Federal Register Vol. 81, No.100,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 100 (May 24, 2016)

Page Range32617-33122
FR Document

81_FR_100
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 32773 - Notice of Availability of the Proposed Cottonwood Resource Management Plan Amendment for Domestic Sheep Grazing and Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, IdahoPDF
81 FR 32815 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 32655 - Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005-HHS Guidance Regarding Patient Safety Work Product and Providers' External ObligationsPDF
81 FR 32753 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
81 FR 32733 - Visiting Committee on Advanced TechnologyPDF
81 FR 32821 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 32820 - In the Matter of NuTech Energy Resources, Inc.; Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
81 FR 32819 - In the Matter of Dragon Bright Mintai Botanical Technology Cayman Ltd., JinZangHuang Tibet Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Macau Resources Group Ltd.; Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
81 FR 32820 - In the Matter of Bodisen Biotech, Inc., China Global Media, Inc., China Heli Resource Renewable, Inc., and GFR Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
81 FR 32743 - Application To Export Electric Energy; E-T Global Energy, LLCPDF
81 FR 32742 - Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas, To Import and Export Liquefied Natural Gas, Denying Request for Rehearing, and Granting Motion for Extension of Time To File During April 2016PDF
81 FR 32743 - International Energy Agency MeetingsPDF
81 FR 32628 - Energy Conservation Program for Certain Industrial Equipment: Energy Conservation Standards for Small, Large, and Very Large Air-Cooled Commercial Package Air Conditioning and Heating Equipment and Commercial Warm Air FurnacesPDF
81 FR 32751 - Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Seeks Comment on Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc., and SAL Spectrum, LLC, Petition for Waiver To Claim Eligibility for a Rural Service Provider Bidding Credit in Auction 1002PDF
81 FR 32728 - Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 32728 - Notice of Determination To Partially Close Two Meetings of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 32791 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 32635 - Small Business Size StandardsPDF
81 FR 32816 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 32636 - Change of Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) Designation; Notification of Availability of Final CATEX Declaration and Supporting MaterialPDF
81 FR 32737 - Federal Need Analysis Methodology for the 2017-18 Award Year-Federal Pell Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant and TEACH Grant ProgramsPDF
81 FR 32771 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Public Housing Reform Act: Changes to Admission and Occupancy RequirementsPDF
81 FR 32821 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Application for A, G, or NATO VisaPDF
81 FR 32645 - Electronic and Information TechnologyPDF
81 FR 32822 - SJI Board of Directors MeetingPDF
81 FR 32755 - Safety and Occupational Health Study Section (SOHSS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH or Institute)PDF
81 FR 32753 - CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and TreatmentPDF
81 FR 32759 - Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control MeetingPDF
81 FR 32759 - Request for Nominations of Candidates to Serve on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)PDF
81 FR 32636 - Operating Limitations at John F. Kennedy International AirportPDF
81 FR 32757 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
81 FR 32823 - Meeting: RTCA Program Management Committee (PMC)PDF
81 FR 32736 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 32774 - Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 32822 - Twenty-Sixth Meeting: RTCA Special Committee 217 (SC-217) Aeronautical Databases (Joint With EUROCAE WG-44 Aeronautical Databases)PDF
81 FR 32824 - Fourteenth Meeting: RTCA Tactical Operations Committee (TOC)PDF
81 FR 32824 - Forty-First Meeting: RTCA Special Committee 224 (SC-224) Airport Security Access Control SystemsPDF
81 FR 32749 - Rangeland RIO Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory OrderPDF
81 FR 32747 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 32750 - Oasis Midstream Services LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory OrderPDF
81 FR 32747 - LifeEnergy LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 32746 - UIL Distributed Resources, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 32735 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 32733 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 32734 - Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Stock ID Work Group Meeting for Atlantic Blueline Tilefish (Caulolatilus microps)PDF
81 FR 32744 - Paulding Wind Farm III LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 32745 - Invenergy Energy Management LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 32749 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
81 FR 32745 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
81 FR 32746 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
81 FR 32748 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
81 FR 32744 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 32792 - Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 32793 - Medical Radioisotope Production Facility; Northwest Medical Isotopes, LLCPDF
81 FR 32797 - In the Matter of Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., Palisades Nuclear PlantPDF
81 FR 32719 - Rural Energy Savings Program: Measurement, Verification, Training and Technical AssistancePDF
81 FR 32721 - Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Japan: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical CircumstancesPDF
81 FR 32775 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
81 FR 32776 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-PDES, INC.PDF
81 FR 32777 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-ODPi, Inc.PDF
81 FR 32776 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Cooperative Research Group on Advanced Combustion Catalyst and Aftertreatment TechnologiesPDF
81 FR 32725 - Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical CircumstancesPDF
81 FR 32776 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Open Platform for NFV Project, Inc.PDF
81 FR 32729 - Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Final Partial Affirmative Critical Circumstances DeterminationPDF
81 FR 32643 - Extension of Expiration Dates for Two Body System ListingsPDF
81 FR 32752 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Renewals; Comment Request (3064-0070, -0079, -0103, -0139 & -0192)PDF
81 FR 32752 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10346, San Luis Trust Bank, FSB, San Luis Obispo, CaliforniaPDF
81 FR 32769 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Controlled Equipment Request Form.PDF
81 FR 32724 - Application(s) for Duty-Free Entry of Scientific InstrumentsPDF
81 FR 32764 - National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 32766 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 32767 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 32764 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 32777 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990PDF
81 FR 32761 - Prospective Grant of Exclusive Patent License: Development of Adeno-Associated Virus Vectors for the Treatment of Glycogen Storage Disease Type IaPDF
81 FR 32762 - Prospective Grant of Exclusive Patent License: Development of Adeno-Associated Virus Vectors for the Treatment of Glycogen Storage Disease Type IaPDF
81 FR 32686 - Performance-Based Investment Advisory FeesPDF
81 FR 32643 - Business Conduct Standards for Security-Based Swap Dealers and Major Security-Based Swap Participants; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 32735 - Board of Visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy Notice of Meeting; AmendmentPDF
81 FR 32764 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request; Iwin: Navigating Your Path to Well-BeingPDF
81 FR 32721 - Foreign-Trade Zone 93-Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, Application for Reorganization (Expansion of Service Area) Under Alternative Site FrameworkPDF
81 FR 32772 - Incidental Take Permit Applications for Alabama Beach Mouse; Gulf Shores, AlabamaPDF
81 FR 32773 - Notice of Public Meeting, Pecos District Resource Advisory Council Meeting, New MexicoPDF
81 FR 32718 - Southwest Montana Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 32767 - Great Lakes Pilotage Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 32789 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Securities Lending by Employee Benefit Plans, Prohibited Transaction Exemption 2006-16PDF
81 FR 32790 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Unemployment Insurance Data ValidationPDF
81 FR 32754 - Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)PDF
81 FR 32753 - Subcommittee for Dose Reconstruction Reviews (SDRR), Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (ABRWH or the Advisory Board), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)PDF
81 FR 32755 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
81 FR 32758 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
81 FR 32760 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 32767 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 32763 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 32761 - National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 32765 - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 32762 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 32825 - Pipeline Safety: Gas and Liquid Advisory Committee Member NominationsPDF
81 FR 32766 - National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 32766 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 32823 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Columbia Helicopters, Inc.PDF
81 FR 32660 - Suspension of Community EligibilityPDF
81 FR 32770 - Arkansas; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 32768 - Texas; Amendment No. 2 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 32768 - Texas; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 32819 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 32821 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 32702 - Air Plan Approval; Florida; Regional Haze Progress ReportPDF
81 FR 32651 - Air Quality Plan Approval; South Carolina; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardPDF
81 FR 32648 - Mailing Address of the Board of Veterans' AppealsPDF
81 FR 32818 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 32816 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 32817 - Market Dominant Price AdjustmentPDF
81 FR 32826 - Multiemployer Pension Plan Application To Reduce BenefitsPDF
81 FR 32791 - Quarterly Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 32707 - Air Plan Approval/Disapproval; Mississippi Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
81 FR 32770 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Application by Refugee for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability, Form I-602; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
81 FR 32694 - Leasing of Sulfur or Oil and Gas in the Outer Continental Shelf MMAA104000PDF
81 FR 32652 - Air Plan Approval; North Carolina; Regional HazePDF
81 FR 32782 - Notice of Determinations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
81 FR 32778 - TA-W-85,954, Baker Hughes Incorporated Including On-Site Leased Workers From Kelly Services, Claremore, Oklahoma; TA-W-85,954A, Baker Hughes Incorporated, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; TA-W-85,954B, Baker Hughes Incorporated, Hampton, Arkansas; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
81 FR 32779 - Investigations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
81 FR 32778 - Kimberly Carbonates, LLC, a Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Omya, Inc., Including On-Site Leased Workers From US Tech Force, Kimberly, Wisconsin; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment Assistance and Alternative Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
81 FR 32777 - KBR, Inc., Including On-Site Leased Workers From Technical Staffing Resources Including Workers Whose Wages Are Reported Under Kellogg, Brown, and Root, LLC; KBR Technical Services, Inc.; BR Industrial Operations, LLC; Brown & Root Industrial Services, LLC, and Technical Staffing Resources, Ltd. Houston, Texas; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
81 FR 32779 - United States Steel Corporation, Fairfield Works-Flat Roll Operations and Fairfield-Tubular Operations Including On-Site Leased Workers From Total Safety US, Fairfield, Alabama; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
81 FR 32826 - Proposed Information Collection (Nonprofit Research and Education Corporations (NPCs) Data Collection)PDF
81 FR 32720 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 32789 - Notice of Availability of Funds and Funding Opportunity Announcement for YouthBuild GrantsPDF
81 FR 32680 - Rule Governing Disclosure of Written Consumer Product Warranty Terms and Conditions; Rule Governing Pre-Sale Availability of Written Warranty TermsPDF
81 FR 32695 - Safety Zones, Recurring Marine Events Held in the Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound Captain of the Port ZonePDF
81 FR 32800 - Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving No Significant Hazards ConsiderationsPDF
81 FR 32617 - Variable Annual Fee Structure for Small Modular ReactorsPDF
81 FR 32679 - Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Park River, NDPDF
81 FR 32641 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
81 FR 32639 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
81 FR 32935 - SES Positions That Were Career Reserved During CY 2015PDF
81 FR 32688 - National Environmental Policy Act ProceduresPDF
81 FR 32718 - Lake Tahoe Basin Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 33097 - Acceptance Criteria for Portable Oxygen Concentrators Used On Board AircraftPDF
81 FR 32633 - Rules of Practice and Procedure; Adjusting Civil Money Penalties for InflationPDF
81 FR 33025 - Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization, Telecommunications Carriers Eligible for Universal Service Support, Connect America FundPDF
81 FR 32664 - Inclusion of Four Native U.S. Freshwater Turtle Species in Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)PDF
81 FR 32716 - Transportation for Individuals With Disabilities; Service Criteria for Complementary Paratransit FaresPDF
81 FR 32829 - Arbitration AgreementsPDF

Issue

81 100 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 Contents Agency Health Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality RULES Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005: HHS Guidance Regarding Patient Safety Work Product and Providers' External Obligations, 32655-32660 2016-12312 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Forest Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Meetings: Board of Visitors of U.S. Air Force Academy, 32735-32736 2016-12165 Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Membership Changes Under the National Cooperative Research and Production Act: ODPi, Inc., 32777 2016-12188 Open Platform for NFV Project, Inc., 32776-32777 2016-12185 PDES, Inc., 32776 2016-12189 Southwest Research Institute Cooperative Research Group on Advanced Combustion Catalyst and Aftertreatment Technologies, 32776 2016-12187 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection PROPOSED RULES Arbitration Agreements, 32830-32934 2016-10961 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 32755-32759 2016-12219 2016-12147 2016-12148 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 32754-32755 2016-12150 Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 32759 2016-12223 CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treatment, 32753 2016-12224 Safety and Occupational Health Study Section, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 32755 2016-12225 Subcommittee for Dose Reconstruction Reviews, Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 32753-32754 2016-12149 Requests for Nominations: Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 32759-32760 2016-12222 Coast Guard Coast Guard PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Recurring Marine Events Held in the Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound Captain of the Port Zone, 32695-32702 2016-12001 NOTICES Meetings: Great Lakes Pilotage Advisory Committee, 32767-32768 2016-12153 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 32720-32721 2016-12087
Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2016-12217 32736-32737 2016-12130
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Federal Need Analysis Methodology for the 2017-18 Award Year: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant and TEACH Grant Programs, 32737-32742 2016-12250 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Funding Availability: Funds and Funding Opportunities for YouthBuild Grants, 32789 2016-12084 Worker Adjustment Assistance Eligibility; Investigations, 32779-32781 2016-12092 Worker Adjustment Assistance; Amended Certifications: Baker Hughes Inc., Claremore, OK, 32778 2016-12093 KBR, Inc., Houston, TX, 32777-32778 2016-12090 United States Steel Corp., Fairfield Works—Flat Roll and Fairfield—Tubular Operations, Fairfield, AL, 32779 2016-12089 Worker Adjustment Assistance; Determinations Regarding Eligibility, 32782-32789 2016-12094 Worker and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance; Amended Certifications: Kimberly Carbonates, LLC, 32778-32779 2016-12091 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

RULES Energy Conservation Program for Certain Industrial Equipment: Energy Conservation Standards for Small, Large, and Very Large Air-Cooled Commercial Package Air Conditioning and Heating Equipment and Commercial Warm Air Furnaces, 32628-32633 2016-12279 NOTICES Applications to Export Electric Energy: E-T Global Energy, LLC, 32743 2016-12283 Meetings: International Energy Agency, 32743-32744 2016-12280 Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas: Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP; Flint Hills Resources, LP; Morgan Stanley Capital Group, Inc.; etc., 32742 2016-12281
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: North Carolina; Regional Haze, 32652-32654 2016-12096 South Carolina; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide; National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 32651-32652 2016-12112 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Florida; Regional Haze Progress Report, 32702-32707 2016-12113 Mississippi Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 32707-32716 2016-12102 Farm Credit Farm Credit Administration RULES Rules of Practice and Procedure: Adjusting Civil Money Penalties for Inflation, 32633-32635 2016-11862 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Acceptance Criteria for Portable Oxygen Concentrators Used on Board Aircraft, 33098-33122 2016-11918 Change of Newark Liberty International Airport Designation: Availability of Final CATEX Declaration and Supporting Material, 32636 2016-12252 Operating Limitations at John F. Kennedy International Airport, 32636-32639 2016-12221 Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures, 32639-32641 2016-11955 Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures, 32641-32643 2016-11956 PROPOSED RULES Establishment of Class E Airspace: Park River, ND, 32679-32680 2016-11957 NOTICES Meetings: RTCA Program Management Committee, 32823-32824 2016-12218 RTCA Special Committee 217 Aeronautical Databases, 32822-32823 2016-12215 RTCA Special Committee 224 Airport Security Access Control Systems, 32824-32825 2016-12213 RTCA Tactical Operations Committee, 32824 2016-12214 Petitions for Exemption; Summaries, 32823 2016-12128 Federal Bureau Federal Bureau of Investigation PROPOSED RULES National Environmental Policy Act Procedures, 32688-32693 2016-11945 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization, Telecommunications Carriers Eligible for Universal Service Support, Connect America Fund, 33026-33095 2016-11284 NOTICES Petitions for Waivers, etc.: Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc., and SAL Spectrum, LLC, 32751 2016-12278 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 32752 2016-12181 Terminations of Receiverships: San Luis Trust Bank, FSB San Luis Obispo, CA, 32752-32753 2016-12180 Federal Election Federal Election Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 2016-12248 32753 2016-12298 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency RULES Suspension of Community Eligibility, 32660-32664 2016-12123 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Controlled Equipment Request Form, 32769-32770 2016-12179 Major Disaster Declarations: Texas; Amendment No. 1, 32768 2016-12119 Texas; Amendment No. 2, 32768-32769 2016-12121 Major Disasters and Related Determinations: Arkansas, 32770 2016-12122 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 32744-32750 2016-12198 2016-12199 2016-12200 2016-12201 2016-12202 2016-12211 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Invenergy Energy Management, LLC, 32745 2016-12203 LifeEnergy, LLC, 32747 2016-12209 Paulding Wind Farm III, LLC, 32744 2016-12204 UIL Distributed Resources, LLC, 32746-32747 2016-12208 Petitions for Declaratory Orders: Oasis Midstream Services, LLC, 32750-32751 2016-12210 Rangeland RIO Pipeline, LLC, 32749 2016-12212 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission PROPOSED RULES Disclosure of Written Consumer Product Warranty Terms and Conditions and Pre Sale Availability of Written Warranty Terms, 32680-32686 2016-12030 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Inclusion of Four Native U.S. Freshwater Turtle Species in Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, 32664-32678 2016-11201 NOTICES Incidental Take Permit Applications: Alabama Beach Mouse, Gulf Shores, AL, 32772-32773 2016-12159 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Applications for Reorganization under Alternative Site Framework: Foreign-Trade Zone 93, Raleigh-Durham, NC, 32721 2016-12163 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Lake Tahoe Basin Federal Advisory Committee, 32718-32719 2016-11942 Southwest Montana Resource Advisory Committee, 32718 2016-12154 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 32760-32761 2016-12146 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Public Housing Reform Act: Changes to Admission and Occupancy Requirements, 32771-32772 2016-12244 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

Ocean Energy Management Bureau

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China, 32729-32733 2016-12183 Applications for Duty-Free Entry of Scientific Instruments, 32724-32725 2016-12176 Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Japan, 32721-32724 2016-12191 Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China, 32725-32728 2016-12186 Meetings: Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee, 32728-32729 2016-12268 2016-12274 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints, 32775-32776 2016-12190 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 32774-32775 2016-12216 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

See

Federal Bureau of Investigation

NOTICES Proposed Consent Decrees Under the Pollution Act, 32777 2016-12170
Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Securities Lending by Employee Benefit Plans, Prohibited Transaction Exemption 2006-16, 32789-32790 2016-12152 Unemployment Insurance Data Validation, 32790-32791 2016-12151
Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Proposed Cottonwood Resource Management Plan Amendment for Domestic Sheep Grazing, 32773-32774 2016-12360 Meetings: Pecos District Resource Advisory Council, NM, 32773 2016-12158 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Meetings: Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology, 32733 2016-12293 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Iwin: Navigating your Path to Well-Being, 32764-32765 2016-12164 Grants of Exclusive Patent Licenses: Development of Adeno-Associated Virus Vectors for the Treatment of Glycogen Storage Disease Type Ia, 32761-32763 2016-12168 2016-12169 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 32762 2016-12137 National Cancer Institute, 32764, 32767 2016-12171 2016-12172 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 32763-32764, 32766-32767 2016-12133 2016-12134 2016-12140 2016-12141 National Human Genome Research Institute, 32761 2016-12139 National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, 32766-32767 2016-12135 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 32765-32766 2016-12138 National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 32764 2016-12175 National Institute on Aging, 2016-12173 32766 2016-12174 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Meetings: Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review; Stock ID Work Group Meeting for Atlantic Blueline Tilefish, 32734-32735 2016-12205 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 32733-32735 2016-12206 2016-12207 National Transportation National Transportation Safety Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 32791 2016-12263 National Women's National Women's Business Council NOTICES Meetings: Quarterly Teleconference, 32791-32792 2016-12103 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission RULES Variable Annual Fee Structure for Small Modular Reactors, 32617-32628 2016-11975 NOTICES Confirmatory Orders: Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., Palisades Nuclear Plant, 32797-32800 2016-12193 Construction Permit Applications: Medical Radioisotope Production Facility; Northwest Medical Isotopes, LLC, 32793-32796 2016-12195 Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving No Significant Hazards Considerations; Applications and Amendments, 32800-32815 2016-11976 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, 32792 2016-12197 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 32815-32816 2016-12337 Ocean Energy Management Ocean Energy Management Bureau PROPOSED RULES Leasing of Sulfur or Oil and Gas in the Outer Continental Shelf MMAA104000, 32694-32695 2016-12097 Overseas Overseas Private Investment Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 32816 2016-12253 Personnel Personnel Management Office NOTICES SES Positions That Were Career Reserved During CY 2015, 32936-33024 2016-11951 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Gas and Liquid Advisory Committee Members, 32825-32826 2016-12136 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES Market Dominant Price Adjustments, 32817-32818 2016-12107 New Postal Products, 32816-32819 2016-12108 2016-12109 2016-12110 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service NOTICES Rural Energy Savings Program: Measurement, Verification, Training and Technical Assistance, 32719-32720 2016-12192 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission RULES Business Conduct Standards for Security-Based Swap Dealers and Major Security-Based Swap Participants; Correction, 32643 2016-12166 PROPOSED RULES Performance Based Investment Advisory Fees, 32686-32688 2016-12167 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2016-12115 32819-32821 2016-12116 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 32821 2016-12291 Trading Suspension Orders: Bodisen Biotech, Inc., China Global Media, Inc., China Heli Resource Renewable, Inc., and GFR Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 32820-32821 2016-12288 Dragon Bright Mintai Botanical Technology Cayman Ltd., JinZangHuang Tibet Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Macau Resources Group, Ltd., 32819 2016-12289 NuTech Energy Resources, Inc., 32820 2016-12290 Small Business Small Business Administration RULES Small Business Size Standards, 32635-32636 2016-12260 Social Social Security Administration RULES Extension of Expiration Dates for Two Body System Listings, 32643-32645 2016-12182 State Department State Department RULES Electronic and Information Technology, 32645-32648 2016-12233 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for A, G, or NATO Visa, 32821-32822 2016-12234 State Justice State Justice Institute NOTICES Meetings: SJI Board of Directors, 32822 2016-12232 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

RULES Acceptance Criteria for Portable Oxygen Concentrators Used on Board Aircraft, 33098-33122 2016-11918 PROPOSED RULES Transportation for Individuals With Disabilities: Service Criteria for Complementary Paratransit Fares, 32716-32717 2016-11182
Treasury Treasury Department NOTICES Multiemployer Pension Plan Application To Reduce Benefits, 32826 2016-12104 U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application by Refugee for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability, 32770-32771 2016-12098 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department RULES Mailing Address of the Board of Veterans' Appeals, 32648-32651 2016-12111 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Nonprofit Research and Education Corporations Data Collection, 32826-32827 2016-12088 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 32830-32934 2016-10961 Part III Personnel Management Office, 32936-33024 2016-11951 Part IV Federal Communications Commission, 33026-33095 2016-11284 Part V Transportation Department, Federal Aviation Administration, 33098-33122 2016-11918 Transportation Department, 33098-33122 2016-11918 Reader Aids

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

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81 100 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 Rules and Regulations NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Parts 170 and 171 [NRC-2008-0664] RIN 3150-AI54 Variable Annual Fee Structure for Small Modular Reactors AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is amending its licensing, inspection, and annual fee regulations to establish a variable annual fee structure for light-water small modular reactors (SMR). Under the variable annual fee structure, an SMR's annual fee would be calculated as a function of its licensed thermal power rating. This fee methodology complies with the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, as amended (OBRA-90).

DATES:

This final rule is effective June 23, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2008-0664 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2008-0664. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected]

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michele Kaplan, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone: 301-415-5256, email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Executive Summary

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) anticipates that it will soon receive license applications for light-water small modular reactors (SMR). In fiscal year 2008, the NRC staff determined that the annual fee structure for part 171 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations fees, which was established in 1995, should be reevaluated to address potential inequities for future SMRs, due to their anticipated design characteristics. These characteristics include modular design, factory component fabrication, and thermal power capacities of 1,000 megawatts thermal or less per module. These SMRs may also include safety and security design features that could ultimately result in a lower regulatory oversight burden for this type of reactor. Despite these significant differences, an SMR would be required to pay the same annual fee as a current operating reactor under the NRC's current fee structure. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, as amended (OBRA-90) instructs the NRC to “establish, by rule, a schedule of charges fairly and equitably allocating” various generic agency regulatory costs “among licensees” and, “[t]o the maximum extent practicable, the charges shall have a reasonable relationship to the cost of providing regulatory services and may be based on the allocation of the Commission's resources among licensees or classes of licensees.” Because of the significant anticipated differences between SMRs and the existing reactor fleet, applying the current fee structure to SMRs could be contrary to OBRA-90's requirement that the NRC's fees be “fairly and equitably” allocated among its licensees. Therefore, the NRC is implementing a variable annual fee structure for SMR licensees that would include a minimum fee, a variable fee, and a maximum fee based on an SMR site's cumulative licensed thermal power rating.

The NRC prepared a regulatory analysis for this final rule (see Section XIV, “Availability of Documents”).

Table of Contents I. Background II. Discussion III. Opportunities for Public Participation IV. Public Comment Analysis V. Discussion of Amendments by Section VI. Regulatory Flexibility Certification VII. Regulatory Analysis VIII. Backfitting and Issue Finality IX. Plain Writing X. National Environmental Policy Act XI. Paperwork Reduction Act XII. Congressional Review Act XIII. Voluntary Consensus Standards XIV. Availability of Documents I. Background A. Operating Reactor Annual Fee Structure

Over the past 40 years, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has assessed, and continues to assess, fees to applicants and licensees to recover the cost of its regulatory program. The NRC's fee regulations are governed by two laws: (1) The Independent Offices Appropriations Act of 1952 (IOAA) (31 U.S.C. 9701); and (2) the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, as amended (OBRA-90) (42 U.S.C. 2214). Under the OBRA-90 framework, the NRC must recover approximately 90 percent of its annual budget authority through fees, not including amounts appropriated for waste incidental to reprocessing activities, amounts appropriated for generic homeland security activities, amounts appropriated from the Nuclear Waste Fund, and amounts appropriated for Inspector General services for the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

The NRC assesses two types of fees to meet OBRA-90's requirements. First, the NRC assesses licensing and inspection fees under the IOAA to recover the NRC's cost of providing specific benefits to identifiable applicants and licensees—these fees are in part 170 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR). The NRC also assesses annual fees to recover any generic regulatory costs that are not otherwise recovered through 10 CFR part 170 fees during the fiscal year—these annual fees are in 10 CFR part 171.

The current annual fee structure in 10 CFR part 171 would require SMRs to pay the same annual fee as those paid by the operating reactor fee class. For the operating reactor fee class, the NRC allocates 10 CFR part 171 annual fees equally among the operating power reactor licensees to recover those budgetary resources expended for rulemaking and other generic activities that benefit the entire fee class. If 10 CFR part 171, in its current form, is applied to SMRs, then each SMR reactor would pay the same flat annual fee as an existing operating reactor, even though SMRs are expected to be considerably smaller in size and may utilize designs that could reduce the NRC's regulatory costs per reactor.

Additionally, the current annual fee structure would assess multimodule nuclear plant annual fees on a per-licensed-module basis (rather than a site basis). For example, an SMR site with 12 licensed SMR modules (each with low thermal power ratings) would have to pay 12 times the annual fee paid by a single large operating reactor, even if that single reactor had higher thermal power rating than the cumulative power rating of the 12 SMR modules. This disparity raises fairness and equity concerns under OBRA-90. The SMR licensees could apply for fee exemptions to lower their annual fees. However, fee exemption are appropriate only for unanticipated or rare situations. The OBRA-90 statute requires the NRC to establish, by rule, a schedule of charges fairly and equitably allocating annual fees among its licensees. If the NRC anticipates up front that its annual fee schedule will not be fair and equitable as applied to a particular class of licensees, then amending the fee schedule, rather than planning to rely on the exemption process, is the better course of action for complying with OBRA-90.

B. Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding an Annual Fee Structure for SMRs

To address potential inequities, the NRC re-evaluated its annual fee structure as it relates to SMRs. In March 2009, the NRC published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) (74 FR 12735) for a variable annual fee structure for power reactors in the Federal Register. Although the ANPR nominally addressed the fee methodology used for all power reactors, its principal focus was on how to best adapt the existing fee methodology for future SMRs.

The NRC received 16 public comments on the ANPR from licensees, industry groups, and private individuals. These comments provided a wide range of input for agency consideration. Nine commenters supported adjusting the current power reactor annual fee methodology for small and medium-sized power reactors by some means. These commenters suggested basing the annual fee on either: (1) A risk matrix, (2) the thermal power ratings (in megawatts thermal, MWt), (3) the cost of providing regulatory service, or (4) an amount proportional to the size of the system based on megawatt (MW) ratings compared to a fixed baseline. Three commenters, representing small reactor design vendors, supported a variable fee rate structure as a means to mitigate the impacts of the existing fee structure on potential customers of their small reactor designs.

Commenters who did not support a variable annual fee structure recommended the following changes to the fee methodology: (1) Reinstatement of reactor size as a factor in evaluating fee exemption requests under 10 CFR 171.11(c), (2) establishment of power reactor subclasses, or (3) performance of additional analysis before making any changes to the current fee structure. Two commenters expressed an unwillingness to subsidize operating SMRs at the expense of their own businesses and believed that the flat-rate methodology provided regulatory certainty and assisted the ability to make ongoing financial plans.

In September 2009, the NRC staff submitted SECY-09-0137, “Next Steps for Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Variable Annual Fee Structure for Power Reactors,” (ML092660166) to the Commission for a notation vote. The paper summarized the comments that the NRC received in response to the ANPR, and it requested Commission approval to form a working group to analyze the commenters' suggested methodologies. The Commission approved the NRC staff's recommendation in the October 13, 2009, Staff Requirements Memorandum (SRM) for SECY-09-0137. (ML092861070)

C. Evaluation of Four Alternative Annual Fee Structures for SMRs

The NRC subsequently formed a working group to analyze the ANPR comments (ML14307A812), as well as position papers submitted to the NRC from the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), “NRC Annual Fee Assessment for Small Reactors,” (ML103070148) dated October 2010; and from the American Nuclear Society (ANS), “Interim Report of the American Nuclear Society President's Special Committee on Small and Medium Sized Reactor (SMR) Generic Licensing Issues,” (ML110040946) dated July 2010.

Four possible alternatives emerged from the working group's analysis of the public comments and the two position papers:

1. Continue the existing annual fee structure, but define a modular site of up to 12 reactors or 4,000 megawatts thermal (MWt) licensed power rating as a single unit for annual fee purposes.

2. Create fee classes for groups of reactor licensees and distribute the annual fee costs attributed to each fee class equally among the licensees in that class.

3. Calculate the annual fee for each licensed power reactor as a function of potential risk to public health and safety using a risk matrix.

4. Calculate the annual fee for each licensed power reactor as a function of its licensed thermal power rating.

The NRC staff further concluded that Alternative 3, which calculated the annual fee for each SMR as a function of its potential risk to public health and safety using a risk matrix, did not warrant further consideration and analysis because of the technical complexities and potential costs of developing the probalistic risk assessments necessary to implement this alternative.

D. Preferred Approach for an Annual Fee Structure for SMRs

The working group examined the alternatives and informed the NRC's Chief Financial Officer (CFO) that Alternative 4 was the working group's preferred recommendation because it allows SMRs to be assessed specific fee amounts based on their licensed thermal power ratings (measured in MWt) on a variable scale with a minimum fee and a maximum fee. Additionally, the variable portion of the fee allows for multiple licensed SMR reactors on a single site up to 4,000 MWt to be treated as a single reactor for fee purposes. The working group determined that these attributes best aligned with OBRA-90's fairness and equity requirements.

The CFO submitted the final recommendations to the Commission in an informational memorandum dated February 7, 2011, “Resolution of Issue Regarding Variable Annual Fee Structure for Small and Medium-Sized Nuclear Power Reactors.” (ML110380251) The memorandum described the results of the working group's efforts and its recommendation that the annual fee structure for SMRs be calculated for each newly licensed power reactor as a function of its licensed thermal power rating. The memorandum indicated that the NRC staff intended to obtain Commission approval for the planned approach during the process for developing the proposed rule.

In fiscal year (FY) 2014, the NRC staff reviewed the analysis and recommendations in the 2011 memorandum and determined that they remained sound. However, the working group identified one additional area for consideration related to the maximum thermal power rating eligible for a single annual fee.

In the FY 2011 memorandum, the CFO proposed an upper threshold of 4,000 MWt for multi-module power plants to be allocated a single annual fee. This value was comparable to the largest operating reactor units at the time (Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2, and 3 at 3,990 MWt each). A subsequent power uprate was approved by the NRC for Grand Gulf Nuclear Station, Unit 1, which raised the maximum licensed thermal power rating to 4,408 MWt. Therefore, the 2014 working group recommended setting the single-fee threshold for a multi-module nuclear plant at 4,500 MWt on the SMR variable annual fee structure scale so that the maximum fee remains aligned with the largest licensed power reactor.

With this change, the NRC staff submitted final recommendations to the Commission and requested approval to proceed with a proposed rulemaking for an SMR annual fee structure in SECY-15-0044, dated March 27, 2015, “Proposed Variable Annual Fee Structure for Small Modular Reactors.” (ML15051A092) The Commission approved the NRC staff's request to proceed with a proposed rulemaking on May 15, 2015, Staff Requirements Memorandum—SECY-15-0044, “Proposed Variable Annual Fee Structure for Small Modular Reactors.” (ML15135A427)

Separately, under Project Aim, the agency is working to improve the transparency of its fees development and invoicing processes and to improve the timeliness of NRC communications on fee changes. More information about this effort can be found in the Federal Register (81 FR 15352; March 22, 2016).

II. Discussion

The NRC is creating a variable annual fee structure for SMRs. As detailed in the regulatory analysis, the NRC determined the current annual fee structure may not be fair and equitable for assessing fees to SMRs based on the unique size and characteristics of SMRs. The NRC published, for a 30-day public comment period, a proposed rule on November 4, 2015, to address these issues. The NRC developed this final rule based on the comments received on the proposed rule. The comments are discussed in Section IV, “Public Comment Analysis,” of this document. Because the annual regulatory cost associated with an SMR is inherently uncertain before such a licensed facility is operational, the NRC intends to reevaluate the variable annual fee structure at the appropriate time to ensure the continuing satisfaction of OBRA-90 requirements. This reevalulation will occur once one or more SMR facilities becomes operational and sufficient regulatory cost data becomes available.

As explained in Section I, “Background,” of this document, the NRC staff previously solicited public input regarding an annual fee structure for SMRs via an ANPR, and the NRC staff submitted two papers to the Commission discussing alternative annual fee structures, which resulted in the recommendation of the variable annual fee structure as the preferred approach for SMRs. For this final rule and regulatory analysis, the NRC staff examined the following four refined alternatives including a “no action alternative” which served as a baseline to compare all other alternatives:

1. No action.

2. Continue the existing annual fee structure for all reactors but allow for “bundling” of SMR reactor modules up to a total of 4,500 MWt as a single SMR “bundled unit.”

3. Continue the existing annual fee structure for the current fleet of operating power reactors but establish a third fee class for SMRs with fees commensurate with the budgetary resources allocated to SMRs.

4. Continue the existing annual fee structure for the current fleet of operating power reactors but calculate the annual fee for each SMR site as a multi-part fee which includes minimum fee, variable fee and maximum fee.

As explained in the regulatory analysis for this final rule, the NRC staff analyzed Alternative 1 (the no action alternative) and concluded that this alternative continues to be a fair, equitable and stable approach for the existing fleet of reactors. This is because previous agency efforts to manage cost and fee allocations at a more granular level were labor intensive and resulted in minimal additional benefits to licensees when compared to the flat-fee approach (60 FR 32230; June 20, 1995). For SMRs, however, the current fee structure could produce such a large disparity between the annual fees paid by a licensee and the economic benefits that the licensee could gain from using the license that it would be contrary to OBRA-90's requirement to establish a fair and equitable fee schedule. For example, a hypothetical SMR site with 12 SMR reactor modules would have to pay 12 times the annual fee paid by a single current operating reactor—almost $54 million per year based on FY 2015 fee rule data. By comparison, Fort Calhoun, the smallest reactor in the current operating fleet, would pay approximately $4.5 million in annual fees. Such a result would be contrary to OBRA-90's requirement to establish a fair fee schedule, and therefore the no action alternative is unacceptable.

Small modular reactor licensees could apply for annual fee exemptions under 10 CFR 171.11(c). The fee exemption criteria consider the age of the reactor, number of customers in the licensee's rate base, how much the annual fee would add to the per kilowatt-hour (kWh) cost of electricity, and other relevant issues. But, as described in SECY-15-0044, there are no guarantees that an exemption request would be approved, decreasing regulatory certainty. The OBRA-90 statute also requires the NRC to establish, by rule, a schedule of charges fairly and equitably allocating annual fees among its licensees. Therefore, if the NRC anticipates up-front that its annual fee schedule will not be fair and equitable as applied to a particular class of licensees, then amending the fee schedule, rather than planning to rely on the exemption process, is the far better course for complying with OBRA-90.

The NRC staff also evaluated Alternative 2, which continues the existing annual fee structure for all reactors and allows for the bundling of the thermal ratings of SMRs on a single site up to total licensed thermal power rating of up to 4,500 MWt, which is roughly equivalent to the licensed thermal power rating of the largest reactor in the current fleet. Alternative 2 provides more fairness to SMRs than Alternative 1 because it allows SMR licensees to bundle their SMRs on a single site. However, for smaller SMR facilities, Alternative 2 would still create great disparities among SMR facilities in terms of the annual fees they would pay relative to the economic benefits they stand to gain from their NRC licenses. Consider, for illustrative purposes, an SMR site with only one NuScale reactor module. The licensee for this site would be required to pay the full annual fee, but could only spread the fee over 160 MWt—about $31,123 per MWt. In contrast, the licensee for an SMR site featuring 12 NuScale reactor modules would pay only $2,594 per MWt in annual fees. Alternative 2, therefore, only goes part of the way toward addressing the fairness and equity concerns that prompted this rulemaking. As with Alternative 1, smaller SMR licensees could apply for annual fee exemptions under 10 CFR 171.11(c). There are no guarantees that an exemption would be approved, decreasing regulatory certainty. For these reasons, and as further explained in the regulatory analysis, the NRC staff finds Alternative 2 to be an unacceptable approach.

Alternative 3 entails creating a separate fee class for SMRs, with fees commensurate with the budgetary resources allocated to SMRs, similar to the operating reactor and research and test reactor fee classes. This alternative would establish a flat annual fee assessed equally among SMR licensees. Although this approach is fair and equitable for the current operating reactor fee class, applying a flat fee approach to SMRs poses fairness problems due to the potential various sizes and types of SMR designs. In particular, a single per-reactor fee could prove unduly burdensome to SMRs with low thermal power ratings (such as 160 MWt for a single NuScale SMR) when compared to SMRs with higher-rated capacities (such as 800 MWt for a single Westinghouse SMR). Additionally, Alternative 3 is similar to the “no action” alternative in the sense that fees are based per licensed reactor or module rather than on the cumulative licensed thermal power rating. This alternative, therefore, fails to address the fee disparity created for SMRs using multiple small modules rather than fewer, larger reactors with a similar cumulative licensed thermal power rating. It is the NRC's intent to select an SMR fee alternative that is fair and equitable for the broadest possible range of SMR designs. Flat-rate alternatives such as this one are inconsistent with the “fair and equitable” requirements of OBRA-90 when applied to a fee class with the wide range of SMR thermal power capacities as described by reactor designers to date. As with the previous alternatives, SMR licensees could apply for annual fee exemptions under 10 CFR 171.11(c); however, there are no guarantees that an exemption would be approved, decreasing regulatory certainty. For these reasons, and as further explained in the regulatory analysis, Alternative 3 is an unacceptable approach.

Ultimately, the NRC staff analyzed the mechanics of the variable annual fee structure under Alternative 4 and determined that it is the best approach for assessing fees to SMRs in a fair and equitable manner under OBRA-90. Unlike the current fee structure, this approach recognizes the anticipated unique characteristics of SMRs in relation to the existing fleet. Unlike Alternative 2, this approach ensures that all SMRs are treated fairly, including those SMRs whose licensed thermal power rating are outside the 2,000 MWt-4,500 MWt range. Unlike Alternative 3, the variable annual fee structure assesses a range of annual fees to SMRs based on licensed thermal power rating, rather than assessing a single flat fee that could potentially apply to a very wide range of SMRs.

The SMR variable annual fee structure under Alternative 4 computes SMR annual fees on a site basis, considering all SMRs on the site—up to a total licensed thermal power rating of up to 4,500 MWt—to be a single “bundled unit” that would pay the same annual fee as the current operating reactor fleet. The SMR fee structure has three parts: A minimum fee (the average of the research and test reactor fee class and the spent fuel storage/reactor decommissioning fee class), a variable fee charged on a per-MWt basis for bundled units in a particular size range, and a maximum fee equivalent to the flat annual fee charged to current operating fleet reactors.

Bundled units with a total licensed thermal power rating at or below 250 MWt would only pay a minimum fee; for example, based on FY 2015 fee rule data, that minimum fee would be $153,250. This minimum fee is consistent with the principle that reactor-related licensees in existing low-fee classes may not generate substantial revenue, yet still derive benefits from NRC activities performed on generic work. Therefore, they must pay more than a de minimis part of the NRC's generic costs. By calculating the minimum fee for SMRs within the range of annual fees paid by other low-fee reactor classes, this methodology satisfies the OBRA-90 fairness and equity requirements because it ensures consistent NRC treatment for low-power and low-revenue reactors.

Fees for bundled units with a total licensed thermal power rating greater than 250 MWt and less than or equal to 2,000 MWt would be computed as the minimum fee plus a variable fee based on the bundled unit's cumulative licensed thermal power rating. The variable fee should generally correlate with the economic benefits the licensee is able to derive from its NRC license and will ensure that similarly rated SMRs pay comparable fees.

For a bundled unit with a licensed thermal power rating comparable to a typical large light-water reactor—i.e., greater than 2,000 MWt and less than or equal to 4,500 MWt—the annual fee assessed to that bundled unit would be the same annual flat fee that is paid by a power reactor licensee in the current operating fleet. This approach ensures comparable fee treatment of facilities that stand to derive comparable economic benefits from their NRC-licensed activities.

For SMR sites with a licensed thermal power rating that exceeds 4,500 MWt, the licensee would be assessed the maximum fee for the first bundled unit, plus a variable annual fee for the portion of the thermal rating above the 4,500 MWt level and less than or equal to 6,500 MWt for the second bundled unit (the licensee would not incur a second minimum fee for the same SMR site, because minimum fees are only assessed on a per-site basis). If a site rating exceeds the 6,500 MWt level, and also is less than or equal to 9,000 MWt, then a second maximum fee would be assessed for the second bundled unit. The NRC considered eliminating the second variable portion of the fee structure and simply doubling the maximum fee for the second bundled unit, but this would produce an unfair result if the site's second bundled unit had a small licensed thermal power rating. Similar to the other three alternative fee structures, this method—doubling the maximum fee for the second bundled unit—would not have addressed the inequities that arise when a very small bundled unit pays a very large annual fee.

Therefore, as demonstrated in the regulatory analysis, the NRC staff concludes that the variable annual fee structure allows SMRs to pay an annual fee that is commensurate with the economic benefit received from its license and that appropriately accounts for the design characteristics and current expectations regarding regulatory costs. This complies with OBRA-90's requirement to establish a fee schedule that fairly and equitably allocates NRC's fees.

III. Opportunities for Public Participation

Section I B., “Background” of this document discusses the ANPR and the public comments that helped to shape the proposed rule, “Variable Annual Fee Structure for Small Modular Reactors,” that NRC published in the Federal Register on November 4, 2015 (80 FR 68268), for a 30-day public comment period. The rule proposed to implement a variable annual fee structure for small modular reactors given their unique design features that would meet the requirements of OBRA-90 as it relates to the fairness and equity of fees. The public comment period for the proposed rule closed on December 4, 2015. The NRC received nine public comment submissions that are discussed in Section IV, “Public Comment Analysis,” of this document.

The NRC held a category 3 public meeting on the proposed rule and draft regulatory analysis (ML15226A588) during the comment period, specifically, on November 16, 2015, to promote transparency and obtain feedback from industry representatives, licensees and other external stakeholders. During the meeting, NRC staff addressed questions pertaining to the 10 CFR parts 170 and 171 definitions, the fee methodology for the bundled unit and out-of-scope comments such as life-cycle costs of SMRs, the charging of fees to future licensees for the monitoring of both air and water emitted around nuclear facilities, and the nuclear waste fee.

IV. Public Comment Analysis

The NRC received nine comment submissions on the proposed rule. The comments are posted on www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2008-0664. The majority of commenters support a variable annual fee structure for small modular reactors based on the total cumulative licensed thermal power rating. Some commenters suggested that the proposed rulemaking be expanded to non-light water SMRs and that the proposed definitions and regulations be modified as applicable under 10 CFR parts 170 and 171. Another commenter believed the proposed rule could be more fair to the existing fleet. The commenters are listed and classified in the following table:

Commenter Affiliation ADAMS
  • Accession No.
  • Nancy Foust Private Citizen ML15320A546 (#1). Per Peterson University of California, Berkeley ML15320A547 (#2). Tyler Ellis Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ML15327A219 (#3). Caroline Cochran UPower Technologies, Inc ML15341A349 (#4). Christopher Bergan Private Citizen ML15341A350 (#5). Douglas Weaver Westinghouse Electrical Company (WEC) ML15341A351 (#6). Edward C. Rampton Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) ML15341A352 (#7). Zackary J. Rad NuScale Power LLC ML15341A353 (#8). Russell J. Bell Nuclear Energy Institute ML15343A512 (#9).
    A. Specific 10 CFR Part 170 Issues

    Comment: One commenter was unclear as to why the definitions “small modular reactor,” “small modular reactor site,” and “bundled unit” being proposed to 10 CFR part 170 were necessary, because these definitions did not appear to be related to the fees charged in this section. The commenter further stated that the NRC should delete the definition for bundled unit, small modular reactor, and small modular reactor site, but keep the definition for small modular reactor under 10 CFR part 170 if necessary. (NEI, UAMPS and UPower Technologies)

    Response: The NRC agrees with the commenter that the bundled unit definition should be removed from 10 CFR part 170 because the term is used solely for the purpose of calculating annual fees for SMRs. However, the NRC will retain the definitions of SMR and SMR site under 10 CFR part 170 to make transparent that SMRs and SMR sites can be charged hourly fees under 10 CFR part 170 for specific services performed by the NRC for these licensees. A change was made to the final rule in response to this comment.

    B. Specific 10 CFR Part 171 Issues

    Comment: One commenter stated, “. . . the rule language is not entirely clear on the relationship between SMR licenses, SMR modules, SMR plants, the SMR site (which may include several SMR modules, plants, and licenses), and bundled units (which serve as the basis for the calculation of the annual fee).” The commenter suggested that the NRC modify the definition of “bundled unit” to mean, “A measure of the cumulative licensed thermal power rating for one or more SMRs located on a single site. One bundled unit is less than or equal to 4,500 MWt. An additional bundled unit is not established until the preceding bundled unit reaches the cumulative 4,500 MWt rating. The thermal rating of a module can be split between two bundled units for the purposes of assessing annual fees under § 171.15(e).” (NEI).

    Response: The NRC agrees with the commenter that the definitions as identified by the commenter and their relationships under the SMR fee structure methodology could be made more clear. The language in § 171.3, Scope, identifies the licensees and others subject to annual fees. For the purposes of this rule, any SMR module, reactor, plant, or site licensed for operation by the NRC is subject to annual fees under 10 CFR part 171. For the purposes of this rule, the SMR module is a reactor. As noted in the regulatory analysis, the NRC defines the building that houses co-located SMR reactor modules sharing common systems as a “plant,” and the geographically bounded area that houses single or multiple plants as a “site.” Finally, the definition of a “bundled unit” has been reworded to provide more clarity while addressing the commenter's concerns. A change was made to the final rule in response to this comment.

    Comment: The same commenter stated that the § 171.15(e)(1) proposed language regarding the annual fee paid for each license held could be misinterpreted to mean that the determination of a bundled unit is limited to the SMR modules covered by a single license, regardless of the number of licenses that comprise a single SMR plant or the number of SMR plants on a single SMR site. The commenter suggested that the NRC should modify § 171.15(e)(1), Annual Fees, by stating, “Each person holding an operating license for a small modular reactor issued under part 50 of this chapter or that holds a combined license issued under part 52 of this chapter, after the Commission has made the finding under 10 CFR 52.103(g) shall pay the annual fee for all licenses held for an SMR site during the fiscal year in which the fee is due.” (NEI)

    Response: The NRC agrees with the commenter that the rule language could be more clear regarding the relationship between the NRC's assessment of annual fees to SMRs and SMR licenses. The final language in this section has been clarified to indicate that the bundled unit concept—which is used to compute annual fees—applies on a site-wide basis and is independent of the number of actual SMR licenses or the sequencing of the SMR licenses issued for that site. A change was made to § 171.15(e)(1) and to § 171.5 in the final rule as a result of this comment.

    Comment: The same commenter stated that the current rule language in § 171.15(e)(1) and the definition of “bundled unit” does not make clear that a bundled unit can be comprised of modules from more than one SMR plant, and that an additional bundled unit is not established before the preceding bundled unit reaches the cumulative 4,500 MWt rating. (NEI)

    Response: The NRC agrees with the commenter that the proposed bundled unit definition and proposed language for § 171.15(e)(1) could be more clear regarding the transition from the first bundled unit to additional bundled units. As explained in the previous comment, a change was made to § 171.15(e)(1) and to § 171.5 in the final rule as a result of this comment.

    Comment: One commenter stated that the proposed rule does not explicitly state that the annual fee assessed for SMRs, a type of power reactor, is in lieu of annual fees assessed for power reactors under § 171.15(b). This could lead to the misinterpretation that SMRs are assessed both sets of annual fees. The commenter stated the NRC should revise § 171.15(e)(3) to read, “(3) The annual fee for an SMR collected under paragraph (e) of this section is in lieu of any fee otherwise required under paragraph (b) of this section. The annual fee under paragraph (e) of this section covers the same activities listed for the power reactor base annual fee and spent fuel storage/reactor decommissioning reactor fee.” (NEI)

    Response: The NRC agrees with the commenter that the proposed language could imply that an SMR licensee would be charged a base annual fee and spent fuel storage/reactor decommissioning annual fee in addition to an SMR annual fee. A change was made to the final rule in response to this comment. Specifically, the language in § 171.15(e)(3) has been revised to read, “(3) The annual fee for an SMR collected under paragraph (e) of this section is in lieu of any fee otherwise required under paragraph (b) of this section. The annual fee under paragraph (e) of this section covers the same activities listed for the power reactor base annual fee and spent fuel storage/reactor decommissioning reactor fee.”

    Comment: One commenter stated that the definition of “variable rate” could be simplified because it is difficult to determine how the variable rate applies to additional bundled units, and it appears inconsistent with the proposed definition of a bundled unit. The commenter suggested that NRC redefine the variable rate definition by stating, “Variable rate means a per-MWt fee factor applied to all bundled units on a site. For the first bundled unit with a licensed thermal power rating greater than 250 MWt and less than or equal to 2,000 MWt, the factor is based on the difference between the maximum fee and the minimum fee, divided by 1,750 MWt (the variable fee licensed thermal rating range). For additional bundled units with a licensed thermal power rating greater than 0 and less than or equal to 2,000 MWt, the factor is based on the maximum fee divided by 2,000 MWt.” (NEI)

    Response: The NRC agrees with the commenter that the proposed variable rate definition is inconsistent with the proposed definition of bundled unit. The NRC has redefined the variable rate based on the commenter's suggestion and revised the bundled unit definition for clarity. A change was made to the final rule in response to this comment.

    Comment: One commenter believes the description of additional bundled units in the table § 171.15(e)(2) is confusing and unnecessary. The same commenter believes it is inconsistent with the proposed definition of “bundled unit,” which states that a “bundled unit is less than or equal to 4,500 MWt.” The table can be interpreted to mean that the range of thermal capacity is describing the SMR site thermal power rating totals, and not an additional bundled unit. Additionally, including SMR site thermal power rating totals in the table unnecessarily complicates the bundled approach. The table can also be interpreted to mean the first 4,500 MWt of additional bundled units (e.g., the second bundled unit) is not assessed an annual fee. The description could also be interpreted to unnecessarily limit the SMR site total thermal rating to 9,000 MWt. The same commenter is not aware of any other fee-based requirement that would limit a site's total thermal output, but notes there is at least one nuclear facility in the U.S. with almost a 12,000 MWt total thermal rating. The rule should clarify the following: (1) If any bundled unit would exceed 4,500 MWt, an additional bundle would exist for the portion of the thermal rating above 4,500 MWt; and (2) the same bundled fee schedule should apply to any successive bundle. The commenter suggested the NRC revise the description of addition bundled units in the thermal rating power rating scale by replacing “>4,500 MWt ≤ 6,500 MWt” with “>0 MWt ≤ 2,000 MWt” and replacing “>6,500 ≤9,000 MWt” with “>2,000 MWt.” (NEI)

    Response: The NRC agrees with the commenter that the proposed table and the bundled unit definition could be interpreted to read that licensees are limited to bundled units less than 9,000 MWt, yet the proposed definition of bundled unit allows for bundled units to exceed 9,000 MWt. Therefore, the NRC has revised the table for § 171.15(e)(2) and bundled unit definition for clarity based on the commenter's concerns. A change was made to the final rule in response to this comment. The bundled unit definition has been revised as mentioned in our previous response and the table for § 171.15(e)(2) has been revised to read as follows: (2) The annual fees for a small modular reactor(s) located on a single site to be collected by September 30 of each year, are as follows:

    Bundled unit thermal power rating Minimum fee Variable fee Maximum fee First Bundled Unit 0 MWt ≤ 250 MWt TBD N/A N/A. > 250 MWt ≤ 2,000 MWt TBD TBD N/A. > 2,000 MWt ≤ 4,500 MWt N/A N/A TBD. Additional Bundled Units 0 MWt ≤ 2,000 MWt N/A TBD N/A. >2,000 MWt ≤ 4,500 MWt N/A N/A TBD.

    Comment: One commenter stated that the new fee structure must be fair to both SMRs and the current operating fleet. The current operating fleet should not subsidize SMR's regulatory costs and that the proposed rule could be made fairer in this regard. (Westinghouse)

    Response: The NRC agrees in part and disagrees in part with this comment. The NRC agrees that the new structure must be fair to both SMRs and to the current operating fleet. As discussed, OBRA-90 requires this fairness, and the NRC has worked through a variety of competing interests to attain the most balanced approach possible.

    With respect to the degree of fairness achieved by the rule, the NRC disagrees with the comment. The OBRA-90 statutes require the NRC to collect annual fees from licensees, including licensees from the operating reactor fee class. Therefore, adding a new SMR to the reactor fleet would result in a greater base of operating reactors over which to spread the required 10 CFR part 171 annual fee collection; this, in turn, leads to a lower 10 CFR part 171 fee amount per reactor. Under the variable annual fee structure, SMRs with a bundled unit rating below 2,000 MWt will pay less in 10 CFR part 171 fees than a current operating reactor. Therefore, the addition of an SMR would result in a slightly smaller fee reduction than would have been realized for the addition of a large light-water reactor. Using FY15 data, this difference in fee reduction is, at most, about one percent of the 10 CFR part 171 annual fee for each current operating reactor. The NRC believes this is a fair result because SMRs should pay annual fees that are commensurate with the economic benefit received from their license, and this rule achieves that objective without altering the existing fee structure for operating reactors. As previously explained, this rule also achieves this objective with minimal impacts to the existing fleet. No change was made to the final rule in response to this comment.

    Comment: One commenter believes that linking the fees paid by research and test reactors (RTRs) to fees paid by smaller SMRs under the Alternative 4 appears to violate the fairness test required by OBRA-90. The commenter further states RTRs are used for training and research which provides benefits to the entire industry. The commenter points out that RTRs do not sell power nor do they compete with the current fleet of reactors. The same commenter, therefore, suggests that the NRC not link the minimum SMR fee to RTR fees, but instead develop an estimate of the minimum costs of the regulatory services that it expects to provide to an SMR. This method would reduce the likelihood that the fees would have to be substantially altered after an SMR has been operating and is in alignment with OBRA-90 as it pertains to assessed charges having a reasonable relationship to the cost of providing regulatory services. (Westinghouse)

    Response: The NRC disagrees with the comment. At this time, the NRC is unable to develop an estimate of the minimum costs of regulatory services that it expects to provide to an SMR due to lack of cost data and operating experience. Therefore, the minimum fee is calculated by averaging annual fees for both the research and test reactor fee class and the spent fuel storage/reactor decommissioning fee class. The minimum fee ensures that even the smallest SMRs bear some of the annual 10 CFR part 171 fee burden. Although a size and purpose disparity exists between the smallest currently proposed SMRs and RTRs, the minimum fee calculation was not intended to equate the regulatory support requirements of SMRs and RTRs. Rather, the calculation was intended to identify current fees for low power reactor fee classes to set an initial minimum fee value. The NRC believes the lower power reactor fee classes serving as the threshold for the minimum fee satisfies the requirements of OBRA-90 as it relates to the fairness and equitable distribution of fees because it establishes consistency between low-power SMRs and other low-power reactor fee classes; once quantifiable data for SMRs becomes available, the NRC will then reevaluate its minimum fee methodology to ensure that it remains sound. No change was made to the rule in response to this comment.

    Comment: One commenter states that it appears the NRC has concluded that some SMRs may not be economically viable if they pay for the regulatory services they consume; and this is not a compelling reason for the NRC to seek to subsidize the regulatory cost of SMRs with increased fees on another fee class. The commenter encourages the NRC staff to consider alternatives that more clearly align the proposed annual fee for SMRs with the regulatory services they use. The commenter suggests that the NRC create a fee class combining alternatives 3 and 4 from the draft regulatory analysis or create a separate fee class as described in Alternative 3, but with the sliding fee scale described in Alternative 4. The latter alternative would address the NRC staff's primary concern that all SMRs pay the same fee regardless of output. (Westinghouse)

    Response: The NRC disagrees with the comment. First, the NRC did not state that SMRs may not be economically viable if they pay for the regulatory services they consume. Rather, the NRC's proposed rule and proposed regulatory analysis explained that charging large and flat annual fees to very small SMRs may not satisfy OBRA-90's requirement to establish a fair and equitable fee schedule. The variable fee methodology selected in this final rule offers the best means of satisfying those OBRA-90 requirement for all operating reactors, including future SMRs. Further, the commenter's proposal to combine features of Alternatives 3 (a separate fee class) and 4 (a sliding fee scale) by creating a new fee class is not a viable option at this time. As mentioned elsewhere in this document and in the regulatory analysis, the NRC lacks quanititative data that shows the estimated costs of providing generic regulatory services to SMRs. Right now, the NRC must establish the variable sliding fee scale within the operating reactor fee class—thereby linking SMR fees to the existing fleet's fees—because the absence of this data means that the NRC cannot anchor SMR fees in any other way. As cost data and operating experience for SMRs are accumulated, the NRC will propose adjustments to fees as needed to make sure that the fees charged to SMRs (and to all operating reactors) are commensurate with the regulatory support services provided by the NRC to meet the requirements of OBRA-90. At that time, it may be be necessary to “de-link” SMR fees from the existing fleet's fees and establish a brand new variable fee class similar to what the commenter proposed. No change was made to the rule in response to this comment.

    C. Regulatory Analysis

    Comment: One commenter stated that, in the draft regulatory analysis, an equation on page 16 of the calculation is not clear and could be interpreted to be inconsistent with the detailed process for calculating the maximum fee, which is described in more detail in Attachment A. The commenter suggested that the NRC revise the numerator of the equation to calculate the “maximum fee” to read, “Total Part 171 Annual Fee (less all minimum and variable SMR fees).” (NEI)

    Response: The NRC agrees with commenter that the equations on page 16 of the RA were not clearly aligned with the Attachment A description of the step-by-step 10 CFR part 171 annual fee process. As further described in the regulatory analysis, calculating the maximum fee to be paid by the operating fleet reactors and SMR bundled units rated > 2,000 MWt is an iterative, dynamic process. Because the equations on page 16 of the RA did not accurately reflect the dynamic nature of these calculations, the NRC removed those equations to eliminate potential confusion between the original simplified equations and the iterative calculation process referenced in Attachment A. Further, the NRC refined the step-by-step calculation process in Attachment A to achieve greater clarity. These changes bring the descriptive text and calculation process into closer alignment with the conceptual fee representation in Figure 3 of the regulatory analysis. A change was made to the regulatory analysis in response to this comment.

    Comment: The commenter believes that the regulatory analysis should explain in more detail NRC's assumption that SMRs, through a combination of simplicity, advanced safety features, and modular construction methods, will require less oversight and regulatory services than the current fleet of reactors. (Westinghouse)

    Response. The NRC disagrees that the regulatory analysis should provide more detail on NRC's assumptions for SMRs and believes that the commenter has overstated the NRC's basis for promulgating the proposed rulemaking. The Executive Summary of the proposed rule discussed potential SMR characteristics, and stated, “These characteristics include modular design, factory component fabrication, and thermal power capacities of 1,000 megawatts thermal (MWt) or less per module. These SMRs also may include safety and security design in a lower regulatory oversight burden for this type of reactor.” In fact, the lack of operational data on costs for these future reactor plants was the main reason for using a qualitative approach in the regulatory analysis. The NRC staff agrees with the commenter that the SMR variable annual fee rule should be re-assessed once operational cost data is accumulated. To this end, the NRC staff proposed periodic assessments of the actual costs associated with licensed SMRs so that the NRC could make adjustments to the SMR fee structure, if necessary. As the industry and the NRC gathers operating experience with SMRs, a better understanding of “. . . how design features may be translated into annual fee reductions,” as mentioned by the commenter, should become more apparent. SMR operating experience data should provide insights that could confirm correlations between design features and the level of NRC oversight typically needed for these new types of power plants; and provide indications of whether further fee adjustments for SMRs are required. No change was made to the regulatory analysis in response to this comment.

    D. Other Issuance of Final Rule

    Comment: Several commenters encouraged prompt finalization of the proposed rule. (UPower Technologies, NuScale, NEI, UAMPS)

    Response: The NRC agrees with the commenters. No change was made to the final rule in response to this comment.

    Support of Proposed Rule

    Comment: Most commenters support the NRC's proposal to assess annual fees for SMRs licensees based on the total thermal power output of the facility because it is a reasonable approach for providing a fair and equitable fee structure for SMRs in absence of data on regulatory costs on oversight for SMRs. (University of California—Berkeley, MIT, UPower Technologies, UAMPS, Nuscale, NEI)

    Response: No response required. No change was made to the final rule in response to this comment.

    Comment: One commenter stated that the proposed use of cumulative thermal power rating provides the most appropriate basis for establishing the fee because the rate of the production of fission product which creates the most important hazard associated with fission power is directly proportional to cumulative reactor thermal power, and therefore to the total source term that might be mobilized in a reactor accident. The SMRs provide higher intrinisic safety because this source term is divided into smaller quantities, reducing the maximum release possible if an accident occurs in a reactor unit. The same commenter stated SMR designs also can be expected to make more extensive use of intrinsic feedback and passive safety features, significantly reducing the complexity and inspection requirements for reactor safety systems compared to existing large light water reactors. (University of California—Berkeley)

    Response: The NRC agrees that SMRs could have some or all of the design and operational advantages identified by the commenter. However, the NRC has not yet received any SMR application for review. Therefore, we have no basis on which to correlate or assess the SMR attributes and potential advantages cited in the comment with a specific SMR design. No change was made to the final rule in response to this comment.

    Comment: Some commenters stated that the proposed rule provides a more equitable basis for assessing 10 CFR part 171 fees for SMRs that incorporate enhanced and design safety features which are expected to lower generic regulatory and oversight costs. (NEI, NuScale, UAMPS)

    Response: No response required. No change was made to the final rule in response to this comment.

    Comment: One commenter stated that the current disparity in annual fees between current light water reactors and small modular reactors is a key business consideration affecting the overall economics of the Carbon Free Power Project. (UAMPS)

    Response: No response required. No change was made to the final rule in response to this comment.

    Comment: One commenter believes the rulemaking provides clarity on 10 CFR part 171 fees that support near-term business decisions regarding submittal of combined license applications for NuScale's customers, the first of which is anticipated in late 2017 or early 2018. (Nuscale)

    Response: No response required. No change was made to the final rule in response to this comment.

    Reevaluation of Variable Annual Fee Structure for SMRs

    Comment: Several commenters stated the NRC should state in the final rulemaking package (e.g., in the statements of consideration or in a separately issued Commission paper) its commitment to reviewing data on costs of oversight for SMRs as it becomes available and adjusting the SMR variable fee structure to ensure the annual fees equitably align with the cost of oversight of this class of reactors. One commenter stated that the appropriate timeframe for revisiting 10 CFR part 171 fees may be approximately three years after commercial operation date for the first reactor. The commenter believes this timeframe, with the deployment of a NuScale design with 12 reactors, would provide the operational experience of having undertaken 12 refuelings and would better inform the level of regulatory oversight required by the NRC for this type of design. Another commenter stated that the NRC should, in the “Final Regulatory Basis for Proposed Changes to 10 CFR part 171,” clearly and explicitly identify assumptions important to forming the basis for the final variable fee rule for SMRs. Another commenter suggested reevaluation of the fee structure for advanced reactors may be warranted as cost of oversight information becomes available. (NEI, NuScale, UAMPS, UPower Technologies)

    Response: The NRC agrees that it will be necessary to reevaluate the variable annual fee structure for SMRs as an SMR becomes operational and regulatory cost data becomes available to ensure the continuing satisfaction of OBRA-90 requirements. Because the NRC cannot anticipate with certainty when sufficient information will be available, the NRC is unable to estimate the precise time period when this reevaulation will occur. The type of information that the NRC will likely need to reevaluate the variable fee structure may include data on the initial licensing of an SMR facility, performance of refueling outages, performance of onsite inspections, and licensing actions and other regulatory services provided to an operational SMR. No change was made to the final rule or regulatory analysis in response to this comment.

    Small Modular Reactor Definition

    Comment: Two commenters suggested the the NRC expand the small modular reactor definition of light water reactor to include all types of new fission reactor (e.g. sodium cooled, molten salt, etc.) One of the commenters suggested that if the NRC were to include non-light water reactors in the definition, the NRC should look to the Gen IV International Forum for a better one as the United States, International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Nuclear Energy Agency are all members of the Gen IV International Forum. (MIT, University of CA, Berkeley)

    Response: The NRC disagrees with the comment. The NRC has chosen to limit the scope of this proposed rule to light-water SMRs. This is because the light-water SMR designs that have been discussed with the NRC in pre-application discussions to date are similar to the current U.S. operating fleet of reactors in terms of physical configuration, operational characteristics, and applicability to the NRC's existing regulatory framework. The NRC may consider the inclusion of non-light water SMRs in a future rulemaking once the agency has increased understanding of these factors with respect to non-light water designs. No change was made to the final rule in response to this comment.

    E. Out-of-Scope Comments

    Comment: The NRC should consider seeking limited legislative relief from OBRA-90. SMRs are not anticipated to be licensed for another decade, and the NRC would have to time find other legislative solutions. (Westinghouse)

    Response: The NRC considers this comment to be outside the scope of this rulemaking amending the current annual fee structure for SMRs. Additionally, the NRC considers this technical rulemaking to be an inappropriate vehicle for seeking legislative relief for SMRs under the requirements of OBRA-90. Apart from this rulemaking, the NRC annually promulgates a rulemaking to adjust its fees without changing the underlying principles of its fee policy to comply with the statutory requirements for cost recovery in OBRA-90 and the AEA. Small modular reactors may require lower regulatory oversight burden compared to the existing fleet due to potentially unique design features and safety attributes. Because the NRC is implementing a variable annual fee structure for SMRs which would comply with the fairness and equitable distribution of fees' requirement under OBRA-90, a request for legislative relief by the NRC is unnecessary. Finally, as discussed in SECY-15-0044, the staff's recommended alternative for establishing an SMR variable annual fee rule supports the agency's goals of transparency and providing regulatory certainty to potential SMR applicants. The commenter's recommendation of finding other legislative solutuions would likely take considerable additional time and decrease regulatory certainty for these potential applicants. Therefore, no change was made to the final rule in response to this comment.

    Comment: One commenter stated because of the ongoing decommissioning of a large number of U.S. power reactors and the uncertain production of SMR units, the NRC should ask Congress to change their funding system. Instead of relying heavily on fees from power plant operators, a significant portion of the funding should be allocated by Congress. The same commenter believes collecting operating reactor fees creates a conflict of interest. As more aging reactors shut down, there is a potential for budget shortfall, yet the NRC's workload will increase for supervising decommissioning and defunct nuclear sites that fall under its authority. (Private Citizen)

    Response: The NRC considers this comment to be outside the scope because this final rule does not seek to change the fee collection requirements under OBRA-90. Instead, this final rule is implementing a variable annual fee structure that is fair and equitable to SMRs, unlike the current annual fee structure. The requirements in OBRA-90 authorize the NRC to collect approximately 90 percent of its budget authority through fees assessed to licensees and applicants for services provided by the NRC. Additonally, OBRA-90 instructs the NRC to “establish, by rule, a schedule of charges fairly and equitably allocating” various generic agency regulatory costs “among licensees” and, “[t]o the maximum extent practicable, the charges shall have a reasonable relationship to the cost of providing regulatory services and may be based on the allocation of the Commission's resources among licensees or classes of licensees.” The hourly fees assessed to an operating reactor licensee which could include a decommissioning reactor recoup the NRC's cost for services such as licensing and inspection activities which benefit the licensee. The annual fees assessed to the operating reactor fleet recoup the NRC's cost for services such as research and other generic activities which benefit the entire fee class. Regarding a potential budget shortfall, the NRC requests from Congress only those resources necessary to conduct programs and activities which are efficient and effective to comply with the agency's mission. No change was made to the final rule in response to this comment.

    Comment: One commenter mentioned that ThorCon signed a memorandum of understanding with Indonesia to build their Gen-4 molten salt reactor prototype in that nation, and it would be shameful if a trend began where several SMRs were initially developed within the USA, but tested and built in other countries. Importing our own technology is not what made the USA a great nation. (Private Citizen)

    Response: The NRC considers this comment to be outside the scope of this rulemaking amending the current annual fee structure for SMRs. This final rule addresses the assessment of annual fees for future SMRs (defined as light-water reactors for the purposes of this rulemaking) using the implementation of a variable annual fee structure for SMRs Therefore, this comment, which is based on the fee treatment of future non-LWRs, is not applicable in this context. No change was made to the final rule in response to this comment.

    Comment: One commenter believes NRC's Project Aim is the best near-term option to reduce fees for classes of NRC licensees and encourage NRC's timely completion of this initiative. (Westinghouse)

    Response: The NRC considers this comment to be outside the scope of this rulemaking because this final rule is limited to the assessment of annual fees to SMRs only as it relates to OBRA-90. Therefore, the NRC's efforts under Project Aim such as improving transparency and simplification of how the NRC computes fees are not being considered under this final rule. No change was made to the final rule in response to this comment.

    V. Discussion of Amendments by Section

    The following paragraphs describe the specific changes made by this rulemaking.

    Section 170.3 Definitions

    The NRC is adding definitions for “small modular reactor (SMR),” and “small modular reactor site (SMR site).”

    Section 171.5 Definitions

    The NRC is adding definitions for “bundled unit,” “maximum fee,” “minimum fee,” “small modular reactor (SMR),” “small modular reactor site (SMR site),” “variable fee,” and “variable rate.”

    Section 171.15 Annual Fees: Reactor Licenses and Independent Spent Fuel Storage Licenses

    The NRC is redesignating current paragraph (e) as new paragraph (f) and adding new paragraphs (e)(1), (e)(2), and (e)(3) to define activities that comprise SMR annual fees and the time period in which the NRC must collect annual fees from SMR licensees.

    VI. Regulatory Flexibility Certification

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), the NRC certifies that this rule does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This final rule affects only the licensing and operation of nuclear power plants. The companies that own these plants do not fall within the scope of the definition of “small entities” set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act or the size standards established by the NRC (10 CFR 2.810).

    VII. Regulatory Analysis

    The NRC has prepared a regulatory analysis for this final rule. The analysis examines the costs and benefits of the alternatives considered by the NRC. The regulatory analysis is available as indicated in the “Availability of Documents” section of this document.

    VIII. Backfitting and Issue Finality

    The NRC has determined that the backfit rule, 10 CFR 50.109, does not apply to this final rule and that a backfit analysis is not required. A backfit analysis is not required because these amendments do not require the modification of, or addition to, systems, structures, components, or the design of a facility, or the design approval or manufacturing license for a facility, or the procedures or organization required to design, construct, or operate a facility.

    IX. Plain Writing

    The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-274) requires Federal agencies to write documents in a clear, concise, and well-organized manner. The NRC has written this document to be consistent with the Plain Writing Act as well as the Presidential Memorandum, “Plain Language in Government Writing,” published June 10, 1998 (63 FR 31883).

    X. National Environmental Policy Act

    The NRC has determined that this final rule is the type of action described in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(1). Therefore, neither an environmental impact statement nor environmental assessment has been prepared for this final rule.

    XI. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule does not contain a collection of information as defined in the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and, therefore, is not subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    XII. Congressional Review Act

    This final rule is a rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801-808). However, the Office of Management and Budget has not found it to be a major rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act.

    XIII. Voluntary Consensus Standards

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995, Public Law 104-113, requires that Federal agencies use technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies unless the use of such a standard is inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. In this final rule, the NRC will revise its licensing, inspection, and annual fee regulations to establish a variable annual fee structure for SMRs. This action does not constitute the establishment of a standard that contains generally applicable requirements.

    XIV. Availability of Documents

    The documents identified in the following table are available to interested persons through one or more of the following methods, as indicated.

    Document ADAMS Accession No./Federal Register citation Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for a Variable Annual Fee Structure for Small Modular Reactors, dated November 4, 2015 80 FR 68268 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) for a Variable Annual Fee Structure for Power Reactors, dated March 25, 2009 74 FR 12735 Summary of ANPR Comments ML14307A812 SECY-09-0137, “Next Steps for Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Variable Annual Fee Structure for Power Reactors,” dated September 23, 2009 ML092660166 ANS Position Paper, “Interim Report of the American Nuclear Society President's Special Committee on Small and Medium Sized Reactor (SMR) Generic Licensing Issues,” dated July 2010 ML110040946 SRM for SECY-09-0137, “Staff Requirements—SECY-09-0137—Next Steps for Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Variable Annual Fee Structure for Power Reactors,” dated October 13, 2009 ML092861070 NEI Position Paper, “NRC Annual Fee Assessment for Small Reactors,” dated October 2010 ML103070148 Informational Memorandum to the Commission, “Resolution of Issue Regarding Variable Annual Fee Structure for Small and Medium-Sized Nuclear Power Reactors,” dated February 7, 2011 ML110380251 SECY-15-0044, “Proposed Variable Annual Fee Structure for Small Modular Reactors,” dated March 27, 2015 ML15051A092 SRM for SECY-15-0044, “Proposed Variable Annual Fee Structure for Small Modular Reactors” dated May 15, 2015 ML15135A427 Draft Regulatory Analysis for Proposed Changes to 10 CFR Part 171 “Annual Fees for Reactor Licenses and Fuel Cycle Licenses and Materials Licenses, Including Holders of Certificates of Compliance, Registrations, and Quality Assurance Program Approvals and Government Agencies Licensed by the NRC,” dated October 6, 2015 ML15226A588 SECY-11-0079, “License Structure for Multi-Module Facilities Related to Small Modular Nuclear Power Reactors”, dated June 12, 2011 ML110620459 Regulatory Analysis for Changes to the Final Rule Amending 10 CFR Part 171, “Annual Fees for Reactor Licenses and Fuel Cycle Licenses and Materials Licenses, Including Holders of Certificates of Compliance, Registrations, and Quality Assurance Program Approvals and Government Agencies Licensed by the NRC” ML16054A285 List of Subjects 10 CFR Part 170

    Byproduct material, Import and export licenses, Intergovernmental relations, Non-payment penalties, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Source material, Special nuclear material.

    10 CFR Part 171

    Annual charges, Byproduct material, Holders of certificates, registrations, approvals, Intergovernmental relations, Nonpayment penalties, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Source material, Special nuclear material.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended; and 5 U.S.C. 552 and 553, the NRC is adopting the following amendments to 10 CFR parts 170 and 171:

    PART 170—FEES FOR FACILITIES, MATERIALS, IMPORT AND EXPORT LICENSES, AND OTHER REGULATORY SERVICES UNDER THE ATOMIC ENERGY ACT OF 1954, AS AMENDED 1. The authority citation for part 170 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 11, 161(w) (42 U.S.C. 2014, 2201(w)); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); 42 U.S.C. 2214; 31 U.S.C. 901, 902, 9701; 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

    2. In § 170.3, add in alphabetical order the definitions for small modular reactor (SMR) and small modular reactor site (SMR site) to read as follows:
    § 170.3 Definitions.

    Small modular reactor (SMR) for the purposes of calculating fees, means the class of light-water power reactors having a licensed thermal power rating less than or equal to 1,000 MWt per module. This rating is based on the thermal power equivalent of a light-water SMR with an electrical power generating capacity of 300 MWe or less per module.

    Small modular reactor site (SMR site) is the geographically bounded location of one or more SMRs and a basis on which SMR fees are calculated.

    PART 171—ANNUAL FEES FOR REACTOR LICENSES AND FUEL CYCLE LICENSES AND MATERIALS LICENSES, INCLUDING HOLDERS OF CERTIFICATES OF COMPLIANCE, REGISTRATIONS, AND QUALITY ASSURANCE PROGRAM APPROVALS AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES LICENSED BY THE NRC 3. The authority citation for part 171 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 11, 161(w), 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2014, 2201(w), 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); 42 U.S.C. 2214; 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

    4. In § 171.5, add in alphabetical order the definitions for bundled unit, maximum fee, minimum fee, small modular reactor (SMR), small modular reactor site (SMR site), variable fee and variable rate to read as follows:
    § 171.5 Definitions.

    Bundled unit means the cumulative licensed thermal power rating of a number of SMR reactors on the same site that, for 10 CFR part 171 purposes only, is considered a single fee unit. The maximum capacity of a bundled unit is 4,500 MWt. A single SMR reactor can be part of two bundled units if it completes the capacity of one unit and begins the capacity of an additional unit. For a given site, the use of the bundled unit concept is independent of the number of SMR plants, the number of SMR licenses issued, or the sequencing of the SMR licenses that have been issued. The first bundled unit on a site is assessed a minimum fee for capacity less than or equal to 250 MWt, plus a variable fee for capacity greater than 250 MWt and less than or equal to 2,000 MWt. Bundled units with capacities greater than 2,000 MWt and less than or equal to 4,500 MWt are assessed a maximum fee that is equivalent to the annual fee paid by the current reactor fleet. The maximum fee replaces the minimum and variable fee for the first bundled unit. Each additional increment of 4,500 MWt of SMR capacity on the same site constitutes an additional bundled unit. No minimum fee is assessed to additional bundled units. For any additional bundled unit, a variable fee applies to capacities less than or equal to 2,000 MWt and the maximum fee applies to capacities greater than 2,000 MWt and less than or equal to 4,500 MWT. For additional bundled units, the maximum fee replaces the variable fee.

    Maximum fee is the highest fee paid by a single bundled unit. It is applied to all bundled units on an SMR site with a licensed thermal power rating greater than 2,000 MWt and less than or equal to 4,500 MWt and is equal to the flat annual fee paid by existing fleet power reactors.

    Minimum fee means one annual fee component paid by the first bundled unit on a site with a cumulative licensed thermal power rating of 2,000 MWt or less. For the first bundled unit on a site with a licensed thermal power rating of 250 MWt or less, it is the only annual fee that a licensee pays.

    Small modular reactor (SMR) for the purposes of calculating fees, means the class of light-water power reactors having a licensed thermal power rating less than or equal to 1,000 MWt per module. This rating is based on the thermal power equivalent of a light-water SMR with an electrical power generating capacity of 300 MWe or less per module.

    Small modular reactor site (SMR site) is the geographically bounded location of one or more SMRs and a basis on which SMR fees are calculated.

    Variable fee means the annual fee component paid by the first bundled unit on a site with a licensed thermal power rating greater than 250 MWt and less than or equal to 2,000 MWt; or the annual fee component paid by additional bundled units on a site that have a licensed thermal power rating of less than or equal to 2,000 MWt. The variable fee is the product of the bundled unit thermal power capacity (in the applicable range) and the variable rate.

    Variable rate means a per-MWt fee factor applied to all bundled units on site with a licensed thermal power rating less than or equal to 2,000 MWt. For the first bundled unit on a site with a licensed thermal power rating greater than 250 MWt and or less than or equal to 2,000 MWt, the variable rate is based on the difference between the maximum fee and the minimum fee, divided by 1,750 MWt (the variable fee licensed thermal rating range). For additional bundled units with a licensed thermal power rating less than or equal to 2,000 MWt, the variable rate is based on the maximum fee divided by 2,000 MWt.

    5. In § 171.15, redesignate paragraph (e) as paragraph (f) and add new paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 171.15 Annual fees: Reactor licenses and independent spent fuel storage licenses.

    (e)(1) Each person holding an operating license for an SMR issued under 10 CFR part 50 of this chapter or a combined license issued under 10 CFR part 52 after the Commission has made the finding under 10 CFR 52.103(g), shall pay the annual fee for all licenses held for an SMR site. The annual fee will be determined using the cumulative licensed thermal power rating of all SMR units and the bundled unit concept, during the fiscal year in which the fee is due. For a given site, the use of the bundled unit concept is independent of the number of SMR plants, the number of SMR licenses issued, or the sequencing of the SMR licenses that have been issued.

    (2) The annual fees for a small modular reactor(s) located on a single site to be collected by September 30 of each year, are as follows:

    Bundled unit thermal power rating Minimum fee Variable fee Maximum fee First Bundled Unit 0 MWt ≤250 MWt TBD N/A N/A >250 MWt ≤2,000 MWt TBD TBD N/A >2,000 MWt ≤4,500 MWt N/A N/A TBD Additional Bundled Units 0 MWt ≤2,000 MWt N/A TBD N/A >2,000 MWt ≤4,500 MWt N/A N/A TBD

    (3) The annual fee for an SMR collected under paragraph (e) of this section is in lieu of any fee otherwise required under paragraph (b) of this section. The annual fee under paragraph (e) of this section covers the same activities listed for power reactor base annual fee and spent fuel storage/reactor decommissioning reactor fee.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 6th day of May.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Maureen E. Wylie, Chief Financial Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11975 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 431 [Docket Number EERE-2013-BT-STD-0007 and EERE-2013-BT-STD-0021] RIN 1904-AC95 and 1904-AD11 Energy Conservation Program for Certain Industrial Equipment: Energy Conservation Standards for Small, Large, and Very Large Air-Cooled Commercial Package Air Conditioning and Heating Equipment and Commercial Warm Air Furnaces AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Confirmation of effective date and compliance dates for direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) published a direct final rule to establish amended energy conservation standards for small, large, and very large air-cooled commercial package air conditioning and heating equipment and commercial warm air furnaces in the Federal Register on January 15, 2016. DOE has determined that the comments received in response to the direct final rule do not provide a reasonable basis for withdrawing the direct final rule. Therefore, DOE provides this notice confirming adoption of the energy conservation standards established in the direct final rule and announcing the effective date of those standards.

    DATES:

    The direct final rule published on January 15, 2016 (81 FR 2420) became effective on May 16, 2016. Compliance with the amended standards in this final rule will be required for small, large, and very large air-cooled commercial package air conditioning and heating equipment listed in this final rule starting on January 1, 2018, for the first set of standards and January 1, 2023, for the second set of standards. Compliance with the amended standards established for commercial warm air furnaces in this final rule is required starting on January 1, 2023.

    ADDRESSES:

    The dockets, which include Federal Register notices, public meeting attendee lists and transcripts, comments, and other supporting documents/materials, is available for review at www.regulations.gov. All documents in the dockets are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. However, some documents listed in the index, such as those containing information that is exempt from public disclosure, may not be publicly available.

    A link to the docket Web page for small, large, and very large air-cooled commercial package air conditioning and heating equipment can be found at: www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2013-BT-STD-0007. A link to the docket Web page for commercial warm air furnaces can be found at: www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2013-BT-STD-0021. The www.regulations.gov Web page will contain instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket.

    For further information on how to review the dockets, contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945 or by email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. John Cymbalsky, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 286-1692. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Authority and Rulemaking Background

    As amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (“EISA 2007”), Public Law 110-140 (December 19, 2007), the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (“EPCA” or, in context, “the Act”) authorizes DOE to issue a direct final rule (i.e., a “direct final rule”) establishing an energy conservation standard for a product on receipt of a statement submitted jointly by interested persons that are fairly representative of relevant points of view (including representatives of manufacturers of covered products, States, and efficiency advocates) as determined by the Secretary of Energy (“Secretary”). That statement must contain recommendations with respect to an energy or water conservation standard that are in accordance with the provisions of 42 U.S.C. 6295(o) or 42 U.S.C. 6313(a)(6)(B), as applicable. A notice of proposed rulemaking (“NOPR”) that proposes an identical energy efficiency standard must be published simultaneously with the direct final rule and a public comment period of at least 110 days provided. See 42 U.S.C. 6295(p)(4). This provision also applies to the equipment at issue in this direct final rule. See 42 U.S.C. 6316(b)(1) Not later than 120 days after issuance of the direct final rule, if DOE receives one or more adverse comments or an alternative joint recommendation is received relating to the direct final rule, the Secretary must determine whether the comments or alternative recommendation may provide a reasonable basis for withdrawal under 42 U.S.C. 6295(o) or other applicable law. If the Secretary makes such a determination, DOE must withdraw the direct final rule and proceed with the simultaneously-published NOPR, and publish in the Federal Register the reason why the direct final rule was withdrawn. Id.

    During the rulemaking proceedings to consider amending the energy conservation standards for small, large, and very large air-cooled commercial package air conditioning and heating equipment (referred to herein as air-cooled commercial unitary air conditioners and heat pumps (“CUACs” and “CUHPs”)) and commercial warm air furnaces (“CWAFs”), interested parties commented that DOE should convene a negotiated rulemaking to develop standards that will result in energy savings using technology that is feasible and economically justified. In addition, AHRI and ACEEE submitted a joint letter to the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (“ASRAC”) requesting that it consider approving a recommendation that DOE initiate a negotiated rulemaking for air-cooled commercial package air conditioners and commercial furnaces. (EERE-2013-BT-STD-0007-0080) ASRAC carefully evaluated this request and the Committee voted to charter a working group to support the negotiated rulemaking effort requested by these parties.

    Subsequently, after careful consideration, DOE determined that, given the complexity of the CUAC/CUHP rulemaking and the logistical challenges presented by the related CWAF proposal, a combined effort to address these equipment types was necessary to ensure a comprehensive vetting of all issues and related analyses that would be necessary to support any final rule setting standards for this equipment. To this end, while highly unusual to do so after issuing a proposed rule, DOE solicited the public for membership nominations to the working group that would be formed under the ASRAC charter by issuing a Notice of Intent to Establish the Commercial Package Air Conditioners and Commercial Warm Air Furnaces Working Group To Negotiate Potential Energy Conservation Standards for Commercial Package Air Conditioners and Commercial Warm Air Furnaces. 80 FR 17363 (April 1, 2015). The CUAC/CUHP-CWAF Working Group (in context, “the Working Group”) was established under ASRAC in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act—with the purpose of discussing and, if possible, reaching consensus on a set of energy conservation standards to propose or finalize for CUACs, CUHPs and CWAFs. The Working Group was to consist of fairly representative parties having a defined stake in the outcome of the proposed standards, and would consult, as appropriate, with a range of experts on technical issues.

    DOE received 17 nominations for membership. Ultimately, the Working Group consisted of 17 members, including one member from ASRAC and one DOE representative.1 The Working Group met six times (five times in-person and once by teleconference). The meetings were held on April 28, May 11-12, May 20-21, June 1-2, June 9-10, and June 15, 2015.2 As a result of these efforts, the Working Group successfully reached consensus on energy conservation standards for CUACs, CUHPs, and CWAFs. On June 15, 2015, it submitted a Term Sheet to ASRAC outlining its consensus recommendations, which ASRAC subsequently adopted.3

    1 The group members were John Cymbalsky (U.S. Department of Energy), Marshall Hunt (Pacific Gas & Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and Southern California Gas Company), Andrew deLaski (Appliance Standards Awareness Project), Louis Starr (Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance), Meg Waltner (Natural Resources Defense Council), Jill Hootman (Trane), John Hurst (Lennox), Karen Meyers (Rheem Manufacturing Company), Charlie McCrudden (Air Conditioning Contractors of America), Harvey Sachs (American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy), Paul Doppel (Mitsubishi Electric), Robert Whitwell (United Technologies Corporation (Carrier)), Michael Shows (Underwriters Laboratories), Russell Tharp (Goodman Manufacturing), Sami Zendah (Emerson Climate Technologies), Mark Tezigni (Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association, Inc.), Nick Mislak (Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute).

    2 In addition, most of the members of the ASRAC Working Group held several informal meetings on March 19-20, 2015, March 30, 2015, and April 13, 2015. The purpose of these meetings was to initiate work on some of the analytical issues raised in stakeholder comments on the CUAC NOPR.

    3 Available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EERE-2013-BT-STD-0007-0093.

    After carefully considering the consensus recommendations submitted by the Working Group and adopted by ASRAC related to amending the energy conservation standards for CUACs, CUHPs, and CWAFs, DOE determined that these recommendations, which were submitted in the form of a single Term Sheet from the Working Group, comprised a statement submitted by interested persons who are fairly representative of relevant points of view on this matter. In reaching this determination, DOE took into consideration the fact that the Working Group, in conjunction with ASRAC members who approved the recommendations, consisted of representatives of manufacturers of the covered equipment at issue, States, and efficiency advocates—all of which are groups specifically identified by Congress as relevant parties to any consensus recommendation. (42 U.S.C. 6295(p)(4)(A)) As delineated above, the Term Sheet was signed and submitted by a broad cross-section of interests, including the manufacturers who produce the equipment at issue, trade associations representing these manufacturers and installation contractors, environmental and energy-efficiency advocacy organizations, and electric utility companies. Although States were not direct signatories to the Term Sheet, the ASRAC Committee approving the Working Group's recommendations included at least two members representing States—one representing the National Association of State Energy Officials (“NASEO”) and one representing the State of California.4 Moreover, DOE does not read the statute as requiring a statement submitted by all interested parties before the Department may proceed with issuance of a direct final rule. By explicit language of the statute, the Secretary has the discretion to determine when a joint recommendation for an energy or water conservation standard has met the requirement for representativeness (i.e., “as determined by the Secretary”).

    4 These individuals were Deborah E. Miller (NASEO) and David Hungerford (California Energy Commission).

    Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6295(p)(4), the Secretary must also determine whether a jointly-submitted recommendation for an energy or water conservation standard satisfies 42 U.S.C. 6295(o) or 42 U.S.C. 6313(a)(6)(B), as applicable. As stated in the direct final rule, in making this determination, DOE conducted an analysis to evaluate whether the potential energy conservation standards under consideration would meet these requirements. This evaluation is the same comprehensive approach that DOE typically conducts whenever it considers potential energy conservation standards for a given type of product or equipment. DOE applies the same principles to any consensus recommendations it may receive to satisfy its statutory obligation to ensure that any energy conservation standard that it adopts achieves the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified and will result in the significant conservation of energy. Upon review, the Secretary determined that the Term Sheet submitted in the instant rulemaking comports with the standard-setting criteria set forth under 42 U.S.C. 6313(a)(6)(B). Accordingly, the consensus-recommended efficiency levels, included as the “recommended trial standard level (TSL)” for CUACs/CUHPs and as TSL 2 for CWAFs were adopted as the amended standard levels in the direct final rule. 81 FR at 2422.

    In sum, as the relevant statutory criteria were satisfied, the Secretary adopted the consensus-recommended amended energy conservation standards for CUACs, CUHPs, and CWAFs set forth in the direct final rule. The standards for CUACs and CUHPs are set forth in Table 1, with the CUAC and CUHP cooling efficiency standards presented in terms of an integrated energy efficiency ratio (“IEER”) and the CUHP heating efficiency standards presented as a coefficient of performance (“COP”). The IEER metric will replace the currently used energy efficiency ratio (“EER”) metric on which DOE's standards are currently based. The two-phase standards and compliance dates apply to all equipment listed in Table 1 manufactured in, or imported into, the United States starting on the dates shown in that table. For CWAFs, the amended standards, which prescribe the minimum allowable thermal efficiency (“TE”), are shown in Table 2. These standards apply to all equipment listed in Table 2 manufactured in, or imported into, the United States starting on January 1, 2023. These compliance dates were set forth in the direct final rule published in the Federal Register on January 15, 2016 (81 FR 2420). For a detailed discussion of DOE's analysis of the benefits and burdens of the amended standards pursuant to the criteria set forth in EPCA, please refer to the relevant sections of the direct final rule. (81 FR 2420 (January 15, 2016))

    As required by EPCA, DOE also simultaneously published an SNOPR proposing the identical standard levels contained in the direct final rule. DOE considered whether any adverse comment received during the 110-day comment period following the direct final rule provided a reasonable basis for withdrawal of the direct final rule and continuation of this rulemaking under the SNOPR. As noted in the direct final rule, it is the substance, rather than the quantity, of comments that will ultimately determine whether a direct final rule will be withdrawn. To this end, DOE weighs the substance of any adverse comment(s) received against the anticipated benefits of the Consensus Agreement and the likelihood that further consideration of the comment(s) would change the results of the rulemaking. DOE notes that to the extent an adverse comment had been previously raised and addressed in the rulemaking proceeding, such a submission will not typically provide a basis for withdrawal of a direct final rule.

    Table 1—Amended Energy Conservation Standards for Small, Large, and Very Large Commercial Package Air Conditioning and Heating Equipment Equipment type Heating type Proposed energy
  • conservation standard
  • Compliance date
    Small Commercial Packaged AC and HP (Air-Cooled)—≥65,000 Btu/h and <135,000 Btu/h Cooling Capacity: AC Electric Resistance Heating or No Heating 12.9 IEER
  • 14.8 IEER
  • January 1, 2018.
  • January 1, 2023.
  • All Other Types of Heating 12.7 IEER
  • 14.6 IEER
  • January 1, 2018.
  • January 1, 2023.
  • HP Electric Resistance Heating or No Heating 12.2 IEER, 3.3 COP
  • 14.1 IEER, 3.4 COP
  • January 1, 2018.
  • January 1, 2023.
  • All Other Types of Heating 12.0 IEER, 3.3 COP January 1, 2018. 13.9 IEER, 3.4 COP January 1, 2023. Large Commercial Packaged AC and HP (Air-Cooled)—≥135,000 Btu/h and <240,000 Btu/h Cooling Capacity: AC Electric Resistance Heating or No Heating 12.4 IEER
  • 14.2 IEER
  • January 1, 2018.
  • January 1, 2023.
  • All Other Types of Heating 12.2 IEER January 1, 2018. 14.0 IEER January 1, 2023. HP Electric Resistance Heating or No Heating 11.6 IEER, 3.2 COP
  • 13.5 IEER, 3.3 COP
  • January 1, 2018.
  • January 1, 2023.
  • All Other Types of Heating 11.4 IEER, 3.2 COP January 1, 2018. 13.3 IEER, 3.3 COP January 1, 2023. Very Large Commercial Packaged AC and HP (Air-Cooled)—≥240,000 Btu/h and <760,000 Btu/h Cooling Capacity: AC Electric Resistance Heating or No Heating 11.6 IEER
  • 13.2 IEER
  • January 1, 2018.
  • January 1, 2023.
  • All Other Types of Heating 11.4 IEER January 1, 2018. 13.0 IEER January 1, 2023. HP Electric Resistance Heating or No Heating 10.6 IEER, 3.2 COP
  • 12.5 IEER, 3.2 COP
  • January 1, 2018.
  • January 1, 2023.
  • All Other Types of Heating 10.4 IEER, 3.2 COP January 1, 2018. 12.3 IEER, 3.2 COP January 1, 2023.
    Table 2—Amended Energy Conservation Standards for Commercial Warm Air Furnaces Equipment class Input capacity *
  • (Btu/h)
  • Thermal
  • efficiency **
  • (percent)
  • Gas-Fired Furnaces ≥225,000 Btu/h 81 Oil-Fired Furnaces ≥225,000 Btu/h 82 * In addition to being defined by input capacity, a CWAF is “a self-contained oil- or gas-fired furnace designed to supply heated air through ducts to spaces that require it and includes combination warm air furnace/electric air conditioning units but does not include unit heaters and duct furnaces.” ** Thermal efficiency is at the maximum rated capacity (rated maximum input), and is determined using the DOE test procedure specified at 10 CFR 431.76.
    II. Comments on the Direct Final Rule

    The California Investor Owned Utilities (“IOUs”),5 the Joint Efficiency Advocates,6 and Lennox International, Inc. (“Lennox”) supported the Term Sheet recommendations and DOE's adoption of the standard levels in the direct final rule. (California IOUs, No. 116 at pp. 1-3; Joint Efficiency Advocates, No. 119 at p. 1; Lennox, No. 121 at pp. 1-2) 7

    5 Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Gas Company, San Diego Gas and Electric, and Southern California Edison.

    6 Appliance Standards Awareness Project, Alliance to Save Energy, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, California Energy Commission, Consumer Federation of America, National Consumer Law Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and Northwest Power and Conservation Council.

    7 Comments received in regards to the direct final rule while filed in the dockets for both the CUAC/CUHP (Docket No. EERE-2013-BT-STD-0007) and CWAF (Docket No. EERE-2013-BT-STD-0021) rulemakings, are identified using the CUAC docket number.

    The Joint Efficiency Advocates also noted that the Term Sheet recommended that DOE initiate a test procedure rulemaking for CUACs and CUHPs by January 1, 2016 and issue a final rule by January 1, 2019, with the primary focus of the rulemaking being to better represent fan energy use. The Joint Efficiency Advocates requested that DOE give some public indication of its commencement of work on the test procedure. (Joint Efficiency Advocates, No. 119 at pp. 1-2) The California IOUs also commented that while the January 1, 2016 initiation date has passed, DOE should initiate this test procedure rulemaking as soon as possible to address fan energy use and the lack of high ambient test conditions above 95 degrees Fahrenheit (°F) to account for conditions regularly experienced in the desert Southwest. (California IOUs, No. 116 at p. 2)

    DOE appreciates these comments regarding the CUAC/CUHP test procedure and is considering these potential changes to the test procedure in a future rulemaking. DOE notes that any amendments adopted in this future test procedure rulemaking would not be required for use to determine compliance with the energy conservation standards promulgated by this direct final rule.

    The California IOUs commented that as DOE conducts future standards and test procedure rulemakings for these equipment, it should explore different options for standards that will improve efficiency and also contribute to peak load reduction for CUACs and CUHPs. The California IOUs stated that DOE could consider the following actions in future rulemakings: Revisiting the possibility of a dual metric for EER and IEER; an IEER test point at an ambient temperature above 95 °F; and using energy modeling software to predict equipment performance at peak conditions. (California IOUs, No. 116 at p. 3)

    The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (“AHRI”) submitted a letter committing to continue to certify and publish EER values (at 95 °F) for CUAC and CUHP equipment covered under this rulemaking in its directory of certified products once the IEER metric becomes the new Federal energy efficiency descriptor. AHRI noted that this commitment was not part of the term sheet and should not be considered as a comment to the SNOPR. (AHRI, No. 118 at p. 1) The California IOUs and Joint Efficiency Advocates both supported AHRI's commitment to continue publishing full-load EER test values, as this information is important for the design and implementation of utility incentive programs that incentivize consumers to purchase equipment that has high performance in both part load and peak load conditions. (Joint Efficiency Advocates, No. 119 at p. 2)

    DOE appreciates these comments regarding CUAC and CUHP full-load efficiency. DOE notes that AHRI's commitment to continuing to require verification and reporting of EER was discussed and agreed upon by interested parties during the ASRAC Working Group meetings. However, DOE noted that it could not be included as part of the Term Sheet because it was not a recommendation for a specific DOE action. (ASRAC Public Meeting, No. 102 at pp. 79-83, 113-116) DOE recognizes that AHRI's commitment to continuing to require verification and reporting of EER for its certification program would allow utilities, and others, to consider full-load efficiency in their energy efficiency programs. DOE will review its statutory authority at the time it conducts a future standards rulemaking for CUACs and CUHPs to explore options to separately consider full-load efficiency.

    DOE also received two comments that discussed the market failures addressed by the direct final rule and made suggestions for actions that would complement the standards. Arthur Laciak commented that by establishing more stringent energy efficiency standards, DOE addressed the principal-agent problem (i.e. where a building manager purchases the equipment, but the tenants pay the energy bill), but the consumer is no better informed about the energy savings of more efficient equipment than the minimum standards. He stated that DOE should encourage Congress to provide DOE greater authority to disseminate information regarding CUACs and CUHPs to better inform consumers of the cost savings of purchasing more efficient equipment. (Laciak, No. 120 at pp. 7-8) Paul Melmeyer commented that DOE's economic analysis and justification for the updated standards are cogent and convincing, but he pointed to various ways that DOE can ensure that the direct final rule accomplishes the stated statutory and regulatory objectives. These include programs of labeling or consumer education, formulating plans to ensure low-income individuals are not adversely affected, and crafting a plan to conduct retrospective analysis on various DOE predictions. (Melmeyer, No. 122 at pp. 10-11) DOE acknowledges the suggestions made by the commenters.

    III. Department of Justice Analysis of Competitive Impacts

    EPCA directs DOE to consider any lessening of competition that is likely to result from new or amended standards. It also directs the Attorney General of the United States (“Attorney General”) to determine the impact, if any, of any lessening of competition likely to result from a proposed standard and to transmit such determination to the Secretary within 60 days of the publication of a proposed rule, together with an analysis of the nature and extent of the impact. See 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(B)(i)(V) and (B)(ii). See also 42 U.S.C. 6316(b)(1) (applying 42 U.S.C. 6295(o) to CUACs, CUHPs, and CWAFs). DOE published an SNOPR containing energy conservation standards identical to those set forth the direct final rule and transmitted a copy of the direct final rule and the accompanying technical support document (“TSD”) to the Attorney General, requesting that the U.S. Department of Justice provide its determination on this issue. DOE has published DOJ's comments at the end of this notice.

    DOJ reviewed the amended standards in the direct final rule and the final TSD provided by DOE. As a result of its analysis, DOJ concluded that the amended standards issued in the direct final rule are unlikely to have a significant adverse impact on competition.

    IV. National Environmental Policy Act

    Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (“NEPA”), DOE has determined that the rule fits within the category of actions included in Categorical Exclusion (“CX”) B5.1 and otherwise meets the requirements for application of a CX. See 10 CFR part 1021, App. B, B5.1(b); 1021.410(b) and App. B, B(1)-(5). The rule fits within the category of actions because it is a rulemaking that establishes energy conservation standards for consumer products or industrial equipment, and for which none of the exceptions identified in CX B5.1(b) apply. Therefore, DOE has made a CX determination for this rulemaking, and DOE does not need to prepare an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement for this rule. DOE's CX determination for this rule is available at http://energy.gov/nepa/categorical-exclusion-cx-determinations-cx.

    V. Conclusion

    In summary, based on the discussion above, DOE has determined that the comments received in response to the direct final rule for amended energy conservation standards for CUACs, CUHPs, and CWAFs do not provide a reasonable basis for withdrawal of the direct final rule. As a result, the amended energy conservation standards set forth in the direct final rule became effective on May 16, 2016. Compliance with these amended standards is required for small, large, and very large CUACs and CUHPs starting on January 1, 2018, for the first set of standards and January 1, 2023, for the second set of standards. Compliance with the amended standards established for CWAFs is required starting on January 1, 2023.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 13, 2016. David Friedman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Appendix

    [The following letter from the Department of Justice will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations.]

    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Antitrust Division RFK Main Justice Building 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20530-0001 (202) 514-2401/(202) 616-2645 (Fax) March 15, 2016 Anne Harkavy Deputy General Counsel for Litigation, Regulation and Enforcement, U.S. Department of Energy Washington, DC 20585 Re: Energy Conservation Standards for Small, Large, and Very Large Air-Cooled Commercial Package Air Conditioning and Heating Equipment and Commercial Warm Air Furnaces Doc. Nos. EERE-2013-BT-STD-0007 and EERE-2013-BT-STD-0021 Dear Deputy General Counsel Harkavy:

    I am responding to your January 15, 2016, letter seeking the views of the Attorney General about the potential impact on competition of proposed energy conservation standards for certain types of commercial warm air furnace equipment, commercial air-conditioning equipment and commercial heat pump equipment. Your request was submitted under Section 325(o)(2)(B)(i)(V) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended (ECPA), 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(B)(i)(V), which requires the Attorney General to make a determination of the impact of any lessening of competition that is likely to result from the imposition of proposed energy conservation standards. The Attorney General's responsibility for responding to requests from other departments about the effect of a program on competition has been delegated to the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division in 28 CFR 0.40(g).

    In conducting its analysis, the Antitrust Division examines whether a proposed standard may lessen competition, for example, by substantially limiting consumer choice or increasing industry concentration. A lessening of competition could result in higher prices to manufacturers and consumers.

    We have reviewed the proposed standards contained in the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (81 FR 2111 & 2420, January 15, 2016) and the related Technical Support Documents.

    Based on this review, our conclusion is that the proposed energy conservation standards for commercial warm air furnace equipment, commercial air-conditioning equipment, and commercial heat pump equipment are unlikely to have a significant adverse impact on competition.

    Sincerely, William J. Baer
    [FR Doc. 2016-12279 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 622 RIN 3052-AD16 Rules of Practice and Procedure; Adjusting Civil Money Penalties for Inflation AGENCY:

    Farm Credit Administration.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation implements inflation adjustments to civil money penalties (CMPs) that the Farm Credit Administration (FCA) may impose or enforce pursuant to the Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended (Farm Credit Act), and pursuant to the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended by the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 (Reform Act), and further amended by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Biggert-Waters Act). The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (1996 Act) and the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015 (2015 Act) (collectively, 1990 Act, as amended), requires all Federal agencies with the authority to enforce CMPs to evaluate those CMPs each year to ensure that they continue to maintain their deterrent value and promote compliance with the law.

    EFFECTIVE DATE:

    This regulation is effective on August 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael T. Wilson, Policy Analyst, Office of Regulatory Policy, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA 22102-5090, (703) 883-4124, TTY (703) 883-4056, Or Autumn Agans, Attorney-Advisor, Office of General Counsel, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA 22102-5090, (703) 883-4082, TTY (703) 883-4056.
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Objective

    The objective of this regulation is to adjust the maximum CMPs for inflation with an initial “catch-up” adjustment through an interim final rulemaking (IFR) to retain the deterrent effect of such penalties.

    II. Background A. Introduction

    Section 3(2) of the 1990 Act, as amended, defines a civil monetary penalty 1 as any penalty, fine, or other sanction that: (1) Either is for a specific monetary amount as provided by Federal law or has a maximum amount provided for by Federal law; (2) is assessed or enforced by an agency pursuant to Federal law; and (3) is assessed or enforced pursuant to an administrative proceeding or a civil action in the Federal courts.2

    1 While the 1990 Act, as amended by 1996 and 2015 Acts, uses the term “civil monetary penalties” for these penalties or other sanctions, the Farm Credit Act and the FCA Regulations use the term “civil money penalties.” Both terms have the same meaning. Accordingly, this rule uses the term “civil money penalty”, and both terms may be used interchangeably.

    2See 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.

    The FCA imposes and enforces CMPs through the Farm Credit Act and the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended. FCA's regulations governing CMPs are found in 12 CFR parts 622 and 623. Part 622 establishes rules of practice and procedure applicable to formal and informal hearings held before the FCA, and to formal investigations conducted under the Farm Credit Act. Part 623 prescribes rules with regard to persons who may practice before the FCA and the circumstances under which such persons may be suspended or debarred from practice before the FCA.

    B. CMPs Issued Under the Farm Credit Act

    The Farm Credit Act provides that any Farm Credit System (System) institution or any officer, director, employee, agent, or other person participating in the conduct of the affairs of a System institution who violates the terms of a cease-and-desist order that has become final pursuant to section 5.25 or 5.26 of the Farm Credit Act must pay up to a maximum daily amount of $1,000 3 during which such violation continues. This CMP maximum was set by the Farm Credit Amendments Act of 1985, which amended the Farm Credit Act. Orders issued by the FCA under section 5.25 or 5.26 of the Farm Credit Act include temporary and permanent cease-and-desist orders. In addition, section 5.32(h) of the Farm Credit Act provides that any directive issued under sections 4.3(b)(2), 4.3A(e), or section 4.14A(i) of the Farm Credit Act “shall be treated” as a final order issued under section 5.25 of the Farm Credit Act for purposes of assessing a CMP.

    3 The inflation-adjusted CMP in effect on November 2, 2015, for a violation of a final order is $1,100 per day, as set forth in § 622.61(a)(1) of FCA regulations.

    Section 5.32(a) of the Farm Credit Act also states that “[a]ny such institution or person who violates any provision of the [Farm Credit] Act or any regulation issued under this Act shall forfeit and pay a civil penalty of not more than $500 4 per day for each day during which such violation continues.” This CMP maximum was set by the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987, which was enacted in 1988, and amends the Farm Credit Act. Current, inflation-adjusted CMP maximums are set forth in existing § 622.61 of FCA regulations.5

    4 The inflation-adjusted CMP in effect on November 2, 2015, for a violation of the Farm Credit Act or a regulation issued under the Farm Credit Act is $750 per day, as set forth in § 622.61(a)(2) of FCA regulations.

    5 Prior adjustments were made under the 1990 Act.

    The FCA also enforces the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973,6 as amended by the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994,7 which requires FCA to assess CMPs for a pattern or practice of committing certain specific actions in violation of the National Flood Insurance Program. The existing maximum CMP for a violation under the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 is $2,000.8

    6 42 U.S.C. 4012a.

    7 Pub. L. 103-325, title V, 108 Stat. 2160, 2255-87 (September 23, 1994).

    8 Pub. L. 112-141, 126 Stat. 405 (July 6, 2012).

    C. Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 1. In General

    The 2015 Act requires all Federal agencies with authority to issue CMPs to make inflation-based adjustments to all CMPs within their jurisdictions no later than July 1, 2016. The 2015 Act also requires every Federal agency to adjust the CMPs yearly, starting January 15, 2017.

    Under Section 4(b) of the 1990 Act, as amended, for the first adjustment made in accordance with the 2015 Act amendments, Federal agencies are to make a “catch up” adjustment to the civil monetary penalties through an IFR, with the adjustment taking effect no later than August 1, 2016.9 Subsequent adjustments are to be made yearly thereafter, no later than January 15. Section 6 of the 1990 Act, as amended, states that any increase to a civil monetary penalty under this Act applies only to civil monetary penalties, including those whose associated violation predated such increase, which are assessed after the date the increase takes effect.

    9 Pub. L. 114-74, sec. 701(b)(1).

    Section 5(b) of the 1990 Act, as amended, defines the term “cost-of-living adjustment” as the percentage (if any) for each civil monetary penalty by which (1) the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month of October of the calendar year preceding the adjustment, exceeds (2) the CPI for the month of October 1 year before the month of October referred to in (1) of the calendar year in which the amount of such civil monetary penalty was last set or adjusted pursuant to law.10

    10 The CPI is published by the Department of Labor, Bureau of Statistics, and is available at its Web site: ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/cpi/cpiai.txt.

    The “catch-up” adjustment under the 2015 Act amendments requires Federal agencies to use the cost-of-living adjustment calculated by determining the percentage change (if any) for each civil monetary penalty by which the CPI for the month of October 2015 exceeds the CPI for the month of October during the calendar year in which the CMP was created or last adjusted for any reason other than pursuant to the 1996 Act. Several adjustments have been made since the Farm Credit Act established the CMP maximums. Those maximums are to be disregarded for purposes of the 2015 Act amendment initial “catch-up” adjustment calculation. However, agencies are limited to a 150-percent increase in CMPs, based upon the CMP in effect on November 2, 2015. The 150-percent limitation is on the amount of the increase; therefore, the adjusted penalty level(s) will be up to 250 percent of the level(s) in effect on November 2, 2015.11

    11 OMB Circular M-16-06, Implementation of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.

    The increase for each CMP adjusted for inflation must be rounded using a method prescribed by section 5(a) of the 1990 Act, as amended, by the 2015 Act.12

    12 Per section 5(a)(3) of the 2015 Act, any increase determined under the subsection shall be rounded to the nearest $1.

    2. Other Adjustments

    If a civil monetary penalty is subject to a cost-of-living adjustment under the 1990 Act, as amended, but is adjusted to an amount greater than the amount of the adjustment required under the Act within the 12 months preceding a required cost-of-living adjustment, the agency is not required to make the cost-of-living adjustment to that CMP in that calendar year.13

    13 Per section 4(d) of the 1990 Act, as amended.

    III. Catch-Up Adjustments A. Mathematical Calculations of Catch-Up Adjustments

    The adjustment requirement affects two provisions of section 5.32(a) of the Farm Credit Act. For the “catch-up” adjustments to the CMPs set forth by the Farm Credit Act, the calculation required by the 2015 Act is based on the percentage by which the CPI for October 2015 exceeds the CPIs for October 1985 and October 1988, respectively. The maximum CMPs for violations under section 5.32(a) were established in 1985 and 1988. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) set forth guidance, as required by the 2015 Act,14 with a grid of multipliers for calculating the new CMP values.15 The OMB multiplier for the 1985 CMPs is 2.18802. The OMB multiplier for the 1988 CMPs is 1.97869.

    14 28 U.S.C. 2461 note, section 7(a).

    15 OMB Circular M-16-06, Implementation of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.

    The adjustment also affects the CMPs set by the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended. For the “catch-up” adjustments to the CMP set forth by the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended, the calculation required by the 2015 Act is based on the percentage by which the CPI for October 2012 exceeds the CPI for October 2015. The maximum CMPs for violations were created in 2012 by the Biggert-Waters Act, which amended the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973. The multiplier for the 2012 CMPs is 1.02819.

    If any of the CMP increases exceed 150 percent of the maximums in effect as of November 2, 2015, the new maximum CMPs will reflect a simple 150-percent increase over the November 2, 2015, CMP maximums.16

    16 The 150-percent limitation is on the amount of the increase; therefore, the adjusted penalty level(s) will be up to 250 percent of the level(s) in effect on November 2, 2015. OMB Circular, M-16-06.

    1. New Penalty Amount in § 622.61(a)(1)

    While the inflation-adjusted CMP currently in effect for violations of a final order occurring on or after November 2, 2015, is a maximum daily amount of $1,100,17 the 2015 Act amendments require FCA to use the maximum daily amount of $1,000 to compute the catch-up adjustment as this was the amount in effect in 1985. Multiplying the $1,000 CMP by the 1985 OMB multiplier, 2.18802, yields a total of $2,188.02. When that number is rounded as required by section 5(a) of the 1990 Act, as amended the inflation-adjusted maximum increases to $2,188. The CMP in effect on November 2, 2015 was $1,100. Increasing the 2015 CMP maximum of $1,100 by 150 percent yields a CMP of $2,750. Since the new CMP maximum calculated with the 1985 OMB multiplier is less than the 150-percent maximum increase established by the 2015 Act amendments, the new CMP maximum is $2,188.

    17 12 CFR 622.61(a)(1).

    2. New Penalty Amount in § 622.61(a)(2)

    While the inflation-adjusted CMP currently in effect for violations of the Farm Credit Act or regulations issued under the Farm Credit Act occurring on or after November 2, 2015, is a maximum daily amount of $750,18 the 2015 Act amendments require FCA to use the maximum daily amount of $500 to compute the catch-up adjustment as this was the amount in effect in 1988. Multiplying the $500 CMP maximum by the 1988 OMB multiplier, 1.97869, yields a total of $989.35. When that number is rounded as required by section 5(a) of the 1990 Act, as amended the inflation-adjusted maximum increases to $989. The CMP in effect on November 2, 2015 was $750. Increasing the 2015 CMP of $750 by 150 percent yields a total of $1,875. Since the new CMP maximum calculated with the 1988 OMB multiplier is less than the 150-percent maximum increase established by the 2015 Act amendments, the new CMP maximum is $989.

    18 12 CFR 622.61(a)(2).

    3. New Penalty Amounts for Flood Insurance Violations Under § 622.61(b)

    The existing maximum CMP for a pattern or practice of flood insurance violations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 4012a(f)(5) is $2,000. Multiplying $2,000 by the 2012 OMB multiplier, 1.02819, yields a total of $2,056.38. When that number is rounded as required by section 5(a) of the 1990 Act, as amended, the new maximum assessment of the CMP for violating 42 U.S.C. 4012a(f)(5) is $2,056. The CMP in effect on November 2, 2015 was $2,000. Increasing the 2015 CMP of $2,000 by 150 percent yields $5,000. Since the new CMP maximum calculated with the OMB multiplier is lower than the 150-percent maximum increase established by the 2015 Act amendments, the new CMP maximum is $2,056.

    IV. Notice and Comment Not Required by Administrative Procedure Act

    The 1990 Act, as amended, gives Federal agencies no discretion in the adjustment of CMPs for the rate of inflation. Further, these revisions are ministerial, technical, and noncontroversial. For these reasons, the FCA finds good cause to determine that public notice and an opportunity to comment are impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), and adopts this rule in final form.

    V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

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

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 622

    Administrative practice and procedure, Crime, Investigations, Penalties.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, part 622 of chapter VI, title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended to read as follows:

    PART 622—RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 5.9, 5.10, 5.17, 5.25-5.37 of the Farm Credit Act (12 U.S.C. 2243, 2244, 2252, 2261-2273); 28 U.S.C. 2461 note; and 42 U.S.C. 4012a(f).

    2. Revise § 622.61 to read as follows:
    § 622.61 Adjustment of civil money penalties by the rate of inflation under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended.

    (a) The maximum amount of each civil money penalty within FCA's jurisdiction is adjusted in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended (28 U.S.C. 2461 note), as follows:

    (1) Amount of civil money penalty imposed under section 5.32 of the Act for violation of a final order issued under section 5.25 or 5.26 of the Act: The maximum daily amount is $2,188 for violations that occur on or after August 1, 2016.

    (2) Amount of civil money penalty for violation of the Act or regulations: The maximum daily amount is $989 for each violation that occurs on or after August 1, 2016.

    (b) The maximum civil money penalty amount assessed under 42 U.S.C. 4012a(f) is: $385 for each violation that occurs on or after January 16, 2009, but before July 1, 2013, with total penalties under such statute not to exceed $120,000 for any single institution during any calendar year; $2,000 for each violation that occurs on or after July 1, 2013, but before August 1, 2016, with no cap on the total amount of penalties that can be assessed against any single institution during any calendar year; and $2,056 for each violation that occurs on or after August 1, 2016, with no cap on the total amount of penalties that can be assessed against any single institution during any calendar year.

    Dated: May 16, 2016. Dale L. Aultman, Secretary, Farm Credit Administration Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11862 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6705-01-P
    SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION 13 CFR Part 121 [Docket No. SBA-2016-0004] Small Business Size Standards AGENCY:

    U.S. Small Business Administration.

    ACTION:

    Statement of General Policy, SBA Size Policy Statement No. 3.

    SUMMARY:

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) hereby gives notice of its intended application and interpretation of the interaffiliate transactions exclusion from annual receipts set forth in its Small Business Size Regulations. Effective at the issuance of this notice, SBA will apply the exclusion to properly documented transactions between a concern and its domestic or foreign affiliates, regardless of the type of relationship that resulted in the finding of affiliation.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This Policy Statement is effective May 24, 2016.

    Comment Date: Comments must be received on or before July 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. SBA-2016-0004 by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail or Hand Delivery/Courier: Brenda Fernandez, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Government Contracting, 409 3rd Street SW., 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20416.

    SBA will post all comments on http://www.Regulations.gov. If you wish to submit confidential business information (CBI) as defined in the User Notice at http://www.Regulations.gov, please submit the information to Brenda Fernandez, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Government Contracting, 409 3rd Street SW., 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20416, and highlight the information that you consider to be CBI and explain why you believe this information should be held confidential. SBA will review the information and make a final determination of whether the information will be published or not.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda Fernandez, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Government Contracting, 409 3rd Street SW., 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20416; (202) 205-7337; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Under 13 CFR 121.104(d), the average annual receipts size of a business concern with affiliates is calculated by adding the average annual receipts of the business concern with the average annual receipts of each affiliate. However, in adding the receipts of a concern with its affiliate, SBA excludes “proceeds from transactions between a concern and its domestic or foreign affiliates,” under 13 CFR 121.104(a). These transactions are commonly referred to as interaffiliate transactions. The intent of this exclusion is to avoid counting the same receipts twice when determining the size of a particular concern. This Statement of Policy explains how SBA will apply the exclusion.

    Recent SBA size determinations and decisions of the Office of Hearings and Appeals have limited the exclusion by applying it only to transactions between affiliates that are eligible to file a consolidated tax return. This interpretation has been supported by reference to a parenthetical that was included with section 121.104(a) from 1996 to 2004, providing that the exclusion would apply to interaffiliate amounts “(if also excluded from gross or total income on a consolidated return filed with the IRS). . . .” 13 CFR 121.104(a)(1) (1996); 61 FR 3280 (Jan. 31, 1996). While this parenthetical was in place, SBA excluded only those interaffiliate transactions that were also excluded from consolidated tax returns filed by a concern and its affiliate. This policy necessarily required that the transaction occur between two firms that filed consolidated returns.

    SBA deleted the parenthetical in 2004. In the preamble to the final rule issued May 21, 2004, SBA stated that it was deleting the parenthetical because “[w]hether a consolidated return is filed should have no bearing on whether properly documented interaffiliate transactions are excluded from annual receipts.” 69 FR 29192, 29196 (May 21, 2004). Thus, since May 2004, the regulation has provided for an exclusion from receipts for “proceeds from transactions between a concern and its domestic or foreign affiliates.” 13 CFR 121.104(a). The regulation does not include a limitation on the types of affiliates for which interaffiliate transactions can be excluded, and in no way ties the exclusion to a concern's ability to file a consolidated tax return with the identified affiliate.

    SBA believes that the current regulatory language is clear on its face. It specifically excludes all proceeds from transactions between a concern and its affiliates, without limitation. Moreover, the regulatory history supports the position that the exclusion for interaffiliate transactions is available regardless of the manner of affiliation between a concern and its affiliate. SBA recognized that excluding interaffiliate transactions only when they are identified on a consolidated tax return often perpetuated the double-counting of receipts. By saying that “[w]hether a consolidated return is filed should have no bearing on whether properly documented interaffiliate transactions are excluded from annual receipts,” SBA did not mean to imply that a concern and its affiliate must be able to file a consolidated tax return in order to receive the exclusion from double-counting interaffiliate transactions. Conversely, SBA was attempting to make clear that it did not support the practice of double-counting receipts between affiliates generally.

    Because the regulatory text does not contain a restriction, a regulatory change is not necessary. SBA will consider comments submitted regarding this policy.

    Statement of Policy

    SBA will not restrict the exclusion for interaffiliate transactions to transactions between a concern and a firm with which it could file a consolidated tax return. The exclusion for interaffiliate transactions may be applied to interaffiliate transactions between a concern and a firm with which it is affiliated under the principles in 13 CFR 121.103. Where SBA is conducting a size determination, SBA requires that exclusions claimed under section 121.104(a) be specifically identified by the concern whose size is at issue and be properly documented. This policy is effective immediately.

    Dated: May 18, 2016. Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12260 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 93 [Docket No. FAA-2008-0221] Change of Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) Designation; Notification of Availability of Final CATEX Declaration and Supporting Material AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notification of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    This action announces the placement in the docket of the final documented categorical exclusion (the signed CATEX declaration and final Attachment A: Environmental Review of Proposed Change of Operating Authorization Requirement at Newark Liberty International Airport) for the redesignation of Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) as a Level 2 schedule-facilitated airport.

    DATES:

    May 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical questions concerning this action, contact Susan Pfingstler, System Operations Services, Air Traffic Organization, Federal Aviation Administration, 600 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-6462; email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On April 6, 2016, the FAA published the “Change of Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) Designation” document in order to redesignate Newark Liberty International Airport as a Level 2 schedule-facilitated airport under the International Air Transport Association Worldwide Slot Guidelines effective for the winter 2016 scheduling season, which begins on October 30, 2016.1

    1 81 FR 19861.

    On April 5, 2016, the FAA posted a copy of a draft of Env Rev Attach A in the docket associated with the April 6, 2016 document. The FAA has corrected this action by posting the final CATEX documents (the signed CATEX declaration and final Attachment A: Environmental Review of Proposed Change of Operating Authorization Requirement at Newark Liberty International Airport) to the docket.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 18, 2016. Lorelei Peter, Assistant Chief Counsel for Regulations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12252 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 93 [Docket No. FAA-2007-29320] Operating Limitations at John F. Kennedy International Airport AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Extension to Order.

    SUMMARY:

    This action extends the Order Limiting Operations at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) published on January 18, 2008, and most recently extended March 26, 2014. The Order remains effective until October 27, 2018.

    DATES:

    This action is effective on May 24, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests may be submitted by mail to Slot Administration Office, AGC-240, Office of the Chief Counsel, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by email to: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions concerning this Order contact: Susan Pfingstler, System Operations Services, Air Traffic Organization, Federal Aviation Administration, 600 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-6462; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    You may obtain an electronic copy using the Internet by:

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

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

    (3) Accessing the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html.

    You also may obtain a copy by sending a request to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680. Make sure to identify the amendment number or docket number of this rulemaking.

    Background

    From 1968, the FAA limited the number of arrivals and departures at JFK during the peak afternoon demand period (corresponding to transatlantic arrival and departure banks) through the implementation of the High Density Rule (HDR).1 By statute enacted in April 2000, the HDR's applicability to JFK operations terminated as of January 1, 2007.2 Using AIR-21 exemptions and the HDR phase-out, U.S. air carriers serving JFK significantly increased their domestic scheduled operations throughout the day. This increase in operations resulted in significant congestion and delays that negatively impacted the National Airspace System (NAS). In January 2008, the FAA placed temporary limits on scheduled operations at JFK to mitigate persistent congestion and delays at the airport.3 With a temporary schedule limit order in place, the FAA proposed a long-term rule that would limit the number of scheduled and unscheduled operations at JFK.4 On October 10, 2008, the FAA published the Congestion Management Rule for John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport, which would have become effective on December 9, 2008.5 That rule was stayed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and subsequently rescinded by the FAA.6 The FAA extended the January 18, 2008, Order placing temporary limits on scheduled operations at JFK on October 7, 2009,7 on April 4, 2011,8 on May 14, 2013,9 and on March 26, 2014.10

    1 33 FR 17896 (Dec. 3, 1968). The FAA codified the rules for operating at high density traffic airports in 14 CFR part 93, subpart K. The HDR required carriers to hold a reservation, which came to be known as a “slot,” for each takeoff or landing under instrument flight rules at the high density traffic airports.

    2 Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21), Public Law 106-181 (Apr. 5, 2000), 49 U.S.C. 41715(a)(2).

    3 73 FR 3510 (Jan. 18, 2008), as amended by 73 FR 8737 (Feb. 14, 2008).

    4 73 FR 29626 (May 21, 2008); Docket FAA-2008-0517.

    5 73 FR 60544, amended by 73 FR 66516 (Nov. 10, 2008).

    6 74 FR 52134 (Oct. 9, 2009).

    7 74 FR 51650.

    8 76 FR 18620.

    9 78 FR 28276.

    10 79FR 16854.

    Under the Order, as amended, the FAA (1) maintains the current hourly limits on 81 scheduled operations at JFK during the peak period; (2) imposes an 80 percent minimum usage requirement for Operating Authorizations (OAs) with defined exceptions; (3) provides a mechanism for withdrawal of OAs for FAA operational reasons; (4) establishes procedures to allocate withdrawn, surrendered, or unallocated OAs; and (5) allows for trades and leases of OAs for consideration for the duration of the Order.

    The reasons for issuing the Order have not changed appreciably since it was implemented. Demand for access to JFK remains high and the average weekday hourly flights in the busiest morning, afternoon, and evening hours are generally consistent with the limits under this Order. The FAA has reviewed the on-time and other performance metrics in the peak May to August 2014 and 2015 months and found continuing improvements relative to the same period in 2007, even with runway construction at JFK in 2015.11 Without the operational limitations imposed by this Order, the FAA expects severe congestion-related delays would occur at JFK and at other airports throughout the NAS. The FAA will continue to monitor performance and runway capacity at JFK to determine if changes are warranted.

    11 Docket No. FAA-2007-25320 includes a copy of the MITRE analysis completed for the FAA.

    On January 8, 2015, the DOT and FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking “Slot Management and Transparency at LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport.” 12 The DOT and FAA proposed to replace the Orders limiting scheduled operations at JFK, limiting scheduled operations at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), and limiting scheduled and unscheduled operations at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) with a more permanent system for managing slots. The NPRM included certain proposed changes to how slots are currently managed in the New York City area in order to increase transparency and address issues considering anti-competitive behavior. Since the FAA and DOT first initiated this rulemaking effort there have been significant changes in circumstances affecting New York City area airports, including changes in competitive effects from ongoing industry consolidation, slot utilization and transfer behavior, and actual operational performance at the three airports. Furthermore, the FAA recently announced that slot controls are no longer needed at EWR (81 FR 19861). In light of the changes in market conditions and operational performance at the New York City area airports, the Department is withdrawing the NPRM by Federal Register notice published May 16, 2016 (81 FR 30218), to allow for further evaluation of these changes. Accordingly, the FAA has concluded it is necessary to extend the expiration date of this Order until October 27, 2018. This expiration date coincides with the extended expiration date for the Order limiting scheduled operations at LGA, as also extended by action published in today's Federal Register.13 No amendments other than the expiration date have been made to this Order.

    12 80 FR 1274.

    13 The FAA notes that the Order limiting scheduled operations at EWR will expire October 29, 2016; beginning on October 30, 2016, EWR is designated a Level 2 schedule-facilitated airport consistent with the FAA's action published in the Federal Register on April 6, 2016. See id.

    The FAA finds that notice and comment procedures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. The FAA further finds that good cause exists to make this Order effective in less than 30 days.

    The Amended Order

    The Order, as amended, is recited below in its entirety.

    1. This Order assigns operating authority to conduct an arrival or a departure at JFK during the affected hours to the U.S. air carrier or foreign air carrier identified in the appendix to this Order. The FAA will not assign operating authority under this Order to any person or entity other than a certificated U.S. or foreign air carrier with appropriate economic authority and FAA operating authority under 14 CFR part 121, 129, or 135. This Order applies to the following:

    a. All U.S. air carriers and foreign air carriers conducting scheduled operations at JFK as of the date of this Order, any U.S. air carrier or foreign air carrier that operates under the same designator code as such a carrier, and any air carrier or foreign-flag carrier that has or enters into a codeshare agreement with such a carrier.

    b. All U.S. air carriers or foreign air carriers initiating scheduled or regularly conducted commercial service to JFK while this Order is in effect.

    c. The Chief Counsel of the FAA, in consultation with the Vice President, System Operations Services, is the final decisionmaker for determinations under this Order.

    2. This Order governs scheduled arrivals and departures at JFK from 6 a.m. through 10:59 p.m., Eastern Time, Sunday through Saturday.

    3. This Order takes effect on March 30, 2008, and will expire when the final Rule on Slot Management and Transparency for LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport becomes effective but not later than October 29, 2016.

    4. Under the authority provided to the Secretary of Transportation and the FAA Administrator by 49 U.S.C. 40101, 40103 and 40113, we hereby order that:

    a. No U.S. air carrier or foreign air carrier initiating or conducting scheduled or regularly conducted commercial service at JFK may conduct such operations without an Operating Authorization assigned by the FAA.

    b. Except as provided in the appendix to this Order, scheduled U.S. air carrier and foreign air carrier arrivals and departures will not exceed 81 per hour from 6 a.m. through 10:59 p.m., Eastern Time.

    c. The Administrator may change the limits if he determines that capacity exists to accommodate additional operations without a significant increase in delays.

    5. For administrative tracking purposes only, the FAA will assign an identification number to each Operating Authorization.

    6. A carrier holding an Operating Authorization may request the Administrator's approval to move any arrival or departure scheduled from 6 a.m. through 10:59 p.m. to another half hour within that period. Except as provided in paragraph seven, the carrier must receive the written approval of the Administrator, or his delegate, prior to conducting any scheduled arrival or departure that is not listed in the appendix to this Order. All requests to move an allocated Operating Authorization must be submitted to the FAA Slot Administration Office, facsimile (202) 267-7277 or email [email protected], and must come from a designated representative of the carrier. If the FAA cannot approve a carrier's request to move a scheduled arrival or departure, the carrier may then apply for a trade in accordance with paragraph seven.

    7. For the duration of this Order, a carrier may enter into a lease or trade of an Operating Authorization to another carrier for any consideration. Notice of a trade or lease under this paragraph must be submitted in writing to the FAA Slot Administration Office, facsimile (202) 267-7277 or email [email protected], and must come from a designated representative of each carrier. The FAA must confirm and approve these transactions in writing prior to the effective date of the transaction. The FAA will approve transfers between carriers under the same marketing control up to five business days after the actual operation, but only to accommodate operational disruptions that occur on the same day of the scheduled operation. The FAA's approval of a trade or lease does not constitute a commitment by the FAA to grant the associated historical rights to any operator in the event that slot controls continue at JFK after this order expires.

    8. A carrier may not buy, sell, trade, or transfer an Operating Authorization, except as described in paragraph seven.

    9. Historical rights to Operating Authorizations and withdrawal of those rights due to insufficient usage will be determined on a seasonal basis and in accordance with the schedule approved by the FAA prior to the commencement of the applicable season.

    a. For each day of the week that the FAA has approved an operating schedule, any Operating Authorization not used at least 80% of the time over the time-frame authorized by the FAA under this paragraph will be withdrawn by the FAA for the next applicable season except:

    i. The FAA will treat as used any Operating Authorization held by a carrier on Thanksgiving Day, the Friday following Thanksgiving Day, and the period from December 24 through the first Saturday in January.

    ii. The Administrator of the FAA may waive the 80% usage requirement in the event of a highly unusual and unpredictable condition which is beyond the control of the carrier and which affects carrier operations for a period of five consecutive days or more.

    b. Each carrier holding an Operating Authorization must forward in writing to the FAA Slot Administration Office a list of all Operating Authorizations held by the carrier along with a listing of the Operating Authorizations and:

    i. The dates within each applicable season it intends to commence and complete operations.

    A. For each winter scheduling season, the report must be received by the FAA no later than August 15 during the preceding summer.

    B. For each summer scheduling season, the report must be received by the FAA no later than January 15 during the preceding winter.

    ii. The completed operations for each day of the applicable scheduling season:

    A. No later than September 1 for the summer scheduling season.

    B. No later than January 15 for the winter scheduling season.

    iii. The completed operations for each day of the scheduling season within 30 days after the last day of the applicable scheduling season.

    10. In the event that a carrier surrenders to the FAA any Operating Authorization assigned to it under this Order or if there are unallocated Operating Authorizations, the FAA will determine whether the Operating Authorizations should be reallocated. The FAA may temporarily allocate an Operating Authorization at its discretion. Such temporary allocations will not be entitled to historical status for the next applicable scheduling season under paragraph 9.

    11. If the FAA determines that an involuntary reduction in the number of allocated Operating Authorizations is required to meet operational needs, such as reduced airport capacity, the FAA will conduct a weighted lottery to withdraw Operating Authorizations to meet a reduced hourly or half-hourly limit for scheduled operations. The FAA will provide at least 45 days' notice unless otherwise required by operational needs. Any Operating Authorization that is withdrawn or temporarily suspended will, if reallocated, be reallocated to the carrier from which it was taken, provided that the carrier continues to operate scheduled service at JFK.

    12. The FAA will enforce this Order through an enforcement action seeking a civil penalty under 49 U.S.C. 46301(a). A carrier that is not a small business as defined in the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 632, will be liable for a civil penalty of up to $25,000 for every day that it violates the limits set forth in this Order. A carrier that is a small business as defined in the Small Business Act will be liable for a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for every day that it violates the limits set forth in this Order. The FAA also could file a civil action in U.S. District Court, under 49 U.S.C. 46106, 46107, seeking to enjoin any air carrier from violating the terms of this Order.

    13. The FAA may modify or withdraw any provision in this Order on its own or on application by any carrier for good cause shown.

    Issued in Washington, DC on May 18, 2016. Daniel E. Smiley, Vice President, System Operations Services.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12221 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31073; Amdt. No. 3693] 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 24, 2016. 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 24, 2016.

    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:

    Thomas J. Nichols, 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 22, 2016. John S. 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(f), 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44701, 44719, 44721-44722.

    2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows: * * * Effective 26 MAY 2016 Aniak, AK, Aniak, ILS/DME RWY 10, Amdt 7E, CANCELED Aniak, AK, Aniak, ILS OR LOC RWY 11, Orig Aniak, AK, Aniak, LOC/DME RWY 10, Amdt 3D, CANCELED Aniak, AK, Aniak, NDB/DME RWY 29, Amdt 4 Aniak, AK, Aniak, RNAV (GPS) RWY 11, Amdt 1 Aniak, AK, Aniak, RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Amdt 2 Aniak, AK, Aniak, Takeoff Minimums and ODP, Amdt 3 Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 24L, Amdt 26C Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 24L, Amdt 4 Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 24L, Amdt 1D Ontario, CA, Ontario Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 8L, Amdt 9B Ontario, CA, Ontario Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 26R, Amdt 4A Ontario, CA, Ontario Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 8R, Amdt 1C Ontario, CA, Ontario Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 8L, Amdt 1D Ontario, CA, Ontario Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 26L, Amdt 1B Ontario, CA, Ontario Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 26R, Amdt 1B Ontario, CA, Ontario Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 8L, Orig-D Ontario, CA, Ontario Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 26L, Orig-D Ontario, CA, Ontario Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 26R, Orig-D Ontario, CA, Ontario Intl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 9 Pagosa Springs, CO, Stevens Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 1, Orig Pagosa Springs, CO, Stevens Field, RNAV (GPS)-A, Amdt 1, CANCELED Tallahassee, FL, Tallahassee Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 2 Tallahassee, FL, Tallahassee Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Amdt 2 Pohnpei Island, FM, Pohnpei Intl, RNAV (RNP) Y RWY 9, Amdt 1 Pohnpei Island, FM, Pohnpei Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 9, Amdt 1 Metter, GA, Metter Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 10, Amdt 1 Metter, GA, Metter Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 28, Amdt 1 Sioux City, IA, Sioux Gateway/Col Bud Day Field, ILS OR LOC RWY 13, Amdt 2C Sioux City, IA, Sioux Gateway/Col Bud Day Field, ILS OR LOC RWY 31, Amdt 25D Sioux City, IA, Sioux Gateway/Col Bud Day Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Orig-D Sioux City, IA, Sioux Gateway/Col Bud Day Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Amdt 1 Sioux City, IA, Sioux Gateway/Col Bud Day Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Orig-D Sioux City, IA, Sioux Gateway/Col Bud Day Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Orig Sioux City, IA, Sioux Gateway/Col Bud Day Field, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 3A Belleville, IL, Scott AFB/MidAmerica, ILS OR LOC RWY 14L, Orig-G Belleville, IL, Scott AFB/MidAmerica, ILS OR LOC RWY 14R, Orig-F Belleville, IL, Scott AFB/MidAmerica, ILS OR LOC RWY 32R, Orig-H Belleville, IL, Scott AFB/MidAmerica, ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 32L, Amdt 2 Belleville, IL, Scott AFB/MidAmerica, RADAR-1, Orig Belleville, IL, Scott AFB/MidAmerica, RNAV (GPS) RWY 14L, Orig-A Belleville, IL, Scott AFB/MidAmerica, RNAV (GPS) RWY 14R, Orig-E Belleville, IL, Scott AFB/MidAmerica, RNAV (GPS) RWY 32L, Orig-E Belleville, IL, Scott AFB/MidAmerica, RNAV (GPS) RWY 32R, Orig-C Belleville, IL, Scott AFB/MidAmerica, TACAN RWY 14R, Amdt 1B Belleville, IL, Scott AFB/MidAmerica, TACAN RWY 32L, Amdt 1B Belleville, IL, Scott AFB/MidAmerica, TACAN-A, Orig Terre Haute, IN, Sky King, RNAV (GPS)-A, Orig Terre Haute, IN, Sky King, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 4 Caro, MI, Tuscola Area, RNAV (GPS) RWY 6, Amdt 1 Caro, MI, Tuscola Area, RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Amdt 1 Caro, MI, Tuscola Area, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2 Caro, MI, Tuscola Area, VOR/DME-A, Amdt 6 Forsyth, MT, Tillitt Field, NDB RWY 27, Amdt 5 Forsyth, MT, Tillitt Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Amdt 2 Forsyth, MT, Tillitt Field, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1 Miles City, MT, Frank Wiley Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 4, Amdt 3 Miles City, MT, Frank Wiley Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Orig Miles City, MT, Frank Wiley Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 22, Amdt 1 Miles City, MT, Frank Wiley Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Orig Miles City, MT, Frank Wiley Field, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1 Miles City, MT, Frank Wiley Field, VOR RWY 4, Amdt 13 Miles City, MT, Frank Wiley Field, VOR/DME RWY 22, Amdt 9 Minot, ND, Minot Intl, LOC/DME BC RWY 13, Amdt 8A Newport, NH, Parlin Field, RNAV (GPS)-A, Orig Newport, NH, Parlin Field, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Caldwell, NJ, Essex County, LOC RWY 22, Amdt 4 Caldwell, NJ, Essex County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 22, Amdt 2 Moriarty, NM, Moriarty, RNAV (GPS) RWY 8, Orig Moriarty, NM, Moriarty, RNAV (GPS) RWY 26, Orig Moriarty, NM, Moriarty, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Elko, NV, Elko Rgnl, GPS RWY 5, Orig, CANCELED Elko, NV, Elko Rgnl, LDA/DME RWY 24, Amdt 6 Elko, NV, Elko Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 6, Orig Elko, NV, Elko Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Amdt 1 Elko, NV, Elko Rgnl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 6 Elko, NV, Elko Rgnl, VOR-A, Amdt 6 Elko, NV, Elko Rgnl, VOR/DME-B, Amdt 5 Reno, NV, Reno/Tahoe Intl, ILS RWY 16R, Amdt 10F, CANCELED Reno, NV, Reno/Tahoe Intl, ILS X OR LOC X RWY 16R, Orig Reno, NV, Reno/Tahoe Intl, ILS Y RWY 16R, Orig Reno, NV, Reno/Tahoe Intl, ILS Z OR LOC Z RWY 16R, Orig Reno, NV, Reno/Tahoe Intl, LOC RWY 16R, Amdt 7, CANCELED Reno, NV, Reno/Tahoe Intl, LOC Y RWY 16R, Orig White Plains, NY, Westchester County, ILS OR LOC RWY 16, ILS RWY 16 (SA CAT I), ILS RWY 16 (CAT II), Amdt 25A Dayton, OH, James M Cox Dayton Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 6L, ILS RWY 6L (CAT II), ILS RWY 6L (CAT III), Amdt 10 Dayton, OH, James M Cox Dayton Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 24L, Amdt 10 Dayton, OH, James M Cox Dayton Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 24R, Amdt 10 Dayton, OH, James M Cox Dayton Intl, RNAV (GPS) Z RWY 24R, Amdt 2 Fostoria, OH, Fostoria Metropolitan, NDB RWY 27, Amdt 5A, CANCELED Norman, OK, University of Oklahoma Westheimer, ILS OR LOC RWY 18, Amdt 2 Norman, OK, University of Oklahoma Westheimer, LOC RWY 3, Amdt 4 Norman, OK, University of Oklahoma Westheimer, RNAV (GPS) RWY 3, Amdt 2B Norman, OK, University of Oklahoma Westheimer, RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 2 Norman, OK, University of Oklahoma Westheimer, RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Orig-B Oklahoma City, OK, Sundance Airpark, LOC RWY 17, Orig-F, CANCELED Tipton, OK, Tipton Muni, GPS RWY 17, Orig-A, CANCELED Tipton, OK, Tipton Muni, VOR/DME RWY 17, Orig-B, CANCELED Tulsa, OK, Richard Lloyd Jones Jr, RNAV (GPS) RWY 19R, Orig Klamath Falls, OR, Crater Lake-Klamath Rgnl, HI ILS OR LOC RWY 32, Amdt 6 Klamath Falls, OR, Crater Lake-Klamath Rgnl, HI TACAN RWY 14, Amdt 3A Klamath Falls, OR, Crater Lake-Klamath Rgnl, HI TACAN RWY 32, Amdt 5 Erie, PA, Erie Intl/Tom Ridge Field, ILS OR LOC RWY 6, Amdt 18 Erie, PA, Erie Intl/Tom Ridge Field, ILS OR LOC RWY 24, Amdt 10 Erie, PA, Erie Intl/Tom Ridge Field, NDB RWY 6, Amdt 2, CANCELED Erie, PA, Erie Intl/Tom Ridge Field, NDB RWY 24, Amdt 20 Hazleton, PA, Hazleton Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 10, Amdt 2 Hazleton, PA, Hazleton Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 28, Amdt 1 Martin, SD, Martin Muni, GPS RWY 32, Orig-C, CANCELED Martin, SD, Martin Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Orig Martin, SD, Martin Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Beaumont/Port Arthur, TX, Jack Brooks Rgnl, VOR-A, Amdt 6B, CANCELED Beaumont/Port Arthur, TX, Jack Brooks Rgnl, VOR-B, Amdt 6B, CANCELED Beaumont/Port Arthur, TX, Jack Brooks Rgnl, VOR-C, Amdt 5B, CANCELED Beaumont/Port Arthur, TX, Jack Brooks Rgnl, VOR/DME-D, Amdt 2A, CANCELED Corpus Christi, TX, Corpus Christi Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 13, Amdt 28 Corpus Christi, TX, Corpus Christi Intl, LOC RWY 31, Amdt 9 Corpus Christi, TX, Corpus Christi Intl, RNAV (GPS) X RWY 31, Orig Corpus Christi, TX, Corpus Christi Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 13, Amdt 2 Corpus Christi, TX, Corpus Christi Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 31, Amdt 4 Corpus Christi, TX, Corpus Christi Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 13, Amdt 1 Corpus Christi, TX, Corpus Christi Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 31, Amdt 1 Corpus Christi, TX, Corpus Christi Intl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 3 Mineola, TX, Mineola Wisener Field, VOR-A, Amdt 6 Terrell, TX, Terrell Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1 Cheyenne, WY, Cheyenne Rgnl/Jerry Olson Field, ILS OR LOC RWY 27, Amdt 35 Cheyenne, WY, Cheyenne Rgnl/Jerry Olson Field, NDB RWY 27, Amdt 15A, CANCELED

    RESCINDED: On March 24, 2016 (81 FR 15630), the FAA published an Amendment in Docket No. 31067, Amdt No. 3687, to Part 97 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, under section 97.20 and 97.33. The following entries for Morris, IL effective May 26, 2016, are hereby rescinded in their entirety:

    Morris, IL, Morris Muni—James R Washburn Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 1 Morris, IL, Morris Muni—James R Washburn Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Amdt 2 Morris, IL, Morris Muni—James R Washburn Field, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1
    [FR Doc. 2016-11955 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31074 Amdt. No. 3694] 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 24, 2016. 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 24, 2016.

    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:

    Thomas J. Nichols, 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 22, 2016. John S. 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(f), 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44701, 44719, 44721-44722.

    2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows:
    §§ § 97.23, 97.25, 97.27, 97.29, 97.31, 97.33, 97.35 [Amended]

    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 26-May-16 TX Terrell Terrell Muni 6/0884 04/01/16 This NOTAM, published in TL 16-11, is hereby rescinded in its entirety. 26-May-16 AK Venetie Venetie 5/0233 04/12/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 22, Orig. 26-May-16 AK Venetie Venetie 5/0234 04/12/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 4, Orig-A. 26-May-16 OK Tulsa Richard Lloyd Jones Jr 5/1074 04/07/16 VOR RWY 1L, Amdt 4C. 26-May-16 OK Tulsa Richard Lloyd Jones Jr 5/1075 04/07/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 1L, Amdt 1A. 26-May-16 OH Toledo Toledo Executive 5/2079 04/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Orig-A. 26-May-16 WI Antigo Langlade County 5/4644 04/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Amdt 2A. 26-May-16 MQ Midway Atoll Henderson Field 6/0076 03/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 6, Orig-B. 26-May-16 MQ Midway Atoll Henderson Field 6/0077 03/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Orig-B. 26-May-16 MQ Midway Atoll Henderson Field 6/0078 03/23/16 NDB RWY 6, Orig-A. 26-May-16 MQ Midway Atoll Henderson Field 6/0079 03/23/16 NDB RWY 24, Orig-A. 26-May-16 UT St George St George Rgnl 6/2270 04/01/16 LDA/DME RWY 19, Orig-B. 26-May-16 UT St George St George Rgnl 6/2271 04/01/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 1, Orig-B. 26-May-16 UT St George St George Rgnl 6/2272 04/01/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Orig-B. 26-May-16 UT St George St George Rgnl 6/2273 04/01/16 VOR/DME-A, Orig. 26-May-16 UT St George St George Rgnl 6/2274 04/01/16 Takeoff Minimums and (Obstacle) DP, Orig. 26-May-16 PA Punxsutawney Punxsutawney Muni 6/3333 04/07/16 VOR/DME-A, Amdt 1A. 26-May-16 PA Punxsutawney Punxsutawney Muni 6/3341 04/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Orig-A. 26-May-16 CA Arcata/Eureka Arcata 6/3943 04/07/16 VOR/DME RWY 14, Amdt 1A. 26-May-16 ME Norridgewock Central Maine Arpt Of Norridgewock 6/6681 04/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 15, Orig. 26-May-16 ME Auburn/Lewiston Auburn/Lewiston Muni 6/6781 04/07/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 4, Amdt 10D. 26-May-16 ME Auburn/Lewiston Auburn/Lewiston Muni 6/6782 04/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 4, Amdt 1. 26-May-16 ME Auburn/Lewiston Auburn/Lewiston Muni 6/6783 04/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 22, Amdt 1A. 26-May-16 IA Muscatine Muscatine Muni 6/7375 04/12/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 12, Orig. 26-May-16 IA Muscatine Muscatine Muni 6/7376 04/12/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 30, Orig. 26-May-16 TX Lago Vista Lago Vista TX—Rusty Allen 6/7941 04/12/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 15, Orig-A. 26-May-16 TX Odessa Odessa-Schlemeyer Field 6/8024 04/12/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 11, Orig-A. 26-May-16 TX Taylor Taylor Muni 6/8025 04/12/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Orig. 26-May-16 CA Fullerton Fullerton Muni 6/8243 04/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Orig-A. 26-May-16 CA Fullerton Fullerton Muni 6/8244 04/07/16 LOC/DME RWY 24, Orig-A. 26-May-16 CA Fullerton Fullerton Muni 6/8245 04/07/16 VOR-A, Amdt 7A. 26-May-16 OK Miami Miami Muni 6/9238 04/12/16 Takeoff Minimums and (Obstacle) DP, Orig. 26-May-16 NY Albany Albany Intl 6/9287 04/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 28, Orig-A. 26-May-16 NY Albany Albany Intl 6/9288 04/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 10, Orig-A.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11956 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 240 [Release No. 34-77617A; File No. S7-25-11] RIN 3235-AL10 Business Conduct Standards for Security-Based Swap Dealers and Major Security-Based Swap Participants; Correction AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) is making a technical correction to a burden estimate for Paperwork Reduction Act purposes and a corresponding estimate in the Economic Analysis of the business conduct standards for security-based swap dealers and major security-based swap participants.

    DATES:

    Effective: May 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lourdes Gonzalez, Assistant Chief Counsel—Sales Practices, Office of Chief Counsel, Division of Trading and Markets, at (202) 551-5550, at the Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In Business Conduct Standards for Security-Based Swap Dealers and Major Security-Based Swap Participants (FR Doc. 2016-10918), published in the Federal Register on May 13, 2016, the following corrections are made:

    1. On page 30090, in the third column, under the heading “1. Verification of Status,” the second sentence is hereby deleted and replaced with the sentence: “As noted above, Rule 15Fh-3(a)(3) differs from the CFTC's rule, which instead includes an opt-in for plans “defined in” ERISA, but not subject to Title I of ERISA.” Footnote 1529 remains as published.

    2. Also on page 30090, in the third column, in the fourth sentence under the same heading, the phrase “complying with the rules, as adopted,” is replaced with the phrase “complying with Rules 15Fh-3(a)(1) and (2)”.

    3. On page 30091, in the first column, under the same heading, a new paragraph begins after footnote 1531, beginning with the sentence “We do not anticipate any ongoing burdens with respect to this rule.”

    4. Also on page 30091, in the first column, under the same heading, the following sentence is added to the end of the last paragraph under this heading: “We also anticipate that all 55 SBS Entities will incur, on average, an initial internal burden of 30 minutes to prepare the notice required pursuant to Rule 15Fh-3(a)(3) for counterparties defined in Rule 15Fh-2(d)(4), for an aggregate total of 27.5 hours.”

    5. On page 30110, in the first column, in the first sentence of the sixth paragraph under the heading “C. Costs and Benefits of Business Conduct Rules, 1. Verification of Status and Know Your Counterparty Rules,” the estimate for the direct costs of compliance is corrected to “$28,050” from “$17,600”.

    6. Footnote 1655 on page 30110, is corrected to: “Initial outside counsel cost: $500 * (20 non-CFTC registered SBS Entities) = $10,000. Initial adherence letter and notification burden: (In-house attorney at $380 per hour) × 47.5 hours = $18,050.”

    7. On page 30120, in the first column, in the fourth paragraph under the heading “4. Special Entities, a. Scope and Verification,” the third sentence is corrected to: “Out of 3,635 special entities subscribed to the ISDA August 2012 DF Protocol, 1,453 market participants (approximately 40%) are special entities not defined in Rule 15Fh-2(d)(3).”

    Dated: May 19, 2016. Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12166 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION 20 CFR Part 404 [Docket No. SSA-2016-0016] RIN 0960-AI00 Extension of Expiration Dates for Two Body System Listings AGENCY:

    Social Security Administration.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are extending the expiration dates of the following body systems in the Listing of Impairments (listings) in our regulations: Endocrine Disorders and Immune System Disorders. We are making no other revisions to these body systems in this final rule. This extension ensures that we will continue to have the criteria we need to evaluate impairments in the affected body systems at step three of the sequential evaluation processes for initial claims and continuing disability reviews.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on May 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cheryl A. Williams, Director, Office of Medical Policy, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235-6401, (410) 965-1020. For information on eligibility or filing for benefits, call our national toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, or TTY 1-800-325-0778, or visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    We use the listings in appendix 1 to subpart P of part 404 of 20 CFR at the third step of the sequential evaluation process to evaluate claims filed by adults and children for benefits based on disability under the title II and title XVI programs.1 20 CFR 404.1520(d), 416.920(d), 416.924(d). The listings are in two parts: Part A has listings criteria for adults and Part B has listings criteria for children. If you are age 18 or over, we apply the listings criteria in part A when we assess your impairment or combination of impairments. If you are under age 18, we first use the criteria in part B of the listings when we assess your impairment(s). If the criteria in part B do not apply, we may use the criteria in part A when those criteria give appropriate consideration to the effects of your impairment(s). 20 CFR 404.1525(b), 416.925(b).

    1 We also use the listings in the sequential evaluation processes we use to determine whether a beneficiary's disability continues. See 20 CFR 404.1594, 416.994, and 416.994a.

    Explanation of Changes

    In this final rule, we are extending the dates on which the listings for the following two body systems will no longer be effective as set out in the following chart:

    Listing Current expiration date Extended expiration date Endocrine Disorders 9.00 and 109.00 June 7, 2016 June 8, 2018. Immune System Disorders 14.00 and 114.00 June 16, 2016 June 18, 2018.

    We continue to revise and update the listings on a regular basis, including those body systems not affected by this final rule.2 We intend to update the two listings affected by this final rule as quickly as possible, but may not be able to publish final rules revising these listings by the current expiration dates. Therefore, we are extending the expiration dates listed above.

    2 Since we last extended the expiration dates of some of the listings in January 2015 (80 FR 1 (2015)), we have published final rules revising the medical criteria for evaluating growth disorders and weight loss in children (80 FR 19522 (2015), corrected at 80 FR 48248 (2015)), hematological disorders (80 FR 21159 (2015)), and cancer (malignant neoplastic diseases) (80 FR 28821 (2015)).

    Regulatory Procedures Justification for Final Rule

    We follow the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) rulemaking procedures specified in 5 U.S.C. 553 in promulgating regulations. Section 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5). Generally, the APA requires that an agency provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing a final regulation. The APA provides exceptions to the notice-and-comment requirements when an agency finds there is good cause for dispensing with such procedures because they are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.

    We determined that good cause exists for dispensing with the notice and public comment procedures. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). This final rule only extends the date on which two body system listings will no longer be effective. It makes no substantive changes to our rules. Our current regulations 3 provide that we may extend, revise, or promulgate the body system listings again. Therefore, we have determined that opportunity for prior comment is unnecessary, and we are issuing this regulation as a final rule.

    3 See the first sentence of appendix 1 to subpart P of part 404 of 20 CFR.

    In addition, for the reasons cited above, we find good cause for dispensing with the 30-day delay in the effective date of this final rule. 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). We are not making any substantive changes to the listings in these body systems. Without an extension of the expiration dates for these listings, we will not have the criteria we need to assess medical impairments in these two body systems at step three of the sequential evaluation processes. We therefore find it is in the public interest to make this final rule effective on the publication date.

    Executive Order 12866, as Supplemented by Executive Order 13563

    We consulted with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and determined that this final rule does not meet the requirements for a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, OMB did not review it. We also determined that this final rule meets the plain language requirement of Executive Order 12866.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    We certify that this final rule does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it affects only individuals. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    These rules do not create any new or affect any existing collections and, therefore, do not require Office of Management and Budget approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 96.001, Social Security—Disability Insurance; 96.002, Social Security—Retirement Insurance; 96.004, Social Security—Survivors Insurance; 96.006, Supplemental Security Income) List of Subjects in 20 CFR Part 404

    Administrative practice and procedure, Blind, Disability benefits, Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Social Security.

    Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, we are amending part 404 of chapter III of title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations as set forth below.

    PART 404—FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Subpart P—[Amended] 1. The authority citation for subpart P of part 404 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 202, 205(a)-(b) and (d)-(h), 216(i), 221(a), (i), and (j), 222(c), 223, 225, and 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 402, 405(a)-(b) and (d)-(h), 416(i), 421(a), (i), and (j), 422(c), 423, 425, and 902(a)(5)); sec. 211(b), Pub. L. 104-193, 110 Stat. 2105, 2189; sec. 202, Pub. L. 108-203, 118 Stat. 509 (42 U.S.C. 902 note).

    2. Amend appendix 1 to subpart P of part 404 by revising items 10 and 15 of the introductory text before Part A to read as follows: Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Part 404—Listing of Impairments

    10. Endocrine Disorders (9.00 and 109.00): June 8, 2018.

    15. Immune System Disorders (14.00 and 114.00): June 18, 2018.

    [FR Doc. 2016-12182 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4191-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE 22 CFR Part 147 [Public Notice: 9498] RIN 1400-AD87 Electronic and Information Technology AGENCY:

    Department of State.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule implements Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 508) for the Department of State. Section 508 requires that when Federal departments and agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, they shall ensure that the electronic and information technology is accessible to individuals with disabilities who are Federal employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective June 23, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alice Kottmyer, Attorney-Adviser, 202-647-2318, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This rule adds a new part 147, which implements Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d) (“Section 508”), as it applies to programs and activities conducted by the Department of State (“the Department”).

    Subpart A—General Provisions

    Sections 147.1 and 147.2 provide that these rules are intended to implement Section 508, consistent with that statute and the regulations promulgated by the Access Board, at 36 CFR part 1194 (“Part 1194”). This rule applies to all development, procurement, maintenance, and use of electronic and information technology by the Department of State. Section 147.3 provides the definitions of “The Department,” “Section 508”, “Section 508 complaint”, and “the Secretary”, and adopts the definitions in 36 CFR 1194.4.

    Section 147.4 provides that the Department will ensure that its employees, applicants for employment, and members of the public are provided with adequate notice of the Department's obligations under Section 508, part 1194, and these rules.

    Sections 147.5 and 147.6 generally reiterate the requirements of Section 508 regarding the prohibition against discrimination, and the requirement for ensuring that EIT is accessible (in accordance with part 1194), unless an undue burden would be imposed on the Department—in which case an alternative means of access must be provided.

    Subpart B—Complaint Procedures

    Section 147.7 provides procedures for filing a complaint under Section 508. The procedures included therein are substantially the same procedures the Department has established in implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (22 CFR part 144). The relevant procedures are repeated in this rulemaking, for convenience. A Section 508 complaint must be filed with the Department's Office of Civil Rights, must be in writing, and submitted by fax, email, mail, or hand-delivery. The final, approved complaint form, designated DS-4282, is accessible and fillable and is available on the following page: https://eforms.state.gov/searchform.aspx. The Department's analysis and notice pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act are included in the “Regulatory Analysis,” below. The DS-4282 will be used for complaints not only under Section 508, but under Section 504 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. This is reflected in the Paperwork Reduction Act analysis, below.

    An individual with a disability alleging a violation of Section 508 must file a complaint not later than 180 days after the date the complainant knew, or should have known, of the alleged violation of Section 508. Once the Department receives the complaint, it must conduct an investigation and, within 180 days of receiving the complaint, shall notify the complainant of the results of the investigation in a letter containing findings of fact and conclusions of law; a description of a remedy for each violation found; and a notice of the right to appeal within 90 days of the complainant's receipt of the notice from the Department. The Department will notify the complainant of the results of the appeal within 60 days of the receipt of the appeal request.

    Section 147.8 provides that a decision from the Department on the merits of a complaint, or no notification in writing from the Department within 180 days of filing the complaint, will constitute exhaustion of the complainant's administrative remedies for purposes of 5 U.S.C. 701, et seq. This provision does not yet have a counterpart in the Department's Section 504 implementing procedures; however, the Department is considering adding a parallel provision to 22 CFR part 144 in the near future.

    The Department published a proposed rule on January 4, 2016. See 81 FR 44. The Department received one comment in response to the Paperwork Reduction Act notice, expressing support for the information collection, and received no comments on the proposed rule.

    Regulatory Analysis Administrative Procedure Act

    The Department of State published this rulemaking as a proposed rule, with 60-day provision for public comment. The final rule will be in effect 30 days after publication.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804 for the purposes of Congressional review of agency rulemaking under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 801-808).

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million in any year; and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    Executive Order 13175—Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    The Department has determined that this rulemaking will not have tribal implications, will not impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments, and will not pre-empt tribal law. Accordingly, the requirements of Executive Order 13175 do not apply to this rulemaking.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act: Small Business

    The Department of State certifies that this rulemaking will not have an impact on a substantial number of small entities. A regulatory flexibility analysis is not required under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601, et seq.).

    Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563

    The Department of State has provided this final rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its review. The Department has also reviewed the rule to ensure its consistency with the regulatory philosophy and principles set forth in Executive Order 12866, and finds that the benefits of the rule (in providing mechanisms for individuals to submit complaints of discrimination) outweigh any costs to the public, which are minimal. The Department of State has also considered this rulemaking in light of Executive Order 13563, and affirms that this proposed regulation is consistent with the guidance therein.

    Executive Order 12988

    The Department of State has reviewed this rule in light of Executive Order 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce burden.

    Executive Orders 12372 and 13132

    This rule will not have substantial direct effect on the states, on the relationships between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to require consultations or warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. Executive Order 12372, regarding intergovernmental consultation on federal programs and activities, does not apply to this regulation.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection contained in this rule is pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35 and, although not yet in use, has been assigned an OMB Control Number. The Department submitted an information collection request to OMB for the review and approval of the Discrimination Complaint Form, DS-4282, under the PRA.

    This information collection will provide a way for employees and members of the public to submit a complaint of discrimination under Section 508 and other federal statutes relating to discrimination, as described below.

    30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: DS-4282, Discrimination Complaint Form

    The Department of State has submitted the information collection described below to OMB for approval. Direct request for additional information regarding the collection listed herein, including requests for copies of the proposed collection instrument and supporting documents, to the Office of the Legal Adviser (L/M), ATTN: Section 508 Final Rule, Suite 4325, U.S. Department of State, 2200 C Street NW., Washington DC 20520; email [email protected]

    Title of the Collection: Complaint of Discrimination Under Section 504, Section 508 or Title VI.

    OMB Control No.: 1405-0220.

    Type of Request: New collection.

    Originating Office: Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of State.

    Form Number: Form DS-4282, Discrimination Complaint Form.

    Respondents: This information collection will be used by any Federal employee or member of the public who wishes to submit a complaint of discrimination under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d); or Sections 504 or 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794 and 794d).

    Estimated number of respondents and responses: The Department estimates a total of 10 respondents, with one response per respondent, per year.

    An estimate of the total annual public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The average burden associated with this information collection is estimated to be 1 hour per respondent. Therefore, the Department estimates the total annual burden for this information collection to be 10 hours.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Obligation to Respond: Voluntary.

    Abstract of proposed collection:

    The form created by this information collection (DS-4282) will be used to present complaints of discrimination under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; or Sections 504 or 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794 and 794d).

    Methodology:

    The form will be downloaded from https://eforms.state.gov/searchform.aspx. After completion, the form may be submitted by email, mail, fax, or hand-delivery.

    List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 147

    Civil rights, Communications equipment, Computer technology, Government employees, Individuals with disabilities, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Telecommunications.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 22 CFR part 147 is added to subchapter O to read as follows:

    PART 147—ELECTRONIC AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Subpart A—General Provisions Sec. 147.1 Purpose. 147.2 Application. 147.3 Definitions. 147.4 Notice. 147.5 Discrimination prohibited. 147.6 Electronic and information technology requirements. Subpart B—Complaint Procedures 147.7 Filing a Section 508 complaint. 147.8 Final agency action. Authority:

    22 U.S.C. 2651a; 29 U.S.C. 794, 794d; 36 CFR part 1194.

    Subpart A—General Provisions
    § 147.1 Purpose.

    The purpose of this part is to implement section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d), which requires that when Federal departments and agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, they shall ensure that the electronic and information technology is accessible to individuals with disabilities who are Federal employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public.

    § 147.2 Application.

    This part applies to all development, procurement, maintenance, and use of electronic and information technology (EIT), as defined in 36 CFR 1194.4.

    § 147.3 Definitions.

    This part incorporates the definitions in 36 CFR 1194.4. In addition, as used in this part:

    Department means the United States Department of State and any of its passport agencies or other facilities.

    Secretary means the Secretary of State or his or her designee.

    Section 508 means section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, codified at 29 U.S.C. 794d, Public Law 93-112, Title V, Section 508, as added Public Law 99-506, Title VI, Section 603(a), Oct. 21, 1986, 100 Stat. 1830, and amended Public Law 100-630, Title II, Section 206(f), Nov. 7, 1988, 102 Stat. 3312; Public Law 102-569, Title V, Section 509(a), Oct. 29, 1992, 106 Stat. 4430; Public Law 105-220, Title IV, Section 408(b), Aug. 7, 1998, 112 Stat.1203.

    § 147.4 Notice.

    (a) The Secretary shall ensure that employees, applicants for employment, and the members of the public are provided with adequate notice of the requirements of Section 508, the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards (36 CFR part 1194), and this part, as they relate to the programs or activities conducted by the Department.

    (b) The Secretary shall ensure that the home page of the Department's public-facing Web site provides Department policy regarding accessibility of EIT in accordance with Section 508 and 36 CFR part 1194, as well as an email address for the public to ask questions or express concerns.

    § 147.5 Discrimination prohibited.

    The Department must comply with EIT Accessibility Standards when it develops, procures, maintains, or uses EIT. The Department must ensure that individuals with disabilities who are Federal employees or members of the public have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to Federal employees or members of the public without disabilities, unless providing comparable access would impose an undue burden on the Department.

    § 147.6 Electronic and information technology requirements.

    (a) Development, procurement, maintenance, or use of EIT. When developing, procuring, maintaining, or using EIT, the Department shall ensure, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the Department, that the EIT allows, regardless of the type of medium of the technology, that—

    (1) Individuals with disabilities who are Department employees have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to and use of the information and data by Department employees who are not individuals with disabilities; and

    (2) Individuals with disabilities who are members of the public seeking information or services from the Department have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to and use of the information and data by such members of the public who are not individuals with disabilities.

    (b) In meeting its obligations under paragraph (a) of this section, the Department shall comply with the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards, 36 CFR part 1194.

    (c) Alternative means of access when undue burden is imposed. When development, procurement, maintenance, or use of EIT that meets the standards as provided in 36 CFR part 1194 would impose an undue burden, the Department shall provide individuals with disabilities covered by this section with the relevant information and data by an alternative means of access that allows the individual to use the information and data.

    (d) Procedures for determining undue burden. The Department procedures for finding that full compliance with 36 CFR part 1194 would impose an undue burden can be found at: http://www.state.gov/m/irm/impact/126338.htm.

    Subpart B—Complaint Procedures
    § 147.7 Filing a Section 508 complaint.

    (a) An individual with a disability who alleges that Department's EIT does not allow him or her to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to access and use by individuals without disabilities, or that the alternative means of access provided by the Department does not allow the individual to use the information and data, may file a complaint with the Department's Office of Civil Rights (S/OCR).

    (b) Employees, applicants for employment, or members of the general public are encouraged to contact personnel in the Department office that uses or maintains a system that is believed not to be compliant with Section 508 or 36 CFR part 1194 to attempt to have their issues addressed. Nothing in this complaint process is intended to prevent Department personnel from addressing any alleged compliance issues when made aware of such requests directly or indirectly.

    (c) A Section 508 complaint must be filed not later than 180 calendar days after the complainant knew, or should have known, of the alleged discrimination, unless the time for filing is extended by the Department. A Section 508 complaint must be submitted in writing by fax, email, mail, or hand delivery to the S/OCR office, using the Form DS-4282, Discrimination Complaint Form, which can be downloaded at: https://eforms.state.gov/searchform.aspx.

    (d) Once a Section 508 complaint has been received, S/OCR will conduct an investigation into the allegation(s) and render a decision as to whether a Section 508 violation has occurred. Within 180 days of the receipt of a complete complaint under this part, the Secretary shall notify the complainant of the results of the investigation in a letter containing—

    (1) Findings of fact and conclusions of law;

    (2) A description of a remedy for each violation found; and

    (3) A notice of the right to appeal.

    Upon request of the complainant, the decision will be provided in an alternate format, such as an electronic format, braille, or large print.

    (e) Appeals of the findings of fact and conclusions of law or remedies must be filed by the complainant within 90 days of receipt from the Department of the notice required by § 147.7(d). The Department may extend this time for good cause.

    (f) Timely appeals shall be accepted and processed by the Department.

    (g) The Secretary shall notify the complainant of the results of the appeal within 60 days of the receipt of the appeal. If the Secretary determines that additional information is needed from the complainant, the Secretary shall have 60 days from the date of receipt of the additional information to make his or her determination on the appeal.

    (h) Individuals who submit a complaint must keep S/OCR updated at all times with current contact information, to include address, phone number, and working email address. If the Department needs additional information and is unable, after reasonable attempts for 30 days, to contact a complainant using his or her contact information, it may consider the complaint abandoned, and may close the complaint without action. A complainant may re-submit a complaint that was closed due to the inability of the Department to contact the complainant.

    (i) A Department employee who receives a Section 508 complaint or a communication that raises an issue that might reasonably be considered a Section 508 complaint, should forward such communication to S/OCR.

    § 147.8 Final agency action.

    Either a decision by the Secretary on the merits of a complaint, or no notification in writing from the Secretary within 180 days of filing the complaint, will a constitute a final agency action and exhaustion of the complainant's administrative remedies for purposes of 5 U.S.C. 701, et seq.

    Dated: May 9, 2016. John M. Robinson, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12233 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Parts 14 and 20 RIN 2900-AP71 Mailing Address of the Board of Veterans' Appeals AGENCY:

    Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its regulations on representation of claimants and the Rules of Practice of the Board of Veterans' Appeals (Board) to update the Board's mailing address and titles of certain individuals and offices at the Board to whom mail is addressed. These amendments are necessary because of a mailing address change and to ensure that correct titles of certain individuals and offices at the Board are reflected in the regulations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This rule is effective May 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Donnie R. Hachey, Chief Counsel for Operations, Board of Veterans' Appeals (01C2), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 632-4603. (This is not a toll-free number.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Board is updating its mailing address because of new centralized mail procedures. This document amends 38 CFR parts 14 and 20 to update the Board's mailing address and titles of certain individuals and offices to whom mail is addressed. The purpose of these revisions is to ensure that the information contained in 38 CFR parts 14 and 20 is current and correct.

    The new centralized mail procedures are consistent with paperless VA claims and appeals processing. The purpose of these procedures is to increase efficiency of mail processing. Centralized mail processing allows Board staff to electronically review mail related to appeals and upload that mail to a Veteran's electronic claims file in the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS).

    Centralized mail processing allows for electronic processing of the Board's appeals-related mail. The Board also receives mail not intended to be associated with a Veteran's claims file for consideration in a specific case. For example, as indicated above, an individual seeking additional information regarding this rulemaking may contact the Board's Chief Counsel for Operations, via mail. The Board also distributes a Board of Veterans' Appeals Hearing Survey Card, VA Form 0745, which allows an appellant to provide anonymous feedback regarding his or her Board hearing. The Board Hearing Survey Card includes an attached Business Reply Mail envelope addressed to the Board. Additionally, the Board's incoming mail includes various periodicals.

    The Board is presently only utilizing centralized mail procedures to process mail related to appeals, which should be mailed to the Board's new post office box. Other types of mail should continue to be mailed to the Board at 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420. VA is amending 38 CFR 20.100(c), to distinguish between these two different mailing addresses for these two different types of mail.

    Administrative Procedure Act

    These changes to 38 CFR parts 14 and 20 are being published without regard to notice-and-comment procedures of 5 U.S.C. 553(b) because they involve only matters of agency organization, procedure, or practice, which are exempted from such procedures by virtue of 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A). Further, because these changes do not involve substantive rules, they are not subject to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553(d) providing for a 30-day delay in the effective date of substantive rules.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    Although this action contains provisions constituting collections of information at 38 CFR 20.608, 20.702, and 20.704, under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521), no new or proposed revised collections of information are associated with this final rule. The information collection requirements for §§ 20.608, 20.702, and 20.704 are currently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and have been assigned OMB control number 2900-0085.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612). This final rule will directly affect only individuals and will not directly affect small entities. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this rulemaking is exempt from the final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of section 604.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) defines a “significant regulatory action” requiring review by OMB, unless OMB waives such review, as “any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive Order.”

    The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this regulatory action have been examined, and it has been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. VA's impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's Web site at http://www.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for “VA Regulations Published From FY 2004 Through Fiscal Year to Date.”

    Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in an expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This final rule will have no such effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance program numbers and titles for this rule are 64.100, Automobiles and Adaptive Equipment for Certain Disabled Veterans and Members of the Armed Forces; 64.101, Burial Expenses Allowance for Veterans; 64.103, Life Insurance for Veterans; 64.104, Pension for Non-Service-Connected Disability for Veterans; 64.105, Pension to Veterans Surviving Spouses, and Children; 64.106, Specially Adapted Housing for Disabled Veterans; 64.109, Veterans Compensation for Service-Connected Disability; 64.110, Veterans Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for Service-Connected Death; 64.114, Veterans Housing-Guaranteed and Insured Loans; 64.115, Veterans Information and Assistance; 64.116,Vocational Rehabilitation for Disabled Veterans; 64.117, Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance; 64.118, Veterans Housing-Direct Loans for Certain Disabled Veterans; 64.119, Veterans Housing-Manufactured Home Loans; 64.120, Post-Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance; 64.124, All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance; 64.125, Vocational and Educational Counseling for Servicemembers and Veterans; 64.126, Native American Veteran Direct Loan Program; 64.127, Monthly Allowance for Children of Vietnam Veterans Born with Spina Bifida; and 64.128, Vocational Training and Rehabilitation for Vietnam Veterans' Children with Spina Bifida or Other Covered Birth Defects.

    Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Robert D. Snyder, Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on March 31, 2016, for publication.

    List of Subjects 38 CFR Part 14

    Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Courts, Foreign relations, Government employees, Lawyers, Legal services, Organization and functions (Government agencies), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Surety bonds, Trusts and trustees, Veterans.

    38 CFR Part 20

    Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Veterans.

    Dated: May 18, 2016. Michael Shores, Acting Director, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, VA amends 38 CFR parts 14 and 20 as follows:

    PART 14—LEGAL SERVICES, GENERAL COUNSEL, AND MISCELLANEOUS CLAIMS 1. The authority citation for part 14 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; 28 U.S.C. 2671-2680; 38 U.S.C. 501(a), 512, 515, 5502, 5901-5905; 28 CFR part 14, appendix to part 14, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 14.629 by revising the eighth sentence of paragraph (c)(3) to read as follows:
    § 14.629 Requirements for accreditation of service organization representatives; agents; and attorneys.

    (c) * * *

    (3) * * * In the case of appeals before the Board in Washington, DC, the signed consent must be submitted to: Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038. * * *

    PART 20—BOARD OF VETERANS' APPEALS: RULES OF PRACTICE 3. The authority citation for part 20 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    38 U.S.C. 501(a) and as noted in specific sections.

    Subpart B—The Board 4. Amend § 20.100 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 20.100 Rule 100. Name, business hours, and mailing address of the Board.

    (c) Mailing Address. Except as otherwise noted in these Rules, appeals-related mail to the Board must be addressed to: Chairman (01), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038. Mail to the Board that is not related to an appeal must be addressed to: Board of Veterans' Appeals, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420.

    Subpart C—Commencement and Perfection of Appeal 5. Amend § 20.204 by revising the second sentence of paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:
    § 20.204 Rule 204. Withdrawal of Appeal.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * * Thereafter, file the withdrawal at the following address: Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038.

    Subpart G—Representation 6. Amend § 20.608 by revising the fifth sentence of paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:
    § 20.608 Rule 608. Withdrawal of services by a representative.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * * Such motions must be filed at the following address: Office of the Principal Deputy Vice Chairman (01C), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038. * * *

    Subpart H—Hearings on Appeal 7. Amend § 20.702 by: a. Revising the fourth sentence of paragraph (c)(1). b. Revising the eighth sentence of paragraph (c)(2). c. Revising the fourth sentence of paragraph (d). d. Revising the third sentence of paragraph (e).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 20.702 Rule 702. Scheduling and notice of hearings conducted by the Board of Veterans' Appeals in Washington, DC.

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * * In the case of hearings to be conducted by the Board of Veterans' Appeals in Washington, DC, such requests for a new hearing date must be filed with: Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038.

    (2) * * * In the case of hearings to be conducted by the Board of Veterans' Appeals in Washington, DC, the motion for a new hearing date must be filed with: Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038.

    (d) * * * In the case of hearings to be conducted by the Board of Veterans' Appeals in Washington, DC, the motion must be filed with: Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038. * * *

    (e) * * * In the case of hearings to be conducted by the Board of Veterans' Appeals in Washington, DC, the notice of withdrawal must be sent to: Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038.

    8. Amend § 20.704 by revising the fourth sentence of paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 20.704 Rule 704. Scheduling and notice of hearings conducted by the Board of Veterans' Appeals at Department of Veterans Affairs field facilities.

    (d) * * * Such motions must be filed with: Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038. * * *

    9. Amend § 20.708 by revising the second sentence to read as follows:
    § 20.708 Rule 708. Prehearing conference.

    * * * With respect to hearings to be held before the Board at Washington, DC, arrangements for a prehearing conference must be made through: Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038. * * *

    10. Amend § 20.711 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 20.711 Rule 711. Subpoenas.

    (c) Where filed. Motions for a subpoena must be filed with the Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038.

    11. Amend § 20.714 by revising the fourth sentence in the parenthetical in paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    § 20.714 Rule 714. Record of hearing.

    (a) * * *

    (1) * * * They must be filed with: Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038.)

    12. Amend § 20.715 by revising the fifth sentence to read as follows:
    § 20.715 Rule 715. Recording of hearing by appellant or representative.

    * * * In the case of hearings held before the Board of Veterans' Appeals in Washington, DC, arrangements must be made with the Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038.

    13. Amend § 20.716 by revising the fifth sentence to read as follows:
    § 20.716 Rule 716. Correction of hearing transcripts.

    * * * In the case of hearings held before the Board of Veterans' Appeals, whether in Washington, DC, or in the field, the motion must be filed with the Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038. * * *

    14. Amend § 20.717 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 20.717 Rule 717. Loss of hearing tapes or transcripts—motion for new hearing.

    (c) Where motion for a new hearing is filed. In the case of hearings held before the Board of Veterans' Appeals, whether in Washington, DC, or in the field, the motion must be filed with: Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038.

    Subpart J—Action by the Board 15. Amend § 20.900 by revising the second sentence of paragraph (c)(2) to read as follows:
    § 20.900 Rule 900. Order of consideration of appeals.

    (c) * * *

    (2) * * * The motion must be filed with: Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038.

    Subpart K—Reconsideration 16. Amend § 20.1001 by revising the second sentence of paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 20.1001 Rule 1001. Filing and disposition of motion for reconsideration.

    (b) * * * Such motions must be filed at the following address: Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038.

    Subpart N—Miscellaneous 17. Amend § 20.1301 by revising the tenth sentence of paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:
    § 20.1301 Rule 1301. Disclosure of information.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * * These requests must be directed to the Research Center (01C1), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038.

    18. Amend § 20.1304 by revising the fourth sentence of paragraph (b)(1) to read as follows:
    § 20.1304 Rule 1304. Request for change in representation, request for personal hearing, or submission of additional evidence following certification of an appeal to the Board of Veterans' Appeals.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * * Such motions must be filed at the following address: Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038. * * *

    Subpart O—Revision of Decisions on Grounds of Clear and Unmistakable Error 19. Amend § 20.1404 by revising the second sentence of paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 20.1404 Rule 1404. Filing and pleading requirements; withdrawal.

    (c) * * * Such motions should be filed at the following address: Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038.

    20. Amend § 20.1405 by revising paragraph (c)(2) to read as follows:
    § 20.1405 Rule 1405. Disposition.

    (c) * * *

    (2) Submission of requests. Requests for such a hearing shall be submitted to the following address: Director, Office of Management, Planning and Analysis (014), Board of Veterans' Appeals, P.O. Box 27063, Washington, DC 20038.

    [FR Doc. 2016-12111 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0151; FRL-9946-82-Region 4] Air Quality Plan Approval; South Carolina; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to approve the portions of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission, submitted by the State of South Carolina, through the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC), on May 8, 2014, for inclusion into the South Carolina SIP. This final action pertains to the infrastructure requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) for the 2010 1-hour sulfur dioxide (SO2) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, which is commonly referred to as an “infrastructure SIP submission.” SC DHEC certified that the South Carolina SIP contains provisions that ensure the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS is implemented, enforced, and maintained in South Carolina. EPA has determined that portions of South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission, provided to EPA on May 8, 2014, satisfy certain required infrastructure elements for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    This rule will be effective June 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0151. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michele Notarianni, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Notarianni can be reached via electronic mail at [email protected] or via telephone at (404) 562-9031.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background and Overview

    On June 22, 2010 (75 FR 35520), EPA revised the primary SO2 NAAQS to an hourly standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb) based on a 3-year average of the annual 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations. Pursuant to section 110(a)(1) of the CAA, states are required to submit SIPs meeting the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2) within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a)(2) requires states to address basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. States were required to submit such SIPs for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS to EPA no later than June 2, 2013.1

    1 Today, EPA is providing clarification for an inadvertent typographical error that was included in the March 7, 2016, proposed rulemaking, for this final action. In the March 7, 2016, proposed rulemaking it was stated that the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS infrastructure SIPs were due no later than June 22, 2013. The 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS infrastructure SIPs were actually due to EPA from states no later than June 2, 2013.

    In a proposed rulemaking published on March 7, 2016 (81 FR 11717), EPA proposed to approve portions of South Carolina's 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS infrastructure SIP submission submitted on May 8, 2014. The details of South Carolina's submission and the rationale for EPA's actions are explained in the proposed rulemaking. Comments on the proposed rulemaking were due on or before April 6, 2016. EPA received no adverse comments on the proposed action.

    II. Final Action

    With the exception of interstate transport provisions pertaining to the contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states and visibility protection requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1, 2, and 4), EPA is taking final action to approve South Carolina 's infrastructure submission submitted on May 8, 2014, for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. EPA is taking final action to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS because the submission is consistent with section 110 of the CAA.

    III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this action for the state of South Carolina does not have Tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). The Catawba Indian Nation Reservation is located within the State of South Carolina. Pursuant to the Catawba Indian Claims Settlement Act, South Carolina statute 27-16-120, “all state and local environmental laws and regulations apply to the [Catawba Indian Nation] and Reservation and are fully enforceable by all relevant state and local agencies and authorities.” However, EPA has determined that this rule does not have substantial direct effects on an Indian Tribe because this action is not approving any specific rule, but rather approving that South Carolina's already approved SIP meets certain CAA requirements. EPA notes this action will not impose substantial direct costs on Tribal governments or preempt Tribal law.

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by July 25, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Sulfur dioxide.

    Dated: May 12, 2016. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart PP—South Carolina 2. Section 52.2120(e), is amended by adding a new entry “110(a)(1) and (2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS” at the end of the table to read as follows:
    § 52.2120 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved South Carolina Non-Regulatory Provisions Provision State effective date EPA approval date Explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         *          110(a)(1) and (2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS 5/8/2014 5/24/2016 [Insert Federal Register citation] With the exception of interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1, 2, and 4).
    [FR Doc. 2016-12112 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0518; FRL-9946-76-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; North Carolina; Regional Haze AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing approval of a revision to North Carolina's regional haze State Implementation Plan (SIP), submitted by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (formerly known as the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NC DENR)) on October 31, 2014, that relies on an alternative to Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) to satisfy BART requirements for electric generating units (EGUs) formerly subject to the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). EPA is also finalizing its determination that final approval of this SIP revision corrects the deficiencies that led to EPA's limited disapproval of the State's regional haze SIP on June 7, 2012, and is converting EPA's June 27, 2012, limited approval to a full approval. This submittal addresses the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) and EPA's rules that require states to prevent any future, and remedy any existing, manmade impairment of visibility in mandatory Class I areas caused by emissions of air pollutants from numerous sources located over a wide geographic area (also referred to as the regional haze program). States are required to assure reasonable progress toward the national goal of achieving natural visibility conditions in Class I areas.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective June 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for these actions under Docket Identification No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0518. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michele Notarianni, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Notarianni can be reached via electronic mail at [email protected] or via telephone at (404) 562-9031.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background and Overview

    Regional haze is visibility impairment that is produced by a multitude of sources and activities which are located across a broad geographic area and emit fine particles (e.g., sulfates, nitrates, organic carbon, elemental carbon, and soil dust) and their precursors (e.g., sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), and in some cases, ammonia and volatile organic compounds). In section 169A of the 1977 Amendments to the CAA, Congress created a program for protecting visibility in the nation's national parks and wilderness areas. In the 1990 CAA Amendments, Congress amended the visibility provisions in the CAA to focus attention on the problem of regional haze.

    In 1999, EPA promulgated the regional haze rule (RHR), which requires states to develop and implement SIPs to ensure reasonable progress toward improving visibility in Class I areas by reducing emissions that cause or contribute to regional haze. See 64 FR 35713 (July 1, 1999). The RHR requires each state, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands to each submit a regional haze SIP no later than December 17, 2007. Under 40 CFR 51.308(e), the SIP must contain emission limitations representing BART and schedules for compliance with BART for each BART-eligible source, unless the SIP demonstrates that an emissions trading program or other alternative (BART Alternative) will achieve greater reasonable progress toward natural visibility conditions than would have resulted from the installation and operation of BART at all sources subject to BART and covered by the BART Alternative. An approvable BART Alternative must meet the criteria in 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2).

    North Carolina submitted its regional haze SIP on December 17, 2007, the regional haze SIP submittal deadline. Fully consistent with EPA's regulations at the time, the SIP relied on CAIR to satisfy NOX and SO2 BART requirements for CAIR-subject EGUs in the State and to partially satisfy the requirement for a long-term strategy sufficient to achieve the State-adopted reasonable progress goals. EPA finalized a limited disapproval of North Carolina's regional haze SIP on June 7, 2012 (77 FR 33642), triggering the requirement for EPA to promulgate a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) unless EPA approves a SIP revision that corrects the deficiency. EPA finalized a limited approval of North Carolina's regional haze SIP on June 27, 2012 (77 FR 38185), as meeting the remaining applicable regional haze requirements set forth in the CAA and the RHR. On October 31, 2014, NC DENR submitted a revision to North Carolina's regional haze SIP to correct the deficiencies identified in the June 7, 2012, limited disapproval by replacing reliance on CAIR with reliance on a BART Alternative to satisfy NOX and SO2 BART requirements for EGUs formerly subject to CAIR.

    In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published on April 5, 2016 (81 FR 19519), EPA proposed to approve North Carolina's October 31, 2014, BART Alternative regional haze SIP revision; to determine that final approval of the SIP revision would correct the deficiencies that led to EPA's limited disapproval of the State's regional haze SIP; and to convert EPA's limited approval of the State's regional haze SIP to a full approval, thereby eliminating the need for EPA to issue a FIP to remedy the deficiencies. The details of North Carolina's submission and the rationale for EPA's actions are explained in the NPRM. Comments on the proposed rulemaking were due on or before April 26, 2016.

    EPA received one set of comments supporting the proposed actions and no adverse comments. The supporting comments were provided by Duke Energy. Table 1 in EPA's NPRM indicates that Units 5-9 at Duke Energy's Buck power plant were converted from coal to natural gas. See 81 FR 19521 (April 5, 2016). Duke Energy's supporting comments clarify that these five EGUs were retired from operation in 2011 and 2012 and that the units have been replaced by two new natural gas-fired combined cycle turbines equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction for NOX control. This clarification does not impact EPA's conclusions because it does not alter the analysis supporting the BART Alternative.

    II. Final Actions

    EPA is finalizing approval of North Carolina's October 31, 2014, regional haze SIP revision because EPA has determined that the BART Alternative contained therein meets the requirements of 40 CFR 51.308(e)(2). EPA is also converting EPA's June 27, 2012, limited approval of North Carolina's regional haze SIP to a full approval because EPA finds that final approval of the State's October 31, 2014, regional haze SIP revision corrects the deficiencies that led to EPA's limited disapproval of the State's regional haze SIP.

    III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of these actions must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by July 25, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of these actions for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. These actions may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: May 12, 2016. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart II—North Carolina
    2. Section 52.1770(e), is amended by adding an entry for “BART Alternative Plan” at the end of the table to read as follows:
    § 52.1770 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved North Carolina Non-Regulatory Provisions Provision State effective date EPA Approval date Federal Register citation Explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * BART Alternative Plan 10/31/2014 5/24/2016 [Insert Federal Register citation] This plan modifies the Regional Haze Plan approved with a state effective date of 11/17/2007 (see above) and converts the June 27, 2012, limited approval to a full approval.
    § 52.1776 [Removed and Reserved]
    3. Section 52.1776 is removed and reserved.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12096 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Office for Civil Rights 42 CFR Part 3 Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005—HHS Guidance Regarding Patient Safety Work Product and Providers' External Obligations AGENCY:

    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Guidance on Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005.

    SUMMARY:

    This guidance sets forth guidance for patient safety organizations (PSOs) and providers regarding questions that have arisen about the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, 42 U.S.C. 299b-21—b-26 (Patient Safety Act), and its implementing regulation, the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Final Rule, 42 CFR part 3 (Patient Safety Rule). In particular, this Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005—Guidance Regarding Patient Safety Work Product and Providers' External Obligations (Guidance) is intended to clarify what information that a provider creates or assembles can become patient safety work product (PSWP) in response to recurring questions. This Guidance also clarifies how providers can satisfy external obligations related to information collection activities consistent with the Patient Safety Act and Patient Safety Rule.

    DATES:

    The Guidance is effective on May 24, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Guidance can be accessed electronically at the following HHS Web site: http://www.pso.ahrq.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susan Grinder, Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, AHRQ, 5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop 06N100B, Rockville, MD 20857; Telephone (301) 427-1327; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    HHS issued the Patient Safety Rule to implement the Patient Safety Act. AHRQ administers the provisions of the Act and Rule relating to the listing and operation of PSOs. OCR, within HHS, is responsible for interpretation, administration and enforcement of the confidentiality protections and disclosure permissions of the Patient Safety Act and Patient Safety Rule.

    HHS Approach to Patient Safety Act Interpretation

    The Patient Safety Act is part of a larger framework envisioned by the Institute of Medicine and designed to balance two goals: 1) To improve patient safety and reduce medical errors by creating a “culture of safety” to share and learn from information related to patient safety events, and 2) to promote health care providers' accountability and transparency through mechanisms such as oversight by regulatory agencies and adjudication in the legal system. As discussed in “To Err Is Human,” in respect to reporting systems, “they can hold providers accountable for performance or, alternatively, they can provide information that leads to improved safety. Conceptually, these purposes are not incompatible, but in reality, they can prove difficult to satisfy simultaneously.” 1

    1 Institute of Medicine, “To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System”, 1999, page 86.

    The Patient Safety Act promotes the goal of improving patient safety and reducing medical errors by establishing a system in which health care providers can voluntarily collect and report information related to patient safety, health care quality, and health care outcomes to PSOs. The PSOs aggregate and analyze this information and give feedback to the providers to encourage learning and prevent future errors. The providers are motivated to report such information to PSOs because the Patient Safety Act provides broad privilege and confidentiality protections for information meeting the definition of PSWP, which alleviates concerns about such information being used against a provider, such as in litigation.

    At the same time, providers are subject to legitimate external obligations regarding certain records about patient safety to ensure their accountability and transparency. For example, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Condition of Participation (CoP) for Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement require hospitals to track adverse patient events.2 State health care regulatory agencies typically have their own separate requirements for different types of providers, with more than half of the states operating adverse event reporting systems.3 The legal system provides another course to pursue accountability for medical errors. If a patient is injured while under a provider's care, the tort system offers an avenue to compensate the patient for his injury. However, while a successful medical malpractice claim may help compensate one patient for his specific injury, the general threat of litigation provides a disincentive to providers from voluntarily sharing information about their mistakes.

    2 42 CFR 482.21(a)(2).

    3 As of November 2014, 26 states and the District of Columbia had adverse event reporting systems, and Texas began implementing a system in January 2015. National Academy for State Health Policy, “2014 Guide to State Adverse Event Reporting Systems”, 2015, page 4. For example, Pennsylvania hospitals, ambulatory surgical facilities, birthing centers, nursing homes, and other facilities are required by various state laws to submit reports on “serious events” and “incidents” to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System (“PA-PSRS”). Information submitted to PA-PSRS is confidential under state law. Patient Safety Authority, Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System: PA-PSRS (Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System), http://patientsafetyauthority.org/PA-PSRS/Pages/PAPSRS.aspx (last accessed Mar. 4, 2016). In Maine, “healthcare facilities,” which includes hospitals, ambulatory surgical facilities, end-stage renal disease facilities, and intermediate care facilities for individuals who are intellectually disabled, are required to report “sentinel events” and root cause analyses of sentinel events to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. The healthcare facilities may also voluntarily self-report “near miss events.” Under state law, the reported information is confidential and privileged. See 10-144 C.M.R. Ch 114, Rules Governing the Reporting of Sentinel Events. In addition or alternative to reporting requirements, some states require providers to maintain certain information. For example, Delaware requires certain facilities that perform invasive medical procedures to report adverse events to the Department of Health and Social Services within 48 business hours of the occurrence and also keep the adverse event reports “on file at the facility for a minimum of five years.” CDR 16-4000-4408 Sections 4.3, 4.4. In Kentucky, hospitals are required to “establish[], maintain[], and utilize[]” administrative reports, including incident investigation reports, “to guide the operation, measure productivity, and reflect the programs of the facility.” 902 KAR 20:016 Section 3(3)(a).

    The intent of the system established by the Patient Safety Act is to protect the additional information created through voluntary patient safety activities, not to protect records created through providers' mandatory information collection activities.4 For example, a provider may have an external obligation to maintain certain records about serious adverse events that result in patient harm. The document the provider prepares to meet its requirement about such adverse events is not PSWP. As such, the Patient Safety Act recognizes the goal of accountability and transparency, and it attempts to balance this goal with that of improving patient safety and reducing medical errors. While Congress was aware of the chilling effect the fear of being sued had on providers, the Patient Safety Act was not designed to prevent patients who believed they were harmed from obtaining the records about their care that they were able to obtain prior to the enactment of the Patient Safety Act.5 Nor was the Patient Safety Act intended to insulate providers from demonstrating accountability through fulfilling their external obligations.6 Therefore, when interpreting the Patient Safety Act and Patient Safety Rule, HHS does so with the objective of maintaining balance between these two policy goals, consistent with the intent of the Patient Safety Act.

    4See e.g., 42 U.S.C. 299b-21(7)(B)(iii)(II), (III); 42 U.S.C. 299b-22(g)(2), (5) (generally providing that the Patient Safety Act does not affect or limit providers' obligations to record or report information that is not PSWP to Federal, state, or local governmental agencies).

    5 “It is not the intent of this legislation to establish a legal shield for information that is already currently collected or maintained separate from the new patient safety process, such as a patient's medical record. That is, information which is currently available to plaintiffs' attorneys or others will remain available just as it is today.” 151 Cong. Rec. S8741 (daily ed. Jul. 22, 2005) (statement of Mr. Enzi, then chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee). “Nor does this bill alter any existing rights or remedies available to injured patients. The bottom line is that this legislation neither strengthens nor weakens the existing system of tort and liability law.” Id. (statement of Mr. Jeffords, who reintroduced S. 544, the bill that became the Patient Safety Act).

    6 “This legislation does nothing to reduce or affect other Federal, State or local legal requirements pertaining to health related information.” Id. (statement of Mr. Jeffords).

    How Information Becomes PSWP

    Both the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and the Preamble to the Patient Safety Rule (Preamble) discuss the definition of PSWP and provide examples of what information would and would not meet the definition.7 Because there continues to be confusion about this definition, the prior discussion will be reiterated and further clarified here. The definition of PSWP sets forth three basic ways that certain information can become PSWP: (1) The information is prepared by a provider for reporting to a PSO and it is reported to the PSO, (2) the information is developed by a PSO for the conduct of patient safety activities,8 or, (3) the information identifies or constitutes the deliberations or analysis of, or identifies the fact of reporting pursuant to, a patient safety evaluation system (PSES).9 The first way—sometimes referred to as the “reporting pathway”—is how providers generally create most of their PSWP. According to the Patient Safety Act, in order for information to become PSWP through the reporting pathway, it must be information that could improve patient safety, health care quality, or health care outcomes and be assembled or developed by a provider for reporting to a PSO and be reported to a PSO. Another way of saying that the information is assembled or developed for reporting to a PSO is that the information is prepared for the purpose of reporting it to the PSO.10 Under the Patient Safety Rule, the reporting pathway allows for information that is documented as collected within the provider's PSES to be PSWP and thus privileged and confidential before it is reported to a PSO. As explained in the Preamble, this interpretation addresses the concerns of significant administrative burden and an indiscriminate race to report information to the PSO if information only became protected after it was reported to a PSO.11 Nevertheless, a provider should only place information in its PSES if it intends to report that information to the PSO.12

    7 73 FR 8120-24, Oct. 5, 2007; 73 FR 70739-44, Nov. 21, 2008.

    8 This guidance does not otherwise address the creation of PSWP through development by a PSO. Because external regulatory and oversight reporting obligations are requirements of providers, this guidance does not apply to information developed by a PSO for the conduct of patient safety activities.

    9 42 U.S.C. 299b-21(7)(A); 42 CFR 3.20 (paragraph (1) of the definition of PSWP). Patient safety evaluation system “means the collection, management, or analysis of information for reporting to or by a PSO.” 42 U.S.C. 299b-21(6); 42 CFR 3.20.

    10See 73 FR 70739, Nov. 21, 2008 (“information may become patient safety work product if it is assembled or developed by a provider for the purpose of reporting to a PSO and is reported to a PSO”).

    11See 73 FR 70741-42, Nov. 21, 2008.

    12Id. (“We note, however, that a provider should not place information into its patient safety evaluation system unless it intends for that information to be reported to the PSO.”).

    Information That Is Not PSWP

    The definition of PSWP also describes information that is not PSWP. Specifically excluded from the definition of PSWP is, “a patient's medical record, billing and discharge information, or any other original patient or provider information.” 13 The Patient Safety Act and Rule also exclude from the PSWP definition “information that is collected, maintained, or developed separately, or exists separately, from a patient safety evaluation system.” 14 Put another way, information prepared for purposes other than reporting to a PSO is not PSWP under the reporting pathway.15

    13 42 CFR 3.20 (paragraph (2)(i) of the PSWP definition). The Patient Safety Act, at U.S.C. 299b-21(7)(B)(i), refers to “original patient or provider record[s],” but the use of “original patient or provider information” in the regulation is intended to be synonymous with the use of “original patient or provider record” in the statute.

    14 42 U.S.C. 299b-21(7)(B)(ii); 42 CFR 3.20 (paragraph (2)(i) of the PSWP definition).

    15See 73 FR 70740, Nov. 21, 2008 (“Patient safety work product does not include information that is collected, maintained, or developed separately or exists separately from, a patient safety evaluation system. This distinction is made because these and similar records must be maintained by providers for other purposes.”).

    Within the category of information prepared for a purpose other than reporting to a PSO, information that is prepared for external obligations has generated many questions. External obligations include, but are not limited to, mandatory requirements placed upon providers by Federal and state health regulatory agencies.16 Both the NPRM and Preamble clearly state that PSWP cannot be used to satisfy such external obligations. “As the Patient Safety Act states more than once, these external obligations must be met with information that is not patient safety work product, and, in accordance with the confidentiality provisions, patient safety work product cannot be disclosed for these purposes.” 17 In the Preamble, HHS repeatedly stated that PSWP cannot be used to fulfill external obligations.18

    16 Some examples of external obligations include: state incident reporting, adverse drug event reporting to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), certification or licensing recordkeeping, reporting to the National Practitioner Data Bank, and disclosing information to comply with CMS' CoPs or conditions for coverage. 73 FR 8123, Oct. 5, 2007.

    17 73 FR 8123, Oct. 5, 2007.

    18See e.g., 73 FR 70740, Nov. 21, 2008 (“. . . external reporting obligations as well as voluntary reporting activities that occur for the purpose of maintaining accountability in the health care system cannot be satisfied with patient safety work product.”), 70742 (“These external obligations must be met with information that is not patient safety work product and oversight entities continue to have access to this original information in the same manner as such entities have had access prior to the passage of the Patient Safety Act.”), 70743 (“The final rule is clear that providers must comply with applicable regulatory requirements and that the protection of information as patient safety work product does not relieve a provider of any obligation to maintain information separately.”).

    Purpose for Which the Information Was Assembled or Developed

    As such, uncovering the purpose for which information is prepared can be a critical factor in determining whether the information is PSWP. Since some types of information can be PSWP or not depending upon why the information was assembled or developed, it is important for providers to be aware of whether information is prepared for reporting to a PSO. The chart below includes some examples.

    19See CMS Pub. 100-07, State Operations Manual, Appendix A, Transmittal 37, page 275 (Oct. 17, 2008) (in providing interpretative guidance on compliance with 42 CFR 482.41(c)(2), stating that survey procedures include reviewing maintenance logs for significant medical equipment).

    20 As an example, 42 U.S.C. 1395cc(a)(1)(I)(iii) requires hospitals to maintain an on-call list of physicians available to provide treatment related to individuals with emergency medical conditions.

    21 Of note, while a written report of the patient safety incident prepared for reporting to a PSO may be PSWP, individuals who witnessed the event could still potentially disclose or testify about what they observed.

    22 There are various requirements regarding what information is required to be in the medical record. For example, CMS' Hospital CoP for medical record services includes that a hospital's medical record, “must contain information to justify admission and continued hospitalization, support the diagnosis, and describe the patient's progress and response to medication and services.” 42 CFR 482.24(c).

    Type of information Not PSWP if prepared . . . Could be PSWP if information is not required for another purpose and is prepared solely for reporting to a PSO, for example . . . Information related to the functioning of medical equipment For upkeep of equipment (e.g., original equipment maintenance logs), to maintain a warranty, or for an external obligation (e.g., CMS requires some equipment logs 19) Following a patient incident, a provider develops information about possible equipment malfunctions for reporting to a PSO. The PSO can aggregate it with other rare events from other reporting providers to identify risks and hazards. A list of provider staff who were present at the time a patient incident occurred To ensure appropriate levels of clinician availability (e.g., routine personnel schedules), or for compliance purposes 20 Following the incident, a provider originally assembles the list for reporting to a PSO so the PSO can analyze the levels and types of staff involved in medication errors. Written reports 21 of witness accounts of what they observed at the time of a patient incident For internal risk management (claims and liability purposes) The provider originally prepares the written reports for reporting to the PSO so that the richness of the narrative can be mined for contributing factors. Information related to care or treatment provided to the patient As part of the patient's original medical record 22 The provider documents all patient allergic reactions in the medical record then prepares a list of patients that have exhibited the reaction to determine if newly-instituted procedures for reducing risk were followed specifically for the PSO. The list of patients exhibiting the reaction prepared for reporting to the PSO could be PSWP, but the original patient medical records would not. Meeting External Obligations The Patient Safety Act Does Not Relieve a Provider From Its External Obligations

    As discussed above, the Patient Safety Act does not permit providers to use the privilege and confidentiality protections for PSWP to shield records required by external recordkeeping or reporting requirements. To this end, the Patient Safety Act specifically states that it shall not limit the reporting of non-PSWP “to a Federal, State, or local governmental agency for public health surveillance, investigation, or other public health purposes or health oversight purposes” or a provider's recordkeeping obligations under Federal, State, or local law.23 It further reinforces that the statute shall not be construed “to limit, alter or affect the requirements of Federal, State, or local law pertaining to information that is not” PSWP or “as preempting or otherwise affecting any State law requiring a provider to report information that is not” PSWP.24 The NPRM explains that “the statute is quite specific that these protections do not relieve a provider from its obligation to comply with other legal, regulatory, accreditation, licensure, or other accountability requirements that it would otherwise need to meet.”  25 It adds that the protected system established by the Patient Safety Act, “resides alongside but does not replace other information collection activities mandated by laws, regulations, and accrediting and licensing requirements as well as voluntary reporting activities that occur for the purpose of maintaining accountability in the health care system.” 26 As further stated in the Preamble, “nothing in the final rule or the statute relieves a provider from his or her obligation to disclose information from such original records or other information that is not patient safety work product to comply with state reporting or other laws.” 27

    23 42 U.S.C. 299b-21(7)(B)(iii).

    24 42 U.S.C. 299b-22(g).

    25 73 FR 8124, Oct. 5, 2007.

    26Id.

    27 73 FR 70786, Nov. 21, 2008.

    HHS reiterates that any external reporting or recordkeeping obligations—whether they require a provider to report certain information, maintain specific records, or operate a separate system—cannot be met with PSWP. We also clarify that any information that is prepared to meet any Federal, state, or local health oversight agency requirements is not PSWP. As discussed above, the Patient Safety Act was intended to spur the development of additional information created through voluntary patient safety activities and to provide privilege and confidentiality protections for such new information. It was not intended to protect records generated or maintained as part of providers' existing mandatory information collection activities.28 As stated in the Preamble, “The Department does not believe that the patient safety evaluation system enables providers to avoid transparency. . . . [T]he Patient Safety Act and the final rule have carefully assured that information generally available today remains available, such as medical records, original provider documents, and business records.” 29

    28See 73 FR 70742, Nov. 21, 2008 (“Even when laws or regulations require the reporting of information regarding the type of events also reported to PSOs, the Patient Safety Act does not shield providers from their obligation to comply with such requirements.”).

    29 73 FR 70739, Nov. 21, 2008.

    HHS believes that most providers that engage with a PSO are doing so to further learning about patient safety and health care quality, consistent with the intent of the Patient Safety Act. Nevertheless, we are concerned about two ways that some providers may be attempting to misuse the Patient Safety Act protections to avoid their external obligations—in particular, to circumvent Federal or state regulatory obligations. First, some providers with recordkeeping or record maintenance requirements appear to be maintaining the required records only in their PSES and then refusing to disclose the records, asserting that the records in their PSES fulfill the applicable regulatory requirements while at the same time maintaining that the records are privileged and confidential PSWP. Second, some providers appear to develop records to meet external obligations outside of the PSES, place a duplicate copy of the required record into the PSES, then destroy the original outside of the PSES and refuse to disclose the remaining copy of the information, asserting that the copy is confidential and privileged PSWP. The Patient Safety Act was not intended to give providers such methods to evade their regulatory obligations. Here, we clarify HHS' interpretation of how the Patient Safety Act prohibits providers from using the PSES to protect from disclosure records subject to such external obligations.

    Original Patient and Provider Records

    As stated in the Patient Safety Act and Patient Safety Rule, original patient and provider records, such as a patient's medical record, billing information, and discharge information, are not PSWP.30 We now provide further clarification regarding what constitutes other types of original provider records. HHS interprets “original provider records” to include: (1) Original records (e.g., reports or documents) that are required of a provider to meet any Federal, state, or local public health or health oversight requirement regardless of whether such records are maintained inside or outside of the provider's PSES; and (2) copies of records residing within the provider's PSES that were prepared to satisfy a Federal, state, or local public health or health oversight record maintenance requirement, if while the provider is obligated to maintain such information, the information is only maintained by the provider within the PSES (e.g., if the records or documents that were being maintained outside the PSES to fulfill the external obligation were lost or destroyed).31 This interpretation is consistent with Congressional intent in enacting the Patient Safety Act, the text of the statute and the regulation, and HHS' prior interpretation found in the NPRM and Preamble, all discussed above, supporting that the Patient Safety Act does not allow providers to be shielded from their external obligations.32

    30 42 U.S.C. 299b-21(7)(B)(i).

    31 If an original provider record is destroyed and the same information is maintained within the PSES, a provider may remove the original record from the PSES for the purpose of maintaining the information outside of the PSES.

    32 This interpretation of “original provider records” has developed, in part, due to new information about some providers' apparent attempts to avoid compliance with their external obligations, as discussed above, which has come to the attention of HHS since we initially developed the Patient Safety Act's implementing regulation. While broadly consistent with prior HHS interpretation that the Patient Safety Act does not provide a way for providers to evade their external obligations, HHS acknowledges that one aspect of this interpretation is different from that previously expressed, with respect to whether copies of non-PSWP in the PSES remain privileged and confidential PSWP if the original provider record outside of the PSES is unavailable. See e.g., 73 FR 8124, Oct. 5, 2007 (indicating a copy in the PSES is protected and may not be disclosed when the original record outside of the PSES is unavailable).

    To further illustrate what information HHS would consider to be original provider records versus information that could be eligible to be PSWP, consider the following hypothetical examples in scenarios where a provider maintains specific forms regarding adverse events in order to satisfy a federal or state law obligation.

    1. The provider only maintains the forms outside of the PSES: The forms are not PSWP. They are not PSWP both because they are an original provider record and because they are maintained separately from the PSES.

    2. The provider maintains the original forms outside of the PSES and places duplicate copies in the PSES for reporting to the PSO, so that further analysis using information in the forms can be conducted: The forms outside of the PSES are not PSWP, for the reasons indicated above. The copies in the PSES would be PSWP, provided that: (1) The information otherwise meets the definition of PSWP and (2) the original forms continue to be maintained by the provider outside of the PSES.33 If, while the provider is required to maintain the forms, the forms outside of the PSES become unavailable (e.g., they are lost or destroyed), the duplicate copies of the forms in the provider's PSES will be “original provider records” that are no longer privileged and confidential PSWP so long as no duplicate copies of the forms are maintained outside of the PSES by the provider.34

    33See 73 FR 70743, Nov. 21, 2008 (“Because information contained in these original records may be valuable to the analysis of a patient safety event, the important information must be allowed to be incorporated into the patient safety work product. However, the original information must be kept and maintained separately to preserve the original records for their intended purposes.”).

    34 The circumstances in which information from a provider's PSES would not be protected as PSWP in this example are consistent with the statute's text that states a PSO shall not be compelled to disclose information—unless such information is: Identified, not PSWP, and not reasonably available from another source. See 42 U.S.C. 299b-22(d)(4)(A)(i).

    3. The provider only maintains the original forms in the PSES: The forms are original provider records and not privileged and confidential PSWP. We note that it would be improper to maintain records collected for external reporting purposes solely within a PSES because this scenario would be a misuse of a PSES.

    4. The provider maintains the forms outside of the PSES and within the PSES extracts information from the forms to conduct further analysis: The forms outside of the PSES are not PSWP, for the reasons indicated above. The analysis conducted inside the PSES, including the information extracted from the forms, is PSWP.

    This clarification should not create problems for providers who have appropriately created and retained the original records required to satisfy their external obligations outside of a PSES. Those original records would be available to meet any external reporting requirements or needs.35 In an effort to ensure that there is no need to obtain the copies that exist in the PSES for other purposes, providers should establish a mechanism to indicate where the original records can be located. Additionally, providers should exercise extreme caution before destroying any original records maintained outside of the PSES. A provider that destroys the original source documents upon which PSWP is based is not relieved of its obligations or any applicable consequences that may be imposed by other regulators if they fail to maintain the original records.

    35 We note that this section focuses on requirements to maintain forms in an available fashion. To the extent an obligation only requires reporting and is fully satisfied after that reporting, a provider has fulfilled the reporting requirement, and the provider has no ongoing requirement to maintain the reported information, the subsequent collection of a form in the PSES and reporting to a PSO would protect the later form as PSWP because the external obligation has been fully satisfied.

    Copies of PSWP

    To be clear, the above discussion of copies relates to information that begins as non-PSWP (i.e., original patient or provider records and/or information that was collected, maintained, developed, or exists separately from the PSES). Consistent with the Patient Safety Rule's definition of PSWP, copies of information initially prepared as PSWP within the PSES are PSWP.36 For example, if a provider originally develops information to improve patient safety in its PSES solely for reporting to the PSO, that information is PSWP. If the provider then makes a copy of this information for the PSO and retains another copy of it in its PSES, both the copy of the information disclosed to the PSO and the copy maintained in the provider's PSES are PSWP, and thus privileged and confidential under the Patient Safety Rule.

    36 42 CFR 3.20 (paragraph (1) of the PSWP definition) (“Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this definition, patient safety work product means any . . . [information] . . . (or copies of any of this material) . . . .”).

    Separate Systems

    It has come to HHS' attention that the discussion in the Preamble regarding whether providers need to maintain multiple systems may have caused some confusion. Some commenters on the NPRM expressed concern that providers would need to maintain two duplicate systems: One PSES for information that the provider assembles or develops for reporting to a PSO and a second system containing the same information if the provider is unsure at the time the information is prepared for reporting to the PSO whether that information may be required in the future to fulfill a state law obligation. In response to this concern, the Preamble discusses a way that the Patient Safety Rule allows for information that was PSWP to no longer be PSWP.37 This process, sometimes referred to as the “drop out” provision, provides that PSWP “assembled or developed by a provider for reporting to a PSO may be removed from” a PSES and no longer be considered PSWP if: “[t]he information has not yet been reported to a PSO” and “[t]he provider documents the act and date of removal of such information from the” PSES.38 Once removed from the PSES following this procedure, the information could be used for other purposes, such as to meet state law obligations.

    37See e.g., 73 FR 70742, Nov. 21, 2008.

    38 42 CFR 3.20(2)(ii).

    As indicated above, the drop out provision is intended as a safety valve for providers who are unsure at the time that information is being prepared for reporting to the PSO whether similar information would, at a later time, be needed for an external obligation. It provides some flexibility for providers as they work through their various external obligations, as information assembled or developed for reporting to the PSO can reside as PSWP within the provider's PSES until the provider makes a future determination as to whether that information must be used to meet an external obligation.39 It is intended to be used on a case-by-case basis. Under the drop out provision, if the provider later determines the information within its PSES that had originally been assembled or developed for reporting to a PSO will be instead used for an external obligation, it is removed from the PSES and is no longer PSWP. This means it is no longer privileged or confidential under the Patient Safety Act and Patient Safety Rule.40 If the provider instead decides to report the information to a PSO, the information remains PSWP (so long as it meets the requirements for being PSWP, including that it is not an original patient or provider record) and cannot be permissibly disclosed for any reason, except in accordance with the disclosure permissions described in the Patient Safety Act and Patient Safety Rule.41 The Preamble thus explains how the drop out provision eliminates the need for a provider to maintain two systems with duplicate information: A PSES containing PSWP and a separate system containing any of that same information where the provider has yet to determine whether it will be needed in the future for another purpose.

    39See 73 FR 70742, Nov. 21, 2008 (Referring to the documentation of date and purpose of collection within a PSES, “(p)roviders have the flexibility to protect this information as patient safety work product within their patient safety evaluation system while they consider whether the information is needed to meet external reporting obligations. Information can be removed from the patient safety evaluation system before it is reported to a PSO to fulfill external reporting obligations.”).

    40Id. (“Once the information is removed, it is no longer patient safety work product and is no longer subject to the confidentiality provisions.”).

    41 42 U.S.C. 299b-22(c); 42 CFR 3.204(b), 3.206(b).

    Nevertheless, we reemphasize that where records are mandated by a Federal or State law requirement or other external obligation, they are not PSWP. Thus, a provider should maintain at least two systems or spaces: A PSES for PSWP and a separate place where it maintains records for external obligations.42 As discussed above, the Patient Safety Act encourages providers to prepare, analyze, and share information beyond what they are mandated to do. As such, it is expected that most of the information in a PSES would be originally created by providers as part of their voluntary participation with a PSO.

    42 “The Patient Safety Act establishes a protected space or system that is separate, distinct, and resides alongside but does not replace other information collection activities . . . .” 73 FR 70742, Nov. 21, 2008; see also 73 FR 8124, Oct. 5, 2007.

    Shared Responsibility

    As described above, the protected system established under the Patient Safety Act works in concert with the external obligations of providers to ensure accountability and transparency while encouraging the improvement of patient safety and reduction of medical errors through a culture of safety. It is the provider's ultimate responsibility to understand what information is required to meet all of its external obligations. If a provider is uncertain what information is required of it to fulfill an external obligation, the provider should reach out to the external entity to clarify the requirement. HHS has heard anecdotal reports of providers, PSOs, and regulators working together to ensure that the regulators can obtain the information they need without requesting that providers impermissibly disclose PSWP. HHS encourages such communication. Regulatory agencies and other entities requesting information of providers or PSOs are reminded that, subject to the limited exceptions set forth in the Patient Safety Act and Patient Safety Rule, PSWP is privileged and confidential, and it may not be used to satisfy external obligations. Therefore, such entities should not demand PSWP from providers or PSOs.

    Some requirements are clear and discrete, which makes it relatively easy for providers to understand what information is mandated, determine what additional information they want to prepare for reporting to a PSO, and to separate the two categories of information. Examples of clear and discrete requirements would include requirements for a provider to fill out a particular form or to provide a document containing specified data points. However, HHS is aware that some requirements are more ambiguous or broad, thus creating uncertainty about the information required to satisfy them. Particularly where laws or regulations may be vague, it is imperative that the regulators work with providers so that the regulators obtain the information they need, and that providers sufficiently understand what is required of them so that they can satisfy their obligations and voluntarily report additional information to a PSO. Where a variety of information could potentially satisfy an external obligation, and where a provider reports similar information to the PSO, the provider may find it helpful to document which information collection activities it does to fulfill its external requirements and which other activities it does in the PSES, to help ensure confidentiality and privilege of the PSWP.

    Later Developing Requirements

    As discussed above, providers should work with regulatory bodies and any other entities with which they have obligations to understand in advance the exact information they will need to satisfy their external obligations. That way, providers can plan ahead to create and maintain any information needed to fulfill their obligations separately from their PSES. However, even if providers and regulators cooperate fully, HHS is aware that situations could arise where a provider has collected information for reporting to the PSO and where the records at issue were not required by any external obligation at the time they were created, but where a regulator later seeks the same information as part of its oversight or investigatory responsibilities. The information at issue would be PSWP and would be privileged and confidential, but the provider may still have several options to satisfy its obligation. If the information is eligible for the drop out provision (including that the provider has not yet reported the information to a PSO), then the provider may follow the drop out provision discussed above to remove the information from its PSES and report or maintain the information outside of the PSES, to satisfy the regulator's request. This information is no longer PSWP. If the provider has reported the information to a PSO or the information is otherwise not subject to the drop out provision, the Patient Safety Act and Patient Safety Rule provide several options that the provider may want to consider, which are discussed below.

    1. Did the provider mistakenly enter information that is not PSWP into its PSES? The provider may want to first ensure that the information being requested meets the definition of PSWP. If the provider determines that the information now required is not PSWP (e.g., an original patient record was accidentally placed in the PSES), the provider can remove the information from its PSES. If the information does not meet the definition of PSWP, it is not privileged and confidential under the Patient Safety Act, and the Patient Safety Act places no limitations on the provider from further releasing it. If the information is not PSWP and the only copy of the information is in the PSO's PSES (i.e., the provider did not retain a copy outside of or in its PSES), then the Patient Safety Act places no limitations on the PSO from releasing it back to the provider.

    2. Is there a disclosure exception that may be used to permissibly disclose the PSWP? For example:

    • Can the provider obtain authorization from each identified provider to disclose the information, in accordance with 42 CFR 3.206(b)(3)?

    • Is the information subject to the disclosure permission to the FDA at 42 CFR 3.206(b)(7)?

    • Is the information being voluntarily disclosed to an accrediting body, pursuant to 42 CFR 3.206(b)(8)?

    While these disclosure permissions are available in the limited circumstances described in the Patient Safety Rule, relying upon a disclosure permission should not be a provider's primary method to meet an external obligation. As stated in the Preamble, with respect to the FDA disclosure permission, “However, we emphasize that, despite this disclosure permission, we expect that most reporting to the FDA and its regulated entities will be done with information that is not patient safety work product, as is done today. This disclosure permission is intended to allow for reporting to the FDA or FDA-regulated entity in those special cases where, only after an analysis of patient safety work product, does a provider realize it should make a report.” 43 44 HHS has the same expectation for other external obligations, as well.

    43 73 FR 70782, Nov. 21, 2008.

    44 Following publication of the Patient Safety Rule, HHS issued guidance on meeting mandatory reporting obligations to the FDA. See “Department of Health and Human Services Guidance Regarding Patient Safety Organizations' Reporting Obligations and the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005” available at www.pso.ahrq.gov.

    3. Can the provider recreate the information or conduct an identical analysis from non-PSWP outside of the PSES? If a provider is instructed to compile specified information but the provider previously assembled such information within its PSES and reported it to a PSO, this does not prevent a provider from creating the requested information using non-PSWP. As indicated in the NPRM, “[t]hose who participated in the collection, development, analysis, or review of the missing information or have knowledge of its contents can fully disclose what they know . . .” 45 Similarly, although an analysis originally conducted in the PSES cannot become non-PSWP under the drop out provision, if a provider is informed that a certain analysis is needed to meet an external obligation, the Patient Safety Act indicates that a provider could conduct a new analysis with non-PSWP to satisfy this requirement, “regardless of whether such additional analysis involves issues identical to or similar to those for which information was reported to or assessed by” a PSO or PSES.46

    45 73 FR 8124, Oct. 5, 2007.

    46 42 U.S.C. 299b-22(h).

    Providers are reminded that they should exercise care to ensure that even if the information is not privileged and confidential under the Patient Safety Act or if a permissible disclosure of PSWP has been identified, the intended disclosure of the information is not impermissible under any other law (e.g., the HIPAA Privacy Rule.)

    Dated: May 19, 2016. Andrew Bindman, AHRQ Director. Jocelyn Samuels, Director, OCR.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12312 Filed 5-20-16; 5:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4160-90-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency 44 CFR Part 64 [Docket ID FEMA-2016-0002; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-8435] Suspension of Community Eligibility AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule identifies communities where the sale of flood insurance has been authorized under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that are scheduled for suspension on the effective dates listed within this rule because of noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program. If the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) receives documentation that the community has adopted the required floodplain management measures prior to the effective suspension date given in this rule, the suspension will not occur and a notice of this will be provided by publication in the Federal Register on a subsequent date. Also, information identifying the current participation status of a community can be obtained from FEMA's Community Status Book (CSB). The CSB is available at http://www.fema.gov/fema/csb.shtm.

    DATES:

    The effective date of each community's scheduled suspension is the third date (“Susp.”) listed in the third column of the following tables.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you want to determine whether a particular community was suspended on the suspension date or for further information, contact Patricia Suber, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-4149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The NFIP enables property owners to purchase Federal flood insurance that is not otherwise generally available from private insurers. In return, communities agree to adopt and administer local floodplain management measures aimed at protecting lives and new construction from future flooding. Section 1315 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4022, prohibits the sale of NFIP flood insurance unless an appropriate public body adopts adequate floodplain management measures with effective enforcement measures. The communities listed in this document no longer meet that statutory requirement for compliance with program regulations, 44 CFR part 59. Accordingly, the communities will be suspended on the effective date in the third column. As of that date, flood insurance will no longer be available in the community. We recognize that some of these communities may adopt and submit the required documentation of legally enforceable floodplain management measures after this rule is published but prior to the actual suspension date. These communities will not be suspended and will continue to be eligible for the sale of NFIP flood insurance. A notice withdrawing the suspension of such communities will be published in the Federal Register.

    In addition, FEMA publishes a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) that identifies the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) in these communities. The date of the FIRM, if one has been published, is indicated in the fourth column of the table. No direct Federal financial assistance (except assistance pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act not in connection with a flood) may be provided for construction or acquisition of buildings in identified SFHAs for communities not participating in the NFIP and identified for more than a year on FEMA's initial FIRM for the community as having flood-prone areas (section 202(a) of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. 4106(a), as amended). This prohibition against certain types of Federal assistance becomes effective for the communities listed on the date shown in the last column. The Administrator finds that notice and public comment procedures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b), are impracticable and unnecessary because communities listed in this final rule have been adequately notified.

    Each community receives 6-month, 90-day, and 30-day notification letters addressed to the Chief Executive Officer stating that the community will be suspended unless the required floodplain management measures are met prior to the effective suspension date. Since these notifications were made, this final rule may take effect within less than 30 days.

    National Environmental Policy Act. This rule is categorically excluded from the requirements of 44 CFR part 10, Environmental Considerations. No environmental impact assessment has been prepared.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act. The Administrator has determined that this rule is exempt from the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, Section 1315, 42 U.S.C. 4022, prohibits flood insurance coverage unless an appropriate public body adopts adequate floodplain management measures with effective enforcement measures. The communities listed no longer comply with the statutory requirements, and after the effective date, flood insurance will no longer be available in the communities unless remedial action takes place.

    Regulatory Classification. This final rule is not a significant regulatory action under the criteria of section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993, Regulatory Planning and Review, 58 FR 51735.

    Executive Order 13132, Federalism. This rule involves no policies that have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

    Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule meets the applicable standards of Executive Order 12988.

    Paperwork Reduction Act. This rule does not involve any collection of information for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    List of Subjects in 44 CFR Part 64

    Flood insurance, Floodplains.

    Accordingly, 44 CFR part 64 is amended as follows:

    PART 64—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 64 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.; Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp.; p. 329; E.O. 12127, 44 FR 19367, 3 CFR, 1979 Comp.; p. 376.

    § 64.6 [Amended]
    2. The tables published under the authority of § 64.6 are amended as follows: State and location Community No. Effective date authorization/cancellation of sale of flood insurance in community Current effective map date Date certain Federal assistance no longer available in SFHAs Region III Maine: Andrews Island, Knox County 230967 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. July 6, 2016 July 6, 2016. Appleton, Town of, Knox County 230073 July 22, 1975, Emerg; December 4, 1985, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do*   Do. Bar Island, Knox County 230974 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Birch Island, Knox County 230966 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Brig Ledge, Knox County 230947 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Camden, Town of, Knox County 230074 May 21, 1975, Emerg; May 4, 1988, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp ......do   Do. Camp Cove Ledge, Knox County 230945 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Camp Island, Knox County 230962 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Clam Ledges, Knox County 230970 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Crescent Island, Knox County 230955 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Criehaven, Township of, Knox County 231034 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Crow Island, Knox County 230978 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Cushing, Town of, Knox County 230224 May 7, 1976, Emerg; July 16, 1990, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Dix Island, Knox County 230965 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. East Goose Rock, Knox County 230990 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Egg Rock, Knox County 230991 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Fisherman Island, Knox County 230953 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Flag Island, Knox County 230972 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Fort Kent, Town of, Aroostook County 230019 April 10, 1974, Emerg; June 4, 1980, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Friendship, Town of, Knox County 230225 September 13, 1978, Emerg; July 16, 1990, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Goose Island, Knox County 230987 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Gooseberry Knob, Knox County 230959 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Graffam Island, Knox County 230975 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Great Pond Island, Knox County 230961 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Green Ledge, Knox County 230944 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Herring Ledge, Knox County 230937 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Hewett Island, Knox County 230971 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. High Island, Knox County 230964 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. High Ledge, Knox County 230946 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Hog Island, Knox County 230934 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Hope, Town of, Knox County 230226 April 5, 1976, Emerg; February 19, 1986, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Large Green Island, Knox County 230936 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Lasell Island, Knox County 230983 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Little Green Island, Knox County 230935 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Little Hurricane Island, Knox County 230973 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Little Pond Island, Knox County 230960 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Little Two Bush Island, Knox County 230980 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Marblehead Island, Knox County 230954 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Mark Island, Knox County 230988 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Matinicus Isle Plantation, Knox County 230603 April 25, 1975, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Metinic Green Island, Knox County 230932 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Metinic Island, Knox County 230931 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Mink Island, Knox County 230976 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Mouse Island, Knox County 230986 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Muscle Ridge Township, Knox County 230979 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Nettle Island, Knox County 230969 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. North Haven, Town of, Knox County 230228 April 2, 1976, Emerg; July 16, 1991, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Oak Island, Knox County 230957 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Otter Island, Knox County 230956 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Owls Head, Town of, Knox County 230075 July 30, 1975, Emerg; June 19, 1989, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Pleasant Island, Knox County 230977 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Pudding Island, Knox County 230941 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Ragged Island, Knox County 230940 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Robinson Rock, Knox County 230989 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Rockland, City of, Knox County 230076 October 31, 1975, Emerg; January 5, 1989, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Rockport, Town of, Knox County 230077 July 2, 1975, Emerg; May 4, 1989, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Saddle Island, Knox County 230982 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Saint George, Town of, Knox County 230229 March 30, 1976, Emerg; September 1, 1989, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Seal Island, Knox County 230948 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Shag Ledge, Knox County 230942 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. South Thomaston, Town of, Knox County 230078 July 23, 1975, Emerg; May 17, 1989, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Spectacle Island, Knox County 230963 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. The Nubble, Knox County 230933 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Thomaston, Town of, Knox County 230079 May 12, 1975, Emerg; December 4, 1985, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Union, Town of, Knox County 230080 July 3, 1975, Emerg; March 18, 1987, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Vinalhaven, Town of, Knox County 230230 April 18, 1975, Emerg; March 1, 1987, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Warren, Town of, Knox County 230081 June 12, 1975, Emerg; April 17, 1985, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Washington, Town of, Knox County 230082 December 4, 2003, Emerg; March 1, 2004, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Wheeler Big Rock, Knox County 230939 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Wooden Ball Island, Knox County 230950 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Yellow Ledge, Knox County 230981 April 4, 1979, Emerg; April 30, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Massachusetts: Bedford, Town of, Middlesex County 255209 April 2, 1971, Emerg; September 7, 1973, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Billerica, Town of, Middlesex County 250183 August 18, 1972, Emerg; November 5, 1980, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Burlington, Town of, Middlesex County 250185 January 2, 1976, Emerg; July 5, 1984, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Lexington, Town of, Middlesex County 250198 July 31, 1975, Emerg; June 1, 1978, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Tewksbury, Town of, Middlesex County 250218 December 10, 1971, Emerg; July 18, 1977, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Wilmington, Town of, Middlesex County 250227 July 1, 1974, Emerg; June 15, 1982, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Region VI Louisiana: Bastrop, City of, Morehouse Parish 220127 July 2, 1975, Emerg; December 16, 1980, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Bonita, Village of, Morehouse Parish 220316 April 3, 1997, Emerg; April 1, 2007, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Collinston, Village of, Morehouse Parish 220399 June 17, 1991, Emerg; N/A, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Mer Rouge, Village of, Morehouse Parish 220128 May 3, 1973, Emerg; June 27, 1978, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Morehouse Parish, Unincorporated Areas 220367 April 14, 1983, Emerg; October 15, 1985, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. New Mexico: Dona Ana County, Unincorporated Areas 350012 January 19, 1976, Emerg; September 27, 1991, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Hatch, Village of, Dona Ana County 350013 December 10, 1974, Emerg; January 3, 1986, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Las Cruces, City of, Dona Ana County 355332 July 24, 1970, Emerg; June 11, 1971, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Mesilla, Town of, Dona Ana County 350113 March 7, 1975, Emerg; May 28, 1985, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. Sunland Park, City of, Dona Ana County 350147 N/A, Emerg; November 8, 2006, Reg; July 6, 2016, Susp. ......do   Do. *.....do = Ditto. Code for reading third column: Emerg. —Emergency; Reg. —Regular; Susp. —Suspension. Dated: May 12, 2016. Michael M. Grimm, Assistant Administrator for Mitigation, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12123 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 23 [Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0052] RIN 1018-AZ53 Inclusion of Four Native U.S. Freshwater Turtle Species in Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are listing the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina), Florida softshell turtle (Apalone ferox), smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica), and spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera) in Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES or Convention), including live and dead whole specimens, and all readily recognizable parts, products, and derivatives. Listing these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species (including their subspecies, except Apalone spinifera atra, which is already included in Appendix I of CITES) in Appendix III of CITES is necessary to allow us to adequately monitor international trade in these species; to determine whether exports are occurring legally, with respect to State and Federal law; and to determine whether further measures under CITES or other laws are required to conserve these species and their subspecies.

    DATES:

    This listing is effective November 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may obtain information about permits for international trade in these species and their subspecies by contacting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Management Authority, Branch of Permits, MS: IA, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; telephone: 703-358-2104 or 800-358-2104; facsimile: 703-358-2281; email: [email protected]; Web site: http://www.fws.gov/international.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Craig Hoover, Chief, Division of Management Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: IA; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; telephone 703-358-2095; facsimile 703-358-2298. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Service's International Wildlife Trade Program convened a freshwater turtle workshop in St. Louis, Missouri, in September 2010, to discuss the pressing management, regulatory, scientific, and enforcement needs associated with the harvest and trade of freshwater turtles in the United States. In response to one of the recommendations put forth at the St. Louis workshop, in November 2011, the Service hosted a workshop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to develop best management practices for turtle farms operating in the United States. All 16 States with turtle farms attended the 2011 workshop. Information on these workshops can be found on our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/international/animals/freshwater-turtles.html or from the Service's International Wildlife Trade Program (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    On October 30, 2014, we published in the Federal Register (79 FR 64553) a document proposing listing the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina), Florida softshell turtle (Apalone ferox), smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica), and spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera), including their subspecies, except Apalone spinifera atra, which is already included in Appendix I of CITES, in Appendix III of CITES. We accepted public comments on that proposal for 60 days, ending December 29, 2014. We have reviewed and considered all public comments we received on the proposal (see the Summary of Comments and Our Responses section, below). Our final decision reflects consideration of the information and opinions we have received.

    Species Information Common Snapping Turtle

    The common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina, Linnaeus 1758) is the second-largest freshwater turtle species native to the United States. Currently, two subspecies are widely recognized: C. s. osceola (Stejneger, 1918), distributed in the Florida peninsula, and C. s. serpentina (Linnaeus, 1758), distributed throughout the remainder of the species' range, which encompasses most of the eastern two-thirds of the United States and portions of southern Canada, including Nova Scotia. The species has been introduced into the wild outside its range both within and outside the United States, including in China and Taiwan, where it is also bred on turtle farms. The common snapping turtle is easily recognized by a roughly textured black to grey carapace (top shell), a long tail studded with large saw-toothed tubercles, large claws, and a large head with strong jaws and a sharp beak.

    The species is readily distinguished from the alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) because the latter has a larger head, hooked beak, a smooth tail, and three distinct keels on the carapace. There are other morphological differences as well. The common snapping turtle inhabits a wide variety of freshwater habitats, including rivers, ponds, lakes, swamps, and marshes, although it prefers slow-moving aquatic habitats with mud or sand bottoms, abundant vegetation, and submerged tree branches, trunks, and brush. Common snapping turtles feed on a wide variety of both plants and animals (Ernst and Lovich 2009, pp. 9, 132-133).

    Florida Softshell Turtle

    The Florida softshell turtle (Apalone ferox, Schneider 1783) is one of three species of softshell turtle native to the United States. The Florida softshell, the largest North American softshell turtle, occurs from southern South Carolina, through southern Georgia and Florida, and west into the extreme southern portions of Alabama. No subspecies are currently recognized. Females may reach a maximum carapace length (SCLmax) of 67.3 centimeters, over twice the size of males, which may reach 32.4 centimeters SCLmax. The leathery skin-covered carapace has rough, rounded tubercles (bumps) on its front edge; the limbs are grey to brown with lighter-colored mottling. The feet are webbed, and the species has an extended nose tip. In large specimens, the head can grow disproportionately large compared to the body. The Florida softshell inhabits calm waters, including rivers, swamps, marshes, lakes, and ponds. The species may spend extended periods of time submerged, buried in the silty or sandy bottom. The Florida softshell is largely carnivorous, eating a variety of aquatic and sometimes terrestrial animals, although it may also consume vegetation (Ernst and Lovich 2009, p. 611).

    Smooth Softshell Turtle

    The smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica, Le Sueur 1827) is the smallest of the three softshell species native to the United States. The species is generally found in streams, rivers, and channels. It inhabits the Ohio River drainage (Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois), the upper Mississippi River watershed (Minnesota and Wisconsin), the Missouri River in the Dakotas, south through the watershed and eventually spreading to the western Florida Panhandle, and west to Central Texas (including all States between these areas). The smooth softshell is considered extirpated in Pennsylvania, where it previously inhabited the Allegheny River. An isolated population exists in New Mexico's Canadian River drainage. Two subspecies are recognized: The smooth softshell turtle (A. m. mutica; Le Sueur 1827) and the Gulf Coast smooth softshell turtle (A. m. calvata; Webb 1959). Females may reach 35.6 centimeters SCLmax, and males may reach 26.6 centimeters SCLmax. The carapaces of males may have blotchy dark markings, and a yellow stripe is present on each side of the head; females have darkly mottled carapaces, and the yellow head stripe may be faint or nonexistent in older animals. The smooth softshell has webbed feet and an extended nose tip. The species is fully aquatic, only leaving the water to nest or bask. Smooth softshells consume insect larvae, other aquatic invertebrates, small fish, and plant material (Ernst and Lovich 2009, pp. 619-620).

    Spiny Softshell Turtle

    The spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera, Le Sueur 1827) is a small softshell with webbed feet and large claws. It has a leathery shell colored from brown to sand to grey, with dark black ocelli or blotches and a pair of light stripes on the side of its head. Limbs are grey and may have dark streaks or spots. The population of the spiny softshell in the United States is divided into six subspecies: The spiny softshell turtle (A. s. spinifera, Le Sueur 1827), Gulf Coast spiny softshell (A. s. aspera, Agassiz 1857), Texas spiny softshell (A. s. emoryi, Agassiz 1857), Guadalupe spiny softshell (A. s. guadalupensis, Webb 1962), western spiny softshell (A. s. hartwegi, Conant and Goin 1948), and pallid spiny softshell (A. s. pallida, Webb 1962). An additional subspecies, the Cuatro Cienegas spiny softshell (A. s. atra [=Apalone atra], Webb and Legler 1960), occurs in Mexico and is listed in Appendix I of CITES and as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (as Trionyx ater) (see title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at § 17.11(h)).

    The spiny softshell inhabits the largest range of the three softshell turtles of North America, occurring from New York, south to Florida, west through Texas to New Mexico, and over most of the midwestern United States, including the States bordering the Great Lakes, and extreme southern portions of Canada, and naturally in northern portions of Mexico. It has also been introduced widely in other parts of Mexico. Disjunct populations also are found from New Mexico to California and in Montana and Wyoming. Isolated populations are found in several States. The spiny softshell inhabits creeks and rivers, but also occurs in other types of water bodies, including artificial bodies, as long as the bottom is sandy or muddy to support its burrowing behavior. The species is almost entirely aquatic and largely carnivorous; its reported list of food items is extensive and includes insects, molluscs, and other invertebrates, fish, amphibians, and small snakes. It will also consume plant material (Ernst and Lovich 2009, pp. 632-633).

    For further information on these species, including their subspecies, you may refer to our proposed rule published in the Federal Register on October 30, 2014 (79 FR 64553).

    CITES

    CITES, an international treaty, regulates the import, export, re-export, and introduction from the sea of certain animal and plant species. Currently 181 countries and the European Union have ratified, accepted, approved, or acceded to CITES; these 182 entities are known as Parties.

    The text of the Convention and the official list of all species included in its three Appendices are available from the CITES Secretariat's Web site at http://www.cites.org or upon request from the Division of Management Authority at the address provided in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above.

    Section 8A of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), designates the Secretary of the Interior as the U.S. Management Authority and U.S. Scientific Authority for CITES. These authorities have been delegated to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The original U.S. regulations implementing CITES took effect on May 23, 1977 (42 FR 10465, February 22, 1977), after the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) was held. The CoP meets every 2 to 3 years to vote on proposed resolutions and decisions that interpret and implement the text of the Convention and on amendments to the list of species in the CITES Appendices. The last major revision of U.S. CITES regulations was in 2014 (79 FR 30399, May 27, 2014) and incorporated provisions from applicable resolutions and decisions adopted at meetings of the Conference of the Parties up to and including the fifteenth meeting (CoP15), which took place in 2010. The U.S. CITES implementing regulations are codified at 50 CFR part 23.

    CITES Appendices

    Species covered by the Convention are listed in one of three Appendices. Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction that are or may be affected by international trade, and are generally prohibited from commercial trade. Appendix II includes species that, although not necessarily threatened with extinction now, may become so unless the trade is strictly controlled. It also lists species that must be regulated so that trade in other listed species may be brought under effective control (e.g., because of similarity of appearance to other listed species). Appendix III includes native species, identified by any Party, that are regulated domestically to prevent or restrict exploitation, where the Party requests the help of other Parties to monitor and control the trade of the species.

    To include a species in or remove a species from Appendices I or II, a Party must propose an amendment to the Appendices for consideration at a meeting of the CoP. The adoption of such a proposal requires approval of at least two-thirds of the Parties present and voting. However, a Party may add a native species to Appendix III independently at any time, without the vote of other Parties, under Articles II and XVI of the Convention. Likewise, if the status of an Appendix-III species improves or new information shows that it no longer needs to be listed, the listing country can remove the species from Appendix III without consulting the other CITES Parties.

    Inclusion of native U.S. species in Appendix III provides the following benefits:

    (1) An Appendix-III listing ensures the assistance of the other CITES Parties, through the implementation of CITES permitting requirements in controlling international trade in these species.

    (2) Listing these species in Appendix III enhances the enforcement of State and Federal conservation measures enacted for the species by regulating international trade in the species. Shipments containing CITES-listed species receive greater scrutiny from border officials in both the exporting and importing countries. Many foreign countries have limited legal authority and resources to inspect shipments of non-CITES-listed wildlife. Appendix-III listings for U.S. species will give these importing countries the legal basis to inspect such shipments, and to deal with CITES and national violations when they detect them.

    (3) Another practical outcome of listing a species in Appendix III is that better records are kept and international trade in the species is better monitored. We will gain and share improved information on such trade with State fish and wildlife agencies, and others who have jurisdiction over resident populations of the Appendix-III species. They will then be able to better determine the impact of trade on the species and the effectiveness of existing State management activities, regulations, and cooperative efforts. International trade data and other relevant information gathered as a result of an Appendix-III listing will help policymakers determine whether we should propose the species for inclusion in Appendix II, or remove it from or retain it in Appendix III.

    (4) When any live CITES-listed species (including an Appendix-III species) is exported (or imported), it must be packed and shipped according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Live Animals Regulations or the CITES Guidelines for the non-air transport of live wild animals and plants (available from the CITES Secretariat's Web site at https://www.cites.org/eng/resources/transport/index.php) to reduce the risk of injury and cruel treatment. This requirement helps to ensure the survival and health of the animals when they are shipped internationally.

    Listing a Native U.S. Species in Appendix III

    Article II, paragraph 3, of CITES states that “Appendix III shall include all species which any Party identifies as being subject to regulation within its jurisdiction for the purpose of preventing or restricting exploitation, and as needing the cooperation of other Parties in the control of trade.” Article XVI, paragraph 1, of the Convention states further that “any Party may at any time submit to the Secretariat a list of species which it identifies as being subject to regulation within its jurisdiction for the purpose mentioned in paragraph 3 of Article II. Appendix III shall include the names of the Parties submitting the species for inclusion therein, the scientific names of the species so submitted, and any parts or derivatives of the animals or plants concerned that are specified in relation to the species for the purposes of subparagraph (b) of Article I.”

    At the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP9), held in the United States in 1994, the Parties adopted Resolution Conf. 9.25 (amended at the 10th, 14th, 15th, and 16th meetings of the CoP), which provides further guidance to Parties for the listing of their native species in Appendix III. The Resolution, which is the basis for our criteria for listing species in Appendix III provided in our regulations at 50 CFR 23.90(c), recommends that a Party:

    (a) Ensure that (i) the species is native to its country; (ii) its national regulations are adequate to prevent or restrict exploitation and to control trade, for the conservation of the species, and include penalties for illegal taking, trade, or possession and provisions for confiscation; and (iii) its national enforcement measures are adequate to implement these regulations;

    (b) Determine that, notwithstanding these regulations and measures, circumstances indicate that the cooperation of the Parties is needed to control illegal trade; and

    (c) Inform the Management Authorities of other range States, the known major importing countries, the Secretariat, and the Animals Committee or the Plants Committee that it is considering the inclusion of the species in Appendix III and seek their opinion on the potential effects of such inclusion.

    Therefore, we apply the following criteria in deciding to list U.S. species in Appendix III as outlined at 50 CFR 23.90(c):

    (1) The species must be native to the United States.

    (2) The species must be protected under State, tribal, or Federal regulations to prevent or restrict exploitation and control trade, and the laws or regulations are being implemented.

    (3) The species is in international trade, and circumstances indicate that the cooperation of other Parties would help to control illegal trade.

    (4) We must inform the Management Authorities of other range countries, the known major importing countries, the Secretariat, and the Animals Committee or the Plants Committee that we are considering the listing and seek their opinions on the potential effects of the listing.

    We have complied with the criteria outlined at 50 CFR 23.90(c) as follows:

    § 23.90(c)(1): These four freshwater turtle species (including their subspecies, except Apalone spinifera atra, which is already included in Appendix I of CITES) are native to the United States.

    § 23.90(c)(2): These four native U.S. freshwater turtle species are regulated by State laws and regulations throughout their ranges to prevent or restrict exploitation and control trade, and the laws and regulations are being implemented. For further information on the conservation status of these species, including their subspecies, you may refer to our proposed rule published in the Federal Register on October 30, 2014 (79 FR 64553). In response to our proposed rule (October 30, 2014; 79 FR 64553), 10 of the comments we received were from State agencies (see the Summary of Comments and Our Responses section, below). Our final decision reflects consideration of the additional information and opinions we have received from those State agencies.

    § 23.90(c)(3): We have documented these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species in international trade. In our proposed rule published in the Federal Register on October 30, 2014 (79 FR 64553), we describe recent trends in exportations of: Live common snapping turtles and meat, live Florida softshell turtles and eggs, live smooth softshell turtles, and live spiny softshell turtles. We update that information as follows:

    Table 1—U.S. Exportations of Live Common Snapping Turtles 2009-2014 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Live common snapping turtles exported from the United States 655,549 709,869 811,717 1,081,246 1,261,426 1,352,289 Table 2—U.S. Exportations of Live Florida Softshell Turtles 2009-2014 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Live Florida softshell turtles exported from the United States 214,787 209,453 367,629 436,995 207,185 213,453 Table 3—U.S. Exportations of Live Spiny Softshell Turtles 2009-2014 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Live spiny softshell turtles exported from the United States 46,117 56,056 55,713 71,740 69,581 5,487 Table 4—U.S. Exportations of Live Smooth Softshell Turtles 2009-2014 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Live smooth softshell turtles exported from the United States 200 0 0 230 0 0

    Although a significant proportion of the exported live specimens originated from turtle farms, the need for increased cooperation from other parties to control illegal trade is based upon the following:

    • Despite varying export levels of the species from year to year, there is potential for significant increases in export demands in the future.

    • Even with extensive turtle farming operations, the harvest pressure on wild turtle populations remain high (see Issue 30 and Issue 33 below).

    • Increased cooperation will help the U.S. better understand temporal trends and the source of exported turtles.

    • The level of wild harvest utilized to maintain turtle farm production is unknown.

    § 23.90(c)(4): We have consulted with the CITES Secretariat and the Animals Committee regarding our proposal to list these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species in Appendix III. The Secretariat and the Animals Committee have informed us that our proposal to list these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species in Appendix III is consistent with Resolution Conf. 9.25 (Rev. CoP16), and they have not raised any objections to this proposed listing. Further, we have also informed the Management Authorities of other range countries. Mainland China and Hong Kong are the major importers of these species from the United States. Accordingly, we have sought out their views on the potential effects of including these species in CITES Appendix III. Mainland China referred our request to Hong Kong and Hong Kong replied that they have “no strong view” on our proposal to list these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species in Appendix III. Hong Kong suggested that we consider that visual identification guides and protocols for genetic testing on these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species be available (and preferably shared with the Parties) in advance of the listing.

    For further information about the listing process, you may refer to our proposed rule published in the Federal Register on October 30, 2014 (79 FR 64553).

    Permits and Other Requirements

    The export of an Appendix-III species listed by the United States requires an export permit issued by the Service's Division of Management Authority (DMA). DMA will issue a permit only if: The applicant obtained the specimen(s) legally, in compliance with applicable U.S. laws, including relevant State and tribal wildlife laws and regulations; and live specimens are packed and shipped in accordance with the IATA Live Animals Regulations or the CITES Guidelines for the non-air transport of live wild animals and plants (available from the CITES Secretariat's Web site at https://www.cites.org/eng/resources/transport/index.php) to reduce the risk of injury, damage to health, or cruel treatment. DMA, in determining if an applicant legally obtained a specimen, may consult relevant State, tribal, and Federal agencies. Because the conservation and management of these species is primarily under the jurisdiction of State and tribal agencies, we may consult those agencies to ensure that specimens destined for export were obtained in compliance with State and tribal laws and regulations. Unlike species listed in Appendices I and II, no non-detriment finding is required from the Service's Division of Scientific Authority (DSA) for export of an Appendix-III species. However, DSA will monitor and evaluate the trade, to decide if there is a conservation concern that would require any further action on our part. With a few exceptions, any shipment containing wildlife must enter or exit the United States at a designated port for wildlife, must be declared to a Service Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) Wildlife Inspector upon import, export, or re-export, and must comply with all applicable regulations.

    Permits, Findings, and Fees

    To apply for a CITES permit, an individual or business is required to submit a completed CITES export permit application to DMA (with check or money order to cover the application fee). You may obtain information about CITES permits from our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/international/ or from DMA (see ADDRESSES, above). We will review the application to decide if the export meets the applicable criteria at 50 CFR 23.60.

    In addition, live animals must be shipped to reduce the risk of injury, damage to health, or cruel treatment. We carry out this CITES requirement by stating clearly on all CITES permits that shipments must comply with the IATA Live Animals Regulations or the CITES Guidelines for the non-air transport of live wild animals and plants (available from the CITES Secretariat's Web site at https://www.cites.org/eng/resources/transport/index.php). The Service's Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) is authorized to inspect shipments of CITES-listed species at the time of export to ensure that they comply with these regulations. Additional information on permit requirements is available from DMA (see ADDRESSES, above). Additional information on designated ports for wildlife, declaration of shipments, inspection, and clearance of shipments is available upon request from OLE; contact the port in which shipment will obtain clearance (http://www.fws.gov/le/inspection-offices.html); email: [email protected]; Web site: http://www.fws.gov/le.

    Lacey Act

    Under section 3372(a)(1) of the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 (16 U.S.C. 3371-3378), it is unlawful to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any wildlife taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law, treaty, or regulation of the United States or in violation of any Indian tribal law. This prohibition applies, for example, in instances where these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species were unlawfully collected from Federal lands, such as those Federal lands within the range of these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species that are managed by the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or another Federal agency.

    It is unlawful under section 3372(a)(2)(A) of the Lacey Act to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce any wildlife taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law or regulation of any State or in violation of any foreign law.

    These four native U.S. freshwater turtle species are protected to varying degrees by State and Tribal laws within the United States, with significant differences in levels and types of protection which we summarized in our proposed rule (79 FR 64553) and clarified in some instances with this final rule (see the Summary of Comments and Our Responses section, below). Because many State laws and regulations regulate the take of these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species, certain acts (import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, purchase) with these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species taken unlawfully under State law could result in a violation of the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 and thus provide for Federal enforcement action due to a violation of State law.

    Summary of Comments and Our Responses

    We requested comments on our October 30, 2014, proposed rule (79 FR 64553) for 60 days, ending December 29, 2014. We received a total of 26,343 comments during the comment period. Of these, 26,271 were form letters that voiced support for the proposed action, but did not provide significant supporting information for the proposed CITES Appendix-III listing of these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species.

    For the 72 comments we received that were not form letters, 10 of the comments were from State agencies, 9 were from nongovernmental organizations, and 53 were from private individuals. These comments are summarized and responded to below.

    Regarding the State agency comments, five State agencies generally supported listing all four of these native U.S. freshwater turtle species in Appendix III, and one State agency generally supported listing the common snapping turtle, smooth softshell turtle, and spiny softshell turtle species in Appendix III, while having no opinion of including the Florida softshell turtle. One State agency generally supported listing the common snapping turtle and spiny softshell turtle species in Appendix III, while having no opinion of including the smooth softshell turtle and the Florida softshell turtle. One State agency generally supported listing the common snapping turtle in Appendix III, but was opposed to including all three softshell turtle species in Appendix III. One State agency was opposed to listing all four of these native U.S. freshwater turtle species in Appendix III, and one State agency did not explicitly express support or opposition for the proposal, but rather concern about how the listing would create additional permitting requirements, expenses, potential loss of revenue, and export processing time.

    Regarding the comments from nongovernmental organizations and private individuals, 44 generally supported the proposal to list all four of these native U.S. freshwater turtle species in Appendix III, and 18 generally opposed the proposal to list these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species in Appendix III.

    We have considered all substantive information specifically related to the proposed rule that was provided to us during the open comment period. Several of the comments included opinions or information not directly related to the proposed rule, such as views expressing interest in increasing habitat for these species. We have not addressed those comments, as they do not have direct bearing on the Appendix-III listing of these turtles and their subspecies. We have summarized the relevant comments, grouped them into general issues, and provided our responses to these issues below. Public comments and comments from State agencies regarding these issues are grouped separately. Some commenters submitted additional reports and references for our consideration, which we reviewed and considered as appropriate.

    Public Comments

    Issue 1: Several commenters provided supporting data and information regarding the biology, range, distribution, life history, threats, and current conservation efforts affecting these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species.

    Our Response: We thank all the commenters for their interest in the conservation of these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species and thank those commenters who provided information for our consideration in making this CITES Appendix-III listing determination. Some information submitted was duplicative of the information contained in the proposed rule; some comments contained information that provided additional clarity or support for information contained in the proposed rule.

    Issue 2: Because these species are not endangered or threatened, the proposed rule is an unnecessary tax on turtle farmers. This proposed rule appears to be an attempt to regulate a legitimate business rather than to help a species in peril. Listing these animals should not adversely affect breeders using captive-bred turtles that have millions of dollars invested in their farms and earn a living producing these animals. Captive breeding of these species is sustainable and economically important. The cost of permits could be prohibitive to small businesses. Delays in permitting could have serious economic consequences. Increased Federal regulation will only increase government presence and be an undue tax burden.

    Our Response: Our intent is to implement an Appendix-III permitting system for these species that will not be burdensome to U.S. turtle farmers or exporters, while ensuring that persons engaging in illegal trade are stopped. We will also use the listing to gather data on trade in these species, to better quantify the level of trade and the impact of trade on these species. These data will be made available to State wildlife management agencies, to improve management programs and further the conservation of these species.

    Issue 3: The proposed listing is an example of over-regulation and has no purpose other than to determine if it is even necessary. The government has to justify it as a fact- finding regulation. The Service fails to address why the current Declaration of Wildlife Export Form (FWS Form 3-177) is insufficient to monitor international trade and whether exports are occurring legally with respect to State law. The proposed rule does not distinguish export of these species as captive-bred or wild-caught when this information is required by FWS Form 3-177. If monitoring these species is what the Service needs to improve, there are other ways available other than adding these species to protected lists. It is not clear what additional information the Service will gain by listing these species in Appendix III.

    Our Response: Many importing and re-exporting countries do not have national legislation that requires inspection of all wildlife, particularly if the species in question is not listed under CITES. One reason for listing these species is to improve enforcement of Federal and State laws by enlisting the support of other CITES Parties. An Appendix-III listing will increase inspection and reporting of imports, exports, and re-exports of these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species by all CITES Parties, not just the United States. The listing will also improve the quantity of turtle export data. It will help us detect trade trends and, in consultation with the States, implement pro-active conservation or trade management measures that better control exports and detect illegal trade.

    Issue 4: Protecting these species may be more successful if international trade was banned completely by listing them in Appendix I of CITES.

    Our Response: The CITES Parties meet periodically to review what species in international trade should be regulated and to consider other aspects of the implementation of CITES. To include a species in or remove a species from Appendices I or II, a Party must propose an amendment to the Appendices for consideration at a meeting of the CoP. The adoption of such a proposal requires approval of at least two-thirds of the Parties present and voting. However, a Party may add a native species to Appendix III independently at any time, without the approval of the Parties, under Articles II and XVI of the Convention. Prior to a CoP, we solicit recommendations for amending Appendices I and II, as well as recommendations for resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for discussion at the CoP. We invite such recommendations via a notice published in the Federal Register that includes a public comment period. The appropriate time to request inclusion of the species in Appendix I or II is during that public comment period. Our regulations governing this public process are found at 50 CFR 23.87. CoP17 is scheduled to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from September 24, 2016, to October 5, 2016. In the interim, international trade data and other relevant information gathered as a result of a CITES Appendix-III listing will help us determine whether we should propose the species for inclusion in Appendix I or II, remove it from Appendix III, or retain it in Appendix III. If, after monitoring the trade of any U.S. CITES Appendix-III species and evaluating its status, we determine that the species meets the CITES criteria for listing in Appendix I or II, based on the criteria set forth at 50 CFR 23.89, we will consider whether to propose the species for inclusion in Appendix I or II.

    Issue 5: We support adding these turtle species to CITES Appendix III. However, we encourage the Service to add these turtle species to CITES Appendix II.

    Our Response: See our response to Issue 4.

    Issue 6: There are large numbers of Americans who enjoy eating turtles; legitimate turtle farms should not be over-regulated.

    Our Response: This listing will allow us to monitor and evaluate the export of these species from the United States. The goal is to insure that the trade is legal, which we hope will minimize adverse impacts on wild populations. These listings are intended to support implementation of existing laws and control illegal trade. These listings will assist State and tribal agencies by ensuring that only those specimens that were collected or produced legally are permitted for export.

    Issue 7: CITES is not the proper avenue for taking action on these species at this time. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considered these species to be of “Least Concern.”

    Our Response: The criteria for listing species in CITES Appendix III are different from the criteria used by the IUCN in evaluating species for the Red List. The criteria for deciding to list U.S. species in Appendix III are provided at 50 CFR 23.90. As detailed above, we have applied these criteria in deciding to list these four species in Appendix III.

    Issue 8: Population harvest control of the common snapping turtle should be regulated by the States. Each State is able to protect its interests by adopting appropriate regulations to protect these turtle species and ensure trade is legal and sustainable.

    Our Response: The conservation and management of these species is primarily under the jurisdiction of State and tribal agencies. However, we will monitor and evaluate the international trade in these species, to decide if there is a conservation concern that would require any further action on our part. These listings will assist State and tribal agencies by ensuring that only those specimens that were collected or produced legally are permitted for export.

    Issue 9: The proposal presents no scientific evidence that this action is warranted, but rather is using the CITES listing as a means to gather information. The science used to make a determination of the effects of exports on the wild population should be obtained by less draconian measures. Adding these turtles and their subspecies to CITES Appendix III would only hurt the already struggling turtle farmers. A study to collect and assess the current status and practices should be conducted before this action is taken.

    Our Response: We refer the commenter to the discussion under Listing a Native U.S. Species in Appendix III, above which includes new information on exportation of these species for 2012-2014. We have carefully considered the threats facing these species (described in our October 30, 2014, proposed rule) and the criteria for listing a species in Appendix III, and determined that the listing is appropriate. As required by the Convention, we will monitor trade in these species. We will periodically consult with the States and review the effectiveness of the listing, documented levels of illegal trade, and the volume of legal trade in the species, particularly trade in those specimens harvested from the wild. After these consultations, we will determine if further action is needed.

    Issue 10: Understanding the domestic origin of freshwater turtle shipments or the domestic origin of the turtles themselves is essential to understanding the commercial trade of freshwater turtles in the United States. The current gap in information is of concern.

    Our Response: We agree. These listings will help close that information gap and inform management decisions by State and tribal agencies and the Service.

    Issue 11: Captive breeding turtle farm operations for human consumption and the pet trade reduce pressure from harvest of wild populations.

    Our Response: It is unknown at this time if captive turtle breeding operations reduce harvest pressure on wild populations of these species. Turtles are produced in the United States by farms that specialize in propagating captive-bred hatchlings to meet demand for commercial trade, but turtles are also entering trade through collection from the wild. Listing these species in CITES Appendix III is necessary to allow us to adequately monitor international trade in these taxa; to determine whether exports are occurring legally, with respect to State law; and to determine whether further measures under CITES or other laws are required to conserve these species.

    Issue 12: The number of snapping turtles reportedly collected under Pennsylvania's commercial permit has more than doubled during the past decade. Although declines in Pennsylvania's snapping turtle populations are not apparent at the present time, there is concern that continuation of this trend is not sustainable.

    Our Response: Although snapping turtle populations are known to be vigorous throughout much of the species' range, long-term persistent take makes the species vulnerable to decline.

    Issue 13: The improved reporting of traded animals resulting from an Appendix-III listing would be highly valuable in understanding the trade trends and the likely impacts of trade on wild populations.

    Our Response: We agree.

    Issue 14: The vast majority of published peer-reviewed research papers on these species concern basic biology, ecology, and toxicology in the case of Chelydra; the number of papers examining the effects of offtake are minimal.

    Our Response: We agree. An Appendix-III listing will lend additional support to State wildlife agencies in their efforts to regulate and manage these species, improve data gathering to increase our knowledge of trade in these species, and strengthen State and Federal wildlife enforcement activities to prevent poaching and illegal trade.

    Issue 15: With regard to the taxonomy used in your Federal Register publication, it is worth noting that it corresponds to the CITES Standard reference for turtles (Fritz & Havas 2007; Vertebrate Zoology 57(2):149-368) in recognizing the subspecies osceola as valid. However, following a thorough molecular phylogenetic evaluation by Shaffer et al. (2008, in the Biology of the Snapping Turtle volume cited above), this subspecies is no longer recognized as taxonomically valid by the Committee on Standard English and Scientific Names of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, the Canadian Association of Herpetologists, the Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network, Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles and the Herpetologists' League (Crother 2012; ISBN 978-0-916984-85-4) or the Turtle Taxonomy Working Group (TTWG 2014: http://www.iucn-tftsg.org/checklist/). Should these species indeed be included in Appendix III, then this would be a matter to bring to the attention of the Nomenclature Specialist—Zoology of the CITES Animals Committee.

    Our Response: We appreciate this comment and will bring this to the attention of the Nomenclature Specialist. Irrespective of the taxonomic differentiation of the common snapping turtle, all recognized common snapping turtle subspecies will be included in the CITES Appendix-III listing.

    Issue 16: We surveyed the 36 range States for the common snapping turtle, 30 range States for the spiny softshell turtle, 23 range States for the smooth softshell turtle, and 4 range States for the Florida softshell turtle to determine the regulations currently in place to conserve the species. We have found that each of the States has instituted protections, if not outright harvest prohibitions. In particular, 14 of 36 range States representing approximately 35 percent of the common snapping turtle's natural range prohibit commercial harvest, with 19 of the remaining 22 range States allowing licensed, commercial harvest and 9 of the 22 requiring a minimum size of at least 11 inches, which provides for natural reproduction. Relative to the spiny softshell turtle, 18 of 30 range States, representing approximately 50 percent of its natural range, prohibit commercial harvest, with 11 of the remaining 12 States requiring a harvest license and 6 of the 12 States either requiring a minimum size or a harvest season that avoids affecting natural reproduction. Concerning the smooth softshell turtle, 14 of 23 range States, representing approximately 40 percent of its natural range, prohibit commercial harvest, with 8 of the remaining 9 range States requiring a harvest license and 4 of the 9 States requiring a minimum size or harvest season that avoids affecting reproduction. The Florida softshell occurs in four States and, of those four States, two States (Florida and South Carolina) that represent 90 percent of its natural range prohibit harvest, and the other two require a commercial license, with one State requiring a minimum size to avoid effecting reproduction.

    Our Response: We note that one of the criteria for listing a species in CITES Appendix III is that there are domestic regulations in place to prevent or restrict exploitation and to control trade (see discussion under Listing a Native U.S. Species in Appendix III, above). Existing laws have not been completely successful in preventing the unauthorized collection and trade of these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species. Listing these species, including their subspecies (except the Cuatro Cienegas spiny softshell turtle, which is already listed in Appendix I), in Appendix III is necessary to allow us to adequately monitor international trade in these taxa; to determine whether exports are occurring legally, with respect to State law; and to determine whether further measures under CITES or other laws are required to conserve these species and subspecies.

    Issue 17: Recently acquired export data for 2012 and 2013 for just the wild-caught cohorts of these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species indicate that 295,373 common snapping turtles, 63,986 Florida soft-shelled turtles, 230 smooth soft-shelled turtles, and 25,495 spiny soft-shelled turtles were exported over that 2-year period. Reviewing all of the data, we would also strongly support adding to the CITES Appendix-III listing razor-backed musk turtles (Sternotherus carinatus), of which 72,526 wild-caught turtles were exported, and common musk turtles (Sternotherus odoratus), of which 100,361 wild-caught turtles were exported during that same 2-year time period. Sternotherus species are particularly vulnerable to over-collection, as females produce a very small numbers of eggs each year.

    Our Response: These two species were discussed at the Service's freshwater turtle workshop in St. Louis in September 2010. Although the Working Group at the meeting recommended no wild-caught commercial off-take of these two species, it did not recommend including these two species in CITES Appendix III. We evaluate the need for CITES species listings or proposals on a regular, ongoing basis, and we will continue to consider the appropriateness of an Appendix-III listing for these two species.

    Issue 18: The trade in turtles, particularly for the markets in Asia, has decimated turtle populations worldwide. What was once known as the Asian turtle crisis has become a worldwide turtle crisis because of the lengths these markets will go to acquire turtles for food and medicinal purposes.

    Our Response: We agree that there is a substantial large-scale international commercial trade in many turtle species. Turtles are produced in the United States by farms that specialize in propagating captive-bred hatchlings specifically to meet this demand for commercial trade, but turtles are also entering trade through collection from the wild. Listing these species in CITES Appendix III is necessary to allow us to adequately monitor international trade in these taxa; to determine whether exports are occurring legally, with respect to State law; and to determine whether further measures under CITES or other laws are required to conserve these species.

    Issue 19: The aquaculture industry in China preferentially imports wild-caught adult turtles as breeders.

    Our Response: We are aware that there is a demand for large, wild-caught turtles both for food and as breeding adults. Long-term persistent take of wild-caught turtles makes these species vulnerable to decline. We acknowledge that more study is needed to determine what levels of harvest of mature adults of these species are sustainable.

    Issue 20: The Service does not provide any specific evidence or recent cases to support their assertions that State laws are not effectively regulating turtle harvest and that illegal trade and unauthorized collection (poaching) of these species is occurring in the United States.

    Our Response: In our October 30, 2014, proposed rule (79 FR 64553), we stated that existing laws have not been completely successful in preventing the unauthorized collection and trade of these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species. Existing regulatory mechanisms detailed in the proposed rule in this regard, as well as comments we received on the proposed rule, support our initial determination. For example, the State of Virginia, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, commented that “We have cross-referenced annual reports from harvesters with processors and have seen as much as 30,000 pounds unreported in a single season. This discrepancy between harvester reports and processor reports appears to be an issue in other [S]tates as well.”

    Issue 21: This proposed rule was initiated by economically powerful and litigious environmental groups with campaigns that seek to criminalize pet turtle ownership.

    Our Response: The commenter did not provide any evidence of this assertion. In fact, the Service's International Wildlife Trade Program convened a freshwater turtle workshop in St. Louis, Missouri, in September 2010, to discuss the pressing management, regulatory, scientific, and enforcement needs associated with the harvest and trade of freshwater turtles in the United States (see Background, above). The Conservation, Status & Monitoring Working Group at the workshop recommended that listing these species in CITES Appendix III be considered. Based on the recommendations contained in Resolution Conf. 9.25 (Rev. CoP16) and the listing criteria provided in our regulations at 50 CFR 23.90, these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species, including all subspecies, qualify for listing in CITES Appendix III.

    Issue 22: The proposed rule cites Congdon et al. that snapping turtles are late maturing. However, the Congdon et al. study took place in a cold climate State. In the warm southeastern United States, where most turtle farming occurs, turtles may reach maturity in as little as 2 to 3 years.

    Our Response: We agree that under controlled conditions, turtles may reach maturity earlier than would normally occur in the wild. However, maturity rates of captive-bred turtles are not relevant to this listing action.

    Issue 23: There is no information that the Service consulted Native American Tribes as required at 50 CFR 23.90.

    Our Response: Pursuant to 50 CFR 23.90(e)(1), we are required to consult with and solicit comments from all States and Tribes where the species occurs and all other range countries. We met this requirement when we solicited comments during a 60-day comment period from all interested parties in our October 30, 2014, proposed rule (79 FR 64553) and by also directly reaching out to tribal entities to notify them of our proposed rule and to solicit comments from Tribes on our proposed rule. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Native American Liaison's serve as the point of contact between the Service and Tribes. We worked collaboratively with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Native American Liaison's to contact Tribes where these species occur within their respective regions for the purpose of informing them of our proposed rule and to solicit comments on the proposed rule. We did not receive any tribal comments to the proposed rule.

    Issue 24: The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies does not represent individual recommendations from directors of State wildlife agencies. The proposed rule suggests that State wildlife agencies have approved the Appendix-III listing of these turtle species.

    Our Response: We did not intend to imply or assume that State wildlife directors have approved the Appendix-III listing of these turtle species. In fact, we made clear in our October 30, 2014, proposed rule that we have consulted the States, through the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, on this proposed action. Further, the Conservation, Status & Monitoring Working Group at the freshwater turtle workshop in St. Louis, Missouri, in September 2010, recommended that listing these species in CITES Appendix III be considered (see Background, above). Our 60-day comment period for the proposed rule allowed all interested parties an opportunity to comment on our proposal to list these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species in CITES Appendix III, and we received comments from 10 State agencies, as described below.

    Issue 25: Restricting State possession of these species and enacting breeding laws are restrictive domestic measures that are contrary to Article XIV of CITES.

    Our Response: The commenter is in error regarding the interpretation of Article XIV of the Convention and regarding the effect of this Appendix-III listing. An Appendix-III listing is not a stricter domestic measure, nor does it restrict State possession of these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species or enact breeding laws for these species. Article XIV of the Convention explicitly recognizes the rights of Parties to adopt stricter domestic measures to restrict or prohibit trade, taking, possession, or transport of any wildlife or plant species. Resolution Conf. 11.3 (Rev. CoP16) further recommends that Parties make use of stricter domestic measures if they have determined “that an Appendix-II or -III species is being traded . . . in a manner detrimental to the survival of that species” or is being “traded in contravention of the laws of any country involved in the transaction.” When necessary, the United States has utilized stricter domestic measures, such as the ESA, Marine Mammal Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), and Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 (16 U.S.C. 3371-3378), to implement CITES.

    Issue 26: Concerns by citizens who possess and breed common snapping turtles and softshell turtles should be publicly addressed first in an amended proposed rule, before publishing any final rule adding these species to Appendix III of CITES.

    Our Response: The rulemaking process is designed to allow for public input through the public comment period on the proposed rule, and agency response to those comments in the preamble to the final rule, as we have done here. We decline to accept this suggestion.

    Comments From States State of Arkansas, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC)

    Issue 27: AGFC supports this proposed action. The commercial harvest of aquatic turtles has been a component of wildlife resource use by Arkansans for many decades. Three of the four proposed species are commercially harvested in Arkansas: the common snapping turtle, spiny softshell, and smooth softshell. AGFC regulatory changes in 2006 initiated reporting requirements of all turtles harvested from the wild. A quick summary of these harvest data show that between 2004-2014 a total of 46,274 snapping turtles and 70,894 softshell turtles (both species of soft-shelled turtles combined) were harvested from Arkansas waters. It should be noted that these data are incomplete due to either incorrect (listed in pounds of turtle instead of number of individuals) or unreported harvests. Also, these numbers do not reflect whether the animals were exported or retained as captive brood stock. However, it is most likely that the majority of these turtles were exported from the State, destined for the Asian market. Current AGFC regulations impose no limits on the harvest of these species, in terms of season, size class, or numbers, within those areas designated as open to commercial aquatic turtle harvest, which covers approximately one half of the State.

    The only foreseeable impact this CITES listing would have would be on those Arkansas harvesters and dealers that wished to ship turtles directly overseas to foreign buyers. The vast majority of Arkansas turtle sales (including the species in question here) are made to buyers and brokers in California who then ship the turtles overseas, and the onus falls on the broker to obtain all required export permits and fulfill any reporting requirements. The proposed CITES Appendix-III listing of these three commercial aquatic turtle species would appear to have no adverse impacts or place any undue regulatory burden on the current commercial aquatic turtle harvester and dealer community in Arkansas. Therefore, the AGFC supports the proposed CITES Appendix-III listing of these species as it would allow better tracking of international exports of these commercially viable turtle species.

    Our Response: We thank the State of Arkansas for its comments.

    State of Colorado, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW)

    Issue 28: CPW staff members have reviewed the proposal and generally support the inclusion of the common snapping turtle and spiny softshell turtle in Appendix III of CITES. CPW has no comment on the other two species proposed for inclusion as they are not found in Colorado. Both of these native species (common snapping turtle and spiny softshell turtle) are regulated in Colorado, and we agree that their inclusion in CITES Appendix III will increase our ability to monitor their take from the State and allow for better enforcement of their international trade. One specific point we would like to clarify from the Federal Register publication is the State regulations as they apply to the spiny softshell. The Federal Register publication states that collection for personal use is permitted in Colorado. It should be noted that Colorado does not allow possession or collection of the spiny softshell turtle, except by special permit/license.

    Our Response: We thank the State of Colorado for its comments and for correcting the record regarding the regulation for possession and collection of spiny softshell turtles in Colorado.

    State of Florida, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS)

    Issue 29: FDACS is the lead agency for the State of Florida for aquaculture. The department is charged by State law with enhancing the growth of aquaculture while protecting Florida's environment.

    Currently, the department has 56 certified aquaculture facilities that are growing and marketing freshwater turtles, the majority of which include one or several of the species proposed for CITES Appendix-III listing. Turtles are marketed domestically and internationally to the pet trade and for food consumption. Florida aquaculture turtle producers reported sales in 2012 of approximately $1.2 million based upon a survey conducted for the FDACS by the Florida Agricultural Statistics Service. Aquaculture farms certified by FDACS are subject to on-farm inspections for compliance with chapter 597, Florida Aquaculture Policy Act, Florida Statutes and with chapter 5L-3, Aquaculture Best Management Practices, Florida Administrative Code. Each farm must include their unique identification number on all business-related paper trails (receipts, bills of lading, bills of sale), and we encourage including this identification number on packaging. FDACS conducts unannounced farm inspections for compliance with State laws, which includes regulations relative to the possession, transportation, and sale of native species.

    Since 2009, Florida law has prohibited all commercial harvest and trade of native freshwater turtles and eggs from the wild. Existing farms were able to obtain brood stock under a special permit from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; however, the permit is no longer available. Farms must be self-sustaining or obtain stock from other licensed farms or from other States that allow legal commercial harvest and sale of these species. Documentation of stock sources must be maintained by Florida turtle aquaculturists. Wild populations are further protected by these regulations required of all certified Florida turtle farms. Addition of the proposed turtle species in CITES Appendix III will create additional permitting requirements for certified turtle farms exporting products. A Service Import/Export License and filing of the declaration form (FWS Form 3-177) are required for aquaculture turtle shipments along with associated inspection fees. If these species are added to CITES Appendix III, a CITES export permit and potentially a Designated Port Exception Permit will be required for aquaculture shipments. A majority of the Florida turtle farms export hatchlings or market size adults, so a quick turnaround on export applications is critical. Additional permitting requirements increase export time and expenses for farms and potentially result in a loss of revenue if permits cannot be obtained in a timely manner.

    Our Response: We will continue to work with State and tribal agencies and the regulated industry to ensure that our permitting process is as streamlined and efficient as possible, while still meeting our legal obligations.

    State of Iowa, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)

    Issue 30: The State of Iowa's regulations on the commercial harvest of wild turtles are among the least restrictive in the United States. This harvest is limited to the common snapping turtle, smooth softshell turtle, spiny softshell turtle, and painted turtle. Twenty-six years of recorded harvest statistics show the annual total harvest of common snapping turtles and both species of softshell turtles has steadily increased from 1987 to 2012. A steady increase in the number of licensed turtle harvesters has been associated with this increase. Much of these increases have been attributed to the demand for turtles in Asia. Lack of stringent reporting requirements prevents IDNR from knowing where many harvested turtles are marketed. However, it is believed many of the adults are exported to other States for use in turtle aquaculture facilities. Statistical harvest data, turtle life-history information, and available research lead the IDNR to believe harvest is exceeding the capability for wild turtles to sustain their populations.

    An IDNR committee charged with determining the status of wild turtle populations found that the commercial harvest of common snapping turtles, smooth softshell turtles, and spiny softshell turtles is threatening these species due to overharvest and that it is inevitable that these populations will be on a decline if more restrictive harvest regulations are not enacted. However, it should be mentioned that loss of habitat quality and quantity, predation, and water quality are other probable factors influencing turtle populations.

    IDNR tentatively supports the Service's efforts to include the four native U.S. freshwater turtle species in Appendix III of CITES. However, there is concern for the IDNR's role in meeting CITES Appendix-III requirements. Undoubtedly more staff time will be needed to administer, coordinate, and enforce Federal CITES regulations. Iowa may also need to promulgate rules for regulatory purposes. Before full support can be given, the Service must clearly communicate with all States the processes involved in issuing CITES tags, and those processes must not be overly burdensome to the States.

    Our Response: A CITES Appendix-III listing only applies to import, export, and re-export of specimens covered by the listing. In June 2006, the United States listed the alligator snapping turtle (Macroclemys temminckii) and all species of map turtle (Graptemys spp.) in Appendix III of CITES. There are no U.S. CITES tagging requirements for any turtle species, and we do not foresee any regulatory or administrative burdens that will fall to the States. Export permits will be the responsibility of the exporter.

    State of Louisiana, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF)

    Issue 31: LDAF is opposed to this proposed rule for the following reasons:

    • Additional expenses will be incurred by turtle farmers for more CITES permits and inspections. All shipments containing a CITES species must be inspected at the airport prior to shipment. The Service charges an inspection fee, as does the shipping agent responsible for correctly packing and handling the shipment.

    • Legitimate farmers are being punished due to the actions of illegal traders that may be collecting turtles from the wild, while Louisiana turtles are captive-raised.

    • The Service has no way to determine if exported turtles are wild-caught or captive-raised from export documents because they have no source code for captive-raised turtles. On the export form (FWS Form 3-177), all turtles are required to be listed as “LIV” and “W” for live, wild-caught, and this is not a true reflection of Louisiana exports, which are farm-raised.

    • The Service cites export statistics when demand was high but due to the cyclical nature of the turtle market, demand for softshells has dramatically fallen in the last few years and demand for snappers is slowing down, especially in the Asian market.

    Therefore, we oppose the listing of these four species of turtles under CITES Appendix III. However, if they are to be listed, we ask that they be added to the Master File that is approved by the Service every year.

    Our Response: The trade information presented in our October 30, 2014, proposed rule (79 FR 64553) was the best available data at the time. We have updated that information above (see Listing a Native U.S. Species in Appendix III) which shows that exportation of live snapping turtles from the United States increased by 69.7% during 2012-2014 as compared to 2009-2011. Also during 2012-2014 as compared to 2009-2011, live softshell turtles exported from the United States increased by 5.7%.

    Personal collection and commercial harvest of these species is permitted in Louisiana. In our proposed rule, we acknowledge that export levels vary from year to year. We also believe that the potential remains for significant exports in the future based on overseas demand. It is not the case, as a matter of law, that all CITES shipments must be inspected. The requirement to declare these species at the time of export and make them available for inspection already applies. Subsequent to this listing, we expect that we will be working with interested parties to explore the feasibility of a Master File system for these species as well as an assessment of how our reporting forms can accurately discriminate between wild-caught and farm-raised turtles.

    State of Louisiana, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF)

    Issue 32: Exports of the common snapping turtle have increased steadily during the past 10 years, from about 130,000 turtles in 2003, to 3,157,000 turtles in 2013. In 2013, Louisiana turtle farmers exported less than 2 percent of the national total. We have been able to determine that the majority of exported snapping turtles are farmed hatchlings that originate from sources and operations in the Midwest. At this time, we do not oppose a CITES Appendix-III listing for the common snapping turtle.

    Of the three softshell turtle species proposed for listing in CITES Appendix III, the smooth softshell rarely enters into commerce, and exports have declined from about 10,000 in 2003, to about 75 per year in the past 3 years. The spiny softshell has shown no substantial increase: average of 36,000 per year (2003-2006) to an average of 62,000 per year (2010-2013). Hatchlings that were raised on Louisiana turtle farms accounted for 15 percent of spiny softshell exports in 2013. The IUCN considers the conservation status of the smooth and spiny softshells as “Least Concern.” Based on this status, the relatively low export numbers, a relatively inactive market, and the fact that many to most of the exported turtles are farm-raised hatchlings, we see no justification for the action, and therefore recommend against a CITES Appendix-III listing for the smooth and spiny softshells.

    The Florida softshell has shown an increase in exports during the past 10 years, from an average of about 44,000 per year (2003-2006) to an average of about 428,000 per year (2010-2013). The proposed rule makes outdated claims relative to this species (e.g., “It is the most intensively harvested freshwater turtle in Florida” and “The level of wild harvest necessary to maintain farm production is unknown”). Florida banned all commercial take of freshwater turtles in 2009, and limited personal take to one turtle per day. Licensed turtle farms were given until 2011 to collect turtles for breeding stock. Thus, there is no longer a threat of harvest of Florida softshell in Florida, as wild harvest has been illegal for 3 years, and remains so. The other three range States for the Florida softshell have very limited population sizes (Alabama), or regulate the number that may be removed for commerce (Georgia and South Carolina). One Florida turtle farm accounted for about one-third of all Florida softshell hatchlings that were exported in 2013. Because commerce and exports of Florida softshell are almost completely limited to farm-raised hatchlings, and because its status is also considered “Least Concern” by IUCN, we see no justification for the action and therefore recommend against a CITES Appendix-III listing for the Florida softshell.

    Our Response: We thank the LDWF for its comments. The criteria for listing species in CITES Appendix III are different from the criteria used by the IUCN in evaluating the conservation status of a species. The criteria for deciding to list U.S. species in Appendix III are outlined at 50 CFR 23.90. As detailed above (see Listing a Native U.S. Species in Appendix III), we have complied with these criteria in deciding to list these four species in CITES Appendix III.

    State of Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR)

    Issue 33: MDNR has reviewed the proposed rule and supports the Service's proposal. The common snapping turtle occurs throughout most of Minnesota, and commercial harvest of this species has been widely practiced for many years. Because monitoring and regulation of this harvest was believed to be inadequate, the common snapping turtle was designated a Species of Special Concern under Minnesota's Endangered Species Act (Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 84.08 95) in 1984. While no formal population monitoring data were available, abundant anecdotal accounts of declining populations supported this concern. In response to the considerable scientific evidence that the commercial harvest of wild turtle populations is not sustainable in northern latitudes, in 2004, the MDNR undertook a major revision of the State's statutes and rules governing turtle harvest. Among many changes was a phase-out of commercial harvest by placing a moratorium on the sale of new harvest licenses and implementing several improvements in reporting and recordkeeping. While a complete elimination of commercial harvest is still many years off, regulation and monitoring of harvest has been improved, and in 2013, the MDNR removed the common snapping turtle's designation under the Minnesota's Endangered Species Act. Although the enclosed report indicates that the number of commercial licenses issued has declined since 2002, the harvest of common snapping turtles remains substantial, and shows little evidence of a decline in the near term. Consequently, the MDNR supports the Service's proposal to list the common snapping turtle in CITES Appendix III.

    The smooth softshell turtle is restricted to the lower reaches of the St. Croix, Minnesota, and Mississippi Rivers in Minnesota. Due to its vulnerability to channelization, siltation, water pollution, and disturbance of nesting sites by humans and predators, the smooth softshell turtle was designated a Species of Special Concern under Minnesota's Endangered Species Act in 1984, and retains that designation to this date. Research into the habitat use of this species is ongoing within the MDNR. Harvest of the smooth softshell turtle is not permitted in Minnesota. Given the species vulnerable status within the State, MDNR supports the Service's proposal to list the smooth softshell turtle in CITES Appendix III.

    The spiny softshell turtle is found throughout the central and southern portions of Minnesota, and commercial harvest is permitted. Because harvest pressure on this species has historically not been as great as the pressure placed upon the common snapping turtle, this species has not received the concern given to the common snapping turtle. The enclosed report provides evidence that the harvest of this species is small and continuing to decline. While improvements in commercial harvest regulations have benefitted this species, concerns that commercial turtle harvest at any scale from wild populations is not sustainable in Minnesota leads the MDNR to support the Service's proposal to include the spiny softshell turtle in Appendix III of CITES.

    An additional change made to Minnesota's laws in 2004 created the regulatory framework for turtle farming in the State. While there has been relatively little activity in this area to date, there is evidence that turtle farming will become an increasingly popular activity in Minnesota in the future, and listing of these three turtles in CITES Appendix III would aid the MDNR in monitoring that activity and its relationship to harvest from the wild.

    Our Response: We thank the MDNR for its comments, including additional clarity on the status of these species in Minnesota.

    State of North Carolina, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC)

    Issue 34: NCWRC supports the proposal to include the common snapping turtle, Florida softshell turtle, smooth softshell turtle, and spiny softshell turtle in CITES Appendix III so that they are monitored in international trade. Although only two of the species (common snapping turtle and spiny softshell turtle) occur in North Carolina, the listing of all four North American turtles is warranted to prevent any common snapping turtle or U.S. softshell turtle from being illegally exported in international trade. As these turtles are not being monitored in international trade at this time, it is important to begin monitoring these turtles to determine the exportation rate to overseas markets and how these markets may expand in the future. This export monitoring could have an impact on how these turtles are managed within their current native ranges to ensure stable populations.

    Current North Carolina wildlife regulations allow the common snapping turtle to be collected for personal consumption and trade, while the spiny softshell turtle may not be commercially collected. North Carolina regulations currently allow 10 snapping turtles to be collected per day, and 100 per year, by each collector. These limits were put in place due to high harvest numbers (thousands for some individual collectors) occurring for snapping turtles and other species prior to 2003. At the State level, we increased monitoring efforts and took regulatory action over a decade ago, and efforts should be increased at the Federal level to do the same. International trade in these species to meet the growing demand from other regions of the world could result in population declines within North Carolina and other States.

    The apparent increase in exports of the common snapping turtle (as shown in the 2009-2011 data in the October 30, 2014, proposed rule at 79 FR 64557), coupled with declining turtle populations in Asia (see van Dijk, P.P., B.L. Stuart, and A.G.J. Rhodin, Editors. 2000. Asian Turtle Trade: Proceedings of a Workshop on Conservation and Trade of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises in Asia, Chelonian Research Monographs, Number 2: pp. 1-164), could lead to increasing numbers of common snapping turtles and softshell turtles impacted in the United States. The findings of Congdon, Dunham, and Sels (1994. Demographics of Common Snapping Turtle, (Chelydra serpentina): Implications for Conservation and Management of Long-lived Organisms. American Zoologists, Volume 34: pp. 397-408) on snapping turtle survivorship and possible impacts from commercial harvesting suggest that long-lived vertebrates have more difficulty recovering from commercial harvest, and that because of long generation times, detection of population recovery may be delayed.

    Export monitoring of common snapping turtles and the three softshell turtles that are the subjects of the proposed rule is warranted to determine if their trade increases over time. At present, declines are not apparent in populations of these turtle species, but as fewer turtles are available from other countries, North American turtle populations are at risk from unregulated export.

    Our Response: We thank the NCWRC for its comments, including current North Carolina regulatory information regarding the common snapping turtle and spiny softshell turtle.

    State of Texas, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD)

    Issue 35: TPWD currently permits commercial collection (from private water bodies) of three of the four freshwater turtle species listed in the Service's proposal to amend CITES Appendix III. Those species are the smooth softshell turtle, spiny softshell turtle, and common snapping turtle. The Florida softshell turtle does not occur in Texas. Collection of any freshwater turtle species from public water bodies is not allowed in Texas. Export to international markets has historically been the primary driver of freshwater turtle commercial collection in Texas. Assessing the impact of this practice has been challenging. Detection of illegal collection and trade by State law enforcement officials is difficult. Therefore, TPWD supports including the above-mentioned turtles in Appendix III of CITES. TPWD believes this inclusion will provide valuable data regarding freshwater turtle trade and will better inform management efforts and harvest guidelines.

    Our Response: We thank the TPWD for its comments, including current regulatory information regarding the collection of freshwater turtles in Texas.

    State of Virginia, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF)

    Issue 36: DGIF supports the proposed action to include the snapping turtle, Florida softshell, smooth softshell, and spiny softshell in CITES Appendix III so that they can be monitored in international trade. Of the four species that are the subjects of the proposed rule, the snapping turtle and spiny softshell both occur in Virginia, and only the snapping turtle is permitted for commercial harvest. During 2002-2013, the harvest of snapping turtles in Virginia increased 12-fold (1,200 percent), with 2013 reports documenting the highest single-year harvest (7,926 individual turtles). These harvest numbers should be considered conservative estimates, given the inaccuracies often found in harvest reports. We have cross-referenced annual reports from harvesters with processors and have seen as much as 30,000 pounds unreported in a single season. This discrepancy between harvester reports and processor reports appears to be an issue in other States as well. Although it is one of the fastest growing commercial harvests in many States, the commercial harvest of snapping turtles is also one of the poorest managed and monitored commercial harvests.

    Our Response: We thank the DGIF for its comments, including important information regarding the commercial harvest of the common snapping turtle.

    Issue 37: According to Crother (2012), the common name for “snapping turtle” does not include the word “common.” According to Crother (2012), the common names for “Florida softshell” and “spiny softshell” do not include “turtle.”

    Our Response: Although we use common names where appropriate, they cannot be relied upon for identification of any specimen, as they may vary greatly in local usage. Our use of a common name is based on current wider usage. In addition, the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), a database representing a partnership of U.S., Canadian, and Mexican agencies, other organizations, and taxonomic specialists designed to provide scientifically credible taxonomic information, includes the common names “common snapping turtle,” “Florida softshell turtle,” and “spiny softshell turtle”; therefore, we accept the use of these common names where appropriate. Because of the potential for confusion with common names, specimens must be identified on CITES permits using the scientific (Latin) name.

    Issue 38: We recommend not including or highlighting harvest reports from those States where the snapping turtle is considered invasive. These few States are irrelevant to the overall conservation of the species.

    Our Response: A CITES Appendix-III listing of the common snapping turtle applies to specimens destined for export that are derived from throughout the United States. On February 3, 1999, Executive Order 13112 was signed, which directed Federal agencies to address invasive species issues to not authorize, fund, or carry out actions likely to cause or promote the introduction or spread of invasive species, and also established the National Invasive Species Council. Executive Order 13112 requires monitoring invasive species populations accurately and reliably. Requiring harvest reports from those States where the snapping turtle is considered invasive could preclude additional introductions and potential `laundering' of illegal specimens and will contribute to compliance with Executive Order 13112.

    Issue 39: The Service's export database (LEMIS) only reports what is exported, not those animals processed for domestic sale. Considering the typical sex ratio of snapping turtles is about 1:1 and mostly females are being exported, the summary in the proposed rule may grossly underestimate the actual harvest amounts. This situation is exacerbated by inaccurate commercial harvest reporting and by unreported recreational harvest. Therefore, the actual number of snapping turtles being harvested could be potentially twice the numbers summarized by the Service. In the proposed rule's summary of total harvest figures, “farm-raised” turtles include the offspring of wild-caught, gravid snapping turtles. We contend that those animals are being taken from the wild and should be reported as such.

    Our Response: We acknowledge the need to improve reporting of harvest levels of these species. A CITES Appendix-III listing of these species will assist us in this effort.

    Issue 40: The snapping turtle harvest size limits are often focused on larger individuals, which is contrary to the life history of a long-lived species with low nest and hatchling survivorship and high adult survivorship. In such reproductive strategies, we want to protect the larger reproductive adults, but we have found that harvesters do not want smaller turtles.

    Our Response: Long-term persistent take of wild-caught turtles makes these species vulnerable to decline. We acknowledge that more study is needed to determine what levels of harvest of mature adults of these species are sustainable.

    Decision To List Four Native U.S. Freshwater Turtle Species

    Based on the recommendations contained in Resolution Conf. 9.25 (Rev. CoP16) and the listing criteria provided in our regulations at 50 CFR 23.90, these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species, including all subspecies, qualify for listing in CITES Appendix III. Declines have been documented or locally severe declines may be possible in at least some portions of the range of these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species, although the Florida softshell seems to be resistant to high levels of commercial harvest. Take of Florida softshells in Florida is regulated, and it is a species of special concern in South Carolina. Although snapping turtle populations are known to be vigorous throughout much of the species' range, long-term persistent take makes the species vulnerable to decline. Existing laws have not been completely successful in preventing the unauthorized collection and trade of these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species. Listing these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species, including their subspecies, except the Cuatro Cienegas spiny softshell turtle (A. s. atra [=Apalone atra], Webb and Legler 1960), which is already listed in CITES Appendix I, in CITES Appendix III is necessary to allow us to adequately monitor international trade in these taxa; to determine whether exports are occurring legally, with respect to State law; and to determine whether further measures under CITES or other laws are required to conserve these species and subspecies. An Appendix-III listing will lend additional support to State wildlife agencies in their efforts to regulate and manage these species, improve data gathering to increase our knowledge of trade in these species, and strengthen State and Federal wildlife enforcement activities to prevent poaching and illegal trade. Furthermore, listing these species in Appendix III will enlist the assistance of other countries in our efforts to monitor and control trade in these species and subspecies.

    Accordingly, we are listing the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina), Florida softshell turtle (Apalone ferox), smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica), and spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera) in Appendix III of CITES. The listing includes live and dead whole specimens, and all readily recognizable parts, products, and derivatives, of these species and their subspecies, except Apalone spinifera atra, which is already included in Appendix I of CITES. The term “readily recognizable” is defined in our regulations at 50 CFR 23.5 and means any specimen that appears from a visual, physical, scientific, or forensic examination or test; an accompanying document, packaging, mark, or label; or any other circumstances to be a part, product, or derivative of any CITES wildlife or plant, unless such part, product, or derivative is specifically exempt from the provisions of CITES or 50 CFR part 23.

    Our regulations at 50 CFR 23.90 require us to publish a proposed rule and a final rule for a CITES Appendix-III listing even though, if a proposed rule is adopted, the final rule will not result in any changes to the Code of Federal Regulations. Instead, this final rule will result in DMA notifying the CITES Secretariat to amend Appendix III by including these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species (including their subspecies, except Apalone spinifera atra, which is already included in Appendix I of CITES), in Appendix III of CITES for the United States.

    Subsequent to today's publication in the Federal Register of this final rule to list these species and their subspecies in CITES Appendix III, we will notify the CITES Secretariat. An Appendix-III listing becomes effective 90 days after the Secretariat notifies the CITES Parties of the listing. The effective date of this rule (see DATES, above) has been extended to give the CITES Secretariat sufficient time to notify all Parties of the listing.

    Required Determinations Regulatory Planning and Review—Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

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

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

    Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) and Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (5 U.S.C. 802(2)), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small government jurisdictions). However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of an agency certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Department of the Interior certifies that this action will not have a significant effect on a substantial number of small entities for the reasons discussed below.

    This final rule establishes the means to monitor the international trade in species native to the United States and does not impose any new or changed restriction on the trade of legally acquired specimens. Based on current exports of these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species, we estimate that the costs to implement this rule will be less than $100,000 annually due to the costs associated with obtaining permits.

    According to the Small Business Administration, small entities include small organizations, such as independent nonprofit organizations; small governmental jurisdictions, including school boards and city and town governments that serve fewer than 50,000 residents; and small businesses (13 CFR 121.201). Small businesses include aquaculture businesses with less than $750,000.00 in annual sales. This final rule:

    (a) Will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.

    (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions.

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

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.)

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501), the Service has determined that this rulemaking will not impose a cost of $100 million or more in any given year on local or State governments or private entities. The implementation of this rule is by Federal agencies, and there is no cost imposed on any State or local entities or tribal governments. This rule will not have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector because the Service, as the lead agency for CITES implementation in the United States, is responsible for the issuance of permits and the authorization of shipments of live wildlife, and wildlife parts and products, for CITES-listed species.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    This final rule does not contain any new collections of information that require approval by Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Information that we will collect under this final rule on FWS Form 3-200-27 is covered by an existing OMB approval and has been assigned OMB control number 1018-0093, which expires on May 31, 2017. We may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

    This final rule has been analyzed under the criteria of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Department of the Interior procedures for compliance with NEPA (Departmental Manual (DM) and 43 CFR part 46), and Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508). This final rule does not amount to a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. An environmental impact statement or evaluation is not required. This final rule is a regulation that is of an administrative, legal, technical, or procedural nature, and its environmental effects are too broad, speculative, or conjectural to lend themselves to meaningful analysis under NEPA. The FWS has determined that this final rule is categorically excluded from further NEPA review as provided by 516 DM 2, Appendix 1.9, of the Department of the Interior National Environmental Policy Act Revised Implementing Procedures and 43 CFR 46.210(i). No further documentation will be made.

    Takings (Executive Order 12630)

    In accordance with Executive Order (E.O.) 12630 (“Government Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Private Property Rights”), we have determined that this final rule will not have significant takings implications. While export, which was previously unregulated, will now be regulated, export will still be allowed.

    Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    In accordance with E.O. 13132 (Federalism), this final rule will not have significant Federalism effects. A federalism summary impact statement is not required because this final rule will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Although this final rule will generate information that will be beneficial to State wildlife agencies, we do not anticipate that any State monitoring or control programs will need to be developed to fulfill the purpose of this final rule. We have consulted the States, through the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, on this action. In addition, 10 of the comments we received to our proposed rule (October 30, 2014; 79 FR 64553) were from State agencies, and our final decision reflects consideration of the information and opinions we have received from those State agencies. This final rule will help us more effectively conserve these species and will help those affected by CITES to understand how to conduct lawful international trade in wildlife and wildlife products.

    Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    The Department, in promulgating this rule, has determined that it will not unduly burden the judicial system and that it meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

    Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, Government-to-Government Relations With Native American Tribal Governments (59 FR 22951), E.O. 13175, and the Department of the Interior's manual at 512 DM 2, we have a responsibility to communicate meaningfully with Federally recognized Indian Tribes on a government-to-government basis. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Native American Liaison's serve as the point of contact between the Service and Tribes. We worked collaboratively with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Native American Liaison's to contact Tribes where these species occur within their respective regions for the purpose of informing them of our proposed rule and to solicit comments on the proposed rule. In accordance with Secretarial Order 3206 of June 5, 1997 (American Indian Tribal Rights, Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act), we readily acknowledge our responsibilities to work directly with Tribes in developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to acknowledge that tribal lands are not subject to the same controls as Federal public lands, to remain sensitive to Indian culture, and to make information available to Tribes. We determined that this final rule will not interfere with the Tribes' ability to manage themselves or their funds or to regulate these turtle species on tribal lands.

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

    E.O. 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking actions that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, or use. This final rule will not significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action, and no Statement of Energy Effects is required.

    References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited in this final rule is available upon request from the Division of Management Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Author

    The primary author of this final rule is Clifton A. Horton, Division of Management Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Amendment to CITES Appendix III

    Our regulations at 50 CFR 23.90 require us to publish a proposed rule and, if appropriate, a final rule for a CITES Appendix-III listing, even though the final rule will not result in any changes to the Code of Federal Regulations. Accordingly, for the reasons provided in this final rule, we will ask the CITES Secretariat to amend Appendix III of CITES to include for the United States these four native U.S. freshwater turtle species: the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina), Florida softshell turtle (Apalone ferox), smooth softshell turtle (Apalone mutica), and spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera). This listing includes live and dead whole specimens, and all readily recognizable parts, products, and derivatives of these species and their subspecies, except Apalone spinifera atra, which is already included in Appendix I of CITES.

    As a result of this action, exporters must obtain an export permit issued by the Service's Division of Management Authority; pack and ship live specimens according to the IATA Live Animals Regulations or the CITES Guidelines for the non-air transport of live wild animals and plants; and follow all applicable regulations pertaining to the export of wildlife, including declaration of the shipment to the Service prior to export.

    Dated: April 1, 2016. Stephen Guertin, Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11201 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    81 100 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-5856; Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-9] Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Park River, ND AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Park River Airport—WC Skjerven Field, Park River, ND. Controlled airspace is necessary to accommodate new Standard Instrument Approach Procedures developed at Park River Airport—WC Skjerven Field, for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before July 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2016-5856; Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-9, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

    FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: 202-267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.9Z at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rebecca Shelby, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5857.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part, A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would establish Class E airspace at Park River Airport—WC Skjerven Field, Park River, ND.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2016-5856/Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-9.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRMs should contact the FAA's Office of Rulemaking, (202) 267-9677, for a copy of Advisory Circular No. 11-2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application procedure.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

    This document proposes to amend FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015. FAA Order 7400.9Z is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.9Z lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7-mile radius of Park River Airport—WC Skjerven Field, Park River, ND, to accommodate new standard instrument approach procedures. Controlled airspace is needed for the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    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, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. 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. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AGL ND E5 Park River, ND [New] Park River Airport—WC Skjerven Field (Lat. 48°23′39″ N., long. 097°46′51″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7-mile radius of Park River Airport—WC Skjerven Field.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 10, 2016. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11957 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Parts 701 and 702 RIN 3084-AB24 and AB25 Rule Governing Disclosure of Written Consumer Product Warranty Terms and Conditions; Rule Governing Pre-Sale Availability of Written Warranty Terms ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) proposes to amend the rules on Disclosure of Written Consumer Product Warranty Terms and Conditions (Disclosure Rule) and Pre-Sale Availability of Written Warranty Terms (Pre-Sale Availability Rule) to give effect to the E-Warranty Act, which allows for the use of Internet Web sites to disseminate warranty terms to consumers in some circumstances.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 17, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Amending Warranty Rules Pursuant to the E-Warranty Act, Matter No. P044403” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc//E-WarrantyAmendments, by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “Amending Warranty Rules Pursuant to the E-Warranty Act, Matter No. P044403” 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 E), 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 E), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gary Ivens, (202) 326-2330, Attorney, Division of Marketing Practices, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Summary of the Proposed Rules A. The Disclosure Rule

    The Disclosure Rule 1 establishes disclosure requirements for written warranties on consumer products that cost more than $15.00.2 In 1975, the Commission issued the Disclosure Rule as authorized by Congress in the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act 3 (MMWA).

    1 16 CFR part 701.

    2 40 FR 60171-60172 (Dec. 31, 1975).

    3 15 U.S.C. 2302.

    The Disclosure Rule also specifies the aspects of warranty coverage that must be disclosed in written warranties, as well as the exact language that must be used for certain disclosures with respect to state law regarding the duration of implied warranties and the availability of consequential or incidental damages. Under the Disclosure Rule, warranty information must be disclosed in simple, easily understandable, and concise language in a single document. Similarly, the warrantor must disclose any limitations on the duration of implied warranties on the face of the warranty, as mandated by MMWA.4 In promulgating the Disclosure Rule, the Commission determined that certain material facts about product warranties must be disclosed because the failure to do so would be deceptive or misleading.

    4See 15 U.S.C. 2308(b).

    Briefly, the Commission proposes to revise the Disclosure Rule to specify that disclosures mandated to appear “on the face” of a warranty posted on an Internet Web site or displayed electronically must be placed in close proximity to the location where the text of the warranty terms begins.

    B. The Pre-Sale Availability Rule

    The Pre-Sale Availability Rule 5 details the methods by which warrantors and sellers must provide warranty terms to consumers prior to sale of the warranted item. The Commission issued the Pre-Sale Availability Rule in response to a mandate from Congress as set forth in the MMWA.

    5 16 CFR part 702.

    Briefly, the Commission proposes to revise the Pre-Sale Availability Rule to allow warrantors to post warranty terms on Internet Web sites if they also provide a non-Internet based method for consumers to obtain the warranty terms and satisfy certain other conditions.

    As discussed more fully below, these rule revisions are required to comply with Congress's passage of the E-Warranty Act 6 (E-Warranty or the Act). The Commission invites comment on the proposed rule revisions generally and on the specific issues outlined in Section III of this Notice. The Commission seeks comment on the proposal through June 17, 2016.

    6 E-Warranty Act, Public Law 114-51 (Sept. 24, 2015).

    II. Background

    The MMWA authorizes the Commission to prescribe rules requiring disclosure of warranty terms and requiring that the terms of any written warranty on a consumer product be made available to the prospective purchaser prior to the sale of the product.7 In 1975, the Commission issued both the Disclosure Rule, which establishes disclosure requirements for written warranties, and the Pre-Sale Availability Rule, which includes requirements for sellers and warrantors to make the text of any warranty on a consumer product available to the consumer prior to sale. Among other things, the Pre-Sale Availability Rule requires most sellers to make warranties readily available either by: (1) Displaying the warranty document in close proximity to the product or (2) furnishing the warranty document on request and posting signs in prominent locations advising consumers that warranties are available. The Pre-Sale Availability Rule requires warrantors to provide materials to enable sellers to comply with the Rule's requirements. The Rule also sets out how sellers should make warranty information available pre-sale if selling the product at retail locations, through catalogs, mail order, or door-to-door sales.

    7 15 U.S.C. 2302.

    E-Warranty amends the MMWA to allow, under certain circumstances, the posting of warranties on warrantors' Internet Web sites as an alternative method of complying with the Pre-Sale Availability Rule, and to permit sellers to make warranty terms available to consumers pre-sale via electronic means where the warrantor has chosen the online option.8 E-Warranty charges the Commission with promulgating consistent changes to the Disclosure Rule and the Pre-Sale Availability Rule within one year of the Act's passage.9

    8 In a recent review of the warranty interpretations, rules, and guides (16 CFR parts 700-703 and 239), which was completed before enactment of the E-Warranty Act, the Commission declined certain commenters' requests to allow brick-and-mortar sellers to refer consumers to online warranty terms as a method of complying with the Pre-Sale Availability Rule. The Commission noted that the intent of the Rule is to make warranty information available at the point of sale, so for the seller simply to refer the consumer to a Web site where the warranty could be found would be insufficient. See 80 FR 42710, 42717 (July 20, 2015).

    9 Under the E-Warranty Act, the Commission must issue the final amended rules by September 24, 2016. The Commission determines that taking of oral presentations from interested parties would interfere with its ability to amend the Disclosure Rule and the Pre-Sale Availability Rule in a timely fashion. Accordingly, as provided by the E-Warranty Act, the Commission waives the requirement to give interested persons an opportunity for oral presentation. See Public Law 114-51, sec. 3(b)(2).

    III. The Commission's Proposed Rule Changes

    The Commission proposes to modify the Disclosure Rule and the Pre-Sale Availability Rule to implement the E-Warranty Act and effectuate its purposes. Currently, sellers are obliged to provide warranty terms pre-sale to consumers through a variety of methods such as displaying them in close proximity to the warranted products, or by furnishing them upon request prior to sale and posting prominent signs to let customers know that warranties can be examined upon request, posting them in a catalog in close conjunction to the warranted product, or having them available for consumers' review in a door-to-door sales presentation. The proposed amendments will allow sellers the additional option of using an electronic method to make warranty terms available to consumers at the point of sale for warranted products where the warrantor has chosen the online method of disseminating the warranty terms.

    Warrantors currently must provide retailers the warranty materials sellers need to meet their requirements under the Pre-Sale Availability Rule, such as providing copies of the warranty, providing warranty stickers, tags, signs, or posters, or printing the warranty on the product's packaging. The amendment does not alter the duties of warrantors who do not choose to employ an online method to supply warranty terms. The E-Warranty Act provides that warrantors who choose the online method of disseminating warranty terms must provide consumers the address of the Internet Web site where the specific product's warranty terms can be reviewed and also supply a non-Internet method, such as a phone number or mailing address, for consumers and sellers to request the warranty terms. If a consumer or seller 10 makes such a request, the warrantor must provide the warranty terms promptly and free and of charge.

    10 Sellers are given the option of requesting the warranty terms free of charge from the warrantor because not all sellers will be equipped to employ an electronic option in cases where the warrantor has chosen the online method to supply warranty terms. For example, a small seller may not have Internet access or electronic devices to download and display warranty terms for consumers' review at the point of sale. Those sellers' duties to have warranty terms available pre-sale, however, have not changed under E-Warranty. The Commission believes that requiring warrantors to supply sellers with warranty terms upon request so that sellers can make them available for consumers' review at the point of sale effectuates Congress's desire to ensure the continued availability of pre-sale warranty terms.

    The first proposed revisions alter § 701.1 to add a definition of the term “manufacturer” at § 701.1(g) (defining manufacturer as “any person engaged in the business of making a consumer product”), add that term in the definition of “warrantor,” and re-letter the paragraphs in § 701.1 to account for the additional definition. The Commission proposes these revisions in light of E-Warranty's use of the term “manufacturer.”

    The next proposed revision adds a new § 701.1(j)(3) to specify that, in conjunction with warranty terms posted on an Internet Web site or displayed electronically, the phrase “on the face” means in close proximity to the location where the warranty terms begin. Although the Disclosure Rule does not explicitly mention online commerce, it applies to the sale of warranted consumer products online. Commission staff recently updated the .Com Disclosures to provide additional guidance on disclosure obligations in the online context. As stated in the updated .Com Disclosures, warranties communicated through visual text online are no different from paper versions and the same rules apply.11 The Commission therefore proposes to clarify this requirement for online disclosures.

    11See FTC, .Com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising (2013), at 3, fn.7, available at https://ftc.gov/os/2013/03/130312dotcomdisclosures.pdf.

    The next proposed revision is to § 702.1(d) to include the manufacturer in the definition of “warrantor.” The Commission proposes this revision to comport with E-Warranty's use of the term “manufacturer.” The next revision adds a new § 702.1(g) to define a “manufacturer” (in the same manner as the proposed revision of § 701.1(g)) as “any person engaged in the business of making a consumer product.”

    The next proposed revisions are to § 702.3(a) to provide that sellers can provide warranty terms pre-sale through electronic means if the warrantor of the product has chosen the online option. If a seller uses an electronic means, that seller must still make the warranty text readily available for consumers' examination prior to sale.

    The proposed changes to § 702.3(b)(1)(i) would remove superfluous instances of the term “and/or” and “and” in that paragraph, as the prefatory language already notes that the warrantor must use one or more of the methods described in that paragraph to provide sellers with the prescribed warranty materials.

    The next proposed revision adds a new § 702.3(b)(2) to reflect that, as an alternative method of compliance with the Pre-Sale Availability Rule, a warrantor may refer consumers to an accessible digital copy of the warranty by providing to the consumer the Internet address where the specific product's warranty has been posted in a clear and conspicuous manner. To employ this option, the warrantor, among other duties, must supply in the product manual, or on the product or product packaging, the Internet address where the consumer can review and obtain the specific product's warranty terms, as well as the phone number, postal mailing address, or other reasonable non-Internet based means for the consumer to request a free copy of the warranty terms.

    Proposed § 702.3(b)(2)(iv) requires the warrantor utilizing the online option to provide sufficient information with the consumer product or on the Internet Web site so that the consumer can readily locate the specific product's warranty terms. The Commission believes that this requirement comports with Congress's directive that online warranties be available to consumers “in a clear and conspicuous manner.” 12 Similarly, if a consumer or seller requests via phone, mail, or other reasonable non-Internet-based means, that the warrantor provide a hard copy of the warranty, proposed § 702.3(b)(2)(ii) requires the warrantor to provide it promptly and free of charge, which comports with existing pre-sale requirements for catalog and mail order sales.

    12See 15 U.S.C. 2302(b)(4)(A)(i).

    The next proposed revision alters § 702.3(c)(2)(i)(B) to reflect that the mail-order or catalog seller must provide the address of the Internet Web site of the warrantor where the warranty terms can be reviewed (if such Internet Web site exists), as well as either a phone number or address that the consumer can use to request a free copy of the warranty, and notes that the copy may be provided electronically if the product's warrantor has used the online option.

    Finally, the next proposed revision alters § 702.3(d)(2) to reflect that the door-to-door seller may supply the warranty through an electronic option if the product's warrantor has employed the online method.

    IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act 13 (RFA) requires each agency either to provide an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) with a proposed rule, or certify that the proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.14 The FTC does not expect that the rule revisions necessitated by E-Warranty will have a significant economic impact on small sellers and warrantors. As discussed above, the proposed revisions will relieve those warrantors who choose the online method from providing warranty materials to certain sellers. Affected sellers, however, should be able easily to obtain the warranties and provide them to consumers for review at the point of sale, either by obtaining the warranties from the warrantor's Web site or by requesting a hard copy from the warrantor. Also, the proposed amendment allows sellers of goods whose warrantors have employed the online method the ability to provide pre-sale warranty terms electronically. Thus, if the proposal is adopted, a small seller that is in compliance with current law would need to take only minimal additional action to remain compliant.

    13 5 U.S.C. 603.

    14 5 U.S.C. 605.

    The small warrantor that does not choose the Internet option to supply warranty terms can remain compliant simply by continuing with its existing practices. The small warrantor that has been including the entire warranty with the warranted product and supplying warranty materials so that sellers can meet Pre-Sale Availability Rule obligations will have a smaller compliance burden under the proposal by being able to provide the warranty terms solely on an Internet Web site. That small warrantor, however, will likely incur costs to establish a phone number, address, or other non-Internet based method that consumers and sellers can use to request a free hard copy of warranty terms.

    With respect to the amendments to the Disclosure Rule, a small entity that is in compliance with current law need not take any different or additional action if the proposal is adopted, as the proposed revisions merely explain how the “on the face of the warranty” requirement applies to online warranty terms.

    Accordingly, this document serves as notice to the Small Business Administration of the FTC's certification of “no effect.” To ensure the accuracy of this certification, however, the Commission requests comment on whether the proposed rule will have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities, including specific information on the number of entities that would be covered by the proposed rule, the number of these companies that are small entities, and the average annual burden for each entity. Although the Commission certifies under the RFA that the rule proposed in this notice would not, if promulgated, have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities, the Commission has determined, nonetheless, that it is appropriate to publish an IRFA in order to inquire into the impact of the proposed rule on small entities. Therefore, the Commission has prepared the following analysis:

    A. Reasons for the Proposed Rule Revisions

    As outlined in Section II, above, the Commission is proposing to amend the Disclosure Rule and Pre-Sale Availability Rule in connection with Congress's passage of E-Warranty. E-Warranty allows, under certain circumstances, the posting of warranties on manufacturers' Web sites as an alternative method of complying with the Pre-Sale Availability Rule, and certain sellers' use of an electronic method to supply pre-sale warranty terms.

    B. Statement of Objectives and Legal Basis

    The objective of the proposed amendments is to provide warrantors an online method of complying with the Disclosure Rule and the Pre-Sale Availability Rule, allow certain sellers to use an electronic method to provide pre-sale warranty terms to consumers, and to define what “on the face” of an online warranty means in the Disclosure Rule. The legal authority for this NPRM is the E-Warranty Act and the MMWA.

    C. Description of Small Entities to Which the Rules Will Apply

    The small entities to which the Disclosure Rule applies are warrantors. The small entities to which the Pre-Sale Availability Rule applies are warrantors and sellers of warranted consumer products costing more than fifteen dollars. The Disclosure Rule and the Pre-Sale Availability Rule currently define a “warrantor” as “any supplier or other person who gives or offers to give a written warranty.” The Pre-Sale Availability Rule defines a “seller” as “any person who sells or offers for sale for purposes other than resale or use in the ordinary course of the buyer's business any consumer product.” The proposed changes add “manufacturers” to both Rules' definitions of “warrantor.” Sellers include retailers, catalog and mail order sellers, and door-to-door sellers.

    In 2014, the Commission estimated that there were 13,395 small manufacturers (warrantors) and 452,553 small retailers (sellers) impacted by the Rules.15

    15See 79 FR 8185 (Feb. 11, 2014), which relates to the Pre-Sale Availability Rule, but should also apply to the Disclosure Rule.

    D. Description of the Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements

    The proposed amendments to the Disclosure Rule do not impose any new reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements, because the proposed amendments merely explain how the existing “on the face of the warranty” requirement applies to online and electronic warranty terms.

    The Pre-Sale Availability Rule imposes disclosure obligations on sellers and warrantors of warranted consumer goods actually costing more than fifteen dollars. Specifically, sellers must make warranty terms available prior to sale. Under the proposed revision, if the warrantor has chosen the online option, sellers may incur minimal additional costs if they need to request the warranty terms from the warrantor to provide them to consumers, but sellers will also have additional flexibility to make pre-sale warranty terms available to consumers electronically. Warrantors must provide sellers with warranty materials for sellers' use at the point of sale, or, under the proposed revision, provide the address of the warrantor's Internet Web site where consumers can review and obtain warranty terms in the product manual or on the product or product packaging, and the warrantor's contact information for the consumer to obtain the warranty terms via a non-Internet method.

    Neither the existing Pre-Sale Availability Rule nor the proposed amendments require sellers or warrantors to retain more records than may be necessary to provide consumers the warranty terms. The small entities potentially covered by these proposed amendments will include all such entities subject to the Rules, including suppliers, manufacturers and others who warrant consumer goods costing more than fifteen dollars and retailers, catalog and mail-order sellers, and door-to-door sellers who offer the warranted products. The professional skills necessary for compliance with the Rules as modified by the proposed amendments would include (1) warrantors' office and administrative support staff to receive consumers' and sellers' requests for warranty terms using a non-Internet based method and (2) sellers' office and administrative support staff to request warranty terms for pre-sale availability to consumers for warranted goods where the warrantor has elected only the Internet option.

    The Commission invites comment on the proposed amendments' impact on small sellers who might cease to receive point-of-sale warranty materials from those warrantors who choose to employ the online method to supply warranty terms.

    E. Duplication, Overlap, or Conflict With Other Federal Rules

    The Commission has not identified any other federal statutes, rules, or policies that would duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the proposed amendments. The Commission invites comment and information on this issue.

    F. Significant Alternatives to the Proposed Amendments

    As noted above at footnote 8, in a recent rule review of the Pre-Sale Availability Rule, the Commission declined commenters' requests to allow offline sellers to comply with the Rule by advising buyers of the availability of the warranty at a particular Web site. The Commission noted that, because the intent of the Rule is to make warranty information available at the point of sale, a seller could not comply with its Pre-Sale Availability Rule obligations simply by referring the consumer to a Web site where the warranty could be found. The proposed revisions allow sellers to provide warranty terms electronically, but only in cases where the warrantor has chosen the online option.16 The proposed revisions comport with Congress's desire to allow warrantors the option of providing warranty terms online, as long as warrantors offer a non-Internet based method for consumers to obtain the warranty terms, as well as with Congress's mandate that the online method not supplant the seller's duty to provide warranty terms at the point of sale.

    16 FTC staff noted in an opinion letter in 2009, however, that neither the MMWA nor its related rules prescribe making the warranty terms available only on paper. Letter from Allyson Himelfarb to Thomas Hughes (February 17, 2009), available at https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/advisory_opinions/opinion-09-1/opinion0901_0.pdf.

    The Commission has not proposed any specific small entity exemption, differing timetables, or other significant alternatives, as the proposed amendments are narrowly tailored to permit E-Warranty's stated objectives of allowing warrantors to post warranty terms on Internet Web sites, certain sellers to use an electronic method to provide warranty terms pre-sale to consumers, and the ancillary purpose of clarifying that “on the face of the warranty” in the Web site or electronic context means “in close proximity” to the location where the warranty text begins. The Commission does not believe a special exemption for small entities or significant compliance alternatives are necessary or appropriate to minimize the compliance burden on small entities while achieving the intended purposes of E-Warranty.

    The Commission believes its proposed revisions will be minimally burdensome for small businesses and that they comply with Congress's mandate to allow warrantors to post warranty terms on an Internet Web site and certain sellers to employ a pre-sale electronic option, while ensuring pre-sale availability of warranty terms at the point of sale. The Commission, however, invites comment on regulatory alternatives that the Commission has not expressly considered for complying with the proposed rule that might reduce compliance burdens on small entities while still achieving E-Warranty's objectives.

    V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA),17 Federal agencies are generally required to seek Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for information collection requirements prior to implementation. Under the PRA, the Commission may not conduct or sponsor, and, notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person is not required to respond to an information collection, unless the information displays a valid control number assigned by OMB.

    17 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

    This proposal would amend 16 CFR parts 701 and 702. The collection of information related to the Disclosure Rule has been previously reviewed and approved by OMB in accordance with the PRA and assigned OMB Control Number 3084-0111.18 The collection of information related to the Pre-Sale Availability Rule has been previously reviewed and approved by OMB in accordance with the PRA and assigned OMB Control Number 3084-0112.19

    18See 78 FR 70046 (Nov. 22, 2013).

    19See 79 FR 8185 (Feb. 11, 2014).

    As explained below, the proposed amendments only slightly modify or add to information collection requirements that were previously approved by OMB. Under this proposal, a warrantor will be permitted, but not required, to use an online method for supplying warranty terms. The Commission does not believe that this proposed rule would impose any new or substantively revised collections of information as defined by the PRA.

    Under the most recent proposed clearance for the Pre-Sale Availability Rule,20 the Commission estimated the total annual hours burden to be 2,446,610. This figure represented a 20% reduction from the 2010 estimate based in large part on the growth of online sales and the online posting of warranty terms related to those sales. The Commission estimated the hours burden at 2,315,608 for retailers and 131,002 for manufacturers. The Commission estimated the total annual labor cost in 2014 to be $51,379,000 (rounded to the nearest thousand).

    20See 78 FR 68446 (Nov. 14, 2013).

    The Commission estimated the total annual capital or other non-labor costs to be de minimis, because the vast majority of retailers and warrantors already have developed systems to provide the information required by the Pre-Sale Availability Rule. Compliance by retailers typically entails keeping warranties on file, in binders or otherwise, and posting an inexpensive sign indicating warranty availability. Warrantor compliance under the proposed revisions entails providing retailers with a copy of the warranties included with their product or providing with the warranted good the address of the warrantor's Internet Web site where the consumer can review and obtain such terms, along with the contact information where the consumer may use a non-Internet based method to obtain a free copy of the warranty terms. Sellers of warranted goods for which the warrantor has chosen the online option may, unless the warrantor provides the seller a hard copy of the warranty terms to make such terms, incur a slightly increased burden because the seller will have to ensure it provides consumers a method of reviewing the warranty terms at the point of sale, prior to sale. That burden, however, should be minimal, given that the warrantor will have to make the warranty terms available on an Internet Web site, and given the proposed provision requiring the warrantor to supply a hard copy of the warranty terms, promptly and free of charge, in response to a seller's request. The Commission believes that, in light of the proposed amendment, the annual capital or other non-labor costs will continue to be de minimis.

    Invitation To Comment

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before June 17, 2016. Write “Amending Warranty Rules Pursuant to the E-Warranty Act, Matter No. P044403” 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 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, such as 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, including medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential,” as discussed in section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).21 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

    21 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//E-WarrantyAmendments 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 “Amending Warranty Rules Pursuant to the E-Warranty Act, Matter No. P044403” 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 E), 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 E), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

    Visit the Commission Web site at https://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 June 17, 2016. For information on the Commission's privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.shtm.

    List of Subjects in 16 CFR Parts 701 and 702

    Trade practices, Warranties.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Commission proposes to amend 16 CFR part 701 as follows:

    PART 701—DISCLOSURE OF WRITTEN CONSUMER PRODUCT WARRANTY TERMS AND CONDITIONS 1. The authority citation for this part continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2302 and 2309.

    2. Amend § 701.1 by redesignating paragraphs (g) through (i) as paragraphs (h) through (j), adding new paragraph (g), and revising redesignated paragraph (j) to read as follows:
    § 701.1 Definitions.

    (g) Manufacturer means any person engaged in the business of making a consumer product.

    (j) On the face of the warranty means:

    (1) Where the warranty is a single sheet with printing on both sides of the sheet or where the warranty is comprised of more than one sheet, the page on which the warranty text begins;

    (2) Where the warranty is included as part of a larger document, such as a use and care manual, the page in such document on which the warranty text begins;

    (3) Where the warranty is on an Internet Web site or displayed electronically, in close proximity to the location where the warranty text begins.

    PART 702—PRE-SALE AVAILABILITY OF WRITTEN WARRANTY TERMS 3. The authority citation for part 702 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2302 and 2309.

    4. Amend § 702.1 by revising paragraph (d) and adding paragraph (g) to read as follows:
    § 702.1 Definitions.

    (d) Warrantor means any supplier, manufacturer, or other person who gives or offers to give a written warranty.

    (g) Manufacturer means any person engaged in the business of making a consumer product.

    5. Revise § 702.3 to read as follows:
    § 702.3 Pre-sale availability of written warranty terms.

    The following requirements apply to consumer products actually costing the consumer more than $15.00:

    (a) Duties of seller. Except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, the seller of a consumer product with a written warranty shall make a text of the warranty readily available for examination by the prospective buyer by:

    (1) Displaying it in close proximity to the warranted product (including through electronic or other means, if the warrantor has elected the option described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section), or

    (2) Furnishing it upon request prior to sale (including through electronic or other means, if the warrantor has elected the option described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section) and placing signs reasonably calculated to elicit the prospective buyer's attention in prominent locations in the store or department advising such prospective buyers of the availability of warranties upon request.

    (b) Duties of the warrantor. (1) A warrantor who gives a written warranty warranting to a consumer a consumer product actually costing the consumer more than $15.00 shall:

    (i) Provide sellers with warranty materials necessary for such sellers to comply with the requirements set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, by the use of one or more by the following means:

    (A) Providing a copy of the written warranty with every warranted consumer product;

    (B) Providing a tag, sign, sticker, label, decal or other attachment to the product, which contains the full text of the written warranty;

    (C) Printing on or otherwise attaching the text of the written warranty to the package, carton, or other container if that package, carton or other container is normally used for display purposes. If the warrantor elects this option a copy of the written warranty must also accompany the warranted product; or

    (D) Providing a notice, sign, or poster disclosing the text of a consumer product warranty. If the warrantor elects this option, a copy of the written warranty must also accompany each warranted product.

    (ii) Provide catalog, mail order, and door-to-door sellers with copies of written warranties necessary for such sellers to comply with the requirements set forth in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section.

    (2) As an alternative method of compliance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section, a warrantor may provide the warranty terms in an accessible digital format on the warrantor's Internet Web site. If the warrantor elects this option, the warrantor must:

    (i) Provide information to the consumer that will inform the consumer how to obtain warranty terms by indicating, in a clear and conspicuous manner, in the product manual or on the product or product packaging:

    (A) The Internet Web site of the warrantor where such warranty terms can be reviewed; and

    (B) The phone number, the postal mailing address of the warrantor, or other reasonable non-Internet based means for the consumer to request a copy of the warranty terms;

    (ii) Provide a hard copy of the warranty terms promptly and free of charge upon request by a consumer or seller made pursuant to paragraph (b)(2)(i)(B) of this section;

    (iii) Ensure that warranty terms are posted in a clear and conspicuous manner and remain accessible to the consumer on the Internet Web site of the warrantor; and

    (iv) Provide information with the consumer product or on the Internet Web site of the warrantor sufficient to allow the consumer to readily identify on such Internet Web sites the warranty terms that apply to the specific product purchased by the consumer.

    (3) Paragraph (a)(1) of this section shall not be applicable with respect to statements of general policy on emblems, seals or insignias issued by third parties promising replacement or refund if a consumer product is defective, which statements contain no representation or assurance of the quality or performance characteristics of the product; provided that

    (i) The disclosures required by § 701.3(a)(1) through (9) of this part are published by such third parties in each issue of a publication with a general circulation, and

    (ii) Such disclosures are provided free of charge to any consumer upon written request.

    (c) Catalog and mail order sales. (1) For purposes of this paragraph:

    (i) Catalog or mail order sales means any offer for sale, or any solicitation for an order for a consumer product with a written warranty, which includes instructions for ordering the product which do not require a personal visit to the seller's establishment.

    (ii) Close conjunction means on the page containing the description of the warranted product, or on the page facing that page.

    (2) Any seller who offers for sale to consumers consumer products with written warranties by means of a catalog or mail order solicitation shall:

    (i) Clearly and conspicuously disclose in such catalog or solicitation in close conjunction to the description of warranted product, or in an information section of the catalog or solicitation clearly referenced, including a page number, in close conjunction to the description of the warranted product, either:

    (A) The full text of the written warranty; or

    (B) The address of the Internet Web site of the warrantor where such warranty terms can be reviewed (if such Internet Web site exists), as well as that the written warranty can be obtained free upon specific request, and the address or phone number where such warranty can be requested. If this option is elected, such seller shall promptly provide a copy of any written warranty requested by the consumer (and may provide such copy through electronic or other means, if the warrantor has elected the option described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section).

    (ii) [Reserved].

    (d) Door-to-door sales. (1) For purposes of this paragraph:

    (i) Door-to-door sale means a sale of consumer products in which the seller or his representative personally solicits the sale, including those in response to or following an invitation by a buyer, and the buyer's agreement to offer to purchase is made at a place other than the place of business of the seller.

    (ii) Prospective buyer means an individual solicited by a door-to-door seller to buy a consumer product who indicates sufficient interest in that consumer product or maintains sufficient contact with the seller for the seller reasonably to conclude that the person solicited is considering purchasing the product.

    (2) Any seller who offers for sale to consumers consumer products with written warranties by means of door-to-door sales shall, prior to the consummation of the sale, disclose the fact that the sales representative has copies of the warranties for the warranted products being offered for sale, which may be inspected by the prospective buyer at any time during the sales presentation. Such disclosure shall be made orally and shall be included in any written materials shown to prospective buyers. If the warrantor has elected the option described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the sales representative may provide a copy of the warranty through electronic or other means.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12030 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 275 [Release No. IA-4388; File No. S7-08-16] Performance-Based Investment Advisory Fees AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to issue order.

    SUMMARY:

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) intends to issue an order that would adjust for inflation, as appropriate, dollar amount thresholds in the rule under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 that permits investment advisers to charge performance-based fees to “qualified clients.” Under that rule, an investment adviser may charge performance-based fees if a “qualified client” has a certain minimum net worth or minimum dollar amount of assets under the management of the adviser. The Commission's order would increase, to reflect inflation, the minimum net worth that a “qualified client” must have under the rule. The order would not increase the minimum dollar amount of assets under management.

    DATES:

    Hearing or Notification of Hearing: An order adjusting the dollar amount tests specified in the definition of “qualified client” will be issued unless the Commission orders a hearing. Interested persons may request a hearing by writing to the Commission's Secretary. Hearing requests should be received by the Commission's Office of the Secretary by 5:30 p.m. on June 13, 2016. Hearing requests should state the nature of the writer's interest, the reason for the request, and the issues contested. Persons who wish to be notified of a hearing may request notification by writing to the Commission's Secretary.

    ADDRESSES:

    Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amanda Hollander Wagner, Senior Counsel, Investment Company Rulemaking Office, at (202) 551-6792, Division of Investment Management, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-8549.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission intends to issue an order under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act” or “Act”).1

    1 15 U.S.C. 80b. Unless otherwise noted, all references to statutory sections are to the Investment Advisers Act, and all references to rules under the Investment Advisers Act, including rule 205-3, are to Title 17, Part 275 of the Code of Federal Regulations [17 CFR 275].

    I. Background

    Section 205(a)(1) of the Advisers Act generally prohibits an investment adviser from entering into, extending, renewing, or performing any investment advisory contract that provides for compensation to the adviser based on a share of capital gains on, or capital appreciation of, the funds of a client.2 Congress prohibited these compensation arrangements (also known as performance compensation or performance fees) in 1940 to protect advisory clients from arrangements that Congress believed might encourage advisers to take undue risks with client funds to increase advisory fees.3 In 1970, Congress provided an exception from the prohibition for advisory contracts relating to the investment of assets in excess of $1,000,000,4 if an appropriate “fulcrum fee” is used.5 Congress subsequently authorized the Commission to exempt, by rule or order, any advisory contract from the performance fee prohibition if the contract is with persons who the Commission determines do not need the protections of that prohibition.6

    2 15 U.S.C. 80b-5(a)(1).

    3 H.R. Rep. No. 2639, 76th Cong., 3d Sess. 29 (1940). Performance fees were characterized as “heads I win, tails you lose” arrangements in which the adviser had everything to gain if successful and little, if anything, to lose if not. S. Rep No. 1775, 76th Cong., 3d Sess. 22 (1940).

    4 15 U.S.C. 80b-5(b)(2). Trusts, governmental plans, collective trust funds, and separate accounts referred to in section 3(c)(11) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (“Investment Company Act”) [15 U.S.C. 80a-3(c)(11)] are not eligible for this exception from the performance fee prohibition under section 205(b)(2)(B) of the Advisers Act.

    5 15 U.S.C. 80b-5(b). A fulcrum fee generally involves averaging the adviser's fee over a specified period and increasing or decreasing the fee proportionately with the investment performance of the company or fund in relation to the investment record of an appropriate index of securities prices. See rule 205-2 under the Advisers Act; Adoption of Rule 205-2 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, As Amended, Definition of “Specified Period” Over Which Asset Value of Company or Fund Under Management is Averaged, Investment Advisers Act Release No. 347 (Nov. 10, 1972) [37 FR 24895 (Nov. 23, 1972)].

    In 1980, Congress added another exception to the prohibition against charging performance fees, for contracts involving business development companies under certain conditions. See section 205(b)(3) of the Advisers Act.

    6 Section 205(e) of the Advisers Act. Section 205(e) of the Advisers Act authorizes the Commission to exempt conditionally or unconditionally from the performance fee prohibition advisory contracts with persons who the Commission determines do not need its protections. Section 205(e) provides that the Commission may determine that persons do not need the protections of section 205(a)(1) on the basis of such factors as “financial sophistication, net worth, knowledge of and experience in financial matters, amount of assets under management, relationship with a registered investment adviser, and such other factors as the Commission determines are consistent with [section 205].”

    The Commission adopted rule 205-3 in 1985 to exempt an investment adviser from the prohibition against charging a client performance fees in certain circumstances.7 The rule, when adopted, allowed an adviser to charge performance fees if the client had at least $500,000 under management with the adviser immediately after entering into the advisory contract (“assets-under-management test”) or if the adviser reasonably believed, immediately prior to entering into the advisory contract, that the client had a net worth of more than $1,000,000 at the time the contract was entered into (“net worth test”). The Commission stated that these standards would limit the availability of the exemption to clients who are financially experienced and able to bear the risks of performance fee arrangements.8 In 1998, the Commission amended rule 205-3 to, among other things, change the dollar amounts of the assets-under-management test and net worth test to adjust for the effects of inflation since 1985.9 The Commission revised the former from $500,000 to $750,000, and the latter from $1,000,000 to $1,500,000.10

    7 Exemption To Allow Registered Investment Advisers To Charge Fees Based Upon a Share of Capital Gains Upon or Capital Appreciation of a Client's Account, Investment Advisers Act Release No. 996 (Nov. 14, 1985) [50 FR 48556 (Nov. 26, 1985)] (“1985 Adopting Release”). The exemption applies to the entrance into, performance, renewal, and extension of advisory contracts. See rule 205-3(a).

    8See 1985 Adopting Release, supra note 7, at Sections I.C and II.B. The rule also imposed other conditions, including specific disclosure requirements and restrictions on calculation of performance fees. See id. at Sections II.C-E.

    9See Exemption To Allow Investment Advisers To Charge Fees Based Upon a Share of Capital Gains Upon or Capital Appreciation of a Client's Account, Investment Advisers Act Release No. 1731 (July 15, 1998) [63 FR 39022 (July 21, 1998)].

    10See id. at Section II.B.1.

    The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) 11 amended section 205(e) of the Advisers Act to provide that, by July 21, 2011 and every five years thereafter, the Commission shall adjust for inflation the dollar amount thresholds included in rules issued under section 205(e), rounded to the nearest $100,000.12 In May 2011, the Commission published a release (the “May 2011 Release”) that included a notice of intent to issue an order revising the dollar amount thresholds of the assets-under-management test (from $750,000 to $1,000,000) and the net worth test (from $1,500,000 to $2,000,000).13 The Commission issued an order to revise the dollar amount thresholds of the assets-under-management and net worth tests, as described above, on July 12, 2011.14

    11 Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010).

    12See section 418 of the Dodd-Frank Act (requiring the Commission to issue an order every five years revising dollar amount thresholds in a rule that exempts a person or transaction from section 205(a)(1) of the Advisers Act if the dollar amount threshold was a factor in the Commission's determination that the persons do not need the protections of that section).

    13See Investment Adviser Performance Compensation, Investment Advisers Act Release No. 3198 (May 10, 2011) [76 FR 27959 (May 13, 2011)].

    14See Order Approving Adjustment for Inflation of the Dollar Amount Tests in Rule 205-3 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, Investment Advisers Act Release No. 3236 (July 12, 2011) [76 FR 41838 (July 15, 2011)] (“2011 Order”). The 2011 Order was effective as of September 19, 2011. Id. The 2011 Order applies to contractual relationships entered into on or after the effective date and does not apply retroactively to contractual relationships previously in existence.

    The May 2011 Release also proposed amendments to rule 205-3 providing, among other things, that the Commission would issue an order every five years in the future adjusting the rule's dollar amount thresholds for inflation.15 On February 15, 2012, the Commission adopted these proposed amendments, which amended rule 205-3 in three ways to carry out the inflation adjustment of the rule's dollar amount thresholds.16 First, the amendments revised the dollar amount thresholds in rule 205-3, in order to codify the order the Commission issued on July 12, 2011.17 Second, the amendments added to rule 205-3, as proposed, a new paragraph stating that the Commission will issue an order on or about May 1, 2016, and approximately every five years thereafter, adjusting for inflation the dollar amount thresholds of the rule's assets-under-management and net worth tests.18 Finally, the amendments to rule 205-3 specify the price index on which future inflation adjustments will be based—the Personal Consumption Expenditures Chain-Type Price Index (“PCE Index”), which is published by the United States Department of Commerce.19 The PCE Index is an indicator of inflation in the personal sector of the U.S. economy 20 and is used in other provisions of the federal securities laws, including the determination of whether a person meets a specific net worth minimum in Regulation R under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 [15 U.S.C. 78a].21

    15See May 2011 Release, supra note 13.

    16See Investment Adviser Performance Compensation, Investment Advisers Act Release No. 3372 (Feb. 15, 2012) [77 FR 10358 (Feb. 22, 2012)].

    17See rule 205-3(d)(1)(i) and (ii).

    18See rule 205-3(e).

    19See rule 205-3(e)(1).

    20See, e.g., Jo Craven McGinty, CPI vs. PCE: Untangling the Alphabet Soup of Inflation Gauges, The Wall Street Journal (Mar. 20, 2015), available at http://www.wsj.com/articles/cpi-vs-pce-untangling-the-alphabet-soup-of-inflation-gauges-1426867398; Clinton P. McCully, Brian C. Moyer, and Kenneth J. Stewart, “Comparing the Consumer Price Index and the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index,” Survey of Current Business (Nov. 2007) at 26 n.1 (PCE Index measures changes in “prices paid for goods and services by the personal sector in the U.S. national income and product accounts” and is primarily used for macroeconomic analysis and forecasting).

    21See Definitions of Terms and Exemptions Relating to the “Broker” Exceptions for Banks, Securities Exchange Act Release No. 56501 (Sept. 24, 2007) [72 FR 56514 (Oct. 3, 2007)] (adopting periodic inflation adjustments to the fixed-dollar thresholds for both “institutional customers” and “high net worth customers” under Rule 701 of Regulation R); see also Amendments to Form ADV, Investment Advisers Act Release No. 3060 (July 28, 2010) [75 FR 49234 (Aug. 12, 2010)] (increasing for inflation the threshold amount for prepayment of advisory fees that triggers an adviser's duty to provide clients with an audited balance sheet and the dollar threshold triggering the exception to the delivery of brochures to advisory clients receiving only impersonal advice).

    The Dodd-Frank Act also requires the use of the PCE Index to calculate inflation adjustments for the cash limit protection of each investor under the Securities Investor Protection Act of 1970. See section 929H(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act.

    II. Discussion A. Order Adjusting Dollar Amount Tests

    Pursuant to section 418 of the Dodd-Frank Act and rule 205-3(e), today we are providing notice 22 that the Commission intends to issue an order making the required inflation adjustment to the assets-under-management test and the net worth test in the definition of “qualified client” in rule 205-3. As discussed above, section 418 of the Dodd-Frank Act and rule 205-3(e) require that we adjust the dollar amount thresholds of the rule by order on or about May 1, 2016 and every five years thereafter.23 We intend to issue an order that would maintain the dollar amount of the assets-under-management test at $1,000,000, and would increase the dollar amount of the net worth test from $2,000,000 to $2,100,000. As required under rule 205-3, both dollar amounts would take into account the effects of inflation by reference to historic and current levels of the PCE Index. While the dollar amount of the assets-under-management test would not change, because the amount of the Commission's inflation adjustment calculation is smaller than the rounding amount specified under rule 205-3, the dollar amount of the net worth test would be adjusted as a result of the Commission's inflation adjustment calculation effected pursuant to the rule.24

    22See section 211(c) of the Advisers Act (requiring the Commission to provide appropriate notice of and opportunity for hearing for orders issued under the Advisers Act).

    23See supra notes 12 and 18 and accompanying text.

    24 Specifically, rule 205-3(e) provides that the adjusted dollar amounts shall be computed by: (1) Dividing the year-end value of the PCE Index (or any successor index thereto) for the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the order is being issued (in this case, 2015), by the year-end value of the PCE Index (or successor) for the calendar year 1997 (such quotient, the “Adjustment Percentage”); (2) for the assets-under-management test, multiplying $750,000 by the Adjustment Percentage and rounding the product to the nearest multiple of $100,000; and (3) for the net worth test, multiplying $1,500,000 by the Adjustment Percentage and rounding the product to the nearest multiple of $100,000.As of April 8, 2016, the end-of-year 2015 PCE Index was 109.819, and the end-of-year 1997 PCE Index was 79.657. Assets-under-management test calculation to adjust for the effects of inflation: (109.819/79.657) × $750,000 = $1,033,986.34; $1,033,986.34 rounded to the nearest multiple of $100,000 = $1,000,000. Net worth test calculation to adjust for the effects of inflation: (109.819/79.657) × $1,500,000 = $2,067,972.68; $2,067,972.68 rounded to the nearest multiple of $100,000 = $2,100,000.The values of the PCE Index are available from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, a bureau of the United States Department of Commerce. See http://www.bea.gov; see also Bureau of Economic Analysis, Table 2.3.4., “Price Indexes for Personal Consumption Expenditures by Major Type of Product,” available at http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTable.cfm?ReqID=9&step=1#reqid=9&step=1&isuri=1&903=64 (last visited April 8, 2016).

    We anticipate that future changes to the dollar amount tests that are issued by order will be reflected in technical amendments to rule 205-3(d), which would be adopted after such order is issued.25

    25See May 2011 Release, supra note 13, at n.27 (noting that the Commission anticipated, when it issued its notice of intent to issue an order revising the dollar amount thresholds of the assets-under-management test and the net worth test, that “future changes to the dollar amount test that are issued by order, will be reflected in technical amendments to rule 205-3”).

    B. Effective Date

    We anticipate that, if we issue the order described above, the effective date will be 60 days following the order date.26 To the extent that contractual relationships are entered into prior to the order's effective date, the dollar amount test adjustments in the order would not generally apply retroactively to such contractual relationships, subject to the transition rules incorporated in rule 205-3.27

    26 When the Commission issued the 2011 Order adjusting the dollar amount tests of rule 205-3 as described above, the 2011 Order's effective date was approximately 60 days following its issuance. See supra note 14.

    27See rule 205-3(c)(1) (“If a registered investment adviser entered into a contract and satisfied the conditions of this section that were in effect when the contract was entered into, the adviser will be considered to satisfy the conditions of this section; Provided, however, that if a natural person or company who was not a party to the contract becomes a party (including an equity owner of a private investment company advised by the adviser), the conditions of this section in effect at that time will apply with regard to that person or company.”); see also May 2011 Release, supra note 13, at section II.B.3.

    By the Commission.

    Dated: May 18, 2016. Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12167 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Federal Bureau of Investigation 28 CFR Part 61 RIN 1110-AA32 National Environmental Policy Act Procedures AGENCY:

    Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rule; request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice is proposing to promulgate regulations establishing the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI's) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures. These proposed regulations would establish a process for the FBI's implementation of NEPA, Executive Order 11514, Executive Order 12114, and Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and Department of Justice (Department) regulations addressing the procedural provisions of NEPA. Pursuant to CEQ regulations, the FBI is soliciting comments on the proposed FBI NEPA regulations from members of the interested public.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be postmarked and electronic comments must be submitted on or before July 25, 2016. Commenters should be aware that the electronic Federal Docket Management System will not accept comments after 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the last day of the comment period.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments online at http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments by addressing them to FBI NEPA Comments, ATTN: Scott A. Bohnhoff, 935 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Room WB-460, Washington, DC 20535 or by facsimile to 202-436-7248.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Scott Bohnhoff, FBI Occupational Safety and Environmental Programs (OSEP) Unit Chief; Email: [email protected]; Telephone: (202) 436-7500.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic Access and Filing

    Electronic comments are preferred. For comments sent via U.S. Postal Service, please do not submit duplicate electronic or facsimile comments. Please confine comments to the proposed rule.

    All submissions received must include the agency name (FBI) and docket number or RIN for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    Explanation of Proposed Rule

    CEQ's NEPA implementing regulations contained in 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508 require each Federal agency to adopt procedures (40 CFR 1507.3) to ensure that decisions are made in accordance with the policies and purposes of NEPA (40 CFR 1505.1). The Department has established such policies and procedures at 28 CFR part 61. The FBI NEPA Program has been established to supplement the Department's procedures and to ensure that environmental considerations are fully integrated into the FBI's mission activities.

    The FBI NEPA regulations are intended to promote reduction of paperwork by providing guidelines for development of streamlined and focused NEPA documents and to reduce delay by integrating the NEPA process into the early stages of planning. They are also intended to promote transparency by ensuring that NEPA documents are written in plain language and follow a clear format so that they are easily understood by the public and all parties involved in implementation of the proposed action.

    The FBI NEPA regulations are not intended to serve as a comprehensive NEPA guide, but will serve as a framework for the FBI NEPA Program. The FBI plans to apply its NEPA regulations in conjunction with NEPA, the CEQ regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508), the Department's implementing regulations (28 CFR part 61), and all other applicable environmental regulations, executive orders, statutes, and laws developed for the protection of the environment.

    The FBI will, as appropriate, keep the public informed of the FBI NEPA program and NEPA actions and ensure that relevant environmental documents, comments, and responses accompany proposals through all levels of decision making (40 CFR 1505.1(d)). The FBI's NEPA program will be implemented primarily by the following key persons within the FBI:

    The Environmental Executive/Bureau Designated Environmental, Safety and Health Official (DESHO) will maintain signature authority over all Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSIs) and Records of Decision (RODs); oversee the FBI NEPA Program; ensure that NEPA reviews are initiated as early as possible in the project planning process; ensure that decisions are made in accordance with the general policies and purposes of NEPA; and use his or her best efforts to ensure that sufficient funds are available to perform NEPA management-related planning, actions, and reporting. These responsibilities may be delegated to the Program Deputy Bureau DESHO.

    The Program Deputy Bureau DESHO will designate and assign duties to the FBI NEPA Program Manager; ensure that the FBI NEPA Program is coordinated with other environmental policies and directives; review the FBI NEPA Program metrics; and sign FONSIs and RODs as delegated by the Environmental Executive/Bureau DESHO.

    The FBI NEPA Program Manager will serve as the FBI's primary, centralized NEPA contact; provide for overall development, implementation, coordination, administration, and quality assurance measures associated with the FBI NEPA Program; advise FBI employees on NEPA matters; establish and ensure implementation of FBI-wide NEPA policy, guidance, and training; and review NEPA documentation.

    Deputy Bureau DESHOs are heads of the FBI branches, divisions, or offices reporting directly to the FBI Deputy Director or Associate Deputy Director who, within their span of control, will ensure the NEPA program is properly implemented and managed; use their best efforts to ensure that sufficient funds within their branches, divisions, and offices are available to perform NEPA management-related planning, actions, and reporting; and assign staff to fill NEPA roles as required.

    Regulatory Certifications Executive Orders 12866 and 13563—Regulatory Planning and Review

    These proposed regulations have been drafted and reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” section 1(b), Principles of Regulation, and in accordance with Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” section 1(b), General Principles of Regulation.

    The Department has determined that these proposed regulations are not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f), and accordingly, they have not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

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

    The Department has assessed the costs and benefits associated with implementation of these proposed regulations and believes that the regulatory approach selected maximizes net benefits by better enabling the FBI to comply with NEPA. Further benefits associated with implementation of these proposed regulations include: A streamlined approach to performing NEPA reviews, which is expected to lead to a reduction in delay and excessive paperwork; enhanced environmental awareness; collaborative and participatory public involvement; clear compliance guidelines resulting in reduced liability risk; and enhanced cost savings arising from fewer requirements to prepare Environmental Assessments (EAs) where projects are covered by categorical exclusions (CATEXs).

    The FBI contracts out, on average, twenty EAs annually for actions that would be covered by the CATEXs instated by the proposed regulations. The average contracting costs associated with development of each of these EAs is approximately $50,000. Therefore, the proposed rule would result in an annual cost savings of approximately $1,000,000 in contract payouts. The FBI anticipates that its own staffing costs with regard to NEPA compliance will remain roughly the same upon adoption of the new rule, as FBI personnel will still be involved in reviewing projects and developing and implementing a NEPA compliance strategy for each one.

    The exact impact of the proposed regulations on staffing and funding requirements cannot be calculated due to uncertainty about the number of future projects and the level at which environmental review will occur (CATEX, EA, or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)). However, as discussed in the preceding paragraphs, the FBI estimates a net annual cost savings of up to $1,000,000.

    Executive Order 13132—Federalism

    These proposed regulations 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. In accordance with Executive Order 13132, these proposed regulations do not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)) has reviewed these proposed regulations and, by approving them, certifies that these regulations will not have a substantial economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    These proposed regulations will not result in the expenditure by state, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year, and it will not substantially or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no action was deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    These proposed regulations are not a major rule as defined by section 251 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, (5 U.S.C. 804). These proposed regulations will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, a major increase in costs or prices, or have substantial 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.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    The collection of information contained in this notice of proposed rulemaking will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for review in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.).

    The proposed regulations are intended to promote reduction of paperwork by providing guidelines for the development of streamlined and focused NEPA documents and to reduce delay by integrating the NEPA process into the early stages of planning. They are also intended to promote transparency by ensuring that NEPA documents are written in plain language and follow a clear format so that they are easily comprehensible by the public and all parties involved in implementation of the proposed action. A CATEX is a category of actions that, barring extraordinary circumstances, do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment and for which neither an EA nor an EIS is required. Using CATEXs for such activities reduces unnecessary paperwork and delay. The estimated average document length is 15 pages for an EA and 150 pages for an EIS. EAs, EISs, and their associated administrative records must be retained for at least six years after signature of the NEPA decision document. By contrast, a CATEX requires either no documentation or very brief documentation (records of environmental consideration documenting CATEXs are typically only a few pages long). The estimated total annual NEPA documentation burden associated with these regulations is unknown at this time due to the uncertainty of the number of projects that will require various levels of NEPA review.

    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 (such as this regulation) 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)). Establishing categorical exclusions does not require preparation of a NEPA analysis or document. 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. The issuance of regulations establishing categorical exclusions does not itself require NEPA analysis and documentation. See, e.g., Heartwood, Inc. v. U.S. Forest Service, 73 F. Supp. 2d 962, 972-73 (S.D. Ill. 1999), aff'd, 230 F.3d 947, 954-55 (7th Cir. 2000).

    List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 61

    Environmental impact statements.

    Authority and Issuance

    Accordingly, part 61 of title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 61—PROCEDURES FOR IMPLEMENTING THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT 1. The authority citation for part 61 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    28 U.S.C. 509, 510; 5 U.S.C. 301; Executive Order No. 11991.

    2. Add appendix F to part 61 to read as follows: Appendix F to Part 61—Federal Bureau of Investigation Procedures Relating to the Implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act 1. Authority

    These procedures are issued pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq., regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), 40 CFR part 1500, regulations of the Department of Justice (Department), 28 CFR part 61, the Environmental Quality Improvement Act of 1970, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4371, et seq., and Executive Order 11514 of March 5, 1970, “Protection and Enhancement of Environmental Quality,” as amended by Executive Order 11991 of May 24, 1977.

    2. Purpose

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) NEPA Program has been established to assist the FBI in integrating environmental considerations into the FBI's mission and activities. The FBI NEPA regulations have been developed to supplement CEQ and Department NEPA regulations by outlining internal FBI policy and procedures. Through these provisions, the FBI shall promote compliance with NEPA and CEQ's implementing regulations, encourage environmental sustainability by integrating environmental considerations into mission and planning activities, and ensure that environmental analyses reflect consideration of non-regulatory requirements included in Federal orders, directives, and policy guidance.

    3. Agency Description

    The FBI is an intelligence-driven national security and law enforcement component within the Department of Justice. The FBI's mission is to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to Federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners. General types of FBI actions include:

    (a) Operational activities, including the detection, investigation, and prosecution of crimes against the United States and the collection of intelligence.

    (b) Training activities, including the training of Federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement personnel.

    (c) Real estate activities, including acquisitions and transfers of land and facilities and leasing.

    (d) Construction, including new construction, renovations, repair, and demolition of facilities, infrastructure, utilities systems, and other systems.

    (e) Property maintenance and management activities, including maintenance of facilities, equipment, and grounds and management of natural resources.

    (f) Administrative and regulatory activities, including personnel management, procurement of goods and services, and preparation of regulations and policy guidance.

    4. NEPA Documentation and Decision Making

    The FBI will use the NEPA process as a tool to ensure an interdisciplinary review of its actions and to ensure that impacts of those actions on the quality of the human environment are given appropriate consideration in FBI decisions; to identify and assess reasonable alternatives to its actions; and to facilitate early and open communication, when practicable, with the public and other agencies and organizations.

    (a) Level of NEPA Analysis

    The level of NEPA analysis will depend on the context and intensity of the environmental impacts associated with the proposed action. Environmental Assessments (EAs) and Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) should include a reasonable range of alternatives, and should also include descriptions of other alternatives that the decision maker determined did not require detailed study, with a brief discussion of the reasons for such determinations. If there are no reasonable alternatives, the EA or EIS must explain why no reasonable alternative exists. The decision maker must consider all the alternatives discussed in the EA or EIS. The decision maker may choose an alternative that is not expressly described in a draft EA or EIS, provided it is qualitatively within the spectrum of alternatives that were discussed in the draft.

    (b) Responsibility for NEPA Analysis

    (1) The FBI's responsibility for NEPA review of actions shall be determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the extent to which the entire project will be within the FBI's jurisdiction and on other factors. For example, if a project involves the construction of a facility, the relevant factors include: The extent of FBI control and funding in the construction or use of the facility, whether the facility is being built solely for FBI requirements, and whether the project would proceed without FBI action.

    (2) The extent of the FBI's responsibility for NEPA review of joint Federal actions, where the FBI and another Federal agency are cooperating on a project, will be determined on a case-by-case basis depending on which agency is designated as the lead agency and which is the cooperating agency.

    (3) In cases where FBI actions are a component of a larger project involving a private action or an action by a local or state government, the FBI's proposed action analyzed in the NEPA document will include only the portions of the project over which the FBI has sufficient control and responsibility to warrant Federal review. However, the cumulative impacts analysis will account for past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future activities affecting the same natural resources as the FBI project. When actions are planned by private or other non-Federal entities, the FBI will provide the potential applicant reasonably foreseeable requirements for studies or other information for subsequent FBI action. In addition, the FBI will consult with appropriate state and local agencies, tribal entities, interested private persons, and organizations early in a project's planning process when the FBI's involvement is reasonably foreseeable.

    (4) Whenever appropriate and practicable, the FBI will incorporate by reference and rely upon the environmental analyses and reviews of other Federal, tribal, state, and local agencies.

    5. Categorical Exclusions (a) Categorical Exclusion (CATEX) Criteria (40 CFR 1508.4)

    A CATEX is a category of actions that, barring extraordinary circumstances, do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment and for which neither an EA nor an EIS is required. Using CATEXs for such activities reduces unnecessary paperwork and delay. Such activities are not excluded from compliance with other applicable Federal, state, or local environmental laws. To qualify for a CATEX, an action must meet all of the following criteria:

    (1) The proposed action fits entirely within one or more of the CATEXs;

    (2) The proposed action has not been segmented and is not a piece of a larger action. For purposes of NEPA, actions must be considered in the same review if it is reasonably foreseeable that the actions are connected (e.g., where one action depends on another).

    (3) No extraordinary circumstances exist that would cause the normally excluded proposed action to have significant environmental effects. Extraordinary circumstances are assumed to exist when the proposed action is likely to involve any of the following circumstances:

    (i) An adverse effect on public health or safety;

    (ii) An adverse effect on Federally listed endangered or threatened species, marine mammals, or critical habitat;

    (iii) An adverse effect on archaeological resources or resources listed or determined to be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places;

    (iv) An adverse effect on an environmentally sensitive area, including floodplains, wetlands, streams, critical migration corridors, and wildlife refuges;

    (v) A material violation of a Federal, state, or local environmental law by the FBI;

    (vi) An effect on the quality of the human or natural environment that is likely to be highly scientifically controversial or uncertain, or likely to involve unique or unknown environmental risks;

    (vii) Establishment of precedents or decisions in principle for future action(s) that have the potential for significant impacts (e.g., master plans, Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans, Integrated Cultural Resource Management Plans);

    (viii) Significantly greater scope or size than normally experienced for a particular category of action;

    (ix) Potential for substantial degradation of already existing poor environmental conditions;

    (x) Initiation of a potentially substantial environmental degrading influence, activity, or effect in areas not already substantially modified; or

    (xi) A connection to other actions with individually insignificant, but cumulatively significant, impacts.

    (b) Documentation of CATEX Usage

    As noted in paragraph (c) of this section, certain FBI actions qualifying for a CATEX have been predetermined to have a low risk of extraordinary circumstances and, as such, have been designated as not requiring preparation of a Record of Environmental Consideration (REC) Determination Form. A REC Determination Form must be prepared for all other FBI actions subject to NEPA review. The REC Determination Form will help determine if the proposed action falls within a category of actions that has been excluded from further NEPA review or if the action will require further analysis through an EA or EIS. The REC Determination Form will also identify any extraordinary circumstances that require the FBI to perform an EA or an EIS for an action that would otherwise qualify for a CATEX.

    (c) List of No REC Required (NR) FBI CATEXs

    (NR1) Reductions, realignments, or relocation of personnel, equipment, or mobile assets that do not result in changing the use of the space in such a way that could cause environmental effects or exceed the infrastructure capacity outside of FBI-managed property. An example of exceeding the infrastructure capacity would be an increase in vehicular traffic beyond the capacity of the supporting road network to accommodate such an increase.

    (NR2) Personnel, fiscal, management, and administrative activities, including recruiting, processing, paying, contract administration, recordkeeping, budgeting, personnel actions, and travel.

    (NR3) Decisions to close facilities, decommission equipment, or temporarily discontinue use of facilities or equipment, where the facility or equipment is not used to prevent or control environmental impacts. This excludes demolition actions.

    (NR4) Preparation of policies, procedures, manuals, and other guidance documents for which the environmental effects are too broad, speculative, or conjectural to lend themselves to meaningful analysis and for which the applicability of the NEPA process will be evaluated upon implementation, either collectively or case-by-case.

    (NR5) Grants of license, easement, or similar arrangements for use by vehicles (not to include substantial increases in the number of vehicles loaded); electrical, telephone, and other transmission and communication lines; pipelines, pumping stations, and facilities for water, wastewater, stormwater, and irrigation; and for similar utility and transportation uses. Construction or acquisition of new facilities are not included.

    (NR6) Acquisition, installation, operation, and maintenance of temporary equipment, devices, or controls necessary to mitigate effects of FBI's missions on health and the environment. This CATEX is not intended to cover facility construction or related activities. Examples include:

    (i) Temporary sediment and erosion control measures required to meet applicable Federal, tribal, state, or local requirements;

    (ii) Installation of temporary diversion fencing to prevent earth disturbance within sensitive areas during construction activities; and

    (iii) Installation of temporary markers to delineate limits of earth disturbance in forested areas to prevent unnecessary tree removal.

    (NR7) Routine flying operations and infrequent, temporary (fewer than 30 days) increases in aircraft operations up to 50 percent of the typical FBI aircraft operation rate.

    (NR8) Proposed new activities and operations to be conducted in an existing structure that would be consistent with previously established safety levels and would not result in a change in use of the facility. Examples include new types of research, development, testing, and evaluation activities, and laboratory operations conducted within existing enclosed facilities designed to support research and development activities.

    (NR9) Conducting audits and surveys; data collection; data analysis; and processing, permitting, information dissemination, review, interpretation, and development of documents. If any of these activities result in proposals for further action, those proposals must be covered by an appropriate CATEX or other NEPA analysis. Examples include:

    (i) Document mailings, publication, and distribution, training and information programs, historical and cultural demonstrations, and public affairs actions;

    (ii) Studies, reports, proposals, analyses, literature reviews, computer modeling, and intelligence gathering and sharing;

    (iii) Activities designed to support improvement or upgrade management of natural resources, such as surveys for threatened and endangered species or cultural resources; wetland delineations; and minimal water, air, waste, and soil sampling;

    (iv) Minimally intrusive geological, geophysical, and geo-technical activities, including mapping and engineering surveys;

    (v) Conducting facility audits, Environmental Site Assessments, and environmental baseline surveys; and

    (vi) Vulnerability, risk, and structural integrity assessments of infrastructure.

    (NR10) Routine procurement, use, storage, and disposal of non-hazardous goods and services in support of administrative, operational, or maintenance activities in accordance with executive orders and Federal procurement guidelines. Examples include:

    (i) Office supplies and furniture;

    (ii) Equipment;

    (iii) Mobile assets (i.e., vehicles, vessels, aircraft);

    (iv) Utility services; and

    (v) Deployable emergency response supplies and equipment.

    (NR11) Routine use of hazardous materials (including procurement, transportation, distribution, and storage of such materials) and reuse, recycling, and disposal of solid, medical, radiological, or hazardous waste in a manner that is consistent with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies. Examples include:

    (i) Use of chemicals and low-level radionuclides for laboratory applications;

    (ii) Refueling of storage tanks;

    (iii) Appropriate treatment and disposal of medical waste;

    (iv) Temporary storage and disposal of solid waste;

    (v) Disposal of radiological waste through manufacturer return and recycling programs; and

    (vi) Hazardous waste minimization activities.

    (NR12) Acquisition, installation, maintenance, operation, or evaluation of security equipment to screen for or detect dangerous or illegal individuals or materials at existing facilities or to enhance the physical security of existing critical assets. Examples include:

    (i) Low-level x-ray devices;

    (ii) Cameras and biometric devices;

    (iii) Passive inspection devices;

    (iv) Detection or security systems for explosive, biological, or chemical substances;

    (v) Access controls, screening devices, and traffic management systems;

    (vi) Motion detection systems;

    (vii) Impact resistant doors and gates;

    (viii) Diver and swimmer detection systems, except sonar; and

    (ix) Blast and shock impact-resistant systems for land-based and waterfront facilities.

    (NR13) Maintenance of facilities, equipment, and grounds. Examples include interior utility work, road maintenance, window washing, lawn mowing, trash collecting, facility cleaning, and snow removal.

    (NR14) Recreation and welfare activities (e.g., picnics and Family Day).

    (NR15) Training FBI personnel and persons external to the FBI using existing facilities and where the training occurs in accordance with applicable permitting requirements and other requirements for the protection of the environment. This exclusion does not apply to training that involves the use of live chemical, biological, radiological, or explosive agents, except when conducted at a location designed and constructed to accommodate those materials and their associated hazards. Examples include:

    (i) Administrative or classroom training;

    (ii) Tactical training, including training in explosives and incendiary devices, arson investigation and firefighting, and emergency preparedness and response;

    (iii) Chemical, biological, explosive, or hazardous material handling training;

    (iv) Vehicle, aircraft, and small boat operation training;

    (v) Small arms and less-than-lethal weapons training;

    (vi) Security specialties and terrorist response training;

    (vii) Crowd control training, including gas range training;

    (viii) Enforcement response, self-defense, and interdiction techniques training; and

    (ix) Fingerprinting and drug analysis training.

    (NR16) Projects, grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, or activities to design, develop, and conduct national, state, local, or international exercises to test the readiness of the nation to prevent or respond to a terrorist attack or a natural or manmade disaster where conducted in accordance with existing facility or land use designations. This exclusion does not apply to exercises that involve the use of live chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive agents or devices (other than small devices such as practice grenades or flash bang devices used to simulate an attack during exercises), unless these exercises are conducted under the auspices of existing plans or permits that have undergone NEPA review.

    (d) List of REC Required (R) FBI CATEXs

    (R1) Reductions, realignments, or relocation of personnel, equipment, or mobile assets that result in changing the use of the space in such a way that could cause changes to environmental effects, but do not result in exceeding the infrastructure capacity outside of FBI-managed property. An example of exceeding the infrastructure capacity would be an increase in vehicular traffic beyond the capacity of the supporting road network to accommodate such an increase.

    (R2) Acquisition or use of space within an existing structure, by purchase, lease, or use agreement. This includes structures that are in the process of construction or were recently constructed, regardless of whether the existing structure was built to satisfy an FBI requirement and the proposed FBI use would not exceed the carrying capacity of the utilities and infrastructure for the use and access to the space. This also includes associated relocation of personnel, equipment, or assets into the acquired space.

    (R3) Transfer of administrative control over real property, including related personal property, between another Federal agency and the FBI that does not result in a change in the functional use of the property.

    (R4) New construction (e.g., facilities, roads, parking areas, trails, solar panels, and wind turbines) or improvement of land where all of the following conditions are met:

    (i) The site is in a developed or a previously disturbed area;

    (ii) The proposed use will not substantially increase the number of motor vehicles at the facility or in the area;

    (iii) The construction or improvement will not result in exceeding the infrastructure capacity outside of FBI-managed property (e.g., roads, sewer, water, and parking);

    (iv) The site and scale of construction or improvement are consistent with those of existing, adjacent, or nearby buildings; and

    (v) The structure and proposed use are compatible with applicable Federal, tribal, state, and local planning and zoning standards and consistent with Federally approved state coastal management programs.

    (R5) Renovation, addition, repair, alteration, and demolition projects affecting buildings, roads, airfields, grounds, equipment, and other facilities, including subsequent disposal of debris, which may be contaminated with hazardous materials such as PCBs, lead, or asbestos. Hazardous materials must be disposed of at approved sites in accordance with Federal, state, and local regulations. Examples include the following:

    (i) Realigning interior spaces of an existing building;

    (ii) Adding a small storage shed to an existing building;

    (iii) Retrofitting for energy conservation, including weatherization, installation of timers on hot water heaters, installation of energy efficient lighting, installation of low-flow plumbing fixtures, and installation of drip-irrigation systems;

    (iv) Installing a small antenna on an already existing antenna tower that does not cause the total height to exceed 200 feet and where the FCC's NEPA procedures allow for application of a CATEX; or

    (v) Closing and demolishing a building not eligible for listing under the National Register of Historic Places.

    (R6) Acquisition, installation, reconstruction, repair by replacement, and operation of utility (e.g., water, sewer, electrical), communication (e.g., data processing cable and similar electronic equipment), and security systems that use existing rights-of-way, easements, distribution systems, or facilities.

    (R7) Acquisition, installation, operation, and maintenance of permanent equipment, devices, or controls necessary to mitigate effects of FBI's missions on health and the environment. This CATEX is not intended to cover facility construction or related activities. Examples include:

    (i) Pollution prevention and pollution-control equipment required to meet applicable Federal, tribal, state, or local requirements;

    (ii) Installation of fencing, including security fencing, that would not have the potential to significantly impede wildlife population movement (including migration) or surface water flow;

    (iii) Installation and operation of lighting devices;

    (iv) Noise-abatement measures, including construction of noise barriers, installation of noise control materials, or planting native trees or native vegetation for use as a noise abatement measure; and

    (v) Devices to protect human or animal life, such as raptor electrocution prevention devices, and fencing and grating to prevent accidental entry to hazardous or restricted areas.

    (R8) Non-routine procurement, use, storage, and disposal of non-hazardous goods and services in support of administrative, operational, or maintenance activities in accordance with executive orders and Federal procurement guidelines.

    (R9) Use of hazardous materials (including procurement, transportation, distribution, and storage of such materials) and reuse, recycling, and disposal of solid, medical, radiological, or hazardous waste in a manner that is consistent with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies, but uncharacteristic of routine FBI use, reuse, recycling, and disposal of hazardous materials and waste. Examples include:

    (i) Procurement of a new type of chemical or procurement of a larger quantity of a particular chemical than generally used by FBI; and

    (ii) Disposal of items that contain PCBs (e.g., carpets, lighting, caulk).

    (R10) Herbicide application and pest management, including registered pesticide application, in accordance with Federal, state, and local regulations.

    (R11) Natural resource management activities on FBI-managed property to aid in the maintenance or restoration of native flora and fauna, including site preparation and control of non-indigenous species, excluding the application of herbicides.

    6. Environmental Assessment (EA)

    An EA is a concise public document for actions that do not meet the requirements for applying a CATEX, but for which it is unclear whether an EIS is required. An EA briefly provides evidence and analysis for determining whether to prepare an EIS or a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), and facilitates preparation of an EIS when one is required. The requirements and contents of an EA are described in 40 CFR 1508.9. Significance of impacts will be determined based on the criteria outlined in 40 CFR 1508.27. The FBI will comment on other agencies' EAs when relevant to the FBI mission, or when the FBI has jurisdiction by law or relevant special expertise.

    (a) Examples of types of FBI actions that typically require an EA include the following:

    (1) Long-term plans for FBI-managed properties and facilities.

    (2) Proposed construction, land use, activity, or operation where it is uncertain whether the action will significantly affect environmentally sensitive areas.

    (3) New activities for which the impacts are not known with certainty, but where the impacts are not expected to cause significant environmental degradation.

    7. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

    An EIS is a detailed, written statement Federal agencies must prepare for major Federal actions that will significantly affect the quality of the human environment, or when an EA concludes that the significance threshold of the impacts associated with a proposed action would be crossed. An EIS describes effects of the proposed action and any reasonable alternatives. A Notice of Intent (NOI) is published in the Federal Register as soon as practicable after a decision to prepare an EIS is made. The FBI may prepare an EIS without prior preparation of an EA. The format and content of an EIS are described in 40 CFR part 1502.

    (a) A Record of Decision (ROD) is prepared at the time a decision is made regarding a proposal that is analyzed and documented in an EIS. The ROD will state the decision, discuss the alternatives considered, and state whether all practicable means to avoid or minimize environmental harms have been adopted or, if not, why they were not adopted. Where applicable, the ROD will also describe and adopt a monitoring and enforcement plan for any mitigation. The FBI will comment on other agencies' EISs when relevant to the FBI mission, or where the FBI has jurisdiction by law or relevant special expertise.

    (b) Examples of types of actions that typically require an EIS include the following:

    (1) Proposed major construction or construction of facilities that would have a significant effect on wetlands, coastal zones, or other environmentally sensitive areas.

    (2) Change in area, scope, type, or frequency of operations or training that will result in significant environmental effects.

    (3) Actions where the effects of a project or operation on the human environment are likely to be highly scientifically uncertain, but are perceived to have potential for significant impacts.

    8. Scoping

    Scoping may be used for all NEPA documents in order to streamline the NEPA process by identifying significant issues and narrowing the scope of the environmental review process. The FBI may seek agencies with specialized expertise or authority in environmental planning requirements that may be beneficial to FBI mission planning and encourage such agencies to be cooperating agencies (40 CFR 1501.6 and 1508.5). In cases where an EIS is prepared in response to a finding of significant impact following preparation of an EA, the EIS scoping process shall incorporate the results of the EA development process.

    9. Public Involvement

    The FBI may use such means as newspaper announcements, electronic media, and public hearings to disseminate information to potentially interested or affected parties about NEPA actions, as appropriate. When preparing an EIS, and in certain cases an EA, the FBI will invite comment from affected Federal, tribal, state, and local agencies, and other interested persons in accordance with 40 CFR part 1503.

    10. Mitigation

    (a) Mitigation measures, such as those described in 40 CFR 1508.20, can be used to offset environmental impacts associated with implementation of an action. If a FONSI or ROD is based on mitigation measures, all mitigation measures stipulated in the EA or EIS must be implemented as described in the FONSI or ROD.

    (b) Mitigation measures must be included as conditions in grants, permits, and relevant contract documents. Funding of actions shall be contingent on performance of mitigation measures, where such measures are identified in a FONSI or ROD. If mitigation is required, a mitigation monitoring plan must be developed prior to the initiation of the proposed action. To the extent practicable, the FBI will make available the progress or results of monitoring upon request by the public or cooperating or commenting agencies.

    11. Programmatic, Tiered, and Supplemental NEPA Documents

    (a) Programmatic EAs or EISs may be prepared to cover broad actions, such as programs or plans (e.g., Master Plan EA).

    (b) Tiered EAs or EISs may be prepared to cover narrower actions that are a component to previously prepared Programmatic EAs or EISs as described in 40 CFR 1508.28.

    (c) Supplemental EAs or EISs shall be prepared when the FBI makes substantial changes to the proposed action that are relevant to environmental concerns; when there are significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the proposed action or its impacts (e.g., new study has revealed rare, threatened, and endangered species in the project vicinity); or when the FBI determines that the purposes of NEPA will be furthered by doing so.

    (1) Supplemental EAs may either be prepared by tracking changes in the original EA or by preparing a separate document that only discusses the changes in the project scope or new information and the associated changes with regard to impacts. The process concludes with a decision regarding whether to issue a revised FONSI (using one of the methods listed in section 9) or a decision to prepare an EIS.

    (2) Supplemental EISs are prepared in the same way as an EIS. If, however, a supplemental EIS is prepared within one year of filing the ROD for the original EIS, no new scoping process is required. The process concludes with a decision regarding whether to issue a revised ROD.

    Dated: April 13, 2016. Sally Q. Yates, Deputy Attorney General.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11945 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Ocean Energy Management 30 CFR Parts 550, 556, 559, and 560 [Docket ID: BOEM-2016-0031] RIN 1010-AD06 Leasing of Sulfur or Oil and Gas in the Outer Continental Shelf MMAA104000 AGENCY:

    Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; revision to final rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    On March 30, 2016, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published in the Federal Register a final rule that updates and streamlines the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas and sulfur leasing regulations, which will become effective on May 31, 2016. BOEM wishes to clarify the language in one section of that rule. Therefore, BOEM is proposing to revise that section and give the public an opportunity to comment. The final rule was issued under Docket ID: MMS-2007-OMM-0069, which has expired and is no longer accessible. Therefore, BOEM is utilizing a new Docket ID for this proposed rule (BOEM-2016-0031).

    DATES:

    Submit comments by June 23, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Sebastian, Office of Policy, Regulation and Analysis at (504) 736-2761 or email at [email protected]

    ADDRESSES:

    Address all comments regarding this proposed rule to BOEM by any of the following methods:

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

    U.S. Postal Service or Other Mail Delivery Service: Address to Robert Sebastian, Office of Policy, Regulation and Analysis (OPRA), BOEM, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Mailstop DM5238, Washington, DC 20240; or

    • Hand delivery to Office of Policy, Regulation and Analysis, BOEM, Department of the Interior, at 1849 C Street NW., Room No. 5249, Washington, DC 20240.

    Please include your name, return address and phone number and/or email address, so we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission.

    Public Availability of Comments: BOEM does not consider anonymous comments; please include your name and address as part of your submittal. Before including your name, address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On March 30, 2016 BOEM published in the Federal Register (81 FR 18111), a final rule that updates and streamlines the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas and sulfur leasing regulations, which will become effective on May 31, 2016. BOEM wishes to clarify the language in one definition in § 556.105 of that rule. Therefore, in this proposed rule, BOEM proposes to make a revision to that section.

    II. Analysis Section 556.105 Definitions

    The term “You” was defined in proposed rule § 256.103 by providing a list of categories of persons to whom the term would apply. This list was retained in the definition of “You” in final rule § 556.105, but an introductory sentence was added to clarify that some persons not yet in a legal relationship with BOEM were affected by portions of part 556. The resulting definition, included in the final rule, read as follows: “You means any party that has, or may have, legal obligations to the Federal government with respect to any operations on the OCS in which it is or may become involved. Depending on the context of the regulation, the term “you” may include a lessee (record title owner), an operating rights owner, a designated operator or agent of the lessee, a predecessor lessee, a holder of a State or Federal RUE, or a pipeline ROW holder.” The first sentence of that definition, by its reference to operations, may cause confusion as to who is considered to be subject to the regulations in part 556. Therefore, BOEM proposes to change the wording of the definition to remove the introductory sentence and add specific references to: A bidder; a prospective bidder; and an applicant seeking to become an assignee of record title or operating rights. These changes will specify the categories of persons who (depending on the context) must comply with certain sections of part 556, without the ambiguity of the definition as it is stated in the final rule. As amended, the definition would read: “You, depending on the context of the regulations, means a bidder, a prospective bidder, a lessee (record title owner), an operating rights owner, an applicant seeking to become an assignee of record title or operating rights, a designated operator or agent of the lessee, a predecessor lessee, a RUE holder for a State or Federal lease, or a pipeline ROW holder.”

    III. Procedural Requirements

    Section V, Legal and Regulatory Analyses, of the final rule issued on March 30, 2016 (81 FR 18145), summarizes BOEM's analyses of the rule pursuant to applicable statutes and executive orders. This proposed amendment to that rule would not change any conclusion described in that section, because the amendment is only intended to clarify the meaning of the regulatory text in the final rule and would not require any additional actions by either BOEM or the regulated community. Therefore, no additional analysis is necessary.

    List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 556

    Administrative practice and procedure, Continental shelf, Environmental protection, Federal lands, Government contracts, Intergovernmental relations, Oil and gas exploration, Outer continental shelf, Mineral resources, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: May 16, 2016. Amanda C. Leiter, Acting Assistant Secretary—Land and Minerals Management.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, BOEM proposes to amend 30 CFR part 556 (as amended by the final rule published on March 30, 2016, at 81 FR 18111) as follows:

    PART 556—LEASING OF SULFUR OR OIL AND GAS AND BONDING REQUIREMENTS IN THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF 1. The authority citation for part 556 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    30 U.S.C. 1701 note, 30 U.S.C. 1711, 31 U.S.C. 9701, 42 U.S.C. 6213, 43 U.S.C. 1331 note, 43 U.S.C. 1334, 43 U.S.C. 1801-1802.

    2. Amend § 556.105 by revising the definition of “You” to read as follows:
    § 556.105 Acronyms and definitions.

    You, depending on the context of the regulations, means a bidder, a prospective bidder, a lessee (record title owner), an operating rights owner, an applicant seeking to become an assignee of record title or operating rights, a designated operator or agent of the lessee, a predecessor lessee, a RUE holder for a State or Federal lease, or a pipeline ROW holder.

    [FR Doc. 2016-12097 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0118] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zones, Recurring Marine Events Held in the Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound Captain of the Port Zone AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to add, delete, and modify safety zones for annual marine events in the Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound Captain of the Port Zone. When enforced, these proposed safety zones would restrict vessels from portions of water areas during certain annually recurring events. The safety zones are intended to expedite public notification and ensure the protection of the maritime public and event participants from the hazards associated with certain maritime events. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before June 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2015-0118 using any one of the following methods:

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

    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.

    (3) Mail: 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.

    (4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Chief Petty Officer Ian M. Fallon, U.S. Coast Guard Waterways Management Division Sector Long Island Sound; telephone (203) 468-4565, or email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Ms. Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security E.O. Executive order FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking Pub. L. Public Law § Section U.S.C. United States Code AOR Area of Responsibility II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis

    Previously, the Coast Guard promulgated safety zones for most of the events associated with this rule and received no public comments. The most recently promulgated rulemaking was on May 24, 2013 when the Coast Guard published a Final Rule, entitled, “Safety Zones and Special Local Regulations; Recurring Marine Events in Captain of the Port Sector Long Island Sound Zone” in the Federal Register (78 FR 31402).

    The purpose of this rulemaking is to carry out three related actions: (1) Establishing new necessary safety zones, (2) removing safety zones that are no longer needed, and (3) updating and reorganizing existing regulations for ease of use and reduction of administrative overhead.

    The Coast Guard proposes this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1, which collectively authorize the Coast Guard to establish regulatory safety zones.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The Coast Guard proposes to revise section 33 CFR 165.151 “Safety Zones; Fireworks Displays, Air Shows and Swim Events in the Captain of the Port Long Island Sound Zone” by establishing one new permanent safety zone, removing twenty-four existing safety zones, and modifying twenty existing safety zones. By proposing these permanent regulation updates, we are providing the public with an opportunity to comment on these changes. This rulemaking limits the unnecessary burden of continually establishing temporary rules every year for events that occur on an annual basis.

    (1) Establishing New Marine Event Regulated Areas

    This rule proposes to establish one new permanent marine event safety zone under 33 CFR 165.151. The events listed in the revised 33 CFR 165.151 table are all fireworks displays throughout the Sector Long Island Sound Captain of the Port Zone. The event created by this rule is 5.1 Bridgeport Bluefish May Fireworks. Event location and details are listed below in the text of the regulation. Due to the pyrotechnics detonation and burning debris, a safety zone is needed to protect both spectators and participants from the safety potential hazards. This rule would permanently establish a safety zone that restricts vessel movement around the location of the marine event to reduce the safety risks associated with it.

    During the enforcement period of the safety zone, persons and vessels would be prohibited from entering, transiting through, remaining, anchoring, or mooring within the safety zone unless specifically authorized by the COTP or the designated representative. Persons and vessels would be able to request authorization to enter, transit through, remain, anchor, or moor within the safety zone by contacting the COTP Sector Long Island Sound by telephone at (203) 468-4401, or designated representative via VHF radio on channel 16. If authorization to enter, transit through, remain, anchor, or moor within the regulated area is granted, all persons and vessels receiving authorization would be required to comply with the instructions of the COTP or designated representative.

    The Coast Guard COTP Sector Long Island Sound or designated representatives would enforce the safety zone. These designated representatives are comprised of commissioned, warrant, and petty officers of the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other federal, state and local agencies in the enforcement of these safety zones.

    (2) Remove Old Safety Zones That Are No Longer Needed

    This rulemaking proposes to remove the following twenty-four safety zones from Table 1 to § 165.151: 5.1 Jones Beach Air Show, as the regulation will be moved to 33 CFR 100.100 at the Table to § 100.100. 5.2 Greenport Spring Fireworks, as the event has been discontinued. 7.2 Cancer Center for Kids Fireworks, as the event has not been held since 2011 and the sponsoring organization, The Friends of the Cancer Center for Kids, has confirmed that they do not intend to hold the event again in the foreseeable future. 7.10 City of New Haven Fireworks, as the event has not been held since 2008 and the sponsoring organization, the City of New Haven, has confirmed that they do not intend to hold the event again in the foreseeable future. 7.14 Fund in the Sun Fireworks, as the event has not been held since 2010 and the sponsoring organization, the Shelter Island Yacht Club, has confirmed that they do not intend to hold the event again in the foreseeable future. 7.19 Jones Beach State Park Fireworks, as the regulation will be moved to the 33 CFR 100.100 at the Table to § 100.100. 7.20 Madison Cultural Arts Fireworks, as the event has been discontinued. 7.22 Patchogue Chamber of Commerce Fireworks, as the event has been discontinued. 7.26 Village of Quoque Foundering Anniversary Fireworks, as the event has not been held since 2009 and the sponsoring organization, the Village of Quoque, has confirmed that they do not intend to hold the event again in the foreseeable future. 7.28 Great South Bay Music Festival Fireworks, as the event has been discontinued. 7.31 Clam Shell Foundation Fireworks, as the regulation will be moved to the table to 100.100. 7.32 Town of North Hempstead Bar Beach Fireworks, as the event is not in Sector Long Island Sound's AOR. 7.41 Niantic Bay Fireworks, as the event has been discontinued. 7.43 North Bay Fourth of July Fireworks, as the event has been discontinued. 7.46 Irwin family 4th of July, as the event has been discontinued. 7.47 Westbrook July Celebration, as this is a duplicate entry of 7.3 City of Westbrook, CT July Celebration Fireworks. 8.1 Village of Bellport Fireworks, as this is not a reoccurring event. 8.2 Taste of Italy Fireworks, as this is not a reoccuring event. 8.5 Shelter Island Yacht Club Fireworks, as the event has been discontinued. 9.2 Town of Islip Labor Day Fireworks, as the event has been discontinued. 9.5 Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church Fireworks, as the event is not in Sector Long Island Sound's AOR. 9.6 Port Washington Sons of Italy Fireworks, as the event is not in Sector Long Island Sound's AOR. 11.1 Charles W. Morgan Anniversary Fireworks, as the event has been discontinued. 12.1 Greenport Winter Fireworks, as the event has been discontinued.

    This rulemaking also proposes to delete all seven of the safety zones from Table 2 to § 165.151: 1.1 Swim Across the Sound, as the regulation will be moved to 33 CFR 100.100 at the Table to § 100.100. 1.2 Huntington Bay Open Water Championships Swim, as the regulation will be moved to 33 CFR 100.100 at the Table to § 100.100. 1.3 Maggie Fischer Memorial Great South Bay Cross Bay Swim, as the regulation will be moved to 33 CFR 100.100 at the Table to § 100.100. 1.4 Waves of Hope Swim, as the regulation will be moved to 33 CFR 100.100 at the Table to § 100.100. 1.5 Stonewall Swim, as the regulation will be moved to 33 CFR 100.100 at the Table to § 100.100. 1.6 Swim Across America Greenwich, as the regulation will be moved to 33 CFR 100.100 at the Table to § 100.100. 1.7 US Coast Guard Triathlon Swim, as this is not a reoccurring event.

    (3) Modify and Update Existing Regulated Areas

    Due to the deletion of twenty-four cites within Table 1 to § 165.151, several of the remaining cites will be renumbered to fill the vacancies created by the deleted cites. The cite numbers used in this section reflect cite numbers as they are currently listed in Table 1 to § 165.151: 2.1 Sag Harbor COC Winter Harbor Frost Fireworks Date was updated for accuracy. 6.1 Barnum Festival Fireworks Location was updated for accuracy. 6.2 Town of Branford Fireworks Location was updated for accuracy. 6.3 Vietnam Veterans/Town of East Haven Fireworks Location was updated for accuracy. 6.4 Salute to Veterans Fireworks Location was updated for accuracy. 7.1 Point O'Woods Fire Company Summer Fireworks Location was updated for accuracy. 7.7 Southampton Fresh Air Home Fireworks Location was updated for accuracy. 7.9 City of Middletown Fireworks Location was updated for accuracy. 7.11 City of Norwich July Fireworks Location was updated for accuracy. 7.12 City of Stamford Fireworks Date was updated for accuracy. 7.13 City of West Haven Fireworks Date was updated for accuracy. 7.23 Riverfest Fireworks Date was removed due to the fact that the exact date in July would change annually. The public will be notified of the exact date and time annually. The Locations of the safety zones were updated for accuracy. 7.24 Village of Asharoken Fireworks Location was updated for accuracy. 7.25 Village of Port Jefferson Fourth of July Celebration Fireworks Location was updated for accuracy. 7.33 Groton Long Point Yacht Club Fireworks Location was updated for accuracy. 7.42 Connetquot River Summer Fireworks Location was updated for accuracy. 7.44 National Golf Links Fireworks Name is to be changed to Sebonack Golf Club Links Fireworks per the sponsor's request. 8.8 Ascension Fireworks Location was updated for accuracy. 9.1 East Hampton Fire Department Fireworks Location was updated for accuracy. 11.2 Christmas Boat Parade Fireworks barge Locations were updated for accuracy.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive orders (E.O.s) related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and E.O.s, and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    E.O.s 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This NPRM has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under E.O. 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    The Coast Guard determined that this proposed rulemaking is not a significant regulatory action for the following reasons: The safety zones are of limited duration and vessels may transit the navigable waterways outside of the safety zones. Persons or vessels requiring entry into the safety zones may be authorized to do so by the COTP Sector Long Island Sound or designated representative.

    Advanced public notifications will also be made to local mariners through appropriate means, which may include but is not limited to Local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 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 would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

    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.

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

    A rule has implications for federalism under E.O. 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this proposed rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in E.O. 13132.

    Also, this proposed rule does not have tribal implications under E.O. 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. If you believe this proposed rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    E. 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.

    F. 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 (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 the establishment of safety zones. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD. 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.

    G. 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.

    V. 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.

    A. 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. To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on the comment option on the line associated with this NPRM. As stated in the ADDRESSES section, you may also submit your comments by fax, mail, or hand delivery. Please use only one of these four submittal methods.

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you go to the online docket by following instructions in the next paragraph, and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified whenever comments are submitted or a final rule is published.

    B. 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 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on the Open Docket Folder option on the line associated with this notice of proposed 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.

    C. 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). We allow anonymous submissions.

    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; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701, 3306, 3703; 50 U.S.C. 191, 195; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Revise table 1 to § 165.151 and remove table 2 to § 165.151.

    The revision reads as follows:

    § 165.151 Safety Zones; Fireworks Displays, Air Shows and Swim Events in the Captain of the Port Long Island Sound Zone. Table to § 165.151 2 February 2.1 Sag Harbor COC Winter Harbor Frost Fireworks • Date: A day in February determined annually. • Rain Date: A day in February determined annually. • Time (Approximate): 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. • Location: Waters of Sag Harbor off Long Wharf St. Pier in Sag Harbor, NY in approximate position 41°00′16.82″ N., 072°17′43.78″ W. (NAD 83). 4 April 4.1 Bridgeport Bluefish April Fireworks • Date: A day in April determined annually. • Rain Date: A day in April determined annually. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Pequannock River's Lower Reach surrounding Steel Point in Bridgeport, CT in approximate position 41°10′35″ N., 073°10′58″ W. (NAD 83). 5 May 5.1 Bridgeport Bluefish May Fireworks • Date: A day in May determined annually. • Rain Date: A day in May determined annually. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Pequannock River's Lower Reach surrounding Steel Point in Bridgeport, CT in approximate position 41°10′35″ N., 073°10′58″ W. (NAD 83). 6 June 6.1 Barnum Festival Fireworks • Date: A day in June determined annually. • Rain Date: A day in June determined annually. • Time (Approximate): 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Bridgeport Harbor, Bridgeport, CT in approximate position 41°09′34″ N., 073°11′18″ W. (NAD 83). 6.2 Town of Branford Fireworks • Date: A day during the last two weeks of June. • Rain Date: A day in June determined annually. • Time (Approximate): 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Branford Harbor, Branford, CT in approximate position, 41°15′37″ N., 072°49′15″ W. (NAD 83). 6.3 Vietnam Veterans/Town of East Haven Fireworks • Date: A day during the last two weeks of June. • Rain Date: A day in June determined annually. • Time (Approximate): 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: Waters off Cosey Beach, East Haven, CT in approximate position, 41°14′31.7″ N., 072°52′16.4″ W. (NAD 83). 6.4 Salute to Veterans Fireworks • Date: A day during the last week of June. • Rain Date: A day in June determined annually. • Time (Approximate): 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Reynolds Channel off Hempstead, NY in approximate position 40°35′36.87″ N., 073°35′20.72″ W. (NAD 83). 6.5 Cherry Grove Arts Project Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of June. • Time (Approximate): 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Great South Bay off Cherry Grove, NY in approximate position 40°39′ 49.06″ N., 073°05′27.99″ W. (NAD 83). 6.6 Bridgeport Bluefish June Fireworks • Date: A day in June determined annually. • Rain Date: A day in June determined annually. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Pequannock River's Lower Reach surrounding Steel Point in Bridgeport, CT in approximate position 41°10′35″ N., 073°10′ 58″ W. (NAD 83). 7 July 7.1 Point O'Woods Fire Company Summer Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Great South Bay, Point O'Woods, NY in approximate position 40°39′27.28″ N., 073°08′20.98″ W. (NAD 83). 7.2 City of Westbrook, CT July Celebration Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Westbrook Harbor, Westbrook, CT in approximate position, 41°16′10.5″ N., 072°26′14″ W. (NAD 83). 7.3 Norwalk Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters off Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk, CT in approximate position, 41°04′05″ N., 073°23′22″ W. (NAD 83). 7.4 Lawrence Beach Club Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Atlantic Ocean off Lawrence Beach Club, Atlantic Beach, NY in approximate position 40°34′42.65″ N., 073°42′56.02″ W. (NAD 83). 7.5 Sag Harbor Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Sag Harbor Bay off Havens Beach, Sag Harbor, NY in approximate position 41°00′26″ N., 072°17′09″ W. (NAD 83). 7.6 Southhampton Fresh Air Home Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Shinnecock Bay, Southampton, NY in approximate positions, 40°51′49.14″ N., 072°26′31.48″ W. (NAD 83). 7.7 Westport Police Athletic league Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters off Compo Beach, Westport, CT in approximate position, 41°06′15″ N., 073°20′57″ W. (NAD 83). 7.8 City of Middletown Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Connecticut River, Middletown Harbor, Middletown, CT in approximate position 41°33′47.5″ N., 072°38′38.39″ W. (NAD 83). 7.9 City of Norwich July Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Thames River, Norwich, CT in approximate position, 41°31′14.19″ N., 072°04′43.23″ W. (NAD 83). 7.10 City of Stamford Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Fisher's Westcott cove, Stamford, CT in approximate position 41°02′09.56″ N., 073°30′57.76″ W. (NAD 83). 7.11 City of West Haven Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of New Haven Harbor, off Bradley Point, West Haven, CT in approximate position 41°15′07″ N., 072°57′26″ W. (NAD 83). 7.12 Fairfield Aerial Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Jennings Beach, Fairfield, CT in approximate position 41°08′22″ N., 073°14′02″ W. (NAD 83). 7.13 Independence Day Celebration Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters off of Umbrella Beach, Montauk, NY in approximate position 41°01′44″ N., 071°57′13″ W. (NAD 83). 7.14 Mason's Island Yacht Club Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Fisher's Island Sound, Noank, CT in approximate position 41°19′30.61″ N., 071°57′48.22″ W. (NAD 83). 7.15 Riverfest Fireworks • Date: A day in the second or third week of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Connecticut River, Hartford, CT and East Hartford, CT within a 1000 foot radius of the launch platforms in approximate positions: • Barge 1: 41°45′41.94″ N., 072°39′50.74″ W. (NAD 83). • Barge 2: 41°45′40.01″ N., 072°39′49.63″ W. (NAD 83). • Barge 3: 41°45′38.30″ N., 072°39′48.19″ W. (NAD 83). • Barge 4: 41°45′40.28″ N., 072°39′48.95″ W. (NAD 83). 7.16 Village of Asharoken Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Northport Bay, Asharoken, NY in approximate position, 41°56′21.2″ N., 073°21′15.14″ W. (NAD 83). 7.17 Village of Port Jefferson Fourth of July Celebration Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Port Jefferson Harbor Port Jefferson, NY in approximate position 40°57′53.19″ N., 073°03′09.72″ W. (NAD 83). 7.18 City of Long Beach Fireworks • Date: A day in the second or third week of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters off Riverside Blvd, City of Long Beach, NY in approximate position 40°34′38.77″ N., 073°39′41.32″ W. (NAD 83). 7.19 Mashantucket Pequot Fireworks • Date: A day in the second or third week of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Thames River New London, CT in approximate position 41°21′03.03″ N., 072°5′24.5″ W. 7.20 Shelter Island Fireworks • Date: A day in the second or third week of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: Waters of Gardiner Bay, Shelter Island, NY in approximate position 41°04′39.11″ N., 072°22′01.07″ W. (NAD 83). 7.21 Groton Long Point Yacht Club Fireworks • Date: A day in the second or third week of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Long Island Sound, Groton, CT in approximate position 41°18′37″ N., 072°00′56″ W. (NAD 83). 7.22 Devon Yacht Club Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Napeague Bay, in Block Island Sound off Amagansett, NY in approximate position 40°59′41.4″ N., 072°06′08.70″ W. (NAD 83). 7.23 Friar's Head Golf Club Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Long Island Sound off Baiting Hollow, NY in approximate position, 40°58′19.53″ N., 072°43′45.65″ W. (NAD 83). 7.24 Islip Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Great South Bay off Bay Shore Manor Park, Islip, NY in approximate position 40°42′24″ N., 073°14′24″ W. (NAD 83). 7.25 Madison Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Long Island Sound off Madison Beach, Madison, CT in approximate position 41°16′03.93″ N., 072°36′15.97″ W. (NAD 83). 7.26 Stratford Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Long Island Sound surrounding Short Beach Park, Stratford, CT in approximate position 41°09′50.82″ N., 073°06′47.13″ W. (NAD 83). 7.27 Rowayton Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Long Island Sound south of Bayley Beach Park in Rowayton, CT in approximate position 41°03′11″ N., 073°26′41″ W. (NAD 83). 7.28 Connetquot River Summer Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Connetquot River off Snapper Inn Restaurant, Oakdale, NY in approximate position 40°43′30.03″ N., 073°08′40.25″ W. (NAD 83). 7.29 Sebonack Golf Club Links Fireworks • Date: A day during the first two weeks of July. • Time (Approximate): 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Great Peconic Bay, approximately 3/4 of a mile northwest of Bullhead Bay, Shinnecock, NY in approximate position 40°55′11.79″ N., 072°28′04.34″ W. (NAD 83). 7.30 Bridgeport Bluefish July Fireworks • Date: A day in July determined annually. • Rain Date: A day in July determined annually. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Pequannock River's Lower Reach surrounding Steel Point in Bridgeport, CT in approximate position 41°10′35″ N., 073°10′58″ W. (NAD 83). 8 August 8.1 Old Black Point Beach Association Fireworks • Date: A day in August determined annually. • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. • Location: Waters off Old Black Point Beach East Lyme, CT in approximate position, 41°17′34.9″ N., 072°12′55″ W. (NAD 83). 8.2 Town of Babylon Fireworks • Date: A day in August determined annually. • Time (Approximate): 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters off of Cedar Beach Town Park, Babylon, NY in approximate position 40°37′53″ N., 073°20′12″ W. (NAD 83). 8.3 Stamford Fireworks • Date: A day between the last week of August and the first week of September. • Rain date: The last Sunday of August. • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. • Location: Waters of Stamford Harbor, off Kosciuszco Park, Stamford, CT in approximate position 41°01′48.46″ N., 073°32′15.32″ W. (NAD 83). 8.4 Ascension Fireworks • Date: A day during the third or fourth weekend of August. • Time (Approximate): 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Great South Bay off The Pines, East Fire Island, NY in approximate position 40°40′10″ N., 073°04′12″ W. (NAD 83). 8.5 Bridgeport Bluefish August Fireworks • Date: A day in August determined annually. • Rain Date: A day in August determined annually. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Pequannock River's Lower Reach surrounding Steel Point in Bridgeport, CT in approximate position 41°10′35″ N., 073°10′58″ W. (NAD 83). 9 September 9.1 East Hampton Fire Department Fireworks • Date: A day between the last week of August and the first week of September • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters off Main Beach, East Hampton, NY in approximate position 40°56′42″ N., 072°11′22″ W. (NAD 83). 9.2 Village of Island Park Labor Day Celebration Fireworks • Date: A day between the last week of August and the first week of September • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters off Village of Island Park Fishing Pier, Village Beach, NY in approximate position 40°36′30.95″ N., 073°39′22.23″ W. (NAD 83). 9.3 The Creek Fireworks • Date: A day between the last week of August and the first week of September. • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of Long Island Sound off the Creek Golf Course, Lattingtown, NY in approximate position 40°54′13″ N., 073°35′58″ W. (NAD 83). 9.4 Bridgeport Bluefish September Fireworks • Date: A day in September determined annually. • Rain Date: A day in September determined annually. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Pequannock River's Lower Reach surrounding Steel Point in Bridgeport, CT in approximate position 41°10′35″ N., 073°10′58″ W. (NAD 83). 11 November 11.1 Christmas Boat Parade Fireworks • Date: A day during the third or fourth weekend in November. • Time (Approximate): 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. • Location: Waters of Patchogue Bay off “Lombardi's on the Bay” restaurant Patchogue, NY in approximate positions: • Barge 1: 41°45′25.78″ N., 073°01′06.5″ W. (NAD 83). • Barge 2: 41°45′12.88″ N., 073°01′04.2″ W. (NAD 83). • Barge 3: 41°44′58.18″ N., 073°01′2.66″ W. (NAD 83). 11.2 Connetquot River Fall Fireworks • Date: A day during the last weekend of November. • Time (Approximate): 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Connetquot River off Snapper Inn Restaurant, Oakdale, NY in approximate position 40°43′32.38″ N., 073°09′02.64″ W. (NAD 83).
    Dated: April 19, 2016. E.J. Cubanski, III, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sector Long Island Sound.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12001 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0361; FRL-9946-81-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Florida; Regional Haze Progress Report AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Florida through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) on March 10, 2015. Florida's March 10, 2015, SIP revision (Progress Report) addresses requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) and EPA's rules that require states to submit periodic reports describing progress towards reasonable progress goals (RPGs) established for regional haze and a determination of the adequacy of a state's existing SIP addressing regional haze (regional haze plan). EPA is proposing to approve Florida's Progress Report on the basis that it addresses the progress report and adequacy determination requirements for the first implementation period for regional haze.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0361 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sean Lakeman, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street, SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Lakeman can be reached by phone at (404) 562-9043 and via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    Under the Regional Haze Rule,1 each state is required to submit a progress report in the form of a SIP revision every five years that evaluates progress towards the RPGs for each mandatory Class I Federal area (also referred to as Class I area in this rulemaking) within the state and for each mandatory Class I Federal area outside the state which may be affected by emissions from within the state. See 40 CFR 51.308(g). Each state is also required to submit, at the same time as the progress report, a determination of the adequacy of the state's existing regional haze plan. See 40 CFR 51.308(h). The first progress report is due five years after submittal of the initial regional haze plan. On March 19, 2010, FDEP submitted the State's first regional haze plan in accordance with 40 CFR 51.308(b).2

    1 40 CFR part 51, subpart P.

    2 On August 29, 2013, EPA fully approved Florida's regional haze plan (as amended on August 31, 2010, and September 17, 2012). See 78 FR 53250.

    On March 10, 2015, FDEP submitted its regional haze progress report, reporting progress made in the first implementation period towards RPGs for Class I areas in the State and for Class I areas outside the State that are affected by emissions from sources within Florida. This submittal also includes a negative declaration pursuant to 40 CFR 51.308(h)(1) that the State's regional haze plan requires no substantive revision to achieve the established regional haze visibility improvement goals for 2018. EPA is proposing to approve Florida's progress report on the basis that it satisfies the requirements of 40 CFR 51.308(g) and 51.308(h).

    II. What are the requirements for the regional haze progress report and adequacy determinations? A. Regional Haze Progress Report

    Under 40 CFR 51.308(g), states must submit a regional haze progress report as a SIP revision every five years and must address, at a minimum, the seven elements found in 40 CFR 51.308(g). As described in further detail in section III below, 40 CFR 51.308(g) requires: (1) A description of the status of measures in the approved regional haze plan; (2) a summary of emissions reductions achieved; (3) an assessment of visibility conditions for each Class I area in the state; (4) an analysis of changes in emissions from sources and activities within the state; (5) an assessment of any significant changes in anthropogenic emissions within or outside the state that have limited or impeded progress in Class I areas impacted by the state's sources; (6) an assessment of the sufficiency of the approved regional haze plan; and (7) a review of the state's visibility monitoring strategy.

    B. Adequacy Determinations of the Current Regional Haze Plan

    Under 40 CFR 51.308(h), states are required to submit, at the same time as the progress report, a determination of the adequacy of their existing regional haze plan and to take one of four possible actions based on information in the progress report. As described in further detail in section III below, 40 CFR 51.308(h) requires states to: (1) Submit a negative declaration to EPA that no further substantive revision to the state's existing regional haze plan is needed; (2) provide notification to EPA (and to other state(s) that participated in the regional planning process) if the state determines that its existing regional haze plan is or may be inadequate to ensure reasonable progress at one or more Class I areas due to emissions from sources in other state(s) that participated in the regional planning process, and collaborate with these other state(s) to develop additional strategies to address deficiencies; (3) provide notification with supporting information to EPA if the state determines that its existing regional haze plan is or may be inadequate to ensure reasonable progress at one or more Class I areas due to emissions from sources in another country; or (4) revise its regional haze plan to address deficiencies within one year if the state determines that its existing regional haze plan is or may be inadequate to ensure reasonable progress in one or more Class I areas due to emissions from sources within the state.

    III. What is EPA's analysis of Florida's regional haze progress report and adequacy determination?

    On March 10, 2015, FDEP submitted a revision to Florida's regional haze plan to address progress made towards the RPGs for Class I areas in the State and for Class I areas outside the State that are affected by emissions from sources within Florida. This submittal also includes a determination of the adequacy of the State's existing regional haze plan. Florida has three mandatory Class I areas within its borders: Everglades National Park, Chassahowitzka Wilderness Area, and St. Marks Wilderness Area. In Florida's regional haze plan, the State also determined that emissions sources located in Florida may have significant sulfate visibility impacts on the following Class I areas in neighboring states: Okefenokee Wilderness Area and Wolf Island Wilderness Area in Georgia, and Breton Wilderness Area in Louisiana.

    A. Regional Haze Progress Report

    The following sections summarize: (1) Each of the seven elements that must be addressed by a progress report under 40 CFR 51.308(g); (2) how Florida's Progress Report addressed each element; and (3) EPA's analysis and proposed determination as to whether the State satisfied each element.

    1. Status of Control Measures

    40 CFR 51.308(g)(1) requires a description of the status of implementation of all measures included in the regional haze plan for achieving RPGs for Class I areas both within and outside the state.

    The State evaluated the status of all measures included in its regional haze plan in accordance with 40 CFR 51.308(g)(1). Specifically, in its Progress Report, Florida summarizes the status of the emissions reduction measures that were included in the final iteration of the Visibility Improvement State and Tribal Association of the Southeast (VISTAS) regional haze emissions inventory and RPG modeling used by the State in developing its regional haze plan. These measures include, among other things, applicable federal programs (e.g., mobile source rules, Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards), federal and state consent agreements, and federal and state control strategies for electric generating units (EGUs). The State also addresses the status of Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) and reasonable progress controls included in the regional haze plan and discusses the status of several measures that were not included in the final VISTAS emissions inventory and were not relied upon in the initial regional haze plan to meet RPGs. The State notes that the emissions reductions from these recent measures will help ensure Class I areas impacted by Florida sources achieve their RPGs. In aggregate, as noted in sections III.A.2 and III.A.6 of this notice, the emissions reductions from the identified measures are expected to exceed the emissions projections in Florida's regional haze plan.

    In its regional haze plan, Florida identified sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from coal-fired EGUs as a key contributor to regional haze in the VISTAS region, with the EGU sector as a major contributor to visibility impairment at all Class I areas in the VISTAS region. The State's Progress Report provides additional information on EGU control strategies and the status of existing and future expected controls for EGUs in Florida, with updated actual SO2 emissions data for the years 2007-2013.

    EPA proposes to find that Florida's analysis adequately addresses 40 CFR 51.308(g)(1). The State documents the implementation status of measures from its regional haze plan in addition to describing additional measures not originally accounted for in the final VISTAS emissions inventory that came into effect since the VISTAS analyses for the regional haze plan were completed.

    2. Emissions Reductions and Progress

    40 CFR 51.308(g)(2) requires a summary of the emissions reductions achieved in the state through implementing measures described in 40 CFR 51.308(g)(1).

    In its Progress Report, Florida evaluated the emissions reductions associated with the implementation of many measures identified in its regional haze plan, including the emissions reductions associated with sources subject to BART or reasonable progress control determinations. As described below, Florida included nitrogen oxides (NOX) and SO2 emissions data for EGUs in Florida from 2002-2013 and annual SO2 emissions data from point sources in the State from 2000-2013. In its regional haze plan, Florida states that ammonium sulfate is the largest contributor to visibility impairment in Class I areas throughout the southeastern United States during the baseline period from 2000-2004. Emissions sensitivity modeling performed by VISTAS determined that the most effective ways to reduce ammonium sulfate were to reduce SO2 emissions from coal-fired EGUs and, with an important but smaller impact, to reduce SO2 emissions from non-utility industrial point sources. SO2 reductions from point sources were therefore identified as the focus of Florida's long-term strategy for visibility improvement. In its Progress Report, Florida examined pollutants affecting visibility in Class I areas in Florida to ascertain whether it is still appropriate to focus on SO2 emissions to improve visibility in Class I areas impacted by sources in Florida. Using updated data for the 2006-2010 time period, the State concludes that ammonium sulfate continues to be the largest contributor to visibility impairment in these areas.

    The data from EPA's Clean Air Markets Division included in the Progress Report for Acid Rain Program units from 2002-2013 show that SO2 emissions from EGUs in Florida and in the VISTAS region have declined during this time period even though heat input to these units remains fairly steady. See Figure 4-2 in Florida's submittal. Between 2002 and 2013, heat input to these units decreased from approximately 1,597,000,000 (million British Thermal Units) MMBtu to 1,548,000,000 MMBtu, a decrease of three percent. SO2 emissions from these units decreased from 466,904 tons annually in 2002 to 88,004 tons annually in 2013, a decrease of 81.2 percent, and the average SO2 emission rate from these units decreased from 0.603 pounds per MMBtu (lbs/MMBtu) in 2002 to 0.114 lbs/MMBtu in 2013, a decrease of 81.1 percent. Over the same time period, NOX emissions from these units decreased from 258,378 tons in 2002 to 54,398 tons in 2013, a decrease of 78.9 percent. Florida states that the SO2 and NOX emissions reductions are due to the installation of controls and the use of cleaner burning fuels. Florida also identifies the shut-down of eight BART sources and three reasonable progress sources.

    Florida's Progress Report also includes SO2 and NOX emissions and heat input trends for Acid Rain Program units in the VISTAS region. See Figure 4-3 in Florida's submittal. Between 2002 and 2011, heat input to these units decreased from 7,645,295,464 MMBtu to 7,336,055,333 MMBtu, a decrease of four percent. SO2 emissions from these units decreased from 3,713,262 tons annually in 2002 to 1,166,572 tons annually in 2011, a decrease of 69.9 percent, and the average SO2 emission rate from these units decreased from 0.971 lbs/MMBtu in 2002 to 0.318 lbs/MMBtu in 2011, a decrease of 67.3 percent. Over the same time period, NOX emissions decreased from 1,498,143 tons in 2002 to 464,129 tons in 2011, a decrease of 69 percent.

    Between 2009 and 2011, the total VISTAS states' heat input for Acid Rain Program units increased from 6,966,765,915 MMBtu to 7,336,055,333 MMBtu. However, emissions from these units declined from 1,619,348 tons of SO2 in 2009 to 1,166,572 tons of SO2 in 2011, and the emission rates of SO2 decreased from 0.465 lbs/MMBtu to 0.318 lbs/MMBtu.

    Florida believes that the reductions in SO2 and NOX described above are a result of many factors, including permanent changes at EGUs through the use of control technology and fuel switching. In Florida and the VISTAS region, Florida concluded that these emissions reductions have been achieved even though heat input to these units remains fairly steady. Thus, the State believes that the visibility improvements from the reductions in SO2 and NOX should continue into the future even though demand for power and heat input to these units may have moderate increases.

    EPA proposes to conclude that Florida has adequately addressed 40 CFR 51.308(g)(2). As discussed above, the State provides emissions reduction estimates, and where available, actual emissions reductions of visibility-impairing pollutants resulting from the measures relied upon in its regional haze plan. The State appropriately focused on SO2 emissions from EGUs in its Progress Report because the State had previously identified these emissions as the most significant contributors to visibility impairment at Florida's Class I areas and those Class I areas that Florida sources impact.

    3. Visibility Progress

    40 CFR 51.308(g)(3) requires that states with Class I areas provide the following information for the most impaired and least impaired days for each area, with values expressed in terms of five-year averages of these annual values: 3

    3 The “most impaired days” and “least impaired days” in the Regional Haze Rule refers to the average visibility impairment (measured in deciviews) for the twenty percent of monitored days in a calendar year with the highest and lowest amount of visibility impairment, respectively, averaged over a five-year period. 40 CFR 51.301.

    (i) Current visibility conditions;

    (ii) the difference between current visibility conditions and baseline visibility conditions; and

    (iii) the change in visibility impairment over the past five years.

    The State provides figures with the latest supporting data available at the time of plan development that address the three requirements of 40 CFR 51.308(g)(3) for Class I areas in Florida. Table 1, below, shows the current visibility conditions and the difference between current visibility conditions and baseline visibility conditions. Florida reported current conditions as the 2009-2013 five-year period and used the 2000-2004 baseline period for its Class I areas.4

    4 For the first regional haze plan, “baseline” conditions were represented by the 2000-2004 time period. See 64 FR 35730 (July 1, 1999).

    Table 1—Baseline Visibility, Current Visibility, and Visibility Changes in Class I Areas in Florida Class I area Baseline
  • average
  • (2000-2004)
  • Current
  • average
  • (2009-2013)
  • Change
  • (current-
  • baseline)
  • 20% Worst Days: Chassahowitzka 25.75 21.33 −4.42 Everglades 22.30 18.14 −4.16 St. Marks 26.31 22.22 −4.09 20% Best Days: Chassahowitzka 15.51 13.74 −1.77 Everglades 11.69 11.21 −0.48 St. Marks 14.37 13.33 −1.04

    The data summarized above shows that all Class I areas in the State saw an improvement in visibility (i.e., reduced impairment) on the 20 percent worst days and on the 20 percent best days. For the 20 percent worst days, the current observed five-year average values for all three areas are below the 2013 glide path values and the corresponding 2018 RPG. See Table 3-1 in Florida's submittal. For the 20 percent best days, the current observed five-year average values for all three areas are below baseline visibility conditions. Florida's submittal also includes the change in visibility impairment for the 20 percent worst and 20 percent best days from the 2001-2005 time period through the 2009-2013 time period in five-year average increments. See Table 3-2 of Florida's submittal. The data also shows that all three Class I areas saw an improvement in visibility on the 20 percent worst days and on the 20 percent best days.

    EPA proposes to conclude that Florida has adequately addressed 40 CFR 51.308(g)(3) because the State provides the information regarding visibility conditions and visibility changes necessary to meet the requirements of the regulation. The Progress Report includes current conditions based on the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) monitoring data for the years 2009-2013, the difference between current visibility conditions and baseline visibility conditions, and the change in visibility impairment over the most recent five-year period for which data were available at the time of Progress Report development (i.e., 2009-2013).

    4. Emission Tracking

    40 CFR 51.308(g)(4) requires an analysis tracking emissions changes of visibility-impairing pollutants from the state's sources by type or category over the past five years based on the most recent updated emissions inventory.

    In its Progress Report, Florida includes an analysis tracking the change over a five-year period in emissions of pollutants contributing to visibility impairment from the following source categories: point, area, non-road mobile, and on-road mobile. The State evaluated emissions trends in SO2, NOX, and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) with a focus on SO2 because, as noted above, Florida concludes that ammonium sulfate continues to be the largest contributor to visibility impairment in Class I areas in Florida.

    In its evaluation of NOX, PM2.5, and SO2 emissions trends, Florida used the 2002 actual and 2009 and 2018 projected inventories from its regional haze plan as well as the Southeastern Modeling, Analysis, and Planning Project (SEMAP) 2007 actual emissions inventory, the 2011 National Emissions Inventory (NEI) actual emissions inventory, and the State's Annual Operation Report point source data collected each year. See Tables 4-1 through 4-3 in Florida's submittal. For NOX emissions, there were large decreases in point and area emissions and some increases in on-road mobile emissions in 2007. The State asserts that the decreases in point source NOX were due to emissions controls that were installed and that the decrease in area source NOX is primarily due to the removal of coal and wood combustion boilers from the area source inventory to avoid double counting with the point source category. Florida also believes that the increase in on-road mobile NOX is due to the use of the MOVES2010a model, rather than MOBILE6.2, for the 2007 inventory. If a consistent on-road model had been used for 2002, 2007, and 2009, the SEMAP 2007 NOX emissions would have been lower than the VISTAS 2002 actual and VISTAS 2009 projected emissions. However, NOX emissions have continued to decline between 2002 and 2011 by over 370,000 tons. Regarding PM2.5, the 2007 SEMAP and 2011 NEI PM2.5 emissions are different from the VISTAS emissions due to methodology changes to reflect up-to-date emission calculations. For example, Florida believes that the increase in on-road mobile PM2.5 is due to the switch in model used. Regardless, overall PM2.5 emissions have decreased slightly between 2002 and 2011. Regarding SO2, the inventory analysis shows that overall emissions have decreased significantly from 2002 to 2011, with point source reductions dominating. Florida's Progress Report also evaluates the trend from 2000 through 2013 in SO2 point source emissions, demonstrating a decrease of over 480,000 tons during this time period. See Figure 4-1 in Florida's submittal.

    Also, as discussed in section III.A.2. of this notice, the Progress Report documents reductions in NOX and SO2 emissions that occurred between 2002-2013 at EGUs in Florida. The State believes that these reductions are a result of permanent changes at EGUs in the State through the use of control technology, fuel switching, and the shut-down of eight BART sources and three reasonable progress sources.

    EPA proposes to conclude that Florida has adequately addressed 40 CFR 51.308(g)(4). Florida tracked changes in emissions of visibility-impairing pollutants from 2002-2011 for all source categories and analyzed trends in SO2 and NOX emissions from EGUs in the State from 2002-2013, the most current quality-assured data available for these units at the time of progress report development. While ideally the five-year period to be analyzed for emissions inventory changes is the time period since the current regional haze plan was submitted, there is an inevitable time lag in developing and reporting complete emissions inventories once quality-assured emissions data becomes available. Therefore, EPA believes that there is some flexibility in the five-year time period that states can select.

    5. Assessment of Changes Impeding Visibility Progress

    40 CFR 51.308(g)(5) requires an assessment of any significant changes in anthropogenic emissions within or outside the state that have occurred over the past five years that have limited or impeded progress in reducing pollutant emissions and improving visibility in Class I areas impacted by the state's sources.

    The Progress Report demonstrates that there are no significant changes in emissions of SO2, PM, or NOX that have impeded progress in reducing emissions and improving visibility in Class I areas impacted by Florida sources. As discussed above, Florida documents that sulfates continue to be the biggest single contributor to regional haze in Class I areas in the State and focused its analysis on addressing large SO2 emissions from point sources. In addressing the requirements of 40 CFR 51.308(g)(5), Florida references its analysis showing that SO2 emissions from stationary point sources have decreased significantly from 2002 to 2013 and are well below the projections for these sources made in Florida's regional haze plan. Regarding EGUs, the State documented significant decreases in SO2 emissions despite the fact that power generation has remained fairly constant during the same period. Furthermore, the Progress Report shows that the State is on track to meeting its 2018 RPGs for Class I areas in Florida. For these reasons, EPA proposed to conclude that Florida's Progress Report has adequately addressed 40 CFR 51.308(g)(5).

    6. Assessment of Current Strategy

    40 CFR 51.308(g)(6) requires an assessment of whether the current regional haze plan is sufficient to enable the state, or other states, to meet the RPGs for Class I areas affected by emissions from the state.

    In its Progress Report, Florida states its belief that the elements and strategies outlined in its regional haze plan are sufficient for Class I areas impacted by emissions sources in Florida to meet their RPGs. To support this conclusion, Florida notes the following: Speciated data collected for the period 2006-2010 shows that sulfates continue to be the most significant contributor to visibility impairment, supporting SO2 reduction as the appropriate control strategy; the SO2 controls in the State's regional haze plan have been implemented; a 71 percent reduction in the overall SO2 emissions inventory from 2002 through 2011 verifies that Florida's SO2 reduction program is achieving the reductions that were projected in the regional haze plan; current visibility impairment values for the 20 percent worst days are lower than the 2018 RPGs and lower than the 2013 glide path values for the Class I areas in Florida; current visibility impairment values for the 20 percent best days are below baseline visibility conditions for all Class I areas in Florida; and visibility data through 2010 show that the 2010 five-year average visibility impairment on the 20 percent worst days in the three Class I areas outside of the State impacted by emissions sources in Florida is at or below the glide path.

    EPA proposes to conclude that Florida has adequately addressed 40 CFR 51.308(g)(6). EPA views this requirement as a qualitative assessment that should evaluate emissions and visibility trends and other readily available information, including expected emissions reductions associated with measures with compliance dates that have not yet become effective. The State referenced the improving visibility trends and the downward emissions trends in the State, with a focus on SO2 emissions from Florida EGUs. These trends support the State's determination that the State's regional haze plan is sufficient to meet RPGs for Class I areas within and outside the State impacted by Florida sources.

    7. Review of Current Monitoring Strategy

    40 CFR 51.308(g)(7) requires a review of the state's visibility monitoring strategy and an assessment of whether any modifications to the monitoring strategy are necessary.

    In its Progress Report, Florida summarizes the existing visibility monitoring network in Class I areas in Florida and notes that the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) monitoring network is the primary monitoring network for regional haze. There is currently one IMPROVE site in each Florida Class I area (SAMA1, CHAS1, and EVER1) operated by the responsible Federal Land Manager. Florida intends to continue to rely on the IMPROVE network for complying with regional haze monitoring requirements and on the Visibility Information and Exchange Web System (VIEWS) to access IMPROVE data and data analysis tools. Florida concludes that the existing network is adequate and that no modifications to the State's visibility monitoring strategy are necessary at this time.

    EPA proposes to conclude that Florida has adequately addressed the sufficiency of its monitoring strategy as required by 40 CFR 51.308(g)(7). The State reaffirmed its continued reliance upon the IMPROVE monitoring network, explained the importance of the IMPROVE monitoring network for tracking visibility trends in Class I areas in Florida, and determined that no changes to its visibility monitoring strategy are necessary.

    B. Determination of Adequacy of Existing Regional Haze Plan

    Under 40 CFR 51.308(h), states are required to take one of four possible actions based on the information gathered and conclusions made in the progress report. The following section summarizes: (1) The action taken by Florida under 40 CFR 51.308(h); (2) Florida's rationale for the selected action; and (3) EPA's analysis and proposed determination regarding the State's action.

    In its Progress Report, Florida took the action provided for by 40 CFR 51.308(h)(1), which allows a state to submit a negative declaration to EPA if the state determines that the existing regional haze plan requires no further substantive revision at this time to achieve the RPGs for Class I areas affected by the state's sources. The State's negative declaration is based on its findings in the Progress Report. EPA proposes to conclude that Florida has adequately addressed 40 CFR 51.308(h) because the visibility trends at the Class I areas impacted by the State's sources and the emissions trends of the State's largest emitters of visibility-impairing pollutants indicate that the RPGs for Class I areas impacted by sources in Florida will be met or exceeded.

    IV. What action is EPA proposing to take?

    EPA is proposing to approve Florida's Regional Haze Progress Report, SIP revision, submitted by the State on March 10, 2015, as meeting the applicable regional haze requirements set forth in 40 CFR 51.308(g) and 51.308(h).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: May 12, 2016. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12113 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0751; FRL-9946-83-Region 4] Air Plan Approval/Disapproval; Mississippi Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve in part, and disapprove in part, portions of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission, submitted by the State of Mississippi, through the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on February 28, 2013, to demonstrate that the State meets the infrastructure requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) for the 2010 1-hour nitrogen dioxide (NO2) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by the EPA, which is commonly referred to as an “infrastructure” SIP. MDEQ certified that the Mississippi SIP contains provisions that ensure the 2010 NO2 NAAQS are implemented, enforced, and maintained in Mississippi. With the exception of the state board majority requirements respecting significant portion of income, for which EPA is proposing to disapprove, EPA is proposing to determine that portions of Mississippi's infrastructure submission, submitted to EPA on February 28, 2013, satisfies certain required infrastructure elements for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before June 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0751 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Wong, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. The telephone number is (404) 562-8726. Mr. Wong can be reached via electronic mail at [email protected]

    Table of Contents I. Background II. What elements are required under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2)? III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions? IV. What is EPA's analysis of how Mississippi addressed the elements of Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) “infrastructure” provisions? V. Proposed Action VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    On February 9, 2010, EPA promulgated a new 1-hour primary NAAQS for NO2 at a level of 100 parts per billion (ppb), based on a 3-year average of the 98th percentile of the yearly distribution of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations. See 75 FR 6474. Pursuant to section 110(a)(1) of the CAA, states are required to submit SIPs meeting the requirements of section 110(a)(2) within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a)(2) requires states to address basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. States were required to submit such SIPs for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS to EPA no later than January 22, 2013.1

    1 In these infrastructure SIP submissions States generally certify evidence of compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA through a combination of state regulations and statutes, some of which have been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP. In addition, certain federally-approved, non-SIP regulations may also be appropriate for demonstrating compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2). Throughout this rulemaking, unless otherwise indicated, the term “Air Pollution Control (APC)” or “Section APC-S-X” indicates that the cited regulation has been approved into Mississippi's federally-approved SIP. The term “Mississippi Code” indicates cited Mississippi state statutes, which are not a part of the SIP unless otherwise indicated.

    This action is proposing to approve Mississippi's infrastructure SIP submission for the applicable requirements of the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS, with the exception of the preconstruction PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of (D)(i) and (J), the interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1, 2, and 4), and the state board majority requirements respecting significant portion of income of 110(a)(2)(E)(ii). On March 18, 2015, EPA approved Mississippi's February 28, 2013, infrastructure SIP submission regarding the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of D(i) and (J) for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. See 80 FR 14019. Therefore, EPA is not proposing any action in this document pertaining to sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of D(i) and (J). Additionally, with respect to the interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1, 2, and 4), EPA is not proposing any action in this document on these requirements. With respect to Mississippi's infrastructure SIP submission related to the majority requirements respecting significant portion of income of 110(a)(2)(E)(ii), EPA is proposing to disapprove this portion of Mississippi's submission because Mississippi does not preclude at least a majority of the members of its boards from receiving a significant portion of their income from persons subject to permits or enforcement orders issued by such boards. For the aspects of Mississippi's submittal proposed for approval, EPA notes that the Agency is not approving any specific rule, but rather proposing that Mississippi's already approved SIP meets certain CAA requirements.

    II. What elements are required under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2)?

    Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit SIPs to provide for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of a new or revised NAAQS within three years following the promulgation of such NAAQS, or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a) imposes the obligation upon states to make a SIP submission to EPA for a new or revised NAAQS, but the contents of that submission may vary depending upon the facts and circumstances. In particular, the data and analytical tools available at the time the state develops and submits the SIP for a new or revised NAAQS affects the content of the submission. The contents of such SIP submissions may also vary depending upon what provisions the state's existing SIP already contains. In the case of the 2010 NO2 NAAQS, states typically have met the basic program elements required in section 110(a)(2) through earlier SIP submissions in connection with previous NAAQS.

    More specifically, section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for SIPs. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for “infrastructure” SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS. As mentioned previously, these requirements include basic SIP elements such as modeling, monitoring, and emissions inventories that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. The requirements that are the subject of this proposed rulemaking are summarized later in this preamble and in EPA's September 13, 2013, memorandum entitled “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2).” 2

    2 Two elements identified in section 110(a)(2) are not governed by the three year submission deadline of section 110(a)(1) because SIPs incorporating necessary local nonattainment area controls are not due within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, but rather due at the time the nonattainment area plan requirements are due pursuant to section 172. These requirements are: (1) Submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(C) to the extent that subsection refers to a permit program as required in part D Title I of the CAA; and (2) submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(I) which pertain to the nonattainment planning requirements of part D, Title I of the CAA. This proposed rulemaking does not address infrastructure elements related to section 110(a)(2)(I) or the nonattainment planning requirements of 110(a)(2)(C).

    • 110(a)(2)(A): Emission Limits and Other Control Measures • 110(a)(2)(B): Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System • 110(a)(2)(C): Programs for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources 3

    3 This rulemaking only addresses requirements for this element as they relate to attainment areas.

    • 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II): Interstate Pollution Transport • 110(a)(2)(D)(ii): Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution • 110(a)(2)(E): Adequate Resources and Authority, Conflict of Interest, and Oversight of Local Governments and Regional Agencies • 110(a)(2)(F): Stationary Source Monitoring and Reporting • 110(a)(2)(G): Emergency Powers • 110(a)(2)(H): SIP Revisions • 110(a)(2)(I): Plan Revisions for Nonattainment Areas 4

    4 As mentioned, this element is not relevant to this proposed rulemaking.

    • 110(a)(2)(J): Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and PSD and Visibility Protection • 110(a)(2)(K): Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data • 110(a)(2)(L): Permitting Fees • 110(a)(2)(M): Consultation and Participation by Affected Local Entities III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions?

    EPA is acting upon the SIP submission from Mississippi that addresses the infrastructure requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS. The requirement for states to make a SIP submission of this type arises out of CAA section 110(a)(1). Pursuant to section 110(a)(1), states must make SIP submissions “within 3 years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a national primary ambient air quality standard (or any revision thereof),” and these SIP submissions are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. The statute directly imposes on states the duty to make these SIP submissions, and the requirement to make the submissions is not conditioned upon EPA's taking any action other than promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan” submission must address.

    EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Although the term “infrastructure SIP” does not appear in the CAA, EPA uses the term to distinguish this particular type of SIP submission from submissions that are intended to satisfy other SIP requirements under the CAA, such as “nonattainment SIP” or “attainment plan SIP” submissions to address the nonattainment planning requirements of part D of title I of the CAA, “regional haze SIP” submissions required by EPA rule to address the visibility protection requirements of CAA section 169A, and nonattainment new source review (NNSR) permit program submissions to address the permit requirements of CAA, title I, part D.

    Section 110(a)(1) addresses the timing and general requirements for infrastructure SIP submissions, and section 110(a)(2) provides more details concerning the required contents of these submissions. The list of required elements provided in section 110(a)(2) contains a wide variety of disparate provisions, some of which pertain to required legal authority, some of which pertain to required substantive program provisions, and some of which pertain to requirements for both authority and substantive program provisions.5 EPA therefore believes that while the timing requirement in section 110(a)(1) is unambiguous, some of the other statutory provisions are ambiguous. In particular, EPA believes that the list of required elements for infrastructure SIP submissions provided in section 110(a)(2) contains ambiguities concerning what is required for inclusion in an infrastructure SIP submission.

    5 For example: Section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) provides that states must provide assurances that they have adequate legal authority under state and local law to carry out the SIP; section 110(a)(2)(C) provides that states must have a SIP-approved program to address certain sources as required by part C of title I of the CAA; and section 110(a)(2)(G) provides that states must have legal authority to address emergencies as well as contingency plans that are triggered in the event of such emergencies.

    The following examples of ambiguities illustrate the need for EPA to interpret some section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) requirements with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions for a given new or revised NAAQS. One example of ambiguity is that section 110(a)(2) requires that “each” SIP submission must meet the list of requirements therein, while EPA has long noted that this literal reading of the statute is internally inconsistent and would create a conflict with the nonattainment provisions in part D of title I of the Act, which specifically address nonattainment SIP requirements.6 Section 110(a)(2)(I) pertains to nonattainment SIP requirements and part D addresses when attainment plan SIP submissions to address nonattainment area requirements are due. For example, section 172(b) requires EPA to establish a schedule for submission of such plans for certain pollutants when the Administrator promulgates the designation of an area as nonattainment, and section 107(d)(1)(B) allows up to two years, or in some cases three years, for such designations to be promulgated.7 This ambiguity illustrates that rather than apply all the stated requirements of section 110(a)(2) in a strict literal sense, EPA must determine which provisions of section 110(a)(2) are applicable for a particular infrastructure SIP submission.

    6See, e.g., “Rule To Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Clean Air Interstate Rule); Revisions to Acid Rain Program; Revisions to the NOX SIP Call; Final Rule,” 70 FR 25162, at 25163-65 (May 12, 2005) (explaining relationship between timing requirement of section 110(a)(2)(D) versus section 110(a)(2)(I)).

    7 EPA notes that this ambiguity within section 110(a)(2) is heightened by the fact that various subparts of part D set specific dates for submission of certain types of SIP submissions in designated nonattainment areas for various pollutants. Note, e.g., that section 182(a)(1) provides specific dates for submission of emissions inventories for the ozone NAAQS. Some of these specific dates are necessarily later than three years after promulgation of the new or revised NAAQS.

    Another example of ambiguity within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) with respect to infrastructure SIPs pertains to whether states must meet all of the infrastructure SIP requirements in a single SIP submission, and whether EPA must act upon such SIP submission in a single action. Although section 110(a)(1) directs states to submit “a plan” to meet these requirements, EPA interprets the CAA to allow states to make multiple SIP submissions separately addressing infrastructure SIP elements for the same NAAQS. If states elect to make such multiple SIP submissions to meet the infrastructure SIP requirements, EPA can elect to act on such submissions either individually or in a larger combined action.8 Similarly, EPA interprets the CAA to allow it to take action on the individual parts of one larger, comprehensive infrastructure SIP submission for a given NAAQS without concurrent action on the entire submission. For example, EPA has sometimes elected to act at different times on various elements and sub-elements of the same infrastructure SIP submission.9

    8See, e.g., “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP); Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) Permitting,” 78 FR 4339 (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action approving the structural PSD elements of the New Mexico SIP submitted by the State separately to meet the requirements of EPA's 2008 PM2.5 NSR rule), and “Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS,” (78 FR 4337) (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action on the infrastructure SIP for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS).

    9 On December 14, 2007, the State of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, made a SIP revision to EPA demonstrating that the State meets the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). EPA proposed action for infrastructure SIP elements (C) and (J) on January 23, 2012 (77 FR 3213) and took final action on March 14, 2012 (77 FR 14976). On April 16, 2012 (77 FR 22533) and July 23, 2012 (77 FR 42997), EPA took separate proposed and final actions on all other section 110(a)(2) infrastructure SIP elements of Tennessee's December 14, 2007 submittal.

    Ambiguities within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) may also arise with respect to infrastructure SIP submission requirements for different NAAQS. Thus, EPA notes that not every element of section 110(a)(2) would be relevant, or as relevant, or relevant in the same way, for each new or revised NAAQS. The states' attendant infrastructure SIP submissions for each NAAQS therefore could be different. For example, the monitoring requirements that a state might need to meet in its infrastructure SIP submission for purposes of section 110(a)(2)(B) could be very different for different pollutants because the content and scope of a state's infrastructure SIP submission to meet this element might be very different for an entirely new NAAQS than for a minor revision to an existing NAAQS.10

    10 For example, implementation of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS required the deployment of a system of new monitors to measure ambient levels of that new indicator species for the new NAAQS.

    EPA notes that interpretation of section 110(a)(2) is also necessary when EPA reviews other types of SIP submissions required under the CAA. Therefore, as with infrastructure SIP submissions, EPA also has to identify and interpret the relevant elements of section 110(a)(2) that logically apply to these other types of SIP submissions. For example, section 172(c)(7) requires that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D have to meet the “applicable requirements” of section 110(a)(2). Thus, for example, attainment plan SIP submissions must meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) regarding enforceable emission limits and control measures and section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) regarding air agency resources and authority. By contrast, it is clear that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D would not need to meet the portion of section 110(a)(2)(C) that pertains to the PSD program required in part C of title I of the CAA, because PSD does not apply to a pollutant for which an area is designated nonattainment and thus subject to part D planning requirements. As this example illustrates, each type of SIP submission may implicate some elements of section 110(a)(2) but not others.

    Given the potential for ambiguity in some of the statutory language of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2), EPA believes that it is appropriate to interpret the ambiguous portions of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) in the context of acting on a particular SIP submission. In other words, EPA assumes that Congress could not have intended that each and every SIP submission, regardless of the NAAQS in question or the history of SIP development for the relevant pollutant, would meet each of the requirements, or meet each of them in the same way. Therefore, EPA has adopted an approach under which it reviews infrastructure SIP submissions against the list of elements in section 110(a)(2), but only to the extent each element applies for that particular NAAQS.

    Historically, EPA has elected to use guidance documents to make recommendations to states for infrastructure SIPs, in some cases conveying needed interpretations on newly arising issues and in some cases conveying interpretations that have already been developed and applied to individual SIP submissions for particular elements.11 EPA most recently issued guidance for infrastructure SIPs on September 13, 2013 (2013 Guidance).12 EPA developed this document to provide states with up-to-date guidance for infrastructure SIPs for any new or revised NAAQS. Within this guidance, EPA describes the duty of states to make infrastructure SIP submissions to meet basic structural SIP requirements within three years of promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. EPA also made recommendations about many specific subsections of section 110(a)(2) that are relevant in the context of infrastructure SIP submissions.13 The guidance also discusses the substantively important issues that are germane to certain subsections of section 110(a)(2). Significantly, EPA interprets sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) such that infrastructure SIP submissions need to address certain issues and need not address others. Accordingly, EPA reviews each infrastructure SIP submission for compliance with the applicable statutory provisions of section 110(a)(2), as appropriate.

    11 EPA notes, however, that nothing in the CAA requires EPA to provide guidance or to promulgate regulations for infrastructure SIP submissions. The CAA directly applies to states and requires the submission of infrastructure SIP submissions, regardless of whether or not EPA provides guidance or regulations pertaining to such submissions. EPA elects to issue such guidance in order to assist states, as appropriate.

    12 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2),” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, September 13, 2013.

    13 EPA's September 13, 2013, guidance did not make recommendations with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions to address section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). EPA issued the guidance shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the D.C. Circuit decision in EME Homer City, 696 F.3d7 (D.C. Cir. 2012) which had interpreted the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). In light of the uncertainty created by ongoing litigation, EPA elected not to provide additional guidance on the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) at that time. As the guidance is neither binding nor required by statute, whether EPA elects to provide guidance on a particular section has no impact on a state's CAA obligations.

    As an example, section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) is a required element of section 110(a)(2) for infrastructure SIP submissions. Under this element, a state must meet the substantive requirements of section 128, which pertain to state boards that approve permits or enforcement orders and heads of executive agencies with similar powers. Thus, EPA reviews infrastructure SIP submissions to ensure that the state's implementation plan appropriately addresses the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) and section 128. The 2013 Guidance explains EPA's interpretation that there may be a variety of ways by which states can appropriately address these substantive statutory requirements, depending on the structure of an individual state's permitting or enforcement program (e.g., whether permits and enforcement orders are approved by a multi-member board or by a head of an executive agency). However they are addressed by the state, the substantive requirements of section 128 are necessarily included in EPA's evaluation of infrastructure SIP submissions because section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) explicitly requires that the state satisfy the provisions of section 128.

    As another example, EPA's review of infrastructure SIP submissions with respect to the PSD program requirements in sections 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) focuses upon the structural PSD program requirements contained in part C and EPA's PSD regulations. Structural PSD program requirements include provisions necessary for the PSD program to address all regulated sources and new source review (NSR) pollutants, including greenhouse gases (GHGs). By contrast, structural PSD program requirements do not include provisions that are not required under EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 51.166 but are merely available as an option for the state, such as the option to provide grandfathering of complete permit applications with respect to the 2012 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS. Accordingly, the latter optional provisions are types of provisions EPA considers irrelevant in the context of an infrastructure SIP action.

    For other section 110(a)(2) elements, however, EPA's review of a state's infrastructure SIP submission focuses on assuring that the state's implementation plan meets basic structural requirements. For example, section 110(a)(2)(C) includes, among other things, the requirement that states have a program to regulate minor new sources. Thus, EPA evaluates whether the state has an EPA-approved minor NSR program and whether the program addresses the pollutants relevant to that NAAQS. In the context of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, however, EPA does not think it is necessary to conduct a review of each and every provision of a state's existing minor source program (i.e., already in the existing SIP) for compliance with the requirements of the CAA and EPA's regulations that pertain to such programs.

    With respect to certain other issues, EPA does not believe that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is necessarily the appropriate type of action in which to address possible deficiencies in a state's existing SIP. These issues include: (i) Existing provisions related to excess emissions from sources during periods of startup, shutdown, or malfunction that may be contrary to the CAA and EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions (“SSM”); (ii) existing provisions related to “director's variance” or “director's discretion” that may be contrary to the CAA because they purport to allow revisions to SIP-approved emissions limits while limiting public process or not requiring further approval by EPA; and (iii) existing provisions for PSD programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of EPA's “Final NSR Improvement Rule,” 67 FR 80186 (December 31, 2002), as amended by 72 FR 32526 (June 13, 2007) (“NSR Reform”). Thus, EPA believes it may approve an infrastructure SIP submission without scrutinizing the totality of the existing SIP for such potentially deficient provisions and may approve the submission even if it is aware of such existing provisions.14 It is important to note that EPA's approval of a state's infrastructure SIP submission should not be construed as explicit or implicit re-approval of any existing potentially deficient provisions that relate to the three specific issues just described.

    14 By contrast, EPA notes that if a state were to include a new provision in an infrastructure SIP submission that contained a legal deficiency, such as a new exemption for excess emissions during SSM events, then EPA would need to evaluate that provision for compliance against the rubric of applicable CAA requirements in the context of the action on the infrastructure SIP.

    EPA's approach to review of infrastructure SIP submissions is to identify the CAA requirements that are logically applicable to that submission. EPA believes that this approach to the review of a particular infrastructure SIP submission is appropriate, because it would not be reasonable to read the general requirements of section 110(a)(1) and the list of elements in 110(a)(2) as requiring review of each and every provision of a state's existing SIP against all requirements in the CAA and EPA regulations merely for purposes of assuring that the state in question has the basic structural elements for a functioning SIP for a new or revised NAAQS. Because SIPs have grown by accretion over the decades as statutory and regulatory requirements under the CAA have evolved, they may include some outmoded provisions and historical artifacts. These provisions, while not fully up to date, nevertheless may not pose a significant problem for the purposes of “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of a new or revised NAAQS when EPA evaluates adequacy of the infrastructure SIP submission. EPA believes that a better approach is for states and EPA to focus attention on those elements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA most likely to warrant a specific SIP revision due to the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or other factors.

    For example, EPA's 2013 Guidance gives simpler recommendations with respect to carbon monoxide than other NAAQS pollutants to meet the visibility requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), because carbon monoxide does not affect visibility. As a result, an infrastructure SIP submission for any future new or revised NAAQS for carbon monoxide need only state this fact in order to address the visibility prong of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II). Finally, EPA believes that its approach with respect to infrastructure SIP requirements is based on a reasonable reading of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) because the CAA provides other avenues and mechanisms to address specific substantive deficiencies in existing SIPs. These other statutory tools allow EPA to take appropriately tailored action, depending upon the nature and severity of the alleged SIP deficiency. Section 110(k)(5) authorizes EPA to issue a “SIP call” whenever the Agency determines that a state's implementation plan is substantially inadequate to attain or maintain the NAAQS, to mitigate interstate transport, or to otherwise comply with the CAA.15 Section 110(k)(6) authorizes EPA to correct errors in past actions, such as past approvals of SIP submissions.16 Significantly, EPA's determination that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is not the appropriate time and place to address all potential existing SIP deficiencies does not preclude EPA's subsequent reliance on provisions in section 110(a)(2) as part of the basis for action to correct those deficiencies at a later time. For example, although it may not be appropriate to require a state to eliminate all existing inappropriate director's discretion provisions in the course of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, EPA believes that section 110(a)(2)(A) may be among the statutory bases that EPA relies upon in the course of addressing such deficiency in a subsequent action.17

    15 For example, EPA issued a SIP call to Utah to address specific existing SIP deficiencies related to the treatment of excess emissions during SSM events. See “Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Utah State Implementation Plan Revisions,” 74 FR 21639 (April 18, 2011).

    16 EPA has used this authority to correct errors in past actions on SIP submissions related to PSD programs. See “Limitation of Approval of Prevention of Significant Deterioration Provisions Concerning Greenhouse Gas Emitting-Sources in State Implementation Plans; Final Rule,” 75 FR 82536 (December 30, 2010). EPA has previously used its authority under CAA section 110(k)(6) to remove numerous other SIP provisions that the Agency determined it had approved in error. See, e.g., 61 FR 38664 (July 25, 1996) and 62 FR 34641 (June 27, 1997) (corrections to American Samoa, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada SIPs); 69 FR 67062 (November 16, 2004) (corrections to California SIP); and 74 FR 57051 (November 3, 2009) (corrections to Arizona and Nevada SIPs).

    17See, e.g., EPA's disapproval of a SIP submission from Colorado on the grounds that it would have included a director's discretion provision inconsistent with CAA requirements, including section 110(a)(2)(A). See, e.g., 75 FR 42342 at 42344 (July 21, 2010) (proposed disapproval of director's discretion provisions); 76 FR 4540 (January 26, 2011) (final disapproval of such provisions).

    IV. What is EPA's analysis of how Mississippi addressed the elements of Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) “infrastructure” provisions?

    Mississippi's February 28, 2013, infrastructure submission addresses the provisions of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as described later on.

    1. 110(a)(2)(A) Emission Limits and Other Control Measures: Section 110(a)(2)(A) requires that each implementation plan include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means, or techniques (including economic incentives such as fees, marketable permits, and auctions of emissions rights), as well as schedules and timetables for compliance, as may be necessary or appropriate to meet the applicable requirements. Mississippi's infrastructure SIP submission provides an overview of the provisions of the Mississippi Air Pollution Control (APC) regulations relevant to air quality control. Mississippi Code Title 49, Section 49-17-17(h) (Appendix A-9),18 authorizes MDEQ to adopt, modify, or repeal ambient air quality standards and emissions standards for the control of air pollution, including those necessary to obtain EPA approval under section 110 of the CAA. Sections APC-S-1, Air Emission Regulations for the Prevention, Abatement, and Control of Air Contaminants, and APC-S-3, Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution Emergency Episodes, establish enforceable emissions limitations and other control measures, means or techniques, for activities that contribute to NO2 concentrations in the ambient air and provide authority for MDEQ to establish such limits and measures as well as schedules for compliance through SIP-approved permits to meet the applicable requirements of the CAA. EPA has made the preliminary determination that the provisions contained in these regulations, and Mississippi's statute are adequate for enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means, or techniques, as well as schedules and timetables for compliance for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS in the State.

    18Mississippi Code Title 49 is referenced in the State's infrastructure SIP submissions as “Appendix A-9.” As discussed, unless otherwise indicated herein, portions of the Mississippi Code referenced in this proposal are not incorporated into the SIP.

    In this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing state provisions with regard to excess emissions during SSM operations at a facility. EPA believes that a number of states have SSM provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance, “State Implementation Plans: Policy Regarding Excess Emissions During Malfunctions, Startup, and Shutdown” (September 20, 1999), and the Agency is addressing such state regulations in a separate action.19

    19 On June 12, 2015, EPA published a final action entitled, “State Implementation Plans: Response to Petition for Rulemaking; Restatement and Update of EPA's SSM Policy Applicable to SIPs; Findings of Substantial Inadequacy; and SIP Calls to Amend Provisions Applying to Excess Emissions During Periods of Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction.” See 80 FR 33840.

    Additionally, in this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing state rules with regard to director's discretion or variance provisions. EPA believes that a number of states have such provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance (52 FR 45109 (November 24, 1987)), and the Agency plans to take action in the future to address such state regulations. In the meantime, EPA encourages any state having a director's discretion or variance provision which is contrary to the CAA and EPA guidance to take steps to correct the deficiency as soon as possible.

    2. 110(a)(2)(B) Ambient air quality monitoring/data system: Section 110(a)(2)(B) requires SIPs to provide for establishment and operation of appropriate devices, methods, systems, and procedures necessary to (i) monitor, compile, and analyze data on ambient air quality, and (ii) upon request, make such data available to the Administrator. Section APC-S-1, Air Emission Regulations for the Prevention, Abatement, and Control of Air Contaminants, and Mississippi Code Title 49, Section 49-17-17(g), provides MDEQ with the authority to collect and disseminate information relating to air quality and pollution and the prevention, control, supervision, and abatement thereof. Annually, States develop and submit to EPA for approval statewide ambient monitoring network plans consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR parts 50, 53, and 58. The annual network plan involves an evaluation of any proposed changes to the monitoring network, includes the annual ambient monitoring network design plan and a certified evaluation of the agency's ambient monitors and auxiliary support equipment.20 On June 9, 2015, Mississippi submitted its monitoring network plan to EPA, and on October 6, 2015, EPA approved this plan. Mississippi's approved monitoring network plan can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0751. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Mississippi's SIP and practices are adequate for the ambient air quality monitoring and data system requirements related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    20 On occasion, proposed changes to the monitoring network are evaluated outside of the network plan approval process in accordance with 40 CFR part 58.

    3. 110(a)(2)(C) Programs for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources: Section 110(a)(2)(C) consists of three sub-elements; enforcement, state-wide regulation of new and modified minor sources and minor modifications of major sources; and preconstruction permitting of major sources and major modifications in areas designated attainment or unclassifiable for the subject NAAQS as required by CAA title I part C (i.e., the major source PSD program). To meet the requirements for this element, MDEQ cited Section APC-S-5, Mississippi Regulations for the Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality, Section APC-S-2, Permit Regulations for the Construction and/or Operation of Air Emissions Equipment. These regulations enable MDEQ to regulate sources contributing to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS through enforceable permits.

    Enforcement: MDEQ's APC-S-2, Permit Regulation for the Construction and/or Operation of Air Emissions Equipment, Section VI provides for the enforcement of NO2 emission limits and control measures through construction permitting for new or modified stationary sources. Also note that under Mississippi Code Title 49, Chapter 17, MDEQ has enforcement authority to seek penalties and injunctive relief for violations of emission limits and other control measures and violations of permits.

    PSD Permitting for Major Sources: With respect to Mississippi's February 28, 2013, infrastructure SIP submission related to the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of section 110(a)(2)(C), EPA took final action to approve these provisions for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS on March 18, 2015. See 80 FR 14019.

    Regulation of minor sources and modifications: Section 110(a)(2)(C) also requires the SIP to include provisions that govern the minor source preconstruction program that regulates emissions of the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. Mississippi has a SIP-approved minor NSR permitting program at Section APC-S-2, Section I. D, Permitting Requirements that regulates the preconstruction permitting of modifications and construction of minor stationary sources.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that Mississippi's SIP and practices are adequate for program enforcement of control measures and regulation of minor sources and modifications related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    4. 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) Interstate Pollution Transport: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) has two components; 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II). Each of these components have two subparts resulting in four distinct components, commonly referred to as “prongs,” that must be addressed in infrastructure SIP submissions. The first two prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), are provisions that prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 1”), and interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 2”). The third and fourth prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), are provisions that prohibit emissions activity in one state from interfering with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality in another state (“prong 3”), or to protect visibility in another state (“prong 4”).

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—Prongs 1 and 2: EPA is not proposing any action in this rulemaking related to the interstate transport provisions pertaining to the contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1 and 2) because Mississippi's 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS infrastructure submission did not address prongs 1 and 2.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—Prong 3: With respect to Mississippi's infrastructure SIP submission related to the interstate transport requirements for PSD of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 3), EPA took final action to approve Mississippi's February 28, 2013, infrastructure SIP submission regarding prong 3 of D(i) for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS on March 18, 2015. See 80 FR 14019.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—Prong 4: EPA is not proposing any action in this rulemaking related to the interstate transport provisions pertaining to visibility protection in other states of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 4) and will consider these requirements in relation to Mississippi's 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS infrastructure submission in a separate rulemaking.

    5. 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions ensuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act, relating to interstate and international pollution abatement. Section APC-S-5, Mississippi Regulations for the Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality provides how MDEQ will notify neighboring states of potential impacts from new or modified sources consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR 51.166, which is adopted by reference into the Mississippi SIP. Additionally, Mississippi does not have any pending obligation under section 115 and 126 of the CAA. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Mississippi's SIP and practices are adequate for insuring compliance with the applicable requirements relating to interstate and international pollution abatement for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    6. 110(a)(2)(E) Adequate Resources and Authority, Conflict of Interest, and Oversight of Local Governments and Regional Agencies: Section 110(a)(2)(E) requires that each implementation plan provide (i) necessary assurances that the State will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority under state law to carry out its implementation plan, (ii) that the State comply with the requirements respecting State Boards pursuant to section 128 of the Act, and (iii) necessary assurances that, where the State has relied on a local or regional government, agency, or instrumentality for the implementation of any plan provision, the State has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of such plan provisions. EPA is proposing to approve Mississippi's SIP as meeting the requirements of sections 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii). EPA is proposing to approve in part and disapprove in part Mississippi's SIP respecting section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii). EPA's rationale for the proposals respecting each section of 110(a)(2)(E) is described later on.

    To satisfy the requirements of sections 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii), Mississippi provides that MDEQ is responsible for promulgating rules and regulations for the NAAQS, emissions standards, general policies, a system of permits, fee schedules for the review of plans, and other planning needs as found in Mississippi Code Title 49, Section 49-17-17(d) and Section 49-17-17(h) (Appendix A-9). As evidence of the adequacy of MDEQ's resources with respect to sub-elements (i) and (iii), EPA submitted a letter to Mississippi on April 19, 2016, outlining 105 grant commitments and the current status of these commitments for fiscal year 2015. The letter EPA submitted to Mississippi can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0751. Annually, states update these grant commitments based on current SIP requirements, air quality planning, and applicable requirements related to the NAAQS. There were no outstanding issues in relation to the SIP for fiscal year 2015, therefore, MDEQ's grants were finalized and closed out. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Mississippi has adequate resources for implementation of the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    To meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii), states must comply with the requirements respecting state boards pursuant to section 128 of the Act. Section 128 of the CAA requires that states include provisions in their SIP to address conflicts of interest for state boards or bodies that oversee CAA permits and enforcement orders and disclosure of conflict of interest requirements. Specifically, CAA section 128(a)(1) necessitates that each SIP shall require that at least a majority of any board or body which approves permits or enforcement orders shall be subject to the described public interest service and income restrictions therein. Subsection 128(a)(2) requires that the members of any board or body, or the head of an executive agency with similar power to approve permits or enforcement orders under the CAA, shall also be subject to conflict of interest disclosure requirements.

    To meet its section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) obligations for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS, Mississippi's infrastructure SIP submission cites Article 4, Section 109 of the Mississippi Constitution and portions of Mississippi Code sections 25-4-25, -27, -29, -103, -105, and -109. These provisions were incorporated into the Mississippi SIP to meet CAA section 128 requirements in EPA's final action for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS infrastructure SIP. See 78 FR 20793.21 In this same final action for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS infrastructure SIP (78 FR 20793), EPA disapproved Mississippi's October 11, 2012, submission as not satisfying the significant portion of income requirement of section 128(a)(1).

    21 This final action pertained to Mississippi's October 11, 2012, infrastructure SIP submission and only addressed compliance with 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) respecting CAA section 128 requirements.

    With respect to the public interest requirement of section 128(a)(1) and the adequate disclosure of conflicts of interest requirement of section 128(a)(2), EPA has previously found these requirements to be satisfied by the existing provisions in Mississippi's SIP. See 78 FR 20793.

    With respect to the significant portion of income requirement of section 128(a)(1), the provisions included in the February 28, 2013 infrastructure SIP submission do not preclude at least a majority of the members of the Mississippi Boards 22 from receiving a significant portion of their income from persons subject to permits or enforcement orders issued by such Boards. While the submitted laws and provisions preclude members of the Mississippi Boards from certain types of income (e.g., contracts with State or political subdivisions thereof, or income obtained through the use of his or her public office or obtained to influence a decision of the Mississippi Boards), they do not preclude a majority of members of the Mississippi Boards from deriving any significant portion of their income from persons subject to permits or enforcement orders so long as that income is not derived from one of the proscribed methods described in the laws and provisions submitted by the State. To date, because a majority of board members may still derive a significant portion of income from persons subject to permits or enforcement orders issued by the Mississippi Boards, the Mississippi SIP does not meet the section 128(a)(1) majority requirements respecting significant portion of income, and as such, EPA is proposing to disapprove the State's 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) submission as it relates only to this portion of section 128(a)(1).

    22 The Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality issues and supervises enforcement orders, and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Permit Board has the authority to issue, modify, revoke or deny permits.

    Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve the section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) submission as it relates to the public interest requirements of section 128(a)(1) and the conflict of interest disclosure provisions of section 128(a)(2) and proposing to disapprove Mississippi's section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) submission as it pertains to compliance with the significant portion of income requirement of section 128(a)(1) for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    7. 110(a)(2)(F) Stationary Source Monitoring and Reporting: Section 110(a)(2)(F) requires SIPs to meet applicable requirements addressing: (i) The installation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment, and the implementation of other necessary steps, by owners or operators of stationary sources to monitor emissions from such sources, (ii) periodic reports on the nature and amounts of emissions and emissions related data from such sources, and (iii) correlation of such reports by the state agency with any emission limitations or standards established pursuant to this section, which reports shall be available at reasonable times for public inspection. Section APC-S-2, Permit Regulations for the Construction and/or Operation of Air Emissions Equipment, establishes requirements for emissions compliance testing utilizing emissions sampling and analysis. It further describes how the State ensures the quality of its data through observing emissions and monitoring operations. MDEQ uses these data to track progress towards maintaining the NAAQS, develop control and maintenance strategies, identify sources and general emission levels, and determine compliance with emission regulations and additional EPA requirements. Mississippi Code 49, Section 49-17-21 (Appendix A-9) provides MDEQ with the authority to require the maintenance of records related to the operation of air contaminant sources and any authorized representative of the Commission may examine and copy any such records or memoranda pertaining to the operation of such contaminant source. Section APC-S-2 lists requirements for compliance testing and reporting that is required to be included in any MDEQ air pollution permit and requires that copies of records relating to the operation of air contamination sources be submitted to the Permit Board as required by the permit or upon request. Section APC-S-1, Air Emission Regulations For The Prevention, Abatement, and Control of Air Contaminants, authorizes source owners or operators to use any credible evidence or information relevant to whether a source would have been in compliance with applicable requirements if the appropriate performance or compliance test had been performed, for the purpose of submitting compliance certifications. EPA is unaware of any provision preventing the use of credible evidence in the Mississippi SIP.

    Additionally, Mississippi is required to submit emissions data to EPA for purposes of the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The NEI is EPA's central repository for air emissions data. EPA published the Air Emissions Reporting Rule (AERR) on December 5, 2008, which modified the requirements for collecting and reporting air emissions data (73 FR 76539). The AERR shortened the time states had to report emissions data from 17 to 12 months, giving states one calendar year to submit emissions data. All states are required to submit a comprehensive emissions inventory every three years and report emissions for certain larger sources annually through EPA's online Emissions Inventory System (EIS). States report emissions data for the six criteria pollutants and the precursors that form them—nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. Many states also voluntarily report emissions of hazardous air pollutants. Mississippi made its latest update to the 2012 NEI on January 9, 2014. EPA compiles the emissions data, supplementing it where necessary, and releases it to the general public through the Web site http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/eiinformation.html. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Mississippi's SIP and practices are adequate for the stationary source monitoring systems related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    8. 110(a)(2)(G) Emergency Powers: Section 110(a)(2)(G) requires that states demonstrate authority comparable with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority. Mississippi Code Title 49, Section 49-17-27 (Appendix A-9) and APC-S-3, Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution Emergency Episodes, identify air pollution emergency episodes and preplanned abatement strategies. Specifically, Section APC-S-3 authorizes the MDEQ Director, once it has been determined that an Air Pollution Emergency Episode condition exists at one or more monitoring sites solely because of emissions from a limited number of sources, to order source(s) to put into effect the emission control programs which are applicable for each episode stage. Section APC-S-3 also lists regulations to prevent the excessive buildup of air pollutants during air pollution episodes. Also, Mississippi Code Title 49, Section 49-17-27 (Appendix A-9), states that in the event an emergency is found to exist by the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality, it may issue an emergency order as circumstances may require. Emergency situations include those which create an imminent and substantial endangerment threatening the public health and safety or the lives and property of the people in Mississippi. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Mississippi's SIP is adequate for emergency powers related to the 20101-hour NO2 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Mississippi's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(G).

    9. 110(a)(2)(H) SIP Revisions: Section 110(a)(2)(H), in summary, requires each SIP to provide for revisions of such plan (i) as may be necessary to take account of revisions of such national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard or the availability of improved or more expeditious methods of attaining such standard, and (ii) whenever the Administrator finds that the plan is substantially inadequate to attain the NAAQS or to otherwise comply with any additional applicable requirements. MDEQ is responsible for adopting air quality rules and revising SIPs as needed to attain or maintain the NAAQS in Mississippi. The State has the ability and authority to respond to calls for SIP revisions, and has provided a number of SIP revisions over the years for implementation of the NAAQS. Mississippi Code Title 49, Section 49-17-17(h) (Appendix A-9), provides MDEQ with the statutory authority to adopt, modify or repeal and promulgate ambient air and water quality standards and emissions standards for the State. As such, the State has the authority to revise the SIP to accommodate changes to NAAQS and revise the SIP if the EPA Administrator finds the plan to be substantially inadequate to attain the NAAQS. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Mississippi's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate a commitment to provide future SIP revisions related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS when necessary.

    10. 110(a)(2)(J) Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and PSD and Visibility Protection: EPA is proposing to approve Mississippi's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(J) to include a program in the SIP that provides for meeting the applicable consultation requirements of section 121, the public notification requirements of section 127; and visibility protection requirements of part C of the Act. With respect to Mississippi's infrastructure SIP submission related to the preconstruction PSD permitting requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J), EPA took final action to approve Mississippi's February 28, 2013, 20101-hour NO2 NAAQS infrastructure SIP for these requirements on March 18, 2015. See 80 FR 14019. EPA's rationale for its proposed action regarding applicable consultation requirements of section 121, the public notification requirements of section 127, and visibility protection requirements is described later in this document.

    Consultation with government officials (121 consultation): Section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA requires states to provide a process for consultation with local governments, designated organizations and federal land managers carrying out NAAQS implementation requirements pursuant to section 121 relative to consultation. Section APC-S-5, Mississippi Regulations for the Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality and Mississippi Code Title 49, Section 49-17-17(c) (Appendix A-9), along with the State's various implementations plans, such as the State's Regional Haze Implementation Plan, provide for consultation between appropriate state, local, and tribal air pollution control agencies as well as the corresponding Federal Land Managers whose jurisdictions might be affected by SIP development activities. Mississippi adopted state-wide consultation procedures for the implementation of transportation conformity. These consultation procedures were developed in coordination with the transportation partners in the State and are consistent with the approaches used for development of mobile inventories for SIPs. Implementation of transportation conformity as outlined in the consultation procedures requires MDEQ to consult with federal, state and local transportation and air quality agency officials on the development of motor vehicle emissions budgets. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Mississippi's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate that the State meets applicable requirements related to consultation with government officials for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Mississippi's infrastructure SIP submissions with respect to section 110(a)(2)(J) consultation with government officials.

    Public notification (127 public notification): These requirements are met through regulation Section APC-S-3, Mississippi Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution Emergency Episodes, which requires that MDEQ notify the public of any air pollution alert, warning, or emergency. The MDEQ Web site also provides air quality summary data, air quality index reports and links to more information regarding public awareness of measures that can prevent such exceedances and of ways in which the public can participate in regulatory and other efforts to improve air quality. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Mississippi's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide public notification related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Mississippi's infrastructure SIP submissions with respect to section 110(a)(2)(J) public notification.

    Visibility protection: EPA's 2013 Guidance notes that it does not treat the visibility protection aspects of section 110(a)(2)(J) as applicable for purposes of the infrastructure SIP approval process. MDEQ referenced its regional haze program as germane to the visibility component of section 110(a)(2)(J). EPA recognizes that states are subject to visibility protection and regional haze program requirements under Part C of the Act (which includes sections 169A and 169B). However, there are no newly applicable visibility protection obligations after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. Thus, EPA has determined that states do not need to address the visibility component of 110(a)(2)(J) in infrastructure SIP submittals so MDEQ does not need to rely on its regional haze program to fulfill its obligations under section 110(a)(2)(J). As such, EPA has made the preliminary determination that Mississippi's infrastructure SIP submission related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS is approvable for the visibility protection element of section 110(a)(2)(J) and that Mississippi does not need to rely on its regional haze program to address this element.

    11. 110(a)(2)(K) Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data: Section 110(a)(2)(K) of the CAA requires that SIPs provide for performing air quality modeling so that effects on air quality of emissions from NAAQS pollutants can be predicted and submission of such data to the EPA can be made. Sections APC-S-2, V. B., Permit Regulation for the Construction and/or Operation of Air Emissions Equipment, and APC-S-5, Mississippi Regulations for the Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality, specify that required air modeling be conducted in accordance with 40 CFR part 51, Appendix W “Guideline on Air Quality Models,” as incorporated into the Mississippi SIP. These standards demonstrate that Mississippi has the authority to perform air quality modeling and provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. Also of note, Mississippi Code Title 49, Section 49-17-17(e) (Appendix A-9),23 authorizes MDEQ to “encourage, participate in, or conduct studies, investigations, research and demonstrations relating to air and water quality and pollution and causes, prevention, control and abatement as it may deem advisable and necessary for the discharge of its duties under [the Mississippi air and water pollution control law].” Additionally, Mississippi participates in a regional effort to coordinate the development of emissions inventories and conduct regional modeling for several NAAQS, including the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS, for the southeastern states. Taken as a whole, Mississippi's air quality regulations and practices demonstrate that MDEQ has the authority to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Mississippi's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide for air quality modeling, along with analysis of the associated data, related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Mississippi's infrastructure SIP submissions with respect to section 110(a)(2)(K).

    23Mississippi Code Title 49 is referenced in the State's infrastructure SIP submissions as “Appendix A-9.” As discussed, unless otherwise indicated herein, portions of the Mississippi Code referenced in this proposal are not incorporated into the SIP.

    12. 110(a)(2)(L) Permitting Fees: Section 110(a)(2)(L) requires the owner or operator of each major stationary source to pay to the permitting authority, as a condition of any permit required under the CAA, a fee sufficient to cover (i) the reasonable costs of reviewing and acting upon any application for such a permit, and (ii) if the owner or operator receives a permit for such source, the reasonable costs of implementing and enforcing the terms and conditions of any such permit (not including any court costs or other costs associated with any enforcement action), until such fee requirement is superseded with respect to such sources by the Administrator's approval of a fee program under title V.

    Mississippi Code Title 49, Section 49-2-9(c) (Appendix A-9), authorizes MDEQ to apply for, receive, and expend Federal or state funds in order to operate its air programs. Mississippi Code Title 49, Section 49-17-30 (Appendix A-9), provides for the assessment of Title V permit fees to cover the reasonable cost of reviewing and acting upon air permitting activities in the state including title V, PSD and NNSR permits. Mississippi Code Title 49, Section 49-17-14 (Appendix A-9), allows MDEQ to expend or utilize monies in the Mississippi Air Operating Permit Program Fee Trust Fund to pay all reasonable direct and indirect costs associated with the development and administration of the title V program and the PSD and NNSR permitting including. The Mississippi Air Operating Permit Program Fee Trust Fund consists of state legislative appropriations, Federal grant funds and title V fees. Additionally, Mississippi has a federally-approved title V operating permit program at Section APC-S-6 24 that covers the implementation and enforcement of PSD and NNSR permits after they have been issued. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Mississippi adequately provides for permitting fees related to the 20101-hour NO2 NAAQS when necessary.

    24 Title V program regulations are federally-approved but not incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

    13. 110(a)(2)(M) Consultation and Participation by Affected Local Entities: Section 110(a)(2)(M) requires states to provide for consultation and participation in SIP development by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP. Mississippi Code Title 49, Appendix A-9, Section 49-17-17(c), gives the Commission the statutory authority to advise and consult with any political subdivisions in the State. Mississippi Code Title 49, Appendix A-9, Section 49-17-19(b) requires the Commission to conduct public hearings in accordance with EPA regulations prior to establishing, amending, or repealing standards of air quality. Additionally, MDEQ works closely with local political subdivisions during the development of its transportation conformity SIP and regional haze SIP. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Mississippi's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with affected local entities related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS when necessary.

    V. Proposed Action

    With the exception of the preconstruction PSD permitting requirements for major sources of section 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of (D)(i), and (J), the interstate transport provisions pertaining to the contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states and visibility protection of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1, 2, and 4), and the state board majority requirements respecting the significant portion of income of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii), EPA is proposing to approve that Mississippi's February 28, 2013, SIP submission for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS has met the above-described infrastructure SIP requirements because these aspects of the submission are consistent with section 110 of the CAA. EPA is proposing to disapprove in part section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) of Mississippi's infrastructure submission because a majority of board members may still derive a significant portion of income from persons subject to permits or enforcement orders issued by the Mississippi Boards. Therefore, its current SIP does not meet the section 128(a)(1) majority requirements respecting significant portion of income. This proposed action, however, does not include the preconstruction PSD permitting requirements for major sources of section 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of (D)(i), and (J), which have been approved in a separate action, or the interstate transport provisions pertaining to the contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states of prongs 1, 2 and 4 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i), which will be addressed by EPA in a separate action.

    Under section 179(a) of the CAA, final disapproval of a submittal that addresses a requirement of a CAA Part D Plan or is required in response to a finding of substantial inadequacy as described in CAA section 110(k)(5) (SIP call) starts a sanctions clock. The portion of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) provisions (the provisions being proposed for disapproval in this action) were not submitted to meet requirements for Part D or a SIP call, and therefore, if EPA takes final action to disapprove this submittal, no sanctions will be triggered. However, if this disapproval action is finalized, that final action will trigger the requirement under section 110(c) that EPA promulgate a federal implementation plan (FIP) no later than 2 years from the date of the disapproval unless the State corrects the deficiency, and EPA approves the plan or plan revision before EPA promulgates such FIP.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: May 12, 2016. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12102 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Office of the Secretary 49 CFR Part 37 [Docket DOT-OST-2015-0075] Transportation for Individuals With Disabilities; Service Criteria for Complementary Paratransit Fares AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary (OST), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Notification of disposition of petition for rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    This document announces the disposition of a petition for rulemaking from Access Services concerning the Department's regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with respect to the method of determining the fare for a trip charged to an ADA paratransit-eligible user. The petition asked the Department to revise its regulation to allow for a “coordinated” or two-tier fare structure. The current regulation provides that the fare shall not exceed twice the fare that would be charged to an individual paying full fare for a similar trip on the fixed route system. On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Section 3023 of the FAST Act allows the fare structure Access Services supported in its petition for rulemaking, thereby rendering the petition for rulemaking moot.

    DATES:

    May 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jill Laptosky, Attorney-Advisor, Office of General Counsel, DOT, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, telephone: 202-493-0308, or email, [email protected]; or Bonnie Graves, Assistant Chief Counsel for Legislation and Regulations, Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Transit Administration, same address, telephone: 202-366-4011, or email, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On March 4, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) received a petition for rulemaking from Access Services, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complementary paratransit provider for 44 fixed route transit providers in Los Angeles County, California. Access Services described that it uses a “coordinated” or two-tier fare structure where it generally charges $2.75 for one-way trips up to 19.9 miles, and $3.50 for one-way trips of 20 miles or more. In some cases, these fares exceed twice the fixed route fare. The DOT's ADA regulation at 49 CFR 37.131(c) provides that the fare for a trip charged to an ADA paratransit-eligible user of the complementary paratransit service shall not exceed twice the fare that would be charged to an individual paying full fare for a trip of similar length, at a similar time of day, on the entity's fixed route system. In recent triennial reviews of some fixed route providers in Los Angeles County, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has made findings that the ADA paratransit fares exceed twice the fixed route fare. In other words, some paratransit riders had been paying more for ADA paratransit fares than they should have been under the Department's regulations.

    On August 20, 2015, the Department placed Access Services' petition for rulemaking in a public docket and sought comments on the petition in order to help the Department determine whether to grant or deny the petition. The Department received approximately 179 comments to the docket, several with multiple signatures. With the exception of one person, all those in support of the petition were in Access Services' service area, and all opposed were outside of the service area.

    On December 4, 2015, Congress enacted the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (Pub. L. 114-94). Section 3023 of the FAST Act provides that notwithstanding 49 CFR 37.131(c), any paratransit system currently coordinating complementary paratransit service for more than 40 fixed route agencies shall be permitted to continue using an existing tiered, distance-based coordinated paratransit fare system, if the fare for the existing tiered, distance-based coordinated paratransit fare system is not increased by a greater percentage than any increase to the fixed route fare for the largest transit agency in the complementary paratransit service area.

    Given this statutory provision, the Department has determined the issue is moot and no further action is necessary with regard to this petition for rulemaking. As a result, Access Services may continue to operate its coordinated fare structure notwithstanding 49 CFR 37.131(c) and in compliance with section 3023 of the FAST Act.

    Issued in Washington, DC, this 5th day of May, 2016, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.27(a). Kathryn B. Thomson, General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11182 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P
    81 100 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Southwest Montana Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Southwest Montana Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Dillon, Montana. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with title II of the Act. RAC information can be found at the following Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/bdnf/workingtogether/advisorycommittees.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held June 24, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Supervisor's Office, Main Conference Room, 420 Barrett Street, Dillon, Montana. A teleconference phone line (conference call) will be available, for the conference line information, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Supervisor's Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Breck Hudson, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 406-683-3979 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommumcation devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to review and recommend projects for title II funding:

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by June 24, 2016, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Breck Hudson, RAC Coordinator, 420 Barrett Street, Dillon, Montana 59725; by email to [email protected] or via facsimile to 406-683-3955.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodation. For access to the facility or proceedings, please contact the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: May 13, 2016. Melany Glossa, Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12154 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Lake Tahoe Basin Federal Advisory Committee (Committee) will meet in South Lake Tahoe, California. The Committee is established consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972. Additional information concerning the Committee, including meeting summary/minutes, can be found by visiting the Committee's Web site at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/LTFAC. The summary/minutes of the meetings will be posted within 21 days of the meetings.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on June 9, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    All meetings are subject to cancellation. For updated status of the meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the USDA Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, The Emerald Bay Conference Room, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, California.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses, when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the USDA Forest Service, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, California 96150. Please call ahead at 530-543-2774 to facilitate entry to the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen Kuentz, USDA Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Forest Service, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, California 96150, or by phone at 530-543-2774, or by email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of this meeting is to:

    (1) Review and prioritize the Committee's goals and objectives;

    (2) Provide a presentation on the TIE steering committee's charter and functions;

    (3) Present the Federal partnership program; Presentation on tree mortality activities; and

    (4) Discuss the 2016 schedule of meetings.

    The meeting is open to the public. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the Committee may file written statements with the Committee staff before the meeting. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by June 2, 2016, to be scheduled on the agenda. Written comments and time requests for oral comments must be sent to Karen Kuentz, USDA Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, California 96150, or by email at [email protected], or via facsimile to 530-543-2693.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: May 12, 2016. Jeff Marsolais, Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11942 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Rural Energy Savings Program: Measurement, Verification, Training and Technical Assistance AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of comment solicitation.

    SUMMARY:

    Congress recently authorized the implementation of the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP) in section 6407 of subtitle E of title VI of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-171; 116 Stat. 424). The purpose of RESP is to help rural families and small businesses achieve cost savings by providing loans to qualified consumers to implement durable cost-effective energy efficiency measures. The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or Agency) seeks public comments on carrying out paragraph (e) of section 6407 requiring RUS to establish a plan for measurement and verification of energy efficiency measures implemented and funded pursuant to RESP. Public comments are also invited on the additional requirement under paragraph (e) requiring RUS to develop a program to provide technical assistance and training to the employees of eligible entities carrying out the provisions of RESP. The public input requested on both these required purposes under the RESP Program will allow all affected stakeholders the opportunity to contribute to the development of agency procedures for implementing this statute.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received by RUS no later than June 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments, identified by docket number RUS-16-ELECTRIC-0028, by any of the following methods:

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

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery/Hand Delivery: Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA Rural Development, 1400 Independence Avenue, STOP 1522, Room 5159, Washington, DC 20250-1522.

    RUS will post all comments received without change, including any personal information that is included with the comment, on http://www.regulations.gov. Comments will be available for inspection online at http://www.regulations.gov and at the address listed above between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Titilayo Ogunyale, Senior Advisor, Office of the Administrator, Rural Utilities Service, Rural Development, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 1510, Room 5136-S, Washington DC 20250-1510; Telephone: (202) 720-0736; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    RUS provides long-term financing for the purpose of furnishing and improving electric service in rural areas. Eligible purposes for RUS loans also include assisting electric borrowers to implement demand-side management, energy efficiency and energy conservation programs, and on-grid and off-grid renewable energy systems. The Agency's traditional lending program provides RUS loans to eligible electric system borrowers. RESP differs from the Agency's traditional lending program in that it focuses on providing loans to eligible entities that agree to provide consumer loans to qualified consumers for energy efficiency measures which are undertaken on the consumer side of the meter.

    Current RUS borrowers are traditionally well-established utilities, most frequently rural electric cooperatives with a history of participation in the RUS program. Entities eligible to borrow from RUS and relend to consumers pursuant to RESP are not restricted to electric utilities per se; entities owned or controlled by current or former RUS borrowers and those entities described in 7 CFR 1710.10 may also participate in the RESP program.

    For purposes of this Notice, the statute contemplates that the Secretary, acting through RUS, will (1) establish a plan for the measurement and verification of the energy efficiency activities that are undertaken pursuant to the plans implemented with RUS funds, and (2) develop a program to provide technical assistance and training to the employees of eligible entities to carry out the responsibilities associated with implementing the required implementation plans for the use of loan funds.

    RUS is currently determining the best method for carrying out the RESP imposed requirement for establishing such an implementation plan and for crafting the related statement of work for the potential outside contractor that will be engaged to provide support services in this endeavor. RUS is also considering how best to meet its responsibilities under the statute to develop a program to provide technical assistance and training to the employees of eligible entities.

    Request for Comment

    Stakeholder input is vital to ensure that the implementation of the RESP program measurement and verification measures and related training will be valuable, cost effective and achieve the desired results. The Agency recognizes there is a risk that the cost of measurement and verification activities exceed the savings which are intended and expected from the energy efficiency measures. Also, the Agency notes that there are a number of quality training programs already in existence and available in the industry. Accordingly, RUS poses the following questions and discussion items to guide stakeholder comments. RUS also welcomes pertinent comments that are beyond the scope of the following questions.

    Measurement of the Results of Energy Efficiency Investments

    There is no standard set of energy efficiency measures that RUS proposes to finance with RESP funds. Each entity that applies for a RESP loan will have its own list of energy efficiency measures and related implementation plan. The borrower is also required to measure and verify the results it achieves. The agency requests responses and comments as follows:

    1. Is it reasonable to require that the borrower collect data before and after implementation of the energy efficiency measures as part of the measurement and verification of cost savings, or, in the alternative, can a borrower rely on “deemed savings” for certain measures?

    2. If “deemed savings” calculations are determined to be reasonable, where can independent resources for this information be found?

    Best Entity To Measure the Results of Energy Efficiency Investments

    1. Is it reasonable for the Agency to rely on representations made by the borrower regarding the results it achieves?

    2. What parameters should the Agency impose on self-measurement and verification activities included in a borrower's implementation plan?

    Form of Training Program To Be Developed and Funded as Part of the RESP Program

    RUS has observed that there are a myriad of programs currently available in the market to train employees of eligible entities to carry out measurement and verification functions. RUS invites comments on the best approach for RUS to take to maximize the training results achieved with limited funds.

    1. RUS is considering establishing a “tuition reimbursement” program whereby an outside contractor administers a tuition reimbursement fund to reimburse eligible entities for the costs incurred from sending an employee to a course provided by a qualified vendor as part of a recognized certification program. Please comment on how best to structure such a “tuition reimbursement program.”

    2. RUS is contemplating setting up a circuit rider program to provide training and technical assistance on location for energy efficiency measures. The intent is to follow the model of a comparable circuit rider program funded by RUS as part of the agency's authorized activities in the water program. In the circuit rider program, experts visit rural water systems around the country and offer training to employees as well as technical assistance. These visits can be requested by a client in response to special needs or are part of a regular schedule that is worked out in advance. Please comment on the pros and cons of taking this approach.

    Needs Specific to Manufactured Housing

    Many traditional RUS electric utility borrowers have an above average number of customers residing in mobile homes or prefabricated dwellings. These dwellings present unique challenges in implementing energy efficiency measures. The agency requests responses and comments on the following questions:

    1. What program requirements are recommended for new manufactured housing? Is it reasonable for a Borrower to undertake a rebate program for new buyers agreeing to purchase new homes with certain upgrades? How will a borrower best verify that the upgrades are installed and producing the results as marketed?

    2. With respect to pre-existing mobile homes, what measurements can be taken to produce the most cost effective energy savings for the consumer?

    3. A disproportionate number of the occupants of manufactured housing are renters. The owners may not necessarily have a financial incentive to invest in more efficient heating and cooling systems, causing the occupant to suffer very high energy bills. Are there programs which have successfully addressed this problem and what are the attributes of these programs?

    4. Is there a way to best incorporate consumer financing of energy efficiency measures with pre-paid billing programs?

    The Scope of RUS Efforts

    There are limited funds for implementing the provision of RESP that contemplates RUS entering into one or more contracts for measurement, verification, training or technical assistance. As an initial matter, these funds are not expected to exceed ten percent of available appropriations. As part of the Agency's initial implementation of this portion of the statute, we anticipate that the scope of work cannot extend to all entities and all geographic areas needing these services. Accordingly, comments are invited on how to tailor the scope of the Agency's initial pilot implementation of this requirement in light of the limited funding.

    Dated: May 17, 2016. Brandon McBride, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12192 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: U.S. Census Bureau.

    Title: Generic Clearance for Questionnaire Pretesting Research.

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0725.

    Form Number(s): Various.

    Type of Request: Regular.

    Number of Respondents: 5,500 respondents annually.

    Average Hours per Response: 1 hour.

    Burden Hours: 5,500 hours annually.

    Needs and Uses: The information collected in this program of developing and testing questionnaires will be used by staff from the Census Bureau and sponsoring agencies to evaluate and improve the quality of the data in the surveys and censuses that are ultimately conducted.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households, businesses or other for profit, farms.

    Frequency: TBD.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Legal Authority:

    Data collection for this project is authorized under the authorizing legislation for the questionnaire being tested. This may be Title 13, Sections 131, 141, 161, 181, 182, 193, and 301 for Census Bureau sponsored surveys, and Title 13 and 15 for surveys sponsored by other Federal agencies. We do not now know what other titles will be referenced, since we do not know what survey questionnaires will be pretested during the course of the clearance.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: May 18, 2016. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12087 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-36-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone 93—Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, Application for Reorganization (Expansion of Service Area) Under Alternative Site Framework

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by the Triangle J Council of Governments, grantee of Foreign-Trade Zone 93, requesting authority to reorganize the zone to expand its service area under the alternative site framework (ASF) adopted by the FTZ Board (15 CFR Sec. 400.2(c)). The ASF is an option for grantees for the establishment or reorganization of zones and can permit significantly greater flexibility in the designation of new subzones or “usage-driven” FTZ sites for operators/users located within a grantee's “service area” in the context of the FTZ Board's standard 2,000-acre activation limit for a zone. The application was submitted pursuant to the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on May 17, 2016.

    FTZ 93 was approved by the FTZ Board on November 4, 1983 (Board Order 233, 48 FR 52108, November 16, 1983) and reorganized under the ASF on November 30, 2012 (Board Order 1872, 77 FR 73978-73979, December 12, 2012), and the service area was expanded on January 9, 2015 (Board Order 1963, 80 FR 3551, January 23, 2015). The zone currently has a service area that includes the Counties of Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange, Person, Sampson, Vance, Wake and Warren.

    The applicant is now requesting authority to expand the service area of the zone to include Wilson County, as described in the application. If approved, the grantee would be able to serve sites throughout the expanded service area based on companies' needs for FTZ designation. The application indicates that the proposed expanded service area is adjacent to the Raleigh-Durham Customs and Border Protection port of entry.

    In accordance with the FTZ Board's regulations, Kathleen Boyce of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to evaluate and analyze the facts and information presented in the application and case record and to report findings and recommendations to the FTZ Board.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is July 25, 2016. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to August 8, 2016.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz. For further information, contact Kathleen Boyce at [email protected] or 202-482-1346.

    Dated: May 17, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12163 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-588-873] Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Japan: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the “Department”) determines that certain cold-rolled steel flat products (“cold-rolled steel”) from Japan are being, or likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (“LTFV”), as provided in section 735 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”). JFE Steel Corporation (“JFE”) and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (“NSSMC”) are the mandatory respondents in this investigation. The period of investigation (“POI”) is July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. The estimated weighted average dumping margins of sales at LTFV are shown in the “Final Determination” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: May 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Trisha Tran, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4852.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On March 7, 2016, the Department published its preliminary affirmative determination of sales at LTFV and preliminary affirmative determination of critical circumstances, in part, in the LTFV investigation of cold-rolled steel from Japan.1 We invited interested parties to comment on our preliminary determination. We only received comments regarding the scope of this investigation. No interested party requested a hearing.

    1See Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Japan: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 81 FR 11747 (March 7, 2016) (“Preliminary Determination”).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain cold-rolled (cold-reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I.

    Since the Preliminary Determination, eight interested parties (i.e., JFE Steel Corporation, Electrolux Home Products, Inc., Electrolux Home Care Products, Inc., ArcelorMittal USA LLC, AK Steel Corporation, Nucor Corporation, Steel Dynamics Inc., and United States Steel Corporation) commented on the scope of the investigation. The Department reviewed these comments and has made no changes to the scope of the investigation. For further discussion, see the “Final Scope Comments Memorandum.” 2 The scope in Appendix I reflects the final unmodified scope language as it appeared in the Preliminary Determination.

    2See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Final Scope Comments Decision Memorandum,” dated concurrently with this final determination (Final Scope Comments Memorandum).

    Verification

    None of the mandatory respondents in the investigation provided information requested by the Department. Hence, no verification was conducted.

    Analysis of Comments Received and Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    We made no changes to the Preliminary Determination because we received no comments pertaining to the Preliminary Determination.

    Final Affirmative Determinations of Critical Circumstances, in Part

    In accordance with section 733(e) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206, we preliminarily found critical circumstances exist with respect to both of the mandatory respondents in the investigation of cold-rolled steel from Japan. With respect to the “All-Others” group, we preliminarily found that critical circumstances did not exist.3

    3See Preliminary Determination.

    As stated above, the Department did not receive any comments concerning the preliminary determination. Thus, for the final determination, we continue to find that, in accordance with section 735(a)(3) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206, critical circumstances exist with respect to both mandatory respondents and that critical circumstances do not exist for the non-individually examined companies receiving the “All-Others” rate in this investigation.

    Use of Adverse Facts Available

    As stated in the Preliminary Determination, neither JFE nor NSSMC responded to the Department's questionnaire.4 Accordingly, for the final determination, pursuant to section 776(b) of the Act, we applied adverse facts available to JFE and NSSMC.

    4Id.

    Final Determination

    As stated above, we made no changes to our preliminary affirmative LTFV determination. Therefore, we continue to determine that the following estimated weighted-average dumping margin exists for the following producers or exporters for the period July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015.

    Exporter/Producer Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • JFE Steel Corporation 71.35 percent. Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation 71.35 percent. All-Others 71.35 percent.

    In addition, the Department continues to determine that voluntary respondent Hitachi Metals Limited had no sales of subject merchandise during to POI to examine.

    All-Others Rate

    We cannot apply the methodology described in section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act to calculate the “All-Others” rate, as all of the margins in the preliminary determination were calculated under section 776 of the Act.5 In cases where no weighted-average dumping margins besides zero, de minimis, or those determined entirely under section 776 of the Act have been established for individually estimated entities, in accordance with section 735(c)(5)(B) of the Act, the Department averages the margins calculated by the Petitioners in the Petition and applies the result to “All-Other” entities not individually examined. In this case, however, Petitioners calculated only one margin in the Petition. Therefore, for the final determination, we continue to assign as the “All-Others” rate the only margin in the Petition, which is 71.35 percent.6

    5 Id. at 11749.

    6See Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From Thailand: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Postponement of Final Determination, 79 FR 10487 (February 25, 2014), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum, unchanged in Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From India, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, the Republic of Turkey, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Antidumping Duty Orders; and Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 79 FR 53691 (September 10, 2014).

    Continuation and Partial Termination of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(4)(A) of the Act, for the final determination, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to continue to suspend liquidation of all entries of cold-rolled steel from Japan, as described in the scope of the investigation, from the mandatory respondents (i.e., JFE and NSSMC) that are entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after December 8, 2015, 90 days prior to the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination because we continue to find that critical circumstances exist with regard to imports exported by the mandatory respondents. In accordance with sections 733(d)(2) and 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, for the final determination, we will direct CBP to continue the suspension of liquidation of all entries of cold-rolled steel from Japan, as described in the “Scope of the Investigation” section, from companies receiving the “All-Others” rate which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after March 7, 2016, the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination.

    Disclosure

    We described the calculations used to determine the estimated weighted-average dumping margins based on adverse facts available, in the Preliminary Determination. We made no changes to our calculations since the Preliminary Determination. Thus, no additional disclosure of calculations is necessary for this final determination.

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, we will notify the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) of our final affirmative determination of sales at LTFV and final affirmative determination of critical circumstances, in part. Because the final determination in the proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of cold-rolled steel from Japan no later than 45 days after our final determination. If the ITC determines that such injury does not exist, this proceeding will be terminated and all securities posted will be refunded or canceled. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on appropriate imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice will serve as a reminder to the parties subject to administrative protective order (“APO”) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APOs in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. Timely written notification of return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation. We are issuing and publishing this determination in accordance with sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(c).

    Dated: May 16, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain cold-rolled (cold reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances. The products covered do not include those that are clad, plated, or coated with metal. The products covered include coils that have a width or other lateral measurement (“width”) of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of these investigations are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or

    • 3.30 percent of silicon, or

    • 1.50 percent of copper, or

    • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or

    • 1.25 percent of chromium, or

    • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or

    • 0.40 percent of lead, or

    • 2.00 percent of nickel, or

    • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or

    • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or

    • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or

    • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or

    • 0.30 percent of zirconium.

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (“IF”)) steels, high strength low alloy (“HSLA”) steels, motor lamination steels, Advanced High Strength Steels (“AHSS”), and Ultra High Strength Steels (“UHSS”). IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum. Motor lamination steels contain micro-alloying levels of elements such as silicon and aluminum. AHSS and UHSS are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels, although AI-ISS and UHSS are covered whether or not they are high tensile strength or high elongation steels.

    Subject merchandise includes cold-rolled steel that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to annealing, tempering, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cold-rolled steel.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

    • Ball bearing steels;7

    7 Ball bearing steels are defined as steels which contain, in addition to iron, each of the following elements by weight in the amount specified: (i) Not less than 0.95 nor more than 1.13 percent of carbon; (ii) not less than 0.22 nor more than 0.48 percent of manganese; (iii) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of sulfur; (iv) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of phosphorus; (v) not less than 0.18 nor more than 0.37 percent of silicon; (vi) not less than 1.25 nor more than 1.65 percent of chromium; (vii) none, or not more than 0.28 percent of nickel; (viii) none, or not more than 0.38 percent of copper; and (ix) none, or not more than 0.09 percent of molybdenum.

    • Tool steels;8

    8 Tool steels are defined as steels which contain the following combinations of elements in the quantity by weight respectively indicated: (i) More than 1.2 percent carbon and more than 10.5 percent chromium; or (ii) not less than 0.3 percent carbon and 1.25 percent or more but less than 10.5 percent chromium; or (iii) not less than 0.85 percent carbon and 1 percent to 1.8 percent, inclusive, manganese; or (iv) 0.9 percent to 1.2 percent, inclusive, chromium and 0.9 percent to 1.4 percent, inclusive, molybdenum; or (v) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 3.5 percent molybdenum; or (vi) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 5.5 percent tungsten.

    • Silico-manganese steel;9

    9 Silico-manganese steel is defined as steels containing by weight: (i) Not more than 0.7 percent of carbon; (ii) 0.5 percent or more but not more than 1.9 percent of manganese, and (iii) 0.6 percent or more but not more than 2.3 percent of silicon.

    • Grain-oriented electrical steels (“GOES”) as defined in the final determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland. 10

    10See Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland: Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Certain Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 79 FR 42,501, 42,503 (July 22, 2014) (“Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland”). This determination defines grain-oriented electrical steel as “a flat-rolled alloy steel product containing by weight at least 0.6 percent but not more than 6 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, not more than 1.0 percent of aluminum, and no other element in an amount that would give the steel the characteristics of another alloy steel, in coils or in straight lengths.”

    • Non-Oriented Electrical Steels (“NOES”), as defined in the antidumping orders issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan. 11

    11See Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan: Antidumping Duty Orders, 79 FR 71,741, 71,741-42 (December 3, 2014) (“Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan”). The orders define NOES as “cold-rolled, flat-rolled, alloy steel products, whether or not in coils, regardless of width, having an actual thickness of 0.20 mm or more, in which the core loss is substantially equal in any direction of magnetization in the plane of the material. The term `substantially equal' means that the cross grain direction of core loss is no more than 1.5 times the straight grain direction (i.e., the rolling direction) of core loss. NOES has a magnetic permeability that does not exceed 1.65 Tesla when tested at a field of 800 A/m (equivalent to 10 Oersteds) along (i.e., parallel to) the rolling direction of the sheet (i.e., B800 value). NOES contains by weight more than 1.00 percent of silicon but less than 3.5 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, and not more than 1.5 percent of aluminum. NOES has a surface oxide coating, to which an insulation coating may be applied.”

    Also excluded from the scope of this investigation is ultra-tempered automotive steel, which is hardened, tempered, surface polished, and meets the following specifications:

    • Thickness: less than or equal to 1.0 mm;

    • Width: less than or equal to 330 mm;

    • Chemical composition:

    Element C Si Mn P S Weight% 0.90-1.05 0.15-0.35 0.30-0.50 Less than or equal to 0.03 Less than or equal to 0.006.

    • Physical properties:

    Width less than or equal to150mm Flatness of less than 0.2% of nominal strip width. Width of 150 to 330mm Flatness of less than 5 mm of nominal strip width.

    • Microstructure: Completely free from decarburization. Carbides are spheroidal and fine within 1% to 4% (area percentage) and are undissolved in the uniform tempered martensite;

    • Surface roughness: less than or equal to 0.80 µm Rz;

    • Non-metallic inclusion:

    Sulfide inclusion less than or equal to 0.04% (area percentage)

    Oxide inclusion less than or equal to 0.05% (area percentage); and

    • The mill test certificate must demonstrate that the steel is proprietary grade “PK” and specify the following:

    The exact tensile strength, which must be greater than or equal to 1600 N/mm2;

    The exact hardness, which must be greater than or equal to 465 Vickers hardness number;

    The exact elongation, which must be between 2.5% and 9.5%; and

    Certified as having residual compressive stress within a range of 100 to 400 N/mm2.

    The products subject to this investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) under item numbers: 7209.15.0000, 7209.16.0030, 7209.16.0060, 7209.16.0070, 7209.16.0091, 7209.17.0030, 7209.17.0060, 7209.17.0070, 7209.17.0091, 7209.18.1530, 7209.18.1560, 7209.18.2510, 7209.18.2520, 7209.18.2580, 7209.18.6020, 7209.18.6090, 7209.25.0000, 7209.26.0000, 7209.27.0000, 7209.28.0000, 7209.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7211.23.1500, 7211.23.2000, 7211.23.3000, 7211.23.4500, 7211.23.6030, 7211.23.6060, 7211.23.6090, 7211.29.2030, 7211.29.2090, 7211.29.4500, 7211.29.6030, 7211.29.6080, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.50.8080, 7225.99.0090, 7226.92.5000, 7226.92.7050, and 7226.92.8050. The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS numbers: 7210.90.9000, 7212.50.0000, 7215.10.0010, 7215.10.0080, 7215.50.0016, 7215.50.0018, 7215.50.0020, 7215.50.0061, 7215.50.0063, 7215.50.0065, 7215.50.0090, 7215.90.5000, 7217.10.1000, 7217.10.2000, 7217.10.3000, 7217.10.7000, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.19.0000, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.99.0180, 7228.50.5015, 7228.50.5040, 7228.50.5070, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and CBP purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2016-12191 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Application(s) for Duty-Free Entry of Scientific Instruments

    Pursuant to Section 6(c) of the Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials Importation Act of 1966 (Pub. L. 89-651, as amended by Pub. L. 106-36; 80 Stat. 897; 15 CFR part 301), we invite comments on the question of whether instruments of equivalent scientific value, for the purposes for which the instruments shown below are intended to be used, are being manufactured in the United States.

    Comments must comply with 15 CFR 301.5(a)(3) and (4) of the regulations and be postmarked on or before June 13, 2016. Address written comments to Statutory Import Programs Staff, Room 3720, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230. Applications may be examined between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Room 3720.

    Docket Number: 15-051. Applicant: Iowa State University of Science and Technology, 211 TASF, Ames, IA 50011-3020. Instrument: Electron Microscope. Manufacturer: FEI, Co., Czech Republic and Great Britain. Intended Use: The instrument will be used to perform microstructure examination, compositional analysis and orientation analysis on materials such as metals, compounds, alloys, oxides and organic materials. Justification for Duty-Free Entry: There are no instruments of the same general category manufactured in the United States. Application accepted by Commissioner of Customs: April 13, 2016.

    Docket Number: 15-055. Applicant: Rutgers University, 136 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854. Instrument: Optical Floating Zone Furnace. Manufacturer: Crystal Systems Corporation, Japan. Intended Use: The instrument will be used to grow high quality bulk single crystals of a variety of complex quantum materials including multiferroics, ferroelectrics and low-symmetry magnets. Research projects will include the duality between FR and PUA states in hexagonal manganites, the duality between Ising triangular antiferromagnetism and improper ferroelectricity in hexagonal systems, the domains and domain walls in other polar or chiral magnets, the domains and domain walls in new hybrid improper ferroelectrics, the domains and domain walls in metastable phases at the phase boundaries, and magnetic skyrmion in non-centrosymmetric magnets. The instrument is equipped with 5 high power (1000 W in total) continuous wavelength laser diodes as a heating source. Five lasers ensure temperature homogeneity along the azimuthal direction around the crystal rod to be greater than 95%. The maximum temperature gradient along the growth direction is greater than 150 degrees Celsius/mm. Crystal growth can go from extremely stable and slow growth to very rapid quenching mode, 0.01 to 300 mm/h. This enables the growth of incongruently melting and highly evaporating materials. Justification for Duty-Free Entry: There are no instruments of the same general category manufactured in the United States. Application accepted by Commissioner of Customs: April 29, 2016.

    Docket Number: 15-058. Applicant: UChicago Argonne, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Lemont, IL 60439-4873. Instrument: IEX ARPES Cryo-Manipulator. Manufacturer: Omnivac, Hansjoerg Ruppender, Germany. Intended Use: The instrument will be used to cool and position single crystal and thin film samples in an angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) chamber. ARPES is used to map the electronic band structure of material. Samples include high-temperature superconductors, graphene, and other low dimensional materials, metals and complex oxides. The instrument's unique features include ultra-high vacuum compatible, six-axes of motion with a specified range x: +/- 10mm, 1µm, +/- 0.05µm, y: +/- 10mm, 1µm, +/- 0.05µm, z: 300mm, 1µm, +/- 0.05µm, polar rotation: 360 degrees, 0.005 degrees, 0.0001 degrees, flip rotation: -15/+60 degrees, .1 degree, 0.05 degrees, azimuthal rotation: +/-90 degrees, .1 degree, 0.05 degrees, a low base temperature of 5.5K and high vibrational stability (motion at the sample < 500 nm). Justification for Duty-Free Entry: There are no instruments of the same general category manufactured in the United States. Application accepted by Commissioner of Customs: March 2, 2016.

    Docket Number: 16-003. Applicant: Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239. Instrument: Electron Microscope. Manufacturer: FEI Company, the Netherlands. Intended Use: The instrument will be used to study how genomic features in model systems and humans encode the molecular, cellular and tissue structures that comprise normal and diseased tissues and apply the resulting information to improve management of human diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, immunodeficiency and dementia. Justification for Duty-Free Entry: There are no instruments of the same general category manufactured in the United States. Application accepted by Commissioner of Customs: April 15, 2016.

    Docket Number: 16-006. Applicant: Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hinos Blvd., Dallas, TX 75390. Instrument: Electron Microscope. Manufacturer: FEI Company, the Netherlands. Intended Use: The instrument will be used to learn how imaged proteins and molecules perform their cellular functions, which can be used to understand cases where these proteins and molecules malfunction and cause disease, such as cancer. Justification for Duty-Free Entry: There are no instruments of the same general category manufactured in the United States. Application accepted by Commissioner of Customs: May 6, 2016.

    Docket Number: 16-009. Applicant: Stanford University, 299 Campus Drive West, Stanford, CA 94305-5126. Instrument: Electron Microscope. Manufacturer: FEI Company, Netherlands. Intended Use: The instrument will be used to determine the structures of proteins and protein complexes to atomic (3.5 angstroms+) or near atomic (10 angstroms+) resolution. Determining the structures to such high resolution will give insight into the basic biology of systems such as tissue samples, whole cells and purified proteins. Justification for Duty-Free Entry: There are no instruments of the same general category manufactured in the United States. Application accepted by Commissioner of Customs: March 2, 2016.

    Dated: May 16, 2016. Gregory W. Campbell, Director of Subsidies Enforcement, Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12176 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-029] Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that certain cold-rolled steel flat products (cold-rolled steel) from the People's Republic of China (the PRC) are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV), as provided in section 735 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). The period of investigation is January 1, 2015, through June 30, 2015. The estimated weighted-average dumping margin of sales at LTFV is shown in the “Final Determination” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: May 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Scott Hoefke or Robert James, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-4947 or (202) 482-0679, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On March 7, 2016, the Department published its preliminary affirmative determination of sales at LTFV and preliminary affirmative determination of critical circumstance in LTFV investigation of cold-rolled steel from the PRC.1 We invited interested parties to comment on our preliminary determinations. We only received comments regarding the scope of this investigation. No interested party requested a hearing.

    1See Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 81 FR 11751 (March 7, 2016) (Preliminary Determination).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain cold-rolled (cold-reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances from the PRC. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I.

    Since the Preliminary Determination, eight interested parties (i.e., JFE Steel Corporation, Electrolux Home Products, Inc., Electrolux Home Care Products, Inc., ArcelorMittal USA LLC, AK Steel Corporation, Nucor Corporation, Steel Dynamics Inc., and .United States Steel Corporation) commented on the scope of the investigation. The Department reviewed these comments and has made no changes to the scope of the investigation. For further discussion, see the Final Scope Comments Memorandum.2 The scope in Appendix I reflects the final unmodified scope language as it appeared in the Preliminary Determination.

    2See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Final Scope Comments Decision Memorandum,” dated concurrently with this final determination (Final Scope Comments Memorandum).

    Verification

    The only respondent in the antidumping investigation of cold-rolled steel from the PRC, the PRC-wide entity, did not provide information requested by the Department. Hence, no verification was conducted.

    Analysis of Comments Received and Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    We made no changes to the Preliminary Determination because we received no comments pertaining to the Preliminary Determination.

    Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances

    In accordance with section 733(e)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206, we preliminarily found critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of certain cold-rolled steel flat products from the PRC-wide entity.3 As stated above, the Department did not receive any comments concerning the preliminary determination. Thus, for the final determination, we continue to find that, in accordance with section 735(a)(3) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206, critical circumstances exist with respect to the PRC-wide entity.

    3See Preliminary Determination.

    Use of Adverse Facts Available

    As stated in the Preliminary Determination, the PRC-wide entity failed to cooperate to the best of its ability.4 Accordingly, pursuant to sections 776(a)(2)(A), (B), and (C) and section 776(b) of the Act, we find it appropriate to assign the estimated weighted-average dumping margin in the table below, which is based on total adverse facts available.5

    4See Id., and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 9-13.

    5Id.

    Combination Rates

    In the Initiation Notice, 6 the Department stated that it would calculate combination rates for PRC respondents that are eligible for separate rate in this investigation. This practice is described in Policy Bulletin 05.1, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/index.html. Because the Department has not granted a separate rate to any PRC respondent, the Department has not calculated combination rates for any PRC respondents.

    6See Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 80 FR 51198 (August 24, 2015) (Initiation Notice).

    Final Determination

    As stated above, we made no changes to our affirmative preliminary LTFV determination; therefore, we continue to determine the following estimated weighted-average dumping margin exists for the PRC wide-entity during the period January 1, 2015, through June 30, 2015:

    Company Dumping rate PRC-Wide Entity 265.79 percent Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(4)(A) of the Act, for the final determination, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all entries of cold-rolled steel from the PRC as described in the “Scope of the Investigation” section which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption 90 days prior to the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination, pursuant to section 733(e)(2) of the Act.

    As we stated in the Preliminary Determination, and consistent with our practice, where the product under investigation is also subject to a concurrent countervailing duty investigation, we will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the amount by which the normal value exceeds the export price or constructed export price, adjusted where appropriate for export subsidies and estimated domestic subsidy pass-through.7 With respect to the PRC-wide entity, we find that an adjustment for export subsidies of 66.03 percent 8 is warranted because this is the countervailing duty rate attributable to export subsidies included in the countervailing duty rate to which all entries from the PRC-wide entity are currently subject. We are not adjusting the final determination for estimated domestic subsidy pass-through because we have no basis upon to make such an adjustment. Thus, we will offset the PRC-wide rate of 265.79 by the countervailing duty rate attributable to export subsidies (i.e., 66.03 percent) to calculate the cash deposit ad valorem rate for the PRC-wide entity of 199.76 percent.9 The suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

    7See Preliminary Determination.

    8See sections 772(c)(1)(C) and 777A(f) of the Act, respectively. Unlike in administrative reviews, the Department makes an adjustment for export subsidies in an LTFV investigation not in the calculation of the weighted-average dumping margin, but in the cash deposit instructions issued to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. See Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances: Certain Lined Paper Products from India, 71 FR 45012 (August 8, 2006), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at comment 1. The following programs are export specific in the concurrent countervailing duty investigation: Export Loans; Preferential Lending to Cold-Rolled Steel Producers and Exporters Classified As “Honorable Enterprises”; Preferential Income Tax Subsidies for Foreign Invested Enterprises—Export Oriented FIEs; Programs to Rebate Antidumping Legal Fees; Export Assistance Grants; Subsidies for Development of Famous Export Brands and China World Top Brands; Sub-Central Government Programs to Promote Famous Export Brands and China World Top Brands; Export Interest Subsidies; Export Seller's Credits; Export Buyer's Credits; Export Credit Insurance Subsidies; Export Credit Guarantees”. See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Determination, Final Partial Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum. The final determination in this companion CVD proceeding is being released concurrently with this final determination.

    9 The cash deposit rate reflecting the export subsidy offset will be in effect until the countervailing duty provisional measures expire (i.e., 120 days after the publication of the preliminary determination of companion countervailing duty investigation).

    Disclosure

    We described the calculations used to determine the estimated weighted-average dumping margins based on adverse facts available, in the Preliminary Determination. We made no changes to our calculations since the Preliminary Determination. Thus, no additional disclosure of calculations is necessary for this final determination.

    International Trade Commission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, we will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of our final affirmative determination of sales at LTFV and final affirmative determination of critical circumstances. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of cold-rolled steel from the PRC no later than 45 days after our final determination. If the ITC determines that such injury does not exist, this proceeding will be terminated and all securities posted will be refunded or canceled. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on all imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice will serve as a reminder to the parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. Timely written notification of return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    We are issuing and publishing this determination in accordance with sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(c).

    Dated: May 16, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain cold-rolled (cold-reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances. The products covered do not include those that are clad, plated, or coated with metal. The products covered include coils that have a width or other lateral measurement (“width”) of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or

    • 3.30 percent of silicon, or

    • 1.50 percent of copper, or

    • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or

    • 1.25 percent of chromium, or

    • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or

    • 0.40 percent of lead, or

    • 2.00 percent of nickel, or

    • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or

    • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or

    • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or

    • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or

    • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels, high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels, motor lamination steels, Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS), and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS). IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum. Motor lamination steels contain micro-alloying levels of elements such as silicon and aluminum. AHSS and UHSS are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels, although AHSS and UHSS are covered whether or not they are high tensile strength or high elongation steels.

    Subject merchandise includes cold-rolled steel that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to annealing, tempering, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cold-rolled steel.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

    · Ball bearing steels; 10

    10 Ball bearing steels are defined as steels which contain, in addition to iron, each of the following elements by weight in the amount specified: (i) Not less than 0.95 nor more than 1.13 percent of carbon; (ii) not less than 0.22 nor more than 0.48 percent of manganese; (iii) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of sulfur; (iv) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of phosphorus; (v) not less than 0.18 nor more than 0.37 percent of silicon; (vi) not less than 1.25 nor more than 1.65 percent of chromium; (vii) none, or not more than 0.28 percent of nickel; (viii) none, or not more than 0.38 percent of copper; and (ix) none, or not more than 0.09 percent of molybdenum.

    · Tool steels; 11

    11 Tool steels are defined as steels which contain the following combinations of elements in the quantity by weight respectively indicated: (i) More than 1.2 percent carbon and more than 10.5 percent chromium; or (ii) not less than 0.3 percent carbon and 1.25 percent or more but less than 10.5 percent chromium; or (iii) not less than 0.85 percent carbon and 1 percent to 1.8 percent, inclusive, manganese; or (iv) 0.9 percent to 1.2 percent, inclusive, chromium and 0.9 percent to 1.4 percent, inclusive, molybdenum; or (v) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 3.5 percent molybdenum; or (vi) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 5.5 percent tungsten.

    · Silico-manganese steel; 12

    12 Silico-manganese steel is defined as steels containing by weight: (i) Not more than 0.7 percent of carbon; (ii) 0.5 percent or more but not more than 1.9 percent of manganese, and (iii) 0.6 percent or more but not more than 2.3 percent of silicon.

    · Grain-oriented electrical steels (GOES) as defined in the final determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland.13

    13See Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland: Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Certain Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 79 FR 42,501, 42,503 (Dep't of Commerce, July 22, 2014). This determination defines grain-oriented electrical steel as “a flat-rolled alloy steel product containing by weight at least 0.6 percent but not more than 6 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, not more than 1.0 percent of aluminum, and no other element in an amount that would give the steel the characteristics of another alloy steel, in coils or in straight lengths.”

    · Non-Oriented Electrical Steels (NOES), as defined in the antidumping orders issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan.14

    14See Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan: Antidumping Duty Orders, 79 FR 71,741, 71,741-42 (Dep't of Commerce, December 3, 2014). The orders define NOES as “cold-rolled, flat-rolled, alloy steel products, whether or not in coils, regardless of width, having an actual thickness of 0.20 mm or more, in which the core loss is substantially equal in any direction of magnetization in the plane of the material. The term `substantially equal' means that the cross grain direction of core loss is no more than 1.5 times the straight grain direction (i.e., the rolling direction) of core loss. NOES has a magnetic permeability that does not exceed 1.65 Tesla when tested at a field of 800 A/m (equivalent to 10 Oersteds) along (i.e., parallel to) the rolling direction of the sheet (i.e., B800 value). NOES contains by weight more than 1.00 percent of silicon but less than 3.5 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, and not more than 1.5 percent of aluminum. NOES has a surface oxide coating, to which an insulation coating may be applied.”

    The products subject to this investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7209.15.0000, 7209.16.0030, 7209.16.0060, 7209.16.0070, 7209.16.0091, 7209.17.0030, 7209.17.0060, 7209.17.0070, 7209.17.0091, 7209.18.1530, 7209.18.1560, 7209.18.2510, 7209.18.2520, 7209.18.2580, 7209.18.6020, 7209.18.6090, 7209.25.0000, 7209.26.0000, 7209.27.0000, 7209.28.0000, 7209.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7211.23.1500, 7211.23.2000, 7211.23.3000, 7211.23.4500, 7211.23.6030, 7211.23.6060, 7211.23.6090, 7211.29.2030, 7211.29.2090, 7211.29.4500, 7211.29.6030, 7211.29.6080, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.50.8080, 7225.99.0090, 7226.92.5000, 7226.92.7050, and 7226.92.8050. The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS numbers: 7210.90.9000, 7212.50.0000, 7215.10.0010, 7215.10.0080, 7215.50.0016, 7215.50.0018, 7215.50.0020, 7215.50.0061, 7215.50.0063, 7215.50.0065, 7215.50.0090, 7215.90.5000, 7217.10.1000, 7217.10.2000, 7217.10.3000, 7217.10.7000, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.19.0000, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.99.0180, 7228.50.5015, 7228.50.5040, 7228.50.5070, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and U.S. Customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2016-12186 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    ITA, DOC.

    ACTION:

    Notice of federal advisory committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda for a meeting of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee (CINTAC).

    DATES:

    The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 9, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The public session is from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in Room 1412, U.S. Department of Commerce, Herbert Clark Hoover Building, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Jonathan Chesebro, Office of Energy & Environmental Industries, ITA, Room 4053, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20230. (Phone: 202-482-1297; Fax: 202-482-5665; email: [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The CINTAC was established under the discretionary authority of the Secretary of Commerce and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), in response to an identified need for consensus advice from U.S. industry to the U.S. Government regarding the development and administration of programs to expand United States exports of civil nuclear goods and services in accordance with applicable U.S. laws and regulations, including advice on how U.S. civil nuclear goods and services export policies, programs, and activities will affect the U.S. civil nuclear industry's competitiveness and ability to participate in the international market.

    Topics to be considered: The agenda for the Thursday, June 9, 2016 CINTAC meeting is as follows:

    Closed Session (9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) 1. Discussion of matters determined to be exempt from the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act relating to public meetings found in 5 U.S.C. App. §§ (10)(a)(1) and 10(a)(3). Public Session (3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.) 1. International Trade Administration's Civil Nuclear Trade Initiative Update 2. Civil Nuclear Trade Promotion Activities Discussion 3. Public comment period

    The meeting will be disabled-accessible. Public seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of the public wishing to attend the meeting must notify Mr. Jonathan Chesebro at the contact information below by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 3, 2016 in order to pre-register for clearance into the building. Please specify any requests for reasonable accommodation at least five business days in advance of the meeting. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill.

    A limited amount of time will be available for pertinent brief oral comments from members of the public attending the meeting. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the time for public comments will be limited to two (2) minutes per person, with a total public comment period of 30 minutes. Individuals wishing to reserve speaking time during the meeting must contact Mr. Chesebro and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the comments and the name and address of the proposed participant by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 3, 2016. If the number of registrants requesting to make statements is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the meeting, ITA may conduct a lottery to determine the speakers. Speakers are requested to bring at least 20 copies of their oral comments for distribution to the participants and public at the meeting.

    Any member of the public may submit pertinent written comments concerning the CINTAC's affairs at any time before and after the meeting. Comments may be submitted to the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee, Office of Energy & Environmental Industries, Room 4053, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20230. For consideration during the meeting, and to ensure transmission to the Committee prior to the meeting, comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 3, 2016. Comments received after that date will be distributed to the members but may not be considered at the meeting.

    Copies of CINTAC meeting minutes will be available within 90 days of the meeting.

    Man Cho, Director, Acting, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12274 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Notice of Determination To Partially Close Two Meetings of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    ITA, DOC.

    ACTION:

    Notice of determination to partially close two meetings of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee (CINTAC).

    SUMMARY:

    This notice of determination announces the partial closure of the June 9, 2016 and August 4, 2016 meetings of the CINTAC.

    DATES:

    The meetings are scheduled for Thursday, June 9, 2016, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and Thursday August 4, 2016, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT. The public sessions of the meetings are from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meetings will be held in Room 1412, U.S. Department of Commerce, Herbert Clark Hoover Building, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Jonathan Chesebro, Office of Energy & Environmental Industries, ITA, Room 4053, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20230. (Phone: 202-482-1297; Fax: 202-482-5665; email: [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice of Determination

    In response to requests from representatives of a substantial segment of the U.S. civil nuclear industry and the U.S. Departments of State and Energy, the Secretary of Commerce, under discretionary authority, established the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee (the committee) in 2008, pursuant to provisions under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. 2. The committee was most recently re-chartered in August 2014 and the current charter is set to expire in August 2016. It advises the Secretary of Commerce on the development and administration of programs and policies to expand United States exports of civil nuclear goods and services in accordance with applicable U.S. laws and regulations, for use by the Department of Commerce in its role as a member of the Civil Nuclear Trade Working Group of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee and the Department's active participation in the Atoms for Prosperity interagency group to promote U.S. civil nuclear trade.

    In connection with that function, the committee provides advice on: (1) Matters concerning trade policy development and negotiations relating to U.S. civil nuclear exports; (2) the effect of U.S. Government policies, regulations, and programs, and the policies and practices of foreign governments on the export of U.S. civil nuclear goods and services; (3) the competitiveness of U.S. industry and its ability to compete for civil nuclear products and services opportunities in international markets, including specific problems in exporting, and U.S. Government and public/private actions to assist civil nuclear companies in expanding their exports; (4) the identification of priority civil nuclear markets with the potential for high immediate returns for U.S. exports, as well as emerging markets with a longer-term potential for U.S. exports; (5) strategies to increase private sector awareness and effective use of U.S. Government export promotion programs, and how U.S. Government programs may be more efficiently designed and coordinated; (6) the development of complementary industry and trade association export promotion programs, including ways for greater and more effective coordination of U.S. Government efforts with private sector organizations' civil nuclear export promotion efforts; and (7) the development of U.S. Government programs to encourage producers of civil nuclear products and services to enter new foreign markets, in connection with which the committee may advise on how to gather, disseminate, and promote awareness of information on civil nuclear exports and related trade issues.

    Committee members represent U.S. industry and related U.S. civil nuclear trade organizations.

    Committee activities are conducted consistent with the provisions of the FACA and its implementing regulations, 41 CFR subpart 102-3. FACA section 10(d) provides that an advisory committee meeting, or portions thereof, may be closed if the head of the agency to which the advisory committee reports determines such meeting may be closed to the public in accordance with subsection (c) of the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b(c)).

    The closed portions of the meetings will involve committee discussions of proposed U.S. Government strategies and policies regarding: (1) Nuclear cooperation agreements; (2) implementation of the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage; (3) proposed bilateral commercial nuclear working groups; and (4) identification of specific trade barriers impacting the U.S. civil nuclear industry.

    Subsection (c)(9)(B) of the Government in the Sunshine Act permits closure of a meeting or portion of a meeting if the meeting is likely to disclose information the premature disclosure of which would be likely to significantly frustrate implementation of a proposed agency action. 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B). Premature disclosure of matters one through three listed in the preceding paragraph would be likely to significantly impair the implementation of proposed agency policies and actions.

    Subsection (c)(4) of the Government in the Sunshine Act permits closure of a meeting or portion of a meeting if trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential will be disclosed at the meeting. 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(4). As noted above in matter four, the committee will discuss foreign trade barriers facing the U.S. civil nuclear industry, with the aim of developing proposals for how the U.S. Government can develop strategies to strengthen the industry's competitiveness as it competes abroad. This portion of the meeting will include the disclosure of committee members' trade secrets and privileged or confidential commercial or financial information as the members discuss the specific trade barriers their companies and subsectors have encountered.

    Accordingly, the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce has determined, pursuant to Section 10(d) of the FACA (5 U.S.C. App. 2 section 10(d)), that the portions of the June 9 and August 4, 2016 meetings described above shall be exempt from the provisions relating to public meetings found in 5 U.S.C. App. 2 sections 10(a)(1) and 10(a)(3). This determination shall be effective from the date of its signing on May 13, 2016.

    Man Cho, Director, Acting, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12268 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-030] Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Final Partial Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers/exporters of certain cold-rolled steel flat products (cold-rolled steel) from the People's Republic of China (the PRC). The Department also determines critical circumstances exist for certain imports of the subject merchandise from the PRC. The mandatory respondents in this investigation are the Government of the PRC (the GOC), Angang Group Hong Kong Co., Ltd. (Angang Hong Kong), and Benxi Iron and Steel (Group) Special Steel Co., Ltd. (Benxi Iron and Steel). The period of investigation is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: May 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Yasmin Bordas or John Corrigan, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-3813 or (202) 482-7438, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On December 22, 2015, the Department published its preliminary affirmative determination that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers/exporters of certain cold-rolled steel from the PRC in the Federal Register.1 We invited interested parties to comment on our preliminary determination.2 We only received comments regarding the scope of this investigation. No interested party requested a hearing.

    1See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Determination, Preliminary Partial Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 80 FR 79558 (December 22, 2015) (Preliminary Determination).

    2Id., at 79560.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain cold-rolled (cold-reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix II.

    Since the Preliminary Determination, eight interested parties (i.e., JFE Steel Corporation, Electrolux Home Products, Inc., Electrolux Home Care Products, Inc., ArcelorMittal USA LLC, AK Steel Corporation, Nucor Corporation, Steel Dynamics Inc., and United States Steel Corporation) commented on the scope of the investigation. The Department reviewed these comments and made no changes. For further discussion, see the Final Scope Comments Memorandum.3 The scope in Appendix II reflects the final scope language, which is unmodified from the scope as it appeared in the Preliminary Determination.

    3See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Final Scope Comments Decision Memorandum,” dated concurrently with this final determination (Final Scope Comments Memorandum).

    Verification

    None of the mandatory respondents in the investigation provided information requested by the Department. Hence, no verification was conducted.

    Analysis of Comments Received and Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    As discussed above, we received no comments from interested parties pertaining to the Preliminary Determination. Therefore, for this final determination, and pursuant to sections 776(a)-(d) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), we continue to rely on facts available for Angang Hong Kong and Benxi Iron and Steel, the two mandatory company respondents, and the GOC, which did not respond to either our primary questionnaires or new subsidy allegation questionnaires.4 We also continue to rely on facts available for Qian'an Golden Point Trading Co., Ltd. (Qian'an Golden Point), a non-selected exporter that did not respond to the Department's request for clarification with respect to its shipments of subject merchandise to the United States during the POI.5 Further, we continue to find that Angang Hong Kong, Benxi Iron and Steel, the GOC and Qian'an Golden Point failed to act to the best of their ability and, therefore, are drawing an adverse inference in selecting from among the facts otherwise available to determine whether the benefits provided by programs subject to this investigation constitute countervailable subsidies and calculate the ad valorem rates for Angang Hong Kong, Benxi Iron and Steel and Qian'an Golden Point.6

    4See Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Affirmative Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the People's Republic of China,” dated December 15, 2015 (Preliminary Decision Memorandum) at 9-10; see also Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, ”Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Affirmative Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the People's Republic of China,” dated concurrently with this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum) at 6-7.

    5Id.

    6See sections 776(a) and (b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).

    For this final determination, we continue to find all programs in this proceeding countervailable—that is, they provide a financial contribution within the meaning of sections 771(5)(B)(i) and (D) of the Act, confer a benefit within the meaning of section 771(5)(B) of the Act, and are specific within the meaning of section 771(5A) of the Act. We are therefore continuing to include these programs in the determination of the AFA rates for Angang Hong Kong, Benxi Iron and Steel, and Qian'an Golden Point.7 However, in a change from the Preliminary Determination, we are updating the AFA rates for two programs. The first of those programs is the Provision of Electricity for Less than Adequate Remuneration, and the second is Import Tariff and Value-Added Tax Exemptions for Foreign Invested Enterprises and Certain Domestic Enterprises Using Imported Equipment in Encouraged Industries. These changes are discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum which is incorporated by reference and hereby adopted in this final determination.8 The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    7See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 10-15.

    8See Issues and Decision Memorandum at “Application of AFA: Angang Hong Kong, Benxi Iron and Steel, Qian'an Golden Point, and the GOC.”

    Final Partial Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part

    On October 30, 2015, Petitioners timely filed a critical circumstances allegation, pursuant to section 703(e)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206(c)(1), alleging that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of cold-rolled steel from the PRC.9 In accordance with 19 CFR 351.206(c)(2)(i), we issued an affirmative preliminary critical circumstances determination. A discussion of that determination can be found in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum at the section, “Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances.” 10

    9See Letter from Petitioners, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the People's Republic of China, Japan, and the Russian Federation—Petitioners' Critical Circumstances Allegation,” dated October 30, 2015 (Critical Circumstances Allegation).

    10See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 17.

    As stated above, the Department did not receive any comments concerning the preliminary determination. Thus, in accordance with section 705(a)(2) of the Act, we continue to find, on the basis of adverse facts available, that critical circumstances exist with respect to Angang Hong Kong, Benxi Iron and Steel and Qian'an Golden Point. We continue to determine that critical circumstances do not exist for all other producers/exporters of cold-rolled steel from the PRC because we do not find massive imports pursuant to 19 CFR 351.206(h)-(i).11

    11Id. and Issues and Decision Memorandum at the section “Final Determination of Critical Circumstances, In Part.”

    Final Determination

    In accordance with section 705(c)(1)(B)(i) of the Act, we calculated a countervailing duty rate for the individually investigated producers/exporters of the subject merchandise, Angang Hong Kong, Benxi Iron and Steel, and for non-cooperative exporter Qian'an Golden Point. With respect to the all-others rate, section 705(c)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act provides that if the countervailable subsidy rates established for all exporters and producers individually investigated are determined entirely in accordance with section 776 of the Act, the Department may use any reasonable method to establish an all-others rate for exporters and producers not individually investigated. In this case, the rates assigned to Angang Hong Kong and Benxi Iron and Steel, are based entirely on facts otherwise available, with adverse inferences, under section 776 of the Act.

    All-Others Rate

    There is no other information on the record with which to determine an all-others rate. As a result, in accordance with section 705(c)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act, we have established the all-others rate by applying the countervailable subsidy rates for mandatory respondents Angang Hong Kong and Benxi Iron and Steel, which are the same as the rate applied to non-selected exporter Qian'an Golden Point. The final countervailable subsidy rates are summarized in the table below.

    Company Subsidy rate
  • (percent)
  • Angang Group Hong Kong Co., Ltd 256.44 Benxi Iron and Steel (Group) Special Steel Co., Ltd 256.44 Qian'an Golden Point Trading Co., Ltd 256.44 All-Others 256.44
    Suspension of Liquidation

    As a result of our Preliminary Determination, and pursuant to section 703(d)(1)(B) and (d)(2) of the Act, we instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend all entries of cold-rolled steel from the PRC, as described in the “Scope of the Investigation” that were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of the publication of the Preliminary Determination in the Federal Register, and to require a cash deposit for such entries of merchandise.12 In accordance with section 703(d) of the Act, we issued instructions to CBP to discontinue the suspension of liquidation for CVD purposes for subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, on or after April 20, 2016, but to continue the suspension of liquidation of all entries from December 22, 2015 through April 19, 2016.

    12See Preliminary Determination, 80 FR 79559.

    Moreover, as a result of our preliminary critical circumstances determination for Angang Hong Kong, Benxi Iron and Steel, and Qian'an Golden Point, pursuant to section 703(e)(2) of the Act, we instructed CBP to suspend liquidation of all entries of subject merchandise from the PRC which were entered or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption by these companies on or after September 23, 2015, the date 90 days prior to the date of the publication of the Preliminary Determination in the Federal Register.13 In accordance with section 703(d) of the Act, we later issued instructions to CBP to discontinue the suspension of liquidation for CVD purposes for subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse by Angang Hong Kong, Benxi Iron and Steel, or Qian'an Golden Point, on or after April 20, 2016, but to continue the suspension of liquidation of all entries from September 23, 2015 through April 29, 2016.

    13Id.

    If the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issues a final affirmative injury determination, we will issue a CVD order and reinstate the suspension of liquidation under section 706(a) of the Act and will require a cash deposit of estimated CVDs for such entries of merchandise in the amounts indicated above. If the ITC determines that material injury, or threat of material injury, does not exist, this proceeding will be terminated and all estimated duties deposited or securities posted as a result of the suspension of liquidation will be refunded or canceled.

    Disclosure

    We described the calculations used to determine countervailing duty rates based on adverse facts available in the Issues and Decision Memorandum.14 Thus, no additional disclosure of calculations is necessary for this final determination.

    14See Issues and Decision Memorandum at “Application of AFA: Angang Hong Kong, Benxi Iron and Steel, Qian'an Golden Point, and the GOC.”

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 705(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our final affirmative determination of the provision of countervailable subsidies and final affirmative determination of critical circumstances, in part. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 705(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will determine, within 45 days, whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of cold-rolled steel from the PRC, or sales (or the likelihood of sales) for importation, of cold-rolled steel from the PRC. If the ITC determines that such injury does not exist, this proceeding will be terminated and all securities posted will be refunded or canceled. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue a countervailing duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, countervailing duties on appropriate imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation.

    In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information related to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order (APO), without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice will serve as a reminder to the parties subject to administrative protective order (“APO”) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APOs in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. Timely written notification of return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 705(d) and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: May 16, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Investigation IV. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences V. Calculation of the All-Others Rate VI. Final Determination of Critical Circumstances, In Part VII. Recommendation Appendix II Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain cold-rolled (cold-reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances. The products covered do not include those that are clad, plated, or coated with metal. The products covered include coils that have a width or other lateral measurement (“width”) of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) Where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or

    • 3.30 percent of silicon, or

    • 1.50 percent of copper, or

    • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or

    • 1.25 percent of chromium, or

    • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or

    • 0.40 percent of lead, or

    • 2.00 percent of nickel, or

    • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or

    • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or

    • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or

    • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or

    • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels, high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels, motor lamination steels, Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS), and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS). IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum. Motor lamination steels contain micro-alloying levels of elements such as silicon and aluminum. AHSS and UHSS are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels, although AHSS and UHSS are covered whether or not they are high tensile strength or high elongation steels.

    Subject merchandise includes cold-rolled steel that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to annealing, tempering, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cold-rolled steel.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

    • Ball bearing steels; 15

    15 Ball bearing steels are defined as steels which contain, in addition to iron, each of the following elements by weight in the amount specified: (i) Not less than 0.95 nor more than 1.13 percent of carbon; (ii) not less than 0.22 nor more than 0.48 percent of manganese; (iii) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of sulfur; (iv) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of phosphorus; (v) not less than 0.18 nor more than 0.37 percent of silicon; (vi) not less than 1.25 nor more than 1.65 percent of chromium; (vii) none, or not more than 0.28 percent of nickel; (viii) none, or not more than 0.38 percent of copper; and (ix) none, or not more than 0.09 percent of molybdenum.

    • Tool steels; 16

    16 Tool steels are defined as steels which contain the following combinations of elements in the quantity by weight respectively indicated: (i) More than 1.2 percent carbon and more than 10.5 percent chromium; or (ii) not less than 0.3 percent carbon and 1.25 percent or more but less than 10.5 percent chromium; or (iii) not less than 0.85 percent carbon and 1 percent to 1.8 percent, inclusive, manganese; or (iv) 0.9 percent to 1.2 percent, inclusive, chromium and 0.9 percent to 1.4 percent, inclusive, molybdenum; or (v) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 3.5 percent molybdenum; or (vi) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 5.5 percent tungsten.

    • Silico-manganese steel;17

    17 Silico-manganese steel is defined as steels containing by weight: (i) Not more than 0.7 percent of carbon; (ii) 0.5 percent or more but not more than 1.9 percent of manganese, and (iii) 0.6 percent or more but not more than 2.3 percent of silicon.

    • Grain-oriented electrical steels (GOES) as defined in the final determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland. 18

    18Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland: Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Certain Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 79 FR 42,501, 42,503 (Dep't of Commerce, July 22, 2014). This determination defines grain-oriented electrical steel as “a flat-rolled alloy steel product containing by weight at least 0.6 percent but not more than 6 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, not more than 1.0 percent of aluminum, and no other element in an amount that would give the steel the characteristics of another alloy steel, in coils or in straight lengths.”

    • Non-Oriented Electrical Steels (NOES), as defined in the antidumping orders issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan. 19

    19Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan: Antidumping Duty Orders, 79 FR 71,741, 71,741-42 (Dep't of Commerce, Dec. 3, 2014). The orders define NOES as “cold-rolled, flat-rolled, alloy steel products, whether or not in coils, regardless of width, having an actual thickness of 0.20 mm or more, in which the core loss is substantially equal in any direction of magnetization in the plane of the material. The term `substantially equal' means that the cross grain direction of core loss is no more than 1.5 times the straight grain direction (i.e., the rolling direction) of core loss. NOES has a magnetic permeability that does not exceed 1.65 Tesla when tested at a field of 800 A/m (equivalent to 10 Oersteds) along (i.e., parallel to) the rolling direction of the sheet (i.e., B800 value). NOES contains by weight more than 1.00 percent of silicon but less than 3.5 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, and not more than 1.5 percent of aluminum. NOES has a surface oxide coating, to which an insulation coating may be applied.”

    The products subject to this investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7209.15.0000, 7209.16.0030, 7209.16.0060, 7209.16.0070, 7209.16.0091, 7209.17.0030, 7209.17.0060, 7209.17.0070, 7209.17.0091, 7209.18.1530, 7209.18.1560, 7209.18.2510, 7209.18.2520, 7209.18.2580, 7209.18.6020, 7209.18.6090, 7209.25.0000, 7209.26.0000, 7209.27.0000, 7209.28.0000, 7209.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7211.23.1500, 7211.23.2000, 7211.23.3000, 7211.23.4500, 7211.23.6030, 7211.23.6060, 7211.23.6090, 7211.29.2030, 7211.29.2090, 7211.29.4500, 7211.29.6030, 7211.29.6080, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.50.8080, 7225.99.0090, 7226.92.5000, 7226.92.7050, and 7226.92.8050. The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS numbers: 7210.90.9000, 7212.50.0000, 7215.10.0010, 7215.10.0080, 7215.50.0016, 7215.50.0018, 7215.50.0020, 7215.50.0061, 7215.50.0063, 7215.50.0065, 7215.50.0090, 7215.90.5000, 7217.10.1000, 7217.10.2000, 7217.10.3000, 7217.10.7000, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.19.0000, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.99.0180, 7228.50.5015, 7228.50.5040, 7228.50.5070, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2016-12183 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT or Committee), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), will meet in an open session on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time and Wednesday, June 8, 2016 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The VCAT is composed of fifteen members appointed by the NIST Director who are eminent in such fields as business, research, new product development, engineering, labor, education, management consulting, environment, and international relations.

    DATES:

    The VCAT will meet on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time and Wednesday, June 8, 2016 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in the Portrait Room, Administration Building, at NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899. Please note admittance instructions under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephanie Shaw, VCAT, NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 1060, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-1060, telephone number 301-975-2667. Ms. Shaw's email address is [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 278 and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App.

    The purpose of this meeting is for the VCAT to review and make recommendations regarding general policy for NIST, its organization, its budget, and its programs within the framework of applicable national policies as set forth by the President and the Congress. The agenda will include an update on major programs at NIST and presentations and discussions on safety at NIST. There will be presentations and discussion about how NIST achieves balance between core intramural research and extramural and convening activities in its Laboratory Programs. NIST's role in the Administration's National Strategic Computing Initiative will also be discussed. The agenda may change to accommodate Committee business. The final agenda will be posted on the NIST Web site at http://www.nist.gov/director/vcat/agenda.cfm.

    Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to offer comments and suggestions related to the Committee's affairs are invited to request a place on the agenda.

    On Wednesday, June 8, approximately one-half hour in the morning will be reserved for public comments and speaking times will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. The amount of time per speaker will be determined by the number of requests received, but is likely to be about 3 minutes each. The exact time for public comments will be included in the final agenda that will be posted on the NIST Web site at http://www.nist.gov/director/vcat/agenda.cfm. Questions from the public will not be considered during this period. Speakers who wish to expand upon their oral statements, those who had wished to speak but could not be accommodated on the agenda, and those who were unable to attend in person are invited to submit written statements to VCAT, NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, MS 1060, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, via fax at 301-216-0529 or electronically by email to [email protected] .

    All visitors to the NIST site are required to pre-register to be admitted. Please submit your name, time of arrival, email address and phone number to Stephanie Shaw by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Non-U.S. citizens must submit additional information; please contact Ms. Shaw. Ms. Shaw's email address is [email protected] and her phone number is 301-975-2667. For participants attending in person, please note that federal agencies, including NIST, can only accept a state-issued driver's license or identification card for access to federal facilities if such license or identification card is issued by a state that is compliant with the REAL ID Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-13), or by a state that has an extension for REAL ID compliance. NIST currently accepts other forms of federal-issued identification in lieu of a state-issued driver's license. For detailed information please contact Ms. Shaw at 301-975-2667 or visit: http://nist.gov/public_affairs/visitor/ .

    Kevin Kimball, NIST Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12293 Filed 5-20-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE642 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council's) Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel will hold a public meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Double Tree by Hilton Baltimore—BWI Airport, 890 Elkridge Landing Road, Linthicum, Maryland 21090; telephone: (410) 859-8400.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331 or on their Web site at www.mafmc.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, telephone: (302) 526-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Council's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel (AP) will meet jointly with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC's) Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss recent performance of the commercial and recreational fisheries for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass, and develop annual Fishery Performance Reports for these fisheries. The Council and the ASMFC will consider the Fishery Performance Reports later in 2016 when reviewing previously implemented multi-year fishery specifications (i.e., catch and landings limits and management measures) for 2017. The AP will also discuss summer flounder management alternatives under development for the Council and ASMFC's ongoing Comprehensive Summer Flounder Amendment.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: May 19, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12206 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE641 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Stock ID Work Group Meeting for Atlantic Blueline Tilefish (Caulolatilus microps) AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of SEDAR 50 Stock Identification (ID) Work Group Meeting for Atlantic blueline tilefish.

    SUMMARY:

    The SEDAR 50 assessment(s) of the Atlantic stock(s) of blueline tilefish will consist of a series of workshops and Webinars: Stock ID Work Group Meeting; Data Workshop; Assessment Workshop and Webinars; and a Review Workshop. For agenda details, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    DATES:

    The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, and end at 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 30, 2016. The established times may be adjusted as necessary to accommodate the timely completion of discussion relevant to the assessment process. Such adjustments may result in the meeting being extended from, or completed prior to the time established by this notice. Additional SEDAR 50 workshops and Webinar dates and times will publish in a subsequent issue in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton Raleigh Brownstone, 1707 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27605; phone 919-828-0811. The meeting will also be broadcast via Webinar so that members of the public can observe the meeting. Those interested in observing the meeting via Webinar should contact Julia Byrd at SEDAR to request an invitation providing Webinar access information. Please request Webinar invitations at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

    SEDAR address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405; Web site: www.sedarweb.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julia Byrd, SEDAR Coordinator, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405; phone (843) 571-4366; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Agenda

    The Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions, have implemented the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process, a multi-step method for determining the status of fish stocks in the Southeast Region. SEDAR is a three-step process including: (1) Data Workshop; (2) Assessment Process utilizing Webinars; and (3) Review Workshop. The product of the Data Workshop is a data report which compiles and evaluates potential datasets and recommends which datasets are appropriate for assessment analyses. The product of the Assessment Process is a stock assessment report which describes the fisheries, evaluates the status of the stock, estimates biological benchmarks, projects future population conditions, and recommends research and monitoring needs. The assessment is independently peer reviewed at the Review Workshop. The product of the Review Workshop is a Summary documenting panel opinions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the stock assessment and input data. Participants for SEDAR Workshops are appointed by the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, and Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Participants include: data collectors and database managers; stock assessment scientists, biologists, and researchers; constituency representatives including fishermen, environmentalists, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs); international experts; and staff of Councils, Commissions, and state and federal agencies.

    The items of discussion at the Stock ID Work Group meeting are as follows:

    1. Participants will use review genetic studies, growth patterns, existing stock definitions, prior SEDAR stock ID recommendations, and any other relevant information on blueline tilefish stock structure.

    2. Participants will make recommendations on biological stock structure and define the unit stock or stocks to be addressed through this assessment.

    3. Participants will provide recommendations to address Council management jurisdictions, to support management of the stock or stocks, and specification of management benchmarks and fishing levels by Council jurisdiction in a manner consistent with the productivity measures of the stock.

    4. Participants will document work group discussion and recommendations through a Data Workshop working paper for SEDAR 50.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the SAFMC at least ten (10) business days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: May 19, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12205 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE643 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a listening session via webinar regarding the 2017 recreational specifications for blueline tilefish off the Mid-Atlantic (from Virginia north).

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 7 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar with a telephone-only audio connection option: http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/bltls/.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State St., Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D. Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; telephone: (302) 526-5255. The Council's Web site, www.mafmc.org will also have details on webinar access and any background materials.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In April 2016, the Council recommended 2017 recreational measures for blueline tilefish off the Mid-Atlantic with an open season from May 1 to October 31 and bag limits of 7 fish per person for inspected for-hire vessels, 5 fish per person for uninspected for-hire vessels, and 3 fish per person for private vessels. Based on concerns of constituents regarding this recommendation, the Council has scheduled time at its June 13-16, 2016 meeting to potentially reconsider these measures. To provide additional opportunity for the public to comment on this issue, the Council will hold a webinar-based listening session. During the listening session Council staff will summarize the rationale for the original recommendation, answer questions, and take comments on possible alternatives, which will be provided to the Council. Telephone connection information is provided when individuals enter the webinar, or individuals can call (800) 832-0736 and enter *7833942# to access the audio portion of the webinar. Anyone not familiar with connecting to Council webinars and wishing to get connection assistance should contact Jason Didden at [email protected] or 302-526-5254 at least a day before the webinar.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: May 19, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12207 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force Board of Visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy Notice of Meeting; Amendment AGENCY:

    Board of Visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

    ACTION:

    Amended meeting notice (location change).

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with 10 U.S.C. 9355, the Board of Visitors (BoV) of the U.S. Air Force Academy will hold a meeting at the Cannon Building, Room 340, Washington, DC, on June 9, 2016. On Thursday, the meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will conclude at 3:45p.m. Due to circumstances beyond the control of the Designated Federal Officer and the Department of Defense, the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy is unable to provide public notification, as required by 41 CFR 102-3.150(a), concerning the change to the meeting location previously announced in Federal Register, 81 FR 30521 on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. Accordingly, the Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.150(b), waives the 15-calendar day notification requirement. The purpose of this meeting is to review morale and discipline, social climate, strategic communications, and other matters relating to the Academy. Specific topics for this meeting include a Superintendent's Update; USAFA Diversity Update; and Strategic Communications. Public attendance at this USAFA BoV meeting shall be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis up to the reasonable and safe capacity of the meeting room. In addition, any member of the public wishing to provide input to the USAFA BoV should submit a written statement in accordance with 41 CFR 102-3.140(c) and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the procedures described in this paragraph. Written statements must address the following details: The issue, discussion, and a recommended course of action. Supporting documentation may also be included as needed to establish the appropriate historical context and provide any necessary background information. Written statements can be submitted to the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) at the Air Force address detailed below at any time. However, if a written statement is not received at least 10 calendar days before the first day of the meeting which is the subject of this notice, then it may not be provided to or considered by the BoV until its next open meeting. The DFO will review all timely submissions with the BoV Chairman and ensure they are provided to members of the BoV before the meeting that is the subject of this notice. If after review of timely submitted written comments and the BoV Chairman and DFO deem appropriate, they may choose to invite the submitter of the written comments to orally present the issue during an open portion of the BoV meeting that is the subject of this notice. Members of the BoV may also petition the Chairman to allow specific personnel to make oral presentations before the BoV. In accordance with 41 CFR Section 102-3.140(d), any oral presentations before the BoV shall be in accordance with agency guidelines provided pursuant to a written invitation and this paragraph. Direct questioning of BoV members or meeting participants by the public is not permitted except with the approval of the DFO and Chairman. For the benefit of the public, rosters that list the names of BoV members and any releasable materials presented during the open portions of this BoV meeting shall be made available upon request.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information or to attend this BoV meeting, contact Lt Col Veronica Senia, Chief, Officer Accessions and Training, AF/A1PT, 1040 Air Force Pentagon, Washington, DC 20330, (703) 692-5577, [email protected]

    Henry Williams, Acting Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12165 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2015-HA-0008] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. 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 of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by July 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to Defense Health Agency, Performance Evaluation & Transition Management Branch, ATTN: Ann Fazzini, 16401 E. Centretech Parkway, Aurora, CO 80011-9066, telephone 303-676-3613.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Health Insurance Claim Form, UB-04 CMS.1450, OMB Control Number 0720-0013.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary for a medical institution to claim benefits under the Defense Health Program, TRICARE which includes the Civilian Health and Medical Program for the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS). The information collected will be used by TRICARE/CHAMPUS to determine beneficiary eligibility, other health insurance liability, certification that the beneficiary received the care, and that the provider is authorized to receive TRICARE/CHAMPUS payments. The form will be used by TRICARE/CHAMPUS and its contractors to determine the amount of benefits to be paid by TRICARE/CHAMPUS to institutional providers.

    Affected Public: Business or other for profit; Not-for-profit institutions.

    Annual Burden Hours: 135,000.

    Number of Respondents: 540,000.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 540,000.

    Average Burden per Response: 15 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    This collection instrument is for use by medical institutions filing for reimbursement with the Defense Health Program, TRICARE, which includes the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (TRICARE/CHAMPUS). TRICARE/CHAMPUS is a health benefits entitlement program for the dependents of active duty members of the Uniformed Services, and deceased sponsors, retirees and their dependents, of the Department of Homeland Security (Coast Guard) sponsors and certain North Atlantic Treaty Organization, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Public Health Service eligible beneficiaries. Use of the UB-04/CMS-1450 continues TRICARE/CHAMPUS commitments to use the national standard claim form for reimbursement of medical services/supplies provided by institutional providers.

    Dated: May 19, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12217 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2016-OS-0062] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics (Program Support), DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics (Program Support) announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. 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 of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by July 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, ATTN: Mailbox 24, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Defense Manpower Data Center, Synchronized Predeployment and Operational Tracker Enterprise Suite (SPOT-ES) Program Management Office, ATTN: Samuel Gregson, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Suite 04E25, Alexandria, VA 22350, or call SPOT-ES PMO at 571-372-1139.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Synchronized Predeployment and Operational Tracker Enterprise Suite (SPOT-ES); OMB Control Number 0704-0460.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to comply with section 861 of Public Law 110-181 and DoD Instruction 3020.41, “Operational Contract Support” and other appropriate policy, Memoranda of Understanding, and regulations. The Department of Defense, the Department of State (DoS), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) require that Government contract companies enter their employee's data into the Synchronized Predeployment and Operational Tracker (SPOT) System before contractors are deployed outside of the United States. SPOT is also used during Homeland Defense and Defense Support of Civil Authority Operations in the United States. Any persons who choose not to have data collected will not be entitled to employment opportunities which require this data to be collected.

    Affected Public: Business or other for profit.

    Annual Burden Hours: 46,760.

    Number of Respondents: 1670.

    Responses per Respondent: 56.

    Annual Responses: 93,520.

    Average Burden per Response: 30 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Data collection on contractors is a condition of DoD contracts when DFARS 252.225-7040, Contractor Personnel Authorized to Accompany U.S. Armed Forces Deployed Outside the United States, is incorporated. This clause applies when contractors are authorized to accompany U.S. Armed Forces deployed outside of the United States in contingency, humanitarian or peacekeeping operations or other military operations/exercises when designated by the Combatant Commander.

    SPOT is the authorized system for contractor accountability and the only system that provides the Letter of Authorization (LOA) which is required for access to Authorized Government Services (AGS) which are assigned on the LOA for each individual contractor IAW their contract by the responsible Contracting Officer. If the data is not collected to generate the LOA, contractors would not be able to obtain AGS in their deployed locations, including access to dining facilities—limiting their ability to obtain critical life support.

    Dated: May 18, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12130 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Federal Need Analysis Methodology for the 2017-18 Award Year—Federal Pell Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant and TEACH Grant Programs AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Numbers: 84.063; 84.038; 84.033; 84.007; 84.268; 84.408; 84.379.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary announces the annual updates to the tables used in the statutory Federal Need Analysis Methodology that determines a student's expected family contribution (EFC) for award year 2017-18 for these student financial aid programs. The intent of this notice is to alert the financial aid community and the broader public to these required annual updates used in the determination of student aid eligibility.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Marya Dennis, U.S. Department of Education, room 63G2, Union Center Plaza, 830 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20202-5454. Telephone: (202) 377-3385.

    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:

    Part F of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), specifies the criteria, data elements, calculations, and tables the Department of Education (Department) uses in the Federal Need Analysis Methodology to determine the EFC.

    Section 478 of the HEA requires the Secretary to annually update the following four tables for price inflation—the Income Protection Allowance (IPA), the Adjusted Net Worth (NW) of a Business or Farm, the Education Savings and Asset Protection Allowance, and the Assessment Schedules and Rates. The updates are based, in general, upon increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

    For award year 2017-18, the Secretary is charged with updating the IPA for parents of dependent students, adjusted NW of a business or farm, the education savings and asset protection allowance, and the assessment schedules and rates to account for inflation that took place between December 2015 and December 2016. However, because the Secretary must publish these tables before December 2016, the increases in the tables must be based on a percentage equal to the estimated percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for 2016. The Secretary must also account for any under- or over-estimation of inflation for the preceding year.

    In developing the table values for the 2016-17 award year, the Secretary assumed a 2.5 percent increase in the CPI-U for the period December 2014 through December 2015. Actual inflation for this time period was .7 percent. The Secretary estimates that the increase in the CPI-U for the period December 2015 through December 2016 will be 2.1 percent.

    Additionally, section 601 of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (CCRAA, Pub. L. 110-84) amended sections 475 through 478 of the HEA affecting the IPA tables for the 2009-10 through 2012-13 award years and required the Department to use a percentage of the estimated CPI to update the table in subsequent years. These changes to the IPA impact dependent students, as well as independent students with dependents other than a spouse and independent students without dependents other than a spouse. This notice includes the new 2017-18 award year values for the IPA tables, which reflect the CCRAA amendments. The updated tables are in sections 1 (Income Protection Allowance), 2 (Adjusted Net Worth of a Business or Farm), and 4 (Assessment Schedules and Rates) of this notice.

    As provided for in section 478(d) of the HEA, the Secretary must also revise the education savings and asset protection allowances for each award year. The Education Savings and Asset Protection Allowance table for award year 2017-18 has been updated in section 3 of this notice.

    Section 478(h) of the HEA also requires the Secretary to increase the amount specified for the employment expense allowance, adjusted for inflation. This calculation is based on increases in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' marginal costs budget for a two-worker family compared to a one-worker family. The items covered by this calculation are: food away from home, apparel, transportation, and household furnishings and operations. The Employment Expense Allowance table for award year 2017-18 has been updated in section 5 of this notice.

    The HEA requires the following annual updates:

    1. Income Protection Allowance. This allowance is the amount of living expenses associated with the maintenance of an individual or family that may be offset against the family's income. The allowance varies by family size. The IPA for the dependent student is $6,420. The IPAs for parents of dependent students for award year 2017-18 are as follows:

    Parents of Dependent Students Family size Number in college 1 2 3 4 5 2 $17,910 $14,840 3 22,300 19,250 $16,190 4 27,540 24,480 21,430 $18,360 5 32,490 29,430 26,380 23,320 $20,270 6 38,010 34,940 31,900 28,830 25,790

    For each additional family member add $4,290. For each additional college student subtract $3,050.

    The IPAs for independent students with dependents other than a spouse for award year 2017-18 are as follows:

    Independent Students With Dependents Other Than a Spouse Family size Number in college 1 2 3 4 5 2 $25,280 $20,960 3 31,480 27,180 $22,860 4 38,870 34,560 30,260 $25,930 5 45,870 41,540 37,240 32,920 $28,620 6 53,640 49,330 45,040 40,690 36,400

    For each additional family member add $6,060. For each additional college student subtract $4,300.

    The IPAs for single independent students and independent students without dependents other than a spouse for award year 2017-18 are as follows:

    Marital status Number in college IPA Single 1 $9,980 Married 2 9,980 Married 1 16,010

    2. Adjusted Net Worth of a Business or Farm. A portion of the full NW (assets less debts) of a business or farm is excluded from the calculation of an expected contribution because (1) the income produced from these assets is already assessed in another part of the formula; and (2) the formula protects a portion of the value of the assets.

    The portion of these assets included in the contribution calculation is computed according to the following schedule. This schedule is used for parents of dependent students, independent students without dependents other than a spouse, and independent students with dependents other than a spouse.

    If the NW of a business or farm is Then the adjusted NW is Less than $1 $0. $1 to $130,000 $0 + 40% of NW. $130,001 to $385,000 $52,000 + 50% of NW over $130,000. $385,001 to $640,000 $179,500 + 60% of NW over $385,000. $640,001 or more $332,500 + 100% of NW over $640,000.

    3. Education Savings and Asset Protection Allowance. This allowance protects a portion of NW (assets less debts) from being considered available for postsecondary educational expenses. There are three asset protection allowance tables: one for parents of dependent students, one for independent students without dependents other than a spouse, and one for independent students with dependents other than a spouse.

    Parents of Dependent Students If the age of the older parent is And they are Married Single Then the education savings and asset protection allowance is 26 1,100 600 27 2,200 1,300 28 3,400 1,900 29 4,500 2,600 30 5,600 3,200 31 6,700 3,800 32 7,800 4,500 33 9,000 5,100 34 10,100 5,800 35 11,200 6,400 36 12,300 7,000 37 13,400 7,700 38 14,600 8,300 39 15,700 9,000 40 16,800 9,600 41 17,100 9,800 42 17,500 10,000 43 17,900 10,200 44 18,400 10,500 45 18,800 10,700 46 19,300 10,900 47 19,800 11,200 48 20,200 11,400 49 20,700 11,700 50 21,200 12,000 51 21,700 12,200 52 22,400 12,500 53 22,900 12,800 54 23,600 13,200 55 24,100 13,500 56 24,800 13,800 57 25,600 14,100 58 26,200 14,500 59 26,900 14,900 60 27,700 15,200 61 28,500 15,600 62 29,300 16,000 63 30,100 16,400 64 31,100 16,900 65 or older 31,900 17,300 Independent Students With Dependents Other Than a Spouse If the age of the student is And they are Married Single Then the education savings and asset protection allowance is 25 or less 0 0 26 1,100 600 27 2,200 1,300 28 3,400 1,900 29 4,500 2,600 30 5,600 3,200 31 6,700 3,800 32 7,800 4,500 33 9,000 5,100 34 10,100 5,800 35 11,200 6,400 36 12,300 7,000 37 13,400 7,700 38 14,600 8,300 39 15,700 9,000 40 16,800 9,600 41 17,100 9,800 42 17,500 10,000 43 17,900 10,200 44 18,400 10,500 45 18,800 10,700 46 19,300 10,900 47 19,800 11,200 48 20,200 11,400 49 20,700 11,700 50 21,200 12,000 51 21,700 12,200 52 22,400 12,500 53 22,900 12,800 54 23,600 13,200 55 24,100 13,500 56 24,800 13,800 57 25,600 14,100 58 26,200 14,500 59 26,900 14,900 60 27,700 15,200 61 28,500 15,600 62 29,300 16,000 63 30,100 16,400 64 31,100 16,900 65 or older 31,900 17,300 Independent Students Without Dependents Other Than a Spouse If the age of the student is And they are Married Single Then the education savings and asset protection allowance is 25 or less 0 0 26 1,100 600 27 2,200 1,300 28 3,400 1,900 29 4,500 2,600 30 5,600 3,200 31 6,700 3,800 32 7,800 4,500 33 9,000 5,100 34 10,100 5,800 35 11,200 6,400 36 12,300 7,000 37 13,400 7,700 38 14,600 8,300 39 15,700 9,000 40 16,800 9,600 41 17,100 9,800 42 17,500 10,000 43 17,900 10,200 44 18,400 10,500 45 18,800 10,700 46 19,300 10,900 47 19,800 11,200 48 20,200 11,400 49 20,700 11,700 50 21,200 12,000 51 21,700 12,200 52 22,400 12,500 53 22,900 12,800 54 23,600 13,200 55 24,100 13,500 56 24,800 13,800 57 25,600 14,100 58 26,200 14,500 59 26,900 14,900 60 27,700 15,200 61 28,500 15,600 62 29,300 16,000 63 30,100 16,400 64 31,100 16,900 65 or older 31,900 17,300

    4. Assessment Schedules and Rates. Two schedules that are subject to updates—one for parents of dependent students and one for independent students with dependents other than a spouse—are used to determine the EFC from family financial resources toward educational expenses. For dependent students, the EFC is derived from an assessment of the parents' adjusted available income (AAI). For independent students with dependents other than a spouse, the EFC is derived from an assessment of the family's AAI. The AAI represents a measure of a family's financial strength, which considers both income and assets.

    The parents' contribution for a dependent student is computed according to the following schedule:

    If AAI is Then the Contribution is Less than −$3,409 −$750. −$3,409 to $16,000 22% of AAI. $16,001 to $20,100 $3,520 + 25% of AAI over $16,000. $20,101 to $24,200 $4,545 + 29% of AAI over $20,100. $24,201 to $28,300 $5,734 + 34% of AAI over $24,200. $28,301 to $32,300 $7,128 + 40% of AAI over $28,300. $32,301 or more $8,728 + 47% of AAI over $32,300.

    The contribution for an independent student with dependents other than a spouse is computed according to the following schedule:

    If AAI is Then the Contribution is Less than −$3,409 −$750. −$3,409 to $16,000 22% of AAI. $16,001 to $20,100 $3,520 + 25% of AAI over $16,000. $20,101 to $24,200 $4,545 + 29% of AAI over $20,100. $24,201 to $28,300 $5,734 + 34% of AAI over $24,200. $28,301 to $32,300 $7,128 + 40% of AAI over $28,300. $32,301 or more $8,728 + 47% of AAI over $32,300.

    5. Employment Expense Allowance. This allowance for employment-related expenses—which is used for the parents of dependent students and for married independent students—recognizes additional expenses incurred by working spouses and single-parent households. The allowance is based on the marginal differences in costs for a two-worker family compared to a one-worker family. The items covered by these additional expenses are: Food away from home, apparel, transportation, and household furnishings and operations.

    The employment expense allowance for parents of dependent students, married independent students without dependents other than a spouse, and independent students with dependents other than a spouse is the lesser of $4,000 or 35 percent of earned income.

    6. Allowance for State and Other Taxes. The allowance for State and other taxes protects a portion of parents' and students' incomes from being considered available for postsecondary educational expenses. There are four categories for State and other taxes, one each for parents of dependent students, independent students with dependents other than a spouse, dependent students, and independent students without dependents other than a spouse. Section 478(g) of the HEA directs the Secretary to update the tables for State and other taxes after reviewing the Statistics of Income file data maintained by the Internal Revenue Service.

    State Parents of dependents and
  • independents with dependents
  • other than a spouse
  • Percent of total income Under $15,000 $15,000 & up Dependents
  • and
  • independents
  • without
  • dependents
  • other than a
  • spouse
  • All
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    Program Authority:

    20 U.S.C. 1087rr.

    Dated: May 19, 2016. James W. Runcie, Chief Operating Officer, Federal Student Aid.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12250 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas, To Import and Export Liquefied Natural Gas, Denying Request for Rehearing, and Granting Motion for Extension of Time To File During April 2016 FE Docket Nos. DOMINION COVE POINT LNG, LP 11-128-LNG FLINT HILLS RESOURCES, LP 15-168-LNG MORGAN STANLEY CAPITAL GROUP, INC 16-42-LNG POWER CITY PARTNERS, L.P 16-41-NG IGI RESOURCES, INC 16-46-NG EMPIRE NATURAL GAS CORPORATION 16-48-NG SOCCO, INC 16-44-NG JM & RAL ENERGY, INC 16-51-NG SEMPRA LNG MARKETING, LLC 16-52-LNG TOURMALINE OIL MARKETING CORP 16-43-NG SEQUENT ENERGY MANAGEMENT, L.P 16-40-NG JORDAN COVE ENERGY PROJECT L.P 12-32-LNG AGENCY:

    Office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of orders.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy gives notice that during April 2016, it issued orders granting authority to import and export natural gas, to import and export liquefied natural gas (LNG), denying request for rehearing, and granting motion for extension of time to file. These orders are summarized in the attached appendix and may be found on the FE Web site at http://energy.gov/fe/listing-doefe-authorizationsorders-issued-2016. They are also available for inspection and copying in the U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Division of Natural Gas Regulation, Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy, Docket Room 3E-033, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-9478. The Docket Room is open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 16, 2016. John A. Anderson, Director, Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Oil and Natural Gas. Appendix—DOE/FE Orders Granting Import/Export Authorizations 3331-B 04/18/16 11-128-LNG Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP Opinion and Order denying request for rehearing of Order granting Long-term Multi-contract authority to export LNG by vessel from the Cove Point LNG Terminal in Calvert County, Maryland, to Non-free Trade Agreement Nations. 3809 04/13/16 15-168-LNG Flint Hills Resources, LP Order granting Long-term, Multi-contract authority to export LNG in ISO containers or in Bulk Loaded at the Stabilis LNG Eagle Ford, LLC Facility in George West, Texas, and exported by vessel to Free Trade Agreement Nations. 3810 04/13/16 16-42-LNG Morgan Stanley Capital Group, Inc Order granting blanket authority to import LNG from various international sources by vessel. 3811 04/13/16 16-41-NG Power City Partners, L.P Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3812 04/14/16 16-46-NG IGI Resources, Inc. Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3813 04/14/16 16-48-NG Empire Natural Gas Corporation Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3814 04/14/16 16-44-NG Socco, Inc Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3815 04/28/16 16-51-NG JM & RAL Energy, Inc Order granting blanket authority to export natural gas to Mexico. 3816 04/28/16 16-52-LNG Sempra LNG Marketing, LLC Order granting blanket authority to import LNG from various international sources by vessel. 3817 04/28/16 16-43-NG Tourmaline Oil Marketing Corp Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3818 04/29/16 16-40-NG Sequent Energy Management, L.P Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. Procedural Order 04/01/16 12-32-LNG Jordan Cove Energy Project L.P Order granting Motion for Extension of Time to File Answers to Motions to Intervene and Protests.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12281 Filed 5-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. EA-381-A] Application To Export Electric Energy; E-T Global Energy, LLC AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    E-T Global Energy, LLC (Applicant or E-T Global) has applied to renew its authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Mexico pursuant to section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act.

    DATES:

    Comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be submitted on or before June 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, protests, motions to intervene, or requests for more information should be addressed to: Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Mail Code: OE-20, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0350. Because of delays in handling conventional mail, it is recommended that documents be transmitted by overnight mail, by electronic mail to [email protected], or by facsimile to 202-586-8008.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Exports of electricity from the United States to a foreign country are regulated by the Department of Energy (DOE) pursuant to sections 301(b) and 402(f) of the Department of Energy Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7151(b), 7172(f)) and require authorization under se