk assessment which is the process to estimate the nature and probability of adverse health and environmental effects in humans and ecological receptors from chemical contaminants that may be present in the environment.

    EPA is also announcing the availability of the TSCA Work Plan Chemical Problem Formulation and Initial Assessment for 1,4-Dioxane for public comment. 1,4-Dioxane is the first chemical for which EPA is releasing a problem formulation and initial assessment document under the TSCA Work Plan Chemical Assessment Program. 1,4-Dioxane is a chemical that is used primarily as a solvent in the manufacture of other chemicals. 1,4-Dioxane is also found as an impurity in anti-freeze and aircraft deicing fluids and in some consumer products [deodorants, shampoos, and cosmetics] (ATSDR 2012; EPA 2006; Mohr 2001). During problem formulation and initial assessment, EPA reviewed previous assessments by EPA and other organizations and additional published studies on the exposure and hazard of 1,4-Dioxane. EPA examined likely exposure and hazard scenarios based on current production, use, and fate information to identify scenarios amenable to a risk analysis. The data available and scenarios evaluated for conducting a risk assessment are provided in EPA's TSCA Work Plan Chemical Problem Formulation and Initial Assessment for 1,4-Dioxane. The conclusions of the problem formulation and initial assessment are: (a) EPA will further assess potential risks to workers exposed during product formulation and use as a cleaning agent; (b) EPA will further assess potential risks to workers and consumers exposed during the use of TSCA-use products that contain 1,4-Dioxane as a contaminant, such as paints, varnishes, adhesives, cleaners and detergents; (c) Risk to the general population through inhalation exposure to ambient air emissions is estimated to be low; (d) An assessment of risk from exposure through drinking water is not needed at this time because 1,4-Dioxane is currently being monitored and EPA will determine whether or not regulatory action is needed as part of its Regulatory Determination Process; (e) Based on the low hazard profile for 1,4-Dioxane to aquatic organisms, risks to these organisms are expected to be low. EPA does not have the hazard data needed to determine if there are risks to sediment and soil organisms. Therefore, further analysis of environmental risk is not planned. EPA plans to review and evaluate the results of previous exposure assessments and health benchmarks for this chemical. As a result, EPA/OPPT will develop margins of exposure and cancer risk estimates to evaluate the potential risks from worker and consumer exposure to 1,4-Dioxane. Use the docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2015-0078 to locate a copy of the 1,4-Dioxane problem formulation and initial assessment document, as well as to submit comments via http://www.regulations.gov.

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.

    Dated: April 21, 2015. Wendy C. Hemnett, Director, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09888 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0519] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before June 29, 2015. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email to [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0519.

    Title: Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991, CG Docket No. 02-278.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; Individuals or households; Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 34,948 respondents; 147,368,997 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: .004 hours (15 seconds) to 1 hour.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement; Annual, on occasion and one-time reporting requirements; Third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for the information collection requirements is found in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), Public Law 102-243, December 20, 1991, 105 Stat. 2394, which added section 227 of the Communications Act of 1934, [47 U.S.C. 227] Restrictions on the Use of Telephone Equipment.

    Total Annual Burden: 666,138 hours. Total Annual Cost: $2,745,000.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Confidentiality is an issue to the extent that individuals and households provide personally identifiable information, which is covered under the FCC's system of records notice (SORN), FCC/CGB-1, “Informal Complaints and Inquiries.” As required by the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, the Commission also published a SORN, FCC/CGB-1 “Informal Complaints, Inquiries, and Requests for Dispute Assistance”, in the Federal Register on August 15, 2014 (79 FR 48152) which became effective on September 24, 2014. A system of records for the do-not-call registry was created by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under the Privacy Act. The FTC originally published a notice in the Federal Register describing the system. See 68 FR 37494, June 24, 2003. The FTC updated its system of records for the do-not-call registry in 2009. See 74 FR 17863, April 17, 2009.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: Yes.

    Needs and Uses: The reporting requirements included under this OMB Control Number 3060-0519 enable the Commission to gather information regarding violations of section 227 of the Communications Act, the Do-Not-Call Implementation Act (Do-Not-Call Act), and the Commission's implementing rules. If the information collection was not conducted, the Commission would be unable to track and enforce violations of section 227 of the Communications Act, the Do-Not-Call Act, or the Commission's implementing rules. The Commission's implementing rules provide consumers with several options for avoiding most unwanted telephone solicitations.

    The national do-not-call registry supplements the company-specific do-not-call rules for those consumers who wish to continue requesting that particular companies not call them. Any company that is asked by a consumer, including an existing customer, not to call again must honor that request for five (5) years.

    A provision of the Commission's rules, however, allows consumers to give specific companies permission to call them through an express written agreement. Nonprofit organizations, companies with whom consumers have an established business relationship, and calls to persons with whom the telemarketer has a personal relationship are exempt from the “do-not-call” registry requirements.

    On September 21, 2004, the Commission released the Safe Harbor Order establishing a limited safe harbor in which persons will not be liable for placing autodialed and prerecorded message calls to numbers ported from a wireline service within the previous 15 days. The Commission also amended its existing National Do-Not-Call Registry safe harbor to require telemarketers to scrub their lists against the Registry every 31 days.

    On December 4, 2007, the Commission released the DNC NPRM seeking comment on its tentative conclusion that registrations with the Registry should be honored indefinitely, unless a number is disconnected or reassigned or the consumer cancels his registration.

    On June 17, 2008, in accordance with the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007, the Commission revised its rules to minimize the inconvenience to consumers of having to re-register their preferences not to receive telemarketing calls and to further the underlying goal of the National Do-Not-Call Registry to protect consumer privacy rights. The Commission released a Report and Order in CG Docket No. 02-278, FCC 08-147, amending the Commission's rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to require sellers and/or telemarketers to honor registrations with the National Do-Not-Call Registry so that registrations will not automatically expire based on the current five year registration period. Specifically, the Commission modified section 64.1200(c)(2) of its rules to require sellers and/or telemarketers to honor numbers registered on the Registry indefinitely or until the number is removed by the database administrator or the registration is cancelled by the consumer.

    On February 15, 2012, the Commission released a Report and Order in CG Docket No. 02-278, FCC 12-21, revising its rules to: (1) require prior express written consent for all autodialed or prerecorded telemarketing calls to wireless numbers and for all prerecorded telemarketing calls to residential lines; (2) eliminate the established business relationship exception to the consent requirement for prerecorded telemarketing calls to residential lines; (3) require telemarketers to include an automated, interactive opt-out mechanism in all prerecorded telemarketing calls, to allow consumers more easily to opt out of future robocalls during a robocall itself; and (4) require telemarketers to comply with the 3% limit on abandoned calls during each calling campaign, in order to discourage intrusive calling campaigns.

    Finally, the Commission also exempted from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act requirements prerecorded calls to residential lines made by health care-related entities governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Office of the Managing Director.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09799 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Federal Advisory Committee Act; Downloadable Security Technology Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, this notice advises interested persons that the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC or Commission) Downloadable Security Technology Advisory Committee (DSTAC) will hold meetings on May 13, 2015, July 7, 2015, and August 4, 2015. At the May and July meetings, the committee will discuss Working Group reports and any other topics related to the DSTAC's work that may arise. At the August meeting, the committee will discuss and consider a full draft report and any other topics related to the DSTAC's work that may arise.

    DATES:

    May 13, 2015; July 17, 2015; August 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Federal Communications Commission, Room TW-C305 (Commission Meeting Room), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information on this proceeding, contact Brendan Murray, [email protected], of the Media Bureau, Policy Division, (202) 418-1573 or Nancy Murphy, [email protected], of the Media Bureau, (202) 418-1043.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The meetings will be held on May 13, 2015, July 7, 2015, and August 4, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room of the Federal Communications Commission, Room TW-C305, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    The DSTAC is a Federal Advisory Committee that will “identify, report, and recommend performance objectives, technical capabilities, and technical standards of a not unduly burdensome, uniform, and technology- and platform-neutral software-based downloadable security system.”

    The meetings on May 13, 2015, July 7, 2015, and August 4, 2015 will be the fourth, fifth, and sixth meetings of the DSTAC. The FCC will attempt to accommodate as many attendees as possible; however, admittance will be limited to seating availability. The Commission will provide audio and/or video coverage of the meeting over the Internet from the FCC's Web page at http://www.fcc.gov/live. The public may submit written comments before the meeting to Brendan Murray, DSTAC Designated Federal Officer, by email to [email protected] or by U.S. Postal Service Mail to 445 12th Street SW., Room 4-A726, Washington, DC 20554.

    Open captioning will be provided for this event. Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Requests for such accommodations should be submitted via email to [email protected] or by calling the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (tty). Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed. In addition, please include a way the FCC can contact you if it needs more information. Please allow at least five days' advance notice; last-minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill.

    Federal Communications Commission.

    Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09783 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0986] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before June 29, 2015. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0986.

    Title: Competitive Carrier Line Count Report and Self-Certification as a Rural Carrier.

    Form Number: FCC Form 481, FCC Form 505, FCC Form 507, FCC Form 508, FCC Form 509, and FCC Form 525.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

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

    Number of Respondents: 1,957 respondents; 12,885 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: .5 hours to 100 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion, quarterly and annual reporting requirements, recordkeeping requirement and third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151-154, 155, 201-206, 214, 218-220, 251, 252, 254, 256, 303(r), 332, 403, 405, 410, and 1302.

    Total Annual Burden: 266,868 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: N/A.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: This information collection does not affect individuals or households; thus, there are no impacts under the Privacy Act.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: We note that USAC must preserve the confidentiality of all data obtained from respondents; must not use the data except for purposes of administering the universal service programs; and must not disclose data in company-specific form unless directed to do so by the Commission.

    Needs and Uses: On November 18, 2011, the Commission released an order reforming its high-cost universal service support mechanisms. Connect America Fund; A National Broadband Plan for Our Future; Establish Just and Reasonable Rates for Local Exchange Carriers; High-Cost Universal Service Support; Developing a Unified Intercarrier Compensation Regime; Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service; Lifeline and Link-Up; Universal Service Reform—Mobility Fund, WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 07-135, 05-337, 03-109; GN Docket No. 09-51; CC Docket Nos. 01-92, 96-45; WT Docket No. 10-208, Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 17663 (2011) (USF/ICC Transformation Order); and the Commission and Wireline Competition Bureau have since adopted a number of orders that implement the USF/ICC Transformation Order; see also Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Third Order on Reconsideration, 27 FCC Rcd 5622 (2012); Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Order, 27 FCC Rcd 605 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2012); Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Fifth Order on Reconsideration, 27 FCC Rcd 14549 (2012); Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Order, 28 FCC Rcd 2051 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2013); Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Order, 28 FCC Rcd 7227 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2013). The Commission has received OMB approval for most of the information collections required by these orders. At a later date the Commission plans to submit additional revisions for OMB review to address other reforms adopted in the orders (e.g., 47 CFR 54.313(a)(11)). The revision proposed here contains information collection requirements already reviewed and approved by OMB. Specifically, the Commission proposes to merge the existing universal service information collection requirements from OMB Control No. 3060-1188 into this control number. The Commission proposes to add FCC Form 505, currently approved under collection 3060-1188, to this information collection. There are no changes to the currently approved FCC Form 505. The Commission also proposes certain changes to FCC Form 481 and its instructions as a result of merging the information collection requirements contained in 3060-0986 and 3060-1188. These changes include revising FCC Form 481 and its instructions to incorporate the certifications and census block data collection requirements for certain recipients of Connect America Phase I incremental support that are currently approved under collection 3060-1188. The Commission also proposes to reduce the number of respondents for reporting and certification requirements related to Connect America Phase I incremental support to reflect the number of price cap carriers that actually accepted such support. Once the Commission receives OMB approval to merge the requirements contained in 3060-1188 under this control number, the Commission will discontinue 3060-1188.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Office of the Managing Director.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09798 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION [Petition No. P2-15] Petition of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. for Initiation of Rulemaking; Notice of Filing and Request for Comments

    Notice is hereby given that the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (“Petitioner”), has petitioned the Commission pursuant to 46 CFR 502.51, 502.74 and 502.76 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, to initiate a rulemaking to revise the Commission's regulations in 46 CFR part 532, NVOCC Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRAs) to: (1) allow inclusion of economic terms beyond rates in NRAs, and (2) permit NRAs to be modified at any time upon mutual agreement between a Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) and shipper; and revise 46 CFR part 531, NVOCC Negotiated Service Arrangements (NSAs), to either eliminate the filing and essential terms publication requirement of NSAs or eliminate 46 CFR part 531 in its entirety.

    In order for the Commission to make a thorough evaluation of the Petition, interested persons are requested to submit views or arguments in reply to the Petition no later than June 8, 2015. Commenters must send an original and 5 copies to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, 800 North Capitol Street NW., Washington, DC 20573-0001, and be served on Petitioner's counsel, Edward D. Greenberg, GKG Law, P.C., 1055 Thomas Jefferson Street NW., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20007. A PDF copy of the reply must also be sent as an attachment to [email protected]

    If the reply contains confidential information, the confidential filing should not be submitted by email. A confidential filing must be submitted to the Secretary in hard copy only, and be accompanied by a transmittal letter that identifies the filing as “Confidential-Restricted” and describes the nature and extent of the confidential treatment requested. The material for which confidentiality is claimed should be clearly marked on each page. A public version must also be filed that excludes the confidential materials, and must indicate on the cover page and on each affected page “Confidential materials excluded.” The Commission will provide confidential treatment to the extent allowed by law for confidential submissions, or parts of submissions, for which confidentiality has been requested. The Petition will be posted on the Commission's Web site at http://www.fmc.gov/p2-15. Replies filed in response to the Petition will also be posted on the Commission's Web site at this location.

    Karen V. Gregory, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09833 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    FEDERAL MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION SERVICE Labor-Management Relations Information Collection Requests AGENCY:

    Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

    ACTION:

    60-Day notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burden of arbitrators and parties that request arbitration services in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites the general public and other Federal Agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection requests. The information collection requests are FMCS forms: Arbitrator's Report and Fee Statement (Agency Form R-19), Arbitrator's Personal Data Questionnaire (Agency Form R-22), and Request for Arbitration Panel (Agency Form R-43). These information collection requests were previously approved by the Office of Management Budget (OMB), and we are requesting a reinstatement without change to the collections. These information collection requests were assigned the OMB control numbers 3076-0001, 3076-0002, and 3076-0003.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written comments by mail to the Office of Arbitration Services, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, 2100 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20427 or by contacting the person whose name appears under the section headed FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Comments may be submitted also by fax at (202) 606-3749 or electronic mail (email) to [email protected] All comments must be identified by the appropriate agency form number.

    No confidential business information (CBI) should be submitted through email. Information submitted as a comment concerning this document may be claimed confidential by marking any part or all of the information as “CBI”. Information so marked will not be disclosed but a copy of the comment that does contain CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public record. Information not marked confidential may be disclosed publicly by FMCS without prior notice. All written comments will be available for inspection in Room 704 at the Washington, DC address above from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Arthur Pearlstein, Director of Arbitration Services, FMCS, 2100 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20427. Telephone (202) 606-5111; Fax (202) 606-3749.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Copies of each of the agency forms are available from the Office of Arbitration Services by calling, faxing or writing to Arthur Pearlstein at the address above. Please ask for the form by title and agency form number.

    I. Information Collection Requests

    FMCS is seeking comments on the following information collection requests contained in FMCS agency forms.

    Agency: Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

    Form Number: OMB No. 3076-0001.

    Name of Form: Arbitrator's Personal Data Questionnaire (FMCS form R-22).

    Type of Request: Reinstatement of a collection without change in the substance or method of collection.

    Affected Entities: Individuals who apply for admission to the FMCS Roster of Arbitrators.

    Frequency: Individuals complete this form once, which is at the time of application to the FMCS Roster of Arbitrators.

    Abstract: Title II of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 (Pub. L. 90-101) as amended in 1959 (Pub. L. 86-257) and 1974 (Pub. L. 93-360), states that it is the labor policy of the United States that “the settlement of issues between employers and employees through collective bargaining may be advanced by making available full and adequate governmental facilities for conciliation, mediation, and voluntary arbitration to aid and encourage employers and representatives of their employees to reach and maintain agreements concerning rates of pay, hours, and working conditions, and to make all reasonable efforts to settle their differences by mutual agreement reached through conferences and collective bargaining or by such methods as may be provided for in any applicable agreement for the settlement of disputes” 29 U.S.C. 201(b). Under its regulations at 29 CFR part 1404, FMCS has established policies and procedures for its arbitration function dealing with all arbitrators listed on the FMCS Roster of Arbitrators, all applicants for listing on the Roster, and all person or parties seeking to obtain from FMCS either names or panels of names of arbitrators listed on the Roster in connection with disputes which are to be submitted to arbitration or fact-finding. FMCS strives to maintain the highest quality of dispute resolution experts on its Roster. To ensure that purpose, it asks all candidates to complete an application form. The purpose of this collection is to gather information about applicants for inclusion in the Roster of Arbitrators. This collection is needed to evaluate applicants and to select among the applicants highly qualified individuals for inclusion on the Roster. Without this collection, FMCS will be unable to maintain or expand its Roster. The respondents are private citizens who make application for appointment to the Roster.

    Burden: The number of respondents is approximately 100 individuals per year, which is the approximate number of individuals who request membership on the FMCS Roster. The time required to complete this questionnaire is approximately one hour. Each respondent is required to respond only once per application and to update the information as necessary.

    Agency: Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service

    Form Number: OMB No. 3076-0003

    Name of Form: Arbitrator's Report and Fee Statement (FMCS Form R-19)

    Type of Request: Reinstatement of a collection without change in the substance or method of collection.

    Affected Entities: Individual arbitrators who render decisions under FMCS arbitration policies and procedures.

    Frequency: This form is completed each time an arbitrator hears an arbitration case and issues a decision.

    Abstract: Pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 171(b) and 29 CFR part 1404, FMCS assumes a responsibility to monitor the work of the arbitrators who serve on its Roster. This is satisfied by requiring the completion and submission of a Report and Fee Statement, which indicates when the arbitration award was rendered, the file number, the company and union, the issues, whether briefs were filed and transcripts taken, if there were any waivers by parties on the date the award was due, and the fees and days for services of the arbitrator. FMCS publishes this information in the agency's annual report, to inform the public about the arbitration services program and certain national trends in arbitration.

    Burden: FMCS receives approximately 1,984 responses per year. The form is filled out each time an arbitrator hears a case and the time required is approximately ten minutes. FMCS uses this form to review arbitrator conformance with its fee and expense reporting requirements.

    Agency: Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service

    Form Number: OMB No. 3076-0002

    Type of Request: Reinstatement of a collection without change in the substance or method of collection.

    Name of Form: Request for Arbitration Panel (FMCS Form R-43)

    Affected Entities: Employers and their representatives, and labor unions, their representatives and employees, who request arbitration services.

    Frequency: This form is completed each time an employer or labor union requests a panel of arbitrators.

    Abstract: Pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 171(b) and 29 CFR part 1404, FMCS offers panels of arbitrators for selection by labor and management to resolve grievances and disagreements arising under their collective bargaining agreements and to deal with fact finding and interest arbitration issues as well. This form is used to obtain information such as the parties' names, addresses, and the type of assistance needed. FMCS uses this information to compile panels, selecting arbitrators based in part on such factors as dispute location and issue expertise. The purpose of this information collection is to facilitate the processing of the parties' request for arbitration assistance. No third party notification or public disclosure burden is associated with this collection.

    Burden: The current total annual burden estimate is that FMCS will receive requests from approximately 13,179 respondents per year. The form takes about 10 minutes to complete.

    II. Request for Comments

    FMCS solicits comments to:

    (i) Evaluate whether the proposed collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility.

    (ii) Enhance the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden of the proposed collection of information.

    (iii) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

    (iv) Minimize the burden of the collections of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic collection technologies or other forms of information technology.

    III. The Official Record

    The official record is the paper electronic record maintained at the address at the beginning of this document. FMCS will transfer all electronically received comments into printed-paper form as they are received.

    List of Subjects

    Labor-Management Relations, Employee Management Relations, and Information Collection Requests.

    Dated: April 23, 2015. Jeannette Walters-Marquez, Attorney Advisor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09831 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6732-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than May 22, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (Colette A. Fried, Assistant Vice President) 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60690-1414:

    1. Wintrust Financial Corporation, Rosemont, Illinois; to merge with Suburban Illinois Bancorp, Inc., and thereby indirectly acquire voting shares of Suburban Bank & Trust Company, both in Elmhurst, Illinois.

    B. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (Yvonne Sparks, Community Development Officer) P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, Missouri 63166-2034:

    1. Connections Bancshares, Inc., Ashland, Missouri; to become a bank holding company by acquiring 100 percent of the voting shares of Calvert Financial Corporation, and thereby indirectly acquire voting shares of Mainstreet Bank, both in Ashland, Missouri.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, April 23, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09848 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 3090-0262; Docket 2015-0001; Sequence 9] General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Information Collection; Identification of Products With Environmental Attributes AGENCY:

    Office of Acquisition Policy, General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for comments regarding an extension of a previously existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement regarding identification of products with environmental attributes.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before: June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by Information Collection 3090-0262, Identification of Products with Environmental Attributes, by any of the following methods:

    • Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by inputting “Information Collection 3090-0262, Identification of Products with Environmental Attributes”, under the heading “Enter Keyword or ID” and selecting “Search”. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “Information Collection 3090-0262, Identification of Products with Environmental Attributes”. Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 3090-0262, Identification of Products with Environmental Attributes” on your attached document.

    • Fax: 202-501-4067.

    • Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Flowers/IC 3090-0262, Identification of Products with Environmental Attributes.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 3090-0262, Identification of Products with Environmental Attributes, in all correspondence related to this collection. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Dana Munson, Procurement Analyst, General Services Acquisition Policy Division, GSA, at telephone 202-357-9652 or via email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    The General Services Administration (GSA) requires contractors holding Multiple Award Schedule Contracts to identify in their GSA price lists those products that they market commercially that have environmental attributes in accordance with GSAR clause 552.238-72. The identification of these products will enable Federal agencies to maximize the use of these products and meet the responsibilities expressed in statutes and executive orders.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 9,000.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 9,000.

    Hours per Response: 1.

    Total Burden Hours: 9,000.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate and based on valid assumptions and methodology; and ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 3090-0262, Identification of Products with Environmental Attributes, in all correspondence.

    Dated: April 21, 2015. Jeffrey A. Koses, Senior Procurement Executive, Director, Office of Acquisition Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09844 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-61-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-IDMO-2015-01; Docket No. 2015-0002; Sequence 7] GSA's Digital Innovation and Strategy Hack-A-Thon AGENCY:

    General Services Administration (GSA), GSA IT, Office of Digital Innovation and Strategy.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The purpose of this notice is to announce a software programming and data innovation competition hosted by GSA's Office of Digital Innovation and Strategy that will be held on May 8, 2015. The competition details can be viewed at http://open.gsa.gov/Digital-Innovation-Hackathon/. The goal of this competition is to ask the public and academia to develop smart technology solutions in the form of an application, Application Programming Interface (API), and/or data mashup that has the capability to providing GSA with key insights and recommendations for future enhancements. GSA will challenge software developers and designers to create a solution using sample GSA data.

    DATES:

    Registration for the event will close Tuesday, May 5, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). The competition will be open on Friday, May 8, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

    ADDRESSES:

    Registration: Registration for this event will be accomplished online at the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-general-services-administration-gsa-hack-a-thon-tickets-15637828165. The event space is limited to the first 120 people; once registration is complete, participants will receive a confirmation email.

    Event Location: 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, Conference Center. A government-issued ID shall be required to gain access into the building. All participants must enter through the main entrance located on 18th Street.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Cindy A. Smith at [email protected] or 816-823-5291.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose: In this competition, the public is asked to develop a technology-driven solution using GSA data that allows an agency to identify opportunities for improvements and transparency. As such, GSA challenges the public to create a solution using GSA data that could be replicated across government to every agency, using their own data. Sample data sets with GSA data will be provided.

    Details of Challenge: Design and create a digital interactive solution in the form of an application, Application Programming Interface (API), and/or data mashup that utilizes federal data collected by GSA. The technology solution should be innovative! GSA does not want an analysis tool that tells what is already known. This should be a forward-thinking solution that enhances transparency.

    The solution should be a data-driven solution to provide meaningful insights that can help drive smarter decisions by federal employees. The ultimate goal is to help federal agencies use data to its fullest, share data with all agencies, and become transparent to the American Public.

    The solution should accomplish two tasks:

    1. Visually display or transmit data in a way that will enhance the way GSA works; and

    2. Through analysis of the data identify relationships if they exist, and provide valuable insights that could be gained through improved data collection efforts.

    GSA will assign teams randomly based on the number of participants on the day of the event. No pre-determined team arrangements will be permitted. Modification to team make-up may occur based on team skill make-up at the direction of the competition host.

    Data: Participants will be provided current GSA public data sets to use in designing their solution on the day of the event. Prior to the event, the GitHub page, open.gsa.gov/Digital-Innovation-Hackathon/, will be updated with project details and criteria.

    Hackathon projects may include the following:

    • IAE CO Dashboard—A Dashboard that pulls together Contract Report Data, with Vendor information along with Contract Performance information in one location.

    • Travel Tool—Improvements/Enhancements to the existing Tool.

    • Public Data Listing Formatting on GitHub—A new way to view all of GSA's data assets.

    • Socio-Economic Advisor—Access to specific Vendor data (Products, Services, etc.).

    • Energy Use/Cost by Building/Effect on TSS—Identify drivers and relationships.

    Eligibility for Challenge: Eligibility to participate in the GSA Digital Innovation and Strategy competition and win a prize is limited to entities/individuals:

    1. That have registered to participate in the competition and complied with the rules of the competition as explained in this posting; and

    2. That have been incorporated in and maintains a primary place of business in the United States, and in the case of an individual, whether participating singly or in a group, the participant must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.

    Participants may not be a federal entity or federal employee acting within the scope of employment. However, an individual or entity shall not be deemed ineligible because the individual or entity used federal facilities or consulted with federal employees during a competition if the facilities and employees are made available to all individuals and entities participating in the competition on an equitable basis.

    Participants agree to assume any and all risks and waive claims against the Federal Government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from participation in this competition, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arose through negligence or otherwise. Participants also agree to obtain liability insurance or demonstrate financial responsibility, to cover a third party for death, bodily injury, property damage, or loss resulting from an activity carried out in connection with participation in this competition.

    Participants are hereby advised that diligent care must be taken to avoid the appearance of government endorsement of competition participation and submission. Moreover, as is customary when doing business with the Federal Government, participants may not refer to GSA's use of your submission (be it product or service) in any commercial advertising or similar promotions in a manner that states or implies that the product or service being used is endorsed or preferred by GSA or any other element of the Federal Government, or that the Federal Government considers it to be superior to other products or services. The intent of this policy is to prevent the appearance of Federal Government bias toward any one product or service. Participants agree that GSA's trademarks, logos, service marks, trade names, or the fact that GSA awarded a prize to a Participant, shall not be used by the Participant to imply direct GSA endorsement of Participant or Participant's submission. Both Participants and GSA may list the other party's name in a publicly available customer or other list so long as the name is not displayed in a more prominent fashion than any other third-party name.

    Prizes: GSA may award up to three team prizes $1,000 to each member of a winning team. GSA is not required to award all prizes if the judges determine that a smaller number of entries meet the scope and requirements laid out for this competition, or if the Agency plans to only use code from a smaller number of entries. Funding for this GSA Digital Innovation and Strategy competition award will come from GSA. Prizes will be awarded to the winner(s) of the competition via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), within 60 days of announcement of the winner(s).

    Requirements: The final solution should be open source code and placed on GSA's GitHub site to be specified to participants the day of the event. “Open source” refers to a program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design free of charge. In order to be Open Source Initiative Certified, the solution must meet the following ten criteria:

    1. The author or holder of the license of the source code cannot collect royalties on the distribution of the program;

    2. The distributed program must make the source code accessible to the user;

    3. The author must allow modifications and derivations of the work under the program's original name;

    4. No person, group, or field of endeavor can be denied access to the program;

    5. The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program being part of a particular software distribution;

    6. The licensed software cannot place restrictions on other software that is distributed with it;

    7. The solution must be an online, interactive solution that meets the goals and objectives provided in this document;

    8. The solution must include documentation of all data sources used;

    9. The solution must include a description of how the solution can be updated with additional data from other agencies; and

    10. The solver must provide recommendations to enhance Government insights through improvements in data collection.

    The winner(s) of the competition will, in consideration of the prize(s) to be awarded, grant to GSA a perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use any and all intellectual property to the winning entry for any governmental purpose, including the right to permit such use by any other agency or agencies of the Federal Government. All other rights of the winning entrant will be retained by the winner of the competition.

    Scope: Any federal data and information that is publicly available is included in the scope of this challenge. Summary-level sample data will be provided.

    Judges: There will be three Judges, each with expertise in Government-Wide Policy, Travel, Information Technology, and/or Acquisition. Judges will award a score to each submission. The winner(s) of the competition will be decided based on the highest average overall score. Judges will only participate in judging submissions for which they do not have any conflicts of interest.

    Judging Criteria: A panel of judges will assess each solution based on technical competence and capabilities, use of GSA data to provide effective outcomes, creativity/innovation, and valuable information and insights.

    Submissions will be judged based on the following Metrics:

    Criteria Technical Competence and Capabilities/Weight 50%

    Description—The solution addresses the primary goals of the Hack-a-thon. It is a finished product that can provide insightful analysis and show GSA how to enhance/improve existing functions, share data across GSA and more efficiently utilize existing applications.

    Use of Data To Provide Effective Outcomes/Weight 20%

    Description—The solution displays in a way that is easy to understand, visually appealing, and will help drive understanding of current trends as well as recommendations.

    Creativity/Innovation/Weight 10%

    Description—The solution exceeds any internal capability that GSA has for analysis of data through its incorporation of creative design elements and innovative capabilities.

    Valuable Information and Insights Regarding Data/Weight 20%

    Description—The solver provides recommendations for additional data elements to be collected by the government. The solver identifies gaps in the data and utilizes external data sources and research to aid the Government in setting future data collection policies.

    Challenge Goal and Objectives

    Goal: Design and build an application, API, and/or data mashup while using GSA data that solves one of five GSA business problems provided at the Hack-a-thon.

    Objectives:

    —Utilize GSA data to create an application, API, and/or data mashup. —Provide GSA a better understanding of use and needs of current and future data assets. —Post all open source solutions on GitHub for future use by the government developer community and GSA.

    Registration: Registration for this event will be accomplished online at the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-general-services-administration-gsa-hack-a-thon-tickets-15637828165. It shall remain open until Tuesday, May 5, 2015, at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST). The event space is limited to the first 120 people; once registration is complete you shall receive a confirmation email.

    All participants are required to check in with Security upon arriving at the GSA Central Office Building, 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. A government-issued ID is required to gain access into the building. All participants must enter through the main entrance located on 18th Street.

    Proceed through Security and follow the posted signs to the Conference Center, Rooms 1459-1461.

    Check in at the Registration table on Friday, May 8, 2015, beginning at 9:00 a.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST). All participants must stop here to sign the required forms shown below:

    • Gratuitous Service Agreement.

    Dated: April 22, 2015. Kris Rowley, Director, Enterprise Information & Data Mgmt Ofc.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09843 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30 Day-15-0792] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The notice for the proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address any of the following: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice should be directed to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

    Proposed Project

    Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-NET) Program (OMB No. 0920-0792, expired 1/31/2015)—Reinstatement—National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    The CDC is requesting OMB approval for a reinstatement (with changes) of this generic information collection plan. Due to the uncertainty about whether the EHS-Net program would receive continued funding, NCEH submitted a discontinuation request for this plan on January 23, 2015. This reinstatement will provide clearance for EHS-Net data collections conducted in the next three years to support a research program focused on identifying the environmental causes of foodborne illness.

    This program is conducted by the Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net), a collaborative project of CDC, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and local and state sites. To date, EHS-Net has conducted four studies under this generic information collection plan. The data from these studies have yielded valuable findings and have been disseminated to environmental public health/food safety regulatory programs and the food industry in the form of presentations at conferences and meetings, scientific journal publications, and Web site postings.

    NCEH intends to conduct EHS-Net data collections from 2015 through 2018 (approximately one per year). The program is revising the generic information collection request (ICR) to account for a likely change in the participating sites, to reduce the estimated burden, and to eliminate ineffective sample weighting analyses.

    Reducing foodborne illness first requires identification and understanding of the environmental factors that cause these illnesses. We need to know how and why food becomes contaminated with foodborne illness pathogens. This information can then be used to determine effective food safety prevention methods. The purpose of this food safety research program is to identify and understand environmental factors associated with foodborne illness and outbreaks.

    Environmental factors associated with foodborne illness include both food safety practices (e.g., inadequate cleaning practices) and the factors in the environment associated with those practices (e.g., worker and retail food establishment characteristics). To understand these factors, we need to continue to collect data from those who prepare food (i.e., food workers) and on the environments in which the food is prepared (i.e., retail food establishment kitchens). Thus, data collection methods for this generic package include: (1) manager and worker interviews/assessments, and (2) observation of kitchen environments. Both methods allow data collection on food safety practices and environmental factors associated with those practices.

    For each data collection, we will collect data in approximately 47 retail food establishments per site. Thus, there will be approximately 376 establishments per data collection (an estimated 8 sites X 47 establishments). We expect a manager/establishment response rate of approximately 60 percent; thus, we will need to attempt to recruit 627 managers/establishments via telephone in order to meet our goal of 376 establishments. Each manager will respond to the recruiting script only once for approximately three minutes. Thus, the maximum burden for the manager recruiting attempts will be 31 hours. We will collect interview/assessment data from a manager in each establishment. Each manager will respond only once for approximately 30 minutes. Thus, the maximum burden for the manager interview/assessment will be 188. In total, the average burden for managers will be 219 hours (31 hours for recruiting plus 188 hours for the interview/assessment).

    For each data collection, we will recruit a worker from each participating establishment to provide interview/assessment data. Each worker will respond to the recruiting script only once for approximately three minutes. Thus, the maximum burden for the worker recruiting attempts will be 19 hours. We expect a worker response rate of 90 percent (339 workers). Each worker will respond only once for approximately 10 minutes. Thus, the maximum burden for the worker interview/assessment will be 57 hours. In total, the average burden per worker response will be 88 hours (19 hours for recruiting plus 57 hours for the interview/assessment).

    There is no cost to respondents other than their time. The total estimated annual burden for each data collection will be 295 hours.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Retail managers Manager Telephone Recruiting Script 627 1 3/60 Retail managers Manager Interview/Assessment 376 1 30/60 Retail food workers Worker Recruiting Script 376 1 3/60 Retail food workers Worker Interview/Assessment 339 1 10/60
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09785 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifier: CMS-10433] Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS' intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, and to allow a second opportunity for public comment on the notice. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection(s) of information must be received by the OMB desk officer by May 28, 2015:

    ADDRESSES:

    When commenting on the proposed information collections, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be received by the OMB desk officer via one of the following transmissions:

    OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs,

    Attention: CMS Desk Officer,

    Fax Number: (202) 395-5806 OR

    Email: [email protected].

    To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following:

    1. Access CMS' Web site address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PaperworkReductionActof1995.

    2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to [email protected]

    3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term “collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires federal agencies to publish a 30-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice that summarizes the following proposed collection(s) of information for public comment:

    1. Type of Information Collection Request: Extension of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Initial Plan Data Collection to Support Qualified Health Plan (QHP) Certification and Other Financial Management and Exchange Operations; Use: As required by the CMS-9989-F, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans; Exchange Standards for Employers (77 FR 18310) (Exchange Establishment Rule), each Exchange must assume responsibilities related to the certification and offering of Qualified Health Plans (QHPs). In addition to data collection for the certification of QHPs, the reinsurance and risk adjustment programs outlined by the Affordable Care Act, detailed in 45 CFR part 153, as established by CMS-9975-F, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Standards for Reinsurance, Risk Corridors, and Risk Adjustment (77 FR 17220), have general information reporting requirements that apply to issuers, group health plans, third party administrators, and plan offerings outside of the Exchanges. Subsequent regulations for these programs including the final HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2014 and the Program Integrity: Exchange, Premium Stabilization Programs, and Market Standards; Amendments to the HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2014, and the final HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2015 provide further reporting requirements. Form Number: CMS-10433 (OMB control number 0938-1187); Frequency: Once; Affected Public: Individuals and Households, Private sector (Business or other for-profits and Not-for-profit institutions), State, Local or Tribal Governments; Number of Respondents: 900; Total Annual Responses: 900; Total Annual Hours: 150. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Jaya Ghildiyal at 301-492-5149.)

    Dated: April 23, 2015. William N. Parham, III, Director, Paperwork Reduction Staff, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09849 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifier CMS-10488] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS' intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information (including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information) and to allow 60 days for public comment on the proposed action. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding our burden estimates or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    When commenting, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be submitted in any one of the following ways:

    1. Electronically. You may send your comments electronically to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for “Comment or Submission” or “More Search Options” to find the information collection document(s) that are accepting comments.

    2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address:

    CMS, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Division of Regulations Development, Attention: Document Identifier/OMB Control Number ______, Room C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

    To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following:

    1. Access CMS' Web site address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PaperworkReductionActof1995.

    2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to [email protected]

    3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Contents

    This notice sets out a summary of the use and burden associated with the following information collections. More detailed information can be found in each collection's supporting statement and associated materials (see ADDRESSES).

    CMS-10488—Health Insurance Marketplace Consumer Experience Surveys: Qualified Health Plan Enrollee Experience Survey

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term “collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA requires federal agencies to publish a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice.

    Information Collection

    1. Type of Information Collection Request: Revision of a currently approved collection. Title of Information Collection: Health Insurance Marketplace Consumer Experience Surveys: Qualified Health Plan Enrollee Experience Survey; Use: Section 1311(c)(4) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop an enrollee satisfaction survey system that assesses consumer experience with qualified health plans (QHPs) offered through an Exchange. It also requires public display of enrollee satisfaction information by the Exchange to allow individuals to easily compare enrollee satisfaction levels between comparable plans. HHS established the Marketplace Survey and the QHP Enrollee Experience Survey (QHP Enrollee Survey) to assess consumer experience with the Marketplaces and the QHPs offered through the Marketplaces. The surveys include topics to assess consumer experience with the Marketplace such as enrollment and customer service, as well as experience with the health care system such as communication skills of providers and ease of access to health care services. CMS developed the surveys using the Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) principles (http://www.cahps.ahrq.gov/about.htm) and established an application and approval process for survey vendors who want to participate in collecting QHP enrollee experience data.

    The Marketplace Survey will provide (1) actionable information that the Marketplaces can use to improve performance, (2) information that CMS and state regulatory organizations can use for oversight, and (3) a longitudinal database for future Marketplace research. The CAHPS® family of instruments does not have a survey that assesses entities similar to Marketplaces, so the Marketplace Survey items were generated by the project team. The QHP Enrollee Survey, which is based on the CAHPS® Health Plan Survey, will (1) help consumers choose among competing health plans, (2) provide actionable information that the QHPs can use to improve performance, (3) provide information that regulatory and accreditation organizations can use to regulate and accredit plans, and (4) provide a longitudinal database for consumer research.

    CMS is completing two rounds of developmental testing for the surveys. The 2014 survey psychometric tests helped determine psychometric properties and provided an initial measure of performance for Marketplaces and QHPs to use for quality improvement. Based on psychometric test results, CMS further refined the questionnaires and sampling designs to conduct the 2015 beta test of each survey. CMS requests clearance for the national implementation of the QHP Enrollee Survey, beginning in 2016. The total estimated annual burden hours of national implementation of the QHP Enrollee Survey is 39,623 hours with 120,015 responses. The total annualized burden over three years for this requested information collection is 118,869 hours and the total average annualized number of responses is 360,045 responses. Form Number: CMS-10488 (0938-1221); Frequency: Annually; Affected Public: Individuals and Households, Private sector (Business or other for-profits and Not-for-profit institutions; Number of Respondents: 120,015; Total Annual Responses: 120,015; Total Annual Hours: 39,623 hours. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Nidhi Singh Shah at 301-492-5110.)

    Dated: April 23, 2015. William N. Parham, III, Director, Paperwork Reduction Staff, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09850 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS AGENCY:

    Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Secretary, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    As stipulated by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service is hereby giving notice that the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) will be holding a meeting to continue discussions and possibly develop recommendations regarding People Living with HIV/AIDS. PACHA will hold a joint session with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Health Resources and Services Administration Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treatment. This will be the first time these advisory committees have had a joint meeting. During this session, members will discuss next steps regarding National HIV/AIDS Strategy goals. On the second day of the meeting, PACHA will hear from key expert speakers regarding the Hepatitis C virus and barriers to care. The meeting will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on May 21, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to approximately 5:00 p.m. (ET) and May 22, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to approximately 12:30 p.m. (ET).

    ADDRESSES:

    On May 21, the meeting will be held at the W Downtown Hotel located at 45 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd., Atlanta, GA 30308. On May 22, the meeting will be held at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine located at 720 Westview Drive, Atlanta, GA, 30310.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Caroline Talev, Public Health Analyst, Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue SW., Room 443H, Washington, DC 20201; (202) 205-1178. More detailed information about PACHA can be obtained by accessing the PACHA Web page on the AIDS.Gov Web site at www.aids.gov/pacha.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    PACHA was established by E. O. 12963, dated June 14, 1995 as amended by E. O. 13009, dated June 14, 1996. The Council was established to provide advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary regarding programs and policies to promote effective prevention and cure of HIV disease and AIDS. The functions of the Council are solely advisory in nature.

    The Council consists of not more than 25 members. Council members are selected from prominent community leaders with particular expertise in, or knowledge of, matters concerning HIV and AIDS, public health, global health, philanthropy, marketing or business, as well as other national leaders held in high esteem from other sectors of society. Council members are appointed by the Secretary or designee, in consultation with the White House Office on National AIDS Policy. The agenda for the upcoming meeting will be posted on the AIDS.gov Web site at www.aids.gov/pacha.

    Public attendance at the meeting is limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify Caroline Talev at caroline.tal[email protected] Due to space constraints, pre-registration for public attendance is advisable and can be accomplished by contacting Caroline Talev at [email protected] by close of business on May 13, 2015. Members of the public will have the opportunity to provide comments at the meeting on May 21, 2015. Any individual who wishes to participate in the public comment session must register with Caroline Talev at [email protected] by close of business on May 13, 2015; registration for public comment will not be accepted by telephone. Individuals are encouraged to provide a written statement of any public comment(s) for accurate minute taking purposes. Public comment will be limited to two minutes per speaker. Any members of the public who wish to have printed material distributed to PACHA members at the meeting are asked to submit, at a minimum, 1 copy of the material(s) to Caroline Talev, no later than close of business on May 13, 2015.

    Dated: April 16, 2015. B. Kaye Hayes, Executive Director, Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09823 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-43-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Indian Health Service Office of Tribal Self-Governance Program; Negotiation Cooperative Agreement; Correction AGENCY:

    Indian Health Service, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Indian Health Service published a document in the Federal Register on February 18, 2015, for the FY 2015 Office of Tribal Self-Governance Program, Negotiation Cooperative Agreement Announcement. The notice contained incorrect guidance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Paul Gettys, Grant Systems Coordinator, Division of Grants Management, Indian Health Service, 801 Thompson Avenue, Suite TMP 360, Rockville, MD 20852, Telephone (301) 443-2114. (This is not a toll-free number.)

    Correction

    In the Federal Register of February 18, 2015, in FR Doc. 2015-03235, on page 8670, in the third column, from the heading “Universal Entity Identifier (UEI) Numbering System,” to just before “V. Application Review Information,” the correct language should read as follows:

    Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)

    All IHS applicants and grantee organizations are required to obtain a DUNS number and maintain an active registration in the SAM database. The DUNS number is a unique 9-digit identification number provided by D&B which uniquely identifies each entity. The DUNS number is site specific; therefore, each distinct performance site may be assigned a DUNS number. Obtaining a DUNS number is easy, and there is no charge. To obtain a DUNS number, please access it through http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform, or to expedite the process, call (866) 705-5711.

    All HHS recipients are required by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, as amended (“Transparency Act”), to report information on subawards. Accordingly, all IHS grantees must notify potential first-tier subrecipients that no entity may receive a first-tier subaward unless the entity has provided its DUNS number to the prime grantee organization. This requirement ensures the use of a universal identifier to enhance the quality of information available to the public pursuant to the Transparency Act.

    System for Award Management (SAM)

    Organizations that were not registered with Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and have not registered with SAM will need to obtain a DUNS number first and then access the SAM online registration through the SAM home page at https://www.sam.gov (U.S. organizations will also need to provide an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service that may take an additional 2-5 weeks to become active). Completing and submitting the registration takes approximately one hour to complete and SAM registration will take 3-5 business days to process. Registration with the SAM is free of charge. Applicants may register online at https://www.sam.gov.

    Additional information on implementing the Transparency Act, including the specific requirements for DUNS and SAM, can be found on the IHS Grants Management, Grants Policy Web site: https://www.ihs.go.

    Dated: April 16, 2015. Robert McSwain, Acting Director, Indian Health Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09820 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Indian Health Service Request for Public Comment: 60-Day; Proposed Information Collection: Indian Health Service; Loan Repayment Program (LRP) AGENCY:

    Indian Health Service, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments. Request for extension of approval.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et. seq.), which requires 60 days for public comment on proposed information collection projects, the Indian Health Service (IHS) invites the general public to take this opportunity to comment on the information collection Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number 0917-0014, titled, “IHS Loan Repayment Program (LRP).”

    This previously approved information collection project was last published in the Federal Register (77 FR 27467) on May 10, 2012, and allowed 30 days for public comment. No public comment was received in response to the notice. This notice announces our intent to submit this collection, which expires May 31, 2015, to OMB for approval of an extension and solicit comments on specific aspects for the proposed information collection.

    A copy of the draft supporting statement is available at www.regulations.gov (see Docket ID IHS-2015-0003).

    Proposed Collection: Title: 0917-0014, “Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program.” Type of Information Collection Request: Extension of currently approved information collection, 0917-0014, “Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program.” The LRP application is available in an electronically fillable and fileable format. Form(s): The IHS LRP Information Booklet contains the instructions and the application formats. Need and Use of Information Collection: The IHS LRP identifies health professionals with pre-existing financial obligations for education expenses that meet program criteria and who are qualified and willing to serve at, often remote, IHS health care facilities. Under the program, eligible health professionals sign a contract through which the IHS agrees to repay part or all of their indebtedness in exchange for an initial two-year service commitment to practice fulltime at an eligible Indian health program. This program is necessary to augment the critically low health professional staff at IHS health care facilities.

    Any health professional wishing to have their health education loans repaid may apply to the IHS LRP. A two-year contract obligation is signed by both parties, and the individual agrees to work at an eligible Indian health program location and provide health services to American Indian and Alaska Native individuals.

    The information collected via the on-line application from individuals is analyzed and a score is given to each applicant. This score will determine which applicants will be awarded each fiscal year. The administrative scoring system assigns a score to the geographic location according to vacancy rates for that fiscal year and also considers whether the location is in an isolated area. When an applicant accepts employment at a location, the applicant in turn “picks-up” the score of that location. Affected Public: Individuals and households. Type of Respondents: Individuals.

    The table below provides: Types of data collection instruments, Estimated number of respondents, Number of responses per respondent, Annual number of responses, Average burden hour per response, and Total annual burden hour(s).

    Estimated Burden Hours Data collection instrument(s) Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total annual responses
  • (in hours)
  • LRP Application 816 1 1.5 1,224

    There are no Capital Costs, Operating Costs, and/or Maintenance Costs to report.

    Requests For Comments: Your comments and/or suggestions are invited on one or more of the following points:

    (a) Whether the information collection activity is necessary to carry out an agency function;

    (b) whether the agency processes the information collected in a useful and timely fashion;

    (c) the accuracy of public burden estimate (the estimated amount of time needed for individual respondents to provide the requested information);

    (d) whether the methodology and assumptions used to determine the estimates are logical;

    (e) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information being collected; and

    (f) how the newly created online application assists the applicant efficiently and effectively.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments to Jackie Santiago by one of the following methods:

    Mail: Jackie Santiago, Chief, Loan Repayment Program, 801 Thompson Avenue, TMP, STE 450, Rockville, MD 20852-1627.

    Phone: 301-443-2486.

    Email: [email protected]

    Fax: 301-443-4815.

    To Request More Information On The Proposed Collection, Contact: Jackie Santiago through one of the following methods:

    Mail: Jackie Santiago, Chief, Loan Repayment Program, 801 Thompson Avenue, TMP, STE 450, Rockville, MD 20852-1627.

    Phone: 301-443-2486.

    Email: [email protected]

    Fax: 301-443-4815.

    Comment Due Date: June 29, 2015. Your comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having full effect if received within 60 days of the date of this publication.

    Dated: April 13, 2015. Robert G. McSwain, Acting Director, Indian Health Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09824 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Indian Health Service Office of Tribal Self-Governance Program; Planning Cooperative Agreement; Correction AGENCY:

    Indian Health Service, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Indian Health Service published a document in the Federal Register on February 20, 2015, for the FY 2015 Office of Tribal Self-Governance Program, Planning Cooperative Agreement. The notice contained incorrect guidance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Paul Gettys, Grant Systems Coordinator, Division of Grants Management, Indian Health Service, 801 Thompson Avenue, Suite TMP 360, Rockville, MD 20852, Telephone (301) 443-2114. (This is not a toll-free number.)

    Correction

    In the Federal Register of February 20, 2015, in FR Doc. 2015-03206, on page 9275, in the second column, from the heading “Universal Entity Identifier (UEI) Numbering System,” to just before “V. Application Review Information,” the correct language should read as follows:

    Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)

    All IHS applicants and grantee organizations are required to obtain a DUNS number and maintain an active registration in the SAM database. The DUNS number is a unique 9-digit identification number provided by D&B which uniquely identifies each entity. The DUNS number is site specific; therefore, each distinct performance site may be assigned a DUNS number. Obtaining a DUNS number is easy, and there is no charge. To obtain a DUNS number, please access it through http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform, or to expedite the process, call (866) 705-5711.

    All HHS recipients are required by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, as amended (“Transparency Act”), to report information on subawards. Accordingly, all IHS grantees must notify potential first-tier subrecipients that no entity may receive a first-tier subaward unless the entity has provided its DUNS number to the prime grantee organization. This requirement ensures the use of a universal identifier to enhance the quality of information available to the public pursuant to the Transparency Act.

    System for Award Management (SAM)

    Organizations that were not registered with Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and have not registered with SAM will need to obtain a DUNS number first and then access the SAM online registration through the SAM home page at https://www.sam.gov (U.S. organizations will also need to provide an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service that may take an additional 2-5 weeks to become active). Completing and submitting the registration takes approximately one hour to complete and SAM registration will take 3-5 business days to process. Registration with the SAM is free of charge. Applicants may register online at https://www.sam.gov.

    Additional information on implementing the Transparency Act, including the specific requirements for DUNS and SAM, can be found on the IHS Grants Management, Grants Policy Web site: https://www.ihs.gov/dgm/index.cfm?module=dsp_dgm_policy_topics.

    Dated: April 16, 2015. Robert McSwain, Acting Director, Indian Health Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09822 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Special Emphasis Panel Telephone Review for U01 Application.

    Date: May 14, 2015.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications and/or proposals.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Two Democracy Plaza, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Xiaodu Guo, MD, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Review Branch, DEA, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Room 761, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892-5452, (301) 594-4719, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Special Emphasis Panel NIDDK-KUH Fellowship Review.

    Date: June 5, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Embassy Suites at the Chevy Chase Pavilion, 4300 Military Road, NW., Washington, DC 20015.

    Contact Person: Xiaodu Guo, MD, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Review Branch, DEA, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Room 761, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892-5452, (301) 594-4719, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Special Emphasis Panel RFA-DK-15-001: NIDDK Developmental Centers for Interdisciplinary Centers in Benign Urology (P20).

    Date: June 15, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Residence Inn Bethesda, 7335 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Najma Begum, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Review Branch, DEA, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Room 749, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892-5452, (301) 594-8894, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Special Emphasis Panel NIDDK Ancillary Studies.

    Date: June 17, 2015.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Two Democracy Plaza, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Elena Sanovich, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Review Branch, DEA, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Room 750, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892-2542, 301-594-8886, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.847, Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Research; 93.848, Digestive Diseases and Nutrition Research; 93.849, Kidney Diseases, Urology and Hematology Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 22, 2015. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09780 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; Amended Notice of Meeting

    Notice is hereby given of a change in the meeting of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering National Advisory Council, May 18, 9:00 a.m., The William F. Bolger Center, Franklin Building, Classroom 1, 9600 Newbridge Drive, Potomac, MD 20854, which was published in the Federal Register on March 17, 2015, 80FR13863.

    The meeting notice is amended to change the start time from 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

    Dated: April 22, 2015. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09779 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Toxicology Program Board of Scientific Counselors; Announcement of Meeting; Request for Comments SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the next meeting of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC). The BSC, a federally chartered, external advisory group composed of scientists from the public and private sectors, will review and provide advice on programmatic activities. The meeting is open to the public and registration is requested for both attendance and oral comment and required to access the webcast. Information about the meeting and registration will be available at http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/165.

    DATES:

    Meeting: June 16, 2015, begins at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and continues until adjournment.

    Written Public Comment Submissions: Deadline is June 2, 2015.

    Registration for Meeting and/or Oral Comments: Deadline is June 9, 2015. Registration to view the meeting via the webcast is required.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting Location: Rodbell Auditorium, Rall Building, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), 111 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.

    Meeting Web page: The preliminary agenda, registration, and other meeting materials will be at http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/165.

    Webcast: The meeting will be webcast; the URL will be provided to those who register for viewing.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Lori White, Designated Federal Officer for the BSC, Office of Liaison, Policy, and Review, Division of NTP, NIEHS, P.O. Box 12233, K2-03, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. Phone: 919-541-9834, Fax: 301-480-3272, Email: [email protected] Hand Deliver/Courier address: 530 Davis Drive, Room K2124, Morrisville, NC 27560.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Meeting and Registration: The meeting is open to the public with time scheduled for oral public comments; attendance at the meeting is limited only by the space available.

    The BSC will provide input to the NTP on programmatic activities and issues. A preliminary agenda, roster of BSC members, background materials, public comments, and any additional information, when available, will be posted on the BSC meeting Web site (http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/165) or may be requested in hardcopy from the Designated Federal Officer for the BSC. Following the meeting, summary minutes will be prepared and made available on the BSC meeting Web site.

    The public may attend the meeting in person or view the webcast. Registration is required to view the webcast; the URL for the webcast will be provided in the email confirming registration. Individuals who plan to provide oral comments (see below) are encouraged to register online at the BSC meeting Web site (http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/165) by June 9, 2015, to facilitate planning for the meeting. Individuals interested in this meeting are encouraged to access the Web site to stay abreast of the most current information regarding the meeting. Visitor and security information for those attending in-person is available at niehs.nih.gov/about/visiting/index.cfm. Individuals with disabilities who need accommodation to participate in this event should contact Dr. White at phone: (919) 541-9834 or email: [email protected] TTY users should contact the Federal TTY Relay Service at 800-877-8339. Requests should be made at least five business days in advance of the event.

    Request for Comments: Written comments submitted in response to this notice should be received by June 2, 2015. Comments will be posted on the BSC meeting Web site and persons submitting them will be identified by their name and affiliation and/or sponsoring organization, if applicable. Persons submitting written comments should include their name, affiliation (if applicable), phone, email, and sponsoring organization (if any) with the document.

    Time is allotted during the meeting for the public to present oral comments to the BSC on the agenda topics. Public comments can be presented in-person at the meeting or by teleconference line. There are 50 lines for this call; availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. The lines will be open from 8:30 until adjournment, although the BSC will receive public comments only during the formal public comment periods, which are indicated on the preliminary agenda. Each organization is allowed one time slot per agenda topic. Each speaker is allotted at least 7 minutes, which if time permits, may be extended to 10 minutes at the discretion of the BSC chair. Persons wishing to present oral comments should register on the BSC meeting Web site by June 9, 2015, indicate whether they will present comments in-person or via the teleconference line, and indicate the topic(s) on which they plan to comment. The access number for the teleconference line will be provided to registrants by email prior to the meeting. On-site registration for oral comments will also be available on the meeting day, although time allowed for comments by these registrants may be limited and will be determined by the number of persons who register at the meeting.

    Persons registering to make oral comments are asked to send a copy of their statement and/or PowerPoint slides to the Designated Federal Officer by June 9, 2015. Written statements can supplement and may expand upon the oral presentation. If registering on-site and reading from written text, please bring 20 copies of the statement for distribution to the BSC and NTP staff and to supplement the record.

    Background Information on the BSC: The BSC is a technical advisory body comprised of scientists from the public and private sectors that provides primary scientific oversight to the NTP. Specifically, the BSC advises the NTP on matters of scientific program content, both present and future, and conducts periodic review of the program for the purpose of determining and advising on the scientific merit of its activities and their overall scientific quality. Its members are selected from recognized authorities knowledgeable in fields such as toxicology, pharmacology, pathology, biochemistry, epidemiology, risk assessment, carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, molecular biology, behavioral toxicology, neurotoxicology, immunotoxicology, reproductive toxicology or teratology, and biostatistics. Members serve overlapping terms of up to four years. The BSC usually meets biannually. The authority for the BSC is provided by 42 U.S.C. 217a, section 222 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS), as amended. The BSC is governed by the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. app.), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees.

    Dated: April 22, 2015. John R. Bucher, Associate Director, National Toxicology Program.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09775 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c) (4) and 552b(c) (6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel Quantitative Imaging for Evaluation of Response to Cancer Therapies (U01).

    Date: May 13, 2015.

    Time: 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Cancer Institute Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 5W032, Rockville, MD 20850, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Gerald G. Lovinger, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W266, Research Technology and Contract Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, (240) 276-6385, [email protected].

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel NCI Omnibus R03 & R21 SEP-2.

    Date: June 1-2, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 1700 Tysons Boulevard, McLean, VA 22102.

    Contact Person: Eun Ah Cho, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Special Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, 7W104, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6342, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.392, Cancer Construction; 93.393, Cancer Cause and Prevention Research; 93.394, Cancer Detection and Diagnosis Research; 93.395, Cancer Treatment Research; 93.396, Cancer Biology Research; 93.397, Cancer Centers Support; 93.398, Cancer Research Manpower; 93.399, Cancer Control, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 22, 2015. Melanie J. Gray, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09777 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Special Emphasis Panel, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy SEP.

    Date: April 30, 2015.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate cooperative agreement applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Shanta Rajaram, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Research, NINDS/NIH/DHHS/Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Suite 3208, MSC 9529, Bethesda, MD 20892-9529, 301-435-6033, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Special Emphasis Panel, NINDS P01 REVIEWS.

    Date: May 4, 2015.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: William C. Benzing, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Research, NINDS/NIH/DHHS/Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Suite 3208, MSC 9529, Bethesda, MD 20892-9529, 301-496-0660, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Special Emphasis Panel, NIH-NINDS BRAIN Initiative (005) Review.

    Date: June 22-23, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, Bethesda, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Raul A. Saavedra, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Research, NINDS/NIH/DHHS/Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Suite 3208, MSC 9529, Bethesda, MD 20892-9529, 301-496-9223, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.853, Clinical Research Related to Neurological Disorders; 93.854, Biological Basis Research in the Neurosciences, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 22, 2015. Carolyn Baum, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09778 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel NIAID Investigator Initiated Program Project Applications (P01).

    Date: May 20, 2015.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Susana Mendez, Ph.D., DVM, Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Program, DEA/NIAID/NIH/DHHS, 5601 Fishers Lane, Room 3G53B, MSC 9823, Rockville, MD 20852, 240-669-5059, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.855, Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Research; 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 22, 2015. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09781 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Integrative Health.

    The meeting will be open to the public as indicated below, with attendance limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Contact Person listed below in advance of the meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Advisory Council for Complementary and Integrative Health.

    Date: June 5, 2015.

    Closed: 8:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Building 31, Conference Room 10, 31 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Open: 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: Report from the Institute Director and other staff.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Building 31, Conference Room 10, 31 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Martin H. Goldrosen, Ph.D., Director, Division of Extramural Activities, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, NIH, 6707 Democracy Blvd., Ste. 401, Bethesda, MD 20892-5475, (301) 594-2014, [email protected]

    Any interested person may file written comments with the committee by forwarding the statement to the Contact Person listed on this notice. The statement should include the name, address, telephone number and when applicable, the business or professional affiliation of the interested person.

    In the interest of security, NIH has instituted stringent procedures for entrance onto the NIH campus. All visitor vehicles, including taxicabs, hotel, and airport shuttles will be inspected before being allowed on campus. Visitors will be asked to show one form of identification (for example, a government-issued photo ID, driver's license, or passport) and to state the purpose of their visit.

    Information is also available on the Institute's/Center's home page: nccam.nih.gov/about/naccam/, where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.213, Research and Training in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 22, 2015. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09776 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [OMB Control Number 1615-0038] Agency Information Collection Activities: Petition To Remove the Conditions on Residence, Form I-751; Revision of a Currently Approved Collection AGENCY:

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    30-day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The information collection notice was previously published in the Federal Register on February 24, 2015 at 80 FR 9741, allowing for a 60-day public comment period. USCIS did receive comments in connection with the 60-day notice.

    DATES:

    The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comments. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until May 28, 2015. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice, especially regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time, must be directed to the OMB USCIS Desk Officer via email at [email protected] Comments may also be submitted via fax at (202) 395-5806. All submissions received must include the agency name and the OMB Control Number 1615-0038.

    You may wish to consider limiting the amount of personal information that you provide in any voluntary submission you make. For additional information please read the Privacy Act notice that is available via the link in the footer of http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    USCIS, Office of Policy and Strategy, Regulatory Coordination Division, Laura Dawkins, Chief, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2140, Telephone number 202-272-8377 (comments are not accepted via telephone message). Please note contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. It is not for individual case status inquiries. Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments

    You may access the information collection instrument with instructions, or additional information by visiting the Federal eRulemaking Portal site at: http://www.regulations.gov and enter USCIS-2009-0008 in the search box. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points:

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection Request: Revision of a Currently Approved Collection.

    (2) Title of the Form/Collection: Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence.

    (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the DHS sponsoring the collection: I-751; USCIS.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Individuals or households. This form is used by USCIS to verify the petitioner's status and determine whether the conditional resident is eligible to have his or her status removed.

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: The estimated total number of respondents for the information collection I-751 is 140,513 and the estimated hour burden per response is 3.333 hours. The estimated total number of respondents for the biographic processing is 140,513 and the estimated hour burden per response is 1.17 hours.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The total estimated annual hour burden associated with this collection is 797,130 hours.

    (7) An estimate of the total public burden (in cost) associated with the collection: The estimated total annual cost burden associated with this collection of information is $16,644,320.

    Dated: April 16, 2015. Laura Dawkins, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09294 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5835-C-05] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Service Coordinators in Multifamily Housing AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing—Federal Housing Commissioner, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Correction, Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This document corrects the document HUD published on April 14, 2015 at 80 FR 20005. HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone 202-402-3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For copies of the proposed forms and other available information contact Carissa Janis, Office of Asset Management and Portfolio Oversight, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410 by email [email protected] telephone at 202-402-2487. (This is not a toll-free number.) Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Pollard.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in section A.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Service Coordinators in Multifamily Housing.

    OMB Approval Number: 2502-0447.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Form Numbers: HUD-2530, HUD-92456, HUD-92456-G, HUD-50080-SCMF, HUD-91186, HUD-91186-A, SF-424, SF-424-Supp, HUD-2880, SF-LLL, SF-425.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use:

    This request seeks approval for the following items:

    1. Revision of form HUD-50080-SCMF;

    2. Elimination of the standard form (SF) 425 “Federal Financial Report” and form HUD-96010 “Logic Model” for Service Coordinator in Multifamily Housing grant recipients, and

    3. Grant application intake submission requirements for the Upcoming Notice of Funding availability (NOFA) for the Seniors and Services Demonstration program. The eligible applicant pool for this demonstration will be aligned with the Service Coordinators in Multifamily Housing program.

    As a result, this request will reduce the number of respondents, responses per annum, frequency of Responses, and total Estimated Burden hours.

    The collection of information is necessary to ensure efficient and proper use of funds for eligible activities. Without this information, HUD staff cannot assess the need for funds and effectively monitor grantees' program performance and administration. In addition, the information collection will assist applicants in better determining their need for funds. The information will also enable grantees to more effectively evaluate their program performance; account for funds, and maintain appropriate program records.

    Grant funds are taken to pay costs previously incurred and are obtained through use of the electronic Line of Credit Control System (eLOCCS). Grantees are required to draw down from eLOCCS monthly or quarterly.

    Grantees will submit the revised form HUD-50080-SCMF on a semi-annual basis. Grantees will complete one worksheet per draw down. Each worksheet will list every expense incurred during that month or quarter. Grantees will be required to maintain detailed expense documentation in their files. HUD may request copies of such documentation if additional program review is warranted.

    The data reported will allow HUD staff to track expenses and drawdown of funds for eligible costs at intervals within the grant term. The modified form and submission schedule are designed to reduce burden and collect valid and relevant data.

    HUD proposes to substitute the revised form HUD-50080-SCMF for the SF-425, “Federal Financial Report.” The SF-425 does not provide HUD with any data that is not already available in LOCCS or that will be reported in the revised HUD-50080-SCMF. The revised HUD-50080-SCMF provides the most essential information HUD needs to determine whether federal funds have been used properly.

    Respondents: Multifamily Housing assisted housing owners.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 7,770.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 13,790.

    Frequency of Response: Semi-annually to annually.

    Average Hours per Response: 10.2.

    Total Estimated Burden hours: 61,060.

    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comments in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. chapter 35.

    Dated: April 22, 2015. Laura M. Marin, Associate General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing-Associate Deputy Federal Housing Commissioner.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09773 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5831-N-22] 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Family Self Sufficiency Program Demonstration AGENCY:

    Office of the Chief Information Officer, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD has submitted the proposed information collection requirement described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. The purpose of this notice is to allow for an additional 30 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: May 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: HUD Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503; fax: 202-395-5806. Email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410; email at Colette [email protected] or telephone 202-402-3400. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. This is not a toll-free number. Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Pollard.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD has submitted to OMB a request for approval of the information collection described in Section A.

    The Federal Register notice that solicited public comment on the information collection for a period of 60 days was published on December 29, 2014 at 79 FR 78100.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Family Self-Sufficiency Program Demonstration.

    OMB Approval Number: 2528-0296.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Form Numbers: N/A.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: The Department will submit the proposed information collection to OMB for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended). This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information to: (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including if the information will have practical utility; (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of proposed collection of information; (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    The Department is conducting this study under contract with MDRC and its subcontractors (Branch Associates and M. Davis and Company, Inc.). The project is an evaluation of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program operated at Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) across the U.S. The study will use random-assignment methods to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. FSS has operated since 1992 and serves voucher holders and residents of public housing. The FSS model is essentially case management plus an escrow account. FSS case managers create a plan with families to achieve goals and connect with services that will enhance their employment opportunities. Families accrue money in their escrow accounts as they increase their earnings. To date, HUD has funded two other studies of the FSS program, but neither can tell us how well families would have done in the absence of the program. A random assignment model is needed because participant self-selection into FSS limits the ability to know whether program features rather than the characteristics of the participating families caused tenant income gains. Random assignment will limit the extent to which selection bias is driving observed results.

    This demonstration will document the progress of a group of FSS participants from initial enrollment to program completion (or exit). The intent is to gain a deeper understanding of the program and illustrate strategies that assist participants to obtain greater economic independence. While the main objective of FSS is stable, suitable employment, there are many interim outcomes of interest, which include: getting a first job; getting a higher paying job; self-employment/small business ownership; no longer needing benefits provided under one or more welfare programs; obtaining additional education, whether in the form of a high school diploma, higher education degree, or vocational training; buying a home; buying a car; setting up savings accounts; or accomplishing similar goals that lead to economic independence.

    Data collection referenced in this notice focuses on program participation and data will be collected for FSS program participants only.

    Respondents: 18 PHAs (approximately 1 staff per PHA) 1,785 Study Participants.

    Estimation of the total number of hours needed to prepare the information collection including number of respondents, frequency of response, and hours of response:

    Information collection Number of
  • respondents
  • Number responses per respondent Average burden/
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden hours
    Management Information System (MIS) 18 PHAs 3.5 responses (assumes annual entry 2015, 2016, 2017, and part of 2018) .83 hours (assume 50 minutes/year) 3,809 burden (18 PHAs * 73 program participants1 * 3.5 responses * .83 hours). Tracking Survey 1,785 Study Participants 2 responses (semi-annual follow-ups) .17 hours (assume 20 minutes/year) 607 burden (18 PHAs * 1,785 program participants * 2 responses * .17 hours). Total 4,416 hours 1 Total sample = 2,609, of which 1,306 is in the FSS group and 1,303 are in the Control group (excluding withdrawn or ineligible participants). There is an average of 73 FSS group members per PHA (1306 FSS group members/18 PHAs).

    Estimated Number of Reponses: See table.

    Frequency of Response: See table.

    Average Hours per Response: See table.

    Total Estimated Burden Hours: 4,416 Burden Hours.

    Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: April 21, 2015. Colette Pollard, Department Reports Management Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09769 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5841-N-01] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Certification of Consistency With Sustainable Communities Planning and Implementation AGENCY:

    Office of Strategic Planning and Management, Grants Management and Oversight Division, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Proposed Information Collection.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone 202-402-3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410; email Colette Pollard at [email protected] or telephone 202-402-3400. This is not a toll-free number. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Pollard.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Certification of Consistency and Nexus between Activities Proposed by the Applicant with Livability Principles Advanced in Preferred Sustainability Status Communities.

    OMB Approval Number: 2535-0121.

    Type of Request: Extension of currently approved collection.

    Form Number: HUD-2995.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: HUD seeks grantees that envision and work toward sustainable communities, and provides a number of strategies to do so. To receive points for this policy priority, applicants must go beyond the basic minimum requirements of the NOFA to which they are applying, and must commit to incorporate into their proposed activities the appropriate Livability Principles described by the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which includes HUD, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. These activities include: metropolitan regional plans, neighborhood plans, infrastructure investments, site plans, or architectural plans, so that resulting development or reuse of property takes into account the impacts of the development on the community and the metropolitan region, consistent with sustainable development as expressed in the Livability Principles, as follows:

    (1) Provide More Transportation Choices.

    (2) Promote equitable, affordable housing.

    (3) Enhance Economic Competitiveness.

    (4) Support Existing Communities.

    (5) Coordinate Policies and Leverage Investment.

    (6) Value Communities and Neighborhoods.

    Respondents 11,000. Number of respondents Frequency of
  • responses
  • Number of
  • responses
  • Estimated
  • average time
  • (seconds)
  • Estimated annual burden
    6,540 1 (60%) 6540 60 6540 = 109 minutes. 60 new applicants 1 60 60 60 seconds = 1 minute. 4,630 1 (40%) 4360 60 4360 = 73 hours. 40 new applicants 1 40 60 67 seconds = 1 minute 7 seconds. Total 11,000 183 hours.
    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: April 21, 2015. Julie D. Hopkins, Director, Grants Management and Oversight Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-09770 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R5-ES-2014-0050; FXES11120500000-156-FF05E00000] Early Scoping for an Anticipated Application for Incidental Take Permit and Draft Habitat Conservation Plan; Copenhagen Wind Farm, LLC AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of initiation of scoping.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce our intent to prepare a NEPA document for an anticipated Incidental Take Permit (ITP) application and associated draft habitat conservation plan (HCP) from Copenhagen Wind Farm, LLC for construction and operation of a wind energy facility on private lands that provide potential habitat for the northern long-eared bat and the federally listed endangered Indiana bat. The northern long-eared bat has recently been proposed for listing as an endangered species under the ESA. Construction activities (e.g., tree clearing) and operation of wind turbines on these lands have the potential to incidentally take Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats. Therefore, Copenhagen Wind Farm, LLC is developing an ITP application and HCP to address these activities.

    In advance of receiving the ITP application for this project, the Service is providing this notice to request information from other agencies, Tribes, and the public on the scope of the NEPA review and issues to consider in the NEPA analysis and in development of the HCP.

    DATES:

    We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before May 28, 2015. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit written comments by one of the following methods:

    Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R5-ES-2014-0050, which is the docket number for this notice. Click on the appropriate link to locate this document and submit a comment.

    By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R5-ES-2014-0050, Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041.

    We request that you send comments by only the methods above. We will post all information received on the Web site at http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see the Public Comments section below for more information).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robyn A. Niver, by mail at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 3817 Luker Road, Cortland, NY 13045, or by telephone at 607-753-9334.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    We announce our intent to prepare a NEPA document for a pending ITP application and associated draft HCP from Copenhagen Wind Farm, LLC for construction and operation of a wind energy facility on approximately 11,250 acres of leased private lands in Lewis and Jefferson Counties, New York. A map depicting the proposed project on the landscape can be viewed on the Service's New York Field Office Web page, at http://www.fws.gov/northeast/nyfo/es/ibat.htm. Dominated by active agricultural fields, along with substantial blocks of forested lands and lesser amounts of successional and disturbed communities, these lands provide potential foraging, roosting, maternity colony, and fall swarming habitat for all or many bat species that occur in the State of New York, including the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) and the federally listed endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis). Both construction (e.g., tree clearing) and operation of wind turbines have the potential to incidentally take northern long-eared bats and Indiana bats. Therefore, Copenhagen Wind Farm, LLC is developing an ITP application and HCP to address these activities.

    In advance of receiving the ITP application for this project, the Service is providing this notice to request information from other agencies, Tribes, and the public on the scope of the NEPA review and issues to consider in the NEPA analysis and in development of the HCP. We will proceed with preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA), which we will use to evaluate, in conjunction with the public comments, whether any significant impacts would require further analysis in an Environmental Impact Statement.

    Request for Information

    We request data, comments, information, and suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, Tribes, industry, or any other interested party on this notice. We will consider all comments we receive in complying with the requirements of NEPA and in the development of the HCP and ITP.

    We seek comments particularly related to:

    (1) Information concerning the range, distribution, population size, and population trends of Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats in New York State;

    (2) Additional biological information concerning Indiana bats, northern long-eared bats, and other federally listed species that occur in New York State that could be affected by proposed covered activities;

    (3) Relevant data and information concerning myotid bat interactions with wind turbine construction and operation;

    (4) Current or planned activities in the project planning area and their possible impacts on Indiana bats, northern long-eared bats, and other federally listed species in New York State;

    (5) The presence of facilities within the project planning area that are eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or whether other historical, archeological, or traditional cultural properties may be present;

    (6) Any other issues relating to the human environment and potential impacts that we should consider with regard to the project planning area, covered activities, and potential ITP issuance.

    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this notice by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section.

    Background

    The Indiana bat is listed as an endangered species under the ESA. The population decline of this species has historically been attributed to habitat loss and degradation of both winter hibernation habitat (hibernacula) and summer roosting habitat, human disturbance during hibernation, and possibly pesticides. A recent new threat to Indiana bats is white-nose syndrome (WNS), a disease caused by a fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans, previously classified as Geomyces destructans) that invades the skin of bats. The fungus erodes wing tissue and alters behaviors such as hibernation location and arousal patterns, which decreases fat stores essential for overwinter survival. Millions of bats are estimated to have died as a result. White-nose syndrome is resulting in large population declines in some parts of the species' range, including the northeastern and southeastern United States.

    The range of the Indiana bat includes much of the eastern United States, including New York. Winter habitat for the Indiana bat includes caves and mines that support high humidity and cool, but stable, temperatures. In the summer, Indiana bats roost in trees (dead, dying, or live trees) with exfoliating bark, cracks, crevices, and/or hollows. During summer, males roost alone or in small groups, while females and their offspring roost in larger groups. Indiana bats forage for insects in and along the edges of forested areas and wooded stream corridors.

    The northern long-eared bat has recently been proposed for listing as an endangered species under the ESA. White-nose syndrome is the predominant threat to the species, though other threats may include impacts to hibernacula and summer habitat, and disturbance of hibernating bats. Northern long-eared bats have been abundant in the eastern United States and are often captured in summer mist nets surveys and detected during acoustic surveys. Northern long-eared bats are known to frequent forested habitats throughout New York. Similar to Indiana bats, northern long-eared bats generally hibernate in caves and mines during the winter. During the summer, the bats roost in live trees and snags, though they are also known to use human-made structures such as barns, sheds, and bat boxes.

    Potential Federal Action

    The proposed Federal action that will be analyzed through NEPA will be the potential issuance of an ITP to allow incidental take of Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats from the construction and operation of the wind energy facility, including specific activities that will be described in the HCP. The HCP will incorporate avoidance, minimization, mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures aimed at addressing the impact of the covered activities to Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats. The project planning area for the HCP is the 11,250 acres of private lands under lease agreement with Copenhagen Wind Farm, LLC for construction and operation of a wind energy facility. The project consists of two phases, which will deliver up to 79.9 and 24.9 megawatts (MW) respectively of electrical power to the New York State electric grid.

    Phase I

    Phase I consists of a 6,605-acre generation site and a 2,595-acre transmission site. The generation site will include 47 wind turbines, approximately 15.2 miles of access roads, 20.3 miles of 34.5-kV electrical collector lines, a collection substation, 3 meteorological towers, a construction staging area, and an Operations and Maintenance (O&M) facility, located in the Town of Denmark in Lewis County, New York. The transmission site will include approximately 8.8 miles of overhead 115-kV electric transmission line, to be located in the Towns of Champion and Rutland, in Jefferson County, New York, and a Point of Interconnect (POI) substation, to be located adjacent to the existing National Grid Black River-Lighthouse Hill 115-kV transmission line in the Town of Rutland, Jefferson County, New York. Phase I construction is anticipated to begin with tree-clearing activities over the winter of 2015-2016, with access road and other construction commencing in the spring of 2016. Construction of Phase I is expected to be completed by December 2016.

    Phase II

    Phase II consists of up to 15 additional turbines, along with approximately 5.5 miles of access roads and 11 miles of collector lines, to be located on approximately 2,050 acres of leased private lands. The 34.5-kV electrical collector lines will gather the electricity from the turbines in the Town of Pinckney and deliver it to the collection substation in the Town of Denmark (to be constructed as part of Phase I). The turbines, access roads, and approximately 5.4 miles of the electrical collector lines will be located in the Town of Pinckney, Lewis County, New York. The remaining 5.6 miles of electrical collector lines will be located in the Town of Denmark, generally in close proximity to infrastructure associated with Phase I of the Project. Phase II construction is anticipated to begin with tree-clearing activities over the winter of 2016-2017, with access road and other construction commencing in the spring of 2017. Construction of Phase II is expected to be completed by December 2017.

    The HCP is expected to address both construction and operational activities associated with the wind energy facility. The covered construction activities in the HCP are anticipated to be as follows: Preconstruction activities (e.g., geotechnical boring, installation of sedimentation and erosion control measures, field demarcation of previously identified sensitive resources), staging area construction, site preparation (e.g., clearing woody vegetation from work areas), public road improvement, access road construction, turbine foundation construction, electrical collector system installation, wind turbine assembly and erection, transmission line and POI substation construction, O&M facility construction, and turbine commissioning. The covered operational activities in the HCP are anticipated to be as follows: Operation of turbines and associated electrical collection and transmission equipment, scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, and environmental management. Copenhagen Wind Farm, LLC anticipates that the activities posing the greatest risk of incidental take of Indiana bats or northern long-eared bats are (1) tree clearing during construction, and (2) collisions with operating turbines. They do not anticipate construction or operation of the wind energy facility will result in incidental take of any other federally listed species in the planning area. Potential minimization and mitigation measures may include removal of suitable roost trees during winter, operating turbines during periods of less bat activity, protection and enhancement of hibernacula, and protection and enhancement of Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat roosting and foraging habitat. The proposed duration of the ITP is 30 years.

    NEPA Alternatives

    The Service has not yet developed any NEPA alternatives to the proposed Federal action (i.e., issuance of an ITP conditioned on implementation of the HCP). The NEPA analysis will assess the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of the proposed Federal action on the human environment, comprehensively interpreted to include the natural and physical environment and the relationship of people with that environment. It will also analyze several alternatives to the proposed Federal action, including no action and other reasonable courses of action (potentially including minimization and mitigation measures not considered in the proposed action). Relevant information provided in response to this notice will aid in developing the draft HCP and the NEPA analysis.

    Prior Public Outreach

    Phase I of the project has already undergone public review as part of the local permitting process, pursuant to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and its implementing regulations, 6 NYCRR Part 617. This process was initiated on May 5, 2012, when Copenhagen Wind Farm, LLC submitted to the Town of Denmark Planning Board a full Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) and an application for a special use permit. On July 7, 2012, the Town of Denmark Planning Board forwarded a solicitation of Lead Agency status, along with a copy of the EAF document, to potentially interested/involved SEQRA agencies. No agency objected to the Town of Denmark Planning Board assuming the role of Lead Agency. The Town of Denmark, as Lead Agency, subsequently issued a Positive Declaration on August 7, 2012, requiring the applicant to prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

    The DEIS was accepted as complete on June 4, 2013, and copies of the DEIS were subsequently delivered to involved/interested agencies, and posted to a Web site managed by OwnEnergy (http://www.ownenergy.net/project-development/our-projects/copenhagen-wind-farm). Opportunities for detailed agency and public review were provided during the DEIS public comment period (June 4, 2013, through August 13, 2013), including a public hearing conducted by the Lead Agency on July 9, 2013, at the Copenhagen Central School gymnasium (3020 Mechanic Street, Copenhagen, NY). Eleven separate “comment letters” (hardcopy, email, and oral comments) were received, which provided 158 individual comments that were considered during the FEIS analysis. The comments covered a wide range of topics addressed in the DEIS. The most commonly raised questions and concerns pertained to biological resources and water resources, particularly with regard to potential impacts to birds, bats, and groundwater.

    A responsiveness summary to address all substantive comments received on the DEIS during the public comment period was included as Section 4.0 of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). The FEIS was accepted as complete by the Lead Agency on July 10, 2014, and is also available at the Project Web site (http://www.ownenergy.net/project-development/our-projects/copenhagen-wind-farm). The Lead Agency issued its Findings Statement on August 19, 2014. This document provides the rationale for the Planning Board's decision to approve issuance of the pending permit applications, and includes discussion of mitigating measures that will be incorporated as conditions of the pending permits and approvals to avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts.

    Public review of Phase II of the Project has not yet been initiated. However, it is anticipated that the same local permitting process used for Phase I will be followed for Phase II (i.e., EAF, DEIS, Public Comment Period, FEIS).

    Next Steps

    In this stage of the project, we are seeking information to aid in development of the NEPA analysis and the draft HCP, and to inform what level of environmental analysis would be necessary for project implementation. We will then develop a draft NEPA document based on the ITP application, Applicant's draft HCP, any associated documents, and public comments received through this early scoping effort. We may solicit additional public, agency, and Tribal input to identify the nature and scope of the environmental issues that should be addressed during NEPA review, following appropriate public notice. We will then publish a notice of availability for the draft NEPA document and draft HCP and seek additional public comment before completing our final analysis to determine whether to issue an ITP.

    Public Comments

    During this 30-day public comment period (see DATES), the Service invites the public to provide comments that will aid our NEPA analysis. You may submit comments by one of the methods shown under ADDRESSES.

    Public Availability of Comments

    We will post a