Federal Register Vol. 80, No.86,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 86 (May 5, 2015)

Page Range25571-25896
FR Document

80_FR_86
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 25637 - Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2016 Rates; Revisions of Quality Reporting Requirements for Specific Providers, Including Changes Related to the Electronic Health Record Incentive ProgramPDF
80 FR 25895 - Loyalty Day, 2015PDF
80 FR 25893 - Older Americans Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 25891 - National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 25887 - Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 25579 - Law Day, U.S.A., 2015PDF
80 FR 25577 - National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 25575 - National Foster Care Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 25573 - National Building Safety Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 25715 - Sunshine Act Meetings; National Science BoardPDF
80 FR 25571 - Jewish American Heritage Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 25766 - Sunshine Act Meeting Notice; Meeting No. 15-02PDF
80 FR 25747 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 25782 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States CourtsPDF
80 FR 25669 - Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014PDF
80 FR 25673 - International Pacific Halibut Commission AppointmentsPDF
80 FR 25707 - Notice of Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request: Certification and Funding of State and Local Fair Housing Enforcement AgenciesPDF
80 FR 25706 - Meeting: Homeland Security Advisory CouncilPDF
80 FR 25601 - Bacillus thuringiensis Cry2Ab2 Protein in Soybean; Exemption From the Requirement of a TolerancePDF
80 FR 25765 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Exchange Alumni Virtual ProgramPDF
80 FR 25634 - Safety Zone for Fireworks Display, Chesapeake Bay, Prospect Bay; Queen Anne's County, MDPDF
80 FR 25675 - Public Meeting of the Great Lakes Advisory BoardPDF
80 FR 25599 - Security Zone, U.S. Open Golf Championship, South Puget Sound; University Place, WAPDF
80 FR 25766 - In the Matter of the Review of the Designation of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (and Other Aliases) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization Pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality ActPDF
80 FR 25694 - Final Priorities; National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research-Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects ProgramPDF
80 FR 25696 - Applications for New Awards; National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)-DRRP-Knowledge Translation for Employment Research and Projects for Translating Disability and Rehabilitation Research Into PracticePDF
80 FR 25706 - Center for Substance Abuse Prevention; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 25604 - Travelers' Information StationsPDF
80 FR 25662 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Precanvass Operation for the 2017 Commodity Flow SurveyPDF
80 FR 25675 - Appraisal Subcommittee Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 25709 - Draft Safe Harbor Agreement and Receipt of Application for an Enhancement of Survival Permit for the Northern Spotted Owl and Marbled Murrelet; City of Everett, Snohomish County, WashingtonPDF
80 FR 25609 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; North and South Atlantic 2015 Commercial Swordfish QuotasPDF
80 FR 25633 - Temporary Agricultural Employment of H-2A Foreign Workers in the Herding or Production of Livestock on the Open Range in the United States; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 25711 - Notice of Filing of Plats of Survey; Colorado.PDF
80 FR 25711 - Notice of Filing of Plats of Survey; ColoradoPDF
80 FR 25796 - Agency Information Collection (Financial Status Report) Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 25780 - Unblocking of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons Pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation ActPDF
80 FR 25672 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Southeast Region Permit Family of FormsPDF
80 FR 25712 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Identification Markings Placed on FirearmsPDF
80 FR 25661 - Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 25781 - Unblocking of Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons Pursuant to Executive Order 12978PDF
80 FR 25679 - Notice of the General Services Administration's Labor-Management Relations Council MeetingPDF
80 FR 25660 - J.R. Simplot Co.; Availability of Preliminary Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Draft Environmental Assessment for Potato Genetically Engineered for Late Blight Resistance, Low Acrylamide Potential, Reduced Black Spot Bruising, and Lowered Reducing SugarsPDF
80 FR 25674 - Market Risk Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 25768 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 25766 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 25702 - Solicitation of Nominations for Appointment to the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria; AmendmentPDF
80 FR 25676 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 25680 - National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures and Categorical ExclusionsPDF
80 FR 25713 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Water ActPDF
80 FR 25672 - Northeast Regional Stock Assessment WorkshopPDF
80 FR 25656 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Recreational Management Measures for the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; Fishing Year 2015PDF
80 FR 25581 - Bank Enterprise Award ProgramPDF
80 FR 25769 - Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) Inviting Applications for the FY 2015 Funding Round of the Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program)PDF
80 FR 25598 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Lewis and Clark River, Astoria, ORPDF
80 FR 25763 - Announcement of “America's Seed Fund” Logo Design Competition for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) ProgramsPDF
80 FR 25765 - Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 25671 - Information on Claims Raised About State-Owned Airlines in Qatar and the UAEPDF
80 FR 25676 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 25831 - Medicare Program; FY 2016 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting RequirementsPDF
80 FR 25611 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; 2015 Management MeasuresPDF
80 FR 25712 - Certain Novelty Glasses; Certain Coin-Operated Audio Visual Games and Components Thereof; Certain Coin-Operated Audio Visual Games and Components Thereof (Viz., Rally-X and Pac-Man); Certain Cube Puzzles; Certain Strip Lights; Certain Novelty Teleidoscopes; Notice of Commission Determination To Rescind Three Exclusion Orders and To Modify Three Exclusion OrdersPDF
80 FR 25677 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 25692 - World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (WTCHP STAC or Advisory Committee), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)PDF
80 FR 25692 - Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial ReviewPDF
80 FR 25691 - Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial ReviewPDF
80 FR 25693 - Board of Scientific Counselors, (BSC) National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR)PDF
80 FR 25625 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Small Vessel Exemptions; License Limitation ProgramPDF
80 FR 25723 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendments Nos. 1 and 2 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendments Nos. 1 and 2, To List and Trade Shares of Eight PIMCO Exchange-Traded FundsPDF
80 FR 25758 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Modifying Its Rules To Provide for the Use of Ports That Provide Connectivity to the Exchange's Trading Systems Solely for the Cancellation or “Takedown” of Quotes and Changes to the NYSE Arca Options Fee Schedule Related to Quote Takedown ServicePDF
80 FR 25755 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Modifying Its Rules To Provide for the Use of Ports That Provide Connectivity to the Exchange's Trading Systems Solely for the Cancellation or “Takedown” of Quotes and Changes to the NYSE Amex Options Fee Schedule Related to This Quote Takedown ServicePDF
80 FR 25704 - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 25729 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Listing and Trading of Shares of ALPS Enhanced Put Write Strategy ETF under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600PDF
80 FR 25743 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Rule 15-Equities To Reflect That Exchange Systems Will Not Publish Order Imbalance Information on the Initial Public Offering of a SecurityPDF
80 FR 25741 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Rule 15 To Reflect That Exchange Systems Will Not Publish Order Imbalance Information on the Initial Public Offering of a SecurityPDF
80 FR 25749 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Phlx Permit Fee, Order Entry Port Fee, Clearing Trade Interface Port Fee, and Active Specialized Quote Feed Port FeePDF
80 FR 25738 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 502PDF
80 FR 25761 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Depository Trust Company; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to a DTC Custody Service Fee ChangePDF
80 FR 25727 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Depository Trust Company; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Regarding the Acknowledgment of End-of-Day Net-Net Settlement Balances by Settling BanksPDF
80 FR 25745 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend NASDAQ Rule 7015(b) and (g) to Modify Port FeesPDF
80 FR 25747 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 25745 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 25714 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Approval of a New Collection; Perceptions of Safety and Police-Community RelationsPDF
80 FR 25704 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request; The Study of the Center for Global Health's (CGH) Workshops (NCI)PDF
80 FR 25702 - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 25703 - Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 25703 - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 25704 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 25701 - Advisory Commission of Childhood Vaccines; Request for Nominations for Voting MembersPDF
80 FR 25797 - Revisions to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR): Control of Fire Control, Range Finder, Optical, and Guidance and Control Equipment the President Determines No Longer Warrant Control Under the United States Munitions List (USML)PDF
80 FR 25630 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 25627 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 25633 - Retrospective Analysis of Existing RulesPDF
80 FR 25595 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 25594 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 25663 - Further Proposed Interpretations of Parts of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012PDF
80 FR 25637 - Volunteers in Service to AmericaPDF
80 FR 25591 - Airworthiness Directives; DG Flugzeugbau GmbH GlidersPDF
80 FR 25715 - Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations and Containing Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information and Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards InformationPDF
80 FR 25821 - Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Revision of U.S. Munitions List Category XIIPDF
80 FR 25589 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Type Certificate Previously Held by Eurocopter France)PDF

Issue

80 86 Tuesday, May 5, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: J.R. Simplot Co.; Potato Genetically Engineered for Late Blight Resistance, Low Acrylamide Potential, Reduced Black Spot Bruising, and Lowered Reducing Sugars, 25660-25661 2015-10450 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Precanvass Operation for the 2017 Commodity Flow Survey, 25662-25663 2015-10468 Meetings: Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee, 25661-25662 2015-10456 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Meetings: Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Environmental Health, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 25693-25694 2015-10414 Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel, 25691-25692 2015-10415 2015-10416 2015-10417 World Trade Center Health Program Scientific, Technical Advisory Committee, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 25692-25693 2015-10418 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services PROPOSED RULES Medicare Program: FY 2016 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements, 25832-25886 2015-10422 Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2016 Rates, etc., 25637 C1--2015--09245 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Lewis and Clark River, Astoria, OR, 25598-25599 2015-10430 Security Zones: U.S. Open Golf Championship, South Puget Sound; University Place, WA, 25599-25601 2015-10488 PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Fireworks Display, Chesapeake Bay, Prospect Bay, Queen Anne's County, MD, 25634-25637 2015-10490 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

First Responder Network Authority

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Meetings: Market Risk Advisory Committee, 25674-25675 2015-10448 Community Development Community Development Financial Institutions Fund RULES Bank Enterprise Award Program, 25581-25589 2015-10433 NOTICES Funding Availability: Bank Enterprise Award Program, 25769-25780 2015-10432 Community Living Administration Community Living Administration NOTICES Applications for New Awards: Knowledge Translation for Employment Research and Projects for Translating Disability and Rehabilitation Research into Practice, 25696-25701 2015-10474 Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection Criteria: Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects Program, 25694-25696 2015-10475 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service PROPOSED RULES Volunteers in Service to America Program, 25637-25655 2015-09998 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration PROPOSED RULES Temporary Agricultural Employment of H-2A Foreign Workers in the Herding or Production of Livestock on the Open Range in the U.S., 25633-25634 2015-10464 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Requirement of a Tolerances: Exemptions: Bacillus thuringiensis Cry2Ab2 Protein in Soybean, 25601-25604 2015-10493 NOTICES Meetings: Great Lakes Advisory Board, 25675 2015-10489 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Helicopters (Type Certificate previously held by Eurocopter France), 25589-25591 2015-09548 DG Flugzeugbau GmbH Gliders, 25591-25594 2015-09928 Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures: Miscellaneous Amendments, 25594-25595 2015-10227 Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures: Miscellaneous Amendments, 25595-25598 2015-10235 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: The Boeing Company Airplanes, 25627-25633 2015-10315 2015-10316 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Traveler Information Stations, 25604-25609 2015-10471 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules, 25633 2015-10310 Federal Financial Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council NOTICES Meetings: Appraisal Subcommittee, 25675-25676 2015-10467 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Vision, 25766-25769 2015-10444 2015-10445 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 25676 2015-10442 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 25676-25679 2015-10419 2015-10424 FIRSTNET First Responder Network Authority NOTICES Further Proposed Interpretations of Parts of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, 25663-25668 2015-10140 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Safe Harbor Agreement and Application for an Enhancement of Survival Permit for the Northern Spotted Owl and Marbled Murrelet: City of Everett, Snohomish County, WA, 25709-25711 2015-10466 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 25780-25782 2015-10455 2015-10459 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Labor-Management Relations Council, 25679-25680 2015-10454 Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council NOTICES National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures and Categorical Exclusions, 25680-25691 2015-10439 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Community Living Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

PROPOSED RULES Medicare Program: Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2016 Rates, etc., 25637 C1--2015--09245 NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria; Amendment, 25702 2015-10443
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Advisory Commission of Childhood Vaccines, 25701-25702 2015-10381 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

NOTICES Meetings: Homeland Security Advisory Council, 25706-25707 2015-10498
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Certification and Funding of State and Local Fair Housing Enforcement Agencies, 25707-25708 2015-10502 Industry Industry and Security Bureau PROPOSED RULES Export Administration Regulations: Control of Fire Control, Range Finder, Optical, and Guidance and Control Equipment that No Longer Warrant Control under the U.S. Munitions List, 25798-25821 2015-10353 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Activated Carbon from the People's Republic of China, 25669-25671 2015-10508 Requests for Information: Claims Raised about State-Owned Airlines in Qatar and the UAE, 25671-25672 2015-10425 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Novelty Glasses; Certain Coin-Operated Audio Visual Games and Components Thereof; etc., 25712 2015-10420 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Identification Markings Placed on Firearms, 25712-25713 2015-10457 Perceptions of Safety and Police-Community Relations, 25714-25715 2015-10396 Proposed Consent Decrees under the Clean Water Act, 2015-10383 25713-25714 2015-10436 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Filings of Plats of Survey: CO, 2015-10462 25711 2015-10463 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Study of the Center for Global Health Workshops, 25704-25706 2015-10394 Meetings: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 25704 2015-10388 National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, 25704 2015-10407 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 25702 2015-10391 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 25703 2015-10389 Office of the Director, 25703 2015-10390 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; North and South Atlantic 2015 Commercial Swordfish Quotas, 25609-25611 2015-10465 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Small Vessel Exemptions; License Limitation Program, 25625-25626 2015-10413 Fisheries Off West Coast States: West Coast Salmon Fisheries; Management Measures, 25611-25625 2015-10421 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern U.S.: Recreational Management Measures for the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; Fishing Year 2015, 25656-25659 2015-10434 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Southeast Region Permit Family of Forms, 25672-25673 2015-10458 Meetings: Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop, 25672 2015-10435 Requests for Nominations: International Pacific Halibut Commission, 25673-25674 2015-10507 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 25715 2015-10633 National Telecommunications National Telecommunications and Information Administration NOTICES Further Proposed Interpretations of Parts of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, 25663-25668 2015-10140 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Facility Operating and Combined Licenses: Applications and Amendments Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations, etc., 25715-25723 2015-09761 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (Proc. 9266), 25887-25890 2015-10895 Jewish American Heritage Month (Proc. 9261), 25571-25572 2015-10630 Law Day, U.S.A. (Proc. 9265), 25579-25580 2015-10671 Loyalty Day (Proc. 9269), 25895-25896 2015-10913 National Building Safety Month (Proc. 9262), 25573-25574 2015-10638 National Foster Care Month (Proc. 9263), 25575-25576 2015-10647 National Mental Health Awareness Month (Proc. 9267), 25891-25892 2015-10896 National Physical Fitness and Sports Month (Proc. 9264), 25577-25578 2015-10658 Older Americans Month (Proc. 9268), 25893-25894 2015-10897 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2015-10397 25745, 25747-25749 2015-10398 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 25747 2015-10538 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Depository Trust Co., 25727-25729, 25761-25763 2015-10400 2015-10401 International Securities Exchange, LLC, 25738-25740 2015-10402 NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC, 25749-25755 2015-10403 NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, 25745-25747 2015-10399 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 25741-25742 2015-10404 NYSE Arca, Inc., 25723-25727, 25729-25738, 25758-25761 2015-10406 2015-10411 2015-10412 NYSE MKT LLC, 25743-25744, 25755-25758 2015-10405 2015-10410 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 25765 2015-10427 Guidance for Industry and Staff: America's Seed Fund, Logo Design Competition; Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs, 25763-25765 2015-10428 State Department State Department PROPOSED RULES International Traffic in Arms: U.S. Munitions List Category XII; Revision, 25821-25830 2015-09673 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Exchange Alumni Virtual Program, 25765-25766 2015-10491 Designations as Foreign Terrorist Organizations: Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, 25766 2015-10484 Requests for Information: Claims Raised about State-Owned Airlines in Qatar and the UAE, 25671-25672 2015-10425 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, 25706 2015-10473 Tennessee Tennessee Valley Authority NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 25766 2015-10581 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

NOTICES Requests for Information: Claims Raised about State-Owned Airlines in Qatar and the UAE, 25671-25672 2015-10425
Treasury Treasury Department See

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

U.S. Sentencing United States Sentencing Commission NOTICES Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts, 25782-25796 2015-10516 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Financial Status Report, 25796 2015-10461 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Commerce Department, Industry and Security Bureau, 25798-25821 2015-10353 State Department, 25821-25830 2015-09673 Part III Health and Human Services Department, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 25832-25886 2015-10422 Part IV Presidential Documents, 25887-25896 2015-10897 2015-10895 2015-10913 2015-10896 Reader Aids

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80 86 Tuesday, May 5, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Community Development Financial Institutions Fund 12 CFR Part 1806 RIN 1505-AA91 Bank Enterprise Award Program AGENCY:

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, Department of the Treasury.

ACTION:

Interim rule with request for comment.

SUMMARY:

The Department of the Treasury is issuing a revised interim rule implementing the Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program), administered by the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), Department of the Treasury. This revised interim rule reflects requirements set forth in a final rule, published by the Department of the Treasury (Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, December 19, 2014), hereafter referred to as the Uniform Administrative Requirements. The Uniform Administrative Requirements constitute a government-wide framework for grants management codified by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB); they combine several OMB guidance circulars aimed at reducing administrative burden for award Recipients and reducing the risk of waste, fraud and abuse of Federal financial assistance. The Uniform Administrative Requirements establish financial, administrative, procurement, and program management standards with which Federal award-making programs, including those administered by the CDFI Fund, and Recipients must comply. This revised BEA Program interim rule includes revisions necessary to implement the Uniform Administrative Requirements, as well as to make certain technical corrections and other updates to the current rule.

DATES:

Effective May 5, 2015; written comments must be received by the offices of the CDFI Fund on or before July 3, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments concerning this revised interim rule via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov (please follow the instructions for submitting comments). All submissions received must include the agency name and Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. Other information regarding the CDFI Fund and its programs may be obtained through the CDFI Fund's Web site at http://www.cdfifund.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Robert Ibanez, Program Manager, Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The CDFI Fund, Department of the Treasury, was authorized by the Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1994, as amended (12 U.S.C. 4701 et seq.) (the Act). The mission of the CDFI Fund is to increase economic opportunity and promote community development investments for underserved populations and in distressed communities in the United States. Its long-term vision is an America in which all people have access to affordable credit, capital and financial services. The BEA Program provides awards to depository institutions, insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), that demonstrate an increase in their activities in the form of loans, investments, services, and Technical Assistance, in Distressed Communities and provide financial assistance to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) through grants, stock purchases, loans, deposits, and other forms of financial and Technical Assistance.

Through the BEA Program, the CDFI Fund seeks to: Strengthen and expand the financial and organizational capacity of CDFIs; provide monetary awards to insured depository institutions that increase their lending and financial services in Distressed Communities; and increase the flow of private capital into Low- and Moderate-Income areas. Applicants participate in the BEA Program through a competitive application process, in which the CDFI Fund evaluates applications based on the value of their increases in certain Qualified Activities. BEA Program award Recipients receive award proceeds in the form of a grant after successful completion of specified Qualified Activities.

On January 30, 2009, the CDFI Fund published in the Federal Register an interim regulation (74 FR 5790) implementing the BEA Program. The deadline for submission of comments was March 2, 2009.

II. Comments on the January 30, 2009 Interim Rule

As of the close of the March 2, 2009 comment period, the CDFI Fund received no comments on the current rule.

III. Summary of Changes

(A) Section 1806.102, Relationship to other programs: This section has been revised to clarify that the restrictions on entities applying for, receiving, and using BEA Program Award in conjunction with awards through other CDFI Fund programs, will be described in the applicable notice of funding opportunity for each program. This section also prohibits Applicants from submitting any transactions as Qualified Activities if they are funded in whole or in part with award proceeds from another CDFI Fund program or other Federal program.

(B) Section 1806.103, Definitions: Throughout the revised interim rule, the defined term “Awardee” has been replaced by “Recipient” and the term “disbursement” has been replaced with the term “payment” as it relates to award funds being transmitted from the CDFI Fund to the Recipient. These changes were made to align the terminology in the BEA Program regulations with the terms used in the Uniform Administrative Requirements, 2 CFR part 1000.

The term “CDFI Partner” is revised in subsection 1806.103 to prohibit a CDFI Partner from being an affiliated organization of the Applicant. “Community Development Entity” has been removed from the definition section because such term is not used in this part. The term “Development Service Activities” is now defined in subsection 1806.103. “Geographic Units” is revised in subsection 1806.103 to align with the updated terminology used by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. “Home Improvement Loan” is revised in subsection 1806.103 to ensure that the borrower meets the definitions of Low- and Moderate-Income. “Individual Development Account” is revised in subsection 1806.103 to provide for more flexibility and is now less prescriptive. “Insured Depository Institution” is defined in subsection 1806.103. “Integrally Involved” is revised in subsection 1806.103 to reflect that the definition no longer applies to non-CDFIs. The term “Small Dollar Consumer Loan,” added as an eligible activity in the definition of “Distressed Community Financing Activities” (subsection 1806.103), has been defined in subsection 1806.103. “State” is defined in subsection 1806.103. The term “Targeted Financial Services” is revised in subsection 1806.103 to reflect that such term must be targeted to Eligible Residents that meet Low- and Moderate-Income requirements. The term “Technical Assistance” is now defined in subsection 1806.103.

(C) Subsection 1806.104(a), Uniform Administrative Requirements: Subsection 1806.104(a) has been added to assert that the Uniform Administrative Requirements are applicable to BEA Program Awards.

(D) Subpart B: The title of Subpart B has been revised from “Awards” to “Eligibility” and describes the basic application requirements that an Applicant must meet in order to receive a BEA Program Award. The former content of Subpart B, dealing with the specifics of how a Recipient's award amount is determined, is now located in Subpart D “Award Determinations,” with new content in Section 1806.400 describing the period from which an Applicant's increases in Qualified Activities will be measured. The addition of this new section caused the numbering of subsequent sections to change.

(E) Subpart C: The title of Subpart C has been revised to “Use of Funds/Qualified Activities,” describes the eligible uses of a BEA Program Award, and identifies restrictions on the use of award dollars set forth in Section 1806.301. The former Subpart C, “Terms and Conditions of Assistance,” is now designated as Subpart E.

(F) Subpart D: In Subpart D, Section 1806.404(c), the priority of awards has been adjusted to provide the CDFI Fund with the discretion to cap, in the applicable Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), the maximum amount of funding available for the Distressed Community Financing Activities category. The three Qualified Activities are prioritized based on the type of Qualified Activity, as well as the type of Applicant (meaning, CDFI versus non-CDFI). Section 1806.404(c) makes clear that in each Qualified Activity, a CDFI Applicant will be prioritized over a non-CDFI Applicant. The restrictions on the use of award dollars also apply to Qualified Activities, as set forth in Section 1806.402(d).

(G) Subpart E: Subpart E has been revised by adding a new paragraph (subsection 1806.500(a)(5)) to accommodate the audit requirements of the Uniform Administrative Requirements, and it provides a general description of the report types to be collected from Recipients on an annual basis. Specific reporting requirements, using OMB Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) approved information collections, will be described in the applicable NOFAs and Award Agreements. In addition, this subsection has been revised to require the submission of annual reports within 90 days of the Recipients' fiscal year end, per the Uniform Administrative Requirements. Section 1806.501, previously reserved, has been deleted which resulted in the subsequent sections being renumbered.

IV. Rulemaking Analysis A. Executive Order (E.O.) 12866

It has been determined that this regulation is not a significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866. Therefore, a Regulatory Assessment is not required.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) or any other law, the Regulatory Flexibility Act does not apply.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

The collections of information contained in this revised interim rule have been previously reviewed and approved by OMB in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and assigned the applicable OMB Control Number associated with the CDFI Fund under 1559-0005. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information, unless it displays a valid control number assigned by OMB. The revised interim rule imposes collections of new information, for which the CDFI Fund has OMB approval.

D. National Environmental Policy Act

The revised interim rule has been reviewed in accordance with the CDFI Fund's Environmental Quality regulations (12 CFR part 1815), promulgated pursuant to the National Environmental Protection Act of 1969 (NEPA), which requires that the CDFI Fund adequately consider the cumulative impact that proposed activities have upon the human environment. It is the determination of the CDFI Fund that the revised interim rules does not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, and, in accordance with the NEPA and the CDFI Fund Environmental Quality regulations, neither an Environmental Assessment nor an Environmental Impact Statement is required.

E. Administrative Procedure Act

Because the revisions to this revised interim rule relate to grants, notice and public procedure and a delayed effective date are not required pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act found at 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2).

F. Comment

Public comment is solicited on all aspects of this interim regulation. The CDFI Fund will consider all comments made on the substance of this interim regulation, but it does not intend to hold hearings.

G. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number Bank Enterprise Award Program—21.021. List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 1806

Banks, banking, Community development, Grant programs—housing and community development, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 12 CFR part 1806 is revised to read as follows:

PART 1806—BANK ENTERPRISE AWARD PROGRAM Sec. Subpart A—General Provisions 1806.100 Purpose. 1806.101 Summary. 1806.102 Relationship to other programs. 1806.103 Definitions. 1806.104 Uniform Administrative Requirements; Waiver authority. 1806.105 OMB control number. Subpart B—Eligibility 1806.200 Applicant eligibility. Subpart C—Use of funds/Qualified Activities 1806.300 Qualified Activities. 1806.301 Restrictions on use of award. Subpart D—Award Determinations 1806.400 General. 1806.401 Community eligibility and designation. 1806.402 Measuring and reporting Qualified Activities. 1806.403 Estimated award amounts. 1806.404 Selection process; actual award amounts. 1806.405 Applications for BEA Program Awards. Subpart E—Terms and Conditions of Assistance 1806.500 Award Agreement; sanctions. 1806.501 Compliance with government requirements. 1806.502 Fraud, waste, and abuse. 1806.503 Books of account, records, and government access. 1806.504 Retention of records. Authority:

12 U.S.C. 1834a, 4703, 4703 note, 4713, 4717; 31 U.S.C. 321.

Subpart A—General Provisions
§ 1806.100 Purpose.

The purpose of the Bank Enterprise Award (BEA) Program is to provide grants to Insured Depository Institutions that provide financial and technical assistance to Community Development Financial Institutions and increase their activities in Distressed Communities.

§ 1806.101 Summary.

Through the BEA Program, the CDFI Fund will provide monetary awards in the form of grants to Applicants selected by the CDFI Fund that increase their investments in or provide other support of CDFIs, increase their lending and investment activities in Distressed Communities, or increase their provision of certain services and assistance. Distressed Communities must meet minimum geographic, poverty, and unemployment criteria. Applicants are selected to receive BEA Program Awards through a merit-based, competitive application process. The amount of a BEA Program Award is based on the increase in Qualified Activities that are carried out by the Applicant during the Assessment Period. BEA Program Awards are disbursed by the CDFI Fund after the Recipient has successfully completed projected Qualified Activities. Each Recipient will enter into an Award Agreement, which will require it to abide by terms and conditions pertinent to any assistance received under this part, including the requirement that BEA Program Award proceeds must be used for Qualified Activities, as well as the Uniform Administrative Requirements, as applicable. All BEA Program Awards are made subject to funding availability.

§ 1806.102 Relationship to other programs.

(a) Restrictions on applying for, receiving and using BEA Program Awards in conjunction with awards under other programs administered by the CDFI Fund (including, but not limited to, the Capital Magnet Fund, the CDFI Program, the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program, the Native American CDFI Assistance Program, and the New Markets Tax Credit Program) are as set forth in the applicable notice of funding opportunity or Notice of Allocation Availability.

(b) Prohibition against double funding. Qualified Activities may not include transactions funded in whole or in part with award proceeds from another CDFI Fund program or Federal program.

§ 1806.103 Definitions.

For purposes of this part, the following terms shall have the following definitions:

Act means the Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1994, as amended (12 U.S.C. 4701 et seq.);

Affordable Housing Development Loan means origination of a loan to finance the acquisition, construction, and/or development of single- or multi-family residential real property, where at least 60 percent of the units in such property are affordable, as may be defined in the applicable NOFA, to Eligible Residents who meet Low- and Moderate-Income requirements;

Affordable Housing Loan means origination of a loan to finance the purchase or improvement of the borrower's primary residence, and that is secured by such property, where such borrower is an Eligible Resident who meets Low- and Moderate-Income requirements. Affordable Housing Loan may also refer to second (or otherwise subordinated) liens or “soft second” mortgages and other similar types of down payment assistance loans, but may not necessarily be secured by such property originated for the purpose of facilitating the purchase or improvement of the borrower's primary residence, where such borrower is an Eligible Resident who meets Low- and Moderate-Income requirements;

Applicant means any insured depository institution (as defined in section 3(c)(2) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813)) that is applying for a Bank Enterprise Award;

Appropriate Federal Banking Agency has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813);

Assessment Period means an annual or semi-annual period specified in the applicable NOFA in which an Applicant will carry out, or has carried out, Qualified Activities;

Award Agreement means a formal agreement between the CDFI Fund and a Recipient pursuant to § 1806.500;

Bank Enterprise Award (or BEA Program Award) means an award made to an Applicant pursuant to this part;

Bank Enterprise Award Program (or BEA Program) means the program authorized by section 114 of the Act and implemented under this part;

Baseline Period means an annual or a semi-annual period specified in the applicable NOFA, in which an Applicant has previously carried out Qualified Activities;

CDFI Partner means a CDFI that has been provided assistance in the form of CDFI Related Activities by an unaffiliated Applicant;

CDFI Related Activities means Equity Investments, Equity-Like Loans and CDFI Support Activities;

CDFI Support Activity means assistance provided by an Applicant or its Subsidiary to a CDFI that meets criteria set forth by the CDFI Fund in the applicable NOFA and that is Integrally Involved in a Distressed Community, in the form of the origination of a loan, Technical Assistance, or deposits if such deposits are:

(1) Uninsured and committed for a term of at least three years; or

(2) Insured, committed for a term of at least three years, and provided at an interest rate that is materially (in the determination of the CDFI Fund) below market rates;

Commercial Real Estate Loan means an origination of a loan (other than an Affordable Housing Development Loan or Affordable Housing Loan) that is secured by real estate and used to finance the acquisition or rehabilitation of a building in a Distressed Community, or the acquisition, construction and or development of property in a Distressed Community, used for commercial purposes;

Community Development Financial Institution (or CDFI) means an entity that has been certified as a CDFI by the CDFI Fund as of the date specified in the applicable NOFA;

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (or CDFI Fund) means the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund established pursuant to Section 104(a)(12 U.S.C. 4703(a)) of the Act;

Community Services means the following forms of assistance provided by officers, employees or agents (contractual or otherwise) of the Applicant:

(1) Provision of Technical Assistance and financial education to Eligible Residents regarding managing their personal finances;

(2) Provision of Technical Assistance and consulting services to newly formed small businesses and nonprofit organizations located in the Distressed Community;

(3) Provision of Technical Assistance and financial education to, or servicing the loans of, homeowners and homeowners who are Eligible Residents and meet Low- and Moderate-Income requirements;

(4) Other services provided to Eligible Residents who meet Low- and Moderate-Income requirements or enterprises that are Integrally Involved in a Distressed Community, as deemed appropriate by the CDFI Fund;

Deposit Liabilities means time or savings deposits or demand deposits. Any such deposit must be accepted from Eligible Residents at the offices of the Applicant or of the Subsidiary of the Applicant and located in the Distressed Community. Deposit Liabilities may only include deposits held by individuals in transaction accounts (e.g., demand deposits, negotiable order of withdrawal accounts, automated transfer service accounts, and telephone or preauthorized transfer accounts) or non-transaction accounts (e.g., money market deposit accounts, other savings deposits, and all time deposits), as defined by the Appropriate Federal Banking Agency;

Development Service Activities means activities that promote community development and are integral to the Applicant's provision of financial products and Financial Services. Such services shall prepare or assist current or potential borrowers or investees to utilize the financial products or Financial Services of the Applicant. Development Service Activities include financial or credit counseling to individuals for the purpose of facilitating home ownership, promoting self-employment, or enhancing consumer financial management skills; or technical assistance to borrowers or investees for the purpose of enhancing business planning, marketing, management, and financial management skills.

Distressed Community means a geographically defined community that meets the minimum area eligibility requirements specified in section 1806.401 and such additional criteria as may be set forth in the applicable NOFA;

Distressed Community Financing Activities means: Affordable Housing Loans, Affordable Housing Development Loans and related Project Investments; Education Loans; Commercial Real Estate Loans and related Project Investments; Home Improvement Loans; Small Business Loans and related Project Investments; and Small Dollar Consumer Loans;

Education Loan means an advance of funds to a student who is an Eligible Resident, for the purpose of financing a college or vocational education;

Electronic Transfer Account (or ETA) means an account that meets the requirements, and with respect to which the Applicant has satisfied the requirements, set forth in the Federal Register on July 16, 1999 (64 FR 38510), as such requirements may be amended from time to time;

Eligible Resident means an individual who resides in a Distressed Community;

Equity Investment means financial assistance provided by an Applicant or its Subsidiary to a CDFI, which CDFI meets such criteria as set forth in the applicable NOFA, in the form of a grant, a stock purchase, a purchase of a partnership interest, a purchase of a limited liability company membership interest, or any other investment deemed to be an Equity Investment by the CDFI Fund;

Equity-Like Loan means a loan provided by an Applicant or its Subsidiary to a CDFI, and made on such terms that it has characteristics of an Equity Investment that meets such criteria as set forth in the applicable NOFA;

Financial Services means check-cashing, providing money orders and certified checks, automated teller machines, safe deposit boxes, new branches, and other comparable services as may be specified by the CDFI Fund in the applicable NOFA, that are provided by the Applicant to Eligible Residents who meet Low- and Moderate-Income requirements or enterprises that are Integrally Involved in the Distressed Community;

Geographic Units means counties (or equivalent areas), incorporated places, minor civil divisions that are units of local government, census tracts, block numbering areas, block groups, and Indian Areas or Native American Areas (as each is defined by the U.S. Bureau of the Census), or other areas deemed appropriate by the CDFI Fund;

Home Improvement Loan means an advance of funds, either unsecured or secured by a one-to-four family residential property, the proceeds of which are used to improve the borrower's primary residence, where such borrower is an Eligible Resident who is Low- and Moderate-Income;

Indian Reservation means a geographic area that meets the requirements of section 4(10) of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. 1903(10)), and shall include land held by incorporated Native groups, regional corporations, and village corporations, as defined in and pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), public domain Indian allotments, and former Indian Reservations in the State of Oklahoma;

Individual Development Account (or IDA) means a special savings account that matches the deposits of Low- and Moderate-Income individuals and that enables Low-and Moderate-Income individuals to save money for a particular financial goal including, but not limited to, and as determined by the CDFI Fund: buying a home, paying for post-secondary education, or starting or expanding a small business;

Insured Depository Institution means any bank or thrift, the deposits of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation;

Integrally Involved means, for a CDFI Partner, having provided or transacted the percentage of financial transactions or dollars (i.e., loans or Equity Investments), or Development Service activities, in the Distressed Community identified by the Applicant or the CDFI Partner, as applicable, or having attained the percentage of market share for a particular product in a Distressed Community, set forth in the applicable NOFA;

Low- and Moderate-Income means income that does not exceed 80 percent of the median income of the area involved, as determined by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, with adjustments for smaller and larger families pursuant to section 102(a)(20) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5302(a)(20));

Metropolitan Area means an area designated as such (as of the date of the BEA Program application) by the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3504(e)(3), 31 U.S.C. 1104(d), and Executive Order 10253 (3 CFR, Part 1949-1953 Comp., p. 758), as amended;

Notice of Funding Availability (or NOFA) means the public notice of funding opportunity that announces the availability of BEA Program Award funds for a particular funding round and that advises prospective Applicants with respect to obtaining application materials, establishes application submission deadlines, and establishes other requirements or restrictions applicable for the particular funding round;

Priority Factor means a numeric value assigned to each type of activity within each category of Qualified Activity, as established by the CDFI Fund in the applicable NOFA. A priority factor represents the CDFI Fund's assessment of the degree of difficulty, the extent of innovation, and the extent of benefits accruing to the Distressed Community for each type of activity;

Project Investment means providing financial assistance in the form of a purchase of stock, limited partnership interest, other ownership instrument, or a grant to an entity that is Integrally Involved in a Distressed Community and formed for the sole purpose of engaging in a project or activity (approved by the CDFI Fund), including Affordable Housing Development Loans, Affordable Housing Loans, Commercial Real Estate Loans, and Small Business Loans;

Qualified Activities means CDFI Related Activities, Distressed Community Financing Activities, and Service Activities;

Recipient means an Applicant that receives a BEA Program Award pursuant to this part and the applicable NOFA;

Service Activities means the following activities: Deposit Liabilities; Financial Services; Community Services; Targeted Financial Services; and Targeted Retail Savings/Investment Products;

Small Business Loan means an origination of a loan used for commercial or industrial activities (other than an Affordable Housing Loan, Affordable Housing Development Loan, Commercial Real Estate Loan, Home Improvement Loan) to a business or farm that meets the size eligibility standards of the Small Business Administration's Development Company or Small Business Investment Company programs (13 CFR 121.301) and is located in a Distressed Community;

Small Dollar Consumer Loan means affordable consumer lending products that serve as available alternatives in the marketplace for individuals who are Eligible Residents and meet criteria further specified in the applicable NOFA;

State means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia or any territory of the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands;

Subsidiary has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, except that a CDFI shall not be considered a Subsidiary of any Insured Depository Institution or any depository institution holding company that controls less than 25 percent of any class of the voting shares of such corporation and does not otherwise control, in any manner, the election of a majority of directors of the corporation;

Targeted Financial Services means ETAs, IDAs, and such other banking products targeted to Eligible Residents who meet Low- and Moderate-Income requirements, as may be specified by the CDFI Fund in the applicable NOFA;

Targeted Retail Savings/Investment Products means certificates of deposit, mutual funds, life insurance, and other similar savings or investment vehicles targeted to Eligible Residents who meet Low- and Moderate-Income requirements, as may be specified by the CDFI Fund in the applicable NOFA;

Technical Assistance means the provision of consulting services, resources, training, and other nonmonetary support relating to an organization, individual, or operation of a trade or business, as may be specified by the CDFI Fund in the applicable NOFA; and

Unit of General Local Government means any city, county town, township, parish, village, or other general-purpose political subdivision of a State or Commonwealth of the United States, or general-purpose subdivision thereof, and the District of Columbia.

§ 1806.104 Uniform Administrative Requirements; Waiver authority.

(a) Uniform Administrative Requirements. The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Administrative Requirements), codified by the Department of the Treasury at 2 CFR part 1000, apply to awards, regardless of type of award Recipient, made pursuant to this part.

(b) Waiver authority. The CDFI Fund may waive any requirement of this part that is not required by law, upon a determination of good cause. Each such waiver will be in writing and supported by a statement of the facts and grounds forming the basis of the waiver. For a waiver in any individual case, the CDFI Fund must determine that application of the requirement to be waived would adversely affect the achievement of the purposes of the Act. For waivers of general applicability, the CDFI Fund will publish notification of granted waivers in the Federal Register.

§ 1806.105 OMB control number.

The collection of information requirements in this Part have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget and assigned the applicable, approved OMB Control Number associated with the CDFI Fund under 1559-0005.

Subpart B—Eligibility
§ 1806.200 Applicant Eligibility.

General requirements. An entity that is an Insured Depository Institution is eligible to apply for a BEA Program Award if the CDFI Fund receives a complete BEA Program Award application by the deadline set forth in the applicable Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Additional eligibility requirements are set forth in the applicable NOFA.

Subpart C—Use of Funds/Qualified Activities
§ 1806.300 Qualified Activities.

To receive a BEA Program Award, an Insured Depository Institution must increase its Qualified Activities within the period of time set forth in the applicable NOFA. Recipients of BEA Program Awards must also use their payments for Qualified Activities, as described in the applicable NOFA and the Award Agreement.

§ 1806.301 Restrictions of use of award.

A Recipient may not distribute BEA Program Award funds to an Affiliate without the CDFI Fund's prior written consent.

Subpart D—Award Determinations
§ 1806.400 General.

The amount of a BEA Program Award shall be based on the Applicant's increases in Qualified Activities from the Baseline Period to the Assessment Period, as set forth in the applicable NOFA.

§ 1806.401 Community eligibility and designation.

(a) General. If an Applicant proposes to carry out Service Activities or Distressed Community Financing Activities, the Applicant shall designate one or more Distressed Communities in which it proposes to carry out those activities. The Applicant may designate different Distressed Communities for each category of activity. If an Applicant proposes to carry out CDFI Support Activities, the Applicant shall provide evidence that the CDFI it is proposing to support is Integrally Involved in a Distressed Community as specified in the applicable NOFA.

(b) Minimum area and eligibility requirements. A Distressed Community must meet the following minimum area and eligibility requirements:

(1) Minimum area requirements. A Distressed Community:

(i) Must be an area that is located within the jurisdiction of one (1) Unit of General Local Government;

(ii) The boundaries of the area must be contiguous; and

(iii) The area must:

(A) have a population, as determined by the most recent US Bureau of the Census data available, of not less than 4,000 if any portion of the area is located within a Metropolitan Area with a population of 50,000 or greater; or

(B) have a population, as determined by the most recent US Bureau of the Census data available, of not less than 1,000 in any other case; or

(C) Be located entirely within an Indian Reservation.

(2) Eligibility requirements. A Distressed Community must be a geographic area where:

(i) At least 30 percent of the Eligible Residents have incomes that are less than the national poverty level, as published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census or in other sources as set forth in guidance issued by the CDFI Fund;

(ii) The unemployment rate is at least 1.5 times greater than the national average, as determined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' most recently published data, including estimates of unemployment developed using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census-Share calculation method, or in other sources as set forth in guidance issued by the CDFI Fund; and

(iii) Such additional requirements as may be specified by the CDFI Fund in the applicable NOFA.

(c) Area designation. An Applicant shall designate an area as a Distressed Community by:

(1) Selecting Geographic Units which individually meet the minimum area eligibility requirements set forth in paragraph (b) of this section; or

(2) Selecting two or more Geographic Units which, in the aggregate, meet the minimum area eligibility requirements set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, provided that no Geographic Unit selected by the Applicant within the area has a poverty rate of less than 20 percent.

(d) Designation. The CDFI Fund will provide a prospective Applicant with data and other information to help it identify areas eligible to be designated as a Distressed Community. Applicants shall submit designation materials as instructed in the applicable NOFA.

§ 1806.402 Measuring and reporting Qualified Activities.

(a) General. An Applicant may receive a BEA Program Award for engaging in any of the following categories of Qualified Activities during an Assessment Period: CDFI Related Activities, Distressed Community Financing Activities, or Service Activities. The CDFI Fund may further qualify such Qualified Activities in the applicable NOFA, including such additional geographic and transaction size limitations as the CDFI Fund deems appropriate.

(b) Reporting Qualified Activities. An Applicant should report only its Qualified Activities for the category for which it is seeking a BEA Program Award.

(1) If an Applicant elects to apply for an award in either the CDFI Related Activities category or the Distressed Community Financing Activities category, it must report on all types of activity within that category, unless the Applicant can provide a reasonable explanation, acceptable to the CDFI Fund in its sole discretion, as to why it cannot report on all activities in such category.

(2) If an Applicant elects to apply for an award in the Service Activities category, it may elect not to report each type of activity within the Service Activities category.

(c) Area served. CDFI Related Activities must be provided to a CDFI. CDFI Partners that are the recipients of CDFI Support Activities must demonstrate that they are Integrally Involved in a Distressed Community. Service Activities and Distressed Community Financing Activities must serve a Distressed Community. An activity is considered to serve a Distressed Community if it is:

(1) Undertaken in the Distressed Community; or

(2) Provided to Eligible Residents who meet Low- and Moderate-Income requirements or enterprises that are Integrally Involved in the Distressed Community.

(d) Certain Limitations on Qualified Activities. Activities funded with the proceeds of Federal funding or tax credit programs are ineligible for purposes of calculating or receiving a Bank Enterprise Award. Please see the applicable NOFA for each funding round's limitations on Qualified Activities. Qualified Activities shall not include loans to or investments in those business types set forth in the Uniform Administrative Requirements.

(e) Measuring the Value of Qualified Activities. Subject to such additional or alternative valuations as the CDFI Fund may specify in the applicable NOFA, the CDFI Fund will assess the value of:

(1) Equity Investments, Equity-Like Loans, loans, grants and certificates of deposits, at the original amount of such Equity Investments, Equity-Like Loans, loans, grants or certificates of deposits. Where a certificate of deposit matures and is then rolled over during the Baseline Period or the Assessment Period, as applicable, the CDFI Fund will assess the value of the full amount of the rolled-over deposit. Where an existing loan is refinanced (meaning, a new loan is originated to pay off an existing loan, whether or not there is a change in the applicable loan terms), the CDFI Fund will only assess the value of any increase in the principal amount of the refinanced loan;

(2) Project Investments at the original amount of the purchase of stock, limited partnership interest, other ownership interest, or grant;

(3) Deposit Liabilities at the dollar amount deposited as measured by comparing the net change in the amount of applicable funds on deposit at the Applicant during the Baseline Period with the net change in the amount of applicable funds on deposit at the Applicant during the Assessment Period, as described in paragraphs (e)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section:

(i) The Applicant shall calculate the net change in deposits during the Baseline Period by comparing the amount of applicable funds on deposit at the close of business the day before the beginning of the Baseline Period and at the close of business on the last day of the Baseline Period; and

(ii) The Applicant shall calculate the net change in such deposits during the Assessment Period by comparing the amount of applicable funds on deposit at the close of business the day before the beginning of the Assessment Period and at the close of business on the last day of the Assessment Period;

(4) Financial Services and Targeted Financial Services based on the predetermined amounts as set forth by the CDFI Fund in the applicable NOFA; and

(5) Financial Services (other than those for which the CDFI Fund has established a predetermined value), Community Services, and CDFI Support Activities consisting of Technical Assistance based on the administrative costs of providing such services.

(f) Closed transactions. A transaction shall be considered to have been closed and carried out during the Baseline Period or the Assessment Period if the documentation evidencing the transaction:

(1) Is executed on a date within the applicable Baseline Period or Assessment Period, respectively; and

(2) Constitutes a legally binding agreement between the Applicant and a borrower or investee, which agreement specifies the final terms and conditions of the transaction, except that any contingencies included in the final agreement must be typical of such transaction and acceptable (both in the judgment of the CDFI Fund); and

(3) An initial cash disbursement of loan or investment proceeds has occurred in a manner that is consistent with customary business practices and is reasonable given the nature of the transaction (as determined by the CDFI Fund), unless it is normal business practice to make no initial disbursement at closing and the Applicant demonstrates that the borrower has access to the proceeds, subject to reasonable conditions as may be determined by the CDFI Fund.

(g) Reporting period. An Applicant must only measure the amount of a Qualified Activity that it reasonably expects to disburse to an investee, borrower, or other recipient within one year of the end of the applicable Assessment Period, or such other period as may be set forth by the CDFI Fund in the applicable NOFA.

§ 1806.403 Estimated award amounts.

(a) General. An Applicant must calculate and submit to the CDFI Fund an estimated award amount as part of its BEA Program Award application.

(b) Award percentages. The CDFI Fund will establish the award percentage for each category of Qualified Activities in the applicable NOFA. Applicable award percentages for Qualified Activities undertaken by Applicants that are CDFIs will be equal to three times the award percentages for Qualified Activities undertaken by Applicants that are not CDFIs.

(c) Calculating the estimated award amount. The estimated award amount for each category of Qualified Activities will be equal to the applicable award percentage of the increase in the weighted value of such Qualified Activities between the Baseline Period and Assessment Period. The weighted value of the applicable Qualified Activities shall be calculated by:

(1) Subtracting the Baseline Period value of such Qualified Activity from the Assessment Period value of such Qualified Activity to yield a remainder; and

(2) Multiplying the remainder by the applicable Priority Factor (as set forth in the applicable NOFA).

(d) Estimated award eligibility review. The CDFI Fund will determine the eligibility of each transaction for which an Applicant has applied for a BEA Program Award. Based upon this review, the CDFI Fund will calculate the actual award amount for which such Applicant is eligible.

§ 1806.404 Selection process; actual award amounts.

(a) Sufficient funds available to cover estimated awards. All BEA Program Awards are subject to the availability of funds. If the amount of appropriated funds available during a funding round is sufficient to cover all estimated award amounts for which Applicants are eligible, in the CDFI Fund's determination, and an Applicant meets all of the program requirements specified in this part, then such Applicant shall receive an actual award amount that is calculated by the CDFI Fund in the manner specified in § 1806.403.

(b) Insufficient funds available to cover estimated awards. If the amount of funds available during a funding round is insufficient to cover all estimated award amounts for which Applicants are eligible, in the CDFI Fund's determination, then the CDFI Fund will select Recipients and determine actual award amounts based on the process described in subsection 1806.404(c) and any established maximum dollar amount of awards that may be awarded for the Distressed Community Financing Activities category, as described in the applicable NOFA.

(c) Priority of awards. In circumstances where there are insufficient funds to cover estimated awards, the CDFI Fund will rank Applicants based on whether the Applicant is a CDFI or a non-CDFI, and in each category of Qualified Activity (e.g., Service Activities) according to the priorities described in this paragraph (c). Selections within each priority category will be based on the Applicants' relative rankings within each category, and based on whether the Applicant is a CDFI or a non-CDFI, subject to the availability of funds.

(1) First priority. If the amount of funds available during a funding round is insufficient for all estimated award amounts, first priority will be given to CDFI Applicants that engaged in CDFI Related Activities, followed by non-CDFI Applicants that engaged in CDFI Related Activities ranked in the ratio as set forth in the applicable NOFA.

(2) Second priority. If the amount of funds available during a funding round is sufficient for all first priority Applicants but insufficient for all remaining estimated award amounts, second priority will be given to CDFI Applicants that engaged in Distressed Community Financing Activities, followed by non-CDFI Applicants that engaged in CDFI Related Activities, ranked in the ratio as set forth in the applicable NOFA.

(3) Third priority. If the amount of funds available during a funding round is sufficient for all first and second priority Applicants, but insufficient for all remaining estimated award amounts, third priority will be given to CDFI Applicants that engaged in Service Activities, followed by non-CDFI Applicants that engaged in Service Activities, ranked in the ratio as set forth in the applicable NOFA.

(d) Calculating actual award amounts. The CDFI Fund will determine actual award amounts based upon the availability of funds, increases in Qualified Activities from the Baseline to the Assessment Period, and an Applicant's priority ranking. If an Applicant receives an award for more than one priority category described in this section, the CDFI Fund will combine the award amounts into a single BEA Program Award.

(e) Unobligated or deobligated funds. The CDFI Fund, in its sole discretion, may use any deobligated funds or funds not obligated during a funding round:

(1) To select Applicants not previously selected, using the calculation and selection process contained in this part;

(2) To make additional monies available for a subsequent funding round; or

(3) As otherwise authorized by the Act.

(f) Limitation. The CDFI Fund, in its sole discretion, may deny or limit the amount of a BEA Program Award for any reason.

§ 1806.405 Applications for BEA Program Awards.

(a) Notice of funding availability; applications. Applicants must submit applications for BEA Program Awards in accordance with this section and the applicable NOFA. An Applicant's application must demonstrate a realistic course of action to ensure that it will meet the requirements described in subpart D within the period set forth in the applicable NOFA. Detailed application content requirements are found in the related application and applicable NOFA. The CDFI Fund will not disburse an award to an Applicant before it meets the eligibility requirements described in the applicable NOFA. The CDFI Fund shall require an Applicant to meet any additional eligibility requirements that the CDFI Fund deems appropriate. After receipt of an application, the CDFI Fund may request clarifying or technical information related to materials submitted as part of such application and/or to verify that Qualified Activities were carried out in the manner prescribed in this Part. The CDFI Fund, in its sole discretion, shall determine whether an applicant fulfills the requirements set for forth in this part and the applicable NOFA.

(b) Application contents. An application for a BEA Program Award must contain:

(1) A completed worksheet that reports the increases in Qualified Activities actually carried out during the Assessment Period as compared to those carried out during the Baseline Period. If an Applicant has merged with another institution during the Assessment Period, it must submit a separate Baseline Period worksheet for each subject institution and one Assessment Period worksheet that reports the activities of the merged institutions. If such a merger is unexpectedly delayed beyond the Assessment Period, the CDFI Fund reserves the right to withhold distribution of a BEA Program Award until the merger has been completed;

(2) A report of Qualified Activities that were closed during the Assessment Period. Such report shall describe the original amount, census tract served, dates of execution, initial disbursement, and final disbursement of the instrument;

(3) Documentation of Qualified Activities that meets the required thresholds and conditions described in § 1806.402(f) and the applicable NOFA;

(4) Information necessary for the CDFI Fund to complete its environmental review requirements pursuant to part 1815 of this chapter;

(5) Certifications, as described in the applicable NOFA and BEA Program Award application, that the information provided to the CDFI Fund is true and accurate and that the Applicant will comply with all relevant provisions of this chapter and all applicable Federal, State, and local laws, ordinances, regulations, policies, guidelines, and requirements;

(6) In the case of an Applicant that engaged in Service Activities, or Distressed Community Financing Activities, the Applicant must confirm, by submitting documentation as described in the applicable NOFA and BEA Program application, the Service Activities or Distressed Community Financing Activities were provided to:

(i) Eligible Residents that resided in a Distressed Community, or

(ii) A business located in a Distressed Community.

(7) Information that indicates that each CDFI to which an Applicant has provided CDFI Support Activities is Integrally Involved in a Distressed Community, as described in the applicable NOFA and BEA Program application; and

(8) Any other information requested by the CDFI Fund, or specified by the CDFI Fund in the applicable NOFA or the BEA Program application, in order to document or otherwise assess the validity of information provided by the Applicant to the CDFI Fund.

Subpart E—Terms and Conditions of Assistance
§ 1806.500 Award Agreement; sanctions.

(a) General. After the CDFI Fund selects a Recipient, the CDFI Fund and the Recipient will enter into an Award Agreement. In addition to the requirements of the Uniform Administrative Requirements, the Award Agreement will require that the Recipient:

(1) Must carry out its Qualified Activities in accordance with applicable law, the approved BEA Program application, and all other applicable requirements;

(2) Must comply with such other terms and conditions that the CDFI Fund may establish;

(3) Will not receive any BEA Program Award payment until the CDFI Fund has determined that the Recipient has fulfilled all applicable requirements;

(4) Must comply with performance goals that have been established by the CDFI Fund. Such performance goals will include measures that require the Recipient to use its BEA Program Award funds for Qualified Activities; and

(5) Must comply with all data collection and reporting requirements. Each Recipient must submit to the CDFI Fund such information and documentation that will permit the CDFI Fund to review the Recipient's progress in satisfying the terms and conditions of its Award Agreement, including:

(i) Annual report. Each Recipient shall submit to the CDFI Fund at least annually and within 90 days after the end of each year of the Recipient's performance period, an annual report that will provide data that, among other things, demonstrates the Recipient's compliance with its performance goals (including a description of any noncompliance), its uses of the BEA Program Award funds, and the impact of the BEA Program and the CDFI industry. Recipients are responsible for the timely and complete submission of the annual report.

(ii) Financial statement. A Recipient is not required to submit its financial statement to the CDFI Fund. The CDFI Fund may obtain the necessary information from publicly available sources.

(b) Sanctions. In the event of any fraud, misrepresentation, or noncompliance with the terms of the Award Agreement by the Recipient, the CDFI Fund may terminate, reduce, or recapture the award, bar the Recipient and/or its Affiliates from applying for an award from the CDFI Fund for a period to be decided by the CDFI Fund in its sole discretion, and pursue any other available legal remedies.

(c) Compliance with other CDFI Fund awards. In the event that an Applicant, Recipient, or its Subsidiary or Affiliate is not in compliance, as determined by the CDFI Fund, with the terms and conditions of any CDFI Fund award, the CDFI Fund may, in its sole discretion, bar said Applicant or Recipient from applying for future BEA Program Awards or withhold payment (either initial or subsequent) of BEA Program Award funds.

(d) Notice. Prior to imposing any sanctions pursuant to this section or an Award Agreement, the CDFI Fund will provide the Recipient with written notice of the proposed sanction and an opportunity to respond. Nothing in this section, however, will provide a Recipient with the right to any formal or informal hearing or comparable proceeding not otherwise required by law.

§ 1806.501 Compliance with government requirements.

In carrying out its responsibilities pursuant to an Award Agreement, the Recipient must comply with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws, regulations (including but not limited to the Uniform Administrative Requirements, ordinances, and Executive Orders).

§ 1806.502 Fraud, waste, and abuse.

Any person who becomes aware of the existence or apparent existence of fraud, waste, or abuse of assistance provided under this part should report such incidences to the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

§ 1806.503 Books of account, records, and government access.

(a) A Recipient shall submit such financial and activity reports, records, statements, and documents at such times, in such forms, and accompanied by such supporting data, as required by the CDFI Fund and the U.S. Department of the Treasury to ensure compliance with the requirements of this part. The United States Government, including the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Comptroller General, and its duly authorized representatives, shall have full and free access to the Recipient's offices and facilities, and all books, documents, records, and financial statements relevant to the award of the Federal funds and may copy such documents as they deem appropriate.

(b) The Award Agreement provides that the provisions of the Act, this part, and the Award Agreement are enforceable under 12 U.S.C. 1818 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act by the Appropriate Federal Banking Agency, as applicable, and that any violation of such provisions shall be treated as a violation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act. Nothing in this paragraph (b) precludes the CDFI Fund from directly enforcing the Award Agreement as provided for under the terms of the Act.

(c) The CDFI Fund will notify the Appropriate Federal Banking Agency before imposing any sanctions on a Recipient that is examined by or subject to the reporting requirements of that agency. The CDFI Fund will not impose a sanction described in section 1806.500(b) if the Appropriate Federal Banking Agency, in writing, not later than 30 calendar days after receiving notice from the CDFI Fund:

(1) Objects to the proposed sanction;

(2) Determines that the sanction would:

(i) Have a material adverse effect on the safety and soundness of the Recipient; or

(ii) Impede or interfere with an enforcement action against that Recipient by the Appropriate Federal Banking Agency;

(3) Proposes a comparable alternative action; and

(4) Specifically explains:

(i) The basis for the determination under paragraph (c)(2) of this section and, if appropriate, provides documentation to support the determination; and

(ii) How the alternative action suggested pursuant to paragraph (c)(3) of this section would be as effective as the sanction proposed by the CDFI Fund in securing compliance and deterring future noncompliance.

(d) Prior to imposing any sanctions pursuant to this section or an Award Agreement, the CDFI Fund shall, to the maximum extent practicable, provide the Recipient with written notice of the proposed sanction and an opportunity to comment. Nothing in this section, however, shall provide a Recipient to any formal or informal hearing or comparable proceeding not otherwise required by law.

§ 1806.504 Retention of records.

A Recipient must comply with all record retention requirements as set forth in the Uniform Administrative Requirements.

Dated: April 30, 2015. Mary Ann Donovan, Director, Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.
[FR Doc. 2015-10433 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-70-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0038; Directorate Identifier 2013-SW-023-AD; Amendment 39-18146; AD 2015-09-01] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Type Certificate Previously Held by Eurocopter France) AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Model EC225LP helicopters. This AD requires repetitive visual and tap test inspections of each main rotor blade (blade) leading edge stainless steel protective strip (strip) for a crack, cut, or blind or open debonding (debonding), and taking approved corrective measures. If there is a crack or if there is debonding that exceeds acceptable limits, this AD requires, before further flight, repairing or replacing the blade with an airworthy part. This AD was prompted by suspected water seepage through a crack in the blade strip resulting in significant debonding. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent loss of the blade strip, excessive vibrations induced by blade weight imbalance, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

This AD is effective June 9, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of June 9, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2014-0038.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any incorporated-by-reference service information, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations Office, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Gary Roach, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

On January 31, 2014, at 79 FR 5321, the Federal Register published our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Airbus Helicopters. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive visual and tap test inspections of each blade strip for a crack, cut, or debonding. If there is a crack or if there is debonding beyond acceptable limits or located outside a specific area, the NPRM proposed to require, before further flight, repairing or replacing the blade with an airworthy part. If there is a cut in the blade root polyurethane protective strip, the NPRM proposed to require tap test inspecting the blade for debonding. The proposed requirements were intended to prevent loss of the blade strip, excessive vibrations induced by blade weight imbalance, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2013-0103, dated May 2, 2013, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) Model EC225LP helicopters with certain blades installed. EASA advises that an investigation of significant debonding of a blade strip revealed rapidly progressing debonding caused by water seepage through a crack in the blade strip. EASA issued AD 2013-0103 requiring repetitive inspections of the blade strip to correct this condition.

Comments

After our NPRM (79 FR 5321, January 31, 2014) was published, we received comments from 2 commenters.

Request

Two commenters requested that a helicopter be allowed to operate with a crack in the leading edge blade strip as long as the crack is within the limits prescribed by the manufacturer. The commenters stated that EASA and the manufacturer allow for a helicopter to fly if the blade strip has a crack that is within limits because the blade strip is sacrificial and nonstructural. The commenters state that requiring repairing or replacing the blade strip if there is a crack results in a higher cost and greater out-of-service time for operators without a justifiable or measured increase in safety.

We agree with allowing a crack in the blade strip that is within limits and has been properly sealed. Therefore, we have changed paragraph (e)(5) of the AD to require sealing the crack instead of repairing or replacing the blade if there is a crack within acceptable limits.

FAA's Determination

This helicopter has been approved by the aviation authority of France and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with France, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the EASA AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA, reviewed the relevant information, considered the comments received, and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of this same type design and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed with the change described previously. This change is consistent with the intent of the proposals in the NPRM (79 FR 5321, January 31, 2014) and will not increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of this AD.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Eurocopter issued Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 05A010, Revision 2, dated April 22, 2013 (EASB), for the Model EC225LP helicopter and for the non-FAA typed certificated Model EC725AP military helicopter. The EASB specifies a visual check and tapping test of the bonding of the strip on the leading edge of the blades for cracks, cuts, and debonding and taking corrective actions as applicable. Revision 1 to the EASB changed the visual check and the tapping test so that they can be performed without removing the blades. Revision 2 extended the applicability to additional part-numbered blades with a modified blade strip installed. This information is reasonably available at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2014-0038. Or see ADDRESSES for other ways to access this service information.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 4 helicopters of U.S. Registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work hour. We estimate 4 work hours to inspect the helicopter for a total of $340 per helicopter and $1,360 for the U.S. operator fleet per inspection cycle. If necessary, it will take 4 work hours to repair the blade and $600 for required parts for a total of $940 per helicopter. It will take about 5 work hours to replace a blade at a cost of $425 for labor. Parts will cost $315,495 to replace part number (P/N) 332A11-0050-01 and $403,650 to replace P/N 332A11-0055-00, for a total cost of $315,920 and $404,075, respectively.

Regulatory Findings

This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:

(1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

(2) Is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979);

(3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and

(4) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.

Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-09-01 Airbus Helicopters (Type Certificate previously held by Eurocopter France): Amendment 39-18146, Docket No. FAA-2014-0038, Directorate Identifier 2013-SW-023-AD. (a) Applicability

This AD applies to Model EC225LP helicopters with a main rotor blade (blade), part number 332A11.0050.00, 332A11.0055.00, 332A11.0050.02, or 332A11.0055.02, installed, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

This AD defines the unsafe condition as loss of a blade stainless steel protective strip (strip), which could result in excessive vibrations induced by blade weight imbalance and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

(c) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective June 9, 2015.

(d) Compliance

You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

(e) Required Actions

Within 15 hours time-in-service (TIS) and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 85 hours TIS, visually and tap test inspect each blade strip for a crack, a cut, or open and blind debonding. For purposes of this AD, open debonding, also known as edge bond separation, occurs when a bonded part becomes unattached (debonded) leaving the surface under it exposed to open air around the periphery of the part. Blind debonding occurs when a bonded part becomes unattached internally yet remains bonded around its entire periphery.

(1) If there is open or blind debonding within acceptable limits and the debonded area is located inside Area D of Figure 1 of Eurocopter Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 05A010, Revision 2, dated April 22, 2013 (EASB), no further action is required until the next inspection.

(2) If there is open or blind debonding and the debonded area is located outside Area D of Figure 1 of the EASB, before further flight, repair or replace the blade.

(3) If there is open or blind debonding beyond acceptable limits, before further flight, repair or replace the blade.

(4) If there is a cut in the blade root polyurethane protective strip as depicted in Area A of Figure 2 of the EASB, tap test inspect the area.

(i) If there is no open and blind debonding, at intervals not to exceed 15 hours TIS, tap test inspect the blade strip in the blade root area, in the stainless steel leading edge/neoprene junction area for open or blind debonding.

(ii) If there is open or blind debonding within acceptable limits and the debonded area is located inside Area D of Figure 1 of the EASB, no further action is required until the next inspection.

(iii) If there is open or blind and the debonded area is located outside Area D of Figure 1 of the EASB, before further flight, repair or replace the blade.

(iv) If there is open or blind debonding beyond acceptable limits, before further flight, repair or replace the blade.

(5) If there is a crack within acceptable limits, before further flight, seal the crack. If there is a crack beyond the acceptable limits, before further flight, repair or replace the blade.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Gary Roach, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

(2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office, before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

(g) Additional Information

The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2013-0103, dated May 2, 2013. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2014-0038.

(h) Subject

Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6210 Main Rotor Blades.

(i) Material Incorporated by Reference

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(i) Eurocopter Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 05A010, Revision 2, dated April 22, 2013.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub.

(4) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.

(5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 16, 2015. Lance T. Gant, Acting Directorate Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-09548 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1130; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-008-AD; Amendment 39-18150; AD 2015-09-04] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; DG Flugzeugbau GmbH Gliders AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for DG Flugzeugbau GmbH Model DG-1000T gliders equipped with a Solo Kleinmotoren Model 2350 C engine that supersedes AD 2013-22-14 R1. This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as engine shaft failure with consequent propeller detachment. We are issuing this AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective May 26, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of May 26, 2015.

We must receive comments on this AD by June 19, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

Fax: (202) 493-2251.

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

Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this AD, contact Solo Kleinmotoren GmbH, Postfach 600152, 71050 Sindelfingen, Germany; telephone: +49 7031 301-0; fax: +49 7031 301-136; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://aircraft.solo-online.com/com. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1130.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1130 or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone (800) 647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jim Rutherford, Aerospace Engineer, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4165; fax: 98160 329-4090; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

On September 5, 2014, we issued AD 2013-22-14 R1, Amendment 39-17968 (79 FR 54895; September 15, 2014). That AD required actions intended to address an unsafe condition on DG Flugzeugbau GmbH Model DG-1000T gliders equipped with a Solo Kleinmotoren Model 2350 C engine and was based on mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country.

Since we issued AD 2013-22-14 R1, another occurrence of engine shaft failure and propeller detachment was reported on a Solo Kleinmotoren Model 2350 C engine that had been modified following Solo Kleinmotoren Service Bulletin 4603-14, dated April 28, 2014.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA AD No.: 2015-0052-E, dated March 27, 2015 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

An occurrence of engine shaft failure and consequent propeller detachment was reported on a Solo 2350 C engine.

This condition, if not corrected, could lead to additional cases of release of the propeller from the engine, possible resulting in damage to the sailplane, or injury to persons on the ground.

To address this unsafe condition, EASA issued Emergency AD 2013-0217-E to prohibit operation of the engine.

After that AD was issued, Solo Kleinmotoren GmbH developed instructions to install a modified excenter axle-pulley assembly, allowing to resume operation of the engine. This optional modification was introduced through EASA AD 2013-0217R1.

Since that AD was issued, another occurrence of engine shaft failure and propeller detachment was reported on a Solo 2350 C engine which had been modified in accordance with Solo Kleinmotoren Service Bulletin (SB) 4603-14.

For reasons described above, this AD supersedes EASA AD 2013-0217R1 and, pending the availability of EASA approved modification instructions, prohibits operation of all Solo 2350 C engines, including those engines which have been modified in accordance with Solo Kleinmotoren SB 4603-14. This AD also requires a one-time inspection of the propeller shaft to detect cracks and the reporting of findings.

This AD is considered to be temporary measure and further AD action will follow.

You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-116. Relative Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Solo Kleinmotoren GmbH Anleitung zur Inspektion (English translation: Inspection Instruction), Nr. 4603-1, Ausgabe (English translation: dated) March 26, 2015. The service information describes procedures for inspecting the propeller shaft for cracking and reporting the results to the manufacturer. This information is reasonably available at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1130 or see ADDRESSES for other ways to access this service information.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the AD

This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with this State of Design Authority, they have notified us of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by the State of Design Authority and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because failure of the engine shaft with consequent propeller detachment could result in damage to the glider or injury to persons on the ground. Therefore, we determined that notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in fewer than 30 days.

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-1130; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-008-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD because of those comments.

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

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD will affect 2 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 2 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour.

Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the AD on U.S. operators to be $340, or $170 per product.

Paperwork Reduction Act

A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control number for the collection of information required by this AD is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this AD has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591. ATTN: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

Authority for This Rulemaking

Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. “Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs,” describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.

We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in “Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

We determined that this AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:

(1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866,

(2) Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979),

(3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

(4) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.

Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Amendment 39-17968 (79 FR 54895; September 5, 2014), and adding the following new AD: 2015-09-04DG Flugzeugbau GmbH: Amendment 39-18150; Docket No. FAA-2015-1130; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-008-AD. (a) Effective Date

This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective May 26, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD supersedes AD 2013-22-14 R1; Amendment 39-17968 (79 FR 54895; September 5, 2014).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to DG Flugzeugbau GmbH Model DG-1000T gliders, all serial numbers, that are:

(1) Equipped with a Solo Kleinmotoren Model 2350 C engine; and

(2) Certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 72: Engine.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as engine shaft failure with consequent propeller detachment. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the engine shaft with consequent propeller detachment that could result in damage to the glider or injury of persons on the ground.

(f) Actions and Compliance

Unless already done, do the following actions:

(1) As of November 25, 2013 (the effective date retained from AD 2013-22-14), do not operate the engine unless the engine is modified following instructions that are FAA-approved specifically for this AD. Contact the FAA office identified in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD to get more information about obtaining such instructions.

(2) Modification of an engine following the instructions in Solo Kleinmotoren Service Bulletin 4603-14, dated April 28, 2014, is not an acceptable modification to comply with paragraph (f)(1) of this AD.

(3) As of May 26, 2015 (the effective date of this AD), place a copy of this AD into the Limitations section of the aircraft flight manual (AFM).

(4) Within the next 30 days after May 26, 2015 (the effective date of this AD), do a one-time inspection (magnetic particle or dye penetrant) of the propeller shaft following Solo Kleinmotoren GmbH Anleitung zur Inspektion (English translation: Inspection Instruction), Nr. 4603-1, Ausgabe (English translation: dated) March 26, 2015.

Note 1 to paragraph (f)(4) of this AD:

This service information contains German to English translation. The EASA used the English translation in referencing the document. For enforceability purposes, we will refer to the Solo Kleinmotoren service information as it appears on the document.

(5) Within the next 30 days after May 26, 2015 (the effective date of this AD), report the results of the inspection required in paragraph (f)(4) of this AD to Solo Kleinmotoren GmbH. Include the serial number of the engine and the operational time since change of the axle in your report. You may find contact information for Solo Kleinmotoren GmbH in paragraph (i)(3) of this AD.

(g) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Standards Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Jim Rutherford, Aerospace Engineer, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4165; fax: 98160 329-4090; email: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

(2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service.

(3) Reporting Requirements: For any reporting requirement in this AD, under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements and has assigned OMB Control Number 2120-0056.

(h) Related Information

Refer to MCAI found in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No.: 2015-0052-E, dated March 27, 2015, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1130.

(i) Material Incorporated by Reference

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(i) Solo Kleinmotoren GmbH Anleitung zur Inspektion (English translation: Inspection Instruction), Nr. 4603-1, Ausgabe (English translation: dated) March 26, 2015.

Note 2 to paragraph (i)(2)(i) of this AD:

This service information contains German to English translation. The EASA used the English translation in referencing the document. For enforceability purposes, we will refer to the Solo Kleinmotoren service information as it appears on the document.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Solo Kleinmotoren GmbH, Postfach 600152, 71050 Sindelfingen, Germany; telephone: +49 7031 301-0; fax: +49 7031 301-136; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://aircraft.solo-online.com/com.

(4) You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1130.

(5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on April 22, 2015. Earl Lawrence, Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-09928 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31013; Amdt. No. 3639] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule establishes, amends, suspends, or removes Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) and associated Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures (ODPs) for operations at certain airports. These regulatory actions are needed because of the adoption of new or revised criteria, or because of changes occurring in the National Airspace System, such as the commissioning of new navigational facilities, adding new obstacles, or changing air traffic requirements. These changes are designed to provide safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace and to promote safe flight operations under instrument flight rules at the affected airports.

DATES:

This rule is effective May 5, 2015. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of May 5, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Availability of matters incorporated by reference in the amendment is as follows:

For Examination

1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Ops-M30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Bldg., Ground Floor, Washington, DC, 20590-0001.

2. The FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located;

3. The office of Aeronautical Navigation Products, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 or,

4. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

Availability

All SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs are available online free of charge. Visit the National Flight Data Center at nfdc.faa.gov to register. Additionally, individual SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP copies may be obtained from the FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Richard A. Dunham III, Flight Procedure Standards Branch (AFS-420), Flight Technologies and Programs Divisions, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 (Mail Address: P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125) Telephone: (405) 954-4164.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This rule amends Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97), by establishing, amending, suspending, or removes SIAPS, Takeoff Minimums and/or ODPS. The complete regulatory description of each SIAP and its associated Takeoff Minimums or ODP for an identified airport is listed on FAA form documents which are incorporated by reference in this amendment under 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 1 CFR part 51, and 14 CFR part § 97.20. The applicable FAA forms are FAA Forms 8260-3, 8260-4, 8260-5, 8260-15A, and 8260-15B when required by an entry on 8260-15A.

The large number of SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, their complex nature, and the need for a special format make publication in the Federal Register expensive and impractical. Further, airmen do not use the regulatory text of the SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums or ODPs, but instead refer to their graphic depiction on charts printed by publishers of aeronautical materials. Thus, the advantages of incorporation by reference are realized and publication of the complete description of each SIAP, Takeoff Minimums and ODP listed on FAA form documents is unnecessary. This amendment provides the affected CFR sections and specifies the types of SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs with their applicable effective dates. This amendment also identifies the airport and its location, the procedure, and the amendment number.

Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

The material incorporated by reference is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section.

The material incorporated by reference describes SIAPS, Takeoff Minimums and/or ODPS as identified in the amendatory language for part 97 of this final rule.

The Rule

This amendment to 14 CFR part 97 is effective upon publication of each separate SIAP, Takeoff Minimums and ODP as Amended in the transmittal. Some SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and textual ODP amendments may have been issued previously by the FAA in a Flight Data Center (FDC) Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) as an emergency action of immediate flight safety relating directly to published aeronautical charts.

The circumstances that created the need for some SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP amendments may require making them effective in less than 30 days. For the remaining SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, an effective date at least 30 days after publication is provided.

Further, the SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs contained in this amendment are based on the criteria contained in the U.S. Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS). In developing these SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, the TERPS criteria were applied to the conditions existing or anticipated at the affected airports. Because of the close and immediate relationship between these SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, and safety in air commerce, I find that notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and, where applicable, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), good cause exists for making some SIAPs effective in less than 30 days.

The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. It, therefore—(1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26,1979) ; and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. For the same reason, the FAA certifies that this amendment will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 97

Air Traffic Control, Airports, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Issued in Washington, DC on April 10, 2015. John Duncan, Director, Flight Standards Service. Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97) is amended by establishing, amending, suspending, or removing Standard Instrument Approach Procedures and/or Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures effective at 0901 UTC on the dates specified, as follows:

PART 97—STANDARD INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44701, 44719, 44721-44722.

2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows: Effective 28 MAY 2015 Haleyville, AL, Posey Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Orig-B Franklin, VA, Franklin Muni-John Beverly Rose, VOR RWY 9, Amdt 14C, CANCELED Franklin, VA, Franklin Muni-John Beverly Rose, VOR/DME RWY 27, Amdt 9F, CANCELED Effective 25 JUNE 2015 Gustavus, AK, Gustavus, RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Amdt 3 Tampa, FL, Tampa Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 10, Amdt 2 New York, NY, John F Kennedy Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 4L, Amdt 2 Cleveland, OH, Cleveland-Hopkins Intl, LDA/DME RWY 6R, Amdt 1C, CANCELED Cleveland, OH, Cleveland-Hopkins Intl, LDA/DME RWY 24L, Amdt 1C, CANCELED Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, RNAV (RNP) W RWY 13R, Orig-B Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, RNAV (RNP) X RWY 13R, Orig-B Houston, TX, William P Hobby, ILS OR LOC RWY 4, ILS RWY 4 (SA CAT I), ILS RWY 4 (CAT II), ILS RWY 4 (CAT III), Amdt 42 Roosevelt, UT, Roosevelt Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 25, Orig-B
[FR Doc. 2015-10227 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31014; Amdt. No. 3640] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule amends, suspends, or removes Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) and associated Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures for operations at certain airports. These regulatory actions are needed because of the adoption of new or revised criteria, or because of changes occurring in the National Airspace System, such as the commissioning of new navigational facilities, adding new obstacles, or changing air traffic requirements. These changes are designed to provide for the safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace and to promote safe flight operations under instrument flight rules at the affected airports.

DATES:

This rule is effective May 5, 2015. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of May 5, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Availability of matter incorporated by reference in the amendment is as follows:

For Examination

1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Ops-M30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Bldg., Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001;

2. The FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located;

3. The office of Aeronautical Navigation Products, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 or,

4. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html. Availability

All SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs are available online free of charge. Visit the National Flight Data Center online at nfdc.faa.gov to register. Additionally, individual SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP copies may be obtained from the FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Richard A. Dunham III, Flight Procedure Standards Branch (AFS-420) Flight Technologies and Procedures Division, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 (Mail Address: P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125) telephone: (405) 954-4164.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This rule amends Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97) by amending the referenced SIAPs. The complete regulatory description of each SIAP is listed on the appropriate FAA Form 8260, as modified by the National Flight Data Center (NFDC)/Permanent Notice to Airmen (P-NOTAM), and is incorporated by reference under 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 1 CFR part 51, and 14 CFR 97.20. The large number of SIAPs, their complex nature, and the need for a special format make their verbatim publication in the Federal Register expensive and impractical. Further, airmen do not use the regulatory text of the SIAPs, but refer to their graphic depiction on charts printed by publishers of aeronautical materials. Thus, the advantages of incorporation by reference are realized and publication of the complete description of each SIAP contained on FAA form documents is unnecessary.

This amendment provides the affected CFR sections, and specifies the SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs with their applicable effective dates. This amendment also identifies the airport and its location, the procedure and the amendment number.

Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

The material incorporated by reference is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section.

The material incorporated by reference describes SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs as identified in the amendatory language for part 97 of this final rule.

The Rule

This amendment to 14 CFR part 97 is effective upon publication of each separate SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP as amended in the transmittal. For safety and timeliness of change considerations, this amendment incorporates only specific changes contained for each SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP as modified by FDC permanent NOTAMs.

The SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, as modified by FDC permanent NOTAM, and contained in this amendment are based on the criteria contained in the U.S. Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS). In developing these changes to SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, the TERPS criteria were applied only to specific conditions existing at the affected airports. All SIAP amendments in this rule have been previously issued by the FAA in a FDC NOTAM as an emergency action of immediate flight safety relating directly to published aeronautical charts.

The circumstances that created the need for these SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP amendments require making them effective in less than 30 days.

Because of the close and immediate relationship between these SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, and safety in air commerce, I find that notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and, where applicable, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), good cause exists for making these SIAPs effective in less than 30 days.

The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. It, therefore—(1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. For the same reason, the FAA certifies that this amendment will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 97

Air Traffic Control, Airports, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Issued in Washington, DC, on April 10, 2015. John Duncan, Director, Flight Standards Service. Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, Title 14, Code of Federal regulations, Part 97, (14 CFR part 97), is amended by amending Standard Instrument Approach Procedures and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, effective at 0901 UTC on the dates specified, as follows:

PART 97—STANDARD INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44701, 44719, 44721-44722.

2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows:

By amending: § 97.23 VOR, VOR/DME, VOR or TACAN, and VOR/DME or TACAN; § 97.25 LOC, LOC/DME, LDA, LDA/DME, SDF, SDF/DME; § 97.27 NDB, NDB/DME; § 97.29 ILS, ILS/DME, MLS, MLS/DME, MLS/RNAV; § 97.31 RADAR SIAPs; § 97.33 RNAV SIAPs; and § 97.35 COPTER SIAPs, Identified as follows:

* * * Effective Upon Publication AIRAC date State City Airport FDC No. FDC date Subject 28-May-15 MO Neosho Neosho Hugh Robinson 4/0069 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 MO Fredericktown A Paul Vance Fredericktown Rgnl 4/0070 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 1, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 MN Wheaton Wheaton Muni 4/0097 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 34, Orig. 28-May-15 MN Slayton Slayton Muni 4/0110 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Orig. 28-May-15 MO Joplin Joplin Rgnl 4/0113 03/25/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 MN Faribault Faribault Muni 4/0122 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 12, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 MN Preston Fillmore County 4/0148 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 11, Orig. 28-May-15 MN Preston Fillmore County 4/0150 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 MN Fergus Falls Fergus Falls Muni-Einar Mickelson Fld 4/0151 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Orig. 28-May-15 MO Fredericktown A Paul Vance Fredericktown Rgnl 4/0174 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 MN Hallock Hallock Muni 4/0175 03/25/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 MN Madison Lac Qui Parle County 4/0184 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Orig. 28-May-15 MN Wheaton Wheaton Muni 4/0191 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 16, Orig. 28-May-15 MI Gladwin Gladwin Zettel Memorial 4/0302 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Orig. 28-May-15 MN Madison Lac Qui Parle County 4/0304 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Orig. 28-May-15 MN Madison Lac Qui Parle County 4/0305 03/24/15 NDB RWY 32, Amdt 4. 28-May-15 MO Maryville Northwest Missouri Rgnl 4/0412 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 NE Kearney Kearney Rgnl 4/0429 03/24/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 36, Amdt 2. 28-May-15 MN Bigfork Bigfork Muni 4/0437 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 33, Orig-A. 28-May-15 MI Gladwin Gladwin Zettel Memorial 4/0443 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Orig. 28-May-15 MI Escanaba Delta County 4/0482 03/24/15 LOC/DME BC RWY 27, Amdt 1A. 28-May-15 MI Escanaba Delta County 4/0483 03/24/15 VOR RWY 27, Amdt 12A. 28-May-15 MI Escanaba Delta County 4/0485 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Orig-A. 28-May-15 MI Escanaba Delta County 4/0486 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Amdt 1A. 28-May-15 MI Escanaba Delta County 4/0488 03/24/15 VOR RWY 36, Orig-B. 28-May-15 MN Hutchinson Hutchinson Muni-Butler Field 4/0497 03/25/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 15, Orig-A. 28-May-15 ND Fargo Hector Intl 4/0501 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 MN Slayton Slayton Muni 4/0504 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Orig. 28-May-15 MN Eveleth Eveleth-Virginia Muni 4/0526 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Orig. 28-May-15 MN Eveleth Eveleth-Virginia Muni 4/0528 03/27/15 VOR RWY 27, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 MN Faribault Faribault Muni 4/0536 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 30, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 MN Glenwood Glenwood Muni 4/0547 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 33, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 MI Manistique Schoolcraft County 4/0606 03/25/15 VOR RWY 28, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 MI Jackson Jackson County-Reynolds Field 4/0679 03/25/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 MN Hallock Hallock Muni 4/0686 03/25/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Orig. 28-May-15 MI Manistique Schoolcraft County 4/0687 03/25/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 28, Orig. 28-May-15 IL Chicago/West Chicago Dupage 4/0946 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 20L, Orig-A. 28-May-15 ND Fargo Hector Intl 4/0947 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 MN Detroit Lakes Detroit Lakes-Wething Field 4/0963 03/24/15 VOR RWY 31, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 IL Chicago/West Chicago Dupage 4/1051 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 2R, Orig-A. 28-May-15 MI Jackson Jackson County-Reynolds Field 4/1085 03/25/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Orig-A. 28-May-15 PA Franklin Venango Rgnl 5/0851 03/27/15 VOR RWY 21, Amdt 8. 28-May-15 WI Prairie Du Chien Prairie Du Chien Muni 5/3716 03/20/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Orig-A. 28-May-15 WI Prairie Du Chien Prairie Du Chien Muni 5/3717 03/20/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Orig-A. 28-May-15 WI Prairie Du Chien Prairie Du Chien Muni 5/3718 03/20/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Orig-A. 28-May-15 WI Prairie Du Chien Prairie Du Chien Muni 5/3719 03/20/15 VOR/DME RWY 29, Amdt 8A. 28-May-15 CA San Diego/El Cajon Gillespie Field 5/3728 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Amdt 2B. 28-May-15 CA San Diego/El Cajon Gillespie Field 5/3729 03/27/15 LOC/DME D, Amdt 11. 28-May-15 WI Ladysmith Rusk County 5/3732 03/20/15 NDB RWY 32, Amdt 3. 28-May-15 WI Ladysmith Rusk County 5/3733 03/20/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Orig. 28-May-15 WI Ladysmith Rusk County 5/3734 03/20/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Orig. 28-May-15 WI Tomahawk Tomahawk Rgnl 5/3747 03/20/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Amdt 2A. 28-May-15 WI Tomahawk Tomahawk Rgnl 5/3748 03/20/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Amdt 2. 28-May-15 WI Superior Richard I Bong 5/3749 03/20/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Orig. 28-May-15 WI Superior Richard I Bong 5/3750 03/20/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 22, Orig. 28-May-15 WI Superior Richard I Bong 5/3751 03/20/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Orig. 28-May-15 WI Platteville Platteville Muni 5/3757 03/20/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 7, Orig-A. 28-May-15 WI Shell Lake Shell Lake Muni 5/3761 03/20/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Orig. 28-May-15 WI Shell Lake Shell Lake Muni 5/3762 03/20/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Orig. 28-May-15 WI Shell Lake Shell Lake Muni 5/3763 03/20/15 VOR/DME RWY 32, Orig. 28-May-15 WI Waukesha Waukesha County 5/3765 03/20/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 10, Amdt 2. 28-May-15 WI Neillsville Neillsville Muni 5/3766 03/23/15 NDB RWY 28, Amdt 7. 28-May-15 WI Neillsville Neillsville Muni 5/3767 03/23/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 10, Orig. 28-May-15 WI Chetek Chetek Muni-Southworth 5/3768 03/23/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Orig-C. 28-May-15 WI Chetek Chetek Muni-Southworth 5/3769 03/23/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Orig-B. 28-May-15 KY Bowling Green Bowling Green-Warren County Rgnl 5/4171 03/24/15 VOR-A, Orig. 28-May-15 KY Bowling Green Bowling Green-Warren County Rgnl 5/4172 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 21, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 KY Bowling Green Bowling Green-Warren County Rgnl 5/4173 03/24/15 NDB RWY 3, Amdt 2. 28-May-15 AL Dothan Dothan Rgnl 5/4635 03/24/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 32, Amdt 9. 28-May-15 AL Dothan Dothan Rgnl 5/4636 03/24/15 VOR RWY 14, Amdt 4. 28-May-15 AL Fairhope H L Sonny Callahan 5/4660 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 1, Amdt 2. 28-May-15 AL Fairhope H L Sonny Callahan 5/4662 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Amdt 2. 28-May-15 AL Birmingham Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Intl 5/4663 03/24/15 LOC RWY 18, Amdt 2A. 28-May-15 AL Anniston Anniston Rgnl 5/4664 03/24/15 NDB RWY 5, Amdt 4B. 28-May-15 AL Anniston Anniston Rgnl 5/4665 03/24/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 5, Amdt 3B. 28-May-15 AL Alexander City Thomas C Russell Fld 5/4666 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 AL Andalusia/Opp South Alabama Rgnl At Bill Benton Field 5/4668 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Amdt 2. 28-May-15 AL Andalusia/Opp South Alabama Rgnl At Bill Benton Field 5/4669 03/24/15 COPTER NDB RWY 29, Orig. 28-May-15 AL Andalusia/Opp South Alabama Rgnl At Bill Benton Field 5/4670 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 11, Amdt 2. 28-May-15 AL Ozark Blackwell Field 5/4676 03/24/15 VOR RWY 31, Amdt 7. 28-May-15 AL Marion Vaiden Field 5/4677 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 34, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 AL Gadsden Northeast Alabama Rgnl 5/4765 03/24/15 ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 24, Orig. 28-May-15 AL Gadsden Northeast Alabama Rgnl 5/4766 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 AL Gadsden Northeast Alabama Rgnl 5/4767 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 6, Amdt 1A. 28-May-15 AL Gadsden Northeast Alabama Rgnl 5/4768 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 AL Gadsden Northeast Alabama Rgnl 5/4769 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 AL Bay Minette Bay Minette Muni 5/4771 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 8, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 AL Ozark Blackwell Field 5/4772 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Orig. 28-May-15 AL Ozark Blackwell Field 5/4773 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Orig. 28-May-15 AL Anniston Anniston Rgnl 5/4774 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 5, Amdt 1A. 28-May-15 AL Headland Headland Muni 5/4873 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 AL Headland Headland Muni 5/4874 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 AL Evergreen Middleton Field 5/4877 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 28, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 AL Evergreen Middleton Field 5/4878 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 10, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 AL Evergreen Middleton Field 5/4879 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 1, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 AL Russellville Bill Pugh Field 5/4880 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 20, Orig-A. 28-May-15 AL Russellville Bill Pugh Field 5/4881 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 2, Orig-A. 28-May-15 AL Mobile Mobile Rgnl 5/4897 03/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 AL Monroeville Monroe County 5/4901 03/23/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 3, Orig-B. 28-May-15 AL Monroeville Monroe County 5/4902 03/23/15 VOR RWY 3, Amdt 10. 28-May-15 AL Monroeville Monroe County 5/4903 03/23/15 VOR RWY 21, Amdt 10. 28-May-15 AL Montgomery Montgomery Rgnl (Dannelly Field) 5/4991 03/23/15 NDB RWY 10, Amdt 19. 28-May-15 AL Centre Centre-Piedmont-Cherokee County Rgnl 5/4995 03/23/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 25, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 AL Centre Centre-Piedmont-Cherokee County Rgnl 5/4996 03/23/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 7, Amdt 1. 28-May-15 WV Berkeley Springs Potomac Airpark 5/5415 03/27/15 GPS RWY 29, Orig. 28-May-15 WV Berkeley Springs Potomac Airpark 5/5416 03/27/15 GPS RWY 11, Orig. 28-May-15 WV Berkeley Springs Potomac Airpark 5/5417 03/27/15 VOR RWY 29, Amdt 6. 28-May-15 CO Denver Centennial 5/5763 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 28, Amdt 1A. 28-May-15 NY Montauk Montauk 5/5861 03/26/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Amdt 1A. 28-May-15 NY Montauk Montauk 5/5862 03/26/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 6, Orig-A. 28-May-15 TX Arlington Arlington Muni 5/5863 03/25/15 ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 34, Amdt 2B. 28-May-15 TX Arlington Arlington Muni 5/5864 03/25/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 34, Amdt 3B. 28-May-15 MI Hastings Hastings 5/5865 03/23/15 VOR RWY 12, Orig-F. 28-May-15 CA Rio Vista Rio Vista Muni 5/6625 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 25, Amdt 3B. 28-May-15 CA Rio Vista Rio Vista Muni 5/6626 03/27/15 VOR/DME-A, Amdt 2. 28-May-15 HI Honolulu Honolulu Intl 5/6631 03/27/15 ILS Y RWY 4R, Amdt 1A. 28-May-15 WI New Lisbon Mauston-New Lisbon Union 5/6662 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Orig-A. 28-May-15 TX Cotulla Cotulla-La Salle County 5/7127 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Amdt 2. 28-May-15 TX Houston Ellington 5/7357 03/27/15 TACAN RWY 35L, Orig. 28-May-15 TX Houston Ellington 5/7358 03/27/15 TACAN RWY 17R, Orig. 28-May-15 TX Houston Ellington 5/7359 03/27/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 17R, Amdt 6. 28-May-15 TX Houston Ellington 5/7360 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 17R, Amdt 1A. 28-May-15 TX Houston Ellington 5/7361 03/27/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 22, Amdt 2A. 28-May-15 SC Bamberg Bamberg County 5/8196 03/30/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 5, Orig-A. 28-May-15 SC Bamberg Bamberg County 5/8197 03/30/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 23, Orig-A. 28-May-15 MA Norwood Norwood Memorial 5/8445 03/31/15 LOC RWY 35, Amdt 10B. 28-May-15 MA Norwood Norwood Memorial 5/8446 03/31/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Amdt 1B. 28-May-15 KY Covington Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Intl 5/8875 03/15/15 RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 27, Orig. 28-May-15 KY Covington Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Intl 5/8876 03/15/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 27, Amdt 17A. 28-May-15 NY East Hampton East Hampton 5/8887 03/31/15 VOR-A, Amdt 11. 28-May-15 PA Mount Pocono Pocono Mountains Muni 5/8894 03/30/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Amdt 2B.
[FR Doc. 2015-10235 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-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 canceling temporary deviation from drawbridge regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is canceling the temporary deviation concerning 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 needs to be canceled due to contract agreements with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the bridge construction company. Weekend work dates have been changed.

DATES:

The temporary deviation published on April 28, 2015, at 80 FR 23445, is cancelled as of April 28, 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 cancelation, 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:

A. Basis and Purpose

On April 28, 2015, we published a temporary deviation entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Lewis and Clark River, Astoria, OR” in the Federal Register (80 FR 23445). The temporary deviation concerned the operating schedule of the Oregon State (Lewis and Clark) highway bridge. This deviation allowed the bascule span to remain in the closed-to-navigation position to accommodate bridge maintenance activities on the bridge, and need not open to maritime traffic. This deviation from the operating regulations was authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

B. Cancellation

ODOT made a contract agreement after the requested temporary deviation was approved. At the time of the initial request submitted by the ODOT Project Manager, the bridge construction crew was planning to work Monday through Friday. However, on April 10, 2015, ODOT and the construction company changed the working days to Tuesday through Saturday. ODOT noticed the discrepancy after reviewing the approval letter. As a result of this discrepancy, the times listed in the approved temporary deviation are incorrect.

Dated: April 29, 2015. Steven M. Fischer, Bridge Administrator, Thirteenth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2015-10430 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2014-1075] RIN 1625-AA87 Security Zone, U.S. Open Golf Championship, South Puget Sound; University Place, WA AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary security zone for the U.S. Open Golf Championship at Chambers Bay Golf Course in South Puget Sound, University Place, WA, from June 14, 2015 through June 22, 2015. This action is necessary to ensure the safety and security of participants, spectators, and event officials at the U.S. Open Golf Championship, and will do so by prohibiting any person or vessel from entering or remaining in the security zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or his Designated Representative.

DATES:

This rule is effective from June 14, 2015 through June 22, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket [USCG-2014-1075]. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, and use “USCG-2014-1075” as your search term. Click on the link for this rulemaking and follow the instructions on that Web site for viewing documents in the docket. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Petty Officer Ryan Griffin, Waterways Management Division, Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, telephone (206) 217-6045 or email [email protected]. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

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

The Pierce County Sheriff Department requested that the Coast Guard establish a temporary security zone to assist in the security and safety of the 65,000 potential attendees of the U.S Open Golf Championship event, set to take place at Chambers Bay Golf Course in South Puget Sound, University Place, WA, from June 14, 2015 through June 22, 2015. On February 11, 2015, the Coast Guard proposed to establish a temporary security zone in connection with this event by publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled, “Security Zone, U.S. Open Golf Championship, South Puget Sound; University Place, WA” in the Federal Register (80 FR 7553). The Coast Guard received no comments in response to the NPRM, and received no requests for a public meeting.

B. Basis and Purpose

The legal basis for the proposed rule is 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1, which collectively authorize the Coast Guard to establish security zones.

The Chambers Bay Golf Course, located in the city of University Place, WA and the County of Pierce, will be the host site for the U.S. Golf Association 115th Annual U.S. Open Golf Championship from June 15, 2015 through June 21, 2015. This event will have a daily attendance of approximately 65,000 people and receives international press including multiple days of live television coverage. Due to the high number of general public in attendance and press coverage, the U.S. Open Golf Championship qualifies as a significant special event that requires a security zone. Based on past incursions at similar events at Chambers Bay Golf Course, this security zone is necessary for the size detailed in the regulation section below, 24 hours a day, for the duration of the event.

The purpose of this rule is to deter and prevent potential criminal and terrorist activity against the large gathering of people at the highly publicized U.S. Open Golf Championship. This action is necessary to ensure the safety and security of participants, spectators, and event officials at the U.S. Open Golf Championship, and will do so by prohibiting any person or vessel from entering or remaining in the security zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or his Designated Representative.

C. Discussion of the Temporary Final Rule

On February 11, 2015, the Coast Guard proposed to establish a temporary security zone in connection with the U.S. Open Golf Championship by publishing an NPRM in the Federal Register (80 FR 7553). The Coast Guard received no comments in response to the NPRM. As a result, the Coast Guard is establishing this temporary security zone as proposed in the NPRM without change.

This temporary final rule establishes a temporary security zone on all waters encompassed by the following points: 47°12′50″ N., 122°35′25″ W.; thence southerly to 47°11′14″ N., 122°35′50″ W.; thence easterly to the shoreline at 47°11′14″ N., 122°35′03″ W.; thence northerly along the shoreline to 47°12′49″ N., 122°34′39″ W.; thence westerly back to the point of origin.

Vessels wishing to enter the security zone must request permission for entry by contacting the Joint Harbor Operations Center at (206) 217-6001, or the on-scene patrol craft via VHF-FM Ch 13. If permission for entry is granted, vessels must proceed at a minimum speed for safe navigation.

D. Regulatory Analyses

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

1. Regulatory Planning and Review

This rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of Executive Order 12866 or under section 1 of Executive Order 13563. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under those Orders. The rule is not a significant regulatory action because the security zone will be in place for a limited period of time and vessel traffic will be able to transit around the security zone. Maritime traffic may also request permission to transit through the zone from the Captain of the Port (COTP), Puget Sound or a Designated Representative.

2. Impact on Small Entities

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard received no comments from the Small Business Administration on this rule. 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 affects the following entities, some of which may be small entities: the owners and operators of vessels intending to operate in the waters covered by the security zone while it is in effect. The rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the temporary security zone would be in place for a limited period of time and maritime traffic will be able to transit around the security zone. Maritime traffic may also request permission to transit through the zone from the COTP, Puget Sound or a Designated Representative.

3. Assistance for Small Entities

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

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

4. Collection of Information

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

5. Federalism

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

6. Protest Activities

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

7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

8. Taking of Private Property

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

9. Civil Justice Reform

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

10. Protection of Children

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

11. Indian Tribal Governments

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

12. Energy Effects

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

14. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)(42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves the establishment of a temporary security zone near Chambers Bay Golf Course in South Puget Sound, University Place, WA. 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. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

2. Add temporary § 165.T13-281 to read as follows:
§ 165.T13.281 Security Zone; U.S. Open Golf Championship, South Puget Sound; University Place, WA.

(a) Location. This temporary security zone is established in all waters encompassed by the following points: 47°12′50″ N., 122°35′25″ W.; thence southerly to 47°11′14″ N., 122°35′50″ W.; thence easterly to the shoreline at 47°11′14″ N., 122°35′03″ W.; thence northerly along the shoreline to 47°12′49″ N., 122°34′39″ W.; thence westerly back to the point of origin.

(b) Regulations. In accordance with the general regulations in 33 CFR part 165, subpart D, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the security zone created by this section without the permission of the Captain of the Port or his Designated Representative. Designated Representatives are Coast Guard Personnel authorized by the Captain of the Port to grant persons or vessels permission to enter or remain in the security zone created by this section. See 33 CFR part 165, subpart D, for additional information and requirements. Vessels wishing to enter the zone must request permission for entry by contacting the Joint Harbor Operations Center at (206) 217-6001, or the on-scene patrol craft via VHF-FM Ch 13. If permission for entry is granted vessels must proceed at a minimum speed for safe navigation.

(c) Enforcement period. This rule will be enforced from 6 a.m. on June 14, 2015, until 11 p.m. on June 22, 2015, unless canceled sooner by the Captain of the Port.

Dated: April 22, 2015. M.W. Raymond, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Puget Sound.
[FR Doc. 2015-10488 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 174 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0454; FRL-9925-85] Bacillus thuringiensis Cry2Ab2 Protein in Soybean; Exemption From the Requirement of a Tolerance AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This regulation establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of the Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) Cry2Ab2 protein in or on soybean when the protein is used as a plant-incorporated protectant (PIP) in soybean. Monsanto Company submitted a petition to EPA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), requesting an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. This regulation eliminates the need to establish a maximum permissible level for residues of B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein in or on soybean.

DATES:

This regulation is effective May 5, 2015. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before July 6, 2015, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0454, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Robert McNally, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (7511P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

• Crop production (NAICS code 111).

• Animal production (NAICS code 112).

• Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

• Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

You may access a frequently updated electronic version of 40 CFR part 174 through the Government Publishing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

C. How can I file an objection or hearing request?

Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a(g), any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0454 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before July 6, 2015. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0454, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

II. Background and Statutory Findings

In the Federal Register initially on October 24, 2014 (79 FR 63596) (FRL-9916-03) and then again January 28, 2015 (80 FR 4527) (FRL-9921-55), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide tolerance petition (PP 4F8276) by Monsanto Company, 800 North Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63167. The petition requested an amendment to 40 CFR 174.519 by extending the current exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein in corn and cotton to all food commodities. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by the petitioner Monsanto Company, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. A comment was received on the October 24, 2014, notice of filing. EPA's response to this comment is discussed in Unit VII.C.

Based on available data, EPA is amending the existing exemption for residues of B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein in corn and cotton to include residues in soybean rather than all food commodities as requested. The reasons for this change are discussed in Unit VII.D.

Section 408(c)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish an exemption from the requirement for a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the exemption is “safe.” Section 408(c)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Pursuant to FFDCA section 408(c)(2)(B), in establishing or maintaining in effect an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance, EPA must take into account the factors set forth in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(C), which require EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue . . . .” Additionally, FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D) requires that the Agency consider “available information concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues” and “other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.”

EPA performs a number of analyses to determine the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide residues. First, EPA determines the toxicity of pesticides. Second, EPA examines exposure to the pesticide through food, drinking water, and through other exposures that occur as a result of pesticide use in residential settings.

III. Toxicological Profile

Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action and considered its validity, completeness and reliability, and the relationship of this information to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children.

The acute oral toxicity data demonstrates the lack of mammalian toxicity at high levels of exposure to the pure B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein. Further, amino acid sequence comparisons showed no similarities between the B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein and known toxic proteins in protein databases. In addition, the B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein was shown to be substantially degraded by heat when examined by immunoassay. This instability to heat would also lessen the potential dietary exposure to intact B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein in cooked or processed foods. These biochemical features along with the lack of adverse results in the acute oral toxicity test support the conclusion that there is a reasonable certainty no harm from toxicity will result from dietary exposure to residues of the B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein in the identified soybean commodities.

Since this PIP is a protein, allergenic potential was also considered. Currently, no definitive tests for determining the allergenic potential of novel proteins exist. Therefore, EPA uses a weight-of-evidence approach where the following factors are considered: Source of the trait; amino acid sequence comparison with known allergens; and biochemical properties of the protein, including in vitro digestibility in simulated gastric fluid (SGF) and glycosylation. This approach is consistent with the approach outlined in the Annex to the Codex Alimentarius “Guideline for the Conduct of Food Safety Assessment of Foods Derived from Recombinant-DNA Plants.” The allergenicity assessment for the B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein follows:

1. Source of the trait. Bacillus thuringiensis is not considered to be a source of allergenic proteins.

2. Amino acid sequence. A comparison of the amino acid sequence of the B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein with known allergens showed no significant overall sequence similarity or identity at the level of eight contiguous amino acid residues.

3. Digestibility. The B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein was rapidly digested in 15 seconds in simulated mammalian gastric fluid containing pepsin.

4. Glycosylation. The B.t. Cry2AB2 protein expressed in soybean was shown not to be glycosylated.

5. Conclusion. Considering all of the available information, EPA has concluded that the potential for the B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein to be a food allergen is minimal.

The information on the safety of the pure B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein provides adequate justification to address possible exposures in all soybean crops.

IV. Aggregate Exposures

In examining aggregate exposure, FFDCA section 408 directs EPA to consider available information concerning exposures from the pesticide residue in food and all other non-occupational exposures, including drinking water from ground water or surface water and exposure through pesticide use in gardens, lawns, or buildings (residential and other indoor uses).

The Agency considered available information on the aggregate exposure levels of consumers (and major identifiable subgroups of consumers) to the pesticide chemical residue and to other related substances. These considerations include dietary exposure under the tolerance exemption and all other exemptions in effect for the B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein residue, and exposure from non-occupational sources. Oral exposure may occur at very low levels from ingestion of corn, cotton and soybean products. With respect to drinking water, since the PIP is integrated into the plant genome and based upon EPA's human health and environmental assessments for B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein (Refs. 1 and 2), the Agency expects residues in drinking water to be extremely low or non-existent.

Exposure via the skin or inhalation is not likely since the plant-incorporated protectant is contained within plant cells, which essentially eliminates these exposure routes or reduces exposure by these routes to negligible. Exposure to infants and children via residential or lawn use is also not expected because the use sites for the B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein is agricultural.

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

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

Since the B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein does not act through a toxic mode of action, nor does the B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances, the protein does not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances; therefore, the requirements of section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) do not apply.

VI. Determination of Safety for U.S. Population, Infants and Children

FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(C) provides that, in considering the establishment of a tolerance or tolerance exemption for a pesticide chemical residue, EPA shall assess the available information about consumption patterns among infants and children, special susceptibility of infants and children to pesticide chemical residues, and the cumulative effects on infants and children of the residues and other substances with a common mechanism of toxicity. In addition, FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(C) provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold (10X) margin of exposure (safety) for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the database on toxicity and exposure unless EPA determines that a different margin of exposure (safety) will be safe for infants and children. This additional margin of exposure (safety) is commonly referred to as the Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor. In applying this provision, EPA either retains the default value of 10X or uses a different additional safety factor when reliable data available to EPA support the choice of a different factor.

Based on the information discussed in Unit III., EPA concludes that there are no threshold effects of concern to infants, children, or adults from exposure to the B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein. As a result, EPA concludes that no additional margin of exposure (safety) is necessary to protect infants and children and that not adding any additional margin of exposure (safety) will be safe for infants and children.

Therefore, based on the discussion in Unit III. and the supporting documentation, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the U.S. population, including infants and children, from aggregate exposure to the residues of the B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein in soybean, when it is used as a plant-incorporated protectant. Such exposure includes all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.

VII. Other Considerations A. Endocrine Disruptors

The pesticidal active ingredient is a protein, derived from a source that is not known to exert an influence on the endocrine system. Therefore, the Agency is not requiring information on the endocrine effects of the plant-incorporated protectant at this time.

B. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

A standard operating procedure for an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the detection and quantification of the B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein in soybean tissue has been submitted.

C. Response to Comments

EPA received one comment that is potentially relevant to this petition. The commenter generally opposed approval of the use of a Monsanto “bt pip,” but did not specify any particular PIP or any particular safety concern. As no specific basis for denying the petition was provided, the comment is not being further considered.

D. Revisions to Petition for Tolerance

Monsanto's petition requested an exemption for residues of the B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein in or on all food and feed commodities. However, based on the data provided, the Agency can only support a safety finding for residues in or on soybean at this time. Currently, the Agency does not have adequate information for a full range of crops for an exemption for the B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein in or on all food and feed commodities.

VIII. Conclusions

There is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the U.S. population, including infants and children, to residues of the B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein in all food and feed commodities of soybean. This includes all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information. The Agency has arrived at this conclusion because, as discussed in this unit, no toxicity to mammals has been observed, nor is there any indication of allergenicity potential for the plant-incorporated protectant.

Therefore, an exemption is established for residues of the B.t. Cry2Ab2 protein in or on soybean when the protein is used as a PIP in soybean.

IX. References

1. U.S. EPA. 2014a. Review of Product Characterization and Human Health Data for Plant-Incorporated Protectant Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry2Ab2 and Cry1A.105 Insect Control Protein and the Genetic Material Necessary for Its Production in MON 87751 and the Combined-Trait Insect Protected Soybeans in Support for an Experimental Use Permit, Sec. 3 Registration and Exemptions from the Requirement of a Tolerance. Memorandum from J. Facey, Ph.D. through J. Kough, Ph.D. to K. Haymes, Ph.D., dated December 23, 2014.

2. U.S. EPA. 2014b. Environmental Risk Assessment for the FIFRA Section 3 Seed Increase Registration of the Plant-Incorporated Protectant (PIP), Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1A.105 and Cry2Ab2 Insect Control Proteins and the Genetic Material (PV-GMIR13196) Necessary for Their Production in Event MON 87751 Soybean. Memorandum from I. You, Ph.D. through S. Borges to K. Haymes, Ph.D., dated December 16, 2014.

X. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

XI. Congressional Review Act

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

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 174

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

Dated: April 22, 2015. Jack E. Housenger, Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.

Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

PART 174—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 174 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 136-136y; 21 U.S.C. 346a and 371.

2. § 174.519 is revised to read as follows:
§ 174.519 Bacillus thuringiensis Cry2Ab2 protein; exemption from the requirement of a tolerance.

(a) Residues of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry2Ab2 protein in or on corn or cotton are exempt from the requirement of a tolerance when used as a plant-incorporated protectant in the food and feed commodities of corn; corn, field; corn, sweet; corn, pop; and cotton seed, cotton oil, cotton meal, cotton hay, cotton hulls, cotton forage, and cotton gin byproducts.

(b) Residues of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry2Ab2 protein in or on soybean are exempt from the requirement of a tolerance when used as a plant-incorporated protectant in the food and feed commodities of soybean.

[FR Doc. 2015-10493 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 90 [PS Docket No. 09-19; RM-11514 and RM-11531; FCC 15-37] Travelers' Information Stations AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

In this document, the Commission amends its rules pertaining to public safety Travelers' Information Stations (TIS), which Public Safety Pool-eligible entities operate to transmit noncommercial, travel-related information over AM band frequencies to motorists on a localized basis. One current TIS rule requires the filtering of audio frequencies transmitted over TIS. Specifically, the Commission relaxes the rule to require the filtering of audio frequencies above 5 kHz instead of 3 kHz. This rule change will enable TIS operators to improve the audio quality and intelligibility of TIS broadcasts, thus improving their ability to communicate clearly with the traveling public.

DATES:

Effective June 4, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Thomas Eng, Policy and Licensing Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554, at (202) 418-0019, TTY (202) 418-7233, or via email at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This is a summary of the Commission's Second Report and Order in PS Docket No. 09-19; RM-11514 and RM-11531; adopted March 25, 2015 and released on March 26, 2015. The complete text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. Alternative formats (computer diskette, large print, audio cassette, and Braille) are available to persons with disabilities or by sending an email to [email protected] or calling the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530, TTY (202) 418-0432. This document is also available on the Commission's Web site at http://www.fcc.gov.

Introduction

Commission rules authorize Public Safety Pool-eligible entities to use Travelers' Information Stations (TIS) to transmit noncommercial, travel-related information over AM band frequencies to motorists on a localized basis. § 90.242(b)(8) of the Commission's rules requires the filtering of audio frequencies between 3 and 20 kHz. Based on a comment record indicating that this filtering decreases the audibility of TIS broadcasts in general, and especially at night and over difficult terrain, the Commission adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) concurrently with the Report and Order proposing elimination of the TIS filtering requirement. In comments to the FNPRM, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) proposed relaxing, but not eliminating, the filtering requirement from 3 kHz to 5 kHz. The Commission sought comment on this proposal. The subsequent record indicates that a relaxed filtering requirement could improve TIS audio quality to match that of AM broadcast stations, while still retaining a sufficient filtering requirement to minimize adjacent channel interference. Accordingly, in this proceeding we adopt a Second Report and Order that maintains a filtering requirement but relaxes it from 3 kHz to 5 kHz. We will also do the following: (1) Require use of a new roll-off curve to maintain the required 50 dB attenuation at 20 kHz; (2) allow placement of the filter ahead of the TIS transmitter in addition to current filter placement requirement and; (3) require certification only for newly manufactured equipment that implements these new rules.

Background

The Commission established TIS in 1977 in order to “establish an efficient means of communicating certain kinds of information to travelers over low power radio transmitters licensed to Local Government entities.” The Commission specifically noted that such stations had been used to reduce traffic congestion and to transmit “road conditions, travel restrictions, and weather forecasts to motorists.” Further, the Commission anticipated that TIS also would be used to “transmit travel related emergency messages concerning natural disasters (e.g., forest fires, floods, etc.), traffic accidents and hazards, and related bulletins affecting the immediate welfare of citizens.”

Although the NPRM did not raise the issue of removal of the filtering provision of § 90.242(b)(8), numerous commenters supported it in the record. The FNPRM thus sought further comment on this issue in order to establish a more complete record. The NPRM received eleven comments (three from the American Association of Information Radio Operators (AAIRO)) and four reply comments (two from AAIRO). Because NAB proposed relaxing rather than eliminating this requirement in its comments, and AAIRO expressed accord with this compromise position in its own comments, the Commission sought further comment on this newly raised option in the Filtering PN.

Second Report and Order

We now consider the record in this proceeding with respect the issues of relaxing or eliminating the filtering provision of § 90.242(b)(8), which requires the filtering of TIS audio frequencies above 3 kHz.

As noted, although the NPRM did not raise the issue, numerous commenters argued in the docket for removal of the TIS filtering requirement. Commenters contended that this requirement decreases the audibility of TIS broadcasts in general, and especially at night and over difficult terrain. One commenter in particular, Burden, stated that he had conducted: “An experiment at the site of a TIS facility which had a first adjacent [AM broadcast station] audibly present but outside of its protected contour. I removed the 3 kHz filter opening the transmitted response to that of the 8 kHz program line. The result confirmed the intelligibility of the transmitted signal as considerably improved with no audible interference presented to the reception of the first adjacent.”

Burden continued that: “AM broadcast bandwidth specified by the NRSC-2 Spectrum Mask adopted by the FCC some time ago to resolve interference issues, limits the audio frequency response of AM broadcast transmission to 10 kHz. Limiting the bandwidth of TIS transmission to the same bandwidth as the NRSC mask should be logical. A recent study into acceptable audio bandwidths conducted by NPR Labs in an AM-DAB study for the NRSC, concluded that limitations to an audio bandwidth less than 7 kHz was not advisable for AM broadcast facilities.”

Because this particular issue was not raised in the NPRM but rather was introduced by commenters in the record, the Commission sought further comment in the FNPRM on removing the filtering provision, asking whether there is any reason this restriction should not be removed. All commenters to the FNPRM, save two, supported elimination of the filtering requirement. In addition, many commenters, while supporting this elimination, opposed a mandate to “require filter removal for existing licensees.” According to AAIRO, “if the FCC were to mandate that all TIS licensees who wish to remove the filters must go through a new type acceptance/recertification, that requirement would present an undue financial burden [and t]he imposition of both the above requirements would likely cause most TIS Services to cease due to expense and logistics.”

The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) and NAB were the only commenters opposing removal of the TIS filtering restrictions. According to SBE “there is a significant potential for increased interference from this proposal.” SBE took particular issue with Burden's claim that he “conducted an experiment removing the `3 kHz filter . . . with no audible interference presented to the reception of the first adjacent,' ” because “[t]he commenter's anecdotal experiment lacked any demonstration of technical validity or proper scientific methodology.”

SBE also took issue with Burden's claim that “ `limitations to an audio bandwidth less than 7 kHz was not advisable for AM broadcast facilities' and `it only follows that the audio quality of the emergency message needs to be offered with the same intelligibility as that from AM radio broadcast facilities' ” because “[w]hat these allegations fail to mention was that all the standards and studies cited were relative to AM full power broadcast stations.” SBE asserts that the findings of those studies “were not intended to be applied to TIS stations, which are licensed under very different standards and with a different allocation status.”

SBE further alleged that “many TIS stations fail to adhere to generally accepted modulation standards employed by AM broadcasters. . . . SBE members have observed and reported that many TIS stations grossly over- or undermodulate their carriers resulting in poor audio quality and/or poor listenability. This is a . . . supervening contributor to the poor audio quality that they attribute incorrectly to the audio filters.” While NAB shared many of SBE's concerns, it also submitted “that a compromise approach may be workable.” Specifically, NAB stated that “a filter capable of filtering audio frequencies above 5 kHz should allow for a TIS signal of sufficiently higher quality, without impeding neighboring AM services.” NAB noted that “full-power AM radio stations routinely use 5 kHz filters to address and prevent interference among AM stations, with few significant problems.” Accordingly, NAB offered “a proposal to allow TIS operators to use a 5 kHz filter, presuming TIS stations broadcast only voice content, as required under the Commission's rules.”

AAIRO responded that it “can . . . support the compromise proposed by the National Association of Broadcasters, . . .” because “[t]he wider filter bandpass would markedly improve TIS voice transmissions and would also protect adjacent broadcasters should a TIS operator transmit non-voice material without authorization.” AAIRO further stated that if: A wider bandwidth filter may be substituted in place of the present 3-kHz filter . . . the filter [should] be outboard to the TIS transmitter and immediately ahead of its audio input. The FCC should prescribe the exact formula for the audio filter and require its use by all TIS operations—new or existing—whose 3-kHz filters have been deactivated. AAIRO suggests the use of the same roll-off curve presently used in the 3-kHz filter, as it has proven to be adequate during the 30+ years of the TIS service's existence. The use of an outboard filter will streamline the timeline to improve the service and dramatically lower costs for existing operators who would otherwise be required to purchase new transmitters or have their present transmitters modified and recertified.”

Because this compromise proposal was developed in the FNPRM comment record, the Bureau released the Filtering PN which not only sought comment on the issue of relaxation versus elimination of the TIS filtering requirement, but also whether, if the relaxation proposal were adopted, (1) revision of the related operational requirements would be required; (2) the rules regarding placement of the filter could be revised; (3) recertification would be required for such changes; and (4) relaxation of the filtering requirement (and the associated operational changes) should be mandatory or at the licensee's discretion. We address each of these issues, below.

Elimination Versus Relaxation of the TIS Filtering Requirement

The filtering requirement limits the bandwidth of the TIS signal, thereby reducing the risk of interference to the reception of adjacent channel AM stations. However, the rule also has the effect of distinguishing TIS sonically from other AM stations, so that a motorist tuning her radio manually may know intuitively that she has tuned to a TIS station. Specifically, TIS stations have smaller audio bandwidth due to the 3-kHz filter than AM stations, so the audio fidelity of TIS is lower and less intelligible. Based on the record on this filtering issue that prompted us to adopt the FNPRM, and the record we have developed in response to the FNPRM, we find that the public interest benefits of this sonic distinction are minor at best, and that the public interest would be better served by allowing TIS to transmit more intelligible audio to ensure that motorists receive and understand travel-related information.

The Filtering PN first sought comment on whether the public interest was better served by relaxing the filter requirement from 3 kHz to 5 kHz or eliminating it as proposed in the FNPRM. Burden still calls for complete elimination based on his previously discussed experiment. All the other responding commenters support or would accept relaxation of the filtering requirement, although North Plainfield would prefer complete elimination of the requirement.

The record indicates that relaxation of the filtering requirement from 3 kHz to 5 kHz could improve TIS audio quality and intelligibility to match that of commercial AM broadcasting, while still minimizing adjacent channel interference. Even though Burden's experiment purported to demonstrate that a TIS station without a filter caused no audible adjacent channel interference to the reception of a first adjacent AM station outside its protected contour, we note that it was conducted at a single site and contains no information about the call signs, coordinates, power levels, or received signal strengths of the TIS or AM stations. Therefore, Burden's experiment provides us neither a sufficient pool of results nor sufficient data to make a general conclusion that there would be no adjacent channel interference anywhere were we to entirely remove the TIS filtering requirements. Accordingly, in this Report and Order we adopt rules relaxing the minimum filtering requirement for TIS transmitters from 3 kHz to 5 kHz. We note, however, that licensees may continue to employ the 3-kHz requirement at their option.

Revision of Operational Requirements

The current TIS rule requires that at audio frequencies between 3 kHz and 20 kHz, the filter “shall have an attenuation greater than the attenuation at 1 kHz by at least: 60 log10(f/3) decibels, where `f' is the audio frequency in kHz.” At audio frequencies above 20 kHz, the attenuation shall be at least 50 decibels greater than the attenuation at 1 kHz. This produces a roll-off curve that starts at 0 dB attenuation for 3 kHz, then increases attenuation to approximately 50 dB at 20 kHz. In its FNPRM comments, AAIRO suggested that the Commission should use “the same roll-off curve presently used in the 3-kHz filter” for a 5-kHz filter. However, if one slides this curve up in frequency to have 0 dB attenuation at 5 kHz but maintains the same slope, then the curve would attenuate signals only by 36 dB at 20 kHz. Accordingly, the Filtering PN sought comment on whether 36 dB attenuation at 20 kHz would be sufficient or whether the roll-off curve for a 5 kHz audio filter in a TIS system should have 50 dB attenuation at 20 kHz, consistent with the existing rule.

The Filtering PN also noted that a roll-off curve of 83 log10(f/5) decibels for frequencies between 5 kHz and 20 kHz would have 0 dB attenuation at the 5 kHz starting point, and would achieve 50 dB attenuation at 20 kHz. However, this is a steeper roll-off curve than the formula prescribed in the current rule. Accordingly the Filtering PN also sought comment on whether the Commission should impose this attenuation if the Commission decides to relax the filtering requirement from 3 kHz to 5 kHz. It also sought comment on whether affordable audio filters exist in the marketplace that satisfy this roll-off curve; whether equipment manufacturers could retrofit existing filters or economically design, manufacture, and market such filters in the near term; and on the general availability of 5 kHz audio filters in the marketplace, the roll-off curves of specific models, and whether, alternatively, we should impose one of those roll-off curves in our rules.

In its Filtering PN comments, AAIRO states that although it “suggested previously that the same 3-kHz filtering formula could be employed for a 5-kHz filter for convenience of design . . . if an alternate formula would provide superior protection to adjacent frequencies, it should be employed.” NAB too supports the Commission requiring the proposed new roll-off curve to achieve the required attenuation. No commenter opposed these proposed roll-off requirements for use with a 5-kHz filter. Moreover, these roll-off requirements are in the public interest because they provide similar interference protection to the reception of adjacent channel AM stations as existing 3 kHz filters based on the same 50 dB attenuation at 20 kHz. AAIRO states that “[s]tand-alone filters that comply with new rules for the TIS service can be built by TIS transmitter manufacturers, some of whom have already committed to stand-alone filter manufacture and to making those filters available to the market when new filtering rules are issued. The cost to manufacture a passive stand-alone filter is nominal.” We are persuaded that 5 kHz filters will be available for TIS at reasonable cost. Accordingly, we adopt these new operational requirements for 5 kHz filters in TIS systems.

Revision of the Filter Placement Requirements

The current rule requires that “[e]ach transmitter in a Travelers Information Station shall be equipped with an audio low-pass filter [that] shall be installed between the modulation limiter and the modulated stage.” However, as noted, in response to the FNPRM, AAIRO suggested that “the [replacement] filter [should] be outboard to the TIS transmitter and immediately ahead of its audio input.” AAIRO further noted that “[t]he use of an outboard filter will streamline the timeline to improve the service and dramatically lower costs for existing operators who would otherwise be required to purchase new transmitters or have their present transmitters modified and recertified.” Accordingly, the Filtering PN sought comment on the feasibility of AAIRO's suggestion and whether to require such configuration in our rules in the event the Commission were to relax the filtering requirement.

In its Filtering PN comments, AAIRO reiterates that the “least burdensome way for a willing licensee to make a filter change is to merely `turn off' the existing 3-kHz TIS filter in the transmitter (which can be done by merely removing a single jumper on a circuit board) and to add a stand-alone 5-kHz filter ahead of the transmitter in the audio chain.” NAB states that the filter should still be installed between the modulation limiter and the modulated stage as required by the current rule. However, NAB also states that it could accept an alternative: audio processors that incorporate what it refers to as 5 kHz “brick wall” filtering, so long as those processors are commonly accepted and approved for the commercial AM broadcast service.

The current filter placement is at the last stage in the audio chain before modulation of the signal to radio frequencies (RF). The filter placement required in the rule ensures that any signal distortion introduced by the modulation limiter does not effectively increase the bandwidth of the audio signal before the modulation to RF. Based on AAIRO's description of the filter placement, the filter is integrated onto a circuit board and cannot be replaced by a user. Placing a 5 kHz filter between the modulation limiter and the modulated stage, as NAB requests, would effectively require a circuit board replacement, which is essentially the whole TIS transmitter system. However, NAB's alternative suggestion, an audio processor, would replace the modulation limiter and audio filter and thus would also require a circuit board replacement. The cost for TIS operators to replace a typical TIS transmitter would be $18-23,000 for equipment and installation. While either of NAB's proposals would reduce slightly the likelihood of harmful interference from TIS operations to broadcast stations in the AM band relative to an outboard filter, neither slight improvement would be significant enough to warrant the associated costs that would be imposed on TIS operators. Modulation limiters may have the potential to introduce some distortion into the signal after the signal has passed through an outboard 5 kHz filter, but given that the Commission will have certified all TIS transmitter models on the market for proper operation; that the 5-kHz filter we prescribe has a steeper roll-off curve than current 3-kHz filters, and that AM radio limits the upper modulating frequency to 5 kHz, we believe this likely to be of only minimal concern.

We revise our TIS rules to allow for a placement of the audio filter either ahead of the transmitter or between the modulation limiter and the modulated stage. This allows for either an outboard filter ahead of the transmitter circuit board before the board's modulation limiter, or a filter integrated into the transmitter circuit board in the present position after the modulation limiter. We expect our action will lead to improved audio quality at reasonable cost for TIS operators who wish to take advantage of the new rules and will not increase the potential for harmful interference. We therefore revise our rules to permit TIS operators to retrofit TIS equipment equipped with 3 kHz filters by placing the outboard 5 kHz audio filter at the transmitter audio input, and deactivate the 3 kHz filter, as AAIRO recommends. Similarly, we will allow manufacturers to manufacture, market, and sell already certified TIS systems that have been retrofitted accordingly. Alternatively, manufacturers may design new TIS systems where the 5 kHz audio filter is at the current placement between the modulation limiter and the modulated stage, or a system equipped with an audio processor that performs the filtering with the prescribed roll-off performance. However, to avoid imposing burdens on manufacturers, we do not require any redesigns of TIS equipment. We realize that interested manufacturers may choose the first option out of cost considerations, as AAIRO observed in its comments to the Filtering PN. We discuss the FCC equipment certification of these permutations below.

Certification

Many FNPRM commenters who supported elimination of the filtering requirement also requested that no recertification requirement accompany such change. The Filtering PN sought comment on whether audio filter elimination/replacement and AAIRO's foregoing suggestion regarding filter placement would either: (1) Constitute a change to TIS transmitters that requires recertification; (2) constitute a permissive change in certificated equipment that does not require recertification; or (3) be exempt from the Commission's equipment authorization rules.

No commenter spoke to the question of whether any of the foregoing changes, i.e., raising the minimum frequency for filtering a TIS transmitter from 3 to 5 kHz, the modification of the roll-off curve, and replacing the filter, would thereafter require recertification of the equipment under the Commission's rules. A retrofit to already certified equipment, i.e., the addition of an outboard 5 kHz filter at the audio input of equipment with “deactivated” 3 kHz filters, will require a Class II permissive change under § 2.1043(b)(2) of the Commission's rules, because the performance characteristics will be degraded from the time of the initial certification but will still meet the minimum requirements of the applicable rules. In this instance, manufacturers should file a Class II permissive change request with the Commission for each TIS model they seek to have retrofitted, and each permissive change filing should include a list of filters, if more than one to be approved with the system, and clear and concise instructions for TIS operators to perform the retrofit themselves. Grantees should make such instructions available to their customers and other interested TIS operators. Licensees interested in retrofitting existing equipment with 5 kHz filters must verify that their equipment model has received a Class II permissive change grant from the Commission and only use approved filters for the system. Then, such licensees may retrofit the equipment per the manufacturer's instructions without further Commission authorization. Alternatively, if manufacturers design new TIS transmitters that contain 5 kHz audio filters between the modulation limiter and the modulated stage, that is, integrated into the circuit board, this will require a new Commission certification because this would effectively require a new design, which is essentially a whole new TIS transmitter system. Absent a dedicated 5 kHz filter, use of an audio processor to perform the 5 kHz filtering, including a digital audio player as AAIRO mentions, will require Commission certification to operate under § 90.242 to ensure that their output—independent of the input frequency content—satisfies the prescribed roll-off requirements.

Mandatory Nature of Change to Filtering Requirement

The Filtering PN also sought comment on whether, if the Commission either relaxes or eliminates the TIS filtering requirement, it should also require existing licensees to comply with the relaxed filtering parameters. According to AAIRO, the only commenter on this issue, the “change to new filtering requirements should be made optional to individual licensees rather than being mandated. Certainly, none are harmed, if a licensee determines that s/he will retain the present 3-kHz filter. Mandating the change for all current TIS operators would present a significant financial burden to governmental entities.” We find AAIRO's arguments persuasive on this issue. Accordingly, we find that there is in fact no reason to mandate that all TIS licensees replace their 3 kHz filter since, if a licensee does not choose to relax its own TIS transmitter filtering parameters, there would be no change from the present, more stringent TIS filtering requirements. Manufacturers may also continue to manufacture, market, and sell already certified TIS systems, which have the 3 kHz filters “activated,” as these systems are in compliance with both the existing filtering rule and the more relaxed rule we adopt today.

Music Content

Finally, SBE provided anecdotal reports of musical content over TIS and contends that “[w]hile most voice content is below 3 KHz, music expands that bandwidth.” However, AAIRO asserts that “[n]one of AAIRO's nearly 400 members `broadcast musical content.' ” NAB argues that music's wider bandwidth “may not be adequately filtered by a 5 kHz filter and could cause harmful interference to neighboring AM radio services,” and “reiterate[s] that relaxing the TIS filtering requirement must be contingent on TIS stations' strict compliance with 47 CFR 90.242(a)(7).” While we cannot take enforcement action at this time based on the limited evidence before us, we take this opportunity to remind licensees that only voice content is permitted per § 90.242(a)(7) of our rules, and that music content of any kind is not permitted.

Procedural Matters Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, see 5 U.S.C. 603, the Commission has prepared a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on small entities of the policies and rules addressed in this document. The FRFA is set forth in Appendix C of the Second Report and Order. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, will send a copy of the Second Report and Order, including this FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA). See 5 U.S.C. 603(a).

Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

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

Ordering Clauses

Accordingly, it is ordered that pursuant to sections 4(i) and 303 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i) and 303, that this Second Report and Order is adopted.

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

It is further ordered that the Commission shall send a copy of this Second Report and Order in a report to be sent to Congress and the General Accounting Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 90

Communications equipment; Radio.

Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 90 as follows:

PART 90—PRIVATE LAND MOBILE RADIO SERVICES 1. The authority citation for part 90 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Sections 4(i), 11, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c)(7) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 161, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c)(7).

2. Section 90.242 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(8) to read as follows:
§ 90.242 Travelers' information stations.

(b) * * *

(8) Each transmitter in a Travelers' Information Station shall be equipped with an audio low-pass filter. Such filter shall be installed either at the transmitter's audio input or between the modulation limiter and the modulated stage. At audio frequencies between 5 kHz and 20 kHz this filter shall have an attenuation greater than the attenuation at 1 kHz by at least:

83 log10 (f/5) decibels. where “f” is the audio frequency in kHz. At audio frequencies above 20 kHz, the attenuation shall be at least 50 decibels greater than the attenuation at 1 kHz.
[FR Doc. 2015-10471 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 150116050-5375-02] RIN 0648-XD726 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; North and South Atlantic 2015 Commercial Swordfish Quotas AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule adjusts the 2015 fishing season quotas for North and South Atlantic swordfish based upon 2014 quota underharvests and international quota transfers consistent with International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Recommendations 13-02 and 13-03. This final rule applies to commercial and recreational fishing for swordfish in the Atlantic Ocean, including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. This action implements ICCAT recommendations, consistent with the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA), and furthers domestic management objectives under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

DATES:

Effective on June 4, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Copies of the supporting documents—including the 2012 Environmental Assessment (EA), Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), and Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) for North Atlantic swordfish; the 2007 EA, RIR, and FRFA for South Atlantic swordfish; and the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and associated documents—are available from the HMS Management Division Web site at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/ or by contacting Andrew Rubin by phone at 301-427-8503 or Steve Durkee by phone at 202-670-6637.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Andrew Rubin by phone at 301-427-8503, Steve Durkee by phone at 202-670-6637.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The U.S. Atlantic swordfish fishery is managed under the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP. Implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 635 are issued under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., and ATCA, 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. ATCA authorizes the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to promulgate regulations as may be necessary and appropriate to implement ICCAT recommendations.

For North Atlantic swordfish, this final action maintains the U.S. baseline quota of 2,937.6 metric tons (mt) dressed weight (dw) and implements an ICCAT-recommended quota transfer of 18.8 mt dw from the United States to Mauritania. For South Atlantic swordfish, this action maintains the U.S. South Atlantic swordfish quota at 75.2 mt dw (100 mt whole weight (ww)), carries over 75.1 mt dw of 2014 underharvest, and authorizes the transfer of 50 mt ww (37.6 mt dw) to Namibia, 25 mt ww (18.8 mt dw) to Côte d'Ivoire, and 25 mt ww (18.8 mt dw) to Belize, consistent with ICCAT Recommendation 13-03. Information regarding the quota calculations can be found below. Additional details regarding the quotas and other actions in this rule and their impacts can be found in the proposed rule (80 FR 8838, February 19, 2015).

North Atlantic Swordfish Quota

At the 2013 ICCAT annual meeting, Recommendation 13-02 was adopted, maintaining the North Atlantic swordfish total allowable catch (TAC) of 10,301 metric tons (mt) dressed weight (dw) (13,700 mt whole weight (ww)) through 2016. Of this TAC, the United States' baseline quota is 2,937.6 mt dw (3,907 mt ww) per year. ICCAT Recommendation 13-02 also includes an 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) annual quota transfer from the United States to Mauritania and limits allowable 2014 and any future underharvest carryover to 15 percent of a contracting party's baseline quota. Therefore, the United States may carry over a maximum of 440.6 mt dw (585.9 mt ww) of underharvest from 2014 to 2015. This final rule adjusts the U.S. baseline quota for the 2015 fishing year to account for the annual quota transfer to Mauritania and the 2014 underharvest.

The 2015 North Atlantic swordfish baseline quota is 2,937.6 mt dw (3,907 mt ww). The preliminary estimate of North Atlantic swordfish underharvest for 2014 is 2,395.6 mt dw (3,186.1 mt ww). Even without including an estimate of dead discards, the estimated underharvest is larger than the maximum carryover cap (440.6 mt dw or 585.9 mt ww). Therefore, as proposed, NMFS is carrying forward 440.6 mt dw, the maximum carryover allowed per Recommendation 13-02. Additionally, this final rule reduces the 2,937.6 mt dw baseline quota by the 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) annual quota transfer to Mauritania. These two changes result in an adjusted North Atlantic swordfish quota for the 2015 fishing year of 3,359.4 mt dw (2,937.6 baseline quota + 440.6 underharvest −18.8 transfer to Mauritania = 3,359.4 mt dw or 4467.47 mt ww). From that adjusted quota, 50 mt dw is allocated to the reserve category for in season adjustments and research, and 300 mt dw is allocated to the incidental category, which includes recreational landings and landings by incidental swordfish permit holders, per § 635.27(c)(1)(i). This results in an allocation of 3,009.4 mt dw (3,359.4 adjusted quota −50 to the reserve quota—300 mt dw to the incidental quota = 3,009.4 mt dw) for the directed category, which is split equally between two seasons in 2015 (January through June, and July through December) (Table 1).

South Atlantic Swordfish Quota

In 2013, ICCAT Recommendation 13-03 established the South Atlantic swordfish TAC at 11,278.2 mt dw (15,000 mt ww) for 2014, 2015, and 2016. Of this, the United States receives 75.2 mt dw (100 mt ww). Recommendation 13-03 limits the amount of South Atlantic swordfish underharvest that can be carried forward, and the United States may carry forward up to 100 percent of its baseline quota (75.2 mt dw). Recommendation 13-03 also included a total of 75.2 mt dw (100 mt ww) of quota transfers from the United States to other countries. These transfers were 37.6 mt dw (50 mt ww) to Namibia, 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) to Côte d'Ivoire, and 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) to Belize.

In 2014, U.S. fishermen landed no South Atlantic swordfish according to data available as of December 31, 2014. The adjusted 2014 South Atlantic swordfish quota was 75.1 mt dw due to nominal landings the previous year. Therefore, 75.1 mt dw of underharvest is available to carry over to 2015. NMFS is carrying forward 75.1 mt dw to be added to the 75.2 mt dw baseline quota. The quota is then reduced by the 75.2 mt dw of annual international quota transfers outlined above, resulting in an adjusted South Atlantic swordfish quota of 75.1 mt dw for the 2015 fishing year.

Table 1—2015 North and South Atlantic Swordfish Quotas 2014 2015 North Atlantic Swordfish Quota (mt dw) Baseline Quota 2,937.6 2,937.6 International Quota Transfer (−)18.8 (to Mauritania) (−)18.8 (to Mauritania) Total Underharvest from Previous Year + 1,337.4 2,395.6 Underharvest Carryover from Previous Year + (+)734.4 (+)440.6 Adjusted Quota 3,653.2 3,359.4 Quota Allocation Directed Category 3,303.2 3,009.4 Incidental Category 300 300 Reserve Category 50 50 South Atlantic Swordfish Quota (mt dw) Baseline Quota 75.2 75.2 International Quota Transfers * (−)75.2 (−)75.2 Total Underharvest from Previous Year + 75.1 75.1 Underharvest Carryover from Previous Year + 75.1 75.1 Adjusted quota 75.1 75.1 + Allowable underharvest carryover is capped at 15 percent of the baseline quota allocation for the North Atlantic and 75.2 dw (100 mt ww) for the South Atlantic. The available 2014 underharvest is based on data received from commercial dealers and anglers; it does not include dead discards, late reports, or changes to the data as a result of quality control adjustments. * Under Recommendation 13-03, the United States transfers 75.2 mt dw (100 mt ww) annually to Namibia (37.6 mt dw, 50 mt ww), Côte d'Ivoire (18.8 mt dw, 25 mt ww), and Belize (18.8 mt dw, 25 mt ww). Response to Comments

During the proposed rule comment period, NMFS received four written comments, three of which were directly related to the proposed rule. NMFS also heard comments during a discussion on the rule held at the HMS Advisory Panel meeting on March 10, 2015. A summary of the relevant comments on the proposed rule are shown below with NMFS' response. One written comment requested the general protection of fish, which is not specifically relevant to this rulemaking. All written comments submitted during the comment period can be found at http://www.regulations.gov/ by searching for NOAA-NMFS-2015-0023.

Comment 1: Close the swordfish fishery because of overfishing.

Response: According to the latest ICCAT Standing Committee on Research and Statistics (SCRS) stock assessment (2013), the stock is not overfished and no overfishing is taking place. Since the baseline adjusted quotas established through ICCAT are within the TAC established by the stock assessment, this action is unlikely to lead to overfishing. Therefore, NMFS does not make the change requested by the commenter.

Comment 2: NMFS received contrasting comments regarding the underharvest carryover. One commenter said that no underharvest should be carried over into the 2015 quota. Other commenters stated that underharvest carryovers should not be limited to 15 percent of the baseline quota, and further specified that the underharvest carryover does not provide enough flexibility to account for unforeseen environmental and economic fluctuations and only affects the United States since most other countries fully utilize their allocation. That commenter felt the restriction of the carryover of underharvested quota is inconsistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and Atlantic Tuna Convention Act (ATCA) by not allowing for optimum yield or providing a reasonable opportunity to harvest U.S. quota.

Response: Carrying over underharvest into the following year's quota provides flexibility to adjust to environmental and economic fluctuations. These fluctuations may result in fishermen not catching their full quota in a given year, but the carryover provides the opportunity to benefit from part of that underharvest in the subsequent year.

Currently, the United States does not utilize the entire base quota from ICCAT, thus, the underharvest carryover limit is unlikely to affect domestic access to the resource in the short term. Because the current carryover limit is unlikely to affect domestic access to the resource, NMFS is not changing the current limit as requested by the commenter.

Regarding the concerns that the underharvest carryover limit affects U.S. fishermen's opportunity to harvest the U.S. quota at optimum yield, ICCAT adopted the limited underharvest carryover provision to help ensure that MSY is not exceeded. The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires preventing overfishing while achieving on a continuing basis optimum yield. Optimum yield itself is prescribed based on MSY as reduced by ecological and other factors. The carryover limit is consistent with the MSA and with ATCA, which provides that quotas adopted at ICCAT cannot be increased or decreased. Furthermore, we note that for the past decade, the domestic fishery has neither utilized the entire U.S. quota allocation nor has it harvested it at a level to be impacted by an underharvest carryover limit.

Comment 3: While NMFS should implement the current ICCAT swordfish quota recommendations, the next time the swordfish recommendations are negotiated at ICCAT, the United States should change its position. No U.S. quota should be transferred to other countries unless the United States receives something in return since these transfers help develop new fisheries that are not as conservation-minded as U.S. fisheries. Furthermore, landings under the international quota transfers should be credited as U.S. landings.

Response: NMFS agrees that it should implement the quota measures in Recommendations 13-02 and 13-03 to comply with ICCAT measures. Under ATCA, the Secretary shall promulgate such regulations as may be necessary and appropriate to carry out ICCAT recommendations, and the regulations as finalized appropriately carry out ICCAT recommendations regarding the North Atlantic swordfish stock while meeting NMFS's legal obligations and management needs.

In the future, when negotiating swordfish recommendations at ICCAT, the United States will consider the state of the domestic fishery at that time to balance the needs of both U.S. fishermen and the environment.

Comment 4: The U.S. fisheries are not harvesting part of its swordfish quota due to domestic regulations such as the time/area closures for pelagic longline gear. NMFS should reopen these areas to fishermen who are using circle hooks and following best practices. NMFS should reinstate the 33 pound minimum size for Atlantic swordfish.

Response: This rule addresses quota specifications only; time/area closures and other management measure are beyond the scope of this action.

Changes From the Proposed Rule

The final rule contains no changes from the proposed rule, except for minor landings updates based on more recent 2014 landings reports.

Classification

Pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that the final rule is consistent with the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act, and other applicable law.

This final action is exempt from the procedures of E.O. 12866 because this action contains no implementing regulations.

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

Authority:

16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Dated: April 29, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-10465 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 150316270-5270-01] RIN 0648-XD843 Fisheries Off West Coast States; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; 2015 Management Measures AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

Through this final rule NMFS establishes fishery management measures for the 2015 ocean salmon fisheries off Washington, Oregon, and California and the 2016 salmon seasons opening earlier than May 1, 2016. Specific fishery management measures vary by fishery and by area. The measures establish fishing areas, seasons, quotas, legal gear, recreational fishing days and catch limits, possession and landing restrictions, and minimum lengths for salmon taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) (3-200 NM) off Washington, Oregon, and California. The management measures are intended to prevent overfishing and to apportion the ocean harvest equitably among treaty Indian, non-treaty commercial, and recreational fisheries. The measures are also intended to allow a portion of the salmon runs to escape the ocean fisheries in order to provide for spawning escapement and inside fisheries (fisheries occurring in state internal waters). This document also announces the availability of an environmental assessment (EA) that analyzes the environmental impacts of implementing the 2015 ocean salmon management measures.

DATES:

This final rule is effective from 0001 hours Pacific Daylight Time, May 1, 2015, until the effective date of the 2016 management measures, as published in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES:

Copies of the documents cited in this document are available from Dr. Donald O. McIsaac, Executive Director, Pacific Fishery Management Council, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, OR 97220-1384, and are posted on the Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council's) Web site (www.pcouncil.org).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Peggy Mundy at 206-526-4323, or Heidi Taylor at 562-980-4039.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

The ocean salmon fisheries in the EEZ off Washington, Oregon, and California are managed under a “framework” fishery management plan entitled the Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan (Salmon FMP). Regulations at 50 CFR part 660, subpart H, provide the mechanism for making preseason and inseason adjustments to the management measures, within limits set by the Salmon FMP, by notification in the Federal Register.

The management measures for the 2015 and pre-May 2016 ocean salmon fisheries that are implemented in this final rule were recommended by the Council at its April 10 to 16, 2015, meeting.

Process Used To Establish 2015 Management Measures

The Council announced its annual preseason management process for the 2015 ocean salmon fisheries in the Federal Register on December 31, 2014 (79 FR 78805), and on the Council's Web site at (www.pcouncil.org). NMFS published an additional notice of opportunities to submit public comments on the 2015 ocean salmon fisheries in the Federal Register on January 28, 2015 (80 FR 4547). These notices announced the availability of Council documents, the dates and locations of Council meetings and public hearings comprising the Council's complete schedule of events for determining the annual proposed and final modifications to ocean salmon fishery management measures, and instructions on how to comment on 2015 ocean salmon fisheries. The agendas for the March and April Council meetings were published in the Federal Register (80 FR 8628, February 18, 2015 and 80 FR 15752, March 25, 2015, respectively) and posted on the Council's Web site prior to the actual meetings.

In accordance with the Salmon FMP, the Council's Salmon Technical Team (STT) and staff economist prepared four reports for the Council, its advisors, and the public. All four reports were posted on the Council's Web site and otherwise made available to the Council, its advisors, and the public upon their completion. The first of the reports, “Review of 2014 Ocean Salmon Fisheries,” was prepared in February when the scientific information necessary for crafting management measures for the 2015 and pre-May 2016 ocean salmon fisheries first became available. The first report summarizes biological and socio-economic data for the 2014 ocean salmon fisheries and assesses how well the Council's 2014 management objectives were met. The second report, “Preseason Report I Stock Abundance Analysis and Environmental Assessment Part 1 for 2015 Ocean Salmon Fishery Regulations” (PRE I), provides the 2015 salmon stock abundance projections and analyzes the impacts on the stocks and Council management goals if the 2014 regulations and regulatory procedures were applied to the projected 2015 stock abundances. The completion of PRE I is the initial step in evaluating the full suite of preseason alternatives.

Following completion of the first two reports, the Council met in Vancouver, WA from March 6 to 12, 2015, to develop 2015 management alternatives for proposal to the public. The Council proposed three alternatives for commercial and recreational fisheries management for analysis and public comment. These alternatives consisted of various combinations of management measures designed to protect weak stocks of coho and Chinook salmon, and to provide for ocean harvests of more abundant stocks. After the March Council meeting, the Council's STT and staff economist prepared a third report, “Preseason Report II Proposed Alternatives and Environmental Assessment Part 2 for 2015 Ocean Salmon Fishery Regulations” (PRE II), which analyzes the effects of the proposed 2015 management alternatives.

Public hearings, sponsored by the Council, to receive testimony on the proposed alternatives were held on March 30, 2015, in Westport, WA and Coos Bay, OR; and on March 31, 2015, in Fort Bragg, CA. The States of Washington, Oregon, and California sponsored meetings in various forums that also collected public testimony, which was then presented to the Council by each state's Council representative. The Council also received public testimony at both the March and April meetings and received written comments at the Council office.

The Council met from April 10 to 16, 2015, in Rohnert Park, CA to adopt its final 2015 salmon management recommendations. Following the April Council meeting, the Council's STT and staff economist prepared a fourth report, “Preseason Report III Analysis of Council-Adopted Management Measures for 2015 Ocean Salmon Fisheries” (PRE III), which analyzes the environmental and socio-economic effects of the Council's final recommendations. After the Council took final action on the annual ocean salmon specifications in April, it transmitted the recommended management measures to NMFS, published them in its newsletter, and also posted them on the Council Web site (www.pcouncil.org).

National Environmental Policy Act

The Council's documents described above (PRE I, PRE II, and PRE III) collectively comprise the EA for this action, providing analysis of environmental and socioeconomic effects under the National Environmental Policy Act. The EA and its related Finding of No Significant Impact are posted on the NMFS West Coast Region Web site (www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov).

Resource Status Stocks of Concern

The need to meet Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation requirements and obligations of the Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST) between the U.S. and Canada for several stocks will shape salmon fisheries in 2015, and four stocks will constrain fishing in 2015.

Fisheries south of Cape Falcon, OR are limited in 2015 primarily by the status of ESA-listed Sacramento River winter Chinook salmon (SRWC) and California Coastal Chinook salmon (CCC). Fisheries north of Cape Falcon are limited primarily by the status of ESA-listed Lower Columbia River (LCR) Chinook salmon, and Puget Sound Chinook salmon, and by Queets River coho, which are not ESA-listed. Also limiting on fisheries north of Cape Falcon are Thompson River coho from Canada, which are managed according to the PST. Not limiting in 2015, but worth mentioning is ESA-listed Lower Columbia River natural coho (LCR coho) for which NMFS issued a new biological opinion in 2015. At the start of the preseason planning process for the 2015 management season, NMFS provided a letter to the Council, dated March 3, 2015, summarizing limits to impacts on ESA-listed species for 2015, based on existing biological opinions and 2015 abundance information, as required by the Salmon FMP. The limitations imposed in order to protect these stocks are described below. The alternatives and the Council's recommended management measures for 2015 were designed to avoid exceeding these limitations.

Sacramento River winter Chinook salmon (SRWC): In 2010, NMFS consulted under ESA section 7 and provided guidance to the Council regarding the effects of Council area fisheries on SRWC, ESA-listed as endangered. NMFS completed a biological opinion that includes a reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) to avoid jeopardizing the continued existence of this evolutionarily significant unit (ESU). The RPA included management-area-specific fishing season openings and closures, and minimum size limits for both commercial and recreational fisheries. It also directed NMFS to develop a second component to the RPA—an abundance-based management (ABM) framework. In 2012, NMFS implemented this ABM framework which supplements the above management restrictions with maximum allowable impact rates that apply when abundance is low, based on the three-year geometric mean spawning escapement of SRWC. Using the methodology specified in the ABM framework, the age-3 impact rate on SRWC in 2015 fisheries south of Point Arena recommended by NMFS would be limited to a maximum of 19.0 percent. Conservation measures for SRWC will constrain 2015 salmon fisheries south of Cape Falcon.

California Coastal Chinook salmon (CCC): NMFS last consulted under ESA section 7 regarding the effects of Council area fisheries on CCC in 2005. Klamath River fall Chinook (KRFC) are used as a surrogate to set limits on ocean harvest impacts on CCC. The biological opinion requires that management measures result in a KRFC age-4 ocean harvest rate of no greater than 16 percent. Conservation measures for CCC will constrain 2015 salmon fisheries south of Cape Falcon.

Lower Columbia River Chinook salmon (LCR Chinook): In 2012, NMFS consulted under ESA section 7 and issued a biological opinion that applies to fisheries beginning in 2012, concluding that the proposed fisheries, if managed consistent with the terms of the biological opinion, are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of LCR Chinook salmon. The LCR Chinook salmon ESU is comprised of a spring component, a “far-north” migrating bright component, and a component of north migrating tules. The bright and tule components both have fall run timing. There are twenty-one separate populations within the tule component of this ESU. Unlike the spring or bright populations of the ESU, LCR tule populations are caught in large numbers in Council fisheries, as well as fisheries to the north and in the Columbia River. Therefore, this component of the ESU is the one most likely to constrain Council fisheries in the area north of Cape Falcon, Oregon. Under the 2012 biological opinion, NMFS uses an ABM framework to set annual exploitation rates for LCR tule Chinook salmon below Bonneville Dam. Applying the ABM framework to the 2015 preseason abundance forecast, the LCR tule exploitation rate is limited to a maximum of 41 percent. In 2015, LCR Chinook will not constrain salmon fisheries.

Lower Columbia River natural coho (LCR coho): In 2015, NMFS conducted an ESA section 7 consultation and issued a biological opinion regarding the effects of Council fisheries and fisheries in the Columbia River on LCR coho. The opinion analyzed the use of a harvest matrix to manage impacts to LCR coho. Under the matrix the allowable harvest in a given year depends on indicators of marine survival and parental escapement to spawning. In 2015, the marine survival indicator is in the “high” category, while parental escapement is in the “normal” category. Under these circumstances, ocean salmon fisheries under the Council's jurisdiction in 2015, and commercial and recreational salmon fisheries in the mainstem Columbia River below Bonneville Dam, including select area fisheries (e.g., Youngs Bay), must be managed subject to a total exploitation rate limit on LCR coho not to exceed 23 percent. In 2015, LCR coho will not constrain salmon fisheries.

Thompson River coho: Interior Fraser (Thompson River) coho, a Canadian stock, continues to be depressed, remaining in the “low” status category under the PST; under these circumstances, the PST and Salmon FMP require a maximum 10.0 percent total U.S. exploitation rate on this stock. Meeting PST and Salmon FMP conservation requirements for Thompson River coho will constrain 2015 salmon fisheries north of Cape Falcon.

Puget Sound Chinook salmon: Impacts on threatened Puget Sound Chinook from Council-managed fisheries are addressed through a 2004 biological opinion. Generally, these impacts are quite low and well within the range contemplated in the 2004 opinion. However, because Puget Sound Chinook are also impacted by fisheries in Puget Sound and associated freshwater fisheries (collectively referred to as “inside” fisheries), the Council and NMFS consider the impacts of Council-area and inside fisheries on Puget Sound Chinook together. The State of Washington and Indian tribes with treaty rights to fish for salmon in Puget Sound have previously agreed on conservation objectives for each stock of salmon included in the Puget Sound Chinook ESU, and NMFS has determined in biological opinions covering Puget Sound fisheries in recent years that fisheries with impacts that do not exceed these conservation objectives are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the ESU. For purposes of determining whether the requirements of the ESA are met for Puget Sound Chinook, the Council and NMFS consider whether the proposed Council-area fisheries, taken together with Puget Sound and freshwater fisheries, will result in exceeding the conservation objectives for each stock within the ESU. The conservation objectives are described in NMFS' March 3, 2015 letter to the Council outlining the ESA requirements for 2015. In 2015, Puget Sound Chinook salmon will constrain salmon fisheries north of Cape Falcon, to provide sufficient escapement to support inside fisheries.

Queets River coho: Queets River coho are not ESA-listed, but are important to in-river tribal fisheries on the Washington coast. Queets River coho are forecast to be less abundant in 2015 than in 2014. In 2015, Queets River coho will constrain salmon fisheries north of Cape Falcon, to provide sufficient escapement to support in-river tribal fisheries.

Annual Catch Limits and Status Determination Criteria

Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) are set for two Chinook salmon stocks, Sacramento River fall Chinook (SRFC) and KRFC, and one coho stock, Willapa Bay natural coho. The Chinook salmon stocks are indicator stocks for the Central Valley Fall Chinook complex and the Southern Oregon/Northern California Chinook complex, respectively. The Far North Migrating Coastal Chinook complex includes a group of Chinook salmon stocks that are caught primarily in fisheries north of Cape Falcon, Oregon and other fisheries that occur north of the U.S./Canada Border. No ACL is set for these stocks because they are managed according to the PST with Canada. Other Chinook salmon stocks caught in fisheries north of Cape Falcon are ESA-listed or hatchery produced, and are managed consistent with ESA consultations or hatchery goals. Willapa Bay natural coho is the only coho stock for which an ACL is set, as the other coho stocks in the FMP are either ESA-listed, hatchery produced, or managed under the PST.

ACLs for salmon stocks are escapement-based, which means they establish a number of adults that must escape the fisheries to return to the spawning grounds. ACLs are set based on the annual abundance projection and a fishing rate reduced to account for scientific uncertainty. The abundance forecasts for 2015 are described in more detail below in the “Management Measures for 2015 Fisheries” section of this final rule. For SRFC in 2015, the overfishing limit (OFL) is SOFL = 651,985 (projected abundance) multiplied by 1−FMSY (1−0.78) or 143,437 returning spawners. SABC is 651,985 multiplied by 1−FABC (1−0.70) (FMSY reduced for scientific uncertainty = 0.70) or 195,596. The SACL is set equal to SABC. For KRFC in 2015, SOFL is 99,102 (abundance projection) multiplied by 1−FMSY (1−0.71), or 28,739 returning spawners. SABC is 99,102 multiplied by 1−FABC (1−0.68) (FMSY reduced for scientific uncertainty = 0.68) or 31,713 returning spawners. SACL is set equal to SABC. For Willapa Bay natural coho in 2015, the overfishing limit (OFL) is SOFL = 42,884 (projected abundance) multiplied by 1−FMSY (1−0.74) or 11,150 returning spawners. SABC is 42,884 multiplied by 1−FABC (1−0.71) (FMSY reduced for scientific uncertainty = 0.71) or 12,436. SACL is set equal to SABC.

As explained in more detail above under “Stocks of Concern,” fisheries north and south of Cape Falcon, are constrained by impact limits necessary to protect ESA-listed salmon stocks including SRWC, CCC, and Puget Sound coho, as well as Queets River coho which is not ESA-listed, and Canadian Thompson River coho. For 2015, projected abundance of the three stocks with ACLs (SRFC, KRFC, and Willapa Bay natural coho), in combination with the constraints for ESA-listed and non-ESA-listed stocks, are expected to result in escapements greater than required to meet the ACLs for all three stocks with defined ACLs.

Public Comments

The Council invited written comments on developing 2015 salmon management measures in their notice announcing public meetings and hearings (79 FR 78805, December 31, 2014). At its March meeting, the Council adopted three alternatives for 2015 salmon management measures having a range of quotas, season structure, and impacts, from the least restrictive in Alternative I to the most restrictive in Alternative III. These alternatives are described in detail in Pre II. Subsequently, comments were taken at three public hearings held in March, staffed by representatives of the Council and NMFS. The Council received several written comments directly. The three public hearings were attended by a total of 94 people; 26 people provided oral comments. Comments came from individual fishers, fishing associations, fish buyers, and processors. Written and oral comments addressed the 2015 management alternatives described in PRE II, and generally expressed preferences for a specific alternative or for particular season structures. All comments were included in the Council's briefing book for their April 2015 meeting and were considered by the Council, which includes a representative from NMFS, in developing the recommended management measures transmitted to NMFS on April 24, 2015. In addition to comments collected at the public hearings and those submitted directly to the Council, several people provided oral comments at the April 2015 Council meeting. NMFS also invited comments to be submitted directly to the Council or to NMFS, via the Federal Rulemaking Portal (www.regulations.gov) in a proposed rule (80 FR 4547, January 28, 2015). No comments were submitted via www.regulations.gov.

Comments on alternatives for fisheries north of Cape Falcon. For fisheries north of Cape Falcon, Alternative I quota levels were favored by two commercial and two recreational fishery commenters at the public hearing in Westport, WA. Some commenters expressed concern about how weak stock management and Puget Sound fisheries impact ocean salmon fisheries.

Comments on alternatives for fisheries south of Cape Falcon. Most comments received in writing, at public hearings, and in public comments at the April 2015 Council meeting addressed fisheries south of Cape Falcon and specifically measures proposed to protect SWRC in light of drought and unfavorable ocean conditions. Alternative III in particular included management measures, including closing some fall fisheries south of Cape Falcon, that would reduce the impacts on SWRC below the level required by the reasonable and prudent alternative in NMFS' biological opinion. Most comments early in the process opposed this alternative or expressed preference for other alternatives. Alternative I was supported by six commercial and seven recreational fishery commenters that attended public hearings. Eight commercial fishery commenters at the public hearings supported a modification of Alternative II that was proposed by fishermen's marketing association; one commenter opposed the proposal. Nine commenters at the public hearings opposed the closure of fall fisheries, particularly south of Point Arena to protect SRWC, proposed in Alternative III, while three commenters from the commercial fishery sector expressed concern about the impact on September fisheries on future salmon production due to California's drought and warm ocean conditions. Of written comments, from fishing groups and individuals, most expressed concern over how fisheries management alternatives would address limiting fishery impacts to endangered SRWC, several stated that they did not support closing fall fisheries. Public comments at the April 2015 Council meeting also expressed concern over SRWC, but likely based on new information provided by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) on time and area vulnerability of SRWC to commercial and recreational fisheries, comments received at the meeting expressed support for constraining fall fisheries to limit impacts to SRWC. In particular, some commenters who had previously opposed Alternative III supported the management measures ultimately adopted by the Council in comments provided prior to or at the April Council meeting.

Comments on incidental halibut retention in the commercial salmon fisheries. At its March meeting, the Council identified three alternatives for landing limits for incidentally caught halibut that are retained in the salmon troll fishery. Alternative I was favored by one commenter north of Cape Falcon and one commenter south of Cape Falcon.

The Council, including the NMFS representative, took all of these comments into consideration. The Council's final recommendation generally includes aspects of all three alternatives, while taking into account the best available scientific information and ensuring that fisheries are consistent with ESA consultation standards, ACLs, PST obligations, and tribal fishing rights. These management tools assist the Council in meeting impact limits on weak stocks. The Council adopted alternative I for incidental halibut retention, this alternative is consistent with retention limits adopted for 2014 salmon fisheries and April 2015 salmon fisheries (79 FR 24580, May 1, 2014).

Management Measures for 2015 Fisheries

The Council-recommended ocean harvest levels and management measures for the 2015 fisheries are designed to apportion the burden of protecting the weak stocks identified and discussed in PRE I equitably among ocean fisheries and to allow maximum harvest of natural and hatchery runs surplus to inside fishery and spawning needs. NMFS finds the Council's recommendations responsive to the goals of the Salmon FMP, the requirements of the resource, and the socioeconomic factors affecting resource users. The recommendations are consistent with the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, U.S. obligations to Indian tribes with federally recognized fishing rights, and U.S. international obligations regarding Pacific salmon. The Council's recommended management measures also comply with NMFS ESA consultation standards and guidance, for those listed salmon species that may be affected by Council fisheries. Accordingly, NMFS, through this final rule, approves and implements the Council's recommendations.

North of Cape Falcon, the 2015 management measures for non-Indian commercial troll and recreational fisheries have increased quotas for Chinook salmon and decreased quotas for coho salmon, compared to 2014. This is due primarily to the fact that forecasts for Chinook stocks north of Cape Falcon are generally higher than in 2014, and forecasts for coho are generally lower. Conservation constraints on Chinook salmon are largely unchanged, including the exploitation rate limit for ESA-listed LCR tule Chinook, which remains at 41 percent in 2015. As noted previously, Puget Sound Chinook are somewhat constraining on the 2015 fisheries in order to allow sufficient numbers of fish to reach inside fisheries. Impacts in Alaskan and Canadian fisheries on salmon stocks originating north of Cape Falcon are expected to increase slightly for coho in 2015 compared with 2014. However, there is uncertainty regarding impacts of northern fisheries on Chinook salmon, as the Pacific Salmon Commission's Chinook Technical Committee (CTC) did not reach consensus on adopting a new CTC Chinook model calibration that is used to provide impacts for northern fisheries to the Fishery Regulation Assessment Model (FRAM). To address this uncertainty, the Council relied on the CTC's preliminary calibration, as this is currently the best available information regarding likely northern fishery impacts. This resulted in slightly lower impacts from northern fisheries than in 2014. With respect to coho, North of Cape Falcon fisheries are limited in 2015 by the need to protect coho salmon from the Thompson River in Canada. ESA consultation standards for threatened LCR coho and Oregon Coast natural coho also apply to these fisheries but these are not limiting in 2015. Washington coastal and Puget Sound Chinook generally migrate to the far north and are not greatly affected by ocean salmon harvests from Cape Falcon, OR, to the U.S.-Canada border. Nevertheless, ocean fisheries are structured, in combination with restricted fisheries inside Puget Sound, in order to meet ESA related conservation objectives for Puget Sound Chinook. Ocean fisheries are also structured to provide for in-river fisheries on Queets River coho. North of Cape Alava, WA, the Council recommended a provision prohibiting retention of chum salmon in the salmon fisheries during August and September to protect ESA listed Hood Canal summer chum. The Council has recommended such a prohibition since 2002 (67 FR 30616, May 7, 2002).

Recreational fisheries south of Cape Falcon will be directed primarily at Chinook salmon, with opportunity for coho limited to the area between Cape Falcon and the Oregon/California Border. The projected abundance of SRFC in 2015 is above the 2014 projection. Under the management measures in this final rule, and including anticipated in-river fishery impacts, spawning escapement for SRFC is projected at 341,017, well above the SACL for this stock. Projected abundance for KRFC in 2015 is much lower than the very strong projections in 2012 and 2013, but higher than in 2014. Regardless, the commercial fishery that impacts KRFC will be constrained by the CCC consultation standard that limits the forecast KRFC age-4 ocean harvest rate to a maximum of 16 percent. Under the management measures in this final rule, and including anticipated in-river fishery impacts, spawning escapement for KRFC is projected at 40,700, again well above the SACL for the stock.

As discussed above in “Stocks of Concern,” NMFS' 2012 RPA for SRWC, together with projected abundance for 2015, limits Council-area fishery impacts to SRWC to 19.0 percent. In deciding on the recommended management measures, the Council additionally considered information on the impacts of ongoing drought on California salmon stocks, particularly SRWC, including estimated freshwater mortality of 95 percent of the 2014 SRWC brood year juveniles, information related to warm ocean conditions in 2015, information developed by CDFW on time and area vulnerability of SRWC to commercial and recreational fisheries, and public testimony on proposed season structure. Based on this information, the Council adopted management measures that limit age-3 impact rate on SRWC to 17.5 percent. In response to the information presented by CDFW on the time and area vulnerability of SRWC, the final management measures include specific limits on the fishing seasons south of Pigeon Point.

The treaty-Indian commercial troll fishery quota for 2015 is 60,000 Chinook salmon in ocean management areas and Washington State Statistical Area 4B combined. This quota is lower than the 62,500 Chinook salmon quota in 2014, for the same reasons discussed above for the non-tribal fishery. The treaty-Indian commercial troll fisheries include a Chinook-directed fishery in May and June with a quota of 30,000 Chinook salmon, and an all-salmon season beginning July 1 with a 30,000 Chinook salmon sub-quota. The coho quota for the treaty-Indian troll fishery in ocean management areas, including Washington State Statistical Area 4B, for the July-September period is 42,500 coho, lower than in 2014.

The Council is recommending one new provisions for 2015 fisheries, based on the concurrence of its Enforcement Consultants. Previously, all salmon on board a vessel were required meet the minimum size, landing/possession limit, or other special requirements for the area being fished and the area in which they are landed if the area is open or has been closed less than 96 hours for that species of salmon. Further, salmon were permitted to be landed in an area that has been closed for a species of salmon more than 96 hours only if they meet the minimum size, landing/possession limit, or other special requirements for the area in which they were caught. In 2015 the area closure requirements are reduced to from 96 to 48 hours.

Management Measures for 2016 Fisheries

The timing of the March and April Council meetings makes it impracticable for the Council to recommend fishing seasons that begin before May 1 of the same year. Therefore, this action also establishes the 2016 fishing seasons that open earlier than May 1. The Council recommended, and NMFS concurs, that the commercial season off Oregon from Cape Falcon to the Oregon/California border, the commercial season off California from Horse Mountain to Point Arena, the recreational season off Oregon from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain, and the recreational season off California from Horse Mountain to the U.S./Mexico border will open in 2016 as indicated in the Season Description section of this document. At the March 2016 meeting, the Council may consider inseason recommendations to adjust the commercial and recreational seasons prior to May 1 in the areas off Oregon and California.

The following sections set out the management regime for the salmon fishery. Open seasons and days are described in Sections 1, 2, and 3 of the 2015 management measures. Inseason closures in the commercial and recreational fisheries are announced on the NMFS hotline and through the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Notice to Mariners as described in Section 6. Other inseason adjustments to management measures are also announced on the hotline and through the Notice to Mariners. Inseason actions will also be published in the Federal Register as soon as practicable.

The following are the management measures recommended by the Council and approved and implemented here for 2015 and, as specified, for 2016.

Section 1. Commercial Management Measures for 2015 Ocean Salmon Fisheries

Parts A, B, and C of this section contain restrictions that must be followed for lawful participation in the fishery. Part A identifies each fishing area and provides the geographic boundaries from north to south, the open seasons for the area, the salmon species allowed to be caught during the seasons, and any other special restrictions effective in the area. Part B specifies minimum size limits. Part C specifies special requirements, definitions, restrictions and exceptions.

A. Season Description North of Cape Falcon, OR —U.S./Canada Border to Cape Falcon

May 1 through earlier of June 30 or 40,200 Chinook, no more than 9,000 of which may be caught in the area between the U.S./Canada border and the Queets River and no more than 15,000 may be caught in the area between Leadbetter Point and Cape Falcon. Seven days per week with a landing and possession limit of 60 Chinook per vessel per trip from the U.S./Canada border to the Queets River (C.1). All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 28 inches total length (B). Vessels in possession of salmon north of the Queets River may not cross the Queets River line without first notifying Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) at 360-902-2739 with area fished, total Chinook and halibut catch aboard, and destination. Vessels in possession of salmon south of the Queets River may not cross the Queets River line without first notifying WDFW at 360-902-2739 with area fished, total Chinook and halibut catch aboard, and destination. See compliance requirements and gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). When it is projected that 29,250 Chinook have been landed overall, or 6,750 Chinook have been landed in the area between the U.S./Canada border and the Queets River, or 11,250 Chinook have been landed in the area between Leadbetter Point and Cape Falcon, inseason action modifying the open period to five days per week and adding landing and possession limits will be considered to ensure the guideline is not exceeded. Cape Flattery, Mandatory Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area, and Columbia Control Zones closed (C.5). Vessels must land and deliver their fish within 24 hours of any closure of this fishery. Under state law, vessels must report their catch on a state fish receiving ticket. Vessels fishing or in possession of salmon while fishing north of Leadbetter Point must land and deliver their fish within the area and north of Leadbetter Point. Vessels fishing or in possession of salmon while fishing south of Leadbetter Point must land and deliver their fish within the area and south of Leadbetter Point, except that Oregon permitted vessels may also land their fish in Garibaldi, Oregon. Oregon State regulations require all fishers landing salmon into Oregon from any fishery between Leadbetter Point, Washington and Cape Falcon, Oregon must notify the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) within one hour of delivery or prior to transport away from the port of landing by either calling 541-867-0300 Ext. 271 or sending notification via email to [email protected] Notification shall include vessel name and number, number of salmon by species, port of landing and location of delivery, and estimated time of delivery. Inseason actions may modify harvest guidelines in later fisheries to achieve or prevent exceeding the overall allowable troll harvest impacts (C.8).

July 1 through earlier of September 22 or attainment of the quota of 26,800 Chinook, no more than 11,000 of which may be caught in the area between the U.S./Canada border and the Queets River, or 19,200 marked coho (C.8.d). July 1 through 7, then Friday through Tuesday, July 10 through September 22 with a landing and possession limit of 50 Chinook and 50 coho per vessel per open period (C.1). Vessels in possession of salmon north of the Queets River may not cross the Queets River line without first notifying WDFW at 360-902-2739 with area fished, total Chinook, coho, and halibut catch aboard, and destination. Vessels in possession of salmon south of the Queets River may not cross the Queets River line without first notifying WDFW at 360-902-2739 with area fished, total Chinook, coho, and halibut catch aboard, and destination. When it is projected that 19,500 Chinook have been landed overall, or 8,250 Chinook have been landed in the area between the U.S/Canada border and the Queets River, inseason action modifying the open period to five days per week and adding landing and possession limits will be considered to ensure the guideline is not exceeded. No earlier than September 1, if at least 5,000 marked coho remain on the quota, inseason action may be considered to allow non-selective coho retention (C.8). All salmon, except no chum retention north of Cape Alava, Washington in August and September (C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 28 inches total length (B, C.1). All coho must be marked except as noted above (C.8.d). See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Mandatory Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area, Cape Flattery and Columbia Control Zones, and beginning August 9, Grays Harbor Control Zone closed (C.5). Vessels must land and deliver their fish within 24 hours of any closure of this fishery. Vessels fishing or in possession of salmon while fishing north of Leadbetter Point must land and deliver their fish within the area and north of Leadbetter Point. Vessels fishing or in possession of salmon while fishing south of Leadbetter Point must land and deliver their fish within the area and south of Leadbetter Point, except that Oregon permitted vessels may also land their fish in Garibaldi, Oregon. Under state law, vessels must report their catch on a state fish receiving ticket. Oregon State regulations require all fishers landing salmon into Oregon from any fishery between Leadbetter Point, Washington and Cape Falcon, Oregon must notify ODFW within one hour of delivery or prior to transport away from the port of landing by either calling 541-867-0300 Ext. 271 or sending notification via email to [email protected] Notification shall include vessel name and number, number of salmon by species, port of landing and location of delivery, and estimated time of delivery. Inseason actions may modify harvest guidelines in later fisheries to achieve or prevent exceeding the overall allowable troll harvest impacts (C.8).

South of Cape Falcon, OR —Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain

April 1 through August 27;

September 2 through September 30 (C.9.a).

Seven days per week. All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 28 inches total length (B, C.1). All vessels fishing in the area must land their fish in the State of Oregon. See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3) and Oregon State regulations for a description of special regulations at the mouth of Tillamook Bay.

Beginning September 2, no more than 60 Chinook per vessel per landing week (Thursday through Wednesday).

In 2016, the season will open March 15, all salmon except coho. Chinook minimum size limit of 28 inches total length. Gear restrictions same as in 2015. This opening could be modified following Council review at its March 2016 meeting

—Humbug Mountain to Oregon/California Border (Oregon KMZ)

April 1 through May 31;

June 1 through earlier of June 30, or a 1,800 Chinook quota;

July 1 through earlier of July 31, or a 1,000 Chinook quota;

August 1 through earlier of August 27, or a 500 Chinook quota (C.9.a).

Seven days per week. All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 28 inches total length (B, C.1). Prior to June 1, all fish caught in this area must be landed and delivered in the State of Oregon. June 1 through August 27, single daily landing and possession limit of 30 Chinook per vessel per day (C.8.f). Any remaining portion of the June and/or July Chinook quotas may be transferred inseason on an impact neutral basis to the next open quota period. All vessels fishing in this area must land and deliver all fish within this area or Port Orford, within 24 hours of any closure of this fishery, and prior to fishing outside of this area. Oregon State regulations require fishers landing salmon from any quota managed season within this area to notify ODFW within one hour of delivery or prior to transport away from the port of landing by either calling 541-867-0300 Ext. 252 or sending notification via email to [email protected] Notification shall include vessel name and number, number of salmon by species, port of landing and location of delivery, and estimated time of delivery. See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

In 2016, the season will open March 15 for all salmon except coho, with a 28 inch Chinook minimum size limit. This opening could be modified following Council review at its March 2016 meeting.

—Oregon/California Border to Humboldt South Jetty (California KMZ)

September 11 through earlier of September 30, or 3,000 Chinook quota (C.9.b). Five days per week, Friday through Tuesday. All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 28 inches total length (B, C.1). Landing and possession limit of 20 Chinook per vessel per day (C.8.f). All fish caught in this area must be landed within the area and within 24 hours of any closure of the fishery and prior to fishing outside the area (C.10). See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Klamath Control Zone closed (C.5.e). See California State regulations for additional closures adjacent to the Smith and Klamath Rivers. When the fishery is closed between the Oregon/California border and Humbug Mountain and open to the south, vessels with fish on board caught in the open area off California may seek temporary mooring in Brookings, Oregon prior to landing in California only if such vessels first notify the Chetco River Coast Guard Station via VHF channel 22A between the hours of 0500 and 2200 and provide the vessel name, number of fish on board, and estimated time of arrival (C.6).

—Humboldt South Jetty to Horse Mountain

Closed.

—Horse Mountain to Point Arena (Fort Bragg)

May 1 through 31;

June 15 through 30;

July 12 through 31;

August 1 through 26;

September 1 through 30 (C.9.b).

Seven days per week. All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 27 inches total length (B, C.1). All fish must be landed in California. All salmon caught in California prior to September 1 must be landed and offloaded no later than 11:59 p.m., August 30 (C.6). When the California KMZ fishery is open, all fish caught in the area must be landed south of Horse Mountain (C.6). During September, all fish must be landed north of Point Arena (C.6). See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

In 2016, the season will open April 16 through 30 for all salmon except coho, with a 27-inch Chinook minimum size limit and the same gear restrictions as in 2015. All fish caught in the area must be landed in the area. This opening could be modified following Council review at its March 2016 meeting.

—Point Arena to Pigeon Point (San Francisco)

May 1 through 31;

June 7 through 30;

July 8 through 31;

August 1 through 29;

September 1 through 30 (C.9.b).

Seven days per week. All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 27 inches total length prior to September 1, 26 inches thereafter (B, C.1). All fish must be landed in California. All salmon caught in California prior to September 1 must be landed and offloaded no later than 11:59 p.m., August 30 (C.6). During September, all fish must be landed south of Point Arena (C.6). See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

• Point Reyes to Point San Pedro (Fall Area Target Zone) October 1 through 2, 5 through 9, and 12 through 15.

All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 26 inches total length (B, C.1). All fish caught in this area must be landed between Point Arena and Pigeon Point (C.6). See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

—Pigeon Point to Point Sur (Monterey North)

May 1 through 31;

June 7 through 30;

July 8 through 31;

August 1 through 15 (C.9.b).

Seven days per week. All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 27 inches total length (B, C.1). All fish must be landed in California. All salmon caught in California prior to September 1 must be landed and offloaded no later than 11:59 p.m., August 30 (C.6). See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

—Point Sur to U.S./Mexico Border (Monterey South)

May 1 through 31;

June 7 through 30;

July 8 through 31 (C.9.b).

Seven days per week. All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 27 inches total length (B, C.1). All fish must be landed in California. All salmon caught in California prior to September 1 must be landed and offloaded no later than 11:59 p.m., August 30 (C.6). See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

California State regulations require all salmon be made available to a CDFW representative for sampling immediately at port of landing. Any person in possession of a salmon with a missing adipose fin, upon request by an authorized agent or employee of the CDFW, shall immediately relinquish the head of the salmon to the state (California Fish and Game Code § 8226).

B. Minimum Size (Inches) (See C.1) Area (when open) Chinook Total length Head-off Coho Total length Head-off Pink North of Cape Falcon, OR 28.0 21.5 16.0 12.0 None. Cape Falcon to OR/CA Border 28.0 21.5 None. OR/CA Border to Humboldt South Jetty 28.0 21.5 None. Horse Mountain to Point Arena 27.0 20.5 None. Point Arena to Pigeon Point Prior to August 30 27.0 20.5 None. September 1 to October 15 26.0 19.5 None. Pigeon Point to U.S./Mexico Border 27.0 20.5 None. Metric equivalents: 28.0 in=71.1 cm, 27.0 in=68.6 cm, 26.0 in=66.0 cm, 21.5 in=54.6 cm, 20.5 in=52.1 cm, 19.5 in=49.5 cm, 16.0 in=40.6 cm, and 12.0 in=30.5 cm. C. Requirements, Definitions, Restrictions, or Exceptions C.1. Compliance with Minimum Size or Other Special Restrictions

All salmon on board a vessel must meet the minimum size, landing/possession limit, or other special requirements for the area being fished and the area in which they are landed if the area is open or has been closed less than 48 hours for that species of salmon. Salmon may be landed in an area that has been closed for a species of salmon more than 48 hours only if they meet the minimum size, landing/possession limit, or other special requirements for the area in which they were caught. Salmon may not be filleted prior to landing.

Any person who is required to report a salmon landing by applicable state law must include on the state landing receipt for that landing both the number and weight of salmon landed by species. States may require fish landing/receiving tickets be kept on board the vessel for 90 days or more after landing to account for all previous salmon landings.

C.2. Gear Restrictions

a. Salmon may be taken only by hook and line using single point, single shank, barbless hooks.

b. Cape Falcon, Oregon, to the Oregon/California border: No more than 4 spreads are allowed per line.

c. Oregon/California border to U.S./Mexico border: No more than 6 lines are allowed per vessel, and barbless circle hooks are required when fishing with bait by any means other than trolling.

C.3. Gear Definitions

Trolling defined: Fishing from a boat or floating device that is making way by means of a source of power, other than drifting by means of the prevailing water current or weather conditions.

Troll fishing gear defined: One or more lines that drag hooks behind a moving fishing vessel. In that portion of the fishery management area off Oregon and Washington, the line or lines must be affixed to the vessel and must not be intentionally disengaged from the vessel at any time during the fishing operation.

Spread defined: A single leader connected to an individual lure and/or bait.

Circle hook defined: A hook with a generally circular shape and a point which turns inward, pointing directly to the shank at a 90°angle.

C.4. Vessel Operation in Closed Areas With Salmon on Board

a. Except as provided under C.4.b below, it is unlawful for a vessel to have troll or recreational gear in the water while in any area closed to fishing for a certain species of salmon, while possessing that species of salmon; however, fishing for species other than salmon is not prohibited if the area is open for such species, and no salmon are in possession.

b. When Genetic Stock Identification (GSI) samples will be collected in an area closed to commercial salmon fishing, the scientific research permit holder shall notify NOAA Office of Law Enforcement, USCG, CDFW, and Oregon State Patrol at least 24 hours prior to sampling and provide the following information: The vessel name, date, location, and time collection activities will be done. Any vessel collecting GSI samples in a closed area shall not possess any salmon other than those from which GSI samples are being collected. Salmon caught for collection of GSI samples must be immediately released in good condition after collection of samples.

C.5. Control Zone Definitions

a. Cape Flattery Control Zone—The area from Cape Flattery (48°23′00″ N. lat.) to the northern boundary of the U.S. EEZ; and the area from Cape Flattery south to Cape Alava (48°10′00″ N. lat.) and east of 125°05′00″ W. long.

b. Mandatory Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area—The area in Washington Marine Catch Area 3 from 48°00.00′ N. lat.; 125°14.00′ W. long. to 48°02.00′ N. lat.; 125°14.00′ W. long. to 48°02.00′ N. lat.; 125°16.50′ W. long. to 48°00.00′ N. lat.; 125°16.50′ W. long. and connecting back to 48°00.00′ N. lat.; 125°14.00′ W. long.

c. Grays Harbor Control Zone—The area defined by a line drawn from the Westport Lighthouse (46°53′18″ N. lat., 124° 07′01″ W. long.) to Buoy #2 (46°52′42″ N. lat., 124°12′42″ W. long.) to Buoy #3 (46°55′00″ N. lat., 124°14′48″ W. long.) to the Grays Harbor north jetty (46°55′36″ N. lat., 124°10′51″ W. long.).

d. Columbia Control Zone—An area at the Columbia River mouth, bounded on the west by a line running northeast/southwest between the red lighted Buoy #4 (46°13′35″ N. lat., 124°06′50″ W. long.) and the green lighted Buoy #7 (46°15′09″ N. lat., 124°06′16″ W. long.); on the east, by the Buoy #10 line which bears north/south at 357° true from the south jetty at 46°14′00″ N. lat., 124°03′07″ W. long. to its intersection with the north jetty; on the north, by a line running northeast/southwest between the green lighted Buoy #7 to the tip of the north jetty (46°15′48″ N. lat., 124°05′20″ W. long.), and then along the north jetty to the point of intersection with the Buoy #10 line; and, on the south, by a line running northeast/southwest between the red lighted Buoy #4 and tip of the south jetty (46°14′03″ N. lat., 124°04′05″ W. long.), and then along the south jetty to the point of intersection with the Buoy #10 line.

e. Klamath Control Zone—The ocean area at the Klamath River mouth bounded on the north by 41°38′48″ N. lat. (approximately six nautical miles north of the Klamath River mouth); on the west, by 124°23′00″ W. long. (approximately 12 nautical miles off shore); and on the south, by 41°26′48″ N. lat. (approximately six nautical miles south of the Klamath River mouth).

C.6. Notification When Unsafe Conditions Prevent Compliance With Regulations

If prevented by unsafe weather conditions or mechanical problems from meeting special management area landing restrictions, vessels must notify the USCG and receive acknowledgment of such notification prior to leaving the area. This notification shall include the name of the vessel, port where delivery will be made, approximate amount of salmon (by species) on board, the estimated time of arrival, and the specific reason the vessel is not able to meet special management area landing restrictions.

In addition to contacting the USCG, vessels fishing south of the Oregon/California border must notify CDFW within one hour of leaving the management area by calling 800-889-8346 and providing the same information as reported to the USCG. All salmon must be offloaded within 24 hours of reaching port.

C.7. Incidental Halibut Harvest

During authorized periods, the operator of a vessel that has been issued an incidental halibut harvest license may retain Pacific halibut caught incidentally in Area 2A while trolling for salmon. Halibut retained must be no less than 32 inches (81.28 cm) in total length, measured from the tip of the lower jaw with the mouth closed to the extreme end of the middle of the tail, and must be landed with the head on. When halibut are caught and landed incidental to commercial salmon fishing by an IPHC license holder, any person who is required to report the salmon landing by applicable state law must include on the state landing receipt for that landing both the number of halibut landed, and the total dressed, head-on weight of halibut landed, in pounds, as well as the number and species of salmon landed.

License applications for incidental harvest must be obtained from the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) (phone: 206-634-1838). Applicants must apply prior to mid-March 2016 for 2016 permits (exact date to be set by the IPHC in early 2016). Incidental harvest is authorized only during April, May, and June of the 2015 troll seasons and after June 30 in 2015 if quota remains and if announced on the NMFS hotline (phone: 1-800-662-9825 or 206-526-6667). WDFW, ODFW, and CDFW will monitor landings. If the landings are projected to exceed the IPHC's 29,035 pound preseason allocation or the total Area 2A non-Indian commercial halibut allocation, NMFS will take inseason action to prohibit retention of halibut in the non-Indian salmon troll fishery.

May 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015, and April 1-30, 2016, license holders may land or possess no more than one Pacific halibut per each four Chinook, except one Pacific halibut may be possessed or landed without meeting the ratio requirement, and no more than 12 halibut may be possessed or landed per trip. Pacific halibut retained must be no less than 32 inches in total length (with head on).

Incidental Pacific halibut catch regulations in the commercial salmon troll fishery adopted for 2015, prior to any 2015 inseason action, will be in effect when incidental Pacific halibut retention opens on April 1, 2016, unless otherwise modified by inseason action at the March 2016 Council meeting.

a. “C-shaped” yelloweye rockfish conservation area (YRCA) is an area to be voluntarily avoided for salmon trolling. NMFS and the Council request salmon trollers voluntarily avoid this area in order to protect yelloweye rockfish. The area is defined in Pacific Council Halibut Catch Sharing Plan in the North Coast subarea (Washington marine area 3), with the following coordinates in the order listed:

48°18′ N. lat.; 125°18′ W. long.; 48°18′ N. lat.; 124°59′ W. long.; 48°11′ N. lat.; 124°59′ W. long.; 48°11′ N. lat.; 125°11′ W. long.; 48°04′ N. lat.; 125°11′ W. long.; 48°04′ N. lat.; 124°59′ W. long.; 48°00′ N. lat.; 124°59′ W. long.; 48°00′ N. lat.; 125°18′ W. long.; and connecting back to 48°18′ N. lat.; 125°18′ W. long. C.8. Inseason Management

In addition to standard inseason actions or modifications already noted under the season description, the following inseason guidance applies:

a. Chinook remaining from the May through June non-Indian commercial troll harvest guideline north of Cape Falcon may be transferred to the July through September harvest guideline, if the transfer would not result in exceeding preseason impact expectations on any stocks.

b. Chinook remaining from the June and/or July non-Indian commercial troll quotas in the Oregon KMZ may be transferred to the Chinook quota for the next open period if the transfer would not result in exceeding preseason impact expectations on any stocks.

c. NMFS may transfer fish between the recreational and commercial fisheries north of Cape Falcon if there is agreement among the areas' representatives on the Salmon Advisory Subpanel (SAS), and if the transfer would not result in exceeding the preseason impact expectations on any stocks.

d. At the March 2016 meeting, the Council will consider inseason recommendations for special regulations for any experimental fisheries (proposals must meet Council protocol and be received in November 2015).

e. If retention of unmarked coho is permitted by inseason action, the allowable coho quota will be adjusted to ensure preseason projected impacts on all stocks are not exceeded.

f. Landing limits may be modified inseason to sustain season length and keep harvest within overall quotas.

C.9. State Waters Fisheries

Consistent with Council management objectives:

a. The State of Oregon may establish additional late-season fisheries in state waters.

b. The State of California may establish limited fisheries in selected state waters.

Check state regulations for details.

C.10. For the purposes of California Fish and Game Code, Section 8232.5, the definition of the Klamath Management Zone (KMZ) for the ocean salmon season is the area from Humbug Mountain, Oregon, to Horse Mountain, California.

Section 2. Recreational Management Measures for 2015 Ocean Salmon Fisheries

Parts A, B, and C of this section contain restrictions that must be followed for lawful participation in the fishery. Part A identifies each fishing area and provides the geographic boundaries from north to south, the open seasons for the area, the salmon species allowed to be caught during the seasons, and any other special restrictions effective in the area. Part B specifies minimum size limits. Part C specifies special requirements, definitions, restrictions and exceptions.

A. Season Description North of Cape Falcon, OR —U.S./Canada Border to Queets River

May 15 through 16, May 22 through 23, and May 30 through June 12 or a coastwide marked Chinook quota of 10,000 (C.5).

Seven days per week. All salmon except coho, two fish per day. All Chinook must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip (C.1). Chinook 24-inch total length minimum size limit (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Inseason management may be used to sustain season length and keep harvest within the overall Chinook recreational TAC for north of Cape Falcon (C.5).

—Queets River to Leadbetter Point

May 30 through earlier of June 12 or a coastwide marked Chinook quota of 10,000 (C.5)

Seven days per week. All salmon except coho, two fish per day. All Chinook must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip (C.1). Chinook 24-inch total length minimum size limit (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Inseason management may be used to sustain season length and keep harvest within the overall Chinook recreational TAC for north of Cape Falcon (C.5).

—Leadbetter Point to Cape Falcon

May 30 through earlier of June 12 or a coastwide marked Chinook quota of 10,000 (C.5).

Seven days per week. All salmon except coho, two fish per day. All Chinook must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip (C.1). Chinook 24-inch total length minimum size limit (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Inseason management may be used to sustain season length and keep harvest within the overall Chinook recreational TAC for north of Cape Falcon (C.5).

—U.S./Canada Border to Cape Alava (Neah Bay)

June 13 through earlier of September 30 or 14,850 marked coho subarea quota with a subarea guideline of 8,400 Chinook (C.5).

Seven days per week. All salmon except no chum beginning August 1; two fish per day plus two additional pink. All coho must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip (C.1). Beginning August 1, Chinook non-retention east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line (C.4.a) during Council managed ocean fishery. See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Inseason management may be used to sustain season length and keep harvest within the overall Chinook and coho recreational TACs for north of Cape Falcon (C.5).

—Cape Alava to Queets River (La Push Subarea)

June 13 through earlier of September 30 or 3,610 marked coho subarea quota with a subarea guideline of 2,600 Chinook (C.5).

October 1 through earlier of October 11 or 100 marked coho quota or 100 Chinook quota (C.5) in the area north of 47°50′00″ N. lat. and south of 48°00′00″ N. lat.

Seven days per week. All salmon, two fish per day plus two additional pink. All coho must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip (C.1). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Inseason management may be used to sustain season length and keep harvest within the overall Chinook and coho recreational TACs for north of Cape Falcon (C.5).

—Queets River to Leadbetter Point (Westport Subarea)

June 13 through earlier of September 30 or 52,840 marked coho subarea quota with a subarea guideline of 27,900 Chinook (C.5).

Seven days per week. All salmon; two fish per day, no more than one of which can be a Chinook. All coho must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip (C.1). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Grays Harbor Control Zone closed beginning August 11 (C.4.b). Inseason management may be used to sustain season length and keep harvest within the overall Chinook and coho recreational TACs for north of Cape Falcon (C.5).

—Leadbetter Point to Cape Falcon (Columbia River Subarea)

June 13 through earlier of September 30 or 79,400 marked coho subarea quota with a subarea guideline of 15,000 Chinook (C.5).

Seven days per week. All salmon; two fish per day, no more than one of which can be a Chinook. All coho must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip (C.1). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Columbia Control Zone closed (C.4.c). Inseason management may be used to sustain season length and keep harvest within the overall Chinook and coho recreational TACs for north of Cape Falcon (C.5).

South of Cape Falcon, OR —Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain

March 15 through October 31 (C.6), except as provided below during the all-salmon mark-selective and September non-mark-selective coho fisheries.

Seven days per week. All salmon except coho; two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

• Non-mark-selective coho fishery: September 4 through the earlier of September 30 or a landed catch of 12,500 non-mark-selective coho quota (C.5).

Seven days per week. All salmon, two fish per day (C.5).

The all salmon except coho season reopens the earlier of October 1 or attainment of the coho quota (C.5).

In 2016, the season between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain will open March 15 for all salmon except coho, two fish per day (B, C.1, C.2, C.3).

Fishing in the Stonewall Bank yelloweye rockfish conservation area restricted to trolling only on days the all depth recreational halibut fishery is open (call the halibut fishing hotline 1-800-662-9825 or 206-526-6667 for specific dates) (C.3.b, C.4.d).

—Cape Falcon to Oregon/California Border

All-salmon mark-selective coho fishery: June 27 through earlier of August 9 or a landed catch of 55,000 marked coho.

Seven days per week. All salmon, two fish per day. All retained coho must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Any remainder of the mark-selective coho quota will be transferred on an impact neutral basis to the September non-selective coho quota from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain (C.5). The all salmon except coho season reopens the earlier of August 10 or attainment of the coho quota.

Fishing in the Stonewall Bank yelloweye rockfish conservation area restricted to trolling only on days the all depth recreational halibut fishery is open (call the halibut fishing hotline 1-800-662-9825 or 206-526-6667 for specific dates) (C.3.b, C.4.d).

—Humbug Mountain to Oregon/California Border (Oregon KMZ)

May 1 through September 7 (C.6).

Seven days per week. All salmon except coho, except as noted above in the all-salmon mark-selective coho fishery; two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

—Oregon/California Border to Horse Mountain (California KMZ)

May 1 through September 7 (C.6).

Seven days per week. All salmon except coho, two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 20 inches total length (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Klamath Control Zone closed in August (C.4.e). See California State regulations for additional closures adjacent to the Smith, Eel, and Klamath Rivers.

—Horse Mountain to Point Arena (Fort Bragg)

April 4 through November 8 (C.6).

Seven days per week. All salmon except coho, two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 20 inches total length (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

In 2016, season opens April 2 for all salmon except coho, two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 20 inches total length (B); and the same gear restrictions as in 2015 (C.2, C.3).

—Point Arena to Pigeon Point (San Francisco)

April 4 through October 31 (C.6).

Seven days per week. All salmon except coho, two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length through April 30, 20 inches thereafter (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

In 2016, season opens April 2 for all salmon except coho, two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B); and the same gear restrictions as in 2015 (C.2, C.3).

—Pigeon Point to Point Sur (Monterey North)

April 4 through September 7 (C.6).

Seven days per week. All salmon except coho, two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length through May 31, 20 inches thereafter (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

In 2016, season opens April 2 for all salmon except coho, two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B); and the same gear restrictions as in 2015 (C.2, C.3).

—Point Sur to U.S./Mexico Border (Monterey South)

April 4 through July 19 (C.6).

Seven days per week. All salmon except coho, two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length through May 31, 20 inches thereafter (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

In 2016, season opens April 2 for all salmon except coho, two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B); and the same gear restrictions as in 2015 (C.2, C.3).

California State regulations require all salmon be made available to a CDFW representative for sampling immediately at port of landing. Any person in possession of a salmon with a missing adipose fin, upon request by an authorized agent or employee of the CDFW, shall immediately relinquish the head of the salmon to the state (California Code of Regulations Title 14 Section 1.73).

B. Minimum Size (Total Length in Inches) (See C.1) Area (when open) Chinook Coho Pink North of Cape Falcon 24.0 16.0 None. Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain 24.0 16.0 None. Humbug Mt. to OR/CA Border 24.0 16.0 None. OR/CA Border to Horse Mountain 20.0 20.0. Horse Mountain to Point Arena 20.0 20.0. Point Arena to Pigeon Point: Through April 30 24.0 24.0. After April 30 20.0 20.0. Pigeon Point to U.S./Mexico Border: Through May 31 24.0 24.0. After May 31 20.0 20.0. Metric equivalents: 24.0 in=61.0 cm, 20.0 in=50.8 cm, and 16.0in=40.6 cm. C. Requirements, Definitions, Restrictions, or Exceptions C.1. Compliance With Minimum Size and Other Special Restrictions

All salmon on board a vessel must meet the minimum size or other special requirements for the area being fished and the area in which they are landed if that area is open. Salmon may be landed in an area that is closed only if they meet the minimum size or other special requirements for the area in which they were caught. Salmon may not be filleted prior to landing.

Ocean Boat Limits: Off the coast of Washington, Oregon, and California, each fisher aboard a vessel may continue to use angling gear until the combined daily limits of Chinook and coho salmon for all licensed and juvenile anglers aboard have been attained (additional state restrictions may apply).

C.2. Gear Restrictions

Salmon may be taken only by hook and line using barbless hooks. All persons fishing for salmon, and all persons fishing from a boat with salmon on board, must meet the gear restrictions listed below for specific areas or seasons.

a. U.S./Canada Border to Point Conception, California: No more than one rod may be used per angler; and no more than two single point, single shank barbless hooks are required for all fishing gear. [Note: ODFW regulations in the state-water fishery off Tillamook Bay may allow the use of barbed hooks to be consistent with inside regulations.]

b. Horse Mountain, California, to Point Conception, California: Single point, single shank, barbless circle hooks (see gear definitions below) are required when fishing with bait by any means other than trolling, and no more than two such hooks shall be used. When angling with two hooks, the distance between the hooks must not exceed five inches when measured from the top of the eye of the top hook to the inner base of the curve of the lower hook, and both hooks must be permanently tied in place (hard tied). Circle hooks are not required when artificial lures are used without bait.

C.3. Gear Definitions

a. Recreational fishing gear defined: Off Oregon and Washington, angling tackle consists of a single line that must be attached to a rod and reel held by hand or closely attended; the rod and reel must be held by hand while playing a hooked fish. No person may use more than one rod and line while fishing off Oregon or Washington. Off California, the line must be attached to a rod and reel held by hand or closely attended; weights directly attached to a line may not exceed four pounds (1.8 kg). While fishing off California north of Point Conception, no person fishing for salmon, and no person fishing from a boat with salmon on board, may use more than one rod and line. Fishing includes any activity which can reasonably be expected to result in the catching, taking, or harvesting of fish.

b. Trolling defined: Angling from a boat or floating device that is making way by means of a source of power, other than drifting by means of the prevailing water current or weather conditions.

c. Circle hook defined: A hook with a generally circular shape and a point which turns inward, pointing directly to the shank at a 90° angle.

C.4. Control Zone Definitions

a. The Bonilla-Tatoosh Line—A line running from the western end of Cape Flattery to Tatoosh Island Lighthouse (48°23′30″ N. lat., 124°44′12″ W. long.) to the buoy adjacent to Duntze Rock (48°24′37″ N. lat., 124°44′37″ W. long.), then in a straight line to Bonilla Point (48°35′39″ N. lat., 124°42′58″ W. long.) on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

b. Grays Harbor Control Zone—The area defined by a line drawn from the Westport Lighthouse (46°53′18″ N. lat., 124°07′01″ W. long.) to Buoy #2 (46°52′42″ N. lat., 124°12′42″ W. long.) to Buoy #3 (46°55′00″ N. lat., 124°14′48″ W. long.) to the Grays Harbor north jetty (46°55′36″ N. lat., 124°10′51″ W. long.).

c. Columbia Control Zone—An area at the Columbia River mouth, bounded on the west by a line running northeast/southwest between the red lighted Buoy #4 (46°13′35″ N. lat., 124°06′50″ W. long.) and the green lighted Buoy #7 (46°15′09″ N. lat., 124°06′16″ W. long.); on the east, by the Buoy #10 line which bears north/south at 357° true from the south jetty at 46°14′00″ N. lat., 124°03′07″ W. long. to its intersection with the north jetty; on the north, by a line running northeast/southwest between the green lighted Buoy #7 to the tip of the north jetty (46°15′48″ N. lat., 124°05′20″ W. long.) and then along the north jetty to the point of intersection with the Buoy #10 line; and on the south, by a line running northeast/southwest between the red lighted Buoy #4 and tip of the south jetty (46°14′03″ N. lat., 124°04′05″ W. long.), and then along the south jetty to the point of intersection with the Buoy #10 line.

d. Stonewall Bank yelloweye rockfish conservation area—The area defined by the following coordinates in the order listed:

44°37.46′ N. lat.; 124°24.92′ W. long.; 44°37.46′ N. lat.; 124°23.63′ W. long.; 44°28.71′ N. lat.; 124°21.80′ W. long.; 44°28.71′ N. lat.; 124°24.10′ W. long.; 44°31.42′ N. lat.; 124°25.47′ W. long.; and connecting back to 44°37.46′ N. lat.; 124°24.92′ W. long.

e. Klamath Control Zone—The ocean area at the Klamath River mouth bounded on the north by 41°38″48″ N. lat. (approximately six nautical miles north of the Klamath River mouth); on the west, by 124°23′00″ W. long. (approximately 12 nautical miles off shore); and, on the south, by 41°26′48″ N. lat. (approximately 6 nautical miles south of the Klamath River mouth).

C.5. Inseason Management

Regulatory modifications may become necessary inseason to meet preseason management objectives such as quotas, harvest guidelines, and season duration. In addition to standard inseason actions or modifications already noted under the season description, the following inseason guidance applies:

a. Actions could include modifications to bag limits, or days open to fishing, and extensions or reductions in areas open to fishing.

b. Coho may be transferred inseason among recreational subareas north of Cape Falcon to help meet the recreational season duration objectives (for each subarea) after conferring with representatives of the affected ports and the Council's SAS recreational representatives north of Cape Falcon, and if the transfer would not result in exceeding preseason impact expectations on any stocks.

c. Chinook and coho may be transferred between the recreational and commercial fisheries north of Cape Falcon if there is agreement among the representatives of the SAS, and if the transfer would not result in exceeding preseason impact expectations on any stocks.

d. Fishery managers may consider inseason action modifying regulations restricting retention of unmarked coho. To remain consistent with preseason expectations, any inseason action shall consider, if significant, the difference between observed and preseason forecasted mark rates. Such a consideration may also include a change in bag limit of two salmon, no more than one of which may be a coho.

e. Marked coho remaining from the Cape Falcon to Oregon/California border recreational mark-selective coho quota may be transferred inseason to the Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain non-mark-selective recreational fishery if the transfer would not result in exceeding preseason impact expectations on any stocks.

C.6. Additional Seasons in State Territorial Waters

Consistent with Council management objectives, the States of Washington, Oregon, and California may establish limited seasons in state waters. Check state regulations for details.

Section 3. Treaty Indian Management Measures for 2015 Ocean Salmon Fisheries

Parts A, B, and C of this section contain requirements that must be followed for lawful participation in the fishery.

A. Season Descriptions

May 1 through the earlier of June 30 or 30,000 Chinook quota. All salmon except coho. If the Chinook quota is exceeded, the excess will be deducted from the later all-salmon season (C.5). See size limit (B) and other restrictions (C).

July 1 through the earlier of September 15, or 30,000 preseason Chinook quota (C.5), or 42,599 coho quota. All salmon. See size limit (B) and other restrictions (C).

B. Minimum Size (Inches) Area (when open) Chinook Total Head-off Coho Total Head-off Pink North of Cape Falcon 24.0 18.0 16.0 12.0 None. Metric equivalents: 24.0 in=61.0 cm, 18.0 in=45.7 cm, 16.0in=40.6 cm, and 12.0 in=30.5 cm. C. Requirements, Restrictions, and Exceptions C.1. Tribe and Area Boundaries

All boundaries may be changed to include such other areas as may hereafter be authorized by a Federal court for that tribe's treaty fishery.

S'KLALLAM—Washington State Statistical Area 4B (All).

MAKAH—Washington State Statistical Area 4B and that portion of the FMA north of 48°02′15″ N. lat. (Norwegian Memorial) and east of 125°44′00″ W. long.

QUILEUTE—That portion of the FMA between 48°07′36″ N. lat. (Sand Point) and 47°31′42″ N. lat. (Queets River) and east of 125°44′00″ W. long.

HOH—That portion of the FMA between 47°54′18″ N. lat. (Quillayute River) and 47°21′00″ N. lat. (Quinault River) and east of 125°44′00″ W. long.

QUINAULT—That portion of the FMA between 47°40′06″ N. lat. (Destruction Island) and 46°53′18″ N. lat. (Point Chehalis) and east of 125°44′00″ W. long.

C.2. Gear Restrictions

a. Single point, single shank, barbless hooks are required in all fisheries.

b. No more than eight fixed lines per boat.

c. No more than four hand held lines per person in the Makah area fishery (Washington State Statistical Area 4B and that portion of the FMA north of 48°02′15″ N. lat. (Norwegian Memorial) and east of 125°44′00″ W. long.).

C.3. Quotas

a. The quotas include troll catches by the S'Klallam and Makah tribes in Washington State Statistical Area 4B from May 1 through September 15.

b. The Quileute Tribe will continue a ceremonial and subsistence fishery during the time frame of September 15 through October 15 in the same manner as in 2004 through 2014. Fish taken during this fishery are to be counted against treaty troll quotas established for the 2015 season (estimated harvest during the October ceremonial and subsistence fishery: 20 Chinook; 40 coho).

C.4. Area Closures

a. The area within a six nautical mile radius of the mouths of the Queets River (47°31′42″ N. lat.) and the Hoh River (47°45′12″ N. lat.) will be closed to commercial fishing.

b. A closure within two nautical miles of the mouth of the Quinault River (47°21′00″ N. lat.) may be enacted by the Quinault Nation and/or the State of Washington and will not adversely affect the Secretary of Commerce's management regime.

C.5. Inseason Management

In addition to standard inseason actions or modifications already noted under the season description, the following inseason guidance applies:

a. Chinook remaining from the May through June treaty-Indian ocean troll harvest guideline north of Cape Falcon may be transferred to the July through September harvest guideline on a fishery impact equivalent basis.

Section 4. Halibut Retention

Under the authority of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act, NMFS promulgated regulations governing the Pacific halibut fishery, which appear at 50 CFR part 300, subpart E. On March 17, 2015, NMFS published a final rule (80 FR 13771) to implement the IPHC's recommendations, to announce fishery regulations for U.S. waters off Alaska and fishery regulations for treaty commercial and ceremonial and subsistence fisheries, some regulations for non-treaty commercial fisheries for U.S. waters off the West Coast, and approval of and implementation of the Area 2A Pacific halibut Catch Sharing Plan and the Area 2A management measures for 2015. The regulations and management measures provide that vessels participating in the salmon troll fishery in Area 2A (all waters off the States of Washington, Oregon, and California), which have obtained the appropriate IPHC license, may retain halibut caught incidentally during authorized periods in conformance with provisions published with the annual salmon management measures. A salmon troller may participate in the halibut incidental catch fishery during the salmon troll season or in the directed commercial fishery targeting halibut, but not both.

The following measures have been approved by the IPHC, and implemented by NMFS. During authorized periods, the operator of a vessel that has been issued an incidental halibut harvest license may retain Pacific halibut caught incidentally in Area 2A while trolling for salmon. Halibut retained must be no less than 32 inches (81.28 cm) in total length, measured from the tip of the lower jaw with the mouth closed to the extreme end of the middle of the tail, and must be landed with the head on.

License applications for incidental harvest must be obtained from the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) (phone: 206-634-1838). Applicants must apply prior to mid-March 2016 for 2016 permits (exact date to be set by the IPHC in early 2016). Incidental harvest is authorized only during April, May, and June of the 2015 troll seasons and after June 30 in 2015 if quota remains and if announced on the NMFS hotline (phone: 1-800-662-9825 or 206-526-6667). WDFW, ODFW, and CDFW will monitor landings. If the landings are projected to exceed the 29,035 pound preseason allocation or the total Area 2A non-Indian commercial halibut allocation, NMFS will take inseason action to prohibit retention of halibut in the non-Indian salmon troll fishery.

May 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015, and April 1-30, 2016, license holders may land or possess no more than one Pacific halibut per each four Chinook, except one Pacific halibut may be possessed or landed without meeting the ratio requirement, and no more than 12 halibut may be possessed or landed per trip. Pacific halibut retained must be no less than 32 inches in total length (with head on).

Incidental Pacific halibut catch regulations in the commercial salmon troll fishery adopted for 2015, prior to any 2015 inseason action, will be in effect when incidental Pacific halibut retention opens on April 1, 2016, unless otherwise modified by inseason action at the March 2016 Council meeting.

NMFS and the Council request that salmon trollers voluntarily avoid a “C-shaped” YRCA (also known as the Salmon Troll YRCA) in order to protect yelloweye rockfish. Coordinates for the Salmon Troll YRCA are defined at 50 CFR 660.70(a) in the North Coast subarea (Washington marine area 3). See Section 1.C.7. in this document for the coordinates.

Section 5. Geographical Landmarks

Wherever the words “nautical miles off shore” are used in this document, the distance is measured from the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured.

Geographical landmarks referenced in this document are at the following locations:

Cape Flattery, WA 48°23′00″ N. lat. Cape Alava, WA 48°10′00″ N. lat. Queets River, WA 47°31′42″ N. lat. Leadbetter Point, WA 46°38′10″ N. lat. Cape Falcon, OR 45°46′00″ N. lat. Florence South Jetty, OR 44°00′54″ N. lat. Humbug Mountain, OR 42°40′30″ N. lat. Oregon-California Border 42°00′00″ N. lat. Humboldt South Jetty, CA 40°45′53″ N. lat. Horse Mountain, CA 40°05′00″ N. lat. Point Arena, CA 38°57′30″ N. lat. Point Reyes, CA 37°59′44″ N. lat. Point San Pedro, CA 37°35′40″ N. lat. Pigeon Point, CA 37°11′00″ N. lat. Point Sur, CA 36°18′00″ N. lat. Point Conception, CA 34°27′00″ N. lat. Section 6. Inseason Notice Procedures

Notice of inseason management actions will be provided by a telephone hotline administered by the West Coast Region, NMFS, 1-800-662-9825 or 206-526-6667, and by USCG Notice to Mariners broadcasts. These broadcasts are announced on Channel 16 VHF-FM and 2182 KHz at frequent intervals. The announcements designate the channel or frequency over which the Notice to Mariners will be immediately broadcast. Inseason actions will also be published in the Federal Register as soon as practicable. Since provisions of these management measures may be altered by inseason actions, fishermen should monitor either the telephone hotline or Coast Guard broadcasts for current information for the area in which they are fishing.

Classification

This final rule is necessary for conservation and management of Pacific coast salmon stocks and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable law. These regulations are being promulgated under the authority of 16 U.S.C. 1855(d) and 16 U.S.C. 773(c).

This final rule is not significant under Executive Order 12866.

The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), to waive the requirement for prior notice and opportunity for public comment, as such procedures are impracticable and contrary to the public interest.

The annual salmon management cycle begins May 1 and continues through April 30 of the following year. May 1 was chosen because the pre-May harvests constitute a relatively small portion of the annual catch. The time frame of the preseason process for determining the annual modifications to ocean salmon fishery management measures depends on when the pertinent biological data are available. Salmon stocks are managed to meet annual spawning escapement goals or specific exploitation rates. Achieving either of these objectives requires designing management measures that are appropriate for the ocean abundance predicted for that year. These pre-season abundance forecasts, which are derived from the previous year's observed spawning escapement, vary substantially from year to year, and are not available until January or February because spawning escapement continues through the fall.

The preseason planning and public review process associated with developing Council recommendations is initiated in February as soon as the forecast information becomes available. The public planning process requires coordination of management actions of four states, numerous Indian tribes, and the Federal Government, all of which have management authority over the stocks. This complex process includes the affected user groups, as well as the general public. The process is compressed into a 2-month period culminating with the April Council meeting at which the Council adopts a recommendation that is forwarded to NMFS for review, approval, and implementation of fishing regulations effective on May 1.

Providing opportunity for prior notice and public comments on the Council's recommended measures through a proposed and final rulemaking process would require 30 to 60 days in addition to the two-month period required for development of the regulations. Delaying implementation of annual fishing regulations, which are based on the current stock abundance projections, for an additional 60 days would require that fishing regulations for May and June be set in the previous year, without the benefit of information regarding current stock status. For the 2015 fishing regulations, the current stock status was not available to the Council until February. Because a substantial amount of fishing occurs during May and June, managing the fishery with measures developed using the prior year's data could have significant adverse effects on the managed stocks, including ESA-listed stocks. Although salmon fisheries that open prior to May are managed under the prior year's measures, as modified by the Council at its March meeting, relatively little harvest occurs during that period (e.g., on average, less than 5 percent of commercial and recreational harvest occurred prior to May 1 during the years 2001 through 2014). Allowing the much more substantial harvest levels normally associated with the May and June salmon seasons to be promulgated under the prior year's regulations would impair NMFS' ability to protect weak and ESA-listed salmon stocks, and to provide harvest opportunity where appropriate. The choice of May 1 as the beginning of the regulatory season balances the need to gather and analyze the data needed to meet the management objectives of the Salmon FMP and the need to manage the fishery using the best available scientific information.

If these measures are not in place on May 1, the 2014 management measures will continue to apply in most areas. This would result in excessive impacts to some salmon stocks, including exceeding the Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation standard for Lower Columbia River natural coho and Oregon Coast natural coho, as well as the exploitation rate limit under the Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST) for Canada's Interior Fraser (Thompson River) coho.

Overall, the annual population dynamics of the various salmon stocks require managers to vary the season structure of the various West Coast area fisheries to both protect weaker stocks and give fishers access to stronger salmon stocks, particularly hatchery produced fish. Failure to implement these measures immediately could compromise the status of certain stocks, or result in foregone opportunity to harvest stocks whose abundance has increased relative to the previous year thereby undermining the purpose of this agency action.

In addition, public comment is received and considered by the Council and NMFS throughout the process of developing these management measures. As described above, the Council takes comment at its March and April meetings, and hears summaries of comments received at public meetings held between the March and April meetings in each of the coastal states. NMFS also invited comments in a notice published prior to the March Council meeting, and considered comments received by the Council through its representative on the Council. Thus, these measures were developed with significant public input.

Based upon the above-described need to have these measures effective on May 1 and the fact that there is limited time available to implement these new measures after the final Council meeting in April and before the commencement of the ocean salmon fishing year on May 1, NMFS has concluded it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide an opportunity for prior notice and public comment under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B).

The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries also finds that good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness of this final rule. As previously discussed, data are not available until February and management measures are not finalized until mid-April. These measures are essential to conserve threatened and endangered ocean salmon stocks, and to provide for harvest of more abundant stocks. Delaying the effectiveness of these measures by 30 days could compromise the ability of some stocks to attain their conservation objectives, preclude harvest opportunity, and negatively impact anticipated international, state, and tribal salmon fisheries, thereby undermining the purposes of this agency action and the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

To enhance the fishing industry's notification of these new measures, and to minimize the burden on the regulated community required to comply with the new regulations, NMFS is announcing the new measures over the telephone hotline used for inseason management actions and is posting the regulations on its West Coast Region Web site (http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov). NMFS is also advising the States of Washington, Oregon, and California on the new management measures. These states announce the seasons for applicable state and Federal fisheries through their own public notification systems.

Because prior notice and an opportunity for public comment are not required to be provided for these portions of this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are not applicable. Accordingly, no Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is required for this portion of the rule and none has been prepared.

This action contains collection-of-information requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), and which have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under control number 0648-0433. The public reporting burden for providing notifications if landing area restrictions cannot be met is estimated to average 15 minutes per response. This estimate includes the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.

Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number.

NMFS has current ESA biological opinions that cover fishing under these regulations on all listed salmon species. NMFS reiterated their consultation standards for all ESA listed salmon and steelhead species in their annual Guidance letter to the Council dated March 3, 2015. Some of NMFS past biological opinions have found no jeopardy, and others have found jeopardy, but provided reasonable and prudent alternatives to avoid jeopardy. The management measures for 2015 are consistent with the biological opinions that found no jeopardy, and with the reasonable and prudent alternatives in the jeopardy biological opinions. The Council's recommended management measures therefore comply with NMFS' consultation standards and guidance for all listed salmon species which may be affected by Council fisheries. In some cases, the recommended measures are more restrictive than NMFS' ESA requirements.

In 2009, NMFS consulted on the effects of fishing under the Salmon FMP on the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale Distinct Population Segment (SRKW) and concluded the salmon fisheries were not likely to jeopardize SRKW. The 2015 salmon management measures are consistent with the terms of that biological opinion.

This final rule was developed after meaningful and collaboration with the affected tribes. The tribal representative on the Council made the motion for the regulations that apply to the tribal fisheries.

Authority:

16 U.S.C. 773-773k; 1801 et seq.

Dated: April 29, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-10421 Filed 5-1-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 RIN 0648-XD682 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Small Vessel Exemptions; License Limitation Program AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notice of Agency decision.

SUMMARY:

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces the approval of Amendment 108 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP), Amendment 100 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP), and Amendment 46 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP). These amendments correct text omissions in the BSAI FMP, the GOA FMP, and the Crab FMP. These amendments make the fishery management plan (FMP) texts that establish vessel length limits for small vessels exempted from the license limitation program (LLP) in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) groundfish and king and Tanner crab fisheries, and the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) groundfish fisheries, consistent with the original intent of the LLP, current operations in the fisheries, and Federal regulations. This action promotes the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.

DATES:

The amendment was approved on April 27, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Electronic copies of Amendment 108 to the BSAI FMP, Amendment 100 to the GOA FMP, Amendment 46 to the Crab FMP, and the analysis prepared for this action are available from the Alaska Region NMFS Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rachel Baker, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires that each regional fishery management council submit proposed amendments to a fishery management plan to NMFS for review and approval, disapproval, or partial approval by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary). The Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that, upon receiving a fishery management plan amendment, NMFS immediately publish in the Federal Register a notice that the amendment is available for public review and comment.

The notice of availability for Amendment 108 to the BSAI FMP, Amendment 100 to the GOA FMP, and Amendment 46 to the Crab FMP was published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2015 (80 FR 7816), with a 60-day comment period that ended on April 13, 2015. NMFS received no comments on Amendment 108 to the BSAI FMP, Amendment 100 to the GOA FMP, and Amendment 46 to the Crab FMP.

NMFS determined that Amendment 108 to the BSAI FMP, Amendment 100 to the GOA FMP, and Amendment 46 to the Crab FMP are consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws, and the Secretary approved Amendment 108 to the BSAI FMP, Amendment 100 to the GOA FMP, and Amendment 46 to the Crab FMP on April 27, 2015. The February 12, 2015, notice of availability contains additional information on this action. No changes to Federal regulations are necessary to implement Amendment 108 to the BSAI FMP, Amendment 100 to the GOA FMP, and Amendment 46 to the Crab FMP.

Amendment 108 amends Table ES-2 and Section 3.3.1 of the BSAI FMP; Amendment 100 amends Table ES-2 and Section 3.3.1 of the GOA FMP; and Amendment 46 amends Section 8.1.4.2 of the Crab FMP. Specifically, these FMP amendments add “or equal to” to the vessel length limits for small vessels that are exempt from the LLP in the BSAI groundfish and king and Tanner crab fisheries and GOA groundfish fisheries. The amendments have the effect of adding vessels 26 ft (7.9 m) LOA in the GOA and vessels 32 ft (9.8 m) LOA in the BSAI, including BSAI Crab, to the LLP exemption. These additions are necessary for consistency with Federal regulations that exempt from the LLP vessels that do “not exceed 26 ft (7.9 m) LOA” in the GOA and vessels that do “not exceed 32 ft (9.8 m) LOA” in the BSAI. Additional information can be found in the notice of availability for Amendment 108 to the BSAI FMP, Amendment 100 to the GOA FMP, and Amendment 46 to the Crab FMP (80 FR 7816, February 12, 2015) and the analysis prepared for this action (see ADDRESSES).

Since the implementation of the LLP by Amendment 39 to the BSAI FMP, Amendment 41 to the GOA FMP, and Amendment 5 to the Crab FMP, which were implemented by NMFS on October 1, 1998 (63 FR 52642), fisheries in the BSAI and GOA have been conducted according to Federal regulations and not the FMP texts; therefore, approval of Amendment 108 to the BSAI FMP, Amendment 100 to the GOA FMP, and Amendment 46 to the Crab FMP does not impact LLP license holders, fishing behavior or fisheries management in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska. These amendments make the three FMPs consistent with the original intent of the Council and Secretary, current operations in the fisheries, and Federal regulations.

Response to Comments

NMFS did not receive any comments on Amendment 108 to the BSAI FMP, Amendment 100 to the GOA FMP, and Amendment 46 to the Crab FMP.

Authority:

16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Dated: April 29, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-10413 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
80 86 Tuesday, May 5, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1270; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-222-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 747-100, -200B, -200C, -200F, -300, -400, -400D, and -400F series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of significant fuselage skin damage at certain parts of the dorsal fairing, due to wear from the dorsal fairing. This proposed AD would require repetitive detailed inspections for wear and cracks of the fuselage skin under the dorsal fairing, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This proposed AD would also require repetitive post-repair external surface high frequency eddy current inspections of the blended areas of the skin and detailed inspections of the unrepaired areas, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct fuselage skin damage of the dorsal fairing area, which could result in skin cracking and consequent depressurization of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 19, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; phone: 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax: 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1270.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1270; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nathan Weigand, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6428; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-1270; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-222-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

Discussion

We received reports of significant fuselage skin damage at the dorsal fairing forward of station (STA) 2280, due to wear from the dorsal fairing. These two airplanes had accumulated 45,707 and 71,702 total flight hours. The skin damage occurred from inadequate clearance between fuselage crown skin and the lower aft corners of the dorsal fairing. Affected airplanes are limited to those delivered or retrofitted with certain dorsal fairing assemblies. Airplanes with other dorsal fairing configurations are not expected to develop skin wear. This inadequate clearance, if not corrected, could result in skin cracking and consequent depressurization of the airplane.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014. This service information describes procedures for repetitive inspections, repair, and modification of the fuselage skin under the dorsal fairing. Refer to this service information for information on the procedures and compliance times. This service information is reasonably available at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1270. Or see ADDRESSES for other ways to access this service information.

FAA's Determination

We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

Proposed AD Requirements

This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information identified previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information.”

The phrase “related investigative actions” is used in this proposed AD. “Related investigative actions” are follow-on actions that (1) are related to the primary actions, and (2) further investigate the nature of any condition found. Related investigative actions in an AD could include, for example, inspections.

The phrase “corrective actions” is used in this proposed AD. “Corrective actions” are actions that correct or address any condition found. Corrective actions in an AD could include, for example, repairs.

Explanation of “RC” Steps in Service Information

The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the Airworthiness Directives Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement was a new process for annotating which steps in the service information are required for compliance with an AD. Differentiating these steps from other tasks in the service information is expected to improve an owner's/operator's understanding of crucial AD requirements and help provide consistent judgment in AD compliance. The steps that are identified as RC (required for compliance) in any service information identified previously have a direct effect on detecting, preventing, resolving, or eliminating an identified unsafe condition.

Steps that are identified as RC must be done to comply with the proposed AD. However, steps that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those steps that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC), provided the steps identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any substitutions or changes to steps identified as RC will require approval of an AMOC.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014, specifies to contact the manufacturer for instructions on how to repair certain conditions, but this proposed AD would require repairing those conditions in one of the following ways:

• In accordance with a method that we approve; or

• Using data that meet the certification basis of the airplane, and that have been approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) whom we have authorized to make those findings.

Tables 4 and 5 in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014, specify accomplishing the post-repair inspections identified in Part 8 of the service bulletin. Part 8 of the service bulletin allows the option of high frequency eddy current (HFEC) or low frequency eddy current (LFEC) inspections of the blended areas of the skin; however, this proposed AD does not allow the option of an LFEC inspection. This difference has been coordinated with Boeing.

Tables 3, 6, and 7 in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014, specify post-modification inspections at certain fuselage crown skin locations, which may be used in support of compliance with section 121.1109(c)(2) or 129.109(b)(2) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 121.1109(c)(2) or 129.109(b)(2)). However, this NPRM does not propose to require those post-modification inspections. This difference has been coordinated with Boeing.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 93 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspections Up to 15 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,275 $0 Up to $1,275 per inspection cycle Up to $118,575 per inspection cycle.

We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed AD.

Authority for This Rulemaking

Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.

We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: “General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

(1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866,

(2) Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979),

(3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

(4) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.

The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-1270; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-222-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by June 19, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 747-100, -200B, -200C, -200F, -300, -400, -400D, and -400F series airplanes; certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports of significant fuselage skin damage at the dorsal fairing forward of station (STA) 2280 due to wear from the dorsal fairing. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fuselage skin damage of the dorsal fairing area, which could result in skin cracking and consequent depressurization of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(g) Inspections and Repair

At the applicable time specified in tables 1 and 2 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (j)(1) of this AD, do a detailed inspection of the fuselage skin under the dorsal fairing for wear or cracks, and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014, except as required by paragraph (j)(2) of this AD. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions at the time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014. Repeat the applicable inspections of the fuselage skin thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014.

(h) Post-Repair Inspections

At the applicable time specified in tables 4 and 5 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (j)(1) of this AD, do an external surface high frequency eddy current inspection of the blended areas of the skin and a detailed inspection of the unrepaired areas, and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with Part 8 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014, except as required by paragraph (j)(2) of this AD. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions at the time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014. Repeat the applicable inspections of the blended areas of the skin thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014.

(i) Post-Modification Inspections

The post-modification inspections specified in tables 3, 6, and 7 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014, are not required by this AD.

Note 1 to paragraph (i) of this AD:

The post-modification inspections specified in tables 3, 6, and 7 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014, may be used in support of compliance with section 121.1109(c)(2) or 129.109(b)(2) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 121.1109(c)(2) or 14 CFR 129.109(b)(2)). The corresponding actions specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014, are not required by this AD.

(j) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

(1) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014, specifies a compliance time “after the Original Issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

(2) Although Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2876, dated October 22, 2014, specifies to contact Boeing for repair data, and specifies that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance), this AD requires repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (k) of this AD.

(k) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

(2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

(3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

(4) Except as required by paragraph (j)(2) of this AD: If any service information contains steps that are identified as RC (Required for Compliance), those steps must be done to comply with this AD; any steps that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those steps that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the steps identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any substitutions or changes to steps identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

(l) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Nathan Weigand, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6428; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; phone: 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax: 206-766-5680; Internet: https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 27, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-10315 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1266; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-151-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-300, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that certain fuselage skin lap joints are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require repetitive post-modification inspections for cracking of the skin or internal doubler along the edge fastener rows of the modification, and repair if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking in certain fuselage skin lap joints, which could result in rapid depressurization of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 19, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA 2015-1266.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1266; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nathan Weigand, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6428; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-1266; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-151-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

Discussion

Structural fatigue damage is progressive. It begins as minute cracks, and those cracks grow under the action of repeated stresses. This can happen because of normal operational conditions and design attributes, or because of isolated situations or incidents such as material defects, poor fabrication quality, or corrosion pits, dings, or scratches. Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural design details, or globally. Global fatigue damage is general degradation of large areas of structure with similar structural details and stress levels. Multiple-site damage is global damage that occurs in a large structural element such as a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. Global damage can also occur in multiple elements such as adjacent frames or stringers. Multiple-site-damage and multiple-element-damage cracks are typically too small initially to be reliably detected with normal inspection methods. Without intervention, these cracks will grow, and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the airplane, in a condition known as WFD. As an airplane ages, WFD will likely occur, and will certainly occur if the airplane is operated long enough without any intervention.

The FAA's WFD final rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) became effective on January 14, 2011. The WFD rule requires certain actions to prevent structural failure due to WFD throughout the operational life of certain existing transport category airplanes and all of these airplanes that will be certificated in the future. For existing and future airplanes subject to the WFD rule, the rule requires that DAHs establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the structural maintenance program. Operators affected by the WFD rule may not fly an airplane beyond its LOV, unless an extended LOV is approved.

The WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) does not require identifying and developing maintenance actions if the DAHs can show that such actions are not necessary to prevent WFD before the airplane reaches the LOV. Many LOVs, however, do depend on accomplishment of future maintenance actions. As stated in the WFD rule, any maintenance actions necessary to reach the LOV will be mandated by airworthiness directives through separate rulemaking actions.

In the context of WFD, this action is necessary to enable DAHs to propose LOVs that allow operators the longest operational lives for their airplanes, and still ensure that WFD will not occur. This approach allows for an implementation strategy that provides flexibility to DAHs in determining the timing of service information development (with FAA approval), while providing operators with certainty regarding the LOV applicable to their airplanes.

This proposed AD was prompted by an evaluation by the DAH indicating that certain fuselage skin lap joints are subject to WFD. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking in certain fuselage skin lap joints, which could result in rapid depressurization of the airplane.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014. This service information describes procedures for inspections for cracks in the skin and doublers along the edge fastener rows of modifications in the fuselage, and repairs. Refer to this service information for information on the procedures and compliance times. This service information is reasonably available at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1266. Or see ADDRESSES for other ways to access this service information.

Related Rulemaking

AD 2010-10-05, Amendment 39-16284 (75 FR 27424, May 17, 2010) requires, among other things, modification of certain lap joints in fuselage sections 41 and 42. This proposed AD would require repetitive post-modification inspections for cracking of the skin or internal doubler along the edge fastener rows of the modification, and repair if necessary.

FAA's Determination

We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of these same type designs.

Proposed AD Requirements

This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Difference Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information.”

Difference Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014, specifies to contact the manufacturer for instructions on how to repair cracking, but this proposed AD would require repairing those conditions in one of the following ways:

• In accordance with a method that we approve; or

• Using data that meet the certification basis of the airplane, and that have been approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) whom we have authorized to make those findings.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 50 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Post-modification inspection 124 work-hours × $85 per hour = $10,540 per inspection cycle. $0 $10,540 per inspection cycle $527,000 per inspection cycle.

We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed AD.

According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all costs in our cost estimate.

Authority for This Rulemaking

Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.

We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: “General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

(1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866,

(2) Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979),

(3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

(4) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.

The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2014-1266; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-151-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by June 19, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-300, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that certain fuselage skin lap joints are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking in certain fuselage skin lap joints, which could result in rapid depressurization of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(g) Repetitive Post-Modification Inspections for Airplane Groups 1 Through 3, 7, and 8

For airplanes identified as Groups 1 through 3, 7, and 8 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014: Except as provided by paragraph (m) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in table 3 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014, do internal detailed and surface high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for cracks in the skin and internal doubler along the edge fastener rows of the modification; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014. In unrepaired areas, repeat the internal detailed and surface HFEC inspections for cracks in the skin or internal doubler along the edge fastener rows of the modification thereafter at the applicable intervals specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014.

(h) Initial Post-Modification Inspections for Airplane Groups 4 Through 6, and 9 Through 11

For airplanes identified as Groups 4 through 6, and 9 through 11 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014, with external doublers installed as specified in Boeing Service Bulletin 747-53-2272: Except as provided by paragraph (m) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in table 4 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014, do external detailed, low frequency eddy current (LFEC), and HFEC inspections for cracks in the skin and external doubler, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014.

(i) Repetitive Post-Modification Inspections for Airplane Groups 4 Through 6, and 9 through 11

For airplanes with no crack findings during the inspections required by paragraph (h) of this AD: Do the applicable actions required by paragraphs (i)(1) and (i)(2) of this AD.

(1) For airplanes with less than 15,000 flight cycles since stringer 6 external doublers were installed as specified in Boeing Service Bulletin 747-53-2272: At the applicable intervals specified in table 4 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014, in unrepaired areas, repeat the external detailed and LFEC inspections for cracks in the skin, and the external detailed and HFEC inspections for cracks in the external doubler, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014.

(2) For airplanes with 15,000 or more flight cycles since the stringer 6 external doublers were installed as specified in Boeing Service Bulletin 747-53-2272: At the applicable intervals specified in table 4 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014, in unrepaired areas, do external detailed and LFEC inspections for cracks in the skin; and do internal and external detailed and HFEC inspections for cracks in the skin and external doubler; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014.

(j) Repetitive Post-Modification Inspections for Airplane Groups 4 Through 6, and 9 Through 11 With External Doublers

For airplanes identified as Groups 4 through 6, and 9 through 11 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014, with external doublers installed as specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367: Except as provided by paragraph (m) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in table 5 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014, do internal detailed and surface HFEC inspections for cracks in the skin and internal doubler along the edge fastener rows of the modification; and do internal detailed and surface HFEC inspections for cracks in the skin or internal doubler along the edge fastener rows of the modification; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014. In unrepaired areas, repeat the internal detailed and surface HFEC inspections for cracks in the skin or internal doubler along the edge fastener rows of the modification thereafter at the applicable interval specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014.

(k) Repetitive Post-Modification Inspections for Airplane Groups 12 and 13

For airplanes identified as Groups 12 and 13 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014: Except as provided by paragraph (m) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in table 6 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014, do internal detailed and surface HFEC inspections for cracks in the skin and internal doubler along the edge fastener rows of the modification, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014. In unrepaired areas, repeat the internal detailed and surface HFEC inspections for cracks in the skin or internal doubler along the edge fastener rows of the modification thereafter at the applicable interval specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014.

(l) Corrective Actions

If any cracking is found during any inspection required by this AD: Before further flight, repair the cracking using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (n) of this AD.

(m) Exception to Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, Dated July 8, 2014

Where paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2367, Revision 5, dated July 8, 2014, specifies a compliance time “after the Revision 5 date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time “after the effective date of this AD.”

(n) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (o)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

(2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

(3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair required by this AD if it is approved the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

(o) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Nathan Weigand, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6428; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the

FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 28, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-10316 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 352 [Docket No. AD12-6-001] Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules AGENCY:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

ACTION:

Notice of staff memorandum.

SUMMARY:

In this document, the Commission is seeking public comment on whether the existing regulations concerning the Uniform Systems of Accounts prescribed for oil pipeline companies and hydropower prefiling requirements, and a requirement imposed in 2001 that Western public and non-public utilities offer available real-time electric energy capacity into the markets and post the availability on their Web sites and the WSPP Web site, warrant a formal public review.

DATES:

Comments are due by May 26, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Christy Walsh, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, 202-502-6523, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Take notice that the Commission staff is issuing a memorandum seeking public comment on whether the existing regulations concerning the Uniform Systems of Accounts prescribed for oil pipeline companies and hydropower prefiling requirements, and a requirement imposed in 2001 that Western public and non-public utilities offer available real-time electric energy capacity into the markets and post the availability on their Web sites and the WSPP Web site, warrant a formal public review. The memorandum is being issued pursuant to the November 8, 2011 Plan for Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules prepared in response to Executive Order 13579, which requested independent regulatory agencies issue plans for periodic retrospective analysis of their existing regulations.

The Staff Memorandum is being placed in the record in the above-referenced administrative docket. The Staff Memorandum will also be available on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov.

Comments on the Staff Memorandum should be filed within 30 days of the issuance of this document. The Commission encourages electronic submission of comments in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original of the comment to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

All filings in this docket are accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link. 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. For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

Questions regarding this document should be directed to: Christy Walsh, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, 202-502-6523, [email protected]

Issued: April 23, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2015-10310 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration 20 CFR Part 655 RIN 1205-AB70 Temporary Agricultural Employment of H-2A Foreign Workers in the Herding or Production of Livestock on the Open Range in the United States; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

Employment and Training Administration, Labor.

ACTION:

Proposed rule; extension of comment period.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Labor (Department) issued a proposed rule in the Federal Register of April 15, 2015 [FR Doc. 2015-08505], concerning proposed amendments to its regulations governing certification of the employment of nonimmigrant workers in temporary or seasonal agricultural employment under the H-2A program to codify certain procedures for employers seeking to hire foreign temporary agricultural workers for job opportunities in sheepherding, goat herding and production of livestock on the open range. This notice extends the comment period for 15 days, from May 15 to June 1, 2015. Multiple commenters requested additional time to develop their comments concerning the proposed rulemaking. The Department is therefore extending the comment period in order to give all interested persons the opportunity to comment fully.

DATES:

The comment period for the proposed rule published on April 15, 2015 (80 FR 20300) is extended. Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed rule, identified by RIN 1205-AB70, on or before June 1, 2015

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 1205-AB70, by any one of the following methods:

Federal e-Rulemaking Portal www.regulations.gov. Follow the Web site instructions for submitting comments.

Mail or Hand Delivery/Courier: Please submit all written comments (including disk and CD-ROM submissions) to Adele Gagliardi, Administrator, Office of Policy Development and Research, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-5641, Washington, DC 20210.

Please submit your comments by only one method and within the designated comment period. Comments received by means other than those listed above or received after the comment period has closed will not be reviewed. The Department will post all comments received on http://www.regulations.gov without making any change to the comments, including any personal information provided. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is the Federal e-rulemaking portal and all comments posted there are available and accessible to the public. The Department cautions commenters against including personal information such as Social Security Numbers, personal addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses in their comments as such information will become viewable by the public on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. It is the commenter's responsibility to safeguard his or her information. Comments submitted through http://www.regulations.gov will not include the commenter's email address unless the commenter chooses to include that information as part of his or her comment. Postal delivery in Washington, DC, may be delayed due to security concerns. Therefore, the Department encourages the public to submit comments through the http://www.regulations.gov Web site.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov. The Department will also make all the comments it receives available for public inspection during normal business hours at the Employment and Training Administration's (ETA) Office of Policy Development and Research at the above address. If you need assistance to review the comments, the Department will provide you with appropriate aids such as readers or print magnifiers. The Department will make copies of the rule available, upon request, in large print and as an electronic file on computer disk. The Department will consider providing the proposed rule in other formats upon request. To schedule an appointment to review the comments and/or obtain the rule in an alternate format, contact the ETA Office of Policy Development and Research at (202) 693-3700 (VOICE) (this is not a toll-free number) or 1-877-889-5627 (TTY/TDD).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

William W. Thompson, II, Acting Administrator, Office of Foreign Labor Certification, ETA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room C-4312, Washington, DC 20210; Telephone (202) 693-3010 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with hearing or speech impairments may access the telephone number above via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This notice extends the public comment period established in the Federal Register proposed rule of April 15, 2015. In that notice the Department proposed amendments to its regulations governing certification of the employment of nonimmigrant workers in temporary or seasonal agricultural employment under the H-2A program to codify certain procedures for employers seeking to hire foreign temporary agricultural workers for job opportunities in sheepherding, goat herding and production of livestock on the open range. The Department is hereby extending the comment period, which was set to end on May 15, 2015 to June 1, 2015.

To submit comments, or access the docket, please follow the detailed instructions provided under ADDRESSES in the Federal Register proposed rule of April 15, 2015. If you have questions, consult the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

List of Subjects in 20 CFR Part 655

Administrative practice and procedure, Foreign workers, Employment, Employment and training, Enforcement, Forest and forest products, Fraud, Health professions, Immigration, Labor, Passports and visas, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Unemployment, Wages, Working conditions.

Portia Wu, Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration.
[FR Doc. 2015-10464 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-FP-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0279] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone for Fireworks Display, Chesapeake Bay, Prospect Bay; Queen Anne's County, MD AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to establish a temporary safety zone encompassing certain waters of Prospect Bay. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters during a fireworks display launched from a barge located between Hog Island and Kent Island in Queen Anne's County, MD on July 4, 2015. This safety zone is intended to protect the maritime public in a portion of the Prospect Bay.

DATES:

Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before June 4, 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 Mr. Ronald Houck, Sector Baltimore Waterways Management Division, Coast Guard; telephone 410-576-2674, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking A. Public Participation and Request for Comments

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

1. Submitting Comments

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

To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number [USCG-2015-0279] 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-2015-0201) in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

3. Privacy Act

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

4. Public Meeting

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

B. Regulatory History and Information

This rulemaking involves a fireworks display that will take place in Queen Anne's County, MD, on July 4, 2015. The launch site for the fireworks display is from a discharge barge located in Prospect Bay. The permanent safety zones listed in the Table to 33 CFR 165.506 do not apply to this event.

C. Basis and Purpose

The legal basis and authorities for this rule are found in 33 U.S.C. 1231; 33 CFR 1.05-1, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1., which collectively authorize the Coast Guard to propose, establish, and define regulatory safety zones. Queen Anne's County, of Centerville, MD, will sponsor a fireworks display launched from a barge located in Prospect Bay, scheduled on July 4, 2015 at approximately 9 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the fireworks will be rescheduled on July 5, 2015. The Coast Guard believes a safety zone is needed to promote public and maritime safety during a fireworks display, and to protect mariners transiting the area from the potential hazards associated with a fireworks display, such as the accidental discharge of fireworks, dangerous projectiles, and falling hot embers or other debris. This rule is needed to ensure safety on the waterway before, during and after the scheduled event.

D. Discussion of Proposed Rule

For the reasons stated above, the Coast Guard proposes to establish a temporary safety zone. The proposed zone would encompass all waters of Prospect Bay, within a 1,000 feet radius of a fireworks discharge barge in approximate position latitude 39°57′49.8″ N., longitude 076°14′58.5″ W., located between Hog Island and Kent Island in Queen Anne's County, MD. The temporary safety zone would be enforced from 8:30 p.m. through 10 p.m. on July 4, 2015, and, if necessary due to inclement weather, from 8:30 p.m. through 10 p.m. on July 5, 2015.

The effect of this temporary safety zone would be to restrict navigation in the regulated area immediately before, during, and immediately after the fireworks display. Vessels would be allowed to transit the waters of Prospect Bay outside the safety zone.

This rule requires that entry into or remaining in this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Baltimore. All vessels underway within this safety zone at the time it is implemented are to depart the zone. To seek permission to transit the area of the safety zone, the Captain of the Port Baltimore can be contacted at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on Marine Band Radio VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). Coast Guard vessels enforcing the safety zone can be contacted on Marine Band Radio VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). Federal, state, and local agencies may assist the Coast Guard in the enforcement of the safety zone. The Coast Guard will issue notices to the maritime community to further publicize the safety zone and notify the public of changes in the status of the zone. Such notices will continue until the event is complete.

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.

Although this regulation would restrict access to this area, the effect of this proposed rule will not be significant because: (i) The safety zone will only be in effect from 8:30 p.m. through 10 p.m. on July 4, 2015, and, if necessary due to inclement weather, from 8:30 p.m. through 10 p.m. on July 5, 2015, and (ii) the Coast Guard will give advance notification via maritime advisories so mariners can adjust their plans accordingly.

2. Impact on Small Entities

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This proposed rule will affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to operate or transit through or within, or anchor in, the safety zone during the enforcement period. This proposed safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the reasons provided under Regulatory Planning and Review.

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

3. Assistance for Small Entities

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

4. Collection of Information

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

5. Federalism

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

6. Protest Activities

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

7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this proposed rule would not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rulemaking 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 proposed rule is not an economically significant rule and would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children.

11. Indian Tribal Governments

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

12. Energy Effects

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

13. Technical Standards

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

14. Environment

We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule involves establishing a temporary safety zone for a fireworks display. The fireworks are launched from navigable waters of the United States and may negatively impact the safety or other interests of waterway users and near shore activities in the event area. The activity includes fireworks launched from barges near the shoreline that generally rely on the use of navigable waters as a safety buffer to protect the public from fireworks fallouts and premature detonations. This rulemaking is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

2. Add § 165.T05-0279 to read as follows:
§ 165.0279 Safety Zone for Fireworks Display, Chesapeake Bay, Prospect Bay; Queen Anne's County, MD.

(a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All waters of Prospect Bay, within a 1,000 feet radius of a fireworks discharge barge in approximate position latitude 39°57′49.8″ N, longitude 076°14′58.5″ W, located between Hog Island and Kent Island in Queen Anne's County, MD. All coordinates refer to datum NAD 1983.

(b) Regulations. The general safety zone regulations found in 33 CFR 165.23 apply to the safety zone created by this temporary section, § 165.T05-0279.

(1) All persons are required to comply with the general regulations governing safety zones found in 33 CFR 165.23.

(2) Entry into or remaining in this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Baltimore. All vessels underway within this safety zone at the time it is implemented are to depart the zone.

(3) Persons desiring to transit the area of the safety zone must first obtain authorization from the Captain of the Port Baltimore or his designated representative. To seek permission to transit the area, the Captain of the Port Baltimore and his designated representatives can be contacted at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on Marine Band Radio VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). The Coast Guard vessels enforcing this section can be contacted on Marine Band Radio VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, or other Federal, State, or local agency vessel, by siren, radio, flashing light, or other means, the operator of a vessel shall proceed as directed. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Baltimore or his designated representative and proceed as directed while within the zone.

(4) Enforcement. The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of the zone by Federal, State, and local agencies.

(c) Definitions. As used in this section:

Captain of the Port Baltimore means the Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, Maryland.

Designated representative means any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port Baltimore to assist in enforcing the safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section.

(d) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from 8:30 p.m. through 10 p.m. on July 4, 2015, and, if necessary due to inclement weather, from 8:30 p.m. through 10 p.m. on July 5, 2015.

Dated: April 15, 2015. M.M. Dean, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port Baltimore.
[FR Doc. 2015-10490 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Part 412 Office of the Secretary 45 CFR Part 170 [CMS-1632-P] RIN-0938-AS41 Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2016 Rates; Revisions of Quality Reporting Requirements for Specific Providers, Including Changes Related to the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program Correction

In proposed rule document 2015-09245 beginning on page 24324 in the issue of Thursday, April 30, 2015 make the following correction(s):

• On page 24324, in the second column, in the DATES section, “June 29, 2015” should read “June 16, 2015”.

[FR Doc. C1-2015-09245 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE 45 CFR Parts 1206, 1210, 1211, 1216, 1217, 1218, 1220, 1222, 1226, 2556 RIN 3045-AA36 Volunteers in Service to America AGENCY:

Corporation for National and Community Service.

ACTION:

Proposed rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) proposes new regulations under the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, as amended, and the National and Community Service Act of 1990, as amended, for the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program, including certain changes to update existing regulations.

DATES:

To be sure your comments are considered, they must reach CNCS on or before July 6, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may send your comments electronically through the Federal government's one-stop rulemaking Web site at www.regulations.gov. You may also send your comments electronically to [email protected] Also, you may mail or deliver your comments to Calvin Dawson, AmeriCorps VISTA, at the Corporation for National and Community Service, 1201 New York Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20525. Due to continued delays in CNCS's receipt of mail, we strongly encourage comments to be submitted online electronically. You may request this notice in an alternative format for the visually impaired. Members of the public may review copies of all communications received on this rulemaking at CNCS's Washington DC office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Calvin Dawson, AmeriCorps VISTA, at the Corporation for National and Community Service, 1201 New York Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20525, phone 202-606-6897. The TDD/TTY number is 800-833-3722.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION I. Background

The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 created the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program. The VISTA program, sometimes referred to as the domestic Peace Corps, has operated since the first VISTA volunteers (VISTAs or VISTA members) were placed in service in December 1964.

In 1971, the VISTA program was transferred from the Office of Economic Opportunity to the former Federal agency, ACTION (the Federal Domestic Volunteer Agency). In 1973, Congress enacted the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 (DVSA), the VISTA program's enabling legislation. The VISTA program continues to retain its purpose, as stated in the DVSA, “to strengthen and supplement efforts to eliminate and alleviate poverty and poverty-related problems in the United States by encouraging and enabling individuals from all walks of life, all geographical areas, and all age groups, including low-income individuals, elderly and retired Americans, to perform meaningful and constructive volunteer service in agencies, institutions, and situations where the application of human talent and dedication may assist in the solution of poverty and poverty-related problems and secure and exploit opportunities for self-advancement by individuals afflicted with such problems.”

In 1994, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) was established pursuant to the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993; at this time, the operations of all service programs previously administered by ACTION, including the VISTA program, began to be administered by CNCS. The VISTA program also became known as the AmeriCorps VISTA program, one of three AmeriCorps programs now administered by CNCS. The other two programs were, and continue to be: (1) The AmeriCorps State and National program; and (2) the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). Since 1994, the VISTA program continues to be primarily operated and administered under the DVSA. The other two AmeriCorps programs are operated under the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (NCSA).

In 2009, Congress enacted the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009 (Serve America Act), which contained certain amendments to both the DVSA and the NCSA. With regard to the VISTA program, the Serve America Act amendments largely related to the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, a type of end-of-service award for which a VISTA member may be eligible upon successful completion of a term of VISTA service.

II. Scope of Proposed Rule

This proposed rule covers core aspects of the VISTA program: (a) Entities that are sponsors for VISTA projects; and (b) individuals who are applicants, candidates, and VISTAs (including VISTA leaders and VISTA summer associates), serving at project sites. This proposed rule has four purposes.

First, it conforms the existing regulations to the fact that CNCS administers the VISTA program. References in the existing regulations to the former Federal agency, ACTION, and the administrative structure of ACTION are changed to reflect CNCS and its administrative structure.

Second, this proposed rule codifies the VISTA rules in the same location as the rules for CNCS's other programs. The existing VISTA regulations are codified at 45 CFR parts 1206, 1210, 1211, 1216-1220, 1222, and 1226. This proposed rule places the VISTA regulations within the regulations for CNCS and the other CNCS programs at 45 CFR parts 2505-2556.

On a related note, existing program regulations at 45 CFR parts 1206, 1216, 1220, and 1226, currently apply both to the VISTA program, and to CNCS's National Senior Service Corps programs. This proposed rule places existing program regulations, as they apply to the VISTA program, at 45 CFR parts 2505-2556. Existing program regulations as they apply to the National Senior Service Corps programs will remain, at this time, at 45 CFR parts 1206, 1216, 1220, and 1226. To accommodate the relocation of the existing program regulations as applied to the VISTA program, certain technical changes to the existing program regulations, as applied to the National Senior Service Corps programs, are warranted. These technical changes are not substantive, but are necessary to address the removal of references to the VISTA program and to reflect CNCS and its current administrative structure.

Third, this proposed rule addresses regulations on the VISTA program's elements. The existing regulations cover a limited range of topics. This proposed rule covers a wide range of topics, and updates the topics covered under existing regulations, including: VISTA application and termination processes, volunteer grievance procedures, competitive service eligibility, payment of volunteer legal expenses, nondisplacement of workers, VISTA leaders and summer associates, restrictions for VISTAs on certain political activities under the Hatch Act and other federal laws, and participation of program beneficiaries. Subpart A gives general program information: Purpose, basic program design, definitions used in the proposed rule, and waiver. Subpart B sets out requirements for a VISTA sponsor, and for a sponsor to support a VISTA. Subpart C pertains to being a VISTA, and the requirements for applying to become a VISTA. Subpart D provides the service terms, protections, and benefits that apply to a VISTA. Subpart E addresses termination for cause procedures. Subparts F and G, concern, respectively, VISTA projects with summer associates, and VISTA projects with VISTA leaders. Subpart H gives restrictions and prohibitions on certain political activities for all VISTAs, sponsors, and project sites.

Fourth, this proposed rule updates the provisions of the existing regulations. These changes are described here:

As it applies to the VISTA program, 45 CFR part 1206, which deals with project suspension and termination, is moved to 45 CFR part 2556, subpart B with most substantive provisions remaining unchanged. Under the proposed rule the provisions for suspension remain unchanged, except that the provisions for summary suspension are eliminated and the provisions for suspension on notice are retained. This has the effect of giving notice to sponsors for all suspensions. Under the proposed rule the provisions for termination remain unchanged, except that a second CNCS review has been eliminated. Experience has shown that a lengthy termination review process is not beneficial to VISTAs at the project in question, unduly consumes the sponsor's staff time and other resources, creates uncertainty for project beneficiaries, and exhausts VISTA resources that could be put to use for the benefit of project beneficiaries.

45 CFR part 1210, which deals chiefly with early termination of a VISTA, is moved to 45 CFR part 2556, subpart E and changed to improve the cost-effectiveness of the provisions and increase efficiency of VISTA program functions. The new provisions for early termination remain substantively the same in many respects. However, the early termination for cause process is modified. While the process retains more than sufficient due process in the form of written notification and appeals at two levels, the inclusion of a hearing examiner in that process is removed. Experience has shown that a multi-layered termination process is protracted, unduly burdensome, and incompatible with a service term that can last no more than a year's time. Such a process creates potential harm to the operations of the project and its beneficiaries where the VISTA had been assigned, prolongs uncertainty for the VISTA subject to the process, and inordinately consumes VISTA program resources that could be put to use for the benefit of project beneficiaries.

45 CFR part 1211 on grievance procedures for VISTAs is moved to 45 CFR 2556.345-2556.365 and updated to reflect the use of electronic communication technology and the speed at which it can operate. At sections 2556.345-2556.365, the proposed rule clarifies when a VISTA may present a grievance, what matters are considered grievances, and specific steps for bringing a grievance and appealing a response, while eliminating the inclusion of a grievance examiner in the process. Longstanding experience has shown that CNCS has used its administrative review and oversight to afford complaining parties more than sufficient due process, and has effectively remedied inappropriate conditions leading to grievances, without need of grievance examiner services. When grievance examiner services have been invoked, the time, resources and expense incurred by the VISTA program have substantially outweighed the value provided to the parties involved.

45 CFR part 1216 on non-displacement of employed workers and non-impairment of contracts for service is moved to 45 CFR 2556.150(b) -2556.150(e), and the substantive provisions remain unchanged.

45 CFR part 1217 on leaders is moved to 45 CFR part 2556, subpart G and clarifies primary aspects of the leader position in a project.

45 CFR part 1219 on non-competitive eligibility for VISTAs is moved to 45 CFR 2556.340, and its substantive provisions remain unchanged.

45 CFR part 1220 on payment of legal expenses resulting from service activities is moved to 45 CFR 2556.325-2556.335, and its substantive provisions remain unchanged.

45 CFR part 1222 on participation of project beneficiaries is moved to 45 CFR 2556.120, and its substantive provisions remain unchanged.

45 CFR part 1226 on prohibitions and restrictions on certain political activities is moved to 45 CFR part 2556, subpart H and is revised to complement the current limitations and permitted political activities under the Hatch Act, 5 U.S.C. chapter 73, subchapter III. As provided in the DVSA, VISTAs are subject to the requirements of the Hatch Act because they are considered federal employees for purposes of the Hatch Act, 42 U.S.C. 5055(b)(1).

III. Effective Date

CNCS intends to make any final rule based on this proposal effective no sooner than 90 days after the final rule is published in the Federal Register.

IV. Regulatory Procedures Executive Order 12866

CNCS has determined that the proposed rule is not an “economically significant” rule within the meaning of E.O. 12866 because it is not likely to result in: (1) An annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or an adverse and material effect on a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal government or communities; (2) the creation of a serious inconsistency or interference with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) a material alteration in the budgetary impacts of entitlement, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) the raising of novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in E.O. 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 605 (b)), CNCS certifies that this rule, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This regulatory action will not result in (1) an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; (2) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; or (3) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets. Therefore, CNCS has not performed the initial regulatory flexibility analysis that is required under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) for major rules that are expected to have such results.

Unfunded Mandates

For purposes of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, as well as Executive Order 12875, this regulatory action does not contain any Federal mandate that may result in increased expenditures in either Federal, State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate, or impose an annual burden exceeding $100 million on the private sector.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This proposed rule addresses the requirement that entities that wish to apply to be VISTA sponsors complete an application to be a VISTA sponsor that manages at least one VISTA project. Consistent with this requirement is a document: the VISTA program's Project Application (http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorps-vista/sponsor-vista-project). Additionally this proposed rule addresses the requirement that individuals who wish to apply to serve as VISTAs in the federal VISTA program complete an application to serve as a VISTA. This document is called an AmeriCorps Member Application and can be found online at http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorps-vista.

These requirements constitute two sets of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 507 et seq. OMB, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, has previously approved these information collections for use. The OMB Control Number for the two collections of the Project Application and AmeriCorps Application are 3045-0038 and 3045-0054, respectively.

Under the PRA, an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collections of information displays valid control numbers. This proposed rule's collections of information are contained in 45 CFR 2556.120 and 2556.205 for the Project Application and AmeriCorps Application, respectively.

This information is necessary to ensure that only eligible and qualified entities serve as VISTA sponsors. This information is also necessary to ensure that only eligible and suitable individuals are approved by the VISTA program to serve as VISTAs in the VISTA program.

The likely respondents to these collections of information are entities interested in or seeking to become VISTA sponsors, current VISTA sponsors, and current and prospective VISTAs.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

Executive Order 13132, Federalism, prohibits an agency from publishing any rule that has Federalism implications if the rule imposes substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments and is not required by statute, or the rule preempts State law, unless the agency meets the consultation and funding requirements of section 6 of the Executive Order. The proposed rule does not have any Federalism implications, as described above.

List of Subjects 45 CFR Part 1206

Volunteers.

45 CFR Part 1210

Volunteers.

45 CFR Part 1211

Volunteers.

45 CFR Part 1216

Volunteers.

45 CFR Part 1217

Volunteers.

45 CFR Part 1218

Volunteers.

45 CFR Part 1220

Volunteers.

45 CFR Part 1222

Volunteers.

45 CFR Part 1226

Volunteers

Elections, Lobbying.

45 CFR Part 2556

Volunteers, VISTA program.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 12651c(c), the Corporation for National and Community Service proposes to amend chapters XII and XXV, title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 1206—GRANTS AND CONTRACTS—SUSPENSION AND TERMINATION AND DENIAL OF APPLICATION FOR REFUNDING 1. The authority citation for part 1206 continues to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 5052.

2. In § 1206.1-1, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 1206.1-1 Purpose and scope.

(a) This subpart establishes rules and review procedures for the suspension and termination of assistance of National Senior Service Corps grants of assistance provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service pursuant to sections of title II of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, Public Law 93-113, 87 Stat. 413 (hereinafter the DVSA) because a recipient failed to materially comply with the terms and conditions of any grant or contract providing assistance under these sections of the DVSA, including applicable laws, regulations, issued program guidelines, instructions, grant conditions or approved work programs.

3. Revise § 1206.1-2 to read as follows:
§ 1206.1-2 Application of this part.

This subpart applies to programs authorized under title II of the DVSA.

4. In § 1206.1-3, revise paragraphs (c)-(f) to read as follows:
§ 1206.1-3 Definitions.

(c) The term responsible Corporation official means the CEO, Chief Financial Officer, the Director of the National Senior Service Corps programs, the appropriate Service Center Director and any Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) Headquarters or State office official who is authorized to make the grant or assistance in question. In addition to the foregoing officials, in the case of the suspension proceedings described in § 1206.1-4, the term “responsible Corporation official” shall also include a designee of a CNCS official who is authorized to make the grant of assistance in question.

(d) The term assistance means assistance under title II of the DVSA in the form of grants or contracts involving Federal funds for the administration for which the Director of the National Senior Service Corps programs has responsibility.

(e) The term recipient means a public or private agency, institution or organization or a State or other political jurisdiction which has received assistance under title II of the DVSA. The term “recipient” does not include individuals who ultimately receive benefits under any DVSA program of assistance or National Senior Service Corps volunteers participating in any program.

(f) The term agency means a public or private agency, institution, or organization or a State or other political jurisdiction with which the recipient has entered into an arrangement, contract or agreement to assist in its carrying out the development, conduct and administration of part of a project or program assisted under title II of the DVSA.

5. Revise § 1206.2-1 to read as follows:
§ 1206.2-1 Applicability of this subpart.

This subpart applies to grantees and contractors receiving financial assistance under title II of the DVSA. The procedures in the subpart do not apply to review of applications for sponsors who receive VISTA members under the DVSA.

6. Revise § 1206.2-3 to read as follows:
§ 1206.2-3 Definitions.

As used in this subpart, “Corporation”, “CEO”, and “recipient” are defined in accordance with § 1206.1-3.

Financial assistance and assistance include the services of National Senior Service Corps volunteers supported in whole or in part with CNCS funds under the DVSA.

Program account includes assistance provided by CNCS to support a particular program activity; for example, Foster Grandparent Program, Senior Companion Program and Retired Senior Volunteer Program.

Refunding includes renewal of an application for the assignment of National Senior Service Corps volunteers.

7. In § 1206.2-4, revise paragraph (g) to read as follows:
§ 1206.2-4 Procedures.

(g) If the recipient's budget period expires prior to the final decision by the deciding official, the recipient's authority to continue program operations shall be extended until such decision is made and communicated to the recipient. If a National Senior Service Corps volunteer's term of service expires after receipt by a sponsor of a tentative decision not to refund a project, the period of service of the volunteer may be similarly extended. No volunteers may be reenrolled for a period of service while a tentative decision not to refund is pending. If program operations are so extended, CNCS and the recipient shall provide, subject to the availability of funds, operating funds at the same levels as in the previous budget period to continue program operations.

PART 1210—[REMOVED and RESERVED] 8. Remove and reserve Part 1210. PART 1211—[REMOVED and RESERVED] 9. Remove and reserve Part 1211. PART 1216—NONDISPLACEMENT OF EMPLOYED WORKERS AND NONIMPAIRMENT OF CONTRACTS FOR SERVICE 10. The authority citation for part 1216 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 5044(a).

11. Revise § 1216.1-1 to read as follows:
§ 1216.1-1 Purpose.

This part establishes rules to assure that the services of volunteers in the Foster Grandparent Program, the Senior Companion Program, and The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), are limited to activities which would not otherwise be performed by employed workers and which will not supplant the hiring of, or result in the displacement of employed workers or impair existing contracts for service. This part implements section 404(a) of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, Pub. L. 93-113 (the “Act”).

12. In § 1216.1-2, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 1216.1-2 Applicability of this part.

(a) All volunteers in either the Foster Grandparent Program, the Senior Companion Program, or The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), who are assigned, referred or serving pursuant to grants, contracts, or agreements made pursuant to the Act.

PART 1217—[REMOVED and RESERVED] 13. Remove and reserve Part 1217. PART 1218—[REMOVED and RESERVED] 14. Remove and reserve Part 1218. PART 1219—[REMOVED and RESERVED] 15. Remove and reserve Part 1219. PART 1220—PAYMENT OF VOLUNTEER LEGAL EXPENSES 16. The authority citation for part 1220 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 5059.

17. Revise § 1220.1-1 to read as follows:
§ 1220.1-1 Purpose.

This part implements section 419 of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, Public Law 93-113 (the “Act”). This part provides rules to ensure that the Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the three federal programs, the Foster Grandparent Program (FGP), the Senior Companion Program (SCP), and The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), pays the expenses incurred in judicial and administrative proceedings for the defense of those volunteers serving in those programs. Payment of such expenses by CNCS for those volunteers include payment of counsel fees, court costs, bail or other expenses incidental to the volunteer's defense.

18. In § 1220.2-1, revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
§ 1220.2-1 Full-time volunteers.

(a)(1) The Corporation for National and Community Service will pay all reasonable expenses for defense of full-time volunteers up to and including the arraignment of Federal, state, and local criminal proceedings, except in cases where it is clear that the charged offense results from conduct which is not related to his service as a volunteer.

19. In § 1220.2-1, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 1220.2-1 Full-time volunteers.

(c) Notwithstanding the foregoing, there may be situations in which the criminal proceeding results from a situation which could give rise to a civil claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act. In such situations, the Justice Department may agree to defend the volunteer. In those cases, unless there is a conflict between the volunteer's interest and that of the government, the Corporation for National and Community Service will not pay for additional private representation for the volunteer.

20. In § 1220.2-2, revise paragraph (a) introductory text and paragraphs (a)(2) and (b) to read as follows:
§ 1220.2-2 Part-time volunteers.

(a) With respect to a part-time volunteer, the Corporation for National and Community Service will reimburse a sponsor for the reasonable expense it incurs for the defense of the volunteer in Federal, state and local criminal proceedings, including arraignment, only under the following circumstances:

(2) The volunteer receives, or is eligible to receive, compensation, including allowances, stipend, or reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses, under a Corporation for National and Community Service grant project; and

(b) In certain circumstances volunteers who are ineligible for reimbursement of legal expenses by the Corporation for National and Community Service may be eligible for representation under the Criminal Justice Act (18 U.S.C. 3006A).

21. In § 1220.2-3, revise paragraphs (a), (b) and (d) to read as follows:
§ 1220.2-3 Procedure.

(a) Immediately upon the arrest of any volunteer under circumstances in which the payment or bail to prevent incarceration or other serious consequences to the volunteer or the retention of an attorney prior to arraignment is necessary and is covered under §§ 1220.2-1 or 1220.2-2, sponsors shall immediately notify the appropriate Corporation for National and Community Service state office or if the state office cannot be reached, the appropriate Area Manager.

(b) Immediately after notification of the appropriate state office, and with the approval thereof, the sponsor shall advance up to $500 for the payment of bail or such other legal expenses as are necessary prior to arraignment to prevent the volunteer from being incarcerated. In the event it is subsequently determined that the Corporation for National and Community Service or a sponsor is not responsible under this policy for the volunteer's defense, any such advance may be recovered directly from the volunteer or from allowances, stipends, or out-of-pocket expenses which are payable or become payable to the volunteer. In the case of a grassroots sponsor of full-time volunteers that is not able to provide the $500, the Corporation for National and Community Service state office or Area Manager shall immediately make such sum available to the sponsor.

(d) The General Counsel shall, upon notification by the state office or Area Manager, determine the extent to which the Corporation for National and Community Service will provide funds for the volunteer's defense or reimburse a sponsor for funds it spends on the volunteer's behalf. Included in this responsibility shall be the negotiation of fees and approval of other costs and expenses. State offices and Area Managers are not authorized to commit the Corporation for National and Community Service to the payment of volunteers' legal expenses or to reimburse a sponsor except as provided above, without the express consent of the General Counsel. Additionally, the General Counsel shall, in cases arising directly out of the performance of authorized project activities, ascertain whether the services of the United States Attorney can be made available to the volunteer.

22. In § 1220.3-1, revise the introductory text and paragraph (a) as follows:
§ 1220.3-1 Full-time volunteers.

The Corporation for National and Community Service will pay reasonable expenses incurred in the defense of full-time volunteers in Federal, state, and local civil judicial and administrative proceedings where:

(a) The complaint or charge against the volunteer is directly related to his volunteer service and not to his personal activities or obligations.

23. Revise § 1220.3-2 as follows:
§ 1220.3-2 Part-time volunteers.

The Corporation for National and Community Service will reimburse sponsors for the reasonable expenses incidental to the defense of part-time volunteers in Federal, state, and local civil judicial and administrative proceedings where:

(a) The proceeding arises directly out of the volunteer's performance of activities pursuant to the Act;

(b) The volunteer receives or is eligible to receive compensation, including allowances, stipend, or reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses under the Corporation for National and Community Service grant; and

(c) The conditions specified in paragraphs (b) and (c) in § 1220.3-1 are met.

24. Revise § 1220.3-3 as follows:
§ 1220.3-3 Procedure.

Immediately upon the receipt by a volunteer of any court papers or administrative orders making a party to any proceeding covered under § 1220.3-1 or § 1220.3-2, the volunteer shall immediately notify his sponsor who in turn shall notify the appropriate Corporation for National and Community Service state office. The procedures referred to in § 1220.2-3, paragraphs (c) through (e), shall thereafter be followed as appropriate.

PART 1222—[REMOVED and RESERVED] 25. Remove and reserve Part 1222. PART 1226—PROHIBITIONS ON ELECTORAL AND LOBBYING ACTIVITIES 26. The authority citation for part 1226 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 5043.

27. Revise § 1226.1 to read as follows:
§ 1226.1 Purpose.

This part implements sections 403(a) and (b) of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, Public Law 93-113, as amended, hereinafter referred to as the Act, pertaining to the prohibited use of Federal funds or involvement by certain Corporation for National and Community Service programs and volunteers in electoral and lobbying activities. This part implements those provisions of the Act, as they apply to agency programs and volunteers authorized under title II of the Act.

28. Revise § 1226.2 to read as follows:
§ 1226.2 Scope.

This part applies to all volunteers serving in a program authorized by title II of the Act, including the Foster Grandparent Program, the Senior Companion Program, and The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). This part also applies to employees or sponsoring organizations, whose salaries, or other compensation, are paid, in whole or in part, with agency funds.

29. In § 1226.7, revise the introductory text and paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 1226.7 Scope.

The provisions in this subpart are applicable to full time volunteers as described in § 1226.3(c), and to such part-time volunteers as may be otherwise specified herein. Full time volunteers are deemed to be acting in their capacity as volunteers:

(a) When they are actually engaged in their volunteer assignments; or

30. Remove §§ 1226.10 and 1226.11 and redesignate §§ 1226.12 and 1226.13 as §§ 1226.10 and 1226.11, respectively. 31. Revise § 1226.10 as follows:
§ 1226.10 Sponsor employees.

Sponsor employees whose salaries or other compensation are paid, in whole or in part, with agency funds are subject to the restrictions described in § 1226.8(a), (b), (c) and (d) and the exceptions in § 1226.9:

(a) Whenever they are engaged in an activity which is supported by Corporation for National and Community Service funds; or

(b) Whenever they identify themselves as acting in their capacity as an official of a project which receives Corporation for National and Community Service funds, or could reasonably be perceived by others as acting in such capacity.

32. Add part 2556 to read as follows: PART 2556—VOLUNTEERS IN SERVICE TO AMERICA Subpart A—General Information Sec. 2556.1 What is the purpose of the VISTA program? 2556.3 Who should read Part 2556? 2556.5 What definitions apply in Part 2556? 2556.7 Are waivers of the regulations in this Part allowed? Subpart B—VISTA Sponsors 2556.100 Which entities are eligible to apply to become VISTA sponsors? 2556.105 Which entities are prohibited from being VISTA sponsors? 2556.110 What VISTA assistance is available to a sponsor? 2556.115 Is a VISTA sponsor required to provide a cash or in-kind match? 2556.120 How does a VISTA sponsor ensure the participation of people in the communities to be served? 2556.125 May CNCS deny or reduce VISTA assistance to an existing VISTA project? 2556.130 What is the procedure for denial or reduction of VISTA assistance to an existing VISTA project? 2556.135 What is suspension? When may CNCS suspend a VISTA project? 2556.140 What is termination? When may CNCS terminate a VISTA project? 2556.145 May CNCS pursue other remedies against a VISTA project for a sponsor's material failure to comply with any other requirement not set forth in this Subpart? 2556.150 What activities are VISTA members not permitted to perform as part of service? 2556.155 May a sponsor manage a project through a subrecipient? 2556.160 What are the sponsor's requirements for cost share projects? 2556.165 What Fair Labor Standards apply to sponsors and projects? 2556.170 What nondiscrimination requirements apply to VISTA sponsors? 2556.175 What limitations are VISTA sponsors subject to regarding religious activities? Subpart C—VISTA Members 2556.200 Who may apply to serve as a VISTA? 2556.205 What commitments and agreements must an individual make to serve in the VISTA program? 2556.210 Who reviews and approves an application for VISTA service? Subpart D—Terms, Protections, and Benefits of VISTA Members 2556.300 Is a VISTA considered a federal employee? Is a VISTA considered an employee of the sponsor? 2556.305 What is the duration and scope of service for a VISTA? 2556.310 What are the lines of supervision or oversight of a VISTA, a VISTA sponsor, and CNCS during a VISTA's term of service? 2556.315 What are terms and conditions for official travel for a VISTA? 2556.320 What benefits may a VISTA receive during VISTA service? 2556.325 May a VISTA be provided coverage for legal defense expenses related to VISTA service? 2556.330 When may a VISTA be provided coverage for legal defense expenses related to criminal proceedings? 2556.335 When may a VISTA be provided coverage for legal defense expenses related to civil or administrative proceedings? 2556. 340 What is non-competitive eligibility and who is eligible for it? 2556.345 Who may present a grievance? 2556.350 What matters are considered grievances? 2556.355 May a VISTA have access to records as part of the VISTA grievance procedure? 2556.360 How may a VISTA bring a grievance? 2556.365 May a VISTA appeal a grievance? Subpart E—Termination for Cause Procedures 2556.400 What is termination for cause? What are the criteria for termination for cause? 2556.405 Who has sole authority to remove a VISTA from a VISTA project? Who has sole authority to terminate a VISTA from a VISTA project or the VISTA program? 2556.410 May a sponsor request that a VISTA be removed from its project? 2556.415 May CNCS remove a VISTA from a project without the sponsor's request for removal? 2556.420 What are termination for cause proceedings? 2556.425 May a VISTA appeal his or her termination for cause? 2556.430 Is a VISTA who is terminated early from the VISTA program for other than cause entitled to appeal under these procedures? Subpart F—Summer Associates 2556.500 How is a position for a summer associate established in a project? 2556.505 How do summer associates differ from other VISTAs? Subpart G—VISTA Leaders 2556.600 How is a position for a leader established in a project, or in multiple projects within a contiguous geographic region? 2556.605 Who is eligible to serve as a leader? 2556.610 What is the application process to apply to become a leader? 2556.615 Who reviews a leader application? Who approves or disapproves a leader application? 2556.620 How does a leader differ from other VISTAs? 2556.625 What are terms and conditions of service for a leader? Subpart H—Restrictions and Prohibitions on Political Activities and Lobbying 2556.700 Who is covered by this subpart? 2556.705 What is prohibited political activity? 2556.710 What political activities are VISTAs prohibited from engaging in? 2556.711 What political activities may a VISTA participate in? 2556.712 May VISTAs participate in political organizations? 2556.713 May VISTAs participate in political campaigns? 2556.714 May VISTAs participate in elections? 2556.715 May a VISTA be a candidate for public office? 2556.716 May VISTAs participate in political fundraising activities? 2556.717 Are VISTAs prohibited from soliciting or discouraging the political participation of certain individuals? 2556.718 What restrictions and prohibitions are VISTAs subject to who campaign for a spouse or family member? 2556.719 May VISTAs participate in lawful demonstrations? 2556.720 May a sponsor approve the participation of a VISTA in a demonstration or other political meeting? 2556.721 What disciplinary actions are VISTAs subject to for violating restrictions or prohibitions on political activities? 2556.722 What are the requirements of VISTA sponsors regarding political activities? 2556.723 What prohibitions and restrictions on political activity apply to employees of VISTA sponsors or projects? 2556.724 What prohibitions on lobbying activities apply to VISTA sponsors and projects? Subpart A—General Information Authority:

Secs. 101, 102, and 103, Pub. L. 93-113, as amended; 5 CFR part 734.

§ 2556.1 What is the purpose of the VISTA program?

(a) The purpose of the VISTA program is to strengthen and supplement efforts to eliminate and alleviate poverty and poverty-related problems throughout the United States and certain U.S. territories. To effect this purpose, the VISTA program encourages and enables individuals from all walks of life to join VISTA to perform, on a full-time basis, meaningful and constructive service to assist in the solution of poverty and poverty-related problems and secure opportunities for self-advancement of persons afflicted by such problems.

(b) The VISTA program objectives are to:

(1) Generate private sector resources;

(2) Encourage volunteer service at the local level;

(3) Support efforts by local agencies and community organizations to achieve long-term sustainability of projects; and

(4) Strengthen local agencies and community organizations to carry out the purpose of the VISTA program.

§ 2556.3 Who should read Part 2556?

This Part may be of interest to:

(a) Private nonprofit organizations, public nonprofit organizations, state government agencies, local government agencies, federal agencies, and tribal government agencies who are participating in the VISTA program as sponsors, or who are interested in participating in the VISTA program as sponsors.

(b) Individuals 18 and older who are serving as a VISTA, or who are interested in serving as a VISTA.

§ 2556.5 What definitions apply in Part 2556?

“Act” or “DVSA” means the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, as amended, Public Law 93-113 (42 U.S.C. 4951 et seq.).

“Alternative oath or affirmation” means a pledge of VISTA service taken by an individual who legally resides within a State, but who is not a citizen or national of the United States, upon that individual's enrollment into the VISTA program as a VISTA.

“Applicant for VISTA service” means an individual who is in the process of completing, or has completed, an application for VISTA service as prescribed by CNCS, but who has been not been approved by CNCS to be a candidate.

“Application for VISTA service” means the materials prescribed by CNCS to ascertain information on an individual's eligibility and suitability for VISTA service.

“Area Manager” means a CNCS official who is head of a designated, regional set, or cluster of CNCS State Offices, or equivalent CNCS official.

“Assistance” means VISTAs, leaders, or summer associates. “Assistance” also means technical assistance or training of VISTAs, leaders, summer associates, candidates, sponsors, or supervisors that are provided from funds appropriated by Congress for the purpose of supporting activities under the DVSA. “Assistance” also means grant funds.

“Candidate”, when used in the context of an individual who has applied for VISTA service, means an individual whose application for VISTA service has been approved by CNCS, but who has not taken an oath, alternative oath or affirmation to serve in the VISTA program. Candidates may include those who were enrolled in the VISTA program at a prior time.

“Cost share” means when an entity, such as a VISTA sponsor, reimburses CNCS part or all of the expenses associated with the operation of a VISTA project, such as the costs for one or more VISTAs, leaders, or summer associates placed in a VISTA project.

“CNCS” means the Corporation for National and Community Service, established pursuant to section 191 of the National and Community Service Act of 1990, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 12651. CNCS is also sometimes referred to as “the Corporation.”

“Education award” or “Segal AmeriCorps Education Award” means an end-of-service monetary benefit from CNCS's National Service Trust that is directed to designated educational institutions and is awarded to certain qualifying VISTAs who successfully complete an established term of VISTA service.

“Enroll”, “enrolled” or “enrollment”, when used in the context of VISTA service, refers to the status of an individual admitted to serve in the VISTA program. The enrollment period commences when the Oath to serve in the VISTA program is taken by the candidate and ends upon termination from a term of service in the VISTA program. The enrollment period may commence on a date earlier than the first day of a service assignment of an enrolled VISTA member.

“Full-time”, when used in the context of VISTA service means service in which a VISTA, leader, or summer associate remains available for service without regard to regular working hours.

“Leader”, “a leader”, or “a VISTA leader” means a VISTA member who is enrolled for full-time VISTA service, and who is also subject to the terms of Subpart G of this Part.

“Living allowance” or “living allowance payment” means a monetary benefit paid for subsistence purposes to a VISTA member during VISTA service.

“Memorandum of Agreement” means a written agreement between CNCS and a sponsor regarding the terms of the sponsor's involvement and responsibilities in the VISTA program.

“Nonpartisan election” means—(1) An election in which none of the candidates is to be nominated or elected as representing a political party any of whose candidates for Presidential elector received votes in the last preceding election at which Presidential electors were selected; or (2) An election involving a question or issue which is not specifically identified with a political party, such as a constitutional amendment, referendum, approval of a municipal ordinance, or any question or issue of a similar character.

“Oath” means an avowal to VISTA service, taken in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3331, by an individual who is a U.S. citizen or national. The taking of the Oath effects an individual's enrollment into the VISTA program.

“On-duty” or “during service time” means when a VISTA is either performing VISTA service or scheduled to do so.

“Project” or “VISTA project” means a set of VISTA activities operated and overseen by, and the responsibility of, a sponsor, and assisted under this Part to realize the goals of title I of the DVSA.

“Project applicant” or “VISTA project applicant” means an entity that submits an application to CNCS to operate, oversee, and be responsible for a VISTA project.

“Project application” or “VISTA project application” means the application materials prescribed by CNCS to ascertain information on an applying entity's eligibility and suitability to operate, oversee, and be responsible for, a VISTA project.

“Project director” or “VISTA project director” means a staff person, of legal age, of the sponsor, who has been assigned by the sponsor the overall responsibility for the management of the VISTA project.

“Sponsor”, “VISTA sponsor” or “VISTA project sponsor” means a public agency or private non-profit organization that receives assistance under title I of the DVSA, and is responsible for operating and overseeing a VISTA project. A public agency may be a federal, state, local or tribal government.

“State”, when used as a noun, means one of the several states in the United States of America, District of Columbia, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

“State Program Director” means a CNCS official who reports to an Area Manager or equivalent CNCS official, and who is the head of a CNCS State Office.

“Stipend” or “end-of-service stipend” means an end-of-service lump-sum monetary benefit from CNCS that is awarded to certain qualifying VISTAs, who successfully complete an established term of VISTA service.

“Subrecipient” means a public agency or private non-profit organization that enters into an agreement with a VISTA sponsor to receive one or more VISTAs, and to carry out a set of activities, assisted under this Part, to realize the goals of title I of the DVSA. A public agency may be a federal, state, local or tribal government.

“Summer associate” means a VISTA member who is enrolled for VISTA service, during a period between May 1 and September 15, and who is also subject to the terms of Subpart I of this Part. A summer associate must be available to provide continuous full-time service, without other commitments, for a period of at least eight weeks and a maximum of ten weeks.

“Supervisor” or “VISTA Supervisor” means a staff member, of legal age, of the sponsor or a subrecipient, who has been assigned by the sponsor or the subrecipient, the responsibility for the day-to-day oversight of one or more VISTAs.

“Tribe” means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaskan native village or regional village corporation as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which is recognized by the United States or the State in which it resides as eligible for special programs and services provided to Indians because of their status as Indians.

“VISTA member”, “a VISTA” or “the VISTA” means an individual enrolled full-time for VISTA service in the VISTA program, as authorized under title I of the DVSA.

“VISTA program” means the Federal government program named Volunteers in Service to America and authorized under title I of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4950 et seq.

“VISTA service” means VISTA service activities performed by a VISTA member while enrolled in the VISTA program.

§ 2556.7 Are waivers of the regulations in this Part allowed?

Upon a determination of good cause, the Chief Executive Officer of CNCS may, subject to statutory limitations, waive any provisions of Part 2556.

Subpart B—VISTA Sponsors Authority:

Secs. 103(a), 103(f), 104(b), 104(e), 105(b), 106, 403(a), 403(b), 403(c), 404(a), 404(b), 404(c), 404(e), 406, 412, 416, and 417, Pub. L. 93-113, as amended; Sec. 192A(g)(10), Pub. L. 101-610, as amended; Presidential Executive Order 13279 (67 FR 77141, Dec. 16, 2002).

§ 2556.100 Which entities are eligible to apply to become VISTA sponsors?

The following entities are eligible to apply to become VISTA sponsors, and thereby undertake projects in the U.S. and certain U.S. territories:

(a) Private nonprofit organization.

(b) Public nonprofit organization.

(c) State government or state government agency.

(d) Local government or local government agency.

(e) Tribal government or tribal government agency.

§ 2556.105 Which entities are prohibited from being VISTA sponsors?

(a) An entity is prohibited from being a VISTA sponsor or from otherwise receiving VISTA assistance if a principal purpose or activity of the entity includes any of the following:

(1) Electoral Activities. Any activity designed to influence the outcome of elections to any public office, such as actively campaigning for or against, or supporting, candidates for public office; raising, soliciting, or collecting funds for candidates for public office; or preparing, distributing, providing funds for campaign literature for candidates, including leaflets, pamphlets, and material designed for the print or electronic media.

(2) Voter Registration Activities. Any voter registration activity, such as providing transportation of individuals to voter registration sites; providing assistance to individuals in the process of registering to vote, including determinations of eligibility; or disseminating official voter registration material.

(3) Transportation to the Polls. Providing voters or prospective voters with transportation to the polls or raising, soliciting, or collecting funds for such activities.

(b) Any organization that, subsequent to the receipt of VISTA assistance, makes as one of its principal purposes or activities any of the activities described in section 2556.105(a) shall be subject to the procedures in sections 2556.125 through 2556.145.

§ 2556.110 What VISTA assistance is available to a sponsor?

(a) A sponsor may be approved for one or more VISTA positions.

(b) A sponsor, upon review and approval by CNCS to establish a leader position or positions, and in accordance with criteria set forth at Subpart G of this Part, may be approved for one or more leader positions.

(c) A sponsor, upon approval by CNCS to establish a summer associate position or positions, and in accordance with criteria set forth at Subpart F of this Part, may be approved for one or more summer associate positions.

(d) A sponsor may be eligible to receive certain grant assistance under the terms determined and prescribed by CNCS.

(e) A sponsor may receive training and technical assistance related to carrying out purposes of title I of the DVSA.

§ 2556.115 Is a VISTA sponsor required to provide a cash or in-kind match?

(a) A sponsor is not required to provide a cash match for any of the assistance listed in § 2556.110.

(b) A sponsor must provide supervision, work space, service-related transportation, and any other materials necessary to operate and complete the VISTA project and support the VISTA.

§ 2556.120 How does a VISTA sponsor ensure the participation of people in the communities to be served?

(a) To the maximum extent practicable, the people of the communities to be served by VISTA members shall participate in planning, developing, and implementing programs.

(b) The sponsor shall articulate in its project application how it will engage or continue to engage relevant communities in the development and implementation of programs.

§ 2556.125 May CNCS deny or reduce VISTA assistance to an existing VISTA project?

(a) CNCS may deny or reduce VISTA assistance where a denial or reduction is based on:

(1) Legislative requirement;

(2) Availability of funding;

(3) Material failure to comply with applicable term(s) or condition(s) of the DVSA, the regulations in this Part, VISTA program policy, or an applicable Memorandum of Agreement;

(4) Ineffective management of CNCS resources;

(5) Substantial failure to comply with CNCS policy and overall objectives under a contract, or applicable Memorandum of Agreement or grant agreement; or

(6) General policy.

(b) In instances where the basis for denial or reduction of VISTA assistance may also be the basis for the suspension or termination of a VISTA project under this subpart, CNCS shall not be limited to the use of this section to the exclusion of the procedures for suspension or termination in this Subpart.

§ 2556.130 What is the procedure for denial or reduction of VISTA assistance to an existing VISTA project?

(a) CNCS shall notify the sponsor in writing, at least 75 calendar days before the anticipated denial or reduction of VISTA assistance,that CNCS proposes to deny or reduce VISTA assistance. CNCS's written notice shall state the reasons for the decision to deny or reduce assistance and shall provide an opportunity period for the sponsor to respond to the merits of the proposed decision. CNCS retains sole authority to make the final determination whether the VISTA assistance at issue shall be denied or reduced, as appropriate.

(b) Where CNCS's notice of proposed decision is based upon a specific charge of the sponsor's material failure to comply with an applicable term(s) or condition(s) of the DVSA, the regulations in this Part, VISTA program policy, or an applicable Memorandum of Agreement, the notice shall offer the sponsor an opportunity period to respond in writing to the notice, with any affidavits or other supporting documentation, and to request an informal hearing before a mutually agreed-upon impartial hearing officer. The authority of such a hearing officer shall be limited to conducting the hearing and offering recommendations to CNCS. Regardless of whether or not an informal hearing takes place, CNCS shall retain full authority to make the final determination whether the VISTA assistance is denied or reduced, as appropriate.

(c) If the recipient requests an informal hearing, as set forth above in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section, such hearing shall be held at a date specified by CNCS and held at a location convenient to the sponsor.

(d) If CNCS's proposed decision is based, in whole or in part, on a specific charge(s) of a sponsor's material failure to comply with an applicable term(s) or condition(s) of an applicable Memorandum of Agreement, CNCS shall inform the sponsor in the notice of proposed decision of the opportunity to show cause why VISTA assistance should not be denied or reduced, as appropriate. The notice shall provide specific instructions regarding the sponsor's opportunity to respond in writing to the notice and to request an informal hearing before a mutually agreed-upon impartial hearing officer. Regardless of whether or not such an informal hearing takes place, CNCS shall retain full authority to make the final determination whether the VISTA assistance at issue shall be denied or reduced, as appropriate.

(e) The recipient shall be informed of CNCS's final determination on whether the VISTA assistance at issue shall be denied or reduced, and the basis for the determination.

§ 2556.135 What is suspension? When may CNCS suspend a VISTA project?

(a) Suspension is any action by CNCS temporarily suspending or curtailing assistance, in whole or in part, to all or any part of a VISTA project, prior to the time that the project term is concluded. Suspension does not include the denial or reduction of new or additional VISTA assistance.

(b) In an emergency situation for up to 30 consecutive days, CNCS may suspend assistance to a sponsor, in whole or in part, for the sponsor's material failure or threatened material failure to comply with an applicable term(s) or condition(s) of the DVSA, the regulations in this Part, VISTA program policy, or an applicable Memorandum of Agreement. Such suspension in an emergency situation shall be pursuant to notice and opportunity to show cause why assistance should not be suspended.

(c) To initiate suspension proceedings, CNCS shall notify the sponsor in writing that CNCS is suspending assistance in whole or in part. The written notice shall contain the following:

(1) The grounds for the suspension and the effective date of the commencement of the suspension;

(2) The sponsor's right to submit written material in response to the suspension to show why the VISTA assistance should not be suspended, or should be reinstated, as appropriate; and

(3) The opportunity to adequately correct the deficiency, or deficiencies, which led to CNCS's notice of suspension.

(d) In deciding whether to continue or lift the suspension, as appropriate, CNCS shall consider any timely material presented in writing, any material presented during the course of any informal meeting, as well as any showing that the sponsor has adequately corrected the deficiency which led to the initiation of suspension.

(e) During the period of suspension of a sponsor, no new expenditures, if applicable, shall be made by the sponsor's VISTA project at issue and no new obligations shall be incurred in connection with the VISTA project at issue except as specifically authorized in writing by CNCS.

(f) CNCS may, in its discretion, modify the terms, conditions, and nature of the suspension or rescind the suspension action at any time on its own initiative or upon a showing that the sponsor has adequately corrected the deficiency or deficiencies which led to the suspension and that repetition is not foreseeable.

§ 2556.140 What is termination? When may CNCS terminate a VISTA project?

(a) Termination means any action by CNCS permanently terminating or curtailing assistance to all or any part of a sponsor's VISTA project prior to the time that the project term is concluded.

(b) CNCS may terminate assistance to a sponsor in whole or in part for the sponsor's material failure to comply with an applicable term(s) or condition(s) of the DVSA, the regulations in this Part, VISTA program policy, or an applicable Memorandum of Agreement.

(c) To initiate termination proceedings, CNCS shall notify the sponsor in writing that CNCS is proposing to terminate assistance in whole or in part. The written notice shall contain the following:

(1) A description of the VISTA assistance proposed for termination, the grounds that warrant such proposed termination, and the proposed date of effective termination;

(2) Instructions regarding the sponsor's opportunity, within 21 calendar days from the date of issuance of the notice, to respond in writing to the merits of the proposed termination and instructions regarding the sponsor's right to request a full and fair hearing before a mutually agreed-upon impartial hearing officer; and

(3) Invitation of voluntary action by the sponsor to adequately correct the deficiency or deficiencies which led to CNCS's notice of proposed termination.

(d) In deciding whether to effect termination of VISTA assistance, CNCS shall consider any relevant, timely material presented in writing; any relevant material presented during the course of any full and fair hearing; as well as, any showing that the sponsor has adequately corrected the deficiency which led to the initiation of termination proceedings.

(e) Regardless of whether or not a full and fair hearing takes place, CNCS shall retain all authority to make the final determination as to whether the termination of VISTA assistance is appropriate.

(f) The sponsor shall be informed of CNCS's final determination on the proposed termination of VISTA assistance, and the basis or bases for the determination.

(g) CNCS may, in its discretion, modify the terms, conditions, and nature of a termination action or rescind a termination action at any time on its own initiative or upon a showing that the sponsor has adequately corrected the deficiency which led to the termination, or the initiation of termination proceedings, and that repetition is not threatened.

§ 2556.145 May CNCS pursue other remedies against a VISTA project for a sponsor's material failure to comply with any other requirement not set forth in this Subpart?

The procedures established by this Subpart shall not preclude CNCS from pursuing any other remedies authorized by law.

§ 2556.150 What activities are VISTA members not permitted to perform as part of service?

(a) A VISTA may not perform any activities in the project application that do not correspond with the purpose of the VISTA program, as described in § 2556.1, or that the Director has otherwise prohibited.

(b) A VISTA may not perform services or duties as a VISTA member that would otherwise be performed by employed workers or other volunteers (not including participants under the DVSA and the National and Community Service Act of 1990, as amended).

(c) A VISTA may not perform any services or duties, or engage in activities as a VISTA member, that supplant the hiring of or result in the displacement of employed workers or other volunteers (not including participants under the DVSA or the National and Community Service Act of 1990, as amended).

(d) A VISTA may not perform any services or duties, or engage in activities as a VISTA member, which impair existing contracts for service.

(e) The requirements of paragraphs 2556.150(b)-(d) of this section do not apply when the sponsor requires the service in order to avoid or relieve suffering threatened by, or resulting from, a disaster, civil disturbance, terrorism, or war.

(f) A sponsor or project shall not request or receive any compensation from a VISTA; from a beneficiary of VISTA project services; or any other source for services of a VISTA.

§ 2556.155 May a sponsor manage a VISTA project through a subrecipient?

(a) A sponsor may carry out a VISTA project through one or more subrecipients that meet the eligibility criteria of § 2556.100.

(b) The sponsor must enter into a subrecipient agreement with each subrecipient. A subrecipient agreement must have at least the following elements:

(1) A project plan to be implemented by the subrecipient;

(2) Records to be kept and reports to be submitted;

(3) Responsibilities of the parties and other program requirements; and

(4) Suspension and termination policies and procedures.

(c) The sponsor retains the responsibility for compliance with a Memorandum of Agreement; the applicable regulations in this Part; and all applicable policies, procedures, and guidance issued by CNCS regarding the VISTA program.

(d) A sponsor shall not request or receive any compensation from a subrecipient for services performed by a VISTA.

(e) A sponsor shall not receive payment from, or on behalf of, the subrecipient for costs of the VISTA assistance, except in two limited circumstances:

(1) For reasonable and actual costs incurred by the sponsor directly related to the subrecipient's participation in a VISTA project; and

(2) For any cost share related to a VISTA placed with the subrecipient in the VISTA project.

§ 2556.160 What are the sponsor's requirements for cost share projects?

(a) A sponsor shall enter into a written agreement for cost share as prescribed by CNCS.

(b) A sponsor shall make timely cost share payments as prescribed by CNCS and applicable federal law and regulations.

(c) In addition to other sources of funds, a sponsor may use funds from federal, state, or local government agencies, provided the requirements of those agencies and their programs are met.

(d) Subject to review and approval by CNCS, CNCS may enter into an agreement with another entity to receive and utilize funds to make cost share payments on behalf of the sponsor.

§ 2556.165 What Fair Labor Standards apply to VISTA sponsors and projects?

All sponsors and projects that employ laborers and mechanics for construction, alteration, or repair of facilities shall pay wages at prevailing rates as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with the Davis-Bacon Act, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 276a.

§ 2556.170 What nondiscrimination requirements apply to sponsors?

(a) An individual with responsibility for the operation of a project that receives CNCS assistance must not discriminate against a participant in, or member of the staff of, such project on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or political affiliation of such participant or staff member, or on the basis of disability, if the participant or staff member is a qualified individual with a disability.

(b) Any CNCS assistance constitutes Federal financial assistance for purposes of title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.), section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794), and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.), and constitutes Federal financial assistance to an education program or activity for purposes of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.).

(c) An individual with responsibility for the operation of a project that receives CNCS assistance may not discriminate on the basis of religion against a participant in such project or a member of the staff of such project who is paid with CNCS funds. This provision does not apply to the employment (with CNCS assistance) of any staff member of a CNCS-supported project who was employed with the organization operating the project on the date the CNCS assistance was awarded.

(d) Sponsors must notify all program participants, staff, applicants, and beneficiaries of:

(1) Their rights under applicable federal nondiscrimination laws, including relevant provisions of the national service legislation and implementing regulations; and

(2) The procedure for filing a discrimination complaint. No sponsor or subrecipient, or sponsor or subrecipient employee, or individual with responsibility for the implementation or operation of a sponsor or a subrecipient, shall discriminate against a VISTA on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, or political affiliation. No sponsor or subrecipient, or sponsor or subrecipient employee, or individual with responsibility for the implementation or operation of a sponsor or a subrecipient, shall discriminate against a VISTA on the basis of disability, if the VISTA is a qualified individual with a disability.

§ 2556.175 What limitations are VISTA sponsors subject to regarding religious activities?

(a) A VISTA shall not give religious instruction, conduct worship services or engage in any form of proselytizing as part of his or her duties.

(b) A sponsor or project may retain its independence and may continue to carry out its mission, including the definition, development, practice, and expression of its religious beliefs, provided that it does not use any CNCS assistance, including the services of any VISTA or VISTA assistance, to support any inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytizing, as part of the programs or services assisted by the VISTA program. If a VISTA sponsor or project conducts such inherently religious activities, the activities must be offered separately, in time or location, from the programs or services assisted under this Part by the VISTA program.

Subpart C—VISTA Members Authority:

Secs. 103(b)(3), 103(f), 104(a), 104(b), 104(c), and 404(e), Pub. L. 93-113, as amended.

§ 2556.200 Who may apply to serve as a VISTA?

An individual may apply to serve as a VISTA if all the following requirements are met:

(a) The individual is at least eighteen years of age upon taking an oath or affirmation, as appropriate, to enter VISTA service. There is no upper age limit.

(b) The individual is a United States citizen or national, or is legally residing within a state. For eligibility purposes, a lawful permanent resident alien is considered to be an individual who is legally residing within a state.

§ 2556.205 What commitments and agreements must an individual make to serve in the VISTA program?

(a) To the maximum extent practicable, the individual must make a full-time commitment to remain available for service without regard to regular working hours, at all times during his or her period of service, except for authorized periods of leave.

(b) To the maximum extent practicable, the individual must make a full-time personal commitment to alleviate poverty and poverty-related problems, and to live among and at the economic level of the low-income people served by the project.

(c) The individual's service cannot be used to satisfy service requirements of parole, probation, or community service prescribed by the criminal justice system.

(d) A VISTA candidate or member agrees to undergo an investigation into his or her criminal history or background as a condition of enrollment, or continued enrollment, in the VISTA program.

§ 2556.210 Who reviews and approves an application for VISTA service?

CNCS has the final authority to approve or deny VISTA applications for VISTA service.

Subpart D—Terms, Protections, and Benefits of VISTA Members Authority:

Secs. 104(a), 104(b), 104(d), 105, 404(e), 415, and 419 of Pub. L. 93-113, as amended; Sec. 146(c) of Pub. L. 101-610, as amended.

§ 2556.300 Is a VISTA considered a federal employee? Is a VISTA considered an employee of the sponsor?

(a) Except for the purposes listed here, a VISTA is not considered an employee of the federal government. A VISTA is considered a federal employee only for the following purposes:

(1) Federal Tort Claims Act—28 U.S.C. 1346(b); 28 U.S.C. 2671-2680;

(2) Federal Employees' Compensation Act—5 U.S.C. chapter 81, subchapter 1;

(3) Hatch Act—5 U.S.C. chapter 73, subchapter III;

(4) Internal Revenue Service Code—26 U.S.C. 1 et seq.; and

(5) Title II of the Social Security Act—42 U.S.C. 401 et seq.

(b) A VISTA is not considered a federal employee for any purposes other than those set forth in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) A VISTA is not covered by federal or state unemployment compensation related to their enrollment or service in the VISTA program. A VISTA's service is not considered employment for purposes of eligibility for, or receipt of, federal, state, or any other unemployment compensation.

(d) Monetary allowances, such as living allowances that VISTAs receive during VISTA service are not considered wages. Monetary allowances, such as living allowances, that VISTAs receive during VISTA service are considered income for such purposes as federal income tax and Social Security.

(e) A VISTA is not, under any circumstances, considered an employee of the sponsor or project to which he or she is assigned to serve. No VISTA is in an employment relationship with the sponsor or project to which he or she is assigned. The sponsor is not authorized to make contributions to any state unemployment compensation fund on a VISTA's behalf.

§ 2556.305 What is the duration and scope of service for a VISTA?

(a) To serve as a VISTA, an individual makes a full-time commitment for a minimum of one year, without regard to regular working hours.

(b) A VISTA carries out activities in accordance with the purpose of the VISTA program, as described in section 2556.1 of this Part.

(c) To the maximum extent practicable, the VISTA shall live among and at the economic level of the low-income community served by the project, and actively seek opportunities to engage with that low-income community without regard to regular work hours.

(d) A VISTA carries out service activities in conformance with the sponsor's approved project application, including any description of a VISTA assignment as contained in the project application; and, in conformance with the purpose of title I of the DVSA. In any case where there is a conflict between the project application and the DVSA, the DVSA takes precedence.

(e) Under no circumstances may an individual be enrolled to serve as a VISTA beyond five years.

§ 2556.310 What are the lines of supervision or oversight of a VISTA, a VISTA sponsor and CNCS during a VISTA's term of service?

(a) The VISTA sponsor is responsible for the day-to-day supervision and oversight of the VISTA.

(b) CNCS is responsible for ongoing monitoring and oversight of the VISTA sponsor's project where the VISTA is assigned. CNCS is responsible for selecting the VISTA, assigning the VISTA to a project, removal of a VISTA from a project, and VISTA separation actions such as termination from the VISTA program.

§ 2556.315 What are terms and conditions for official travel for a VISTA?

(a) CNCS may provide official travel for a VISTA candidate or a VISTA, as appropriate, to attend CNCS-directed activities, such as pre-service training, placement at the project site, in-service training events, and return from the project site to home of record.

(b) CNCS must approve all official travel of a VISTA candidate or a VISTA, including the mode of travel.

(c) CNCS may provide for official emergency travel for a VISTA in case of a natural disaster or the critical illness or death of an immediate family member.

§ 2556.320 What benefits may a VISTA receive during VISTA service?

(a) A VISTA receives a living allowance computed on a daily rate. Living allowances vary according to the local cost-of-living in the project area where the VISTA is assigned.

(b) Subject to a maximum amount, and at the discretion and upon approval of CNCS, a VISTA may receive payment for settling-in expenses, as determined by CNCS.

(c) Subject to a maximum amount, and at the discretion of CNCS, in the event of an emergency (such as theft, fire loss, or special clothing necessitated by severe climate), a VISTA may receive an emergency expense payment in order to resume VISTA service activities, as determined and approved by CNCS.

(d) Subject to a maximum amount, and at the discretion of CNCS, a VISTA may receive a baggage allowance for the actual costs of transporting personal effects to the project site to which the VISTA is assigned to serve, as determined by CNCS.

(e) To the extent eligible, a VISTA may receive health care through a health benefits program provided by CNCS.

(f) To the extent eligible, a VISTA may receive child care support through a child care program provided by CNCS.

(g) To the extent eligible, a VISTA may elect to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, and upon successful completion of service, receive that award in an amount prescribed by CNCS, in accordance with the applicable provisions of 45 CFR parts 2526, 2527, and 2528.

(1) A VISTA is eligible to elect to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award if he or she is a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States.

(2) A VISTA who elects a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is eligible to request forbearance of a student loan from his or her loan-holder. A VISTA who elects a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award may, upon successful completion of service, be eligible to receive up to 100 percent of the interest accrued on a qualified student loan, consistent with the applicable provisions of 45 CFR 2529.

(3) A VISTA is not eligible to receive more than an amount equal to the aggregate value of two full-time Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards in his or her lifetime.

(4) Other than for a summer associate, the amount of a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award for the successful completion of a VISTA term of service is equal to the maximum amount of a Federal Pell Grant under Section 401 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070a) that a student eligible for such grant may receive in the aggregate for the fiscal year in which the VISTA has enrolled in the VISTA program.

(h) A VISTA who does not elect to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, upon successful completion of service, receives an end-of-service stipend in an amount prescribed by CNCS.

(i) In the event that a VISTA does not successfully complete a full term of service, a VISTA shall not receive a pro-rated Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or a pro-rated end-of-service stipend, except in cases where the appropriate State Program Director determines the VISTA did not successfully complete a full term of service because of a compelling, personal circumstance. Examples of a compelling, personal circumstance are: serious medical condition or disability of a VISTA during VISTA service; critical illness or disability of a VISTA's immediate family member (spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, child, or guardian) if this event makes completing a term of service unreasonably difficult; or unusual conditions not attributable to the VISTA, such as natural disaster, strike, or premature closing of a project, that make completing a term unreasonably difficult or infeasible.

(j) In the event of a VISTA's death during service, his or her family or others that he or she named as beneficiary in accordance with section 5582 of title 5, United States Code, shall be paid a pro-rated end-of-service stipend for the period during which the VISTA served. If the VISTA had elected to receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award for successful completion of a full term of VISTA service, prior to payment to the named beneficiary, CNCS shall convert that election to an end-of-service stipend and pay the VISTA's family, or others that he or she named as beneficiary, a pro-rated end-of-service stipend accordingly.

§ 2556.325 May a VISTA be provided coverage for legal defense expenses related to VISTA service?

Under certain circumstances, as set forth below in sections 2556.330 through 2556.335, CNCS may pay reasonable legal defense expenses incurred in judicial or administrative proceedings for the defense of a VISTA serving in the VISTA program. Such covered legal expenses consist of counsel fees, court costs, bail, and other expenses incidental to a VISTA's legal defense.

§ 2556.330 When may a VISTA be provided coverage for legal defense expenses related to criminal proceedings?

(a) For the legal defense of a VISTA member who is charged with a criminal offense related to the VISTA member's service, up to and including arraignment in Federal, state, and local criminal proceedings, CNCS may pay actual and reasonable legal expenses. CNCS is not required to pay any expenses for the legal defense of a VISTA member where he or she is charged with a criminal offense arising from alleged activity or action that is unrelated to that VISTA's service.

(b) A VISTA member's service is clearly unrelated to a charged offense:

(1) When the activity or action is alleged to have occurred prior to the VISTA member's VISTA service.

(2) When the VISTA member is not at his or her assigned project location, such as during periods of approved leave, medical leave, emergency leave, or in administrative hold status in the VISTA program.

(3) When the activity or action is alleged to have occurred at or near his or her assigned project, but is clearly not part of, or required by, the VISTA member's service assignment.

(c) For the legal defense, beyond arraignment in Federal, state, and local criminal proceedings, of a VISTA member who is charged with a criminal offense, CNCS may also pay actual and reasonable legal expenses:

(1) When the charged offense against the VISTA member relates exclusively to his or her VISTA assignment or status as a VISTA member;

(2) When the charge offense against the VISTA member arises from an alleged activity or action that is a part of, or required by, the VISTA member's VISTA assignment;

(3) When the VISTA member has not admitted a willful or knowing violation of law; or

(4) When the charged offense against the VISTA member is not a minor offense or misdemeanor, such as a minor vehicle violation.

(d) Notwithstanding the above paragraphs (a)-(c) of this section, there may be situations in which the criminal proceedings at issue arise from a matter that also gives rise to a civil claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act. In such a situation, the U.S. Department of Justice may, on behalf of the United States, agree to defend the VISTA. If the U.S. Department of Justice agrees to defend the VISTA member, unless there is a conflict between the VISTA member's interest and that of the United States, CNCS will not pay for expenses associated with any additional legal representation (such as counsel fees for private counsel) for the VISTA member.

§ 2556.335 When may a VISTA be provided coverage for legal defense expenses related to civil or administrative proceedings?

For the legal defense in Federal, state, and local civil judicial and administrative proceedings of a VISTA member, CNCS may also pay actual and reasonable legal expenses, where:

(a) The complaint or charge is against the VISTA, and is directly related to his or her VISTA service and not to his or her personal activities or obligations;

(b) The VISTA has not admitted to willfully or knowingly pursuing a course of conduct that would result in the plaintiff or complainant initiating such a proceeding; and

(c) The judgment sought involves a monetary award that exceeds $1,000.

§ 2556.340 What is non-competitive eligibility and who is eligible for it?

(a) Non-competitive eligibility is a status attained by an individual such that the individual is eligible for appointment by a federal agency in the Executive branch, into a civil service position in the federal competitive service, in accordance with 5 CFR 315.605.

(b) An individual who successfully completes at least a year-long term of service as a VISTA, and who has not been terminated for cause from the VISTA program at any time, retains non-competitive eligibility status for one year following the end of the term of service as a VISTA.

(c) In addition to the retention of the one year of non-competitive eligibility status as provided in (b) of this section, an individual's non-competitive eligibility status may extend for two more years to a total of three years if the individual is:

(1) In the military service;

(2) Studying at a recognized institution of higher learning; or

(3) In another activity which, in the view of the federal agency referenced in part (a) of this section, warrants extension.

§ 2556.345 Who may present a grievance?

(a) Under the VISTA program grievance procedure, a grievance may be presented by any individual who is currently enrolled as a VISTA in the VISTA program or who was enrolled as a VISTA in the VISTA program within the past 30 calendar days.

(b) A VISTA's grievance shall not be construed as reflecting on the VISTA's standing, performance, or desirability as a VISTA.

(c) A VISTA who presents a grievance shall not be subjected to restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal because of presentation of views.

§ 2556.350 What matters are considered grievances?

(a) Under the VISTA program grievance procedure, grievances are matters of concern, brought by a VISTA, that arise out of, and directly affect, the VISTA's service situation or that arise out of a violation of a policy, practice, or regulation governing the terms or conditions of the VISTA's service, such that the violation results in the denial or infringement of a right or benefit to the VISTA member.

(b) Matters not within the definition of a grievance as defined above in section (a) are not grievable, and therefore, are excluded from the VISTA program grievance procedure. Though not exhaustive, examples of matters excluded from the VISTA program grievance procedure are:

(1) Those matters related to a sponsor's or project's continuance or discontinuance; the number of VISTAs assigned to a VISTA project; the increases or decreases in the level of support provided to a VISTA project; the suspension or termination of a VISTA project; or the selection or retention of VISTA project staff.

(2) Those matters for which a separate administrative procedure or complaint process is provided, such as early termination for cause, claims of discrimination during service, and federal worker's compensation claims filed for illness or injury sustained in the course of carrying out VISTA activities.

(3) Those matters related to any law, published rule, regulation, policy, or procedure.

(4) Those matters related to housing during a VISTA member's service.

(5) Those matters which are, by law, subject to final administrative review outside CNCS.

(6) Those matters related to actions taken, or not taken, by a VISTA sponsor or project, or CNCS, in compliance with or in order to fulfill the terms of a contract, grant, or other agreement related to the VISTA program.

(7) Those matters related to the internal management of CNCS, unless such matters are shown to specifically and directly affect the VISTA's service situation or terms or conditions of his or her VISTA service.

§ 2556.355 May a VISTA have access to records as part of the VISTA grievance procedure?

(a) A VISTA is entitled to review any material in his or her official VISTA file and any relevant CNCS records to the extent permitted by the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, 552a. Examples of materials that may be withheld include references obtained under pledge of confidentiality, official VISTA files of other VISTAs, and privileged intra-agency documents.

(b) A VISTA may review relevant materials in the possession of a sponsor to the extent such materials are disclosable by the sponsor under applicable freedom of information act and privacy laws.

§ 2556.360 How may a VISTA bring a grievance?

(a) Bringing a grievance—Step 1:—(1) While currently enrolled in the VISTA program, or enrolled in the VISTA program within the past 30 calendar days, a VISTA may bring a grievance to the sponsor or project where he or she is assigned to serve within 15 calendar days that the event giving rise to the grievance occurs, or within 15 calendar days after becoming aware of the event. If the grievance arises out of a continuing condition or practice that individually affects a VISTA, while enrolled the VISTA may bring it at any time while he or she is affected by a continuing condition or practice.

(2) A VISTA brings a grievance by presenting it in writing to the executive director, or comparable individual, of the sponsoring organization where the VISTA is assigned, or to the sponsor's representative who is designated to receive grievances from a VISTA.

(3) The sponsor shall review and respond in writing to the VISTA's grievance, within 10 calendar days of receipt of the written grievance. The sponsor may not fail to respond to a complaint raised by a VISTA on the basis that it is not an actual grievance, or that it is excluded from coverage as a grievance, but may, in the written response, dismiss the complaint and refuse to grant the relief requested on either of those grounds.

(4) If the grievance brought by a VISTA involves a matter over which the sponsor has no substantial control or if the sponsor's representative is the supervisor of the VISTA, the VISTA may pass over the procedure set forth above in paragraphs (a)(1)-(a)(3) of this section, and present the grievance in writing directly to the State Program Director, as described below in (b) of this section.

(b) Bringing a grievance—Step 2:—(1) If, after a VISTA brings a grievance as set forth above in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section, the matter is not resolved, he or she may submit the grievance in writing to the appropriate State Program Director. The VISTA must submit the grievance to the State Program Director either:

(i) Within seven calendar days of receipt of the response of the sponsor; or,

(ii) In the event the sponsor has not issued a response to the VISTA within 10 calendar days of receipt of the written grievance, within 17 calendar days.

(2) If the grievance involves a matter over which either the sponsor or project has no substantial control or if the sponsor's representative is the supervisor of the VISTA, as described above in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, the VISTA may pass over the procedure set forth in above in paragraphs (a)(1)-(a)(3) of this section, and submit the grievance in writing directly to the State Program Director. In such a case, the VISTA must submit the grievance to the State Program Director within 15 calendar days of the event giving rise to the grievance occurs, or within 15 calendar days after becoming aware of the event.

(3) Within ten working days of receipt of the grievance, the State Program Director shall respond in writing, regardless of whether or not the matter constitutes a grievance as defined under this grievance procedure, and/or is timely submitted. In the response, the State Program Director may determine that the matter submitted as a grievance is not grievable, is not considered a grievance, or fails to meet the time limit for response. If the State Program Director makes any such determination, he or she may dismiss the complaint, setting forth the reason(s) for the dismissal. In such a case, the State Program Director need not address the complaint on the merits, nor make a determination of the complaint on the merits.

§ 2556.365 May a VISTA appeal a grievance?

(a) The VISTA may appeal in writing to the appropriate Area Manager the response of the State Program Director to the grievance, as set forth in § 2556.360(b)(3). To be eligible to appeal a grievance response to the Area Manager, the VISTA must have exhausted all appropriate actions as set forth in § 2556.360.

(b) A VISTA's grievance appeal must be in writing and contain sufficient detail to identify the subject matter of the grievance, specify the relief requested, and be signed by the VISTA.

(c) The VISTA must submit a grievance appeal to the appropriate Area Manager no later than 10 calendar days after the State Program Director issues his or her response to the grievance.

(d) Certain matters contained in a grievance appeal may be rejected, rather than denied on the merits, by the Area Manager. A grievance appeal may be rejected, in whole or in part, for any of the following reasons:

(1) The grievance appeal was not submitted to the appropriate Area Manager within the time limit specified above in (c) of this section;

(2) The grievance appeal consists of matters not contained within the definition of a grievance, as specified in section § 2556.350(a);

(3) The grievance appeal consists of matters excluded from the VISTA program grievance procedure, as specified in § 2556.350(b); or

(4) The grievance appeal contains matters that are moot, or for which relief has otherwise been granted.

(e) Within 14 calendar days of receipt of the grievance, the appropriate Area Manager shall decide the grievance appeal on the merits, or reject the grievance appeal in whole or in part, or both, as appropriate. The Area Manager shall notify the VISTA in writing of the decision and specify the grounds for the appeal decision. The appeal decision shall include a statement of the basis for the decision and is a final decision of CNCS.

Subpart E—Termination for Cause Procedures Authority:

Secs. 103(b), 103(c), 103(f), and 404(e), Pub. L. 93-113, as amended.

§ 2556.400 What is termination for cause? What are the criteria for termination for cause?

(a) Termination for cause is discharge of a VISTA from the VISTA program due to a deficiency, or deficiencies, in conduct or performance.

(b) CNCS may terminate for cause a VISTA for any of the following reasons:

(1) Conviction of any criminal offense under Federal, State, or local statute or ordinance;

(2) Violation of any provision of the Domestic Service Volunteer Act of 1973, as amended, or any CNCS or VISTA program policy, regulation, or instruction;

(3) Failure, refusal, or inability to perform prescribed project duties as outlined in the project plan, assignment description, or as directed by the sponsor to which the VISTA is assigned;

(4) Involvement in activities which substantially interfere with the VISTA's performance of project duties;

(5) Intentional false statement, misrepresentation, omission, fraud, or deception in seeking to obtain selection as a VISTA in the VISTA program;

(6) Any conduct on the part of the VISTA which substantially diminishes his or her effectiveness as a VISTA; or

(7) Unsatisfactory performance of an assignment.

§ 2556.405 Who has sole authority to remove a VISTA from a VISTA project? Who has sole authority to terminate a VISTA from the VISTA program?

(a) CNCS has the sole authority to remove a VISTA from a project where he or she has been assigned.

(b) CNCS has the sole authority to terminate for cause, or otherwise terminate, a VISTA from the VISTA program.

(c) Neither the sponsoring organization nor any of its subrecipients has the authority to remove a VISTA from a project or to terminate a VISTA for cause, or for any other basis, from the VISTA program.

§ 2556.410 May a sponsor request that a VISTA be removed from its project?

(a) The head of a sponsoring organization, or his or her designee, may request that CNCS remove a VISTA assigned to its project. Any such request must be submitted in writing to the appropriate State Program Director and should state the reasons for the request.

(b) The State Program Director may, at his or her discretion, attempt to resolve the situation with the sponsor so that an alternative solution other than removal of the VISTA from the project assignment is reached.

(c) When an alternative solution, as referenced above in 2556.410(b) of this section is not sought, or is not reached within a reasonable time period, the State Program Director shall remove the VISTA from the project.

§ 2556.415 May CNCS remove a VISTA from a project without the sponsor's request for removal?

Of its own accord, CNCS may remove a VISTA from a project assignment without the sponsor's request for removal.

§ 2556.420 What are termination for cause proceedings?

(a) Termination for cause proceedings are initiated by the State Program Director when CNCS removes a VISTA from a project assignment due to an alleged deficiency, or alleged deficiencies, in conduct or performance.

(b) The State Program Director or other CNCS State Office staff, to the extent practicable, communicates the matter with the VISTA who is removed from a VISTA project and the administrative procedures as set forth below in §§ 2556.420(c) through (e) are followed.

(c) The State Program Director shall notify VISTA in writing of CNCS's proposal to terminate for cause. The written proposal to terminate him or her for cause must give the VISTA the reason(s) for the proposed termination, and notify him or her that he or she has 10 calendar days within which to answer in writing the proposal to terminate him or her for cause, and to furnish any accompanying statements or written material. The VISTA must submit any answer to the appropriate State Program Director identified in the written proposal to terminate for cause within the deadline specified in the proposal to terminate for cause.

(d) Within 10 calendar days of the expiration of the VISTA's deadline to answer the proposal to terminate for cause, the appropriate State Program Director shall issue a written decision regarding the proposal to terminate for cause.

(1) If the decision is to terminate the VISTA for cause, the decision shall set forth the reasons for the determination and the effective date of termination (which may be on or after the date of the decision).

(2) If the decision is not to terminate the VISTA for cause, the decision shall indicate that the proposal to terminate for cause is rescinded.

(e) A VISTA who does not submit a timely answer to the appropriate State Program Director, as set forth in paragraph (c) of this section, is not entitled to appeal the decision regarding the proposal to terminate for cause. In such cases, CNCS may terminate the VISTA for cause, on the date identified in the decision, and the termination action is final.

§ 2556.425 May a VISTA appeal his or her termination for cause?

(a) Within 10 calendar days of the appropriate State Program Director's issuance of the decision to terminate the VISTA for cause, as set forth above in § 2556.420(d), the VISTA may appeal the decision to the appropriate Area Manager. The appeal must be in writing and specify the reasons for the VISTA's disagreement with the decision.

(b) CNCS shall not incur any expenses or travel allowances for the VISTA in connection with the preparation or presentation of the appeal.

(c) The VISTA may have access to records as follows:

(1) The VISTA may review any material in the VISTA's official CNCS file and any relevant CNCS records to the extent permitted by the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, 552a. Examples of documents that may be withheld include references obtained under pledge of confidentiality, official files of other program participants, and privileged intra-agency documents.

(2) The VISTA may review relevant records in the possession of a sponsor to the extent such documents are disclosable by the sponsor under applicable freedom of information act and privacy laws.

(d) Within 14 calendar days of receipt of any appeal by the VISTA, the Area Manager or equivalent CNCS official shall issue a written appeal determination. The appeal determination shall indicate the reasons for such an appeal determination. The appeal determination shall be final.

§ 2556.430 Is a VISTA who is terminated early from the VISTA program for other than cause entitled to appeal under these procedures?

(a) Only a VISTA whose early termination from the VISTA program is for cause, and who has answered the proposal to terminate him or her for cause in a timely manner, as set forth in § 2556.420(c), is entitled to appeal the early termination action, as referenced in § 2556.425. A termination for cause is based on a deficiency, or deficiencies, in the performance or conduct of a VISTA.

(b) The following types of early terminations from the VISTA program are not terminations for cause, and are not entitled to appeal under the early termination appeal procedure set forth in §§ 2556.420 and 2556.425:

(1) Resignation from the VISTA program prior to the issuance of a decision to terminate for cause, as set forth in § 2556.420(d);

(2) Early termination from the VISTA program because a VISTA did not secure a suitable reassignment to another project; and

(3) Medical termination from the VISTA program.

Subpart F—Summer Associates Authority:

Secs. 104(d) and 104(e), Pub. L. 93-113, as amended.

§ 2556.500 How is a position for a summer associate established in a project?

(a) From time-to-time, the State Program Director invites sponsors within the state to apply for one or more positions for individuals to serve as summer associates at the sponsor's VISTA project.

(b) Subject to VISTA assistance availability, CNCS approves the establishment of summer associate positions based on the following factors:

(1) The need in the community, as demonstrated by the sponsor, for the performance of project activities by a summer associate(s);

(2) The content and quality of summer associate project plans;

(3) The capacity of the sponsor to implement the summer associate project activities; and

(4) The sponsor's compliance with all applicable parts of the DVSA, VISTA program policy, and the sponsor's Memorandum of Agreement, which incorporates their project application.

§ 2556.505 How do summer associates differ from other VISTAs?

Summer associates differ from other VISTAs in the following ways:

(a) Summer associates are not eligible to receive:

(1) Health care through a health benefits program provided by CNCS;

(2) Child care support through a child care program provided by CNCS;

(3) Payment for settling-in expenses; or

(4) Non-competitive eligibility in accordance with 5 CFR 315.605.

(b) Absent extraordinary circumstances, summer associates are not eligible to receive:

(1) Payment for travel expenses incurred for travel to or from the project site to which the summer associate is assigned; or

(2) A baggage allowance for the costs of transporting personal effects to or from the project site to which the summer associate is assigned to serve.

(c) CNCS may discharge a summer associate due to a deficiency, or deficiencies, in conduct or performance. Summer associates are not subject to Subpart E of this Part, or to the grievance procedures provided to VISTAs set forth above in sections 2556.345 through 2556.365.

Subpart G—VISTA Leaders Authority:

Sec. 104(b), Pub. L. 93-113, as amended.

§ 2556.600 How is a position for a leader established in a project, or in multiple projects within a contiguous geographic region?

(a) At its discretion, CNCS may approve the establishment of a leader position based on the following factors:

(1) The need for a leader in a project of a substantial size and with multiple VISTAs assigned to serve at that project, or the need for leader for multiple projects located within a contiguous geographic region.

(2) The need for a leader to assist with the communication of VISTA policies and administrative procedures to VISTAs within a project, or throughout the multiple projects within a contiguous geographic region, as applicable.

(3) The need for a leader to assist with the professional development of VISTAs within a project, or throughout the multiple projects within a contiguous geographic region, as applicable.

(4) The need for a leader to assist with the recruitment and preparation for the arrival of VISTAs within a project, or throughout the multiple projects within a contiguous geographic region, as applicable.

(5) The capacity of the VISTA supervisor to support and guide the leader.

(b) A sponsor may request, in its project application, that CNCS establish a leader position in its project.

§ 2556.605 Who is eligible to apply to serve as a leader?

An individual is eligible to apply to serve as a leader if he or she has successfully completed any of the following:

a) At least one year of service as a VISTA;

b) At least one full term of service as a full-time AmeriCorps State and National member;

c) At least one full term of service as a member of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC); or

d) At least one traditional term of service as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

§ 2556.610 What is the application process to apply to become a leader?

(a) Application Package: An eligible individual must apply in writing to CNCS to become a leader. The sponsor's recommendation and related materials, described below in 2556.610 (b) of this section, must be included with the individual's application to become a leader.

(b) Sponsor Recommendation: A sponsor where an individual is seeking to serve as a leader must recommend in writing to CNCS the individual to become a leader. Included with the recommendation must be an evaluation of the individual's performance while in previous service, a description of specific tasks, responsibilities, qualifications, and other relevant information that justifies the placement of the individual in a leader position, and if appropriate, the establishment of a leader position.

(c) Selection: CNCS shall have sole authority to select a leader. The criteria for selection shall include consideration of the individual's application and the sponsor's recommendation described in § 2556.610(b).

§ 2556.615 Who reviews a leader application? Who approves or disapproves a leader application?

CNCS reviews the application package for the leader position, considers the recommendation of the sponsor, and approves or disapproves the individual to serve as a leader.

§ 2556.620 How does a leader differ from other VISTAs?

The application process to apply to become a leader, as described in § 2556.610, is separate and distinct from the application process to apply to enroll as a VISTA in the VISTA program;

(a) A leader may receive a living allowance computed at a higher daily rate than other VISTAs, as authorized under section 105(a)(1)(B) of the DVSA.

(b) A leader is subject to all the terms and conditions of service described in § 2556.625 of this subpart.

§ 2556.625 What are terms and conditions of service for a leader?

Though not exhaustive, terms and conditions of service as a leader include:

(a) A leader makes a full-time commitment to serve as a leader, without regard to regular working hours, for a minimum of one year.

(b) To the maximum extent practicable, a leader shall live among and at the economic level of the low-income community served by the project and actively seek opportunities to engage with that low-income community.

(c) A leader aids the communication of VISTA policies and administrative procedures to VISTAs.

(d) A leader assists with the leadership development of VISTAs.

(e) A leader is a resource in the development and delivery of training for VISTAs.

(f) A leader may assist the sponsor with recruitment and preparation for the arrival of VISTAs.

(g) A leader may advise a supervisor on potential problem areas and needs of VISTAs.

(h) A leader aids VISTAs in the development of effective working relationships and understanding of VISTA program concepts.

(i) A leader may aid the supervisor and sponsor in directing or focusing the VISTA project to best address the community's needs.

(j) A leader may serve as a collector of data for performance measures of the project and the VISTAs.

(k) A leader is prohibited from supervising VISTAs. A leader is also prohibited from handling or managing, on behalf of the project, personnel-related matters affecting VISTAs. Personnel-related matters affecting VISTAs must be managed and handled by the project and in coordination with the appropriate CNCS State Office.

Subpart H—Restrictions and Prohibitions on Political Activities and Lobbying Authority

Secs. 104(a), 403, and 415(b), Pub. L. 93-113, as amended.

§ 2556.700 Who is covered by this subpart?

(a) All VISTAs, including leaders and summer associates, are subject to this Subpart.

(b) All employees of VISTA sponsors and projects, whose salaries or other compensation are paid, in whole or in part, with VISTA grant assistance are subject to this Subpart.

(c) All VISTA sponsors and projects are subject to this subpart.

§ 2556.705 What is prohibited political activity?

For purposes of the regulations in this subpart, “prohibited political activity” means an activity directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group.

§ 2556.710 What political activities are VISTAs prohibited from engaging in?

(a) A VISTA may not use his or her official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the result of an election.

(b) A VISTA may not use his or her official authority or influence to coerce any individual to participate in political activity.

(c) A VISTA may not use his or her official VISTA program title while participating in prohibited political activity.

(d) A VISTA may not participate in prohibited political activities in the following circumstances:

(1) While he or she is on duty;

(2) While he or she is wearing an article of clothing, logo, insignia, or other similar item that identifies CNCS, the VISTA program, or one of CNCS's other national service programs;

(3) While he or she is in any room or building occupied in the discharge of VISTA duties by an individual employed by the sponsor; and

(4) While using a vehicle owned or leased by a sponsor or project, or while using a privately-owned vehicle in the discharge of VISTA duties.

§ 2556.711 What political activities may a VISTA participate in?

(a) Provided that paragraph (b) of this section is fully adhered to, a VISTA may:

(1) Express his or her opinion privately and publicly on political subjects;

(2) Be politically active in connection with a question which is not specifically identified with a political party, such as a constitutional amendment, referendum, approval of a municipal ordinance, or any other question or issue of similar character;

(3) Participate in the nonpartisan activities of a civic, community, social, labor, or professional organization, or of a similar organization; and

(4) Participate fully in public affairs, except as prohibited by other Federal law, in a manner which does not compromise his or her efficiency or integrity as a VISTA, or compromise the neutrality, efficiency, or integrity of CNCS or the VISTA program.

(b) A VISTA may participate in political activities set forth above in paragraph (a) as long as such participation:

(1) Does not interfere with the performance of, or availability to perform, his or her assigned VISTA project duties;

(2) Does not interfere with his or her provision of service in the VISTA program;

(3) Is not conducted in a manner involving the use of VISTA assistance, resources or funds;

(4) Would not result in the identification of the VISTA as being a participant in or otherwise associated with the VISTA program;

(5) Is not conducted during scheduled VISTA service hours; and

(6) Does not interfere with the full-time commitment to remain available for VISTA service without regard to regular working hours, at all times during periods of service, except for authorized periods of leave.

§ 2556.712 May VISTAs participate in political organizations?

(a) Provided that paragraph (b) of this section is fully adhered to, and in accordance with the prohibitions set forth in § 2556.710, a VISTA may:

(1) Be a member of a political party or other political group and participate in its activities;

(2) Serve as an officer of a political party or other political group, a member of a national, State, or local committee of a political party, an officer or member of a committee of a political group, or be a candidate for any of these positions;

(3) Attend and participate fully in the business of nominating caucuses of political parties;

(4) Organize or reorganize a political party organization or political group;

(5) Participate in a political convention, rally, or other political gathering; and

(6) Serve as a delegate, alternate, or proxy to a political party convention.

(b) A VISTA may participate in a political organization as long as such participation:

(1) Does not interfere with the performance of, or availability to perform, his or her assigned VISTA project duties;

(2) Does not interfere with the provision of service in the VISTA program;

(3) Is not conducted in a manner involving the use of VISTA assistance, resources or funds;

(4) Would not result in the identification of the VISTA as being a participant in or otherwise associated with the VISTA program;

(5) Is not conducted during scheduled VISTA service hours; and

(6) Does not interfere with the full-time commitment to remain available for VISTA service without regard to regular working hours, at all times during periods of service, except for authorized periods of leave.

§ 2556.713 May VISTAs participate in political campaigns?

(a) Provided that paragraph (b) of this section is fully adhered to, and in accordance with the prohibitions set forth above in § 2556.710, a VISTA may:

(1) Display pictures, signs, stickers, badges, or buttons associated with political parties, candidates for partisan political office, or partisan political groups, as long as these items are displayed in accordance with the prohibitions set forth above in § 2556.710;

(2) Initiate or circulate a nominating petition for a candidate for partisan political office;

(3) Canvass for votes in support of or in opposition to a partisan political candidate or a candidate for political party office;

(4) Endorse or oppose a partisan political candidate or a candidate for political party office in a political advertisement, broadcast, campaign literature, or similar material; and

(5) Address a convention caucus, rally, or similar gathering of a political party or political group in support of or in opposition to a partisan political candidate or a candidate for political party office.

(b) A VISTA may participate in a political campaign as long as such participation:

(1) Does not interfere with the performance of, or availability to perform, his or her assigned VISTA project duties;

(2) Does not interfere with the provision of service in the VISTA program;

(3) Is not conducted in a manner involving the use of VISTA assistance, resources or funds;

(4) Would not result in the identification of the VISTA as being a participant in or otherwise associated with the VISTA program;

(5) Is not conducted during scheduled VISTA service hours; and

(6) Does not interfere with the full-time commitment to remain available for VISTA service without regard to regular working hours, at all times during periods of service, except for authorized periods of leave.

§ 2556.714 May VISTAs participate in elections?

(a) Provided that paragraph (b) of this section is fully adhered to, and in accordance with the prohibitions set forth above in § 2556.710, a VISTA may:

(1) Register and vote in any election;

(2) Act as recorder, watcher, challenger, or similar officer at polling places;

(3) Serve as an election judge or clerk, or in a similar position; and

(4) Drive voters to polling places for a partisan political candidate, partisan political group, or political party.

(5) Participate in voter registration activities.

(b) A VISTA may participate in elections as long as such participation:

(1) Does not interfere with the performance of, or availability to perform, his or her assigned VISTA project duties;

(2) Does not interfere with the provision of service in the VISTA program;

(3) Is not conducted in a manner involving the use of VISTA assistance, resources or funds;

(4) Would not result in the identification of the VISTA as being a participant in or otherwise associated with the VISTA program;

(5) Is not conducted during scheduled VISTA service hours; and

(6) Does not interfere with the full-time commitment to remain available for VISTA service without regard to regular working hours, at all times during periods of service, except for authorized periods of leave.

§ 2556.715 May a VISTA be a candidate for public office?

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, no VISTA may run for the nomination to, or as a candidate for election to, partisan political office.

(b) In accordance with the prohibitions set forth in § 2556.710, a VISTA may participate in elections as long as such participation:

(1) Does not interfere with the performance of, or availability to perform, his or her assigned VISTA project duties;

(2) Does not interference with the provision of service in the VISTA program;

(3) Is not conducted in a manner involving the use of VISTA assistance, resources or funds;

(4) Would not result in the identification of the VISTA as being a participant in or otherwise associated with the VISTA program;

(5) Is not conducted during scheduled VISTA service hours; and

(6) Does not interfere with the full-time commitment to remain available for VISTA service without regard to regular working hours, at all times during periods of service, except for authorized periods of leave.

(c) Provided that paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section are adhered to, and in accordance with the prohibitions set forth in § 2556.710, a VISTA may:

(1) Run as an independent candidate in a partisan election in designated U.S. municipalities and political subdivisions as set forth at 5 CFR part 733; and

(2) Run as a candidate in a non-partisan election.

§ 2556.716 May VISTAs participate in political fundraising activities?

(a) Provided that paragraphs (b)-(d) below of this section are fully adhered to, and in accordance with the prohibitions set forth in § 2556.710, a VISTA may:

(1) Make a political contribution to a political party, political group, campaign committee of a candidate for public office in a partisan election;

(2) Attend a political fundraiser; and

(3) Solicit, accept, or receive uncompensated volunteer services for a political campaign from any individual.

(b) A VISTA may participate in fundraising activities as long as such participation:

(1) Does not interfere with the performance of, or availability to perform, his or her assigned VISTA project duties;

(2) Does not interfere with the provision of service in the VISTA program;

(3) Is not conducted in a manner involving the use of VISTA assistance, resources or funds;

(4) Would not result in the identification of the VISTA as being a participant in or otherwise associated with the VISTA program;

(5) Is not conducted during scheduled VISTA service hours; and

(6) Does not interfere with the full-time commitment to remain available for VISTA service without regard to regular working hours, at all times during periods of service, except for authorized periods of leave.

(c) A VISTA may not knowingly:

(1) Personally solicit, accept, or receive a political contribution from another individual;

(2) Personally solicit political contributions in a speech or keynote address given at a fundraiser;

(3) Allow his or her perceived or actual affiliation with the VISTA program, or his or her official title as a VISTA, to be used in connection with fundraising activities; or

(4) Solicit, accept, or receive uncompensated individual volunteer services from a subordinate, (e.g., a leader may not solicit, accept or receive a political contribution from a VISTA).

(d) Except for VISTAs who reside in municipalities or political subdivisions designated under 5 CFR part 733, no VISTA may accept or receive a political contribution on behalf of an individual who is a candidate for local partisan political office and who represents a political party.

§ 2556.717 Are VISTAs prohibited from soliciting or discouraging the political participation of certain individuals?

(a) A VISTA may not knowingly solicit or discourage the participation in any political activity of any individual who has an application for any compensation, grant, contract, ruling, license, permit, or certificate pending before CNCS or the VISTA program.

(b) A VISTA may not knowingly solicit or discourage the participation of any political activity of any individual who is the subject of, or a participant in, an ongoing audit, investigation, or enforcement action being carried out by or through CNCS or the VISTA program.

§ 2556.718 What restrictions and prohibitions are VISTAs subject to who campaign for a spouse or family member?

A VISTA who is the spouse or family member of either a candidate for partisan political office, candidate for political party office, or candidate for public office in a nonpartisan election, is subject to the same restrictions and prohibitions as other VISTAs, as set forth in § 2556.713.

§ 2556.719 May VISTAs participate in lawful demonstrations?

In accordance with the prohibitions set forth in § 2556.710, VISTAs may participate in lawful demonstrations, political rallies, and other political meetings, so long as such participation is in conformance with all of the following:

(a) Occurs only while on authorized leave or while otherwise off duty;

(b) Does not include attempting to represent, or representing the views of VISTAs or the VISTA program on any public issue;

(c) Could not be reasonably understood by the community as being identified with the VISTA program, the project, or other elements of VISTA service; and

(d) Does not interfere with the discharge of VISTA duties.

§ 2556.720 May a sponsor approve the participation of a VISTA in a demonstration or other political meeting?

(a) No VISTA sponsor shall approve a VISTA to be involved in planning, initiating, participating in, or otherwise aiding or assisting in any demonstration or other political meeting.

(b) Any VISTA sponsor which, subsequent to the receipt of any CNCS financial assistance, including the assignment of VISTAs, approves the participation of a VISTA in a demonstration or other political meeting, shall be subject to procedures related to the suspension or termination of such assistance, as provided in Subpart B, §§ 2556.135 to 2556.140.

§ 2556.721 What disciplinary actions are VISTAs subject to for violating restrictions or prohibitions on political activities?

Violations by a VISTA of any of the prohibitions or restrictions set forth in this Subpart may warrant termination for cause, in accordance with proceedings set forth at §§ 2556.420, 2556.425, and 2556.430.

§ 2556.722 What are the requirements of VISTA sponsors regarding political activities?

(a) All sponsors are required to:

(1) Understand the restrictions and prohibitions on the political activities of VISTAs, as set forth in this Subpart;

(2) Provide training to VISTAs on all applicable restrictions and prohibitions on political activities, as set forth in this Subpart, and use training materials that are consistent with these restrictions and prohibitions;

(3) Monitor on a continuing basis the activity of VISTAs for compliance with this Subpart; and

(4) Report all violations, or questionable situations, immediately to the appropriate CNCS State Office.

(b) Failure of a sponsor to comply with the requirements of this Subpart, or a violation of the requirements contained in this Subpart by the sponsor or project, sponsor or project's covered employees, agents, or VISTAs, may be deemed to be a material failure to comply with terms or conditions of the VISTA program. In such a case, the sponsor shall be subject to procedures related to the denial or reduction, or suspension or termination, of such assistance, as provided in §§ 2556.125, 2556.130, and 2556.140.

§ 2556.723 What prohibitions and restrictions on political activity apply to employees of VISTA sponsors or projects?

(a) All employees of VISTA sponsors and projects, whose salaries or other compensation are paid, in whole or in part, with VISTA funds are subject to all applicable prohibitions and restrictions described in this Subpart in the following circumstances:

(1) Whenever they are engaged in an activity that is supported by CNCS or VISTA funds or assistance; and

(2) Whenever they identify themselves as acting in their capacity as an official of a VISTA project that receives CNCS or VISTA funds or assistance, or could reasonably be perceived by others as acting in such a capacity.

§ 2556.724 What prohibitions on lobbying activities apply to VISTA sponsors?

(a) No VISTA sponsor shall assign a VISTA to perform service or engage in activities related to influencing the passage or defeat of legislation or proposals by initiative petition.

(b) No VISTA sponsor shall use any CNCS financial assistance, such as VISTA funds or the services of a VISTA, for any activity related to influencing the passage or defeat of legislation or proposals by initiative petition.

Dated: April 24, 2015. Paul Monteiro, Director, AmeriCorps VISTA.
[FR Doc. 2015-09998 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 150211144-5144-01] RIN 0648-BE89 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Recreational Management Measures for the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; Fishing Year 2015 AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Proposed rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

NMFS proposes management measures for the 2015 summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass recreational fisheries. The implementing regulations for these fisheries require NMFS to publish recreational measures for the fishing year and to provide an opportunity for public comment. The intent of these measures is to constrain recreational catch to established limits and prevent overfishing of the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass resources.

DATES:

Comments must be received by 5 p.m. local time, on May 20, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0051, by either of the following methods:

Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0051, Click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields. Enter or attach your comments.

—OR—

Mail: Submit written comments to John Bullard, Regional Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930.

Instructions

Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

General Background

The summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries are managed cooperatively under the provisions of the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP) developed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, in consultation with the New England and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. The management units specified in the FMP include summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) in U.S. waters of the Atlantic Ocean from the southern border of North Carolina northward to the U.S./Canada border, and scup (Stenotomus chrysops) and black sea bass (Centropristis striata) in U.S. waters of the Atlantic Ocean from 35° 13.3′ N. lat. (the approximate latitude of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina). States manage these three species within 3 nautical miles (4.83 km) of their coasts, under the Commission's plan for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. The applicable species-specific Federal regulations govern vessels and individual fishermen fishing in Federal waters of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), as well as vessels possessing a summer flounder, scup, or black sea bass Federal charter/party vessel permit, regardless of where they fish.

Recreational Management Measures Background

The Council process for devising recreational management measures to recommend to NMFS for rulemaking is generically described in the following section. All meetings are open to the public and the materials utilized during such meetings, as well as any documents created to summarize the meeting results, are public information and posted on the Council's Web site (www.mafmc.org) or are available from the Council by request. Therefore, extensive background on the 2015 recreational management measures recommendation process is not repeated in this preamble.

The FMP established monitoring committees for the three fisheries, consisting of representatives from the Commission, the Council, state marine fishery agency representatives from Massachusetts to North Carolina, and NMFS. The FMP's implementing regulations require the monitoring committees to review scientific and other relevant information annually. The objective of this review is to recommend management measures to the Council that will constrain landings within the recreational harvest limits established for the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries for the upcoming fishing year. The FMP limits the choices for the types of measures to minimum fish size, per angler possession limit, and fishing season.

The Council's Demersal Species Committee and the Commission's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Management Board then consider the monitoring committees' recommendations and any public comment in making their recommendations to the Council and the Commission, respectively. The Council reviews the recommendations of the Demersal Species Committee, makes its own recommendations, and forwards them to NMFS for review. The Commission similarly adopts recommendations for the states. NMFS is required to review the Council's recommendations to ensure that they are consistent with the targets specified for each species in the FMP and all applicable laws and Executive Orders before ultimately implementing measures for Federal waters.

In this rule, NMFS proposes management measures for the 2015 summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass recreational fisheries consistent with the recommendations of the Council. All minimum fish sizes discussed are total length measurements of the fish, i.e., the straight-line distance from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail while the fish is lying on its side. For black sea bass, total length measurement does not include the caudal fin tendril. All possession limits discussed below are per person per trip.

Proposed 2015 Recreational Management Measures

NMFS is proposing the following measures that would apply in the Federal waters of the EEZ. These measures apply to all federally permitted party/charter vessels with applicable summer flounder, scup, or black sea bass permits, regardless of where they fish, unless the state in which they land implements measures that are more restrictive. These measures are intended to achieve, but not exceed, the previously established recreational harvest limits for these fisheries (December 30, 2014; 79 FR 78311). For summer flounder, we are proposing the use of state-by-state or regional conservation equivalency measures, which are the status quo measures; for scup, a 9-inch (25.4-cm) minimum fish size, a 50-fish per person possession limit, and an open season of January 1 through December 31; and, for black sea bass, a 12.5-inch (31.8-cm) minimum fish size, and a 15-fish per person possession limit for open seasons of May 15 through September 18 and October 22 through December 31. NMFS may implement more restrictive black sea bass measures, as recommended by the Council (i.e., a 14-inch (35.6-cm) minimum fish size, a 3-fish per person possession limit, and an open season of July 15-September 15), for Federal waters if the Commission is unable to develop and implement state-waters measures that, when paired with the Council's recommended measures, provide the necessary conservation to ensure the 2015 recreational harvest limit will not be exceeded. More detail on these proposed measures is provided in the following sections.

Summer Flounder Recreational Management Measures

NMFS proposes to implement the Council and Commission's recommendation to use conservation equivalency to manage the 2015 summer flounder recreational fishery. The 2015 recreational harvest limit for summer flounder is 7.38 million lb (3,347 mt). Projected landings for 2014 are approximately 7.33 million lb (3,324 mt), just below the recreational harvest limit for 2015. As a result, the 2015 recreational landings should be maintained relative to 2014 to prevent the recreational harvest limit from being exceeded.

Conservation equivalency, as established by Framework Adjustment 2 (July 29, 2011; 66 FR 36208), allows each state to establish its own recreational management measures (possession limits, minimum fish size, and fishing seasons) to achieve its state harvest limit partitioned by the Commission from the coastwide recreational harvest limit, as long as the combined effect of all of the states' management measures achieves the same level of conservation as would Federal coastwide measures. Framework Adjustment 6 (July 26, 2006; 71 FR 42315) allowed states to form regions for conservation equivalency in order to minimize differences in regulations for anglers fishing in adjacent waters.

The Council and Board annually recommend that either state- or region-specific recreational measures be developed (conservation equivalency) or that coastwide management measures be implemented to ensure that the recreational harvest limit will not be exceeded. Even when the Council and Board recommend conservation equivalency, the Council must specify a set of coastwide measures that would apply if conservation equivalency is not approved for use in Federal waters.

When conservation equivalency is recommended, and following confirmation that the proposed state or regional measures developed through the Commission's technical and policy review processes achieve conservation equivalency, NMFS may waive the permit condition found at § 648.4(b), which requires Federal permit holders to comply with the more restrictive management measures when state and Federal measures differ. In such a situation, federally permitted summer flounder charter/party permit holders and individuals fishing for summer flounder in the EEZ would then be subject to the recreational fishing measures implemented by the state in which they land summer flounder, rather than the coastwide measures.

In addition, the Council and the Board must recommend precautionary default measures when recommending conservation equivalency. The Commission would require adoption of the precautionary default measures by any state that either does not submit a summer flounder management proposal to the Commission's Summer Flounder Technical Committee, or that submits measures that would exceed the Commission-specified harvest limit for that state.

Much of the conservation equivalency measures development process happens at both the Commission and the individual state level. The selection of appropriate data and analytical techniques for technical review of potential state conservation equivalent measures and the process by which the Commission evaluates and recommends proposed conservation equivalent measures is wholly a function of the Commission and its individual member states. Individuals seeking information regarding the process to develop specific state measures or the Commission process for technical evaluation of proposed measures should contact the marine fisheries agency in the state of interest, the Commission, or both.

The Commission has implemented an addendum to its Summer Flounder FMP (Addendum XXVI) to continue regional conservation equivalency for fishing year 2015. The Commission has adopted the following regions, identical to the regions used in 2014: (1) Massachusetts; (2) Rhode Island; (3) Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey; (4) Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia; and (5) North Carolina. Each state within a region is required by the Council and Commission FMPs to have identical measures. In order to provide the maximum amount of flexibility and to continue to adequately address the state-by-state differences in fish availability, each state in a region is required to establish fishing seasons of the same length, identical minimum fish sizes, and identical possession limits. The Commission will need to certify that these measures, in combination, are the conservation equivalent of coastwide measures that would be expected to result in the recreational harvest limit being achieved, but not exceeded. More information on this addendum is available from the Commission (www.asmfc.org).

Once the states and regions select their final 2015 summer flounder management measures through their respective development, analytical, and review processes and submit them to the Commission, the Commission will conduct further review and evaluation of the submitted proposals, ultimately notifying NMFS as to which proposals have been approved or disapproved. NMFS has no overarching authority in the development of state or Commission management measures, but is an equal participant along with all the member states in the review process. NMFS retains the final authority either to approve or to disapprove the use of conservation equivalency in place of the coastwide measures in Federal waters, and will publish its determination as a final rule in the Federal Register to establish the 2015 recreational measures for these fisheries.

States that do not submit conservation equivalency proposals, or whose proposals are disapproved by the Commission, will be required by the Commission to adopt the precautionary default measures. In the case of states that are initially assigned precautionary default measures, but subsequently receive Commission approval of revised state measures, NMFS will publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing a waiver of the permit condition at § 648.4(b).

The 2015 precautionary default measures recommended by the Council and Board are for a 20.0-inch (50.8-cm) minimum fish size, a possession limit of two fish, and an open season of May 1 through September 30, 2015.

In this action, NMFS proposes to implement conservation equivalency with a precautionary default backstop, as previously outlined, for states that either fail to submit conservation equivalent measures or whose measures are not approved by the Commission. NMFS proposes the alternative of coastwide measures (18-inch (45.7-cm) minimum size, 4-fish possession limit, May 1-September 30 open fishing season), if conservation equivalency is not approved in the final rule.

Scup Recreational Management Measures

NMFS is proposing to implement the Council and Commission's recommended scup recreational management measures for 2015 in Federal waters. The proposed measures for the 2015 scup recreational fishery are: 9-inch (22.9-cm) minimum fish size; 50-fish per person per trip possession limit; and an open season of January 1 through December 31.

The 2015 scup recreational harvest limit is 6.80 million lb (3,084 mt). Estimated 2014 scup recreational landings are 4.46 million lb (2,023 mt); therefore, no reduction in landings is needed. The increase in the possession limit from 30 to 50 fish is intended to promote an increase in recreational scup fishing in order to more fully achieve, but not exceed, the recreational harvest limit.

Black Sea Bass Recreational Management Measures

NMFS is proposing to implement the Council's recommended recreational management measures to constrain landings for black sea bass. The 2015 black sea bass recreational harvest limit is 2.33 million lb (1,056 mt). The 2014 projected landings are 3.45 million lb (1,115 mt). This requires a 33-percent reduction in 2015 landings relative to 2014.

Recreational black sea bass catch occurs primarily in state waters in the states of New Jersey through Massachusetts (i.e., the northern region). Since 2011, the management measures in the northern region have been more restrictive than in Federal waters. The northern states, through the Commission process, are expected to implement measures to achieve a 33-percent reduction in landings from each state. This reduction, in combination with the Council's recommendation of maintaining the status quo measures in Federal waters, are intended to achieve, but not exceed, the recreational harvest limit and recreational annual catch limit in 2015. The southern region states (Delaware through Cape Hatteras, North Carolina) are expected to implement state waters measures that are identical to the proposed Federal measures.

In 2012, recreational black sea bass catch exceeded the annual catch limit of 2.52 million lb (1,143 mt) by 129 percent. In 2013, recreational black sea bass catch exceeded the annual catch limit of 2.9 million lb (1,315 mt) by 5 percent. Because the average catch exceeds the average annual catch limit, as described in the regulations, an accountability measure is applicable to the 2015 fishery. An accountability measure was implemented for the 2014 fishing year because of the 2012 overage. The proposed 2015 measures are functionally the same as those implemented last year to comply with the accountability measure (12.5-inch (31.8-cm) minimum size, 15-fish possession limit, and 201-day fishing season). Continuing these regulations preserves the accountability measure that was applied last year; as such, no further accountability measures are necessary for 2015.

We are proposing the Council's recommended Federal waters measures, a 12.5-inch (31.8-cm) minimum size, 15-fish possession limit, and open seasons of May 15-September 21 and October 22-December 31. This proposal is contingent upon the northern region, established under the Commission's Addendum XXV, implementing the required 33-percent reduction in their state regulations. If the northern region's measures do not meet the required reduction, NMFS is proposing the Council's default recommendation of a 14-inch (35.6-cm) minimum size, a 3-fish possession limit, and an open season of July 15-September 15 (i.e., a 63-day fishing season.)

Additional Regulatory Change

This rule would also clarify the regulations for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass to indicate that the the possession limits are per person, per trip. While it is clear in the FMP and subsequent amendments and framework adjustments that the possession limits are intended to apply for the entirety of a fishing trip, the regulations were less specific. This action would correct that oversight.

Classification

Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.

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

The Chief Council for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Council for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

The Council conducted an evaluation of the potential socioeconomic impacts of the proposed measures in conjunction with a supplemental information report. These analyses identified 856 federally permitted charter/party vessels in the Greater Atlantic Region that could be affected by the proposed change. However, only 350 federally permitted charter/party vessels are expected to participate in these fisheries this year. There were 326 unique business entities associated with those 350 vessels, 299 are classified as for-hire businesses, 22 are finfish businesses, and 5 are shellfish businesses. One of the shellfish businesses potentially impacted by this rule is considered a “large” shellfish business; all of the other businesses are considered “small” by the respective Small Business Administration's size standards. The proposed measure would continue the use of conservation equivalency for summer flounder, moderately increase the possession limit for scup in Federal waters, and implement a minor adjustment to the black sea bass recreational fishing season in Federal waters to account for a previous rulemaking. The proposed action would result in essentially status quo measures for these fisheries in Federal waters. Analysis conducted by the Council indicates that these measures would have a minimal, potentially slightly positive, impact on regulated entities.

Because this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared.

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

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Dated: April 27, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

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

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

16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

2. Section 648.106, paragraphs (a) and (c) are revised to read as follows:
§ 648.106 Summer flounder possession restrictions.

(a) Party/charter and recreational possession limits. Unless otherwise specified pursuant to § 648.107, no person shall possess more than four summer flounder in, or harvested from, the EEZ, per trip unless that person is the owner or operator of a fishing vessel issued a summer flounder moratorium permit, or is issued a summer flounder dealer permit. Persons aboard a commercial vessel that is not eligible for a summer flounder moratorium permit are subject to this possession limit. The owner, operator, and crew of a charter or party boat issued a summer flounder moratorium permit are subject to the possession limit when carrying passengers for hire or when carrying more than five crew members for a party boat, or more than three crew members for a charter boat. This possession limit may be adjusted pursuant to the procedures in § 648.102.

(c) Summer flounder harvested by vessels subject to the possession limit with more than one person on board may be pooled in one or more containers. Compliance with the possession limit will be determined by dividing the number of summer flounder on board by the number of persons on board, other than the captain and the crew. If there is a violation of the possession limit on board a vessel carrying more than one person, the violation shall be deemed to have been committed by the owner and operator of the vessel.

3. Section 648.107, paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:
§ 648.107 Conservation equivalent measures for the summer flounder fishery.

(a) The Regional Administrator has determined that the recreational fishing measures proposed to be implemented by the states of Maine through North Carolina for 2015 are the conservation equivalent of the season, minimum size, and possession limit prescribed in §§ 648.102, 648.103, and 648.105(a), respectively. This determination is based on a recommendation from the Summer Flounder Board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

4. In § 648.128, paragraphs (a) and (c) are revised to read as follows:
§ 648.128 Scup possession restrictions.

(a) Party/Charter and recreational possession limits. No person shall possess more than 50 scup in, or harvested from, per trip the EEZ unless that person is the owner or operator of a fishing vessel issued a scup moratorium permit, or is issued a scup dealer permit. Persons aboard a commercial vessel that is not eligible for a scup moratorium permit are subject to this possession limit. The owner, operator, and crew of a charter or party boat issued a scup moratorium permit are subject to the possession limit when carrying passengers for hire or when carrying more than five crew members for a party boat, or more than three crew members for a charter boat. This possession limit may be adjusted pursuant to the procedures in § 648.122.

(c) Scup harvested by vessels subject to the possession limit with more than one person aboard may be pooled in one or more containers. Compliance with the possession limit will be determined by dividing the number of scup on board by the number of persons aboard other than the captain and crew. If there is a violation of the possession limit on board a vessel carrying more than one person, the violation shall be deemed to have been committed by the owner and operator.

5. Section 648.145, paragraphs (a) and (c) are revised to read as follows:
§ 648.145 Black sea bass possession limit.

(a) During the recreational fishing season specified at § 648.146, no person shall possess more than 15 black sea bass in, or harvested from, per trip the EEZ unless that person is the owner or operator of a fishing vessel issued a black sea bass moratorium permit, or is issued a black sea bass dealer permit. Persons aboard a commercial vessel that is not eligible for a black sea bass moratorium permit may not retain more than 15 black sea bass during the recreational fishing season specified at § 648.146. The owner, operator, and crew of a charter or party boat issued a black sea bass moratorium permit are subject to the possession limit when carrying passengers for hire or when carrying more than five crew members for a party boat, or more than three crew members for a charter boat. This possession limit may be adjusted pursuant to the procedures in § 648.142.

(c) Black sea bass harvested by vessels subject to the possession limit with more than one person aboard may be pooled in one or more containers. Compliance with the possession limit will be determined by dividing the number of black sea bass on board by the number of persons aboard, other than the captain and the crew. If there is a violation of the possession limit on board a vessel carrying more than one person, the violation shall be deemed to have been committed by the owner and operator of the vessel.

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

Vessels that are not eligible for a moratorium permit under § 648.4(a)(7), and fishermen subject to the possession limit specified in § 648.145(a), may only possess black sea bass from May 15 through September 21, and October 22 through December 31, unless this time period is adjusted pursuant to the procedures in § 648.142.

[FR Doc. 2015-10434 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
80 86 Tuesday, May 5, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2014-0076] J.R. Simplot Co.; Availability of Preliminary Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Draft Environmental Assessment for Potato Genetically Engineered for Late Blight Resistance, Low Acrylamide Potential, Reduced Black Spot Bruising, and Lowered Reducing Sugars AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is making available for public comment a preliminary plant pest risk assessment and draft environmental assessment for InnateTM Potato designated as Russet Burbank event W8, which has been genetically engineered for late blight resistance, low acrylamide potential, reduced black spot bruising, and lowered reducing sugars.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before June 4, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2014-0076.

Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2014-0076, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

Supporting documents for this petition and any other information we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2014-0076 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.

Supporting documents for this petition are also available on the APHIS Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/biotechnology/petitions_table_pending.shtml under APHIS Petition Number 14-093-01p.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. John Turner, Director, Environmental Risk Analysis Programs, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 147, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 851-3954, email: [email protected] To obtain copies of the petition, contact Ms. Cindy Eck at (301) 851-3892, email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under the authority of the plant pest provisions of the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), the regulations in 7 CFR part 340, “Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is Reason to Believe Are Plant Pests,” regulate, among other things, the introduction (importation, interstate movement, or release into the environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant pests. Such genetically engineered (GE) organisms and products are considered “regulated articles.”

The regulations in § 340.6(a) provide that any person may submit a petition to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) seeking a determination that an article should not be regulated under 7 CFR part 340. APHIS received a petition (APHIS Petition Number 14-093-01p) from the J.R. Simplot Company (Simplot) of Boise, ID, seeking a determination of nonregulated status of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) designated as InnateTM W8, which have been genetically engineered to express reduced acrylamide potential, low black spot bruise, late blight resistance, and lowered reducing sugars. Acrylamide is a human neurotoxicant and potential carcinogen that may form in potatoes and other starchy foods under certain cooking conditions. The petition states that these potatoes are unlikely to pose a plant pest risk and, therefore, should not be a regulated article under APHIS' regulations in 7 CFR part 340.

According to our process 1 for soliciting public comment when considering petitions for determinations of nonregulated status of GE organisms, APHIS accepts written comments regarding a petition once APHIS deems it complete. In a notice 2 published in the Federal Register on November 10, 2014 (79 FR 66689-66690, Docket No. APHIS-2014-0076), APHIS announced the availability of the Simplot petition for public comment. APHIS solicited comments on the petition for 60 days ending on January 9, 2015, in order to help identify potential environmental and interrelated economic issues and impacts that APHIS may determine should be considered in our evaluation of the petition. APHIS received 130 comments on the petition; one of these comments included electronic attachments consisting of a consolidated document of many identical or nearly identical letters, for a total of 22,673 comments. Issues raised during the comment period include the contamination of conventional potato production, the potential for disruption of trade due to the presence of unwanted genetically engineered commodities in exports, the need for more research prior to approval of the petition, the potential for negative impacts to plant fitness and the environment, and health concerns. APHIS has evaluated the issues raised during the comment period and, where appropriate, has provided a discussion of these issues in our environmental assessment (EA).

1 On March 6, 2012, APHIS published in the Federal Register (77 FR 13258-13260, Docket No. APHIS-2011-0129) a notice describing our public review process for soliciting public comments and information when considering petitions for determinations of nonregulated status for GE organisms. To view the notice, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0129.

2 To view the notice, the petition, and the comments we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2014-0076.

After public comments are received on a completed petition, APHIS evaluates those comments and then provides a second opportunity for public involvement in our decisionmaking process. According to our public review process (see footnote 1), the second opportunity for public involvement follows one of two approaches, as described below.

If APHIS decides, based on its review of the petition and its evaluation and analysis of comments received during the 60-day public comment period on the petition, that the petition involves a GE organism that raises no substantive new issues, APHIS will follow Approach 1 for public involvement. Under Approach 1, APHIS announces in the Federal Register the availability of APHIS' preliminary regulatory determination along with its EA, preliminary finding of no significant impact (FONSI), and its plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) for a 30-day public review period. APHIS will evaluate any information received related to the petition and its supporting documents during the 30-day public review period.

If APHIS decides, based on its review of the petition and its evaluation and analysis of comments received during the 60-day public comment period on the petition, that the petition involves a GE organism that raises substantive new issues, APHIS will follow Approach 2. Under Approach 2, APHIS first solicits written comments from the public on a draft EA and PPRA for a 30-day comment period through the publication of a Federal Register notice. Then, after reviewing and evaluating the comments on the draft EA and PPRA and other information, APHIS will revise the PPRA as necessary and prepare a final EA and, based on the final EA, a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) decision document (either a FONSI or a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement). For this petition, we are using Approach 2.

As part of our decisionmaking process regarding a GE organism's regulatory status, APHIS prepares a PPRA to assess the plant pest risk of the article. APHIS also prepares the appropriate environmental documentation—either an EA or an environmental impact statement—in accordance with NEPA, to provide the Agency and the public with a review and analysis of any potential environmental impacts that may result if the petition request is approved.

APHIS has prepared a PPRA and has concluded that InnateTM Potato designated as Russet Burbank event W8, which has been genetically engineered for late blight resistance, low acrylamide potential, reduced black spot bruising, and lowered reducing sugars, is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk. In section 403 of the Plant Protection Act, “plant pest” is defined as any living stage of any of the following that can directly or indirectly injure, cause damage to, or cause disease in any plant or plant product: A protozoan, a nonhuman animal, a parasitic plant, a bacterium, a fungus, a virus or viroid, an infectious agent or other pathogen, or any article similar to or allied with any of the foregoing.

APHIS has also prepared a draft EA in which we present two alternatives based on our analysis of data submitted by Simplot, a review of other scientific data, field tests conducted under APHIS oversight, and comments received on the petition. APHIS is considering the following alternatives: (1) Take no action, i.e., APHIS would not change the regulatory status of InnateTM Potato designated as Russet Burbank event W8, or (2) make a determination of nonregulated status of InnateTM Potato designated as Russet Burbank event W8.

The EA was prepared in accordance with (1) NEPA, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).

In accordance with our process for soliciting public input when considering petitions for determinations of nonregulated status for GE organisms, we are publishing this notice to inform the public that APHIS will accept written comments on our draft EA and our PPRA regarding the petition for a determination of nonregulated status from interested or affected persons for a period of 30 days from the date of this notice. Copies of the draft EA and the PPRA, as well as the previously published petition, are available as indicated under ADDRESSES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above.

After the comment period closes, APHIS will review all written comments received during the comment period and any other relevant information. After reviewing and evaluating the comments on the draft EA and the PPRA and other information, APHIS will revise the PPRA as necessary and prepare a final EA. Based on the final EA, APHIS will prepare a NEPA decision document (either a FONSI or a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement). If a FONSI is reached, APHIS will furnish a response to the petitioner, either approving or denying the petition. APHIS will also publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing the regulatory status of the GE organism and the availability of APHIS' final EA, PPRA, FONSI, and our regulatory determination.

Authority:

7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

Done in Washington, DC, this 29th day of April 2015. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-10450 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of the Census Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice of Public Meeting.

SUMMARY:

The Bureau of the Census (U.S. Census Bureau) is giving notice of a meeting of the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee (FESAC). The Committee will advise the Directors of the Economics and Statistics Administration's (ESA) two statistical agencies, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the Census Bureau, and the Commissioner of the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on statistical methodology and other technical matters related to the collection, tabulation, and analysis of federal economic statistics. Last minute changes to the agenda are possible, which could prevent giving advance public notice of schedule adjustments.

DATES:

June 12, 2015. The meeting will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m. and adjourn at approximately 4:30 p.m.

ADDRESSES:

The meeting will be held at the U.S. Census Bureau Conference Center, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, MD 20746.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

James R. Spletzer, Designated Federal Official, Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Research and Methodology Directorate, Room 5K175, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233, telephone 301-763-4069, email: [email protected] For TTY callers, please call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 and give them the above listed number you would like to call. This service is free and confidential.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Members of the FESAC are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. The Committee advises the Directors of the BEA, the Census Bureau, and the Commissioner of the Department of Labor's BLS, on statistical methodology and other technical matters related to the collection, tabulation, and analysis of federal economic statistics. The Committee is established in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Title 5, United States Code, Appendix 2).

The meeting is open to the public, and a brief period is set aside for public comments and questions. Persons with extensive questions or statements must submit them in writing at least three days before the meeting to the Designated Federal Official named above. If you plan to attend the meeting, please register by Monday, June 1, 2015. You may access the online registration form with the following link: https://www.regonline.com/fesac_june2015_meeting. Seating is available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should also be directed to the Designated Federal Official as soon as known, and preferably two weeks prior to the meeting.

Due to increased security and for access to the meeting, please call 301-763-9906 upon arrival at the Census Bureau on the day of the meeting. A photo ID must be presented in order to receive your visitor's badge. Visitors are not allowed beyond the first floor.

Dated: April 29, 2015. John H. Thompson, Director, Bureau of the Census.
[FR Doc. 2015-10456 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Precanvass Operation for the 2017 Commodity Flow Survey AGENCY:

U.S. Census Bureau, Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

DATES:

To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before July 6, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to James Hinckley, Census Bureau, Room 6K057-South Building, Washington, DC 20233 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

The Census Bureau plans to conduct a Precanvass Operation in preparation for the 2017 Commodity Flow Survey to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the sample frame. The Commodity Flow Survey itself will be the subject of a later notice planned for publication in early 2016.

The Commodity Flow Survey, a component of the Economic Census, is the only comprehensive source of multimodal, system-wide data on the volume and pattern of goods movement in the United States. The Commodity Flow Survey is conducted in partnership with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, U.S. Department of Transportation.

The Commodity Flow Survey data are used by policy makers and transportation planners in various federal, state, and local agencies for accessing the demand for transportation facilities and services, energy use, and safety risk and environmental concerns. Additionally, business owners, private researchers, and analysts use the Commodity Flow Survey data for analyzing trends in the movement of goods, mapping, spatial patterns of commodity and vehicle flows, forecasting demands for the movement of goods, and determining needs for associated infrastructure and equipment.

In conducting the Precanvass, the Census Bureau will select a sample from U.S. manufacturing, mining, and wholesale establishments, enterprise support establishments, electronic shopping, mail-order houses, and publishing establishments. The Precanvass will determine if these establishments are engaged in shipping activities, and if so obtain an estimate of the annual value of those shipments, along with updating address and contact information for the 2017 Commodity Flow Survey. Those establishments that do not engage in shipping activity will be eliminated from the sample frame. Identification and elimination of the non-shippers will significantly improve the efficiency of the sample for the 2017 Commodity Flow Survey. In addition, those establishments excluded from the sample frame will be saved the added burden of receiving a 2017 Commodity Flow Survey questionnaire.

II. Method of Collection

The Census Bureau will mail letters to (a) enterprise support establishments in the Census Bureau's Business Register, and (b) the largest establishments in the industries listed in section I that are likely to be included in the 2017 Commodity Flow Survey. The estimated size of the Precanvass is 150,000 establishments. The size is subject to change to meet the goals of the survey, but will be no larger than approximately 150,000 establishments.

The Census Bureau will primarily use electronic data capture methodology, with occasional data capture from facsimile receipts, secured messaging attachments, and telephone call-in responses. Letter mailings and telephone follow-up will be conducted for the nonresponse cases. General information on shipping activity and value of shipments will be collected via check box style questions. Contact information will also be collected and used to improve the mailing and follow-up activities for the 2017 Commodity Flow Survey.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0607-0921.

Form Number(s): CFS-0001.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Businesses and other for-profit organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 150,000.

Estimated Time per Response: 5 minutes.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 12,500.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

Legal Authority: Title 13 U.S.C., sections 131, 182, 224 and 225; 49 U.S.C., section 111.

IV. Request for Comments

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

Dated: April 30, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
[FR Doc. 2015-10468 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration First Responder Network Authority [Docket Number: 140821696-5400-03] RIN 0660-XC012 Further Proposed Interpretations of Parts of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 AGENCY:

First Responder Network Authority, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The First Responder Network Authority (“FirstNet”) publishes this Third Notice to request public comment on certain proposed interpretations of its enabling legislation that will inform, among other things, consultation, forthcoming requests for proposals, interpretive rules, and network policies. This Third Notice responds to comments and further clarifies proposed interpretations related to the definition and scope of the term “public safety entity” as used in FirstNet's enabling legislation and as discussed in a previous FirstNet Notice published on September 24, 2014. With the benefit of the comments received from this Third Notice, FirstNet may proceed to implement these or other interpretations with or without further administrative procedure.

DATES:

Submit comments on or before June 4, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

The public is invited to submit written comments to this Third Notice. Written comments may be submitted electronically through www.regulations.gov or by mail (to the address listed below). Comments received related to this Notice will be made a part of the public record and will be posted to www.regulations.gov without change. Comments should be machine readable and should not be copy-protected. Comments should include the name of the person or organization filing the comment as well as a page number on each page of the submission. All personally identifiable information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Eli Veenendaal, First Responder Network Authority, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, M/S 243, Reston, VA 20192; 703-648-4167; or [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction and Background

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96, Title VI, 126 Stat. 256 (codified at 47 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.)) (the “Act”) established the First Responder Network Authority (“FirstNet”) as an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”). The Act establishes FirstNet's duty and responsibility to take all actions necessary to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of a nationwide public safety broadband network (“NPSBN”).1

1 47 U.S.C. 1426(b).

As detailed in our Notice entitled “Proposed Interpretations of Parts of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012” (79 FR 57058, September 24, 2014) (herein “the First Notice”),2 we preliminary concluded that key issues relating to the responsibilities and opportunities of FirstNet, other federal agencies, States and territories, and state, federal local, and tribal public safety entities, among other stakeholders, turn on interpretation of the Act's terms and provisions.

2 All responses to the First Notice are publically available at www.regulations.gov.

More specifically, we analyzed the complex definition of the term “public safety entity” under the Act.3 The primary ramification of falling within this definition is that a public safety entity is served by FirstNet directly, rather than as a commercial customer of a secondary user of FirstNet's spectrum. In particular, under our preliminary interpretations of network elements in the First Notice, public safety entities would be served by the FirstNet core network, through either a FirstNet radio access network (“RAN”) or the RAN of a State that has chosen to assume responsibility for RAN buildout and operation.4

3 79 FR 57060 (September 24, 2014).

4 79 FR 57059.

Generally speaking, the Act defines public safety entities by the types of services they provide (i.e., whether they provide public safety services).5 Those public safety services are further defined by, among other things, the nature of the services (such as the protection of life, health or property), but also the types of specific entities providing the services (such as emergency response providers).6 The end result is a complex, multi-layered definition of public safety entity.

5See 47 U.S.C. 1401(26).

6See id. § 1401(27).

Our analysis in the First Notice included the virtually self-evident preliminary conclusion that the definition of public safety entity includes traditional first responders—police, fire, and EMS.7 No commenter disagreed with this preliminary conclusion. The Act's definition of public safety entity, however, is expressly not limited to such traditional first responders. Thus, in the First Notice, we also analyzed the definition with regard to which entities beyond traditional first responders would qualify as public safety entities.8

7 79 FR 57061 (September 24, 2014).

8 79 FR at 57060-2.

The Act's public safety entity definition raises three primary interpretive questions regarding non-traditional first responders:

1. Whether an “entity” should be defined as a group or authority of a certain minimum size or nature (such as an entire government agency or department) or can an “entity” include a sub-group or an individual;

2. Whether and to what extent an “entity” that provides public safety services some, but not all the time, can qualify as a public safety entity; and

3. Whether and to what extent an “entity” that provides services close or related to, but not identical to traditional public safety services can qualify as a public safety entity.

These questions are not entirely severable from each other given the structure of the public safety entity definition in the Act.

In general, our preliminary interpretations in the First Notice permitted a wide variety of entities to qualify as public safety entities.9 Although our interpretations were met with strong support by the majority of respondents,10 some comments reflected a concern that we had expanded beyond the appropriate interpretation of the Act to include entities—such as utilities—that should not be given direct access to the network as public safety entities.11 While we continue to preliminarily conclude that the Act grants FirstNet discretion to consider a broad range of users consistent with FirstNet's mission, given the complexity of the Act's public safety entity definition and its importance to the functioning of the network and FirstNet's financial sustainability under the Act, we, in this Third Notice, propose a refined preliminary interpretation and seek additional comments regarding the definition.12

9See 79 FR at 57060-2.

10 We note FirstNet's preliminary interpretation that it has statutory discretion to consider a broad range of users including those that offer public safety services that satisfy the Communication Act or Homeland Security Act was strongly supported in responses to the First Notice. See e.g., National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (“NPSTC”) Comments at 6 available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0026; see also e.g., National Association of State Chief Information Officers (“NASCIO”) Comments at 1 available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0066; see also e.g., Comments of the State of Florida at 5 available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0013; see also e.g., Comments of the State of California at 2 available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0037.

11See AT&T Service, Inc. (“AT&T”), Comments, at 20, available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0034; See also Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International (“APCO”) Comments, at 4-6 available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0029.

12 We also note the definition of public safety entity is a critical component of both (1) the acquisition planning process as it provides key inputs into understanding the resources that will be derived from and available to qualifying public safety entities and (2) the successful implementation of our mission that, among other things, will require the promotion and adoption of the NPSBN by public safety entities.

II. Statutory Definition of Public Safety Entity

A “public safety entity” is defined in section 6001(26) of the Act as an “entity that provides public safety services.” 13 Further, under the Act, the term “public safety services”:

13 47 U.S.C. 1401(26).

(A) Has the meaning given the term in section 337(f) [of the Communications Act of 1934 14 (“Communications Act”)]; and (B) includes services provided by emergency response providers, as that term is defined in [section 2 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 15 (“HSA”)].16

14Id. § 337(f).

15 6 U.S.C. 101(6).

16 47 U.S.C. 1401(27) (emphasis added).

Section 337(f) of the Communications Act defines “public safety services” to mean services:

(A) The sole or principal purpose of which is to protect the safety of life, health or property;

(B) that are provided by (i) State or local government entities, or (ii) by non-governmental organizations that are authorized by a governmental entity whose primary mission is the provision of such services; and

(C) that are not made commercially available to the public by the provider.17

17Id.§ 337(f)(1).

Under the HSA, “emergency response providers” include “Federal, State, and local governmental and nongovernmental emergency public safety, fire, law enforcement, emergency response, emergency medical (including hospital emergency facilities), and related personnel, agencies, and authorities.” 18

18 6 U.S.C. 101(6).

III. Legal Scope Versus Discretion in Implementing the Definition of Public Safety Entity

In the First Notice, we noted that, if we determine it is reasonable and appropriate to do so in support of our mission, we may as a policy matter decide to narrow the scope of users we actually serve relative to those we can legally serve under the definition of public safety entity.19 Some commenters were troubled by this concept, indicating concern that FirstNet might elevate policy goals above the text and purpose of the Act and that FirstNet must implement the Act as written.20

19 79 FR 57060 (September 24, 2014).

20See AT&T Comments, at 12, available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0034.

We believe, however, that FirstNet's discretion as to which entities to allow onto the network is contemplated by and important under the framework of the Act. For example, given the finite nature of spectrum resources, the exercise of such discretion is necessary to ensure the proper functioning of the network, in addition to FirstNet's economic self-sustainability for the benefit of public safety. Moreover, such discretion is necessary to give meaning to, among other things, FirstNet's obligation to consult with regional, State, tribal, and local jurisdictions regarding the “assignment of priority and selection of entities seeking access to or use of the [network].” 21 If FirstNet did not possess this discretion, the stated consultation would be meaningless as FirstNet would simply be required to provide access to and use of the network to any entity that met the public safety entity definition regardless of the views of the consulted-with parties.22

21 47 U.S.C. 1426(c)(2)(A)(vi) (emphasis added).

22 We note that, as is discussed infra, the Communications Act prong of the public safety entity definition does provide for governmental entities to designate nongovernmental entities as public safety entities under certain criteria. The consultation obligation of 47 U.S.C. 1426(c)(2)(A)(vi) is not, however, limited to consultations on the selection of “nongovernmental” entities, but rather entities in general. Thus, we believe the consultation obligation must apply to all entities and that FirstNet must therefore have discretion with regard to all such entities.

Similarly, given the Act's express consultation obligations with respect to FirstNet's assignment of priority to entities using the network—which could effectively give FirstNet the ability to deprioritize entities even if they qualified under the definition—it would appear to make little sense for Congress to have intended a purely mechanical application of the public safety entity definition.23 Nor does the wording of the Act appear to suggest that FirstNet's consultation obligations are solely with respect to its legal interpretation of the term public safety entity. For example, FirstNet is required to establish wide-ranging network policies, including regarding the “practices and procedures of the entities operating on and the personnel using” the network.24

23See 47 U.S.C. 1426(b)(1); see also id. § 1426(c)(2) (describing FirstNet's consultation requirements under the Act).

24Id. § 1426(c)(1)(E)(ii).

Finally, although we preliminarily conclude that FirstNet may have discretion within the bounds of the public safety entity definition, we did not mean to imply in the First Notice any intent or legal authority to expand beyond the definition of public safety entity. We merely stated that FirstNet may “decide to narrow the scope of users it actually serves relative to those it can legally serve.” 25 We seek comments on the above interpretations.

25 79 FR 57060 (September 24, 2014) (emphasis added).

IV. Public Safety Entity Definition Overview

The public safety entity definition is dependent on the definition of public safety services, which is in turn dependent on two separate definitions from statutes outside the Act. Before trying to draw precise boundaries around any of these terms it is helpful to look at the overall definitional structure, particularly how the two extra-Act definitions interact within the definition of public safety services.

The term “public safety services”:

(A) Has the meaning given the term in section 337(f); and

(B) includes services provided by emergency response providers, as that term is defined in the HSA.26

26 47 U.S.C. 1401(27) (emphasis added).

In the First Notice, we ultimately interpreted the language of the Act as creating an either-or test. That is, the two prongs (“(A)” and “(B)” above) of the definition create a combined list of services, and a service that appears on list “(B)” is a “public safety service” independent of those on list “(A)”.27 We continue to believe that the “and (B) includes” language in the Act necessitates this result. Regardless of whether the word between the two prongs is “and” or “or,” the preamble combined with the second prong reads: “The term `public safety services' . . . includes services provided by emergency response providers. . . .”

27 79 FR 57060 (September 24, 2014).

Some commenters objected to this formulation, essentially arguing that the addition of the second prong “(B)” was merely to clarify the scope of prong “(A)” and did not expand it.28 Other commenters thought that, although prong “(B)” did expand “(A)”, those services included in prong “(B)” were of a lesser, more supplementary nature than those in “(A)” as a result of the “has the meaning” language in “(A)” in contrast to the “includes” language in “(B)”.29

28See AT&T Comments, at 16-7, available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0034.

29See APCO Comments, at 6, available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0029.

We continue to preliminarily conclude, however, that the more natural reading of the definition is as we concluded in the First Notice. Among other reasons, there are services expressly included in the second prong of the definition that are not included in the first. The HSA definition of public safety services (prong “(B)”) includes “Federal . . . personnel, agencies, and authorities.” 30 The section 337(f) definition of public safety services (prong “(A)”) includes only “State or local” governmental entities.31 Thus, the HSA definition adds an element—Federal personnel, agencies, and authorities—that is not contained within the section 337(f) definition.

30 6 U.S.C. 101(6).

31 47 U.S.C. 337(f)(1).

There are other similar additions to the section 337(f) definition provided by the HSA prong, such as “nongovernmental” entities that do not require separate authorization and hospital emergency facilities, which would not satisfy the section 337(f) requirement that public safety services “are not made commercially available to the public by the provider.” 32 In addition, the “sole and principle purpose” requirement of section 337(f), as discussed below, is not included in the HSA prong. Accordingly, if Congress were merely clarifying the definition in the section 337(f) prong, it would not have included an HSA prong that clearly expanded the definition beyond the boundary of the section 337(f) prong.

32See 6 U.S.C. 101(6); 47 U.S.C. 337(f)(1).

With regard to supplementing the section 337(f) definition, Congress did not qualitatively characterize services in the second prong other than to say that the definition “includes” services in that prong, and thus we cannot find justification for treating them differently or as lesser-included services.33 That Congress used the phrase “has the meaning” with regard to section 337(f) and not with the HSA prong does not sufficiently justify or guide us to such disparate treatment of the services under the HSA prong.

33 47 U.S.C. 1401(27).

As a result, we preliminarily conclude that the two prongs form a combined list, as discussed above, and seek further comments on this preliminary conclusion.

V. Requirement To Provide Public Safety Services

A public safety entity is defined in section 6001(26) of the Act as an “entity that provides public safety services.” 34 In the First Notice, we preliminarily concluded that the Act does not include any express language requiring a minimum amount or frequency of providing such services, but merely requires that an entity provide such services.35

34Id. § 1401(26).

35See 79 FR 57060 (September 24, 2014).

An example of where Congress required such a minimum amount of services is contained in the Communications Act prong of the definition of public safety services, where Congress used the phraseology “a governmental entity whose primary mission is the provision of such services.” 36 If Congress had used this phraseology in the Act—for example, “public safety entity means an entity whose primary mission is the provision of public safety services”—it would have been clear that the provision of a minimum amount of such services were necessary for an entity to qualify.37

36 47 U.S.C. 337(f)(1).

37 It is generally implicit that if an organization's primary mission is the provision of such services then the organization likely provides a great amount of such services.

This contrast is actually evident entirely within the Communications Act definition of public safety services itself. In describing the entities under section 337(f) of the Communications Act that must be providing a service for it to constitute a public safety service, Congress uses the phrase “that are provided by . . . State or local government entities.” In describing the entities that are permitted to authorize a nongovernmental entity to provide such services, however, Congress used the phrase “a governmental entity whose primary mission is the provision of such services.” 38 Thus, Congress used the “primary mission” limitation to impose a higher standard to qualify those entities allowed to authorize nongovernmental entities, but imposed no such standard on the governmental entities that could provide public safety services.39 No such higher standard was used in the Act with regard to public safety entities.

38 47 U.S.C. 337(f)(1) (emphasis added).

39 One commenter appears to mistakenly cite the “primary mission” limitation as applying to the nongovernmental organizations, rather than the governmental entities that are permitted to authorize nongovernmental organizations as described in 47 U.S.C. 337(f)(1). See AT&T Comments, at 16, available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0034.

Some commenters, however, advocated that the public safety entity definition should be read more holistically under the Act, rather than treating each portion of the definition—such as each services prong—as a separate interpretation that flowed up to the next stage.40 These comments reflect the difficulty in interpreting the public safety entity definition where the entity in question may not provide public safety services all the time or through all its personnel.

40 We note that this does not have to be the case. For example, one entity could provide a service part time that another provides full time. In other words, even if section 337(f) of the Communications Act imposed a primary mission requirement on the entity providing a service (which it does not), it is merely defining a service, and some other entity may only provide such a service part time.

For example, in the context of the Communications Act definition of public safety services, we noted in the First Notice that the FCC interpreted the provision to qualify services provided by governmental entities, such as city planning or transportation departments, so long as the services being provided had as their sole or principal purpose the protection of life, safety, or property.41 That is, under the FCC's interpretation of section 337(f), with which we agree, an entity that does not always or even most of the time provide services whose sole or principal purpose is the protection of life, safety, or property, may nevertheless provide qualifying “public safety services” when such an entity provides services that meet the sole or principal purpose test.42 However, unlike the context of the Communications Act definition of public safety services—where services can vary day-to-day or employee-to-employee—FirstNet is faced with the question under the Act as to whether an entity ever qualifies as a public safety entity by virtue of providing a public safety service in only some instances. Further, FirstNet must then address the question of whether such entity should always have primary access to or use of the FirstNet network as a result. This question applies regardless of whether the entity in question is an organization or an individual.

41See Service Rules for the 698-746, 747-762 and 777-792 MHz Bands, Fourth Report and Order, 26 FCC Rcd. 10799 (F.C.C. July 21, 2011) (Fourth Report and Order).

42 79 FR 57061 (September 24, 2014) (stating “FirstNet gives deference to the conclusions reached by the Commission in its interpretation of section 337(f)(1) and as independent entity owes no such deference) (emphasis added). In response to this preliminary interpretation, one commenter stated that “FirstNet's reliance on an FCC Order interpreting section 337 is misplaced, and FirstNet certainly need not afford the FCC `deference' in its interpretation. As an `independent authority,' FirstNet owes no such deference.” See APCO Comments, at 5, available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0029. However, as an independent authority, we simply agree with FCC interpretation. The FCC interpretation predated the Act and thus Congress is assumed to have been aware of the interpretation and could have limited the Act accordingly if it did not agree with the FCC interpretation.

In the context of an organization, FirstNet must also determine whether the organization qualifies as a public safety entity as a whole where in some or all instances the provision of public safety services is by only some employees or members of the organization. In other words, FirstNet must determine whether public safety entity status should apply to all employees or members of an organization if only some such employees or members provide public safety services.

In the First Notice, we preliminarily concluded that as long as an entity provided a non-de minimis amount of public safety services, even if it provides other services, it will qualify as a public safety entity under the Act.43 We also preliminarily concluded that this interpretation resulted in the entity as a whole qualifying as a public safety entity even if only some employees of the entity provided such services.44 After review of the responses to the First Notice, we clarify below our preliminary interpretation of the Act in this regard, and seek further comments.

43 79 FR 57060 (September 24, 2014).

44 79 FR at 57062.

1. Whether an Individual or Subgroup of an Organization Ever Qualifies as a Public Safety Entity

As an initial matter, we restate our preliminary conclusion from the First Notice here, for the reasons stated therein and below, that individuals such as volunteer firemen or employees of an organization (in addition to or rather than an organization as a whole) may qualify as public safety entities if they provide or are reasonably likely to provide public safety services. This preliminary interpretation applies whether the individual performs services that qualify under the section 337(f) or the HSA prong of the definition of public safety services.

Under the HSA prong of the definition, “personnel” (as contrasted with “agencies . . . and authorities”) are expressly included as service providers, and thus we believe it is reasonable to conclude that an “entity” under the Act performing such services should be interpreted to include individual “personnel.” 45 Although an organization could theoretically perform the same services as individual personnel, we believe it is reasonable under the structure and purposes of the Act to include individual personnel such as volunteer firefighters within the term “entity.” This interpretation is also supported by the Act's inclusion, via the HSA prong, of “hospital emergency facilities” but not hospitals in their entirety as emergency response providers. Congress contemplated that a group of employees smaller than a larger organization can provide public safety services, and thus in the context of the Act constitute public safety entities.

45 6 U.S.C. 101(13) (stating the term means officers and employees).

The section 337(f) prong of the public safety services definition speaks only in terms of “State or local government entities” or “non-governmental organizations.” This raises the question as to whether an individual or group smaller than the whole “entity” or “organization” can provide qualifying services and thus constitute public safety entities under the Act via the section 337(f) prong. In section 337(f), however, Congress included services provided by entities or organizations whose mission was not “primar[ily]” the provision of services the sole or principle purposes of which is the protection of life, health, or property. That is, these entities or organizations by definition may sometimes have other primary missions, but occasionally as a whole or through only some employees provide qualifying services. As a result, we preliminarily conclude that under the section 337(f) prong a public safety entity under the Act can include at least a group of employees smaller than a larger organization.46 We seek comments on the above interpretations and their collective effect on the definition of public safety entity.

46See Fourth Report and Order (discussing parts of organizations using services under the section 337(f) prong).

2. Overall Framework for Determining Public Safety Entities

As an overall framework for qualifying public safety entities, we first preliminarily conclude that where an organization as a whole is charged with providing, and does provide public safety services, the organization qualifies as a public safety entity and all members of the organization can (following consultation and within the discretion discussed in part III of this Third Notice) be given access to or use of the network under the Act. This preliminary conclusion is fairly clear under the Act and would apply to traditional first responder organizations, among others.

Next, with respect to organizations that do not meet the above criteria, we preliminarily conclude that those members of such an organization that provide or are reasonably likely to provide public safety services for a non-de minimis amount of time, qualify as public safety entities under the Act and can (following consultation and within the discretion discussed in part III of this Third Notice) be given access to or use of the network under the Act. For purposes of this interpretation, we preliminarily conclude that those members of such an organization that materially contribute to or help enable or support the provision of such public safety services—including, for example, dispatchers, technicians, and supervisors—by other members of the organization would also qualify as public safety entities. Interoperable communications with these enabling or support personnel could be critically important to the provision of public safety services by the primary providers in the organization, and thus we believe it is reasonable to include the enabling and support personnel within the definition.

We note that our preliminary interpretations are by necessity made based on the specific language, context and purpose of the Act. We must therefore interpret the definition of public safety entity by reference to the aggregation of services defined both by the section 337 and HSA prongs of the public safety services definition under the Act, rather than just either prong on a stand-alone basis, as may be required by other agencies in different contexts. In this regard, our interpretation as set forth above would apply regardless of whether the services provided qualified as public safety services under the section 337(f) prong or the HSA prong of the definition in the Act. For example, under the section 337(f) prong, those field and operations personnel of a governmental or authorized nongovernmental entity that provide emergency services the sole or principal purpose of which is to protect the safety of life, health or property would qualify as public safety entities, along with any necessary dispatchers etc.47 Additionally, those same field and operations personnel would also qualify as a public safety entity under the HSA prong because the nature of services being provided in response to such an incident would typically be the type of services performed directly by an emergency response provider or, at minimum, related personnel supporting such a response provider. For example, utility personnel removing dangerous downed electrical wires to permit firefighters to access victims in a car would be deemed public safety entities.

47 For a discussion of utilities as public safety entities under the Act, see part VI infra.

Under this refined preliminary interpretation, however, where an organization as a whole, such as a private utility, is not charged with providing public safety services, the entire organization would not necessarily qualify as a public safety entity. The extent to which the individuals or subgroups within the organization providing public safety services would qualify, or whether such individuals or subgroups are always permitted on the network, would be determined within FirstNet policies based on, among other factors, the advantages to the public and public safety of having such individuals always supported by and accessible on the network, the impact on FirstNet's financial sustainability as required by the Act and our consultations under the Act with the FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee, local first responders, and local jurisdictions.48

48 Some commenters expressed concern that the spectrum and network capacity allocated to public safety under the Act could be diluted in some way because of the inclusion of non-traditional first responders. See e.g., FirstNet Colorado Response to the Proposed Interpretations of Parts of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, at 9, available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0062; State of Florida Comments, at 9, available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0013. However, we believe the priority and preemption features of the network will ensure that traditional first responders will always have primary use of the network.

We recognize that implementation of the above framework may require certifications or other evidence of eligibility of certain customers or groups within organizations. Customer eligibility requirements for specialized services, including communications services, exist and are managed today in the industry. Nevertheless, in addition to comments regarding the above refined preliminary interpretation itself, we seek comments on the appropriate mechanisms for implementing this interpretation assuming it is ultimately adopted.

VI. Non-Traditional First Responders as Public Safety Entities

In the First Notice, we preliminarily concluded that many types of non-traditional first responders could qualify as public safety entities because they provided public safety services.49 For example, we generally agreed with the examples of public safety services cited by the FCC in its interpretation of section 337(f) and thus the entities providing those services would, under our preliminary interpretation, qualify as public safety entities.50 These examples included a range of services, provided by governmental entities, “the sole or principal purpose of which is to protect the safety of life, health or property,” including:

49 We recognize that separate priority and preemption parameters must be established even among the various entities, including traditional and non-traditional entities, which may qualify as a public safety entity under the Act and be allowed to use the NPSBN. We intend, as discussed in the First Notice, in the future and following appropriate consultations, to fully address the priority and preemptive use of and access to the NPSBN among the various user groups.

50 79 FR 57061 (2014).

1. Entities supporting airport operations when “ensuring the routine safety of airline passengers, crews, and airport personnel and property in a complex air transportation environment.” 51

51 Fourth Order and Report at 10808.

2. Transportation departments in the design and maintenance of roadways, the installation and maintenance of traffic signals and signs, and other activities that affect the safety of motorists and passengers.52

52Id. at 10808.

3. Entities protecting the safety of animals, homes, and city infrastructure, particularly in crisis situations.53

53Id. at 10809.

The FCC's interpretation of section 337(f) predated passage of the Act, and thus Congress is presumed to have knowledge of the interpretation and could have taken steps to modify the definition in the Act in light of the FCC's interpretation, but did not.54 In the First Notice, we sought comment on other entities providing services that would qualify as public safety services under the section 337(f) prong, and received examples such as:

54See Lorillard, Div. of Loew's Theatres, Inc. v. Pons, 434 U.S. 575, 580-581 (U.S. 1978) (explaining that “Congress is presumed to be aware of an administrative or judicial interpretation of a statute and to adopt that interpretation when it re-enacts a statute without change. So too, where, as here, Congress adopts a new law incorporating sections of a prior law, Congress normally can be presumed to have had knowledge of the interpretation given to the incorporated law, at least insofar as it affects the new statute”); see also Albemarle Paper Co. v. Moody, 422 U.S. 405, 414 n. 8 (1975); NLRB v. Gullett Gin Co., 340 U.S. 361, 366 (1951); National Lead Co. v. United States, 252 U.S. 140, 147 (1920).

1. Public Transit Agencies and Departments 2. Public Work Departments 3. Public electric and water utilities 4. Health Departments 5. Parks and Recreation Departments 55

55See, e.g., Illinois Public Safety Broadband Working Group Comments, at 6-9, available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0004; see also State of Idaho Comments, at 1-2, available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0063; see also Vermont State Wireless Commission Comments, at 1, available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0061.

Because both the section 337(f) and HSA prong of the public safety services definition include non-governmental entities in addition to governmental entities, we also sought comment on such non-governmental entities that would qualify and received similar examples such as: 1. Transportation Authorities 2. Electric and Water Utilities 3. Non‐governmental and private, and non‐profit and for‐profit organizations (e.g., health care institutions, ambulance companies, independent firefighting corporations) 4. Non‐government disaster relief and aid organizations (e.g., American Red Cross, Salvation Army) 5. Education Institutions 56

56See, e.g., State of Washington Interoperability Executive Committee Comments, at 1-2, available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0055; see also State of Maine ConnectME Authority Comments, at 2, available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0017; see also e.g, State of Oregon Comments, at 2-3, available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NTIA-2014-0001-0065.

In all cases, however, as discussed above, FirstNet is obligated to consult with regional, State, tribal, and local jurisdictions regarding the “selection of entities seeking access to or use of the [network].” 57 Although the First Notice (and this Third Notice) contributes to such consultations, FirstNet intends to conduct additional, direct consultations with State points of contact (“SPOCs”) regarding the selection of entities permitted on the network. FirstNet can then exercise the discretion discussed in Part III of this Notice in light of such consultations within the outer legal boundaries FirstNet draws around the definition of public safety entity.

57 47 U.S.C. 1426(c)(2)(A)(vi).

We preliminarily conclude, however, that subject to such consultation and in accordance with our above analyses in this Third Notice, the personnel or subgroups within a non-governmental organization qualify as public safety entities under the Act to the extent such personnel or subgroups provide public safety services as defined under either the section 337(f) prong or the HSA prong of the public safety services definition. This is merely stating the statutory framework under the Act with the addition of our conclusions above regarding whether personnel or subgroups can qualify as “entities” under the Act.

Regarding the section 337(f) prong, personnel, or subgroups of non-governmental organizations, if authorized under the terms of that section, provide qualifying public safety services under the Act if they provide services “the sole or principal purpose of which is to protect the safety of life, health or property” and those services are not “made commercially available to the public.” We preliminarily conclude, for example, that private utility workers that remove a live electrical wire touching a car at an accident scene is performing a service the principal purpose of which is to protect the safety of life.58 We also preliminarily conclude that such a service is not one that is typically “commercially available,” albeit incident to or as a result of a commercially available service of providing electricity. In the context of the Act, then, these services would qualify as public safety services, and therefor the workers providing such services would qualify as public safety entities as defined in the Act.59 We seek comments on these preliminary conclusions.

58 We note that most utilities are non-governmental entities. As such, we anticipate relying heavily on the authorization of personnel from such entities by “primary mission” first responders under the section 337(f) prong in determining which personnel should gain access to the network as public safety entities.

59 We note that the FCC has not independently determined whether utilities provide “public safety services” under section 337(f) for purposes of eligibility for direct licensing of spectrum in the 700 MHz public safety band, including the portion of that spectrum designated for public safety narrowband use. FirstNet's interpretation of section 337(f) and its determination with regard to “public safety entities” eligible as end users of the network, including utilities, is based on the specific requirements of the Act in their totality and is not intended to modify any interpretation or suggest any future treatment of section 337(f) by the FCC.

As mentioned, however, under the section 337(f) prong, such a private entity would have to be “authorized by a governmental entity whose primary mission is the provision of such services” to qualify as providing public safety services. We preliminarily conclude that in our State and local consultations under the Act regarding the “entities seeking access to or use of the [network],” traditional governmental fire, police, and EMS entities, as examples, may authorize non-governmental entity personnel and subgroups, and thus if such personnel or subgroups also meet the criteria described in part V. of this Third Notice, they would be public safety entities under the Act.60 We seek comments on this preliminary conclusion and the appropriate method and duration of such authorizations.

60See also First Report and Order and Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 14 FCC Rcd. 152,187-188.

Under the HSA prong, no such authorizations of non-governmental entities are necessary. Thus, if personnel or subgroups of non-governmental organizations qualify under the HSA prong as “emergency response . . . personnel” or personnel “related” to such emergency response personnel, they would also qualify as public safety entities under the Act. We thus preliminarily conclude, for example, that a private utility worker that removes a live electrical wire touching a car at an accident scene is performing a service typically provided by an emergency response provider, or, at a minimum, by related personnel supporting such a response provider. We also preliminarily conclude that, subject to further consultations mentioned above regarding entities seeking access to the network, non-governmental personnel involved in or supporting such emergency response activities, such as the utility worker described above removing an electrical wire, can legally qualify under the Act as public safety entities. We seek comments on these preliminary conclusions.

VII. Ex Parte Communications

Any non-public oral presentation to FirstNet regarding the substance of this Second Notice will be considered an ex parte presentation, and the substance of the meeting will be placed on the public record and become part of this docket. No later than two (2) business days after an oral presentation or meeting, an interested party must submit a memorandum with additional information as necessary, or to request that the party making the filing do so, if FirstNet believes that important information was omitted or characterized incorrectly. Any written presentation provided in support of the oral communication or meeting will also be placed on the public record and become part of this docket. Such ex parte communications must be submitted to this docket as provided in the ADDRESSES section above and clearly labeled as an ex parte presentation. Federal entities are not subject to these procedures.

Dated: April 27, 2015. Jason Karp, Acting Chief Counsel, First Responder Network Authority.
[FR Doc. 2015-10140 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-TL-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-904] Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014 AGENCY:

Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

SUMMARY:

In response to requests from interested parties, the Department of Commerce (“Department”) is conducting the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain activated carbon from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”) for the period of review (“POR”) April 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014. The Department preliminarily finds that subject merchandise has been sold in the United States at prices below normal value (“NV”) during the POR. The Department invites interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.

DATES:

Effective Date: May 5, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Bob Palmer or Frances Veith, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-9068, or (202) 482-4295, respectively.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Scope of the Order

The merchandise subject to the order is certain activated carbon. The products are currently classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) subheading 3802.10.00.1 Although the HTSUS subheading is provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the order remains dispositive.

1 For a complete description of the Scope of the Order, see “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Certain Activated Carbon from the People's Republic of China; 2013-14” (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”) from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, issued concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice.

Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

Based on an analysis of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) information, and no shipment certifications submitted by Sinoacarbon International Trading Co., Ltd. (“Sinoacarbon”), the Department preliminarily determines that Sinoacarbon had no shipments during the POR. For additional information regarding this determination, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

Consistent with our practice in non-market economy (“NME”) cases, the Department is not rescinding this review, in part, but intends to complete the review with respect to Sinoacarbon, for which it has preliminarily found no shipments, and issue appropriate instructions to CBP based on the final results of the review.2

2See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694, 65694-95 (October 24, 2011).

Methodology

The Department conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”). We calculated constructed export prices and export prices in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Because the PRC is a non-market economy (“NME”) within the meaning of section 771(18) of the Act, NV has been calculated in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.

For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. A list of the topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as an appendix to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov/login.aspx and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room 7046 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

Preliminary Results of the Review

The Department preliminarily finds that four companies subject to this review did not establish eligibility for a separate rate. As such, we preliminarily determine they are part of the PRC-wide entity.3 Because no party requested a review of the PRC-wide entity and the Department no longer considers the PRC-wide entity as an exporter conditionally subject to administrative reviews,4 we did not conduct a review of the PRC-wide entity. Thus, the rate for the-NME entity is not subject to change as a result of this review.

3 Those four companies are Ningxia Guanghua A/C Co., Ltd., Shanghai Astronautical Science Technology Development Corporation, Tangshan Solid Carbon Co., Ltd., and Zhejiang Xingda Activated Carbon Co., Ltd.

4See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963, 65969-70 (November 4, 2013).

For companies subject to this review which established their eligibility for a separate rate, the Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the POR from April 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014:

Exporter Weighted-
  • average dumping
  • margin
  • (U.S. dollars
  • per kilogram) 5
  • Jacobi Carbons AB 6 0.53 Datong Juqiang Activated Carbon Co., Ltd 0.00 Carbon Activated Tianjin Co., Ltd 0.53 Calgon Carbon (Tianjin) Co., Ltd 0.53 Datong Municipal Yunguang Activated Carbon Co., Ltd 0.53 Jilin Bright Future Chemicals Company, Ltd 0.53 Ningxia Guanghua Cherishmet Activated Carbon Co., Ltd 7 0.53 Ningxia Huahui Activated Carbon Co., Ltd 0.53 Ningxia Mineral and Chemical Limited 0.53 Shanxi DMD Corporation 0.53 Shanxi Industry Technology Trading Co., Ltd 0.53 Shanxi Sincere Industrial Co., Ltd 0.53 Tancarb Activated Carbon Co., Ltd 0.53 Tianjin Channel Filters Co., Ltd 0.53 Tianjin Maijin Industries Co., Ltd 0.53
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose calculations performed for these preliminary results to the parties within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    5 In the second administrative review of the Order, the Department determined that it would calculate per-unit weighted-average dumping margins and assessment rates for all future reviews. See Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China: Final Results and Partial Rescission of Second Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 75 FR 70208, 70211 (November 17, 2010). See also Notice of Antidumping Duty Order: Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China, 72 FR 20988 (April 27, 2007) (“Order”).

    6 In the third administrative review, the Department found that Jacobi Carbons AB, Tianjin Jacobi International Trading Co. Ltd., and Jacobi Carbons Industry (Tianjin) are a single entity and, because there were no changes to the facts which supported that decision since that determination was made, we continue to find that these companies are part of a single entity for this administrative review. See Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China: Final Results and Partial Rescission of Third Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 76 FR 67142 (October 31, 2011); Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China; 2010-2011; Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 77 FR 67337, 67338 (November 9, 2012); Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China; 2011-2012; Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 78 FR 70533, 70535 (November 26, 2013); Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2012-2013, 79 FR 70163, 70165 (November 25, 2014).

    7 In the first administrative review, the Department found that Beijing Pacific Activated Carbon Products Co., Ltd., Ningxia Guanghua Cherishmet Activated Carbon Co., Ltd., and Ningxia Guanghua Activated Carbon Co., Ltd. are a single entity and, because there were no changes to the facts which supported that decision since that determination, we continue to find that these companies are part of a single entity for this administrative review. See Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Extension of Time Limits for the Final Results, 74 FR 21317 (May 7, 2009), unchanged in First Administrative Review of Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 74 FR 57995 (November 10, 2009); and Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 2011-2012, 78 FR 70533 (November 26, 2013) at footnote 33; Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2012-2013, 79 FR 70163, 70165 (November 25, 2014).

    Interested parties may submit written comments in the form of case briefs within 30 days of publication of the preliminary results and rebuttal comments in the form of rebuttal briefs within five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.8 Rebuttal briefs must be limited to issues raised in the case briefs.9 Parties who submit arguments are requested to submit with the argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.10

    8See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii) and 351.309(d)(1); see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    9See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(2).

    10See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address and telephone number; (2) The number of participants; and (3) A list of issues parties intend to discuss. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case and rebuttal briefs.11 If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a date and time to be determined.12 Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    11See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    12See 19 CFR 351.310(d).

    All submissions, with limited exceptions, must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by 5 p.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) on the due date. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with the APO/Dockets Unit in Room 18022 and stamped with the date and time of receipt by 5 p.m. ET on the due date.

    Unless otherwise extended, the Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, which will include the results of its analysis of issues raised in any briefs, within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, the Department will determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.13 The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of the final results of this review. For any individually examined respondent whose (estimated) ad valorem weighted-average dumping margin is not zero or de minimis (i.e., less than 0.50 percent) in the final results of this review, the Department will calculate importer-specific assessment rates on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales and the total quantity of those sales, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).14 The Department will also calculate (estimated) ad valorem importer-specific assessment rates with which to assess whether the per-unit assessment rate is de minimis. We will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review when the importer-specific ad valorem assessment rate calculated in the final results of this review is not zero or de minimis. Where either the respondent's ad valorem weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, or an importer-specific ad valorem assessment rate is zero or de minimis, 15 we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.

    13See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    14 In these preliminary results, the Department applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    15See 19 CFR 351.106(c)(2).

    For entries that were not reported in the U.S. sales data submitted by companies individually examined during this review, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate such entries at the rate for the PRC-wide entity.16 Additionally, if the Department determines that an exporter under review had no shipments of the subject merchandise, any suspended entries that entered under that exporter's case number (i.e., at that exporter's rate) will be liquidated at the rate for the PRC-wide entity.17

    16Id.

    17Id.

    In accordance with section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act, the final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise covered by the final results of this review and for future deposits of estimated antidumping duties, where applicable.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for shipments of the subject merchandise from the PRC entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For each specific company listed in the final results of review, the cash deposit rate will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margin established in the final results of this review (except, if the rate is de minimis, then cash deposit rate will be zero); (2) for previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters not listed above that received a separate rate in the completed segment of this proceeding for the most recent period, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the existing exporter-specific cash deposit rate; (3) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate for the PRC-wide entity; and (4) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter that supplied that non-PRC exporter. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this POR. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This administrative review and notice are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: April 29, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background a. Initiation b. Respondent Selection c. Questionnaires d. Scope of the Order 3. Discussion of the Methodology a. Preliminary Determination of No Shipments b. Non-Market Economy Country c. Separate Rates d. Affiliation and Collapsing e. Weighted-Average Dumping Margin for Non-Examined Separate Rate Companies f. Surrogate Country and Surrogate Value Data g. Facts Available for Normal Value h. Date of Sale i. Comparisons to Normal Value j. U.S. Price k. Normal Value l. Currency Conversion 4. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2015-10508 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [Docket No. 150416372-5372-01] DEPARTMENT OF STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Information on Claims Raised About State-Owned Airlines in Qatar and the UAE AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce; Transportation Affairs, Bureau for Economic and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Office of Aviation and International Affairs, U.S. Department of Transportation.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces that the Departments of Commerce, State, and Transportation are interested in obtaining from interested stakeholders information regarding their views on claims that three foreign airlines—Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways—have received and are benefitting from subsidies from their homeland governments that are distorting the global aviation market.

    DATES:

    The comment period for this notice is now open and will remain open for the foreseeable future. As explained below, however, anyone interested in providing input to the Departments before they determine what actions should be taken, if any, should submit information as soon as practicable.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. You may submit comments in any (or all) of the three docket numbers open for comment:

    • DOT-OST-2015-0082 • DOS-2015-0016 • DOC-2015-0001
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eugene Alford, Office of Supply Chain, Professional & Business Services, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce (Phone: (202) 482-5071 or Email: [email protected]). Robert Newsome, Transportation Affairs, Bureau for Economic and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State (Phone: (202) 647-7540 or Email: [email protected]). Reese Davidson, Office of International Aviation, Office of Aviation and International Affairs, U.S. Department of Transportation (Phone: (202) 366-8161 or Email: [email protected]). Claire McKenna, Office of Operations, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Transportation (Phone: (202) 366-0365 or Email: [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The U.S. Departments of Commerce, State, and Transportation are reviewing claims that three foreign airlines—Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways—have received and are benefitting from subsidies from their respective governments of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar that are distorting the global aviation market. The claims, which are asserted in a publicly available report, are of significant interest to stakeholders and all three Federal agencies. The U.S. government takes seriously the concerns raised in the report and is interested in receiving insights and feedback from stakeholders before any decisions are made regarding what action, if any, should be taken. Accordingly, consistent with the Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative and commitment to transparency, public participation, and collaboration, the three Departments are announcing the establishment of an open forum by which any interested stakeholder may submit information regarding their views on this subject and have access to such information submitted by other interested stakeholders.

    Any interested person or group may submit information, responses to existing materials, or any other analysis that they might wish to provide the U.S. government on this subject on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Each Department will have a corresponding number—listed below—on www.regulations.gov, and all submissions will be reviewed jointly by the interagency team.

    No provision has been made for submission of confidential material to these dockets. The materials in the docket will not be edited to remove identifying or contact information. The Departments caution against including any information in an electronic submission that one does not want publicly disclosed.

    All correspondence on this subject received by the Departments after the issuance of this notice will be considered part of this submission process and will be posted in www.regulations.gov for the benefit of the public, unless the submitter has requested and been granted confidential treatment of commercial information by the Departments. To the extent allowed by law, the Departments will protect trade secrets and confidential commercial or financial information from disclosure, and will follow their established procedures under the Freedom of Information Act, Executive Order 12600, and the relevant Department regulations for handling requests that seek disclosure of confidential business information.

    Any stakeholder that has previously submitted letters on this matter to the Departments can also submit such previous correspondence to the www.regulations.gov Web site. All material posted will be deemed to be public and freely accessible by any interested person.

    The three Departments encourage submissions to be made as soon as practicable, as review of any new material submitted to the joint docket is expected to begin by the end of May, to supplement the U.S. government's ongoing review and evaluation of this matter.

    To submit a comment, please visit www.regulations.gov and enter one of the below docket numbers in the search field:

    • DOT-OST-2015-0082 • DOS-2015-0016 • DOC-2015-0001 Dated: April 27, 2015. Ted Dean, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services, Department of Commerce. Dated: April 27, 2015. Thomas Engle, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Affairs, Department of State. Dated: April 29, 2015. Brandon M. Belford, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, Department of Transportation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10425 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD928 Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS and the Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop (SAW) will convene the 60th SAW Stock Assessment Review Committee for the purpose of reviewing stock assessments of scup and the bluefish. The Northeast Regional SAW is a formal scientific peer-review process for evaluating and presenting stock assessment results to managers for fish stocks in the offshore US waters of the northwest Atlantic. Assessments are prepared by SAW working groups and reviewed by an independent panel of stock assessment experts called the Stock Assessment Review Committee, or SARC. The public is invited to attend the presentations and discussions between the review panel and the scientists who have participated in the stock assessment process.

    DATES:

    The public portion of the Stock Assessment Review Committee Meeting will be held from June 2 through June 5, 2015. The meeting will commence on June 2, 2015 at 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Please see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for the daily meeting agenda.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in the S.H. Clark Conference Room in the Aquarium Building of the National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), 166 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sheena Steiner, 508-495-2177; email: [email protected]; or, James Weinberg, 508-495-2352; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For further information, please visit the NEFSC Web site at http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/. For additional information about the SARC meeting and the stock assessment review of scup and bluefish, please visit the NMFS/NEFSC SAW Web site at: http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/saw/.

    Daily Meeting Agenda—SAW/SARC 60 Benchmark Stock Assessments for Scup and Bluefish Tuesday, June 2 10-10:30 a.m. Welcome, James Weinberg, SAW Chair Introductions, Cynthia Jones, SARC Chair 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Scup Assessment Presentation, Mark Terceiro 3:45-5:45 p.m.  Scup SARC Discussion, Cynthia Jones 5:45-6 p.m. Public Comments Wednesday, June 3 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bluefish Assessment Presentation, Tony Wood 1:30-3:30 p.m. Bluefish SARC Discussion, Cynthia Jones 3:30-3:45 p.m. Public Comments 4-6 p.m. Revisit Scup Discussion, Cynthia Jones Thursday, June 4 8:30-10:30 a.m. Revisit Bluefish Discussion, Cynthia Jones 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Review/Edit Scup Assessment Summary Report, Cynthia Jones 3-6 p.m. Review/Edit Bluefish Assessment Summary Report, Cynthia Jones Friday, June 5 9 a.m.-5 p.m. SARC Report Writing, Team Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Special requests should be directed to Sheena Steiner at the NEFSC, 508-495-2177, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: April 29, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10435 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Southeast Region Permit Family of Forms AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before July 6, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Anik Clemens, (727) 551-5611 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    This request is for revision of a currently approved information collection.

    The collection consists of vessel and dealer permits that are part of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) program to manage fisheries in the Southeast Region. The fisheries in the Southeast Region are managed under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) (16 U.S.C. 1801) and regulations at 50 CFR part 622, 50 CFR part 635 and 50 CFR part 300. NMFS issues permits to fishing vessels and dealers in order to collect information necessary to comply with domestic and international fisheries obligations, secure compliance with regulations, and disseminate necessary information.

    This revision would amend the “Federal Permit Application for Vessels Fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)” to add the collection of an International Maritime Organization/Lloyd's Registry (IMO/LR) number to the permit application for commercial HMS vessels ≥ 20 meters (65' 7”) in length that are obtaining or renewing a HMS limited access permit, including the Atlantic tuna longline, shark incidental, shark directed, swordfish incidental, swordfish directed, and swordfish handgear permits. The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) approved a recommendation (13-13) for Contracting Parties to require commercial vessels ≥ 20 meters (65′ 7″) in length to obtain an IMO/LR number from IHS/Fairplay by no later than January 1, 2016. Permit applications that do not contain the required supporting documents will be considered incomplete.

    This revision would also change the Report for the Deposit or Harvest of Aquacultured Live Rock by adding language to the instructions, specifically, “If not originally approved, then provide a new sample of rock,” adding the USCG documentation number or state registration number for the primary vessel the permit is used on, changing the wording in the instructions for the box describing the deposited material to include the “type and specific geographic origin” of the material, and adding a yes/no check box for whether a sample of the deposit material has been provided to NMFS.

    II. Method of Collection

    The requirement for commercial HMS vessels to obtain an IMO/LR number is accomplished by accessing a secure Internet automated system supported by IHS/Fairplay (http://www.imonumbers.lrfairplay.com/). Applicants may fill out and submit an application electronically. This automated system is available on a 7 day/24 hour basis, and the IMO/LR number is available at no additional charge to the permit holder. The Report for the Deposit or Harvest of Aquacultured Live Rock can be obtained online at the Southeast Region's Web site (http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/permits/permits.htm). This Web site allows the public to obtain a copy of this form, complete it electronically, download it, and print it out.

    The Southeast Region's Web site also includes other forms under this collection, including the vessel permit application and the dealer permit application, which can be downloaded and completed electronically, and printed. There is also an option now to complete a vessel permit application online and submit it online, for certain fisheries. All other permitting requirements are currently still paper forms.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0205.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (revision of a currently approved collection).

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit organizations; individuals or households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 13,664.

    Estimated Time per Response: 30 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 6,172.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $539,949.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10458 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD926 International Pacific Halibut Commission Appointments AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; call for nominations.

    SUMMARY:

    In January 2013, NOAA Fisheries publicly solicited nominations for two presidential appointments to serve as U.S. Commissioners to the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). This multi-step nomination process provided for extensive participation by stakeholders in the Pacific halibut fishery and resulted in the appointment of two highly qualified individuals to serve in this important position. U.S. Commissioners to the IPHC Commission are appointed for a term not to exceed 2 years, but are eligible for reappointment. In order to ensure that the views of relevant stakeholders and others with an on-going interest in the Pacific halibut fishery are adequately reflected, NOAA is again soliciting nominations for two individuals to serve as U.S. Commissioners to the IPHC. Nominations are open to all qualified individuals and may include current Commissioners.

    DATES:

    Nominations must be received by June 4, 2015. A list of nominees will be published on the NMFS Alaska Regional Office Web site (http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/) by June 9, 2015. Public comments relating to this list of nominees will be accepted until by July 9, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Nominations for U.S. Commissioners to the IPHC may be made in writing to Mr. Patrick E. Moran, Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, National Marine Fisheries Service, at 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Nominations may also be sent via fax (301-713-2313) or email ([email protected]). Please send all public comments via email to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Patrick E. Moran, (301) 427-8370.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The IPHC is a bilateral regional fishery management organization established pursuant to the Convention between Canada and the United States for the Preservation of the Halibut Fishery of the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea (Convention). The Convention was signed at Ottawa, Ontario, on March 2, 1953, and was amended by a Protocol Amending the Convention signed at Washington, DC, on March 29, 1979. The Convention's central objective is to develop the stocks of Pacific halibut in waters off the west coasts of Canada and the United States to levels that will permit the optimum yield from the Pacific halibut fishery and to maintain the stocks at those levels. The IPHC fulfills this objective in part by recommending Pacific halibut fishery conservation and management measures for approval by the United States and Canada. Pursuant to the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the Secretary of State, with the concurrence of the Secretary of Commerce, may accept or reject, on behalf of the United States, conservation and management measures recommended by the IPHC. 16 U.S.C. 773b. Measures accepted by the Secretary of State are adopted as binding regulations governing fishing for Pacific halibut in Convention waters of the United States. 16 U.S.C. 773c(b)(1). More information on the IPHC can be found at http://www.iphc.int.

    Section 773a of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (16 U.S.C. 773a) requires that the United States be represented on the IPHC by three U.S. Commissioners. U.S. Commissioners are appointed for a term not to exceed 2 years, but are eligible for reappointment. Of the Commissioners:

    (1) One must be an official of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and

    (2) Two must be knowledgeable or experienced concerning the Northern Pacific halibut fishery; of these, one must be a resident of Alaska and the other shall be a nonresident of Alaska. Of the three commissioners described in paragraphs (1) and (2), one must also be a voting member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

    (3) Commissioners who are not Federal employees are not considered to be Federal employees except for the purposes of injury compensation or tort claims liability as provided in section 8101 et seq. of title 5 and section 2671 et seq. of title 28.

    In their official IPHC duties, Commissioners represent the interests of the United States and all of its stakeholders in the Pacific halibut fishery. These duties require a modest amount of travel (typically two or three trips per year lasting less than a week), and travel expenses are paid by the U.S. Department of State. Commissioners receive no compensation for their services.

    Nomination Process

    NOAA Fisheries is currently accepting nominations for two U.S. Commissioners for the IPHC who are not officials of NOAA. Successful nominees will be considered for appointment by the President and (pending Presidential action) interim designation by the Department of State. Nomination packages should provide details of an individual's knowledge and experience in the Pacific halibut fishery. Examples of such knowledge and/or experience could include (but are not limited to) such activities as: Participation in commercial, tribal, Community Development Quota (CDQ) and/or sport and charterboat halibut fishing operations; participation in halibut processing operations; and participation in Pacific halibut management activities.

    Nomination packages should document an individual's qualifications and state of residence. Self-nominations are acceptable, and current and former IPHC Commissioners are eligible for reappointment. Résumés, curriculum vitae, and/or letters of recommendation are useful but not required. Nomination packages will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by officials in NOAA and the Department of Commerce who are familiar with the duties and responsibilities of IPHC Commissioners; evaluations will consider the aggregate of an individual's prior experience and knowledge of the Pacific halibut fishery, residency requirements, and any letters of recommendation provided. Nominees will be notified of their status (including rejection or approval) and any need for further information once the nomination process is complete.

    Dated: April 29, 2015. John Henderschedt, Director, Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10507 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Market Risk Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announces that on June 2, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Market Risk Advisory Committee (MRAC) will hold a public meeting at the CFTC's Washington, DC, headquarters. The MRAC will discuss issues related to: (1) The appropriate industry response to current and potential cybersecurity threats; and (2) the concentration of Futures Commission Merchants, and its effect on, and other factors currently affecting, market liquidity.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on June 2, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Members of the public who wish to submit written statements in connection with the meeting should submit them by June 16, 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 “Market Risk 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:

    Petal Walker, MRAC Designated Federal Officer, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581; (202) 418-5794.

    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 § 10(a)(2).

    Dated: April 30, 2015. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10448 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9927-26-Region 5] Public Meeting of the Great Lakes Advisory Board AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces a public meeting of the Great Lakes Advisory Board (Board). The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) covering FY15-19 and other relevant matters.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Central Time, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time. An opportunity will be provided to the public to comment.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Offices at 230 S. Clark St., 16th Floor, Fort Dearborn and Lake Michigan Conference Rooms, Chicago, Illinois. Meeting attendees must use the visitor's entrance located at 230 S. Clark St. For security reasons, attendees must provide their full name at least three working days in advance by contacting Rita Cestaric at [email protected] or Taylor Fiscus at [email protected] Attendees must be pre-registered for the meeting as only registered attendees will be permitted to enter the building. All attendees must show a valid photo ID to enter the building. For those unable to attend in person, this meeting will also be available telephonically. The teleconference number is (877) 744-6030 and the conference ID number is 28629925.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Any member of the public wishing further information regarding this meeting may contact Rita Cestaric, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), by email at [email protected] General information on the GLRI and the Board can be found at http://glri.us/public.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Board is a federal advisory committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), Public Law 92-463. EPA established the Board in 2013 to provide independent advice to the EPA Administrator in her capacity as Chair of the federal Great Lakes Interagency Task Force (IATF). The Board conducts business in accordance with FACA and related regulations.

    The Board consists of 16 members appointed by EPA's Administrator in her capacity as IATF Chair. Members serve as representatives of state, local and tribal government, environmental groups, agriculture, business, transportation, educational institutions, and as technical experts.

    Availability of Meeting Materials: The agenda and other materials in support of the meeting will be available at http://glri.us/advisory/index.html.

    Procedures for Providing Public Input: Federal advisory committees provide independent advice to federal agencies. Members of the public can submit relevant comments for consideration by the Board. Input from the public to the Board will have the most impact if it provides specific information for the Board to consider. Members of the public wishing to provide comments should contact the DFO directly.

    Oral Statements: In general, individuals or groups requesting an oral presentation at this public meeting will be limited to three minutes per speaker, subject to the number of people wanting to comment. Interested parties should contact the DFO in writing (preferably via email) at the contact information noted above by May 15, 2015 to be placed on the list of public speakers for the meeting.

    Written Statements: Written statements must be received by May 15, 2015 so that the information may be made available to the Board for consideration. Written statements should be supplied to the DFO in the following formats: One hard copy with original signature and one electronic copy via email. Commenters are requested to provide two versions of each document submitted: One each with and without signatures because only documents without signatures may be published on the GLRI Web page.

    Accessibility: For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact the DFO at the phone number or email address noted above, preferably at least seven days prior to the meeting, to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    Dated: April 20, 2015. Cameron Davis, Senior Advisor to the Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10489 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS EXAMINATION COUNCIL [Docket No. AS15-02] Appraisal Subcommittee Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    Appraisal Subcommittee of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Meeting.

    Description: In accordance with section 1104(b) of Title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, as amended, notice is hereby given that the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) will meet in open session for its regular meeting:

    Location: Federal Reserve Board—International Square location, 1850 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20006.

    Date: May 13, 2015.

    Time: 10:30 a.m.

    Status: Open.

    Reports Chairman Executive Director ASC Advisory Committee Recommendations Delegated State Compliance Reviews Financial Report Action and Discussion Items January 14, 2015 Open Session Minutes AMC Registry Fees Bulletin 2015-01—State Registration and Supervision of AMCs 2014 ASC Annual Report How To Attend and Observe an ASC Meeting

    If you plan to attend the meeting in person, we ask that you notify the Federal Reserve Board via email at [email protected], requesting a return meeting registration email. The Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Unit will then send an email message with a web link where you may provide your date of birth and social security number through their encrypted system. You may register until close of business May 8, 2015. You will also be asked to provide identifying information, including a valid government-issued photo ID, before being admitted to the meeting. Alternatively, you can contact Kevin Wilson at 202-452-2362 for other registration options. The meeting space is intended to accommodate public attendees. However, if the space will not accommodate all requests, the ASC may refuse attendance on that reasonable basis. The use of any video or audio tape recording device, photographing device, or any other electronic or mechanical device designed for similar purposes is prohibited at ASC meetings.

    Dated: April 29, 2015. James R. Park, Executive Director.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10467 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 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 29, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (Colette A. Fried, Assistant Vice President) 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60690-1414:

    1. Ambank Company, Inc., Sioux Center, Iowa; to acquire 100 percent of the voting shares of Alton Bancorporation, and thereby indirectly acquire voting shares of Community Bank, both in Alton, Iowa.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, April 30, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10442 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission (“Commission” or “FTC”).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The FTC plans to conduct a study to examine consumer perception of class action notices. This is the first of two notices required under the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”) seeking public comments on proposed research before requesting Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) review of, and clearance for, the collection of information discussed herein.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before July 6, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/classactionnoticepra online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Class Action Notice Consumer Perception Study, Project No. P024210” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/classactionnoticepra by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “Class Action Notice Consumer Perception Study, Project No. P024210” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robin Moore, Attorney, 202-326-2167, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Commission's Class Action Fairness Project strives to ensure that class action settlements in consumer protection and competition matters provide appropriate benefits to consumers and that class action counsel or defendants are not inappropriately benefitting at the expense of class members. As part of this program, the FTC monitors class actions and files amicus briefs or intervenes in appropriate cases; 1 coordinates with state, federal, and private groups to advise them and to seek suggestions on matters that merit FTC attention; and monitors the progress of legislation and class action rule changes.

    1See e.g., FTC's Mem. of Law as Amicus Curiae, Nwabueze v. AT&T, Inc., 3:09-cv-1529 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 30, 2013), available at https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/amicus_briefs/nwabueze-v.att-inc./130830nwabuezeamicus.pdf; FTC's Mem. of Law as Amicus Curiae, White v. EDebitPay, LLC, 2:11-cv-06738 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 9, 2013), available at https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/amicus_briefs/anita-white-et-al.v.edebitpay-l.l.c.et-al.no.211-cv-06738-cbm-ffm-c.d.cal-august-9-2013/130809edebitpayamicusbrief.pdf; Mot. of FTC for Leave to File Brief as Amicus Curiae, Moore v. Verizon Commc'ns, Inc., 4:09-cv-08123 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 17, 2012), available at https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/amicus_briefs/moore-v.verizon-communications-inc./120817mooreverizonamicusbrief.pdf.

    II. The FTC's Proposed Study A. Study Description

    To further these goals, the FTC plans to conduct an Internet-based consumer research study to explore consumer perceptions of class action notices, including whether consumers understand the options provided in the notices and the implications of such options. The proposed Study will gauge consumer comprehension of the options conveyed by the notice and the implications of each option for the respondent. Specifically, using a treatment-effect methodology, the study will examine whether respondents receiving class action notices understand the process and implications for opting out of a settlement, the process for participating in the settlement, and the implications of doing nothing. Notices used in the study may derive from notices sent to class members in various nationwide class action settlements. We plan to use the study results, along with other information such as public comments, to guide the FTC's Class Action Fairness Project.

    Having considered the costs and benefits of various data collection methods, the FTC staff has concluded that an Internet panel with nationwide coverage will provide the most efficient way to collect data to meet the research objectives within a feasible budget. Thus, the FTC proposes to collect responses from a broad spectrum of the U.S. adult population. Participants will be drawn from an Internet panel maintained by a commercial firm that operates the panel. All participation will be voluntary. While the results will not be generalizable to the U.S. population, the Commission believes that they will provide useful insights into consumer understanding of the claims being considered.

    B. PRA Burden Analysis

    Staff estimates that respondents will require, on average, 20 minutes to complete the questionnaire. Staff will pretest the questionnaire with approximately 100 respondents to ensure that all questions are easily understood. Allowing for an extra three minutes for questions unique to the pretest, the pretest will total approximately 38 hours, cumulatively (100 respondents × 23 minutes each). Once the pretest is completed, the FTC plans to seek information from up to 8,000 respondents for approximately 20 minutes each. Thus, respondents will cumulatively take approximately 2,700 hours. The cost per respondent should be negligible. Participation will not require start up, capital, or labor expenditures.

    III. Request for Comment

    Under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, federal agencies must obtain approval from OMB for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” means agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party.2 As required by Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, the FTC is providing this opportunity for public comment before requesting that OMB extend the existing paperwork clearance for the regulations noted herein.

    2 44 U.S.C. 3502(3); 5 CFR 1320.3(c).

    Pursuant to Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, the FTC invites comments on: (1) Whether the reporting requirements are necessary, including whether the information will be practically useful; (2) the accuracy of our burden estimates, including whether the methodology and assumptions used are valid; (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.

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before July 6, 2015. Write “Class Action Notice Consumer Perception Study, Project No. P024210” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site.

    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually-identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential,” as provided in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively-sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).3 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

    3 In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/classactionnoticepra, by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

    If you file your comment on paper, write “Class Action Notice Consumer Perception Study, Project No. P024210” on your comment and on the envelope and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before July 6, 2015. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10424 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission (“Commission” or “FTC”).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The FTC plans to conduct a study to examine the factors influencing consumers' decisions to participate in a class action settlement, opt out of a class action settlement, or object to the settlement. This is the first of two notices required under the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”) seeking public comments on proposed research before requesting Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) review of, and clearance for, the collection of information discussed herein.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before July 6, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/decidingfactorsstudypra online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Class Action Deciding Factors Study, Project No. P024210” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/decidingfactorsstudypra by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “Class Action Deciding Factors Study, Project No. P024210” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex J),Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robin Moore, Attorney, 202-326-2167, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Commission's Class Action Fairness Project strives to ensure that class action settlements in consumer protection and competition matters provide appropriate benefits to consumers and that class action counsel or defendants are not inappropriately benefitting at the expense of class members. As part of this program, the FTC monitors class actions and files amicus briefs or intervenes in appropriate cases;1 coordinates with state, federal, and private groups to advise them and to seek suggestions on matters that merit FTC attention; and monitors the progress of legislation and class action rule changes.

    1See e.g., FTC's Mem. of Law as Amicus Curiae, Nwabueze v. AT&T, Inc., 3:09-cv-1529 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 30, 2013), available at https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/amicus_briefs/nwabueze-v.att-inc./130830nwabuezeamicus.pdf; FTC's Mem. of Law as Amicus Curiae, White v. EDebitPay, LLC, 2:11-cv-06738 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 9, 2013), available at https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/amicus_briefs/anita-white-et-al.v.edebitpay-l.l.c.et-al.no.211-cv-06738-cbm-ffm-c.d.cal-august-9-2013/130809edebitpayamicusbrief.pdf; Mot. of FTC for Leave to File Brief as Amicus Curiae, Moore v. Verizon Commc'ns, Inc., 4:09-cv-08123 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 17, 2012), available at https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/amicus_briefs/moore-v.verizon-communications-inc./120817mooreverizonamicusbrief.pdf.

    II. The FTC's Proposed Study A. Study Description

    To further these goals, the FTC plans to conduct a consumer research study to determine what factors influence a consumer's decision to participate in a class action settlement, opt out of a class action settlement, or object to the settlement. Specifically, the study will examine whether consumers' comprehension of their options, the amount consumers expect to receive from the settlement, or the complexity of the settlement process impacts their decision to participate in a settlement. To conduct the study, FTC staff will directly contact consumers who have received class action notices. We plan to use the results, along with other information such as public comments, to guide the FTC's Class Action Fairness Project.

    Having considered the costs and benefits of various data collection methods, the FTC staff has concluded that directly contacting recipients of nationwide class action notices will provide the most efficient way to collect data to meet the research objectives within a feasible budget. Thus, the FTC proposes to collect responses from a broad spectrum of the U.S. adult population. Participants will be drawn from information provided by settlement administrators who have administered nationwide class actions. All participation will be voluntary. While the results will not be generalizable to the U.S. population, the Commission believes that they will provide useful insights into consumer understanding of the claims being considered.

    B. PRA Burden Analysis

    Staff estimates that respondents will require, on average, 20 minutes to complete the questionnaire. Staff will pretest the questionnaire with approximately 100 respondents to ensure that all questions are easily understood. Allowing for an extra three minutes for questions unique to the pretest, the pretest will total approximately 38 hours, cumulatively (100 respondents × 23 minutes each). Once the pretest is completed, the FTC plans to seek information from up to 8,000 respondents for approximately 20 minutes each. Thus, respondents will cumulatively take approximately 2,700 hours. The cost per respondent should be negligible. Participation will not require start up, capital, or labor expenditures.

    III. Request for Comment

    Under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, federal agencies must obtain approval from OMB for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” means agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party.2 As required by Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, the FTC is providing this opportunity for public comment before requesting that OMB extend the existing paperwork clearance for the regulations noted herein.

    2 44 U.S.C. 3502(3); 5 CFR 1320.3(c).

    Pursuant to Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, the FTC invites comments on: (1) Whether the reporting requirements are necessary, including whether the information will be practically useful; (2) the accuracy of our burden estimates, including whether the methodology and assumptions used are valid; (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.

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before July 6, 2015. Write “Class Action Deciding Factors Study, Project No. P024210” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site.

    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually-identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential,” as provided in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively-sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).3 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

    3 In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/decidingfactorsstudypra, by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

    If you file your comment on paper, write “Class Action Deciding Factors Study, Project No. P024210” on your comment and on the envelope and mail or deliver it to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Room CC-5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before July 6, 2015. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10419 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-CSE-2015-01; Docket No. 2015-0002; Sequence No. 9] Notice of the General Services Administration's Labor-Management Relations Council Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM), General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The General Services Administration's Labor-Management Relations Council (GLMRC), a Federal Advisory Committee established in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S. C., App., and Executive Order 13522, plans to hold two meetings that are open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meetings will be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., eastern standard time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meetings will be held in the General Services Administration's Conference Center, 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. This site is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Please refer to the GLMRC Web site on gsa.gov for the most up-to-date meeting agenda, and access information including changes in meeting rooms, times, or dates.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Temple L. Wilson, GLMRC Designated Federal Officer (DFO), OHRM, General Services Administration, at telephone 202-969-7110, or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The GLMRC is an advisory body composed of representatives of the Federal employee unions representing GSA employees and senior GSA officials. The GLMRC was established consistent with Executive Order 13522, entitled, “Creating Labor-Management Forums to Improve Delivery of Government Services;” which instructs Federal agencies to establish department- or agency-level labor-management forums to help identify problems and propose solutions to better serve the public and Federal agency missions. The GLMRC is tri-chaired by GSA's Chief Human Capitol Officer, together with two senior union officials from each of the two Federal employees' unions representing GSA employees.

    The GLMRC works toward promoting cooperative and productive relationships between labor and management, providing an opportunity for employees through their union representatives to engage in pre-decisional involvement in all workplace matters to the fullest extent practicable, and to advise the GSA administrator on innovative ways to improve delivery of services and products to the public while cutting costs and advancing employee interests. The May 19, 2015 and May 20, 2015 meetings will establish GLMRC's priorities for 2015. The GLMRC will also discuss workforce planning and employee training and development.

    The meetings are open to the public. In order to gain entry into the Federal building where the meeting is being held, public attendees who are Federal employees should bring their Federal employee identification cards, and members of the general public should bring their driver's license or other government-issued identification.

    Public Comments

    The public is invited to submit written comments for the meetings until 5:00 p.m. eastern time on Monday, May 18, 2015, by either of the following methods: Electronic or Paper Statements: Submit electronic statements to Ms. Temple Wilson, Designated Federal Officer, at [email protected]; or send paper statements in triplicate to Ms. Wilson at 1800 F Street NW., Suite 7003A, Washington, DC 20405. In general, public comments will be posted on the GLMRC Web site. All comments, including attachments and other supporting materials received, are part of the public record and subject to public disclosure.

    Any comments submitted in connection with the GLMRC meeting will be made available to the public under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

    Dated: April 30, 2015. Wade Hannum, Office of Human Resources Management, OHRM Director, Office of HR Strategy and Services, Center for Talent Engagement (COE4), General Services Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10454 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-34-P
    GULF COAST ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION COUNCIL [Docket No. 105XX2015-1111-03] National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures and Categorical Exclusions AGENCY:

    Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council.

    ACTION:

    Issuance of final procedures.

    SUMMARY:

    The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) is hereby issuing final procedures for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). These procedures include categorical exclusions (CEs) of actions the Council has determined do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and, thus, are categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under NEPA.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: June 4, 2015.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On July 6, 2012, the President signed the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (“RESTORE Act” or “Act”) into law. The Act establishes a new trust fund in the Treasury of the United States, known as the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund (Trust Fund). Eighty percent of the administrative and civil penalties paid after July 6, 2012, under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act in connection with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill will be deposited into the Trust Fund. Under terms described in the Act, amounts in the Trust Fund will be available for projects and programs that restore and protect the environment and economy of the Gulf Coast region.

    The Act is focused on the Gulf Coast region and has five components. The Direct Component, administered by the Department of the Treasury, sets aside 35 percent of the penalties paid into the Trust Fund for eligible activities proposed by the five Gulf Coast states—Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas—including local governments within Florida and Louisiana. The Council-Selected Restoration Component sets aside 30 percent of the penalties, plus half of all interest earned on Trust Fund investments, to be managed by a new independent entity in the Federal government called the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council). The Council is comprised of members from six Federal agencies or departments and the five Gulf Coast states. One of the Federal members, the Secretary of Commerce, currently serves as Chairperson of the Council. The Council will direct Council-Selected Restoration Component funds to projects and programs for the restoration of the Gulf Coast region, pursuant to an Initial Comprehensive Plan that has been developed by the Council. Under the Spill Impact Component, the Gulf Coast states can use an additional 30 percent of penalties in the Trust Fund for eligible activities pursuant to plans developed by the states and approved by the Council. The remaining five percent of penalties, plus one-half of all interest earned on Trust Fund investments, will be divided equally between the final two components, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RESTORE Act Science Program and a Department of the Treasury administered Centers of Excellence Research Grants Program.

    II. These Procedures

    These procedures establish the Council's policy and procedures to ensure compliance with NEPA and Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing NEPA. Each Federal agency is required to develop NEPA procedures as a supplement to the CEQ regulations. The Council's major responsibilities are set out in greater detail in the RESTORE Act, and responsibilities relative to the administration of the Council-Selected Restoration Component are further described below. The Council continues to deliberate policies and procedures relative to implementation of the Spill Impact Component. Information on such matters will be available at a later date.

    The below NEPA procedures are applicable to Council actions. Activities funded pursuant to any component of the Act may also be subject to an environmental review under NEPA in instances where there is a separate Federal action. For example, a restoration project funded under the Direct Component would be subject to NEPA if it required a permit to fill wetlands pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

    Council-Selected Restoration Component

    The Act provides 30 percent of penalties deposited into the Trust Fund to the Council, plus one-half of the interest earned on Trust Fund investments, to carry out a Comprehensive Plan. In August 2013, the Council issued the Initial Comprehensive Plan for Restoring the Gulf Coast's ecosystem and economy. This Initial Comprehensive Plan provides a framework to implement a coordinated region-wide restoration effort to restore, protect, and revitalize the Gulf Coast. The Initial Comprehensive Plan was accompanied by a Programmatic Environmental Assessment.

    Pursuant to the Act, the Council will develop a “Funded Priority List” (or FPL) of projects and programs to be carried out to advance the goals and objectives set forth in the Initial Comprehensive Plan, subject to available funding. The Council will periodically update the Initial Comprehensive Plan and the FPL, in accordance with the Act.

    The FPL and subsequent updates will consist of a list of projects and programs which the Council intends to fund for planning, technical assistance, or implementation purposes. The Council anticipates that once the full amount ultimately to be paid into the Trust Fund is known, future amendments to the FPL will include significantly larger projects and project lists that reflect the full amount available to be spent for restoration activities. A Council commitment to fund implementation of a project or program in the FPL is a Federal action which requires the appropriate level of NEPA review. Examples of NEPA compliance include preparation of new NEPA documentation, adoption of existing NEPA documentation, or application of a CE, as warranted. The FPL may commit planning and technical assistance funds for activities such as engineering, design, and environmental compliance for projects and programs. According to the Initial Comprehensive Plan, a Council commitment of planning or technical assistance funds for a project or program in an FPL does not necessarily guarantee that the Council will subsequently fund implementation of the project or program. Should the Council subsequently decide to fund implementation of the particular project or program, it will ensure the appropriate level of NEPA compliance prior to making its decision.

    In developing and updating the FPL, the Council will seek to ensure that the projects and programs contained therein reflect a comprehensive approach for Gulf restoration, consistent with the Act and the Initial Comprehensive Plan. To that end, the Council will build upon existing restoration plans and strategies, engage the public, ensure the FPL is based on sound science, and assess the cumulative environmental impacts of projects and programs contained in the FPL, as appropriate.

    There has been extensive Gulf coast restoration planning conducted at Federal, state, and local levels. This includes the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Strategy (Task Force Strategy), as well as state-level efforts, such as the Louisiana Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast and the Mississippi Coastal Improvement Program (MsCIP). In addition, watershed-level planning efforts have been conducted by Gulf-based National Estuary Programs and other stakeholder groups. The Council intends to build upon these planning efforts in developing the initial FPL and subsequent updates.

    The Council will engage the public in the development of the FPL and subsequent updates. Public engagement conducted by the Council members prior to development of the draft FPL will be considered in the Council's project review and selection process. The public will also have an opportunity to review and comment on the draft FPL. Where applicable, the NEPA processes for specific projects and programs in the FPL will also provide opportunities for public input. The public would have the opportunity to provide input during the scoping of EISs as well as an opportunity to review and comment on draft EISs. Under some circumstances, as detailed in the NEPA procedures, the public would also have an opportunity to review and comment on draft EAs.

    Independent scientific review of the projects and programs nominated for inclusion in the FPL will help ensure that all funded activities are based on the best available science. In some cases, projects and programs nominated for inclusion in the FPL may be derived from existing restoration plans, which have already undergone independent scientific review. In such cases, the Council's independent scientific review process would complement the scientific foundation established within the respective planning process.

    The Council will ensure that the evaluations of projects and programs in the initial FPL and subsequent updates effectively assess potential cumulative impacts in accordance with NEPA, which requires a Federal agency to consider the incremental environmental impacts of the proposed action when combined with relevant past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions. The cumulative impact assessments will generally be tailored to the area of influence of the given activity. For example, a project with a large area of influence (such as a river diversion) would have a commensurately broader assessment of cumulative effects, while one with a limited area of influence (such as a small vegetative planting project) would have a more limited assessment of potential cumulative effects. To the extent appropriate, the assessment of cumulative impacts will draw upon existing information in relevant ongoing and completed NEPA documents, including the Initial Comprehensive Plan Programmatic EA, the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resources Damage Assessment Early Restoration Programmatic EIS, the Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration Plan Programmatic EIS, the MsCIP Programmatic EIS, and others. Among other potential benefits, effective cumulative impact assessments can help ensure that Council decisions regarding specific restoration projects are informed with a broader understanding of the relationship between such projects and other restoration activities, whether supported by the RESTORE Act or another funding source.

    III. Response to Public Comments and Other Changes to Procedures

    On January 16, 2015, the Council published draft NEPA procedures in the Federal Register for a 30-day public review and comment period (80 FR 2381). The Council received one comment letter, representing the combined comments of five organizations, on the draft NEPA procedures. The recommendations contained in that comment letter are summarized below, along with the Council's responses to the recommendations.

    The commenter recommended the Council ensure that the alternatives analysis for projects and programs is robust and complete. The Council agrees that the analysis of alternatives is an essential component of the NEPA process. Consistent with CEQ regulations, the Council will ensure the rigor of the alternatives analysis for a project or program that requires evaluation in an EA or EIS is appropriate relative to the scope and magnitude of the activity being considered. As this is a policy-level recommendation, no change was made to the procedures in response to this comment.

    The commenter recommended that the applicability and appropriateness of Council use of a member CE should be included in decision documents that are publically available. In response, the Council will inform the public when it uses a member CE in association with the approval of funding for a project or program under the Council-Selected Restoration Component. The Council will provide the public with the specific CE being used, along with the Council's findings regarding the review of potential extraordinary circumstances. Subsection 4(f) of the procedures has been modified to clarify that such information will be made available to the public on the Council's Web site.

    The commenter recommended that the Council provide a list of member agencies' potentially applicable CEs on the Council's Web site or provide links to the federal agency Web sites where those CEs can be found. In response, the Council will provide and endeavor to maintain links to member agencies' CEs on its Web site. It should be noted, however, that the potential applicability of a member CE to a Council action would be determined on a case-by-case basis. By providing links to the member agencies' CEs, the Council is not necessarily indicating its intent to use any of the subject CEs. That is a determination that would be made based on the specific details of the activity to which the CE might be applied. No change was made to the procedures in response to this comment.

    The commenter recommended that the Council change the word “may” to “must” in Section 15(b). The Council will advise each recipient of Council-Selected Restoration Component funds of the recipient's obligations to address any and all environmental laws that might be applicable to implementation of a given project or program but that are not necessarily applicable to the Council's approval of funding for the activity. As discussed in the procedures, the Council will also endeavor to concurrently address all environmental requirements applicable to a proposed project or program, to the extent feasible and appropriate. However, there may be instances where it would be appropriate for the Council to issue a Record of Decision that approves funding for a project or program pending completion of all permits and approvals. For this reason, the Council has chosen to retain the discretion provided in the original language for this section.

    The commenter recommended that the Council's NEPA procedures include a sunset provision (e.g., five years) for the use of existing NEPA documents. The commenter also recommended that the Council develop specific criteria indicating environmental, ecological or other conditions that would trigger the development of a new EA or EIS. The Council agrees that a critical test when adopting or otherwise using a NEPA document that was not recently completed is determining whether the information contained therein is adequate and consistent with the requirements established in NEPA and the CEQ regulations. To that end, the procedures state that, in cases where the Council adopts a NEPA document, the supporting record must include an evaluation of whether new circumstances, new information or changes in the action or its impacts not previously analyzed may result in significantly different environmental effects. The Council will apply this test to all NEPA documents it considers adopting. However, the Council will not set an expiration date on NEPA documents, as the age of a NEPA document does not necessarily dictate whether the information contained therein satisfies NEPA. Establishing an expiration date for NEPA documents might eliminate otherwise adequate NEPA documents from potential Council use. No change was made to the procedures in response to this comment.

    The commenter recommended that the Council consider establishing an interagency co-located team for reviewing and preparing NEPA documents. The Council agrees that the use of interagency teams in the preparation and review of NEPA documents and other compliance information can result in greater efficiency and more robust information. Being comprised of a number of regulatory agencies, the Council is well-positioned to conduct such interagency work. Indeed, the Council has an interagency team that works on a range of issues pertaining to NEPA and environmental compliance. Going forward, the Council intends to consider whether establishing a co-located interagency team would be an appropriate use of resources relative to the potential benefits it could provide. Such resource decisions are in large part contingent upon the ultimate amount of funding the Council will administer, a number that is not currently known. As this is a policy level recommendation, no change was made to the procedures in response to this comment.

    The commenter recommended that the Council establish a system to share relevant information and data with Council members and applicants preparing NEPA documents. The commenter also recommended that the Council apply lessons learned from prior NEPA coordination and share best practices with applicants and document preparers. In response, the Council agrees that sharing relevant information, data, and lessons-learned with project sponsors and within the Council membership could help ensure efficient and effective NEPA processes. This is one of the roles of the interagency team referenced above. The Council will continue to conduct such activities, while also looking for other ways to effectively share information to improve environmental compliance outcomes. As this is a policy level recommendation, no change was made to the procedures in response to this comment.

    In addition to the modification discussed above, the Council has also made the following minor changes to the procedures to increase clarity and consistency. In Section 9 paragraph (b)(7), the Council added language indicating that copies of final EISs will also be provided to Federal agencies and other parties who commented substantively on the draft EIS. This change ensures consistency with similar language provided in Section 12 paragraph (c)(12) of the procedures. Also, Section 4 paragraph (h) has been revised to omit a reference to functional equivalence because it is not anticipated to be exercised with respect to the Council's activities. Finally, technical corrections were made to Section 4 paragraph (b), Section 5 paragraphs (b) and (c), and Section 13 paragraph (h)(8) to ensure consistency and compliance with NEPA, the CEQ Regulations, and a recent Executive Order.

    IV. Classification Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    As an independent Federal entity that is composed of, in part, six Federal agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture, the Army, Commerce, and the Interior, the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating, and the Environmental Protection Agency, the requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 are inapplicable to these procedures.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires the Council to consider whether a document would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. “Small entities” include small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations under 50,000. These NEPA procedures apply to Council actions and applicants for funding under the Council-Selected Restoration Component of the Act. These applicants are limited by the Act to the Federal and state members of the Council. Therefore, the Council hereby certifies that these procedures would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Council must have approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before collecting information from the public (such as forms, general questionnaires, surveys, instructions, and other types of collections). According to these NEPA procedures, applicants for funding under the Council-Selected Restoration Component could be required to prepare and submit NEPA documentation to the Council prior to a decision on whether to fund a given activity. These applicants would be limited to the Federal and state members of the Council and NEPA submissions would be unique to each individual project or program selected for inclusion in the FPL. These procedures would not lead to the collection of information. On this basis, the Council has determined that these procedures would not create any new information collection requirements for the public.

    Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    Executive Order 13175 requires the Council to engage in regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials in the development of Federal policies that have tribal implications. “Policies that have tribal implications” refers to 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. These NEPA procedures apply to the Council and its members, insofar as such members choose to apply for funding under the Council-Selected Restoration Component of the Act. Among other policies, these NEPA procedures establish Council policy regarding coordination and consultation with tribal governments in NEPA processes conducted under the Council-Selected Restoration Component, where applicable. These NEPA procedures do not in any way alter the right of tribal governments to engage in NEPA processes conducted by the Council. These NEPA procedures are intended to foster effective communication with tribal governments in that regard. The Council has therefore determined that these NEPA procedures would not have tribal implications as the term is used pursuant to Executive Order 13175.

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

    Executive Order 12898 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/or low-income populations. The Council's NEPA procedures specifically call for the consideration of potential environmental justice issues in the development of Environmental Impact Statements, and reference the need to address Executive Order 12898, where applicable. The Council has therefore determined that these NEPA procedures do not raise any environmental justice concerns.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    The Council on Environmental Quality regulations do not direct agencies to prepare a NEPA analysis or document before establishing Agency procedures that supplement the CEQ regulations for implementing NEPA. Agencies are required to adopt NEPA procedures that establish specific criteria for, and identification of, three classes of actions: those that normally require preparation of an environmental impact statement; those that normally require preparation of an environmental assessment; and those that are categorically excluded from further NEPA review (40 CFR 1507.3(b)). Categorical exclusions are one part of those agency procedures, and therefore establishing categorical exclusions does not require preparation of a NEPA analysis or document. Sierra Club v. Bosworth, 510 F.3d 1016, 1025-26 (9th Cir. 2007); Heartwood, Inc. v. U.S. Forest Service, 230 F.3d 947, 954-55 (7th Cir. 2000). Agency NEPA procedures are procedural guidance to assist agencies in the fulfillment of agency responsibilities under NEPA, but are not the agency's final determination of what level of NEPA analysis is required for a particular proposed action. The requirements for establishing agency NEPA procedures are set forth at 40 CFR 1505.1 and 1507.3.

    GULF COAST ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION COUNCIL'S PROCEDURES FOR CONSIDERING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS TABLE OF CONTENTS Sec. 1. Purpose. Sec. 2. Authority. Sec. 3. Definitions and Acronyms. Sec. 4. Actions Covered. Sec. 5. Timing. Sec. 6. Coordinating NEPA on Joint Actions. Sec. 7. Applicants for Funding. Sec. 8. Consultants. Sec. 9. Public Involvement for Environmental Impact Statements. Sec. 10. Environmental Assessment. Sec. 11. Finding of No Significant Impact. Sec. 12. Environmental Impact Statement. Sec. 13. Contents of an Environmental Impact Statement. Sec. 14. Programmatic Environmental Review. Sec. 15. Record of Decision. Sec. 16. Effective Date. Sec. 1. Purpose.

    This document establishes the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council's (Council) policy and procedures (Procedures) to ensure compliance with the requirements set forth in the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508 implementing the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347. These Procedures also address compliance with other related statutes and directives. More specifically, these Procedures implement the CEQ NEPA regulations requirement that agencies adopt supplemental NEPA procedures.

    Sec. 2. Authority.

    NEPA and its implementing regulations establish a broad national policy to protect and enhance the quality of the human environment, and develop programs and measures to meet national environmental goals. Section 101 of NEPA sets forth Federal policies and goals to encourage productive harmony between people and their environment. Section 102(2) provides specific direction to Federal agencies, described as “action-forcing” in the CEQ regulations, to further the goals of NEPA. These major provisions include requirements to use a systematic, interdisciplinary approach to planning and decision-making (section 102(2)(A)) and develop methods and procedures to ensure appropriate consideration of environmental values (section 102(2)(B)). Section 102(2)(C) requires preparation of a detailed statement for major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment that analyzes the impact of and alternatives to the action.

    Policy. It is the Council's policy to:

    (a) Comply with NEPA and other environmental laws, regulations, policies, and Executive Orders applicable to Council actions;

    (b) Seek and develop partnerships and cooperative arrangements with other Federal, tribal, state, and local governments early in the NEPA process to help ensure efficient regulatory review of Council actions;

    (c) Ensure that applicable NEPA compliance and its documentation includes public involvement appropriate to the action being proposed and its potential impacts;

    (d) Interpret and administer Federal laws, regulations, Executive Orders, and policies in accordance with the policies set forth pursuant to NEPA, to the fullest extent possible;

    (e) Consider the potential environmental impacts of Council actions as early in the planning process as possible; and

    (f) Consult, coordinate with, and consider policies, procedures, and activities of other Federal agencies, as well as tribal, state, and local governments.

    Applicability. These Procedures are intended to supplement CEQ's NEPA regulations, which also apply to proposed actions by the Council and are incorporated herein by reference.

    Depending on the nature of the proposed action and its potential impacts on the human environment, Council actions may be categorically excluded (CE) from additional NEPA review by the Council, or require the preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). An EA results in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) or a decision to prepare an EIS. The Council need not prepare an EA prior to an EIS; rather, if the Council believes the proposed action may significantly affect the quality of the human environment, it may proceed directly to preparation of an EIS. An applicant for funding may assist the Council, either by preparing the appropriate level of environmental analysis or hiring an environmental consultant to do so, as appropriate, for proposed actions. These Procedures will apply to the fullest extent practicable to proposed Council actions and environmental documents begun but not completed before these Procedures take effect. They do not apply, however, to decisions made and draft or final environmental documents completed prior to the date on which these Procedures take effect.

    Sec. 3. Definitions and Acronyms.

    The definitions contained within CEQ's regulation at 40 CFR part 1508 apply to these Procedures. Additional and expanded definitions and acronyms are as follows:

    (a) “Council” means the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council.

    (b) “Council Action” is an action taken by the Council potentially subject to NEPA. Council Actions may be wholly or partially funded by the Council. Council Actions include but are not limited to awarding grants, contracts, purchases, leases, construction, research activities, rulemakings, and amendment or revision of a Comprehensive Plan.

    (c) “CE” means Categorical Exclusion.

    (d) “CEQ” means the Council on Environmental Quality.

    (e) “EA” means an Environmental Assessment.

    (f) “EIS” means an Environmental Impact Statement.

    (g) “EPA” means the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    (h) “Executive Director” means the Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council.

    (i) “FONSI” means a Finding of No Significant Impact.

    (j) “NEPA Documents” are any of the following:

    (1) Documentation associated with use of a CE;

    (2) Environmental Assessment;

    (3) Finding of No Significant Impact;

    (4) Notice of Intent (NOI) to Prepare an EIS;

    (5) Draft, Final, or Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement;

    (6) Record of Decision; and

    (7) NOI to Adopt an EA or EIS.

    (k) “Project Sponsor” or “Applicant” is the entity that seeks Council Action to fund a project or program.

    (l) “Record of Decision” or “ROD”, in cases requiring an EIS, is the decision and public document based on the EIS (see 40 CFR 1505.2).

    (m) “Responsible Official” is the person delegated authority by the Council to make recommendations to the Council (or the Council's designated decision-maker) regarding compliance with NEPA and in some cases to implement decisions pertaining to NEPA (as described in these Procedures or in the Council's Standard Operating Procedures).

    Sec. 4. Actions Covered.

    (a) General Rule. The requirements of sections 5 through 15 of these Procedures apply to Council Actions that are determined to be Federal actions in accordance with this section.

    (b) Federal Actions. For purposes of these Procedures, a Federal action is any Council Action that is potentially subject to the Federal control and responsibility of the Council. As described in the CEQ regulations, the term “major” does not have a meaning independent of the term “significantly” (see 40 CFR 1508.18).

    (c) Actions Categorically Excluded. The Council has determined that certain categories of actions are eligible to use a CE for compliance with NEPA, as they do not have a significant impact individually or cumulatively on the quality of the human environment. A proposal is categorically excluded if the Council determines the following:

    (1) The proposed action fits within a class of actions that is listed below;

    (2) There are no extraordinary circumstances indicating the action may have a significant effect (see subsection (e) below); and

    (3) The proposal has not been segmented to meet the definition of a CE.

    (d) The following categories of Council Actions are categorically excluded from further NEPA review in an EA or EIS:

    (1) Administrative and Routine Office Activities:

    i. Administrative procurements (e.g., for general supplies) and contracts for personnel services.

    ii. Routine fiscal and administrative activities involving personnel (e.g., recruiting, hiring, detailing, processing, paying, supervising, and recordkeeping).

    iii. Routine procurement of goods and services to support operations and infrastructure, including routine utility services and contracts, conducted in accordance with applicable procurement regulations, Executive Orders, and policies.

    iv. Routine administrative office functions (e.g., recordkeeping; inspecting, examining, and auditing papers, books, and records; processing correspondence; developing and approving budgets; responding to requests for information).

    v. Routine activities and operations conducted in an existing structure that are within the scope and compatibility of the present functional use of the building, will not result in a substantial increase in waste discharge to the environment, will not result in substantially different waste discharges from current or previous activities, and will not result in emissions that exceed established permit limits, if any.

    vi. Council meetings, hearings, site visits, technical assistance, public affairs activities, and/or training in classrooms, meeting rooms, other facilities, or via the Internet.

    (2) Regulation, Monitoring, and Oversight of RESTORE Act Activities:

    i. Promulgation or publication of regulations, procedures, manuals, and guidance documents that are of an administrative, financial, legal, technical, or procedural nature.

    ii. Internal orders and procedures that need not be published in the Federal Register under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

    iii. Preparation of studies, reports, or investigations that do not propose a policy, plan, program, or action.

    (3) Council Activities for Planning, Research or Design Activities (Documentation Required):

    i. Funding or procurements for activities which do not involve or lead directly to ground-disturbing activities which may have significant effects individually or cumulatively, and do not commit the Council or its applicants to a particular course of action affecting the environment, such as grants to prepare environmental documents, planning, technical assistance, engineering and design activities, or certain research. Use of this CE will be documented following the procedures described in subsection 4(f).

    (4) Council Funded Activities that Fall Under a CE of a Federal Council Member (Documentation Required):

    i. Any environmental restoration, conservation, or protection activity that falls within a CE established by a Federal agency Council member, provided no extraordinary circumstances preclude the use of the CE and the Federal agency that established the CE is involved in the Council action. A Federal agency Council member is involved in the Council action when that Federal agency advises the Council that use of the CE would be appropriate for the specific action under consideration by the Council. Use of this CE will be documented following the procedures described in subsection 4(f).

    (e) Extraordinary Circumstances. Some Council Actions that would normally be categorically excluded from further NEPA review in an EA or EIS may not qualify for a CE because extraordinary circumstances exist (see 40 CFR 1508.4). The Responsible Official, in cooperation with the applicant as appropriate, will conduct a review to determine if there are extraordinary circumstances. Such extraordinary circumstances are:

    (1) A reasonable likelihood of substantial controversy regarding the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action.

    (2) Tribal concerns with actions that impact tribal lands or resources.

    (3) A reasonable likelihood of adversely affecting environmentally sensitive resources. Environmentally sensitive resources include but are not limited to:

    i. Species that are federally listed or proposed for listing as threatened or endangered, or their proposed or designated critical habitats; and

    ii. Properties listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

    (4) A reasonable likelihood of impacts that are highly uncertain or involve unknown risks or if there is a substantial scientific controversy over the effects.

    (5) A reasonable likelihood of air pollution at levels of concern or otherwise requiring a formal conformity determination under the Clean Air Act.

    (6) A reasonable likelihood of a disproportionately high and adverse effect on low income or minority populations (see Executive Order 12898).

    (7) A reasonable likelihood of contributing to the introduction or spread of noxious weeds or non-native invasive species or actions that may promote the introduction, or spread of such species (see Federal Noxious Weed Control Act and Executive Order 13112).

    (8) A reasonable likelihood of a release of petroleum, oils, or lubricants (except from a properly functioning engine or vehicle) or reportable releases of hazardous or toxic substances as specified in 40 CFR part 302 (Designation, Reportable Quantities, and Notification); or where the proposed action results in the requirement to develop or amend a Spill Prevention, Control, or Countermeasures Plan in accordance with the Oil Pollution Prevention regulation.

    The mere existence of any of the circumstances described above will not necessarily trigger preparation of an EA or EIS. The determination that an extraordinary circumstance exists and an EA or EIS is needed will be based on the potential significance of the proposed action's effects on the environment. If it is not clear whether a CE is appropriate, the Responsible Official, after consulting with the Council, may require preparation of an EA.

    (f) Documented Categorical Exclusion. The purpose of CEs is to reduce paperwork and streamline the project implementation process. The NEPA does not require the Council to document actions that qualify for a CE and do not involve extraordinary circumstances (see 40 CFR 1500.4(p)). When the Responsible Official chooses to document use of a CE in addition to those identified in subsection 4(d)(3) and 4(d)(4), the documentation should include:

    (1) A description of the proposed action.

    (2) The CE relied upon, including the information or process used to determine that no extraordinary circumstances are present.

    (3) A determination by the Responsible Official that the CE applies.

    The Council will post documented CEs on its Web site. The Council, however, generally will not publicly post documentation supporting a CE for activities occurring on:

    (1) Private lands; or

    (2) Other lands under consideration by the Council for a project if the release of such information could lead to impacts to sensitive lands.

    (g) Emergency Actions/Alternate Arrangements: In the event of an emergency situation, the Council may need to take an action to prevent or reduce the risk to the environment or public health or safety that may affect the quality of human environment without having the time to evaluate those impacts under NEPA. In some cases, the emergency action may be covered by an existing NEPA analysis or a CE, while in other cases, it may not.

    (1) In cases where the Responsible Official, in consultation with the Council, determines that an EIS is appropriate, the Council will consult with CEQ about alternative arrangements for complying with NEPA in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.11.

    (2) In cases where the Responsible Official determines that an environmental assessment is appropriate, the Responsible Official shall consult with the Council to establish alternative arrangements for the environmental assessment. Any such alternative arrangement for an EA must be documented and a copy provided to CEQ.

    (h) Actions Exempt from the Requirements of NEPA. Certain Council Actions may be covered by a statutory exemption under existing law. The Council will document its use of such an exemption pursuant to applicable requirements.

    Sec. 5. Timing.

    (a) General. The potential environmental effects of a proposed Council Action will be considered at the earliest practicable time along with appropriate scientific, technical, and economic studies. Coordination with appropriate federal, state, tribal, and local authorities and, to the extent appropriate and described in these Procedures, the public meetings, should begin at the earliest practicable time. As a general matter, the project planning process should include all environmental permit evaluation and review requirements, including applicable timeframes when possible, so that applicants for funding can collect necessary information and provide it to the agency with jurisdiction or special expertise in a timely manner. Applicants or consultants should complete these tasks at the earliest possible time during project planning to ensure full consideration of all environmental resources and facilitate the Council's NEPA process.

    (b) Applications for Funding. The Applicant may be responsible for preparation of the appropriate level of proposed NEPA analysis for the Council. An EA, EIS, or CE determination, as appropriate, will be completed prior to the final decision by the Council to fund a proposed project or program and should accompany the application for funding the proposed project through the decision-making process.

    (c) Council Initiated Actions. The appropriate NEPA review will be completed prior to a decision by the Council to implement an action that would have impacts on the environment and should accompany the proposal through the decision-making process.

    Sec. 6. Coordinating NEPA on Joint Actions.

    Interagency coordination and collaboration can help ensure efficient and effective NEPA processes. To that end, the Council will serve as a Joint Lead, Lead Agency, or Cooperating Agency as appropriate for the preparation of NEPA documents relevant to its activities. Subsections (a) through (c) below describe the circumstances in which the Council may serve as Joint Lead, Lead Agency, or Cooperating Agency, along with the general roles and responsibilities associated with each. In general, the Council will either be the Lead or Joint Lead Agency on all Council-initiated actions subject to NEPA.

    (a) Joint Actions. Where one or more Federal agencies, together with the Council propose or are involved in the same action; are involved in a group of actions directly related because of functional interdependence or geographical proximity; or are involved in a single program, the Responsible Official for the Council should seek to join all such agencies in performing a joint NEPA analysis and, where appropriate, other necessary environmental documentation.

    (b) Lead Agency.

    (1) The Council will follow CEQ's regulation regarding designation of a Lead Agency when multiple Federal agencies are involved (40 CFR 1501.5). The Lead Agency should consult with the other participating agencies to ensure that the joint action makes the best use of the participating agencies' areas of jurisdiction and special expertise, that the views of participating agencies are considered in the course of the NEPA process, and that the compliance requirements of all participating agencies are met.

    (2) When another Federal agency is the Lead Agency, the Council may act as either a Co-Lead Agency or a Cooperating Agency (as detailed in subsection (c) below), as appropriate.

    (c) Cooperating Agency. When another Federal agency is a Lead Agency for the preparation of a NEPA review (i.e., CE, EA, EIS) for a proposed activity, the Council may be a Cooperating Agency. When the Council is a Cooperating Agency on a joint action, the Responsible Official will perform the functions stated in 40 CFR 1501.6(b) and review the work of the Lead Agency to ensure that its work product will satisfy the requirements of the Council under these Procedures. After acting as a Cooperating Agency, the Council may adopt the NEPA document prepared by the Lead Agency, consistent with 40 CFR 1506.3. The Council will comply with the review and approval responsibilities contained in these Procedures prior to signing any final NEPA decision document.

    Sec. 7. Applicants for Funding.

    (a) General. The Council may require an applicant for funding to prepare the requisite draft NEPA analysis of the proposed project and to submit that analysis with the application. The Council may also require an applicant to prepare and submit environmental information in the form of a proposed EIS, proposed EA, or proposed documentation supporting the application of a CE. This could include, for example, a proposed draft EIS, proposed draft EA, proposed final EIS, or proposed final EA, pending Council adoption/approval. Documentation supporting application of a CE will normally be limited to a description of the proposed activity, the CE relied upon, and the information or process used to determine there are no extraordinary circumstances. The Council may require the applicant to act as a Joint Lead Agency, depending on whether the applicant is a Federal agency. Where appropriate, the Council will cooperate with state and local agencies to conduct joint processes, including joint environmental assessments and joint environmental impact statements, provided such cooperation is fully consistent with 40 CFR 1506.2.

    (b) Information Required. When an applicant is required to submit environmental documentation for a proposed project or program, the Responsible Official, where appropriate, will specify the types and extent of information required, consistent with the CEQ regulations, these Procedures and any other applicable laws, regulations, Executive Orders, or policies. The Responsible Official will work with applicants early in the process, as appropriate, to assist in the development of information responsive to sections 10 through 13 of these Procedures. The project planning process should include all environmental permitting and review requirements, including applicable timeframes when possible, so that applicants for funding can collect necessary information and provide it to the agency with jurisdiction or special expertise in a timely manner.

    (c) Limits on Actions by the Applicant. The Responsible Official will inform an applicant that the applicant may not take any action within the Council's jurisdiction that would have an adverse environmental impact or limit the choice of reasonable alternatives, prior to completion of the environmental review process by the Council (see 40 CFR 1506.1).

    (d) Council Responsibility. The Council is responsible for its own compliance with Federal environmental laws, regulations, Executive Orders, and policies. As appropriate, the Responsible Official will solicit comments from interested parties on the environmental consequences of any application.

    The Responsible Official will independently evaluate and prepare a recommendation to the Council regarding whether an applicant's environmental documentation satisfies the requirements of the CEQ regulations and these Procedures. In conducting this review, the Responsible Official will seek the advice of the Council Members and/or subject matter experts, as appropriate. Upon approval by the Council, the documentation will be considered to have been prepared by the Council for purposes of sections 9 through 15 of these Procedures.

    Sec. 8. Consultants.

    (a) General. The Council or applicants to the Council for funding may use consultants in the performance of NEPA analysis and the preparation of other environmental documents. The Responsible Official must approve the use of a selected consultant before the consultant begins performing analyses or preparing environmental documents related to Council-funded proposals. The Responsible Official will review any analysis performed and any documents prepared by a consultant to ensure that they satisfy the requirements of these Procedures.

    (b) Conflicts of Interest (40 CFR 1506.5(c)). The Responsible Official will exercise care in selecting consultants and reviewing their work to ensure that their analysis is complete and objective. Consultants will execute a disclosure statement prepared by the Responsible Official, certifying that they have no financial or other interest in the outcome of the project.

    (c) Council Responsibility (40 CFR 1506.5). The Council is responsible for its own compliance with Federal environmental laws, regulations, policies and Executive Orders, and cannot delegate this responsibility to consultants. The Responsible Official will independently evaluate any analysis performed and any documents prepared by a consultant to ensure that they satisfy the requirements of these Procedures. The Responsible Official will seek the advice of subject matter experts and/or Council members, as appropriate.

    Sec. 9. Public and Tribal Involvement for Environmental Impact Statements.

    (a) Policy. Public involvement is encouraged in the environmental analysis and review of a proposed Council Action.

    (b) Procedures. After determining that a draft EIS should be prepared, the Lead or Co-Lead agency will implement the following procedures, at a minimum, to engage affected members of the public and solicit public input:

    (1) Develop a list of interested parties, including Federal, regional, state, and local authorities, tribes, environmental groups, individuals, businesses, and community organizations, as applicable.

    (2) Publish an NOI in the Federal Register, and initiate scoping in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.7 and 1508.22, and notify directly those officials, agencies, organizations, tribes and individuals with particular interest in the proposal. The Council shall engage in Nation-to-Nation consultation, as required.

    (3) Hold public scoping meetings as appropriate to the action.

    (4) Circulate the draft EIS for comment to interested parties.

    (5) Publicize the availability of the draft EIS by press release, advertisement in local newspapers of general circulation, or other suitable means such as posting the draft EIS on the Council's Web site. As appropriate, the Council will also circulate the draft EIS and supporting documents to public depositories, such as libraries. The EPA will publish a notice of availability in the Federal Register which will determine the appropriate duration of the public review and comment period.

    (6) If necessary or desirable, using the criteria in 40 CFR 1506.6(c), hold a public meeting or public hearing on the draft EIS. If a public hearing is held, the draft EIS should be made available at least 15 days prior to the hearing.

    (7) Consider and respond to all substantive comments in the final EIS and provide copies of the final EIS to all who request a copy, and to Federal agencies and other parties who commented substantively on the draft EIS.

    (c) List of Contacts. Interested persons may obtain information on the Council's environmental process and on the status of EIS's issued by the Council from the Responsible Official. The Council will provide contact information on the Council's Web site and in other public notices.

    Sec. 10. Environmental Assessment.

    (a) Policy. The Responsible Official should perform, participate in, or coordinate, as appropriate, the process of considering the environmental impacts of a proposed Council Action at the earliest practical time in the planning process. To the fullest extent possible, steps to comply with all environmental laws, regulations, policies and Executive Orders, as well as the requirements of the RESTORE Act, will be undertaken concurrently.

    (b) Scope. An EA should contain a brief discussion of the proposed action; the purpose and need for the proposed action; an appropriate range of reasonable alternatives to the proposed action, including a no action alternative; an evaluation of the environmental impacts of the proposed action and any identified alternatives; a list of the agencies and persons consulted; a list of alternatives eliminated from further analysis with an explanation of why they were eliminated; a list of all applicable Federal environmental laws and requirements; and mitigation measures needed to reduce environmental impacts to below the level of significance (if applicable). The scope of environmental impacts considered in the EA should include both beneficial and adverse impacts; direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts; impacts of both long- and short-term duration; as well as analysis of the effects of any appropriate mitigation measures or best management practices that are considered. The mitigation measures can be analyzed either as elements of alternatives or in a separate discussion of mitigation.

    The level of detail and depth of impact analysis should be limited to documenting the potential impacts of the proposed action and whether the proposed action would result in any significant adverse environmental impacts. The EA should contain objective analyses to support its environmental impact conclusions.

    (c) Using Existing Environmental Analyses Prepared Pursuant to NEPA and the CEQ Regulations.

    (1) When available, the Responsible Official, or applicant if applicable, should use existing NEPA analyses for assessing the impacts of a proposed action and reasonable alternatives. Procedures for adoption or incorporation by reference of such analyses must be followed where applicable.

    (2) If existing NEPA analyses include data and assumptions appropriate for the analysis at hand, the Responsible Official, or applicant if applicable, should use these existing NEPA analyses and/or their underlying data and assumptions where feasible.

    (3) An existing environmental analysis prepared pursuant to NEPA and the CEQ regulations may be used in its entirety if the Responsible Official determines, with appropriate supporting documentation, that it adequately assesses the environmental effects of the proposed action and reasonable alternatives. The supporting record must include an evaluation of whether new circumstances, new information or changes in the action or its impacts not previously analyzed may result in significantly different environmental effects.

    (4) The Responsible Official, or applicant if applicable, should make the best use of existing NEPA documents by supplementing, tiering to, incorporating by reference, or adopting previous environmental analyses to avoid redundancy and unnecessary paperwork.

    (d) Public Coordination on the EA/FONSI.

    (1) Normally a draft FONSI need not be coordinated in advance outside the Council prior to its issuance. Copies of approved FONSIs will be available to the public, government agencies, or Congress upon request at any time.

    (2) The Council will post final EAs and approved FONSIs on its Web site.

    (3) To the extent appropriate and practicable, the Council may provide the public with an opportunity to review and comment on draft EAs. When the proposed action is, or is closely similar to, one which normally requires an EIS as identified in Section 12 of these Procedures, or when the nature of the proposed action is one without precedent, the Council will make a draft EA available to the public for review for a period of not less than 30 days before the final determination is made by the Council. The Council will consider any and all comments received prior to making a final decision regarding the associated FONSI.

    (e) Level of Analysis. The EA process should assess each impact identified as relevant to the proposed action or alternatives. The level of analysis of each impact should be guided by the following factors:

    (1) The likelihood of the potential effects;

    (2) The magnitude of the potential effects; and

    (3) Whether any adverse effects on the environment may be significant, even if on balance the proposed project may be beneficial.

    (f) Determination Based on the EA. On the basis of the EA, the Responsible Official will determine whether the proposed action has a potentially significant impact on the human environment and will make a recommendation to the Council as to whether an EIS is needed. Based on the Council's decision, the Responsible Official will take action in accordance with subsection (1) through (3) below, as applicable:

    (1) If the Council decides that the proposed action will not have a significant impact on the human environment, the Responsible Official will prepare a draft FONSI in accordance with Section 11 of these Procedures.

    (2) If the Council decides that the proposed action has a potentially significant impact, the Responsible Official will prepare an NOI to prepare an EIS, and begin the scoping process (40 CFR 1501.7).

    (3) If the proposed action will occur in a wetland or in a 100-year floodplain, the Council will ensure an opportunity for public comment on a draft of the EA. If such a situation is present, the EA also will follow Section 13(h)(6) or (8) of these Procedures, as applicable.

    Sec. 11. Finding of No Significant Impact.

    (a) General. A FONSI, as determined in accordance with Section 10 of these Procedures, is prepared for all Council Actions for which an EIS is not required and a CE does not apply.

    (b) Decision-making on the Proposed Action. The Council may not commit itself or its resources to an action requiring an EA (but not an EIS) until a FONSI has been approved in accordance with this Section.

    (c) Staff Responsibilities.

    (1) When required, the Responsible Official will prepare a draft FONSI, which will include the EA, or a summary of it, and note any other related environmental documents.

    (2) After complying with subsection (c)(1) of this Section, the Responsible Official will present the finding to the Council, which will approve the FONSI or decide an EIS will be prepared. The Council will authorize the Executive Director to sign FONSIs on behalf of the Council.

    (d) Representations of Mitigation. There may be situations in which the Council relies on the implementation of certain measures to mitigate the significance of the proposed action's environmental impacts and bases its FONSI on the implementation of such measures. Under such situations, the Council will ensure that the mitigation measures are implemented. Where applicable, the Council will work with the applicant to include appropriate mitigation measures as a grant condition or as a contract provision. See, CEQ's Memorandum, “Appropriate Use of Mitigation and Monitoring and Clarifying the Appropriate Use of Mitigated Findings of No Significant Impact.”

    (e) Changes and Supplements. If, prior to taking a final Council Action for which a FONSI was prepared, a significant change is made that would alter environmental impacts, or if significant new information becomes available regarding the environmental impacts, the Responsible Official, or applicant if applicable, will reevaluate the EA to determine whether supplementation is necessary. If the EA is not sufficient, the Responsible Official, or applicant if applicable, will supplement the existing EA or prepare a new EA to determine whether the changes or new information indicate the action may have a significant impact. If, because of the change or new information, the proposed action may have a significant impact, the Responsible Official, after consulting with the Council, will issue an NOI to prepare an EIS and begin the scoping process.

    (f) Contents of a FONSI (40 CFR 1508.13). A FONSI may include the EA or it may incorporate the EA by reference, in accordance with CEQ's regulations. The FONSI may be combined with a Council decision-making document or it may be limited to determining that an EIS is not required. A FONSI should contain at least the following:

    (1) Identification of the document as a FONSI;

    (2) Identification of the Council;

    (3) The title of the action;

    (4) The preparer(s) of the document (i.e., a list of those persons or organizations assisting in the preparation of the document);

    (5) The month and year of preparation of the document;

    (6) The name, title, address, and phone number of the person in the Council who should be contacted to supply further information about the document;

    (7) A brief description of the proposed action;

    (8) A brief description of, or reference to the page/section in the EA that discusses, the alternatives considered;

    (9) A brief discussion of, or reference to the page/section in the EA that discusses, the environmental effects of the proposed action;

    (10) Documentation of compliance with Sections 13(h)(6) and (8) of these Procedures, if the proposed action will occur in a wetland or in a 100-year floodplain;

    (11) Reference to the page/section in the EA that provides the list of all Federal permits, licenses, and any other approvals or consultations which must be obtained in order to proceed with the proposal;

    (12) A discussion of mitigation measures and environmental commitments that will be implemented, if applicable;

    (13) A conclusion that the preferred alternative, and where appropriate any other reasonable alternative(s), has no potentially significant impact; and

    (14) The Executive Director's signature indicating the approval of the Council as detailed in subsection (c) of this Section.

    Sec. 12. Environmental Impact Statement.

    (a) General. The Council will prepare an EIS for Council Actions with potentially significantly impacts, as determined in accordance with Section 10 of these Procedures.

    (b) Decision-making on the Proposed Action. The Council may seek a waiver from the EPA of the time limit requirements of 40 CFR 1506.10 for compelling reasons of national policy.

    (c) Staff Responsibilities and Timing.

    (1) The Council, or applicant if applicable, should begin the process for preparation of an EIS as soon as it determines, or the EA performed in accordance with Section 10 of these Procedures discloses, that the proposed action has potentially significantly environmental impacts.

    (2) If the Council is the Lead Agency or Joint Lead, the Responsible Official will issue an NOI and undertake the scoping process identified in 40 CFR 1501.7 as soon as the Council decides to prepare an EIS.

    (3) In preparing a draft EIS, the Responsible Official, or applicant if applicable, will consider any scoping comments, develop the relevant analysis, and engage in applicable coordination in accordance with CEQ's regulations and Section 13 of these Procedures.

    (4) The Responsible Official will submit the proposed draft EIS to the Council.

    (5) A draft EIS may be formally released outside the Council only after approval by the Council.

    (6) The Responsible Official will direct electronic distribution of the draft EIS as follows: EPA; all interested Council regional and state offices; all Federal agencies that have jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to the environmental impacts of the proposed action; tribal, state, and local government authorities; to the extent practicable and appropriate, public libraries in the area to be affected by the proposed action; and all other interested parties identified during the preparation of the draft EIS that have requested a copy. Hard copies will be made available upon request. Public notice will be designed to reach potentially interested or affected individuals, governments, and organizations. In addition, the draft EIS will be made available on the Council's Web site concurrently with the public comment period.

    (7) The draft EIS will be made available for public and agency comment for at least 45 days from the date when EPA publishes its Notice of Availability (NOA) in the Federal Register. The time period for comments on the draft EIS will be specified in a prominent place in the NOA and on the coversheet of the draft EIS. Public comments must be provided to the person designated in the public notice.

    (8) Where a public hearing is to be held on the draft EIS, as determined in accordance with Section 9(b)(6) of these Procedures, the draft EIS will be made available to the public at least 15 days prior to the hearing (see 40 CFR 1506.6).

    (9) The Responsible Official will consider substantive comments received on the draft EIS. If a final EIS is not submitted to the Council for approval within three years from the date of the draft EIS circulation, the Responsible Official or applicant, as appropriate, will prepare a written reevaluation of the draft to determine whether the draft EIS warrants supplementation due to changed circumstances or new information. If so, a supplement to the draft EIS or a new draft EIS will be prepared and circulated as required by subsections (1) through (9) of this subsection. If the draft EIS does not warrant supplementation, the Responsible Official will prepare the final EIS.

    (10) The Responsible Official will submit the final EIS and draft ROD to the Council for a decision (see Section 15 of these Procedures).

    (11) The ROD will become final upon signature of the Executive Director. The Council will delegate authority for signature of RODs to the Executive Director, provided such RODs are first approved by the Council.

    (12) The Responsible Official will direct electronic distribution of the final EIS and ROD as follows: EPA; all interested Council regional and state offices; state, tribal, and local authorities; to the extent practicable, public libraries in the area affected by the proposed action; Federal agencies and other parties who commented substantively on the draft EIS; and all agencies, organizations, or individuals that have requested a copy. Hard copies will be provided upon request. The final EIS and ROD will be posted on the Council's Web site and notice will go out to interested parties who have asked to receive notice.

    (13) If major steps toward implementation of the proposed action have not commenced, or a major decision point for actions implemented in stages has not occurred, within three years from the date of publication of the final EIS, the Responsible Official will prepare a written evaluation of whether the final EIS warrants supplementation. The Responsible Official will submit this evaluation to the Council.

    (d) Changes and Supplements. Where a draft or final EIS has been prepared for a proposed Council Action, and substantial changes to the proposal are made or significant new circumstances or information comes to light that is relevant to environmental concerns and bears on the proposed action or its impacts, the Responsible Official, or applicant if appropriate, will prepare a supplement to the original draft or final EIS. Such a supplement will be processed in accordance with subsections (3) through (13) of subsection (c) of this Section. The Responsible Official will determine whether, and to what extent, any portion of the proposed action is unaffected by the planning change or new information. Where appropriate, Council decision-making on portions of the proposed action having utility independent of the affected portion may go forward regardless of the concurrent processing of the supplement, so long as the EIS and ROD are completed for those actions having independent utility and the NOI for the supplemental NEPA analysis and documentation articulates the basis for determining independent utility.

    (e) Representations of Mitigation. Where a final EIS has represented that certain measures will be taken to mitigate the adverse environmental impacts of an action, the Council will include the mitigation measures, and any appropriate monitoring wherever appropriate, as a condition of funding or, where appropriate, contract provisions. If necessary, the Council may take steps to enforce implementation of such mitigation measures.

    (f) Contents of an EIS. The contents of both a draft and final EIS are detailed in the CEQ regulations and Section 13 of these Procedures. Recognizing that CEQ regulations allow the combination of NEPA documents with other agency documents and that the Council may find it practical to do so, format and page limitations on EIS's should follow those set out in 40 CFR 1502.7 and 1502.10, to the extent practicable. An EIS should avoid extraneous data and discussion. The text of an EIS should be written in plain language, comprehensible to a lay person. Technical materials should be placed into appendices, produced as stand-alone reports available on the Council's Web site, or made available in hard copy by request. Graphics and drawings, maps, and photographs may be used as necessary to clarify the proposal and its alternatives. The sources of all data used in an EIS will be noted or referenced in the EIS.

    Previous NEPA analyses should be used, where available, to ensure efficient preparation of an EIS. As appropriate, previous NEPA analyses can be tiered to, incorporated by reference, or may be adopted into the document consistent with CEQ's regulations and the process detailed above in subsection 10(c). See 40 CFR 1502.20, 1502.21, and 1508.28.

    Sec. 13. Contents of an Environmental Impact Statement.

    To the fullest extent possible, the Responsible Official, Lead Agency, or applicant, will concurrently draft the EIS while seeking compliance with other applicable environmental requirements.

    In addition to the requirements of 40 CFR 1502.10 through 1502.18, and subject to the general provisions of Section 12 of these Procedures, an EIS should contain the following:

    (a) Identification of the Council.

    (b) The Responsible Official who prepared or oversaw preparation of the document.

    (c) The month and year the document was prepared.

    (d) In a draft EIS, the name, title, and address of the person in the Council to whom comments on the document should be addressed, and the date by which comments must be received to be considered. Typically this will be the Responsible Official.

    (e) A list of those persons, organizations, or agencies assisting the Council in the preparation of the document.

    (f) In a final EIS, a list of all agencies, organizations, or persons from whom comments were received on the draft EIS.

    (g) A short, introductory description of the environment likely to be affected by the proposed action, including a list of all states, counties, and local areas likely to be affected.

    (h) Consistent with the description provided in 40 CFR 1502.16, an analysis of the environmental consequences of the proposed action. The following areas should be considered in the environmental analysis, although their discussion—and the extent of that discussion—in the EIS is dependent on their relevance:

    (1) Air quality. There should be an assessment of the consistency of the proposal and alternatives with Federal and state plans for the attainment and maintenance of air quality standards.

    (2) Water quality. There should be an assessment of the consistency of the alternatives with Federal and state standards concerning drinking water, storm sewer drainage, sedimentation control, and non-point source discharges such as runoff from construction operations. The need for any permits under sections 402 and 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1342 and 1344) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act should also be assessed.

    (3) Noise. The alternatives should be assessed with respect to applicable Federal, state, and local noise standards.

    (4) Solid waste disposal. The alternatives should be assessed with respect to state and local standards for sanitary landfill and solid waste disposal.

    (5) Natural ecological systems. The EIS should assess both short-term (e.g., construction period) and long-term impacts of the alternatives on wildlife, vegetation, and ecological processes in the affected environment.

    (6) Wetlands. In accordance with Executive Order 11990, the EIS should determine whether any of the alternatives will be located in a wetland area. If the proposed action is located in a wetland area, the final EIS should document a determination by the Responsible Official that there is no practicable alternative to such location, and that the proposed action includes all practicable measures to minimize harm to wetlands which may result from such use.

    (7) Protected species. If applicable, the EIS will discuss the impacts of the alternatives on species that are listed or proposed for listing as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, or the proposed or designated critical habitats for such species; protected species under the Marine Mammal Protection Act; and birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In such cases, the EIS should discuss any consultation or coordination, as appropriate, with the appropriate Federal agency.

    (8) Flood hazard evaluation and floodplain management. Under E.O. 11988, as amended by E.O. 13690, Federal agencies proposing activities in a 100-year floodplain are directed to consider alternatives to avoid adverse effects and incompatible development in the floodplain. If no practicable alternatives exist to siting an action in the floodplain, the EIS should discuss how the action will be designed to minimize potential harm to or within the floodplain.

    (9) Coastal zone management. If applicable, the EIS should discuss to what extent the alternatives are consistent with approved coastal zone management programs in affected states, as required by section 307(c)(2) of the Coastal Zone Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1456(c)(2).

    (10) Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). If applicable, the EIS will identify any EFH that could be impacted by the alternatives. Actions that could have the potential to affect EFH require consultation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the Magnuson-Stevens Act to evaluate potential impacts to designated EFH and minimize these impacts. The final EIS should document these consultations.

    (11) Use of natural resources other than energy, such as water, minerals, or timber.

    (12) Aesthetic environment and scenic resources. The EIS should identify any significant aesthetic changes likely to occur in the natural landscape and in the developed environment.

    (13) Land use. The EIS should assess the impacts of each alternative on local land use controls and comprehensive regional planning, as well as on development within the affected environment, including, where applicable, other proposed federal actions in the area.

    (14) Socioeconomic environment. The EIS should assess the number and kinds of available jobs likely to be affected by the alternatives. For each alternative considered, the EIS should also discuss the potential for community disruption or cohesion, the possibility of demographic shifts, and impacts on local government services and revenues.

    (15) Public health and public safety. The EIS should assess potential environmental impacts relevant to public health and safety. For example, the EIS should assess the transportation or use of any hazardous materials that may be involved in the alternatives, and the level of protection afforded residents of the affected environment from construction period and long-term operations associated with the alternatives.

    (16) Recreation areas and opportunities. The EIS should assess the impacts of the alternatives on recreational activities, including impacts on non-site-specific activities, such as hiking and bicycling, and impacts on non-activity-specific sites such as those designated “open space.”

    (17) Environmental Justice. The EIS should address environmental justice considerations as required by Executive Order 12898, “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations.”

    (18) Sites of historical, archeological, architectural, or cultural significance. In accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 470(f), and its implementing regulations, 36 CFR part 800, the EIS should identify all properties included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that may be affected by the preferred alternative and other reasonable alternatives. The EIS also should include documentation of the status of consultation with the appropriate State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO). The EIS should discuss the criteria of adverse effect on historic properties (36 CFR 800.5) with regard to each alternative. The final EIS should include documentation of the status of consultation with the appropriate SHPO(s) or THPO(s). In the event that the Responsible Official, in consultation with the SHPO or THPO, finds that a proposed action will have an adverse effect on such a site, the final EIS also should include documentation of the status of subsequent consultation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

    (19) Climate Change. The EIS should estimate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the alternatives, as appropriate, and consider mitigation measures. The EIS should also consider the effects that climate change may have on the proposed alternatives, and consider adaptation alternatives, where appropriate.

    (20) Hazardous, radioactive, and toxic waste. The EIS should assess the consistency of the alternatives with Federal and state requirements concerning hazardous, radioactive, and toxic waste management in the program or project area.

    (i) A description of the impacts of the alternatives and a detailed description of mitigation measures available or planned to avoid, minimize, rectify, reduce over time, or compensate each adverse impact, if not included in the alternatives. Impacts and mitigation measures should be identified in a table as long-term and/or short-term as applicable. This part of the EIS should also include a summary of any irreversible or irretrievable commitments of resources that would be likely to result from the alternatives.

    (j) A brief discussion of the relationship between local short-term uses of the environment affected by the alternatives, and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity.

    (k) A compilation of all applicable Federal, state, and tribal permits, licenses, and approvals which are required before the proposed action may commence. The final EIS should document compliance with the requirements of all applicable Federal environmental laws, regulations, Executive Orders, and policies. If compliance is not possible by the time of final EIS issuance, the final EIS should discuss the status of compliance and should specify that all applicable environmental compliance requirements must be addressed prior to project implementation.

    (l) The final EIS should provide a synopsis or compilation of substantive comments received on the draft EIS, whether made in writing or orally at a public hearing, and responses to comments. The response to those comments should be consistent with the procedures set forth in CEQ's regulations (40 CFR 1503.4). Comments may be collected and summarized, except for comments by other Federal agencies which should be provided in total and where otherwise required by Federal law or regulation. Before the EIS is put into final form, every effort should be made to resolve significant issues with the Federal or state agencies administering Federal laws. The final EIS will describe such issues, consultations and efforts to resolve such issues, and provide an explanation of why any remaining issues have not been resolved.

    Sec. 14. Programmatic Environmental Review.

    (a) A programmatic NEPA analysis is used to assess the environmental impacts of a proposed action that is broad in reach; analysis of subsequent actions that fall within the program may be tiered to such analyses, as described in the CEQ regulations (40 CFR 1502.20 and 1508.28). A programmatic analysis may be used for proposed policies, plans, and programs that address a given geographic area, common environmental impacts to a class of actions, or activities that are not location-specific.

    (b) Programmatic NEPA analyses may take the form of a programmatic environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    (c) Programmatic NEPA analyses may be used when there are limitations on available information or uncertainty regarding the timing, location, and environmental impacts of subsequent implementing actions.

    (d) A programmatic NEPA analysis may also provide the basis for decisions regarding proposed projects prior to the Council's consideration of the impacts for specific projects (e.g., applicable mitigation measures, identifying alternatives). This analysis can also programmatically address potential cumulative and indirect effects. This provides an opportunity to tier the consideration of the subsequent action to the programmatic analysis, avoiding duplicative efforts.

    (e) The document should identify program-level alternatives and assess the broad program-wide environmental impacts. To the extent information is available, it should also identify the reasonable alternatives to and potential impacts of project-specific Council Actions within the program, and the impacts on resources.

    (f) Where a programmatic environmental document has been prepared, the Responsible Official may examine each project-level action encompassed by the programmatic document to determine whether the project-level action has been sufficiently analyzed in the programmatic document to determine whether and what additional analysis is appropriate.

    (g) For any project-level action, the Council, or project applicant, will prepare additional environmental documentation as required by these Procedures, unless the documentation prepared for the programmatic action satisfies the requirements of these Procedures. Project-level documentation should reference and summarize the programmatic document and limit the discussion to the unique alternatives to, impacts of, and mitigation for the project.

    (h) An environmental assessment prepared in support of an individual proposed action can be tiered to a programmatic or other broader-scope environmental impact statement. An environmental assessment may be prepared, and a finding of no significant impact reached, for a proposed action with significant effects, whether direct, indirect, or cumulative, if the environmental assessment is tiered to a broader environmental impact statement which fully analyzed those significant effects. Tiering to the programmatic or broader-scope environmental impact statement would allow the preparation of an environmental assessment and a finding of no significant impact for the individual proposed action, so long as any previously unanalyzed effects are not significant. A finding of no significant impact other than those already disclosed and analyzed in the environmental impact statement to which the environmental assessment is tiered may also be called a “finding of no new significant impact.”

    Sec. 15. Record of Decision.

    (a) General. The Responsible Official will prepare a draft ROD when the Council is prepared to make a final decision on the proposed action. The timing of the agency's decision will follow the requirements of 40 CFR 1506.10. The draft ROD may be processed concurrently with the final EIS. If the draft ROD is processed subsequently, it will follow the same approval process as a final EIS.

    (b) Contents. The ROD will include a description of the proposed action and the environmental information specified in 40 CFR 1505.2. A ROD may be conditioned upon the approval of permits, licenses, and/or approvals that were not complete prior to issuance of the ROD.

    (c) Changes. If the Council wishes to take an action not identified as the preferred alternative in the final EIS, or proposes to make substantial changes to the findings discussed in a draft ROD, the Council will revise the ROD and process it internally in the same manner as EIS approval, in accordance with Section 12(c) of these Procedures.

    Will D. Spoon, Program Analyst, Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10439 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-58-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial Review

    In accordance with Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces a meeting for the initial review of applications in response to Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), RFA-CE-15-003, Evaluating Structural, Economic, Environmental, or Policy Primary Prevention Strategies for Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence.

    Times and Dates: 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., EDT, June 4, 2015 (Closed).

    Place: Teleconference.

    Status: The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with provisions set forth in Section 552b(c)(4) and (6), Title 5 U.S.C., and the Determination of the Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, CDC, pursuant to Public Law 92-463.

    Matters for Discussion: The meeting will include the initial review, discussion, and evaluation of applications received in response to “Evaluating Structural, Economic, Environmental, or Policy Primary Prevention Strategies for Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence”, CE-15-003.

    Contact Person for More Information: Gwendolyn Cattledge, Ph.D., M.S.E.H., Scientific Review Officer, CDC, 4770 Buford Hwy. NE., Mailstop E63, Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3724, Telephone: 770-488-4655.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices Pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee Management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Catherine Ramadei, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10416 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial Review

    In accordance with Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces a meeting for the initial review of applications in response to Special Interest Project (SIP) 15-006, Building Local Community Health Leadership for Action on Preventing Chronic Disease.

    Time and Date: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., EDT, May 28, 2015 (Closed).

    Place: Teleconference.

    Status: The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with provisions set forth in Section 552b(c)(4) and (6), Title 5 U.S.C., and the Determination of the Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, CDC, pursuant to Public Law 92-463.

    Matters for Discussion: The meeting will include the initial review, discussion, and evaluation of applications received in response to “Building Local Community Health Leadership for Action on Preventing Chronic Disease”, SIP 15-006.

    Contact Person for More Information: Brenda Colley Gilbert, Ph.D., M.S.P.H., Director, Extramural Research Program Operations and Services, CDC, 4770 Buford Highway NE., Mailstop F-80, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, Telephone: (770) 488-6295, [email protected]

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Catherine Ramadei, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10417 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial Review

    In accordance with Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces a meeting for the initial review of applications in response to Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), RFA-CE-15-004, Evaluating Innovative and Promising Strategies to prevent Suicide among Middle-Aged Men.

    Time and Date: 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., EDT, June 2, 2015 (CLOSED).

    Place: Teleconference.

    Status: The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with provisions set forth in Section 552b(c)(4) and (6), Title 5 U.S.C., and the Determination of the Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, CDC, pursuant to Public Law 92-463.

    Matters for Discussion: The meeting will include the initial review, discussion, and evaluation of applications received in response to “Evaluating Innovative and Promising Strategies to prevent Suicide among Middle-Aged Men”, CE-15-004.

    Contact Person for More Information: Gwendolyn Cattledge, Ph.D., M.S.E.H., Scientific Review Officer, CDC, 4770 Buford Hwy. NE., Mailstop E63, Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3724, Telephone: (770) 488-4655.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Catherine Ramadei, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10415 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Docket Number CDC-2015-0026; NIOSH 248-B] World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (WTCHP STAC or Advisory Committee), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

    In accordance with section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announces the following meeting of the aforementioned committee:

    Time and Date: 10:00 a.m.-4:45 p.m., June 4, 2015 (All times are Eastern Daylight Savings Time).

    Place: Jacob J. Javits Federal Building, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, New York 10278. This meeting is also available by teleconference. The USA toll-free, dial-in number is 1-888-810-6754, and when prompted enter passcode—1908415. To view the web conference, enter the following web address in your web browser: https://odniosh.adobeconnect.com/wtcstacjune4/.

    Public Comment Time and Date: 1:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m., June 4, 2015.

    Please note that the public comment period ends at the time indicated above or following the last call for comments, whichever is earlier. Members of the public who want to comment must sign up by providing their name by mail, email, or telephone, at the addresses provided below by May 29, 2015. Each commenter will be provided up to five minutes for comment. A limited number of time slots are available and will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. Written comments will also be accepted from those unable to attend the public session.

    Status: Open to the public, limited only by the number of telephone lines. The conference line will accommodate up to 100 callers; therefore it is suggested that those interested in calling in to listen to the committee meeting share a line when possible.

    Background: The Advisory Committee was established by Public Law 111-347 (The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, Title XXXIII of the Public Health Service Act), enacted on January 2, 2011 and codified at 42 U.S.C. 300mm-300mm-61.

    Purpose: The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to review scientific and medical evidence and to make recommendations to the Administrator of the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program regarding additional WTC Health Program eligibility criteria and potential additions to the list of covered WTC-related health conditions, as well as providing consultation on research to the Administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program. Title XXXIII of the Public Health Service Act established within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program, to be administered by the Administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program. The WTC Health Program provides: (1) Medical monitoring and treatment benefits to eligible emergency responders and recovery and cleanup workers (including those who are Federal employees) who responded to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and (2) initial health evaluation, monitoring, and treatment benefits to residents and other building occupants and area workers in New York City, who were directly impacted and adversely affected by such attacks (“survivors”). Certain specific activities of the Administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program are reserved to the Secretary, HHS, to delegate at her discretion; other duties of the Administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program not explicitly reserved to the Secretary, HHS, are assigned to the Director, NIOSH. The administration of the Advisory Committee established under section 300mm-1(a) is delegated to the Director of NIOSH in his role as Administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program. CDC and NIOSH provide funding, staffing, and administrative support services for the Advisory Committee. The charter was reissued on May 12, 2013, and will expire on May 12, 2015. The charter renewal is currently in process.

    Matters for Discussion: The agenda for the Advisory Committee meeting includes a review of the World Trade Center Health Program's (WTCHP) structure and function, activities, member services, and communications. An overview of the WTC health research, the WTC Registry, and lessons learned in addressing WTC-related mental health issues will also be presented. The Advisory Committee will deliberate on specific questions related to: (1) Addressing the need for research on developmental or health effects in children; (2) developing robust and appropriate comparison groups to improve the validity and interpretability of WTC research; (3) improving benefits counseling and psychosocial support for members serviced by the National Provider Network; and (4) reviewing the WTCHP's “Research-to-Care” model.

    The agenda is subject to change as priorities dictate.

    To view the notice, visit http://www.regulations.gov and enter CDC-2015-0026 in the search field and click “Search.”

    Public Comment Sign-up and Submissions to the Docket: To sign up to provide public comments or to submit comments to the docket, send information to the NIOSH Docket Office by one of the following means:

    Mail: NIOSH Docket Office, Robert A. Taft Laboratories, MS-C-34, 1090 Tusculum Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226.

    Email: [email protected]

    Telephone: (513) 533-8611.

    In the event an individual cannot attend, written comments may be submitted. The comments should be limited to two pages and submitted through http://www.regulations.gov by May 29, 2015. Efforts will be made to provide the two-page written comments received by the deadline below to the committee members before the meeting. Comments in excess of two pages will be made publicly available at http://www.regulations.gov. To view background information and previous submissions go to NIOSH docket http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docket/archive/docket248.html and http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docket/archive/docket248-A.html.

    Policy on Redaction of Committee Meeting Transcripts (Public Comment): Transcripts will be prepared and posted to http://www.regulations.gov within 60 days after the meeting. If a person making a comment gives his or her name, no attempt will be made to redact that name. NIOSH will take reasonable steps to ensure that individuals making public comments are aware of the fact that their comments (including their name, if provided) will appear in a transcript of the meeting posted on a public Web site. Such reasonable steps include a statement read at the start of the meeting stating that transcripts will be posted and names of speakers will not be redacted. If individuals in making a statement reveal personal information (e.g., medical information) about themselves, that information will not usually be redacted. The CDC Freedom of Information Act coordinator will, however, review such revelations in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and, if deemed appropriate, will redact such information. Disclosures of information concerning third party medical information will be redacted.

    Contact Person for More Information: Paul J. Middendorf, Ph.D., Designated Federal Officer, NIOSH, CDC, 2400 Century Parkway NE., Mail Stop E-20, Atlanta, Georgia 30345, telephone 1 (888) 982-4748; email: [email protected]

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register Notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Catherine Ramadei, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10418 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Board of Scientific Counselors, (BSC) National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR)

    In accordance with section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announces the following meeting of the aforementioned committee:

    Times and Dates: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., EDT, June 3, 2015; 8:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m., EDT, June 4, 2015.

    Place: CDC, 4770 Buford Highway, Atlanta, Georgia 30341.

    Status: Open to the public, limited only by the space available. The meeting room accommodates approximately 60 people.

    Purpose: The Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and by delegation, the Director, CDC and Administrator, NCEH/ATSDR, are authorized under Section 301 (42 U.S.C. 241) and Section 311 (42 U.S.C. 243) of the Public Health Service Act, as amended, to: (1) Conduct, encourage, cooperate with, and assist other appropriate public authorities, scientific institutions, and scientists in the conduct of research, investigations, experiments, demonstrations, and studies relating to the causes, diagnosis, treatment, control, and prevention of physical and mental diseases and other impairments; (2) assist states and their political subdivisions in the prevention of infectious diseases and other preventable conditions and in the promotion of health and well being; and (3) train state and local personnel in health work. The BSC, NCEH/ATSDR provides advice and guidance to the Secretary, HHS; the Director, CDC and Administrator, ATSDR; and the Director, NCEH/ATSDR, regarding program goals, objectives, strategies, and priorities in fulfillment of the agency's mission to protect and promote people's health. The board provides advice and guidance that will assist NCEH/ATSDR in ensuring scientific quality, timeliness, utility, and dissemination of results. The board also provides guidance to help NCEH/ATSDR work more efficiently and effectively with its various constituents and to fulfill its mission in protecting America's health.

    Matters for Discussion: The agenda items for the BSC Meeting will include NCEH/ATSDR Office of the Director updates; CDC/ATSDR Activities on Household Air Pollution and Cleaner Cookstoves; NCEH/ATSDR Program Responses to BSC Guidance and Action Items; At the Intersection of Public Health and Health Care: CDC's National Asthma Control Program; Environmental Health Services: Vessel Sanitation Program, Model Aquatic Health Code; Geospatial Research, Analysis, and Services Program; NCEH/ATSDR Emergency Management Activities; Environmental Health Tracking Program; Advances in Laboratory Methods—Molecular Newborn Screening Tests; and updates from the National Institute for Environmental Health Services, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    Agenda items are subject to change as priorities dictate.

    Supplemental Information: The public comment period is scheduled on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 from 2:45 p.m. until 3:00 p.m., and on Thursday, June 4, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. until 11:15 a.m.

    Contact Person for More Information: Sandra Malcom, Committee Management Specialist, NCEH/ATSDR, 4770 Buford Highway, Mail Stop F-61, Chamblee, Georgia 30345; Telephone 770/488-0575 or 770/488-0577, Fax: 770/488-3377; Email: [email protected] The deadline for notification of attendance is May 27, 2015.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Catherine Ramadei, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10414 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Community Living Final Priorities; National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research—Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects Program AGENCY:

    Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Final priority.

    CFDA Numbers: 84.133A-5 and 84.133A-6. SUMMARY:

    The Administrator of the Administration for Community Living announces priorities for the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRPS) Program administered by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). Specifically, we announce two priorities for DRRPs on (1) Center on Knowledge Translation for Employment Research (84.133A-5) and (2) Projects for Translating Disability and Rehabilitation Research into Practice (84.133A-6). The Administrator of the Administration for Community Living may use these priorities for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2015 and later years. We take this action to focus research attention on an area of national need. We intend for these priorities to contribute to improved outcomes for people with disabilities through improved uptake of research-based knowledge.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: These priorities are effective June 4, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Marlene Spencer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5133, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2700. Telephone: (202) 245-7532 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program is to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities, including international activities, to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe disabilities, and to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Rehabilitation Act).

    Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects

    The purpose of NIDILRR's DRRPs, which are funded through the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, is to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act by developing methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technologies that advance a wide range of independent living and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most significant disabilities. DRRPs carry out one or more of the following types of activities, as specified and defined in 34 CFR 350.13 through 350.19: Research, training, demonstration, development, utilization, dissemination, and technical assistance.

    An applicant for assistance under this program must demonstrate in its application how it will address, in whole or in part, the needs of individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds (34 CFR 350.40(a)). The approaches an applicant may take to meet this requirement are found in 34 CFR 350.40(b). Additional information on the DRRP program can be found at: www.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/res-program.html#DRRP.

    Program Authority:

    29 U.S. C. 762(g) and 764(b)(2).

    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 350.

    We published a notice of proposed priorities (NPP) for this program in the Federal Register on March 13, 2015 (80 FR 13378). That notice contained background information and our reasons for proposing the particular priorities.

    There are no differences between the proposed priorities and these final priorities.

    Public Comment: In response to our invitation in the notice of proposed priorities, one party submitted comments on the proposed priorities.

    Generally, we do not address technical and other minor changes. In addition, we do not address general comments that raised concerns not directly related to the proposed priorities.

    Analysis of Comments and Changes: An analysis of the comments and of any changes in the priorities since publication of the NPP follows.

    Center on Knowledge Translation for Employment Research (Priority 1)

    We received no comments on this priority.

    Projects for Translating Disability and Rehabilitation Research Into Practice (Priority 2)

    Comment: One commenter asked whether NIDILRR intends the grants to be made under this priority to support the translation and use of development-based outputs, as well as research-based knowledge and products. This commenter stated that if NIDILRR does intend to support the translation and use of development-based outputs, we should consistently include such language throughout the priority.

    Discussion: We do not agree with the commenter that there is a solid and clear distinction between research-based and development-based outputs. NIDILRR program regulations define “development” in terms of its basis in research. CFR 350.16 defines development as the use of “knowledge and understanding gained from research to create materials, devices, systems, or methods beneficial to the target population, including design and development of prototypes and processes.” The purpose of this priority, as stated in the notice of proposed priority, is to support the translation of research-based findings or products of past or present NIDILRR-funded grants into use or adoption by their stakeholders. Applicants may propose to translate and promote the use of findings or products of any past or present NIDILRR grantee, including those engaged in research or development activities, as long as the products of those grants are based on research.

    Changes: None.

    Final Priorities Priority 1—Center on Knowledge Translation for Employment Research

    The Administrator of the Administration for Community Living proposes a priority for a Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project to serve as the Center on Knowledge Translation for Employment Research (Center). The purpose of the proposed Center on KT for Employment Research is to promote the use of employment research findings to improve practices and policies that support improved employment outcomes of individuals with disabilities. The center will achieve this purpose by (1) working with employment-focused NIDILRR grantees to identify research findings that can be used to improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, (2) identifying areas in which stakeholders' needs for research-based knowledge are most pressing, and (3) investigating and promoting effective strategies to increase the appropriate use of the best available research-based knowledge in the field.

    Under this priority, the Center must be designed to contribute to the following outcomes:

    (a) Increased understanding of processes and practices that will lead to successful knowledge translation in the field of employment for individuals with disabilities;

    (b) Increased adoption and use of relevant research findings funded by NIDILRR and other entities, to improve employment of individuals with disabilities; and

    (c) Increased capacity of NIDILRR's employment-focused grantees to plan and engage in knowledge translation activities.

    The Center must contribute to these outcomes by conducting rigorous research, development, technical assistance, dissemination, and utilization activities to increase successful knowledge translation of employment research to improve employment of individuals with disabilities. In planning and conducting all activities, the Center must partner with relevant stakeholders such as employment-focused researchers, individual with disabilities, consumer organizations, employers, State and Federal agencies, and others as appropriate.

    Priority 2—Projects for Translating Disability and Rehabilitation Research Into Practice

    The Administrator of the Administration for Community Living proposes a priority for Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP). These DRRP grants will serve as Projects for Translating Disability and Rehabilitation Research into Practice. The purpose of these projects is to support the translation of research findings or products of past or present NIDILRR-funded grants into use or adoption by their stakeholders. Under this priority, grantees must successfully move NIDILRR-sponsored research-based findings or products into actual use or adoption in real-life contexts. Grantees under this priority must also document and disseminate the knowledge translation methods that they used to facilitate the adoption or use of findings or products by stakeholders.

    Each knowledge translation grant under this priority must be conducted in partnership with relevant stakeholders. These stakeholders must be actively engaged in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of all knowledge translation grant activities. Grantees under this priority must contribute to the following outcomes:

    (1) Use or adoption of NIDILRR-sponsored findings or products by relevant stakeholders;

    (2) Changes in policy, practice, or systems that are intended to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities as a result of the use or adoption of NIDILRR-sponsored findings or products; and

    (3) Increased understanding of promising practices for knowledge translation in disability, independent living, and rehabilitation research.

    Grantees under this priority must contribute to these outcomes by—

    (a) Identifying research-based findings or products from a NIDILRR-funded grant or grants that are ready for use or adoption in real-world settings, as well as the context or setting in which they will be used or adopted;

    (b) Identifying or developing, and then implementing a knowledge translation plan to facilitate the use or adoption of findings or products in (a) by key stakeholders; and

    (c) Identifying measures to evaluate the success of the uses or adoptions achieved under (b).

    Types of Priorities

    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:

    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only applications that meet the priority (45 CFR 75).

    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the application meets the priority (45 CFR 75); or (2) selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority (45 CFR 75).

    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a preference over other applications (45 CFR 75).

    This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note:

    This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use these priorities, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register.

    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 29, 2015. John Tschida, Director, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10475 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4154-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Community Living Applications for New Awards; National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)—DRRP—Knowledge Translation for Employment Research and Projects for Translating Disability and Rehabilitation Research Into Practice AGENCY:

    Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information:

    National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)—Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRPs)—Knowledge Translation for Employment Research (84.133A-5) and Projects for Translating Disability and Rehabilitation Research into Practice (84.133A-6)

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Numbers: 84.133A-5 and 84.133A-6.

    Note:

    This notice invites applications for separate competitions. For funding and other key information for each of these competitions, see the chart in the Award Information section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Applications Available: May 5, 2015.

    Note:

    On July 22, 2014, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA was effective immediately. One provision of WIOA transferred the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) from the Department of Education to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) in the Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, NIDRR's name was changed to the Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). For FY 2015, all NIDILRR priority notices will be published as ACL notices, and ACL will make all NIDILRR awards. During this transition period, however, NIDILRR will continue to review grant applications using Department of Education tools. NIDILRR will post previously-approved application kits to grants.gov, and NIDILRR applications submitted to grants.gov will be forwarded to the Department of Education's G-5 system for peer review. We are using Department of Education application kits and peer review systems during this transition year in order to provide for a smooth and orderly process for our applicants.

    Date of Pre-Application Meeting: May 26, 2015.

    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: June 9, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 6, 2015.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program is to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities, including international activities to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology. The Program's activities are designed to maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe disabilities, and to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Rehabilitation Act).

    Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRPs)

    The purpose of DRRPs, which are under NIDILRR's Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, is to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, by developing methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technologies that advance a wide range of independent living and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe disabilities. DRRPs carry out one or more of the following types of activities, as specified and defined in 34 CFR 350.13 through 350.19: research, training, demonstration, development, dissemination, utilization, and technical assistance. Additionally information on DRRPs can be found at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/drrp/index.html.

    Priorities: There are three priorities for the grant competition announced in this notice. Two priorities are from the notice of final priorities for this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. One priority is from the notice of final priority for the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, published in the Federal Register on April 28, 2006 (71 FR 25472).

    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 45 CFR part 75 we consider only applications that meet these program priorities.

    These priorities are:

    Priority 1: Center on Knowledge Translation for Employment Research Priority 2: Projects for Translating Disability and Rehabilitation Research Into Practice Note:

    The full text of these priorities is included in the notice of final priorities and definitions published in the Federal Register on March 13, 2015 (78 FR 13378) and in the application package for these competitions.

    Priority 3—General DRRP Requirements Note:

    The full text of this priority is included in the notice of final priorities for the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, published in the Federal Register on April 28, 2006 (71 FR 25472) and in the application package for these competitions.

    Program Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 764(a).

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Department of Health and Human Services General Administrative Regulations in 45 CFR part 75 (b) Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 45 CFR part 75 Subpart F; (c) 45 CFR part 75 Non-procurement Debarment and Suspension; (d) 45 CFR part 75 Requirement for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance); (e) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 350; (f) The notice of final priorities for the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers program published in the Federal Register on April 28, 2006 (71 FR 25472); and (g) The notice of final priority for this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

    Estimated Available Funds: $950,000.

    Maximum Award: See chart.

    Estimated Number of Awards: See chart.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: See chart.

    CFDA No. and name Applications available Deadline for transmittal of applications Estimated
  • available funds
  • Maximum award amount
  • (per year) 1 2 3
  • Estimated number of awards Project period
  • (months)
  • 84.133A-5, Center on Knowledge Translation for Employment Research May 5, 2015 July 6, 2015 $500,000 $500,000 1 60 84.133A-6, Projects for Translating Disability and Rehabilitation Research into Practice May 5, 2015 July 6, 2015 450,000 150,000 3 60 1 Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2015 and any subsequent year from the list of unfunded applicants from these competitions. 2 We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding the Maximum Amount. The Administrator of the Administration for Community Living may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register. 3 The maximum award amount includes both direct and indirect costs.
    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: States; public or private agencies, including for-profit agencies; public or private organizations, including for-profit organizations; IHEs; and Indian tribes and tribal organizations.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing for this program is required by 34 CFR 350.62(a). NIDILRR requires that grantees provide cost sharing in the amount of at least 1% of Federal funds.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package for these competitions via grants.gov, or by contacting Marlene Spencer: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5133, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2700. Telephone: (202) 245-7532 or by email: [email protected]

    If you request an application from Marlene Spencer, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.133A-5 and 84.133A-6.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application packages for the competitions announced in this notice.

    Notice of Intent to Apply: Due to the open nature of the DRRP priorities announced here, and to assist with the selection of reviewers for this competition, NIDILRR is requesting all potential applicants submit a letter of intent (LOI). The submission is not mandatory, and the content of the LOI will not be peer reviewed or otherwise used to rate an applicant's application.

    Each LOI should be limited to a maximum of four pages and include the following information: (1) The title of the proposed project, the name of the applicant, the name of the Project Director or Principal Investigator (PI), and the names of partner institutions and entities; (2) a brief statement of the vision, goals, and objectives of the proposed project and a description of its proposed activities at a sufficient level of detail to allow NIDILRR to select potential peer reviewers; (3) a list of proposed project staff including the Project Director or PI and key personnel; (4) a list of individuals whose selection as a peer reviewer might constitute a conflict of interest due to involvement in proposal development, selection as an advisory board member, co-PI relationships, etc.; and (5) contact information for the Project Director or PI. Submission of a LOI is not a prerequisite for eligibility to submit an application.

    NIDILRR will accept the LOI via mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or commercial carrier) or email, by June 9, 2015. The LOI must be sent to: Marlene Spencer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 550 12th Street SW., Room 5133, PCP, Washington, DC 20202; or by email to: [email protected]

    For further information regarding the LOI submission process, contact Marlene Spencer at (202) 245-7532.

    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We recommend that you limit Part III to the equivalent of no more than 75 pages, using the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative. You are not required to double space titles, headings, footnotes, references, and captions, or text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.

    • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial.

    The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative section (Part III).

    Note:

    Please submit an appendix that lists every collaborating organization and individual named in the application, including staff, consultants, contractors, and advisory board members. We will use this information to help us screen for conflicts of interest with our reviewers.

    An applicant should consult NIDRR's Long-Range Plan for Fiscal Years 2013-2017 (78 FR 20299) (Plan) when preparing its application. The Plan is organized around the following research domains: (1) Community Living and Participation; (2) Health and Function; and (3) Employment.

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Applications Available: May 5, 2015.

    Date of Pre-Application Meeting: Interested parties are invited to participate in a pre-application meeting and to receive information and technical assistance through individual consultation with NIDILRR staff. The pre-application meeting will be held on May 26, 2015. Interested parties may participate in this meeting by conference call with NIDILRR staff from the Administration for Community Living between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., Washington, DC time. NIDILRR staff also will be available from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the same day, by telephone, to provide information and technical assistance through individual consultation. For further information or to make arrangements to participate in the meeting via conference call or to arrange for an individual consultation, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: June 9, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 6, 2015.

    Applications for grants under these competitions 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 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.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372.

    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 Health and Human Services, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one-to-two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:

    Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: 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 the 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 Knowledge Translation for Employment Research and Projects for Translating Disability and Rehabilitation Research into Practice, CFDA Number 84.133A-5 and 84.133A-6, 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 Knowledge Translation for Employment Research and Projects for Translating Disability and Rehabilitation Research into Practice DRRP competition 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 84.133, not 84.133A).

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this program to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at http://www.G5.gov.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. Additional, detailed information on how to attach files is in the application instructions.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically. 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 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: Marlene Spencer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5133, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2700. FAX: (202) 245-7323.

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail 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 84.133A-5; and 84.133A-6), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, 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 Administrator of the Administration for Community Living of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    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.

    Note for Mail of Paper Applications: If you mail 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 program under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are from 34 CFR 350.54 and are listed in the application package.

    2. Review and Selection Process: Final award decisions will be made by the Administrator, ACL. In making these decisions, the Administrator will take into consideration: Ranking of the review panel; reviews for programmatic and grants management compliance; the reasonableness of the estimated cost to the government considering the available funding and anticipated results; and the likelihood that the proposed project will result in the benefits expected. Under Section 75.205, item (3) history of performance is an item that is reviewed.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Administrator of the Administration for Community Living 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 Health and Human Services 45 CFR part 75.

    3. Special Conditions: Under 45 CFR part 75 the Administrator of the Administration for Community Living may impose special 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 45 CFR part 75, as applicable; 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 send you a Notice of Award (NOA); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your NOA. 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 NOA. The NOA 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 45 CFR part 75 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 45 CFR part 75.

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Administrator of the Administration for Community Living. 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 Administrator of the Administration for Community Living under 45 CFR part 75. All NIDILRR grantees will submit their annual and final reports through NIDILRR's online reporting system and as designated in the terms and conditions of your NOA. The Administrator of the Administration for Community Living may also require more frequent performance reports under 45 CFR part 75. For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    (c) FFATA and FSRS Reporting

    The Federal Financial Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) requires data entry at the FFATA Subaward Reporting System (http://www.FSRS.gov) for all sub-awards and sub-contracts issued for $25,000 or more as well as addressing executive compensation for both grantee and sub-award organizations.

    For further guidance please see the following link: http://www.acl.gov/Funding_Opportunities/Grantee_Info/FFATA.aspx

    If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information. Annual and Final Performance reports will be submitted through NIDILRR's online Performance System and as designated in the terms and conditions of your NOA. At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information.

    Note:

    NIDILRR will provide information by letter to successful grantees on how and when to submit the report.

    4. Performance Measures: To evaluate the overall success of its research program, NIDILRR assesses the quality of its funded projects through a review of grantee performance and accomplishments. Each year, NIDILRR examines a portion of its grantees to determine:

    • The number of products (e.g., new or improved tools, methods, discoveries, standards, interventions, programs, or devices developed or tested with NIDILRR funding) that have been judged by expert panels to be of high quality and to advance the field.

    • The average number of publications per award based on NIDILRR-funded research and development activities in refereed journals.

    • The percentage of new NIDILRR grants that assess the effectiveness of interventions, programs, and devices using rigorous methods.

    NIDILRR uses information submitted by grantees as part of their Annual Performance Reports for these reviews.

    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the Administrator of the Administration for Community Living may consider, under 45 CFR part 75, the extent to which a grantee has made “substantial progress toward meeting the objectives in its approved application.” This consideration includes the review of a grantee's progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget. In making a continuation grant, the Administrator 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. Continuation funding is also subject to availability of funds.

    VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Marlene Spencer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5133, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2700. Telephone: (202) 245-7532 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    VIII. Other Information

    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 29, 2015. John Tschida, Director, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10474 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4154-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Advisory Commission of Childhood Vaccines; Request for Nominations for Voting Members AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is requesting nominations to fill six vacancies on the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV). The ACCV was established by Title XXI of the Public Health Service Act (the Act), as enacted by Public Law (Pub. L.) 99-660 and as subsequently amended, and advises the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) on issues related to implementation of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

    DATES:

    The agency must receive nominations on or before June 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    All nominations are to be submitted to the Director, Division of Injury Compensation Programs, Healthcare Systems Bureau (HSB), HRSA, Parklawn Building, Room 11C-26, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Annie Herzog, Principal Staff Liaison, Division of Injury Compensation Programs, HSB, HRSA, at (301) 443-6634 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the authorities that established the ACCV, the Federal Advisory Committee Act of October 6, 1972, (Pub. L. 92-463) and section 2119 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 300aa-19, as added by Public Law 99-660 and amended, HRSA is requesting nominations for six voting members of the ACCV.

    The ACCV advises the Secretary on the implementation of the VICP. The activities of the ACCV include: recommending changes in the Vaccine Injury Table at its own initiative or as the result of the filing of a petition; advising the Secretary in implementing section 2127 of the Act regarding the need for childhood vaccination products that result in fewer or no significant adverse reactions; surveying federal, state, and local programs and activities related to gathering information on injuries associated with the administration of childhood vaccines, including the adverse reaction reporting requirements of section 2125(b) of the Act; advising the Secretary on the methods of obtaining, compiling, publishing, and using credible data related to the frequency and severity of adverse reactions associated with childhood vaccines; consulting on the development or revision of the Vaccine Information Statements; and recommending to the Director of the National Vaccine Program research related to vaccine injuries which should be conducted to carry out the VICP.

    The ACCV consists of nine voting members appointed by the Secretary as follows: (1) Three health professionals, who are not employees of the United States Government and who have expertise in the health care of children, and the epidemiology, etiology, and prevention of childhood diseases, and the adverse reactions associated with vaccines, of whom at least two shall be pediatricians; (2) three members from the general public, of whom at least two shall be legal representatives (parents or guardians) of children who have suffered a vaccine-related injury or death; and (3) three attorneys, of whom at least one shall be an attorney whose specialty includes representation of persons who have suffered a vaccine-related injury or death, and of whom one shall be an attorney whose specialty includes representation of vaccine manufacturers. In addition, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, the Assistant Secretary for Health, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (or the designees of such officials) serve as nonvoting ex officio members.

    Specifically, HRSA is requesting nominations for six voting members of the ACCV representing: (1) Two health professionals, who have expertise in the health care of children and the epidemiology, etiology, and prevention of childhood diseases, of whom at least one shall be a pediatrician; (2) two members of the general public, of whom at least one shall be a legal representative (parent or guardian) of a child who has suffered a vaccine-related injury or death; and (3) two attorneys, of whom at least one shall be an attorney whose specialty includes representation of persons who have suffered a vaccine-related injury or death, and of whom one shall be an attorney whose specialty includes representation of vaccine manufacturers. Nominees will be invited to serve a 3-year term beginning January 1, 2016, and ending December 31, 2018.

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will consider nominations of all qualified individuals with a view to ensuring that the ACCV includes the areas of subject matter expertise noted above. Based on a recommendation made by the ACCV, the Secretary will consider having a health professional with expertise in obstetrics as the second member of the general public. Interested persons may nominate one or more qualified persons for membership on the ACCV. Nominations shall state that the nominee is willing to serve as a member of the ACCV.

    ACCV members are appointed as Special Government Employees. As such, they are covered by the federal ethics rules, including the criminal conflict of interest statutes governing executive branch employees. For example, an ACCV member may be prohibited from discussions about making changes to the Vaccine Injury Table and Vaccine Information Statements for the Hepatitis B vaccine if he/she or his/her spouse owns stock valued above a certain amount in companies which manufacture this vaccine, affecting their own pecuniary interests including interests imputed to them. To evaluate possible conflicts of interest, potential candidates will be asked to fill out the Confidential Financial Disclosure Report, OGE Form 450, to provide detailed information concerning financial interests, consultancies, research grants, and/or contracts that might be affected by recommendations made by the ACCV.

    A nomination package should include the following information for each nominee: (1) A letter of nomination stating the name, affiliation, and contact information for the nominee, the basis for the nomination (i.e., what specific attributes, perspectives, and/or skills the individual possesses that would benefit the workings of the ACCV), and the nominee's field(s) of expertise; (2) a biographical sketch of the nominee and a copy of his/her curriculum vitae; and (3) the name, address, daytime telephone number, and email address at which the nominator can be contacted.

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) strives to ensure that the membership of the HHS Federal Advisory Committee is fairly balanced in terms of points of view presented and the committee's function. Every effort is made to ensure that the views of women, all ethnic and racial groups, and people with disabilities are represented on HHS Federal Advisory Committees and, therefore, the Department encourages nominations of qualified candidates from these groups. The Department also encourages geographic diversity in the composition of the Committee. Appointment to this Committee shall be made without discrimination on basis of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and cultural, religious, or socioeconomic status.

    Jackie Painter, Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10381 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Solicitation of Nominations for Appointment to the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria; Amendment AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice; amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    A notice was published in the Federal Register on Monday, March 30, 2015 (80 FR 16684), to solicit nominations of individuals who are interested in being considered for appointment to the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (Advisory Council). The nomination period is scheduled to end close of business on April 29, 2015. The notice is being amended to extend the solicitation period for two weeks to allow more time for interested individuals to submit nominations.

    DATES:

    The solicitation period has been extended. All nominations are due to be submitted on or before May 13, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    All nominations should be sent to: Bruce Gellin, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health; Department of Health and Human Services; 200 Independence Avenue SW., Room 715H; Washington, DC 20201. Nomination materials, including attachments, also may be submitted electronically to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bruce Gellin, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health; Department of Health and Human Services; Telephone: (202) 260-6638; Fax: (202) 690-4631; Email address: [email protected] The Advisory Council charter may be accessed online at http://www.hhs.gov/ash/carb. The charter includes detailed information about the Advisory Council's purpose, function, and structure.

    Dated: April 29, 2015. Sylvia M. Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10443 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; 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 Environmental Health Sciences Council.

    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 Environmental Health Sciences Council.

    Date: June 2-3, 2015.

    Open: June 02, 2015, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    Agenda: Discussion of program policies and issues.

    Place: Nat. Inst. of Environmental Health Sciences, Building 101, Rodbell Auditorium, 111 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.

    Closed: June 03, 2015, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Nat. Inst. of Environmental Health Sciences, Building 101, Rodbell Auditorium, 111 T. W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.

    Contact Person: Gwen W. Collman, Ph.D., Interim Director, Division of Extramural Research & Training, National Institutes of Health, Nat. Inst. of Environmental Health Sciences, 615 Davis Dr., KEY615/3112, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, (919) 541-4980, [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.

    Information is also available on the Institute's/Center's home page: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/about/boards/naehsc/, where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.115, Biometry and Risk Estimation—Health Risks from Environmental Exposures; 93.142, NIEHS Hazardous Waste Worker Health and Safety Training; 93.143, NIEHS Superfund Hazardous Substances—Basic Research and Education; 93.894, Resources and Manpower Development in the Environmental Health Sciences; 93.113, Biological Response to Environmental Health Hazards; 93.114, Applied Toxicological Research and Testing, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 28, 2015. Carolyn Baum, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10391 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; 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 on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

    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/or contract proposals 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 and/or contract proposals, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

    Date: June 10, 2015.

    Closed: 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications and/or proposals.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Terrace Conference Rooms, 5635 Fishers Lane, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Open: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: Presentations and other business of the Council.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Terrace Conference Rooms, 5635 Fishers Lane, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Abraham P. Bautista, Ph.D., Executive Secretary, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, 5635 Fishers Lane, Rm 2085, Rockville, MD 20852, 301-443-9737, [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.

    Information is also available on the Institute's/Center's home page: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/AboutNIAAA/AdvisoryCouncil/Pages/default.aspx, where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.271, Alcohol Research Career Development Awards for Scientists and Clinicians; 93.272, Alcohol National Research Service Awards for Research Training; 93.273, Alcohol Research Programs; 93.891, Alcohol Research Center Grants; 93.701, ARRA Related Biomedical Research and Research Support Awards., National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 29, 2015. Melanie J. Gray, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10389 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2), notice is hereby given of the meeting of the Council of Councils.

    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 open session will be videocast and can be accessed from the NIH Videocasting and Podcasting Web site (http://videocast.nih.gov).

    A portion of 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: Council of Councils.

    Open: June 19, 2015.

    Time: 8:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

    Agenda: Call to Order and Introductions; Announcements and Updates; Update on Common Fund Programs; Summary and Update of the March 28 ABRF/NIH, Core Meeting; Office of Dietary Supplements—Research Overview and Strategic Planning; and Perspectives from NIGMS.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Building 31, C-Wing, 6th Floor, Conference Room 10, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Closed: June 19, 2015.

    Time: 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

    Agenda: Review of grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Building 31, C-Wing, 6th Floor, Conference Room 10, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Open: June 19, 2015.

    Time: 1:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

    Agenda: Genotype-Tissue Expression-Scientific Presentation and Discussion; Summary of ORIPs Division of Comparative Medicine Workshop Held on April 7-8, 2015:—One Health; Update on DPCPSI Portfolio Analysis Activities; and Closing Remarks.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Building 31, C-Wing, 6th Floor, Conference Room 10, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Franziska Grieder, D.V.M., Ph.D., Executive Secretary, Director, Office of Research Infrastructure Programs, Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, Office of the Director, NIH, 6701 Democracy Boulevard, Room 948, Bethesda, MD 20892, [email protected] 301-435-0744.

    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 Council of Council's home page at http://dpcpsi.nih.gov/council/ where an agenda will be posted before the meeting date.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.14, Intramural Research Training Award; 93.22, Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds; 93.232, Loan Repayment Program for Research Generally; 93.39, Academic Research Enhancement Award; 93.936, NIH Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Research Loan Repayment Program; 93.187, Undergraduate Scholarship Program for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 28, 2015. Carolyn Baum, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10390 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; 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 Board of Scientific Counselors, NICHD.

    The meeting will be open to the public as indicated below, with the 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 as indicated below in accordance with the provisions set forth in section 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended for the review, discussion, and evaluation of individual intramural programs and projects conducted by the EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CHILD HEALTH AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, including consideration of personnel qualifications and performance, and the competence of individual investigators, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Board of Scientific Counselors, NICHD.

    Date: June 5, 2015.

    Open: 8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

    Agenda: A report by the Scientific Director, NICHD, on the status of the NICHD Division of Intramural Research, talks by various intramural scientists, and proposed organizational change.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Building 31A, Conference Room 2A48, 31 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Closed: 11:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate personal qualifications and performance, and competence of individual investigators.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Building 31A, Conference Room 2A48, 31 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Constantine A. Stratakis, MD, D(med) Sci, Scientific Director, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, Building 31A, Room 2A46, 31 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-594-5984, [email protected]

    Information is also available on the Institute's/Center's home page: http://dir.nichd.nih.gov/dirweb/home.html, where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos.93.864, Population Research; 93.865, Research for Mothers and Children; 93.929, Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research; 93.209, Contraception and Infertility Loan Repayment Program, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 29, 2015. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10388 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; 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 Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Advisory Council.

    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 Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Advisory Council.

    Date: June 16, 2015.

    Open: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    Agenda: Discussion of Program Policies.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Building 31, 6th Floor, C Wing, Conference Room #6, 31 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Closed: 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Building 31, 6th Floor, C Wing, Conference Room #6, 31 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Laura K. Moen, Ph.D. Director, Division of Extramural Research Activities, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 6700 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 800, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-451-6515, [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.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.846, Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 29, 2015. Carolyn Baum, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10407 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request; The Study of the Center for Global Health's (CGH) Workshops (NCI) SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of Section 3507(a)(1)(D) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for review and approval of the information collection listed below. This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register on May 8, 2014, Vol. 79, page 26437 and allowed 60-days for public comment. One public comment was received on May 12, 2014. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comment. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health, may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection that has been extended, revised, or implemented on or after October 1, 1995, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Direct Comments to OMB: Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice, especially regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time, should be directed to the: Office of Management and Budget, Office of Regulatory Affairs, [email protected] or by fax to 202-395-6974, Attention: NIH Desk Officer.

    Comment Due Date: Comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30 days of the date of this publication.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments, or request more information on the proposed project, contact: Sudha Sivaram, Program Director, Center for Global Health, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Dr., RM 3W528, Rockville MD, 20850 or call non-toll-free number 240-276-5804 or Email your request, including your address to: [email protected] Formal requests for additional plans and instruments must be requested in writing.

    Proposed Collection: The Study of the Center for Global Health's (CGH) Workshops (NCI), 0925—NEW, National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    Need and Use of Information Collection: This submission is a request for OMB to approve The Study of the Center for Global Health's (CGH) Workshops for three years. This information collection is to collect stakeholder feedback from past workshops and future workshops, to assess the effectiveness of CGH workshops, which seek to assess the abilities of other countries to implement national cancer control programs, inform content and improve delivery of future workshops, and to systematically assess CGH's contribution. The workshops to be studied are the Symposiums on Global Cancer Research, Workshops in Cancer Control Planning and Implementation, the Summer Curriculum in Cancer Prevention, Women's Cancer Program Summit, and Regional Grant Writing and Peer Review Workshops. While these workshops differ in content and delivery style, their underlying goals are the same; they intend to initiate and enhance cancer control efforts, increase capacity for cancer research, foster new partnerships, and create research and cancer control networks. The proposed study requests information about the outcomes of each of these workshops including (1) new cancer research partnerships and networks (2) cancer control partnerships and networks, (3) effects on cancer research, and (4) effect on cancer control planning and implementation efforts. Information will be collected in two phases where Phase 1 will collect information from attendees of past workshops (1998-2015) and phase two will collect information from attendees of future workshops over the next three years. This information will allow CGH to assess the effectiveness of its workshops in order to inform future programming and funding decisions. The surveys will enable CGH to better understand the impact the workshops have had on their partnerships and networks, research, and cancer control planning and implementation efforts.

    OMB approval is requested for 3 years. There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 805.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of respondents per year Number of responses per
  • respondent
  • Average burden per response
  • (in hours)
  • Total annual burden hours
    Chief Executives, Medical Scientists, Health Educators, Family/General Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Medical and Health Services Managers Phase 1: Symposium on Global Cancer Research 500 1 20/60 167 Phase 2: Symposium on Global Cancer Research 250 1 20/60 83 Phase 1: Workshop in Cancer Control Planning and Implementation for non-Ministry of Health participants 70 1 20/60 23 Phase 2: Workshop in Cancer Control Planning and Implementation for non-Ministry of Health participants 70 1 20/60 23 Phase 1: Workshop in Cancer Control Planning and Implementation for Ministry of Health 70 1 20/60 23 Phase 2: Workshop in Cancer Control Planning and Implementation for Ministry of Health 70 1 20/60 23 Phase 1: Summer Curriculum in Cancer Prevention 500 1 30/60 250 Phase 2: Summer Curriculum in Cancer Prevention 27 1 30/60 14 Phase 1: Women's Cancer Program Summit 140 1 20/60 47 Phase 2: Women's Cancer Program Summit 140 1 20/60 47 Phase 1: Regional Grant Writing and Peer Review Workshop 150 1 30/60 75 Phase 2: Regional Grant Writing and Peer Review Workshop 60 1 30/60 30
    Dated: April 27, 2015. Karla Bailey, NCI Project Clearance Liaison, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10394 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Prevention; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to Public Law 92-463, notice is hereby given that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) Drug Testing Advisory Board (DTAB) will meet via web conference on June 11-12, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. E.D.T. The DTAB will convene in both open and closed sessions on these two days.

    The Board will meet in closed session on June 11, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., to discuss the proposed revisions to the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs. Therefore, this meeting is closed to the public as determined by the Administrator, SAMHSA, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B) and 5 U.S.C. App. 2, Section 10(d).

    On June 12, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the meeting will be open to the public. The meeting will include updates on the previously announced DTAB recommendations, the public comments to the request for information on hair, DTAB's process for evaluating the scientific supportability of alternate specimens for federal workplace drug testing programs, HHS approval of entities that certify medical review officers, and the federal custody and control form. The meeting also will include drug testing updates from the Department of Transportation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Defense, and the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Programs.

    The public is invited to attend via web conference. Due to the limited call-in capacity, registration is requested. Public comments are welcome. To obtain the web conference call-in numbers and access codes, submit written or brief oral comments, or request special accommodations for persons with disabilities, please register at the SAMHSA Advisory Committees Web site at http://nac.samhsa.gov/Registration/meetingsRegistration.aspx or contact the CSAP DTAB Designated Federal Official, Dr. Janine Denis Cook (see contact information below).

    Meeting information and a roster of DTAB members may be obtained by accessing the SAMHSA Advisory Committees Web site, http://www.samhsa.gov/about-us/advisory-councils/drug-testing-advisory-board-dtab, or by contacting Dr. Cook.

    Committee Name: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention Drug Testing Advisory Board.

    Dates/Time/Type: June 11, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. E.D.T.: CLOSED, June 12, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. E.D.T.: OPEN.

    Place: SAMHSA Building, 1 Choke Cherry Road, Rockville, Maryland 20850.

    Contact: Janine Denis Cook, Ph.D., Designated Federal Official, CSAP Drug Testing Advisory Board, 1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 7-1043, Rockville, Maryland 20857, Telephone: 240-276-2600, Fax: 240-276-2610, Email: [email protected].

    Janine Denis Cook, Designated Federal Official, DTAB, Division of Workplace Programs, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10473 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4162-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY [Docket No. DHS-2015-0013] Meeting: Homeland Security Advisory Council AGENCY:

    The Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of partially closed Federal Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) will meet in person on May 21, 2015. Members of the public may participate in person. The meeting will be partially closed to the public.

    DATES:

    The HSAC will meet Thursday, May 21, 2015, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. EDT. The meeting will be open to the public from 1:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT. Please note that the meeting may close early if the Council has completed its business. The portion from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT and 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. EDT will be closed to the public.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (“Wilson Center”), located at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20004. All visitors will be processed through the lobby of the Wilson Center. Written public comments prior to the meeting must be received by 5:00 p.m. EDT on May 15, 2015, and must be identified by Docket No. DHS-2015-0013. Written public comments after the meeting must be identified by Docket No. DHS-2015-0013 and may be submitted by one of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include Docket No. DHS-2015-0013 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: (202) 282-9207

    Mail: Homeland Security Advisory Council, Department of Homeland Security, Mailstop 0445, 245 Murray Lane SW., Washington, DC 20528.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the phrases “Department of Homeland Security” and “DHS-2015-0013”. Comments received will be posted without alteration at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received by the DHS Homeland Security Advisory Council, go to http://www.regulations.gov, search “DHS-2015-0013,” “Open Docket Folder” and provide your comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mike Miron at [email protected] or at (202) 447-3135.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice of this meeting is given under Section 10(a) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), Public Law 92-463 (5 U.S.C. App.) requires each FACA committee meeting to be open to the public.

    The HSAC provides organizationally independent, strategic, timely, specific, and actionable advice and recommendations for the consideration of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on matters related to homeland security. The Council is comprised of leaders of local law enforcement, first responders, state and local government, the private sector, and academia.

    The HSAC will meet in open session between 1:45 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. EDT. The HSAC will receive observations and remarks from DHS senior leadership, and swear in new HSAC members. Members will receive reports from the following HSAC subcommittees: the DHS Employee Task Force, the Foreign Fighter Task Force, the DHS Grant Review Task Force, and the Customs and Border Protection Integrity Advisory Panel.

    The HSAC will meet in closed session between 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. as well as 4:15 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. EDT to receive sensitive operational information from senior DHS leadership. This information regards threats to our homeland, specifically operational updates on the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) aviation security program, cyber security and the current threat environment.

    Basis for Partial-Closure: In accordance with Section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), this meeting has been determined to require partial-closure. The disclosure of the information relayed would be detrimental to the public interest for the following reasons:

    The HSAC will receive closed session briefings from DHS officials on the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) aviation security program, and operational updates on cyber security and the current threat environment. This will include lessons learned and enhanced security measures associated with operations and management. These briefings will concern matters sensitive to homeland security within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(7)(E) and 552b(c)(9)(B). Public disclosure of this information would provide terrorists and other adversaries with guidelines to thwart the Department's strategic initiatives. Under 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B), disclosure of these techniques and procedures could frustrate the successful implementation of protective measures designed to keep our country safe. In addition, Under 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(7)(E), disclosure of that information could reveal investigative techniques and procedures not generally available to the public, allowing terrorists and those with interests against the United States to circumvent the law.

    Participation: Members of the public will have until 5 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 15, 2015 to register to attend the HSAC meeting on May 21, 2015. Due to limited availability of seating, admittance will be on a first-come first-served basis. Participants interested in attending the meeting can contact Mike Miron at [email protected] or (202) 447-3135. You are required to provide your full legal name, date of birth, and company/agency affiliation. The public may access the facility via public transportation or use the public parking garages located near the Wilson Center. Wilson Center directions can be found at: http://wilsoncenter.org/directions. Members of the public will meet at 1:30 p.m. EDT at the Wilson Center's main entrance for sign in and escorting to the public meeting room. Late arrivals after 2:00 p.m. EDT will not be permitted access to the facility.

    Facility Access: You are required to present a valid original government issued ID; State Driver's License or Non-Driver's Identification Card, U.S. Government Common Access Card (CAC), Military Identification Card or Person Identification Verification Card; U.S. Passport or Passport Card, Foreign Passport; U.S. Border Crossing Card, Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Card; or Native American Tribal Document.

    Identification of Services for Individuals with Disabilities: For information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities, or to request special assistance at the meeting, contact Mike Miron at [email protected] as soon as possible.

    Dated: April 29, 2015. Sarah E. Morgenthau, Executive Director, Homeland Security Advisory Council, DHS.
    [FR Doc. 2015-10498 Filed 5-4-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-9M-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5833-N-01] Notice of Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request: Certification and Funding of State and Local Fair Housing Enforcement Agencies AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    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: July 6, 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 and Funding of State and Local Fair Housing Enforcement Agencies.

    OMB Approval Number: 2529-0005.

    Type of Request: Extension of currently approved collection.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use:

    A. Request for Substantial Equivalence

    For a state or local law to be certified as “substantially equivalent” and therefore be eligible to participate in the Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP), the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity must determine that the state or local law provides substantive rights, procedures, remedies, and the availability of judicial review that are substantially equivalent to those provided in the federal Fair Housing Act (the Act).

    State and local fair housing enforcement agencies that are seeking certification in accordance with Section 810(f) of the Act submit a request to the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. The request must be supported by the text of the jurisdiction's fair housing law, the law creating and empowering the agency, all laws referenced in the jurisdiction's fair housing law, any regulations and directives issued under the law, and any formal opinions of the State Attorney General or the chief legal officer of the jurisdiction that pertain to the jurisdiction's fair housing law.

    B. Information Related to Agency Performance

    Once agencies are deemed substantially equivalent and are participating in the FHAP, HUD collects sufficient information to monitor agency performance in accordance with 24 CFR 115.206, which sets forth the performance standards for agencies participating in the FHAP. These standards are meant to ensure that the state or local law, both “on its face” and “in operation,” provides substantive rights, procedures, remedies, and judicial review procedures for alleged discriminatory housing practices that are substantially equivalent to those provided in the Act. In addition, HUD collects sufficient information to monitor agency compliance with 24 CFR 115.307 and 24 CFR 115.308, which set forth requirements for FHAP participation and reporting and record keeping requirements including, but not limited to, the requirement that FHAP agencies use HUD's official complaint data information system, and input complaint processing information into that system in a timely manner.

    Respondents: State and local government agencies participating in the Fair Housing Assistance Program as well State and local government agencies applying to participate in the FHAP.

    Frequency/Burden: The Department estimates that requests for substantial equivalence will have the following reporting burdens:

    Number of
  • respondents
  • × Annual
  • responses
  • × Hours per <