Federal Register Vol. 81, No.102,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 102 (May 26, 2016)

Page Range33331-33580
FR Document

81_FR_102
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 33575 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Ed Ruscha and the Great American West” ExhibitionPDF
81 FR 33359 - Irish Potatoes Grown in ColoradoPDF
81 FR 33331 - 2016 Amendments to the Manual for Courts-Martial, United StatesPDF
81 FR 33556 - Foreign Ownership, Control, or Domination of Nuclear Power, and Non-Power Production or Utilization FacilityPDF
81 FR 33555 - Draft Standard Review Plan on Foreign Ownership, Control, or Domination, Revision 1PDF
81 FR 33575 - Annual Certification of Shrimp-Harvesting NationsPDF
81 FR 33465 - Certain Frozen Fish Fillets From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Notice of Court Decisions Not in Harmony With Final Results of Administrative Review and Notice of Amended Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative ReviewPDF
81 FR 33466 - Certain Petroleum Wax Candles From the People's Republic of China: Continuation of Antidumping Duty OrderPDF
81 FR 33544 - Privacy Act of 1974; as Amended; Notice To Amend an Existing System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 33463 - Initiation and Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review: Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules From the People's Republic of ChinaPDF
81 FR 33463 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 196-Fort Worth, Texas; Authorization of Production Activity; General Electric Transportation (Locomotives, Drill Equipment, Off-Highway Vehicle Wheels, Inverters and Brake Systems), Fort Worth and Haslet, TexasPDF
81 FR 33463 - Reorganization of Foreign-Trade Zone 191 Under Alternative Site Framework; Palmdale, CaliforniaPDF
81 FR 33462 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 33437 - Proposed Inlet Barrier Filter for Rotorcraft Policy StatementPDF
81 FR 33533 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 33461 - Notice of Intent To Request Revision and Extension of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
81 FR 33459 - Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive LicensePDF
81 FR 33579 - Home Federal Savings and Loan Association of Collinsville, Collinsville, Illinois; Approval of Conversion ApplicationPDF
81 FR 33530 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Recordkeeping for Institutional Dual Use Research of Concern (iDURC) Policy CompliancePDF
81 FR 33461 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 33480 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; “Requirements for Patent Applications Containing Nucleotide Sequence and/or Amino Acid Sequence Disclosures”PDF
81 FR 33537 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 33467 - U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 33557 - Seventh Northwest Electric Power and Conservation PlanPDF
81 FR 33541 - Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Minority HealthPDF
81 FR 33540 - Meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant BacteriaPDF
81 FR 33533 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Announcement of Board Approval Under Delegated Authority and Submission to OMBPDF
81 FR 33534 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Announcement of Board Approval Under Delegated Authority and Submission to OMBPDF
81 FR 33481 - Revised Non-Foreign Overseas Per Diem RatesPDF
81 FR 33456 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management in the Gulf of Alaska Trawl Fisheries; Amendment 103PDF
81 FR 33547 - Certain Digital Video Receivers and Hardware and Software Components Thereof; Institution of InvestigationPDF
81 FR 33494 - Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory CommitteesPDF
81 FR 33538 - Announcement of Award of an Urgent Single-Source Grant to Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services in Clearwater, FLPDF
81 FR 33532 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
81 FR 33496 - Nuclear Energy Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 33493 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 33552 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Access to Multiemployer Plan InformationPDF
81 FR 33553 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; H-1B Technical Skills Training and Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge GrantsPDF
81 FR 33554 - Preparations for the 31st Session of the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (UNSCEGHS)PDF
81 FR 33468 - Endangered and Threatened Species; 5-Year Reviews for 28 Listed Species of Pacific Salmon, Steelhead, and EulachonPDF
81 FR 33469 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of 12-Month Finding on a Petition To Delist the Snake River Fall-Run Chinook Salmon Evolutionarily Significant Unit Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)PDF
81 FR 33468 - Endangered Species; File No. 18029PDF
81 FR 33543 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Passenger List/Crew List (CBP Form I-418)PDF
81 FR 33542 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Application To Pay Off or Discharge an Alien CrewmanPDF
81 FR 33541 - Agency Information Collection Activities: NAFTA Regulations and Certificate of OriginPDF
81 FR 33543 - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Enhancement of Survival Permit; Draft Mitchell's Satyr Safe Harbor AgreementPDF
81 FR 33577 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure DisordersPDF
81 FR 33493 - Meeting of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS)PDF
81 FR 33525 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
81 FR 33528 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 33441 - Disturbance Control Standard-Contingency Reserve for Recovery From a Balancing Contingency Event Reliability StandardPDF
81 FR 33375 - Refinements to Policies and Procedures for Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public UtilitiesPDF
81 FR 33502 - Policy StatementPDF
81 FR 33522 - Constellation Power Source Generation, LLC; Notice of Institution of Section 206 Proceeding and Refund Effective DatePDF
81 FR 33520 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 33521 - Revisions to Oil Pipeline Regulations Pursuant to the Energy Policy Act of 1992; Notice of Annual Change in the Producer Price Index for Finished GoodsPDF
81 FR 33524 - Rivertec Partners, LLC; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
81 FR 33526 - Reactive Supply Compensation in Markets Operated by Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators; Supplemental Notice of WorkshopPDF
81 FR 33524 - New England Hydropower Company, LLC; Notice of Availability of Environmental AssessmentPDF
81 FR 33524 - Notice of Staff Attendance at South Carolina Regional Transmission Planning MeetingPDF
81 FR 33522 - Aurora Generation, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 33522 - Bright Light Capital, LLC; Notice of Supplement To Petiton for Declaratory OrderPDF
81 FR 33527 - Texas Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of Request Under Blanket AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 33528 - Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc.; Notice of ApplicationPDF
81 FR 33519 - Rio Grande LNG, LLC, Rio Bravo Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of ApplicationPDF
81 FR 33498 - Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed SM-80 MAOP Restoration ProjectPDF
81 FR 33518 - Town of Payson, AZ; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, Protests, Recommendations, and Terms and ConditionsPDF
81 FR 33499 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC Form 80, FERC-550, and FERC-549); Consolidated Comment Request; ExtensionPDF
81 FR 33523 - Windham Solar LLC, Allco Finance Limited; Notice of Petition for EnforcementPDF
81 FR 33518 - San Diego Gas & Electric Company v. Sellers of Energy and Ancillary Services Into Markets Operated by the California Independent System Operator Corporation and the California Power Exchange; Investigation of Practices of the California Independent System Operator and the California Power Exchange; Notice of Compliance FilingPDF
81 FR 33525 - San Diego Gas & Electric Company v. Sellers of Energy and Ancillary Services Into Markets Operated by the California Independent System Operator Corporation and the California Power Exchange; Investigation of Practices of the California Independent System Operator and the California Power Exchange; Notice of Compliance FilingPDF
81 FR 33529 - Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Supplemental Agenda NoticePDF
81 FR 33523 - Southwest Gas Storage Company; Notice of Request Under Blanket AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 33391 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; York River, Yorktown, VAPDF
81 FR 33550 - Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 33538 - Ingredients Declared as Evaporated Cane Juice; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 33577 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 33560 - Mail Classification Schedule Changes Pertaining to Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelopes and Priority Mail International Small Flat Rate BoxesPDF
81 FR 33531 - FCC To Hold Open Commission Meeting, Wednesday, May 25, 2016PDF
81 FR 33394 - Air Plan Approval; ME; Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions From Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing and Surface Coating FacilitiesPDF
81 FR 33453 - Air Plan Approval; ME; Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions From Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing and Surface Coating FacilitiesPDF
81 FR 33558 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 33559 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 33560 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 33374 - Retail Foreign Exchange TransactionsPDF
81 FR 33565 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ISE Gemini, LLC; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change Related to Market Wide Risk ProtectionPDF
81 FR 33563 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, To Add Additional Order Types to the NYSE BondsSMPDF
81 FR 33571 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change To Require Listed Companies to Publicly Disclose Compensation or Other Payments by Third Parties to Board of Director's Members or NomineesPDF
81 FR 33572 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Options Pricing at Chapter XV, Section 2PDF
81 FR 33568 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Options Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend BOX Rule 12140 (Imposition of Fines for Minor Rule Violations) To Amend the Sanctions for Quotation Parameters and Permit the Aggregation of Violations for the Purpose of Determining What Is an OccurrencePDF
81 FR 33561 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change Related to Market Wide Risk ProtectionPDF
81 FR 33570 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 4 Thereto, Amending NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600 To Adopt Generic Listing Standards for Managed Fund SharesPDF
81 FR 33567 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendments Nos. 1, 3, and 4 Thereto, To Amend BATS Rule 14.11(i) To Adopt Generic Listing Standards for Managed Fund SharesPDF
81 FR 33460 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 33397 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; State of California; Revised Format for Materials Incorporated by ReferencePDF
81 FR 33416 - Endangered and Threatened Species: Designation of Experimental Populations Under the Endangered Species ActPDF
81 FR 33494 - Government-Industry Advisory Panel; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 33536 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 33548 - Certain Motorized Self-Balancing Vehicles; Notice of Institution of InvestigationPDF
81 FR 33392 - Safety Zone; Monongahela River Mile 97.5 to Mile 100.5, Morgantown, WVPDF
81 FR 33535 - General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Submission for OMB Review; Modifications 552.238-81PDF
81 FR 33496 - Extension of Deadline Date; Data Disaggregation Initiative ProgramPDF
81 FR 33530 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Pulp and Paper Production (Renewal)PDF
81 FR 33389 - Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation AdjustmentPDF
81 FR 33448 - Commerce in Firearms and Explosives; Secure Gun Storage, Amended Definition of Antique Firearm, and Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
81 FR 33550 - Proposed Extension of Information Collection RequestsPDF
81 FR 33438 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
81 FR 33576 - Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad Company-Acquisition and Operation Exemption-Locust Valley Coal Company d/b/a Locust Valley LinePDF
81 FR 33416 - Revision to the Surface Transportation Board's CFR Chapter Heading Pursuant to the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015PDF
81 FR 33579 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel REEL OBSESSION; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
81 FR 33424 - Recordkeeping for Timely Deposit Insurance DeterminationPDF
81 FR 33497 - Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P.FLNG Liquefaction, LLC, FLNG Liquefaction 2, LLC, and FLNG Liquefaction 3, LLC Statement Regarding Change in ControlPDF
81 FR 33579 - Proposed Collections; Comment RequestsPDF
81 FR 33571 - Investor Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 33454 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual SpecificationsPDF
81 FR 33371 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
81 FR 33359 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
81 FR 33424 - Technical and Conforming Changes and Corrections to FHFA RegulationsPDF
81 FR 33363 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
81 FR 33368 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
81 FR 33366 - Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. AirplanesPDF
81 FR 33387 - The Reorganization and Delegation of Authority for the Procedures Involving the Election of Officers in Federal Sector Labor Organizations; Filing Threshold for Simplified Annual Reports; and Instructions Regarding the Reports for Labor Organization Officer and Employee, Labor Organization Annual Report, Trusteeship, and Terminal TrusteeshipPDF

Issue

81 102 Thursday, May 26, 2016 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service RULES Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado; CFR Correction, 33359 2016-12582 Agricultural Research Agricultural Research Service NOTICES Proposed Exclusive Licenses, 2016-12460 2016-12490 33459-33460 2016-12492 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Agricultural Research Service

See

Food and Nutrition Service

See

National Agricultural Statistics Service

Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau PROPOSED RULES Commerce in Firearms and Explosives: Secure Gun Storage, Amended Definition of Antique Firearm, and Miscellaneous Amendments, 33448-33453 2016-12364 Broadcasting Broadcasting Board of Governors NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 33462-33463 2016-12527 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33536-33538 2016-12376 2016-12476 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Single-Source Grants: Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services, Clearwater, FL, 33538 2016-12462 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: York River, Yorktown, VA, 33391-33392 2016-12405 Safety Zones: Monongahela River mile 97.5 to mile 100.5, Morgantown, WV, 33392-33394 2016-12371 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Approval of Conversion Application: Home Federal Savings and Loan Association of Collinsville, Collinsville, IL, 33579 2016-12489 Defense Department Defense Department RULES Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment, 33389-33391 2016-12365 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33493 2016-12458 Charter Renewals: Federal Advisory Committees, 33494 2016-12463 Meetings: Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, 33493-33494 2016-12432 Government-Industry Advisory Panel, 33494-33496 2016-12377 Revised Non-Foreign Overseas Per Diem Rates, 33481-33492 2016-12469 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Extension of Deadline Date on Data Disaggregation Initiative Program, 33496 2016-12368 Employee Benefits Employee Benefits Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33550-33552 2016-12363 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Changes in Control: Freeport LNG Expansion, LP, FLNG Liquefaction, LLC, FLNG Liquefaction 2, LLC, and FLNG Liquefaction 3, LLC, 33497-33498 2016-12315 Meetings: Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee, 33496-33497 2016-12459
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; Revised Format for Materials Incorporated by Reference, 33397-33416 2016-12380 Maine; Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing and Surface Coating Facilities, 33394-33397 2016-12398 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Maine; Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing and Surface Coating Facilities, 33453-33454 2016-12397 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: NESHAP for Pulp and Paper Production, 33530-33531 2016-12367 Recordkeeping for Institutional Dual Use Research of Concern Policy Compliance, 33530 2016-12488 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 33359-33363, 33368-33371 2016-11931 2016-12156 Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes, 33363-33366, 33371-33374 2016-11932 2016-12157 Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes, 33366-33368 2016-11930 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 33438-33441 2016-12352 Meetings: Proposed Inlet Barrier Filter for Rotorcraft Policy Statement, 33437-33438 2016-12526 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33532-33533 2016-12461 Meetings: Open Commission Meeting, 33531-33532 2016-12399 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation PROPOSED RULES Recordkeeping for Timely Deposit Insurance Determination, 33424 2016-12325 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission RULES Refinements to Policies and Procedures for Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities, 33375-33387 2016-12427 PROPOSED RULES Disturbance Control Standard: Contingency Reserve for Recovery from a Balancing Contingency Event Reliability Standard, 33441-33448 2016-12428 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33499-33502 2016-12411 Annual Change in the Producer Price Index for Finished Goods, 33521-33522 2016-12423 Applications: Payson, AZ, 33518-33519 2016-12412 Rio Grande LNG, LLC; Rio Bravo Pipeline Co., LLC, 33519-33520 2016-12414 Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc., 33528 2016-12415 Combined Filings, 33520-33521, 33525, 33528-33529 2016-12424 2016-12429 2016-12430 Compliance Filings: San Diego Gas and Electric Co. v. Sellers of Energy and Ancillary Services Into Markets Operated by the California Independent System Operator Corp. et al., 2016-12409 33518, 33525-33526 2016-12408 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC; SM-80 MAOP Restoration Project, 33498-33499 2016-12413 New England Hydropower Co., LLC, 33524-33525 2016-12420 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Aurora Generation, LLC, 33522-33523 2016-12418 Meetings: Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency through Improved Software; Supplemental Agenda, 33529-33530 2016-12407 Reactive Supply Compensation in Markets Operated by Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operator; Workshops, 33526-33527 2016-12421 Petitions for Enforcement: Windham Solar LLC; Allco Finance Ltd., 33523 2016-12410 Petitons for Declaratory Orders: Bright Light Capital, LLC, 33522 2016-12417 Policy Statement, 33502-33518 2016-12426 Preliminary Permit Applications: Rivertec Partners, LLC, 33524 2016-12422 Refund Effective Dates: Constellation Power Source Generation, LLC, 33522 2016-12425 Requests under Blanket Authorization: Southwest Gas Storage Co., 33523-33524 2016-12406 Texas Gas Transmission, LLC, 33527-33528 2016-12416 Staff Attendances, 33524 2016-12419 Federal Housing Finance Agency Federal Housing Finance Agency PROPOSED RULES Technical and Conforming Changes and Corrections, 33424-33437 2016-12066 Federal Mine Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 33533 2016-12507 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders, 33577-33579 2016-12436 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33533-33535 2016-12470 2016-12471 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Enhancement of Survival Permits: Draft Mitchell's Satyr Safe Harbor Agreement, 33543-33544 2016-12438 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Guidance: Ingredients Declared as Evaporated Cane Juice, 33538-33540 2016-12402 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33460-33461 2016-12381 2016-12478 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activity Authorizations: General Electric Transportation, Foreign-Trade Zone 196; Fort Worth, TX, 33463 2016-12538 Reorganizations under Alternative Site Frameworks: Foreign-Trade Zone 191, Palmdale, CA, 33463 2016-12534 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33535-33536 2016-12370 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Minority Health, 33541 2016-12473 Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, 33540-33541 2016-12472
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 33544-33547 2016-12541
International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules from the People's Republic of China, 33463-33465 2016-12540 Frozen Fish Fillets from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 33465-33466 2016-12543 Petroleum Wax Candles from the People's Republic of China, 33466-33467 2016-12542 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Digital Video Receivers and Hardware and Software Components Thereof, 33547-33548 2016-12466 Motorized Self-Balancing Vehicles, 33548-33550 2016-12372 Justice Department Justice Department See

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau

NOTICES Meetings: National Commission on Forensic Science, 33550 2016-12403
Labor Department Labor Department See

Employee Benefits Security Administration

See

Labor-Management Standards Office

See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Access to Multiemployer Plan Information, 33552-33553 2016-12457 H-1B Technical Skills Training and Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge Grants, 33553-33554 2016-12456
Labor Management Standards Labor-Management Standards Office RULES Technical Corrections, etc., 33387-33389 2016-11611 Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel REEL OBSESSION, 33579 2016-12343 National Agricultural National Agricultural Statistics Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33461-33462 2016-12493 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: Designation of Experimental Populations under the Endangered Species Act, 33416-33423 2016-12379 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management in the Gulf of Alaska Trawl Fisheries; Amendment 103, 33456-33458 2016-12467 Fisheries Off West Coast States: Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual Specifications, 33454-33456 2016-12228 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Pacific Salmon, Steelhead, and Eulachon; 5-Year Reviews for 28 Listed Species, 33468-33469 2016-12454 Snake River Fall-run Chinook Salmon Evolutionarily Significant Unit; 12-Month Finding on Petition to Delist, 33469-33480 2016-12453 Meetings: U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System Advisory Committee; Webinar and Teleconference, 33467-33468 2016-12475 Permits: Endangered Species; File No. 18029, 33468 2016-12445 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Draft Standard Review Plans: Foreign Ownership, Control, or Domination; Revision 1, 33555-33556 2016-12545 Guidance: Foreign Ownership, Control, or Domination of Nuclear Power, and Non-Power Production or Utilization Facility, 33556-33557 2016-12546 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Meetings: U.N. Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals; Preperations, 33554-33555 2016-12455 Pacific Pacific Northwest Electric Power and Conservation Planning Council NOTICES Adoption of Seventh Northwest Electric Power and Conservation Plan, 33557-33558 2016-12474 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Requirements for Patent Applications Containing Nucleotide Sequence and/or Amino Acid Sequence Disclosures, 33480-33481 2016-12477 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 33558-33560 2016-12391 2016-12392 2016-12393 2016-12394 2016-12395 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Mail Classification Schedule Changes: International Flat Rate Envelopes and Priority Mail International Small Flat Rate Boxes, 33560-33561 2016-12400 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents EXECUTIVE ORDERS Courts-Martial Manual, United States; Amendments (EO 13730), 33331-33358 2016-12579 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission RULES Retail Foreign Exchange Transactions, 33374-33375 2016-12390 NOTICES Meetings: Investor Advisory Committee, 33571 2016-12231 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 33567-33568 2016-12382 BOX Options Exchange, LLC, 33568-33570 2016-12385 International Securities Exchange, LLC, 33561-33563 2016-12384 ISE Gemini, LLC, 33565-33567 2016-12389 NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 33572-33575 2016-12386 Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC, 33571-33572 2016-12387 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 33563-33565 2016-12388 NYSE Arca, Inc., 33570-33571 2016-12383 State Department State Department NOTICES Annual Certification of Shrimp-Harvesting Nations, 33575-33576 2016-12544 Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Ed Ruscha and the Great American West, 33575 2016-12617 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board RULES CFR Chapter Reassignment, 33416 2016-12346 NOTICES Acquisitions and Operation Exemptions: Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad Co. from Locust Valley Coal Co. d/b/a Locust Valley Line, 33576-33577 2016-12349 Tennessee Tennessee Valley Authority NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33577 2016-12401 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Maritime Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33579-33580 2016-12272
Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application to Pay Off or Discharge an Alien Crewman, 33542-33543 2016-12440 NAFTA Regulations and Certificate of Origin, 33541-33542 2016-12439 Passenger List/Crew List (CBP Form I-418), 33543 2016-12441 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.

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

81 102 Thursday, May 26, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 948 Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado CFR Correction

In Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 900 to 999, revised as of January 1, 2016, on page 338, § 948.215 is reinstated to read as follows:

§ 948.215 Assessment rate.

On or after July 1, 2005, an assessment rate of $0.02 per hundredweight is established for Colorado Area No. 3 potatoes.

[70 FR 36816, June 27, 2005]
[FR Doc. 2016-12582 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-7528; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-004-AD; Amendment 39-18524; AD 2016-10-13] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes); and Model A310 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of premature aging of certain passenger chemical oxygen generators that resulted in the generators failing to activate. This AD requires an inspection to determine if certain passenger chemical oxygen generators are installed and replacement of affected passenger chemical oxygen generators. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the passenger chemical oxygen generator to activate and consequently not deliver oxygen during an emergency, possibly resulting in injury to airplane occupants.

DATES:

This AD is effective June 30, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of June 30, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For Airbus service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 44 51; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. For B/E Aerospace service information identified in this final rule, contact B/E Aerospace Inc., 10800 Pflumm Road, Lenexa, KS 66215; telephone: 913-338-9800; fax: 913-469-8419; Internet http://beaerospace.com/home/globalsupport. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-7528.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-7528; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116 Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-2125; fax: 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes); and Model A310 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on December 23, 2015 (80 FR 79745) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by reports of premature aging of certain passenger chemical oxygen generators that resulted in the generators failing to activate. The NPRM proposed to require an inspection to determine if certain passenger chemical oxygen generators are installed and replacement of affected passenger chemical oxygen generators. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the passenger chemical oxygen generator to activate and consequently not deliver oxygen during an emergency, possibly resulting in injury to airplane occupants.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2015-0118, dated June 24, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes); and Model A310 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

Reports have been received indicating premature ageing of certain chemical oxygen generators, Part Number (P/N) 117042-XX (XX representing any numerical value), manufactured by B/E Aerospace. Some operators reported that when they tried to activate generators, some older units failed to activate. Given the number of failed units reported, all generators manufactured in 1999, 2000, and 2001 were considered unreliable.

This condition, if not corrected, could lead to failure of the generator to activate and consequently not deliver oxygen during an emergency, possibly resulting in injury to aeroplane occupants.

To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A35W008-14, making reference toB/E Aerospace Service Information Letter (SIL) D1019-01 (currently at Revision 1) and B/E Aerospace Service Bulletin (SB) 117042-35-001. Consequently, EASA issued AD 2014-0280 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/2014-0280] to require identification and replacement of the affected oxygen generators.

Since EASA AD 2014-0280 was issued, and following new investigation results, EASA [has] decided to introduce a life limitation concerning all P/N 117042-XX chemical oxygen generators, manufactured by B/E Aerospace.

For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2014-0280, which is superseded, expands the scope of the [EASA] AD to include chemical oxygen generators manufactured after 2001, and requires their removal from service before exceeding 10 years since date of manufacture.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-7528.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Additional Change Made to This AD

In paragraph (i) of the proposed AD, we inadvertently referred to Airbus Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A35N006-14, including Appendix 01, dated December 10, 2014, as the appropriate source of service information for replacing 22 minute passenger chemical oxygen generators. We have corrected that error in paragraph (i) of this AD, which refers to Airbus AOT A35W008-14, dated December 18, 2014, including Appendix A, undated, as the appropriate source of service information for replacing 22 minute passenger chemical oxygen generators.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the change described previously, and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed the following service information.

• Airbus AOT A35W008-14, dated December 18, 2014, including Appendix A, undated.

• B/E Aerospace Service Bulletin 117042-35-001, dated December 10, 2014.

This service information describes procedures to replace certain passenger chemical oxygen generators. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 166 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it will take about 2 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD, and 1 work-hour per product for reporting. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $390 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $107,070, or $645 per product.

Paperwork Reduction Act

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

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-10-13 Airbus: Amendment 39-18524. Docket No. FAA-2015-7528; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-004-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective June 30, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), (c)(4), and (c)(5) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

(1) Airbus Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622 airplanes.

(2) Airbus Model A300 B4-605R and B4-622R airplanes.

(3) Airbus Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes.

(4) Airbus Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes.

(5) Airbus Model A310-203, -204, -221, -222, -304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 35, Oxygen.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of premature aging of certain passenger chemical oxygen generators that resulted in the generators failing to activate. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the passenger chemical oxygen generator to activate and consequently not deliver oxygen during an emergency, possibly resulting in injury to airplane occupants.

(f) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(g) Part Number Inspection

Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, do a one-time inspection of passenger chemical oxygen generators, part numbers (P/N) 117042-02 (15 minutes (min)—2 masks), 117042-03 (15 min—3 masks), 117042-04 (15 min—4 masks), 117042-22 (22 min—2 masks), 117042-23 (22 min—3 masks), or 117042-24 (22 min—4 masks), to determine the date of manufacture, as specified in Airbus Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A35W008-14, dated December 18, 2014, including Appendix A, undated. Refer to Figure 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD and Figure 2 to paragraph (g) of this AD for the location of the date. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable for the inspection required by this paragraph, provided the date of manufacture can be conclusively determined by that review.

ER26MY16.000 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P ER26MY16.001 BILLING CODE 4910-13-C (h) Replacement of Passenger Chemical Oxygen Generators Manufactured in 1999, 2000, and 2001

If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any passenger chemical oxygen generator having a date of manufacture in 1999, 2000, or 2001 is found: At the applicable time specified in paragraph (h)(1), (h)(2), or (h)(3) of this AD, remove and replace the affected passenger chemical oxygen generator with a serviceable unit, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of B/E Aerospace Service Bulletin 117042-35-001, dated December 10, 2014 (for 15 minute passenger chemical oxygen generators); or Airbus AOT A35W008-14, dated December 18, 2014, including Appendix A, undated (for 22 minute passenger chemical oxygen generators); as applicable.

(1) For passenger chemical oxygen generators that have a date of manufacture in 1999: Remove and replace within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

(2) For passenger chemical oxygen generators that have a date of manufacture in 2000: Remove and replace within 6 months after the effective date of this AD.

(3) For passenger chemical oxygen generators that have a date of manufacture in 2001: Remove and replace within 12 months after the effective date of this AD.

(i) Replacement of Passenger Chemical Oxygen Generators Manufactured in 2002 and Later

If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any passenger chemical oxygen generator having a date specified in Table 1 to paragraph (i) of this AD is found: At the applicable time specified in Table 1 to paragraph (i) of this AD, remove and replace the affected passenger chemical oxygen generator with a serviceable unit, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of B/E Aerospace Service Bulletin 117042-35-001, dated December 10, 2014 (for 15 minute passenger chemical oxygen generators); or Airbus AOT A35W008-14, dated December 18, 2014, including Appendix A, undated (for 22 minute passenger chemical oxygen generators); as applicable.

Table 1 to Paragraph (i) of This AD—Replacement Compliance Times Year of manufacture Compliance time 2002 Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD. 2003 Within 16 months after the effective date of this AD. 2004 Within 20 months after the effective date of this AD. 2005 Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD. 2006 Within 28 months after the effective date of this AD. 2007 Within 32 months after the effective date of this AD. 2008 Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD. 2009 Before exceeding 10 years since date of manufacture of the passenger chemical oxygen generator. (j) Definition of Serviceable

For the purpose of this AD, a serviceable unit is a passenger chemical oxygen generator having P/N 117042-XX (XX represents any numerical value) with a manufacturing date not older than 10 years, or any other approved part number, provided that the generator has not exceeded the life limit established for that generator by the manufacturer.

(k) Reporting

At the applicable time specified in paragraph (k)(1) or (k)(2) of this AD, submit a report of the findings (both positive and negative) of the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, in accordance with paragraph 7., “Reporting,” of Airbus AOT A35W008-14, dated December 18, 2014, including Appendix A, undated. The report must include the information specified in Appendix A, undated, of Airbus AOT A35W008-14, dated December 18, 2014.

(1) If the inspection was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the inspection.

(2) If the inspection was done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

(l) Parts Installation Limitation

As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install a passenger chemical oxygen generator, unless it is determined, prior to installation, that the oxygen generator is a serviceable unit (as defined in paragraph (j) of this AD).

(m) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116 Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227- 2125; fax: 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

(2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(3) Reporting Requirements: A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

(n) Related Information

Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2015-0118, dated June 24, 2015, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-7528.

(o) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(i) Airbus Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A35W008-14, dated December 18, 2014, including Appendix A, undated.

(ii) B/E Aerospace Service Bulletin 117042-35-001, dated December 10, 2014.

(3) For Airbus service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 44 51; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com.

(4) For B/E Aerospace service information identified in this AD, contact B/E Aerospace Inc., 10800 Pflumm Road, Lenexa, KS 66215; telephone: 913-338-9800; fax: 913-469-8419; Internet http://beaerospace.com/home/globalsupport.

(5) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

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

Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 12, 2016. Suzanne Masterson, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-12156 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2457; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-209-AD; Amendment 39-18525; AD 2016-10-14] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes, Model CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705) airplanes, and Model CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report indicating that some operators have inadvertently removed the existing insulation blankets from the upper wing box area. This AD requires inspecting for and replacing missing insulation blankets in the upper wing box area. We are issuing this AD to detect and replace missing insulation blankets from the upper wing box area, which could result in inadequate thermal protection to prevent fuel ignition in the event of an undetected bleed-air leak due to a cracked or ruptured bleed-air duct.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective June 30, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of June 30, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2457.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2457; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Morton Lee, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion and Services Branch, ANE-173, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7355; fax 516-794-5531.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes, Model CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705) airplanes, and Model CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on July 7, 2015 (80 FR 38656) (“the NPRM”).

Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-35, dated October 3, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes, Model CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705) airplanes, and Model CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes. The MCAI states:

It was discovered that some operators have inadvertently removed the existing insulation blankets from the upper wing box area while incorporating Bombardier Service Bulletin (SB) 670BA-36-016 to comply with [Canadian] AD CF-2012-06 [http://wwwapps3.tc.gc.ca/Saf-Sec-Sur/2/cawis-swimn/awd-lv-cs1401.asp?rand=] [which corresponds to FAA AD 2012-12-02, Amendment 39-17081 (77 FR 36129, June 18, 2012)].

Without insulation blankets on the upper wing box area, there may be inadequate thermal protection to prevent fuel ignition in the event of an undetected bleed air leak due to a cracked or ruptured bleed-air duct.

This [Canadian] AD mandates the inspection and rectification [i.e., replacement], as required, of the insulation blankets in the upper wing box area.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2457.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to each comment.

Request To Revise the Applicability

Bombardier and Endeavor Air requested that we exclude certain airplanes from the applicability. Bombardier stated that two airplanes, manufacturer serial numbers 15272 and 15279, should not be included in the applicability of the proposed AD, since these two airplanes had Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-36-016, Revision A, dated October 11, 2011, incorporated during production by the manufacturer. Therefore, Bombardier stated that those airplanes are not affected by the potential unsafe condition. Bombardier commented that proof of incorporation by Bombardier personnel can be provided to the FAA if required.

Endeavor Air stated that these airplanes accomplished Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-36-016, Revision A, dated October 11, 2011, prior to delivery to the operator.

We agree with the commenter's request for the reasons provided above. We have revised paragraph (c) of this AD accordingly.

Request To Provide Clarification of AD Actions

Endeavor Air stated that the proposed AD would require affected operators to inspect for missing thermal protection blankets using Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-57-024 because “. . . some operators have inadvertently removed the existing insulation blanket from the upper wing box area while incorporating Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-36-016 to comply with FAA AD 2012-12-02. . . .”

Endeavor Air stated that the FAA did not provide any information why this may have occurred or that the problem is widespread. Endeavor Air also stated that Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-36-016 did not include instructions for removing the insulation blankets that were inadvertently removed by some operators. Endeavor Air therefore concluded that the operators or their maintenance provider did not correctly follow the instructions in Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-36-016. Endeavor Air stated that it does not agree that the incorrect accomplishment of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-36-016 by some operators should require all affected operators to perform the blanket inspections without a clear explanation why this problem could plausibly exist for all operators.

We agree that clarification is necessary. Bombardier has the service history and data showing a potential widespread problem, and TCCA concurred. Bombardier developed Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-57-024 with a different effectivity than that of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-36-016 in order to give credit to airplanes on which the original blankets were not removed when Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-36-016 was incorporated. We have added an option to paragraph (g) of this AD to allow operators to do a records review in lieu of the inspection.

Request To Review Compliance Method

Endeavor Air requested the we review the last sentence in paragraph (g)(2) of the proposed AD. Endeavor Air stated that because the corrective action is to restore an already approved configuration by reinstalling insulation blankets, it believes that the corrective action using “a method acceptable to the Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office,” rather than “a method approved by the Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office,” would suffice.

We disagree with the commenter. The word “approved” is part of our standard language for describing methods of compliance in ADs. For a method to be “acceptable,” it must have FAA approval. We have not changed this AD is this regard.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-57-024, dated July 23, 2014. This service information describes procedures for an inspection of the insulation blankets in the upper wing box area to find if the blankets are installed, and replacement of missing insulation blankets. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 470 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it would take about 4 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $159,800, or $340 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take up to 70 work-hours and require parts costing up to $665, for a cost of up to $6,615 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this action.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-10-14 Bombardier, Inc.: Amendment 39-18525. Docket No. FAA-2015-2457; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-209-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective June 30, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes, Model CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705) airplanes, and Model CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-57-024, dated July 23, 2014; except airplanes having manufacturer serial numbers 15272 and 15279.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report indicating that some operators have inadvertently removed the existing insulation blankets from the upper wing box area. We are issuing this AD to detect and replace missing insulation blankets from the upper wing box area, which could result in inadequate thermal protection to prevent fuel ignition in the event of an undetected bleed-air leak due to a cracked or ruptured bleed-air duct.

(f) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(g) Inspection

Within 800 flight hours or 4 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Do a general visual inspection of the insulation blankets in the upper wing box area to determine whether any insulation blanket is missing in specified areas, in accordance with Part A of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-57-024, dated July 23, 2014. For airplanes on which Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-36-016 has been done: A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if it can be conclusively determined from that review that the insulation blanket has been reinstalled after incorporation of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-36-016.

(1) If no insulation blanket is missing, no further action is required by this AD.

(2) If any insulation blanket is missing, within 1,200 flight hours or 6 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, replace the missing insulation blankets, in accordance with Part B of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-57-024, dated July 23, 2014; except, where Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-57-024, dated July 23, 2014, specifies contacting Bombardier for “an approved disposition to complete this service bulletin,” this AD requires corrective action to be done using a method approved by the Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO).

(h) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the ACO, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

(2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO. If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

(i) Related Information

Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-35, dated October 3, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2457.

(j) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(i) Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-57-024, dated July 23, 2014.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com.

(4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

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

Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 12, 2016. Suzanne Masterson, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-11932 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-8430; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-093-AD; Amendment 39-18523; AD 2016-10-12] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Fokker Services B.V. Model F.28 Mark 0070 and 0100 airplanes. This AD was prompted by accomplishment of a taxi-out checklist which revealed that the elevator movement was partially obstructed due to rotation of the flight control lock adjuster bracket. This AD requires a one-time inspection of the elevator tension control regulator for discrepancies, and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct discrepancies of the elevator tension control regulators. Such a condition could result in jamming of the elevator mechanism and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective June 30, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of June 30, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services Dept., P.O. Box 1357, 2130 EL Hoofddorp, the Netherlands; telephone +31 (0)88-6280-350; fax +31 (0)88-6280-111; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.myfokkerfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-8430.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-8430; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1137; fax 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Fokker Services B.V. Model F.28 Mark 0070 and 0100 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on January 13, 2016 (81 FR 1565) (“the NPRM”).

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0091, dated May 26, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Fokker Services B.V. Model F.28 Mark 0070 and 0100 airplanes. The MCAI states:

During the accomplishment of the taxi-out checklist on an F28 Mark 0100 aeroplane, the flight crew noticed that the elevator movement was partially obstructed. The subsequent investigation revealed that this was due to rotation of the flight control lock adjuster bracket, which had come loose from the elevator tension control regulator. Two of the three attachment bolts were found broken, and two nuts were missing. Although no root cause could be identified for the absence of these nuts, they are considered as the main contributor to the occurrence.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to jamming of the elevator mechanism, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane.

To address this potential unsafe condition, Fokker Services published Service Bulletin (SB) SBF 100-27-095, which provides instructions to detect and correct any discrepancies, and to re-install missing or broken parts (if any).

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time inspection of the elevator tension control regulator and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s).

More information on this subject can be found in Fokker Services All Operators Message AOF100-198.

Discrepancies include loose control lock adjuster brackets, broken bracket attachment bolts, and missing nuts. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-8430. Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

We reviewed the available data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed, except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Fokker Services B.V. has issued Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-27-095, dated April 22, 2015. The service information describes procedures for a one-time inspection of the elevator tension control regulator for discrepancies, and corrective actions. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 8 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it takes 1 work-hour per product to do the inspection in this AD, and 1 work-hour per product to report inspection findings. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $1,360, or $170 per product.

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

Paperwork Reduction Act

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

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-10-12 Fokker Services B.V.: Amendment 39-18523. Docket No. FAA-2015-8430; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-093-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective June 30, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Fokker Services B.V. Model F.28 Mark 0070 and 0100 airplanes, certificated in any category, all serial numbers.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight controls.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by accomplishment of a taxi-out checklist which revealed that the elevator movement was partially obstructed due to rotation of the flight control lock adjuster bracket. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct discrepancies of the elevator tension control regulators. Such a condition could result in jamming of the elevator mechanism and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(g) Inspection/Corrective Actions

At the next scheduled opening of access panels 346AB or 346BL after the effective date of this AD, but no later than 5,000 flight hours after the effective date of this AD: Do a one-time detailed inspection of the elevator tension control regulator for discrepancies, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-27-095, dated April 22, 2015. If the flight control lock adjuster bracket is found loose, any bracket attachment bolt is found broken, or any nut is missing, before further flight, do all applicable corrective actions in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-27-095, dated April 22, 2015.

(h) Reporting Requirement

Submit a report of any positive findings during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD to Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services Dept., P.O. Box 1357, 2130 EL Hoofddorp, the Netherlands; telephone: +31 (0)88-6280-350; fax: +31 (0)88-6280-111; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.myfokkerfleet.com.

(1) For airplanes on which the inspection specified in paragraph (g) of this AD is accomplished on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after performing the inspection.

(2) For airplanes on which the inspection specified in paragraph (g) of this AD is accomplished before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

(i) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1137; fax: 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

(2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Fokker B.V. Service's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(3) Reporting Requirements: A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

(j) Related Information

Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0091, dated May 26, 2015, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-8430.

(k) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(i) Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-27-095, dated April 22, 2015.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services Dept., P.O. Box 1357, 2130 EL Hoofddorp, the Netherlands; telephone +31 (0)88-6280-350; fax +31 (0)88-6280-111; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.myfokkerfleet.com.

(4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

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

Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 11, 2016. Suzanne Masterson, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-11930 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-4815; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-112-AD; Amendment 39-18522; AD 2016-10-11] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2015-03-06 for all Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, A330-300, A340-200, A340-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes. AD 2015-03-06 required repetitive inspections of the left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) wing main landing gear (MLG) rib 6 aft bearing lugs (forward and aft) to detect any cracks on the two lugs, and replacement if necessary. This new AD requires reduction of certain compliance times. This AD was prompted by reports of additional cracking of the MLG rib 6 aft bearing lugs. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the MLG rib 6 aft bearing lugs, which could result in collapse of the MLG upon landing.

DATES:

This AD is effective June 30, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of June 30, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain other publications listed in this AD as of March 25, 2015 (80 FR 8511, February 18, 2015).

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4815.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4815; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1138; fax 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2015-03-06, Amendment 39-18102 (80 FR 8511, February 18, 2015) (“AD 2015-03-06”). AD 2015-03-06 applied to all Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, A330-300, A340-200, A340-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 19, 2015 (80 FR 72398) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by reports of additional cracking of the MLG rib 6 aft bearing lugs. The NPRM proposed to continue to require repetitive inspections of the LH and RH wing MLG rib 6 aft bearing lugs (forward and aft) to detect any cracks on the two lugs at a more restrictive initial inspection threshold with a grace period for airplanes that have already exceeded the new threshold; and replacement, if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the MLG rib 6 aft bearing lugs, which could result in collapse of the MLG upon landing.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0120, dated June 26, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, A330-300, A340-200, A340-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

During Main Landing Gear (MLG) lubrication, a crack was visually found in the MLG rib 6 aft bearing forward lug on one A330 in-service aeroplane. The crack had extended through the entire thickness of the forward lug at approximately the 4 o'clock position (when looking forward). It has been determined that a similar type of crack can develop on other aeroplane types that are listed in the Applicability paragraph.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could affect the structural integrity of the MLG attachment.

To address this situation, Airbus issued inspection Service Bulletin (SB) A330-57-3096, SB A340-57-4104 and SB A340-57-5009 to provide instructions for repetitive inspections of the gear rib lugs.

Prompted by these findings, EASA issued Emergency AD 2006-0364-E to require repetitive detailed visual inspections of the Left Hand (LH) and Right Hand (RH) wing MLG rib 6 aft bearing lugs.

Later, EASA issued AD 2007-0247-E, which superseded [EASA] AD 2006-0364-E, to:

—expand the Applicability to all A330 and A340 aeroplanes, because the interference fit bushes cannot be considered as a terminating action, owing to unknown root cause; and —add a second parameter quoted in flight hours (FH) to the inspection interval in order to reflect the aeroplane utilisation in service.

EASA AD 2007-0247-E was revised to correct a typographical error.

Since the first crack finding and issuance of the inspection SBs and related ADs, six further cracks were reported.

Consequently, EASA issued AD 2013-0271 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2015-03-06, Amendment 39-18102 (80 FR 8511, February 18, 2015)], which retained the requirements of [EASA] AD 2007-0247R1-E, which was superseded, and expanded the Applicability of the [EASA] AD to the newly certified models A330-223F and A330-243F. That [EASA] AD also reduced the inspection threshold(s) to reflect the updated risk assessment and in-service experience.

Since this [EASA] AD was issued, a new occurrence of crack finding was reported. Further analysis resulted in the need to reduce the threshold of the initial inspection.

Prompted by this finding, Airbus issued SB A330-57-3096 Revision 06 to introduce a more restrictive initial inspection threshold and a grace period for aeroplanes which have already passed the new threshold.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD partially retains the requirements of EASA AD 2013-0271, which is superseded, and introduces reduced initial inspection thresholds.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4815.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comment received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to the comment.

Request To Reference Unpublished Service Information That Terminates Repetitive Inspections

American Airlines requested that we add a paragraph to the proposed AD that references new service information that would terminate the proposed repetitive inspections. The commenter stated that an Airbus retrofit information letter was published indicating that Airbus plans to release new service information that will terminate the mandatory repetitive inspections required by AD 2015-03-06.

We do not agree because the new service information is not yet released. In an AD, we cannot refer to service information that does not exist because doing so violates Office of the Federal Register (OFR) regulations for approval of materials incorporated by reference in rules. To allow operators to use service information issued after publication of an AD, either we must supersede the AD to reference specific service information, or operators must request approval to use the new service information as an alternative method of compliance with the AD under the provisions of paragraph (k) of this AD. We have not revised this AD in this regard.

Conclusion

We reviewed the available data, including the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed, except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A330-57-3096, Revision 06, dated May 29, 2015. The service information describes procedures for detailed inspections to detect any cracking on the forward and aft lugs of the LH and RH wing MLG Rib 6. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 101 airplanes of U.S. registry.

The actions required by AD 2015-03-06, and retained in this AD take about 2 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that were required by AD 2015-03-06 is $170 per product.

The new requirement (reduced compliance time) of this AD adds no additional economic burden.

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

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2015-03-06, Amendment 39-18102 (80 FR 8511, February 18, 2015), and adding the following new AD: 2016-10-11 Airbus: Amendment 39-18522; Docket No. FAA-2015-4815; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-112-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective June 30, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD replaces AD 2015-03-06, Amendment 39-18102 (80 FR 8511, February 18, 2015) (“AD 2015-03-06”).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes; and Model A340-211, -212, -213 -311, -312, -313, -541, and -642 airplanes; certificated in any category; all manufacturer serial numbers.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of cracking of the main landing gear (MLG) rib 6 aft bearing forward lug. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the MLG rib 6 aft bearing lugs, which could result in collapse of the MLG upon landing.

(f) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(g) Inspections

At the later of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD: Do a detailed inspection for cracking of the left-hand and right-hand wing MLG rib 6 aft bearing lugs (forward and aft), in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57-3096, Revision 06, dated May 29, 2015 (for Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes); Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-4104, Revision 04, dated October 17, 2013 (for Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, -313 airplanes); or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-5009, Revision 03, dated October 17, 2013 (for Model A340-541 and -642 airplanes).

(1) Within 24 months or 2,000 flight cycles, whichever occurs first since airplane first flight or since the last MLG support rib replacement, as applicable.

(2) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

(h) Repetitive Inspections

Repeat the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD thereafter at the time specified in paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(7) of this AD, as applicable.

(1) For Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes: Repeat the inspections at intervals not to exceed 300 flight cycles or 1,500 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(2) For Model A330-223F and -243F airplanes: Repeat the inspections at intervals not to exceed 300 flight cycles or 900 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(3) For Model A330-301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes: Repeat the inspections at intervals not to exceed 300 flight cycles or 900 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(4) For Model A340-211, -212, and -213 airplanes: Repeat the inspections at intervals not to exceed 200 flight cycles or 800 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(5) For Model A340-311 and -312 airplanes; and Model A340-313 airplanes (except weight variant (WV) 27): Repeat the inspections at intervals not to exceed 200 flight cycles or 800 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(6) For Model A340-313 (only WV27) airplanes: Repeat the inspections at intervals not to exceed 200 flight cycles or 400 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(7) For Model A340-541 and -642 airplanes: Repeat the inspections at intervals not to exceed 100 flight cycles or 500 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(i) Corrective Action

If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) or (h) of this AD: Before further flight, replace the cracked MLG support rib using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). Replacement of an MLG support rib does not terminate the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (h) of this AD.

(j) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (j)(1) through (j)(15) of this AD.

(1) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57A3096, dated December 5, 2006, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2007-03-04, Amendment 39-14915 (72 FR 4416, January 31, 2007) (“AD 2007-03-04”).

(2) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57A3096, Revision 01, dated April 18, 2007, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(3) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57-3096, Revision 02, dated August 13, 2007, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2007-22-10, Amendment 39-15246 (72 FR 61796, November 1, 2007; corrected November 16, 2007 (72 FR 64532)) (“AD 2007-22-10”).

(4) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57-3096, Revision 03, dated October 24, 2012, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(5) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57-3096, Revision 04, dated February 6, 2013, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(6) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57-3096, Revision 05, dated October 17, 2013, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2015-03-06.

(7) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57A4104, dated December 5, 2006, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2007-03-04.

(8) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-4104, Revision 01, dated August 13, 2007, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(9) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-4104, Revision 02, dated September 5, 2007, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2007-22-10.

(10) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-4104, Revision 03, dated October 24, 2012, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(11) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57A5009, dated December 5, 2006, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2007-03-04.

(12) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-5009, Revision 01, dated August 13, 2007, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2007-22-10.

(13) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-5009, Revision 02, dated October 24, 2012, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(14) Airbus Alert Operators Transmission A57L005-14, dated July 15, 2014, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(15) Airbus Alert Operators Transmission A57L005-14, Revision 01, dated August 20, 2014, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(k) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1138; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

(2) Contacting the Manufacturer: As of the effective date of this AD, for any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(3) Required for Compliance (RC): If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

(l) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0120, dated June 26, 2015, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4815.

(2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (m)(5) and (m)(6) of this AD.

(m) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(3) The following service information was approved for IBR on June 30, 2016.

(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57-3096, Revision 06, dated May 29, 2015.

(ii) Reserved.

(4) The following service information was approved for IBR on March 25, 2015 (80 FR 8511, February 18, 2015).

(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-4104, Revision 04, dated October 17, 2013.

(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-5009, Revision 03, dated October 17, 2013.

(5) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com.

(6) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

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

Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 12, 2016. Suzanne Masterson, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-11931 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-6892; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-057-AD; Amendment 39-18529; AD 2016-11-02] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes; Model CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705) airplanes; Model CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes; and Model CL-600-2E25 (Regional Jet Series 1000) airplanes. This AD requires a detailed visual inspection of the upper and lower engine pylons for protruding, loose, or missing fasteners; and repair, including applicable related investigative and corrective actions, if necessary. This AD was prompted by reports of loose or missing Hi-Lite fasteners on the upper and lower engine pylon structure common to the upper and lower pylon skin panels and engine thrust fitting. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct protruding, loose, or missing fasteners, which could result in structural failure of the engine pylons.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective June 10, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of June 10, 2016.

We must receive comments on this AD by July 11, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6892.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6892; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Aziz Ahmed, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7329; fax 516-794-5531.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2016-10, dated April 27, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes; Model CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705) airplanes; Model CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes; and Model CL-600-2E25 (Regional Jet Series 1000) airplanes. The MCAI states:

There have been several reported findings of loose or missing Hi-Lite fasteners on the left hand (LH) and right hand (RH) upper and lower engine pylon structure common to the upper and lower pylon skin panels and engine thrust fitting. Missing fasteners in these areas are shown to significantly reduce the safety margins and could result in a structural failure of the engine pylon.

Bombardier has issued a new Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM) task for detailed inspection of the engine pylon rib and skin fasteners to inspect for protruding, loose or missing fasteners and rectify any discrepancies [repair including applicable related investigative and corrective actions] noted in accordance with a Repair Engineering Order (REO).

This AD is issued to mandate a repeat inspection to mitigate the risk of a structural failure of the engine pylons and repair any loose or missing fasteners as required.

Related investigative actions include visual inspections for cracks. Corrective actions include repair. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6892. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Bombardier Repair Engineering Order 670-54-51-034, “Repair for Missing or Loose/Protruding Fasteners in Upper and Lower Pylon Skins FS 1088-FS 1098, PBL 69.3 L & RHS,” dated March 7, 2016. The service information describes procedures for repair, including applicable related investigative and corrective actions.

We also reviewed Bombardier Temporary Revision 54-0007, dated March 8, 2016, to the CRJ700/900/1000 AMM. The service information describes procedures for a detailed visual inspection for protruding, loose, or missing fasteners of the left-hand and right-hand upper and lower engine pylons.

This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

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

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because loose or missing Hi-Lite fasteners on the upper and lower engine pylon structure common to the upper and lower pylon skin panels and engine thrust fitting could result in structural failure of the engine pylons. Therefore, we determined that notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in fewer than 30 days.

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2016-6892; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-057-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD based on those comments.

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

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 531 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it will take about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $45,135, or $85 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions will take up to 32 work-hours for a cost of $2,720 per product, plus the cost of parts. We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this AD. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this action.

According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all available costs in our cost estimate.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-11-02 Bombardier, Inc.: Amendment 39-18529. Docket No. FAA-2016-6892; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-057-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective June 10, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all the airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), and (c)(4) of this AD, certificated in any category.

(1) Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes.

(2) Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705) airplanes.

(3) Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes.

(4) Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2E25 (Regional Jet Series 1000) airplanes.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 54, Nacelles/Pylons.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of loose or missing Hi-Lite fasteners on the upper and lower engine pylon structure common to the upper and lower pylon skin panels and engine thrust fitting. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct protruding, loose, or missing fasteners, which could result in structural failure of the engine pylons.

(f) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(g) Inspection

At the applicable time specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, do a detailed visual inspection for protruding, loose, or missing fasteners of the upper and lower engine pylons, in accordance with Bombardier Temporary Revision (TR) 54-0007, dated March 8, 2016, to the CRJ700/900/1000 Aircraft Maintenance Manual. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 1,500 flight hours.

(1) For airplanes that have accumulated more than 840 total flight hours as of the effective date of this AD: Inspect within 660 flight hours or 3 months, whichever occurs first, after the effective date of this AD.

(2) For airplanes that have accumulated 840 total flight hours or less as of the effective date of this AD: Inspect before the accumulation of 1,500 total flight hours.

(h) Repair

If any protruding, loose, or missing fastener is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, before further flight, repair, including applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with Bombardier Repair Engineering Order (REO) 670-54-51-034, “Repair for Missing or Loose/Protruding Fasteners in Upper and Lower Pylon Skins FS 1088-FS 1098, PBL 69.3 L & RHS,” dated March 7, 2016, except where Bombardier REO 670-54-51-034, “Repair for Missing or loose/Protruding Fasteners in Upper and Lower Pylon Skins FS 1088-FS 1098, PBL 69.3 L & RHS,” dated March 7, 2016, specifies to contact Bombardier for further instruction, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO).

(i) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit only for the initial inspection specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, if that action was performed before the effective date of this AD using Bombardier Reference Instruction Letter 4212, dated December 23, 2015; or Bombardier Reference Instruction Letter 4212A, Revision A, dated January 28, 2016. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(j) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the ACO, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

(2) Contacting the Manufacturer: As of the effective date of this AD, for any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO. If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

(k) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2016-10, dated April 27, 2016, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6892.

(2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (l)(3) and (l)(4) of this AD.

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(i) Bombardier Repair Engineering Order 670-54-51-034, “Repair for Missing or Loose/Protruding Fasteners in Upper and Lower Pylon Skins FS 1088-FS 1098, PBL 69.3 L & RHS,” dated March 7, 2016.

(ii) Bombardier Temporary Revision 54-0007, dated March 8, 2016, to the CRJ700/900/1000 Aircraft Maintenance Manual.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com.

(4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

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

Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 17, 2016. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-12157 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 240 RIN 3235-AL19 [Release No. 34-77874; File No. S7-30-11] Retail Foreign Exchange Transactions AGENCY:

Securities and Exchange Commission.

ACTION:

Expiration of regulation.

SUMMARY:

Rule 15b12-1, by its terms, will expire and no longer be effective on July 31, 2016. Interested persons should be aware that as of that date, any broker or dealer, including a broker or dealer that is also dually registered as a futures commission merchant (“BD/FCM”), shall be prohibited under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) from offering or entering into a transaction described in the CEA with a person who is not an eligible contract participant (“retail forex transaction”).

DATES:

May 26, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Paula Jenson, Deputy Chief Counsel; Catherine Moore, Senior Special Counsel; or Stephen J. Benham, Special Counsel, at (202) 551-5550 or Division of Trading and Markets, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-7010.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Section 2(c)(2)(E) of the CEA, as added by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, provides that a person for which there is a Federal regulatory agency, including a broker-dealer registered under Section 15(b) (except pursuant to paragraph (11) thereof) or 15C of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”), shall not enter into or offer to enter into a retail forex transaction, except pursuant to a rule or regulation of a Federal regulatory agency allowing the transaction under such terms and conditions as the Federal regulatory agency shall prescribe.1

1 7 U.S.C. 2(c)(2)(E).

Section 2(c)(2)(E) of the CEA took effect on July 16, 2011. As of that date, broker-dealers, including broker-dealers also registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as futures commission merchants, for which the Commission is the federal regulatory agency could no longer engage in retail forex transactions except pursuant to a rule adopted by the Commission.2

2See 7 U.S.C. 2(c)(2)(B)(i)(II)(cc) and 2(c)(2)(E). Congress expressly excludes from the CFTC's jurisdiction retail forex transactions where the counterparty, or the person offering to be the counterparty, is a broker or dealer registered under Section 15(b) (other than paragraph (11) thereof) or 15C of the Exchange Act.

A retail forex transaction includes an agreement, contract, or transaction in foreign currency that is a contract of sale of a commodity for future delivery (or an option on such a contract) or an option (other than an option executed or traded on a national securities exchange registered pursuant to section 6(a) of the Exchange Act) that is offered to, or entered into with, a person that is not an eligible contract participant as defined in section 1(a)(18) of the CEA.3 Certain foreign exchange transactions are not “retail forex transactions” under the CEA, even where one of the counterparties is a person that is not an eligible contract participant. These transactions include: 4 (i) “spot forex transactions” where one currency is bought for another and the two currencies are exchanged within two days; 5 (ii) forward contracts that create an enforceable obligation to make or take delivery, provided that each counterparty has the ability to deliver and accept delivery in connection with its line of business; and (iii) options that are executed or traded on a national securities exchange registered pursuant to section 6(a) of the Exchange Act.

3 7 U.S.C. 2(c)(2)(B)(i)(I).

4See, generally, the discussion in Exchange Act Release No. 69964 (Jul. 11, 2013), 78 FR 42439 (Jul. 16, 2013) at 42439-40.

5 In August 2012, the CFTC issued an interpretation in a joint rulemaking with the Commission that “conversion trades”—trades in which a foreign exchange transaction facilitates the settlement of a foreign security transaction—are spot transactions and, therefore, are not subject to the prohibition under the CEA. See Exchange Act Release No. 67453 (Jul. 18, 2012), 77 FR 48207 (Aug. 13, 2012).

The term “eligible contract participant” is defined in Section 1a(18) of the CEA and, in general terms, comprises certain enumerated regulated persons, entities that meet a specified total asset test or an alternative monetary test coupled with a nonmonetary component, certain employee benefit plans, and certain government entities and individuals that meet defined thresholds.6 An individual is an eligible contract participant if the individual has aggregate amounts invested on a discretionary basis of more than $10 million or more than $5 million if such individual enters into the transaction to manage the risk associated with an asset owned or liability incurred, or reasonably likely to be owned or incurred by such individual.7

6See 7 U.S.C. 1a(18). The Commission and the CFTC adopted rules under the CEA that further define “eligible contract participant” with respect to transactions with major swap participants, swap dealers, major security-based swap participants, security-based swap dealers, and commodity pools. See Exchange Act Release No. 66868 (Apr. 27, 2012), 77 FR 30596 (May 23, 2012).

7 7 U.S.C. 1a(18)(A)(xi).

The Commission adopted Rule 15b12-1 (17 CFR 240.15b12-1) on a time-limited basis to permit a registered broker-dealer to engage in a retail forex business.8 The Commission is taking no further action, and pursuant to Rule 15b12-1(d), Rule 15b12-1 will expire and no longer be effective on July 31, 2016. Upon expiration of the rule on July 31, 2016, a broker-dealer registered pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Exchange Act, including an entity that is registered as both a broker-dealer and a futures commission merchant, shall be prohibited from offering or entering into a retail forex transaction pursuant to Section 2(c)(2)(E) of the CEA.

8See Exchange Act Release No. 69964 (Jul. 11, 2013), 77 FR 42439 (Jul. 16, 2013). By its terms, Rule 15b12-1 expires on July 31, 2016. The Commission previously adopted Rule 15b12-1 as an interim final temporary rule, and extended it once on July 11, 2012. See Exchange Act Release Nos. 64874 (Jul. 13, 2011), 76 FR 41676 (Jul. 15, 2011) and 67405 (Jul. 11, 2012), 77 FR 41671 (Jul. 16, 2012).

By the Commission.

Dated: May 20, 2016. Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2016-12390 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 35 [Docket No. RM14-14-001; Order No. 816-A] Refinements to Policies and Procedures for Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities AGENCY:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

ACTION:

Final rule; Order on rehearing and clarification.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is denying requests for rehearing and granting, in part, clarification of its determinations in Order No. 816, which amended its regulations that govern market-based rate authorizations for wholesale sales of electric energy, capacity, and ancillary services by public utilities pursuant to the Federal Power Act.

DATES:

This rule will become effective July 25, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Greg Basheda (Technical Information), Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6479. Carol Johnson (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8521. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents Paragraph Nos. I. Introduction 1 II. Discussion 12 A. Sellers with Fully Committed Long-Term Generation Capacity 12 B. Reporting of Long-Term Firm Purchases 18 C. Clarification of the Definition or Duration of Long-Term Firm Transmission Reservations 26 D. Notices of Change in Status 29 E. New Affiliation and Behind-the-Meter Generation 38 F. Corporate Organizational Charts 45 G. Part 101 Waivers 48 H. Capacity Ratings 52 I. Inputs to Electric Power Production 55 J. Transmission/Natural Gas Assets Sheet 58 K. Long-Term Firm Power Purchases List 60 L. Generation Assets Sheet, Rows [B] and [H] 62 III. Information Collection Statement 65 IV. Document Availability 68 V. Effective Date 71 Order No. 816-A Order on Rehearing and Clarification I. Introduction

1. On October 16, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) issued Order No. 816,1 which amended its regulations that govern market-based rate authorizations for wholesale sales of electric energy, capacity, and ancillary services by public utilities pursuant to the Federal Power Act (FPA). In this order, we address requests for rehearing and clarification of Order No. 816.2

1Refinements to Policies and Procedures for Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities, Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 (2015) (Final Rule).

2 Order No. 816 became effective on January 28, 2016. On December 23, 2015, upon consideration of requests for a stay of the corporate organizational chart requirement, the Commission issued an order granting an extension of time such that market-based rate applicants and sellers would not be required to comply with the corporate organizational chart requirement prior to the issuance of an order on the merits of the requests for rehearing. Refinements to Policies and Procedures for Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities, 153 FERC ¶ 61,337 (2015).

2. Nine requests for rehearing and clarification were filed.3 The requests for rehearing and clarification concern the following topics: Sellers with fully committed long-term generation capacity; the reporting of long-term firm purchases; the definition or duration of long-term firm transmission reservations; notices of change in status; new affiliation and behind-the-meter generation; corporate organizational charts; and waiver of Part 101 of the Commission's regulations.4

3 The requests for rehearing and clarification were filed by the following entities: EDF Renewable Energy, Inc. and E.ON Climate & Renewables North America LLC (IPP Developers); Edison Electric Institute (EEI); Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA); Invenergy Thermal Development LLC and Invenergy Wind Development LLC (Invenergy); National Hydropower Association (NHA); NextEra Energy, Inc. (NextEra); Southern California Edison Company (SoCal Edison); Southern Company Services, Inc. (Southern); and Transmission Access Policy Study Group (TAPS).

4 18 CFR pt. 101 (2015).

3. In this order, in most respects, we affirm the Commission's determinations made in Order No. 816. However, regarding some issues, we provide clarification.

4. Specifically, as discussed further below, we deny rehearing regarding the requirement to include the expiration date of the contract when a seller claims that its capacity is fully committed. To the extent that the expiration date is not known at the time a seller files for market-based rate authority, we confirm that a subsequent filing to report the contract expiration date will be treated as an informational filing rather than as an amendment to a pending application.

5. We grant clarification regarding the requirement for applicants within a regional transmission organization or independent system operator (RTO/ISO) market to report all long-term firm energy and capacity purchases from generation capacity located within the RTO/ISO market if the generation is designated as a resource with capacity obligations. We clarify that this requirement does not apply if the generation is from a qualifying facility exempt from section 205 of the FPA. In addition, we affirm that a market-based rate seller must list all of its long-term firm power purchases in its asset appendix, Appendix B, even if it does not have market-based rate authority in its home balancing authority area.

6. We clarify that the Commission did not intend to change the definition of long-term firm transmission reservations in Order No. 816 and clarify that long-term firm transmission reservations are longer than 28 days.

7. Regarding the Commission's 100 megawatt (MW) threshold for the requirement to report new affiliations, we affirm the determinations made in Order No. 816 but clarify which markets would be a seller's relevant geographic market for purposes of the 100 MW threshold reporting requirement. We also deny a rehearing request to find that capacity in first-tier markets 5 be included for determining the 100 MW change in status threshold.

5 We clarify that for purposes of this order, the term “first-tier markets” includes all first-tier areas, whether they are a balancing authority area or an RTO/ISO market.

8. We affirm the Commission's determination in Order No. 816 that sellers are not required to include behind-the-meter generation in the 100 MW change in status threshold, the 500 MW Category 1 seller status threshold, or to include such generation in the asset appendices and indicative screens.

9. Additionally, we clarify that a hydropower licensee that otherwise sells power only at market-based rates will not be subject to the full requirements of the Uniform System of Accounts as a consequence of filing a cost-based reactive power tariff with the Commission, and may satisfy the requirements in Part 101 of the Commission's regulations by complying with General Instruction 16 of the Uniform System of Accounts.

10. We also provide clarification regarding other aspects of the Final Rule, including revisions to regulatory text and instructions in the asset appendix to ensure consistency with the Commission's determinations in the Final Rule.

11. Further, as discussed below, we grant an additional extension of time such that market-based rate applicants and sellers will not be required to comply with the corporate organizational chart requirement until the Commission issues an order at a later date.

II. Discussion A. Sellers With Fully Committed Long-Term Generation Capacity 1. Final Rule

12. In Order No. 816, the Commission clarified that sellers may explain that their generation capacity in the relevant geographic market (including first-tier markets) is fully committed, in lieu of submitting indicative screens, in order to satisfy the Commission's market-based rate requirements regarding horizontal market power in instances where all generation owned or controlled by a seller and its affiliates in the relevant balancing authority areas or markets (including first-tier markets) is fully committed. The Commission clarified that to qualify as fully committed, a seller must commit the capacity to a non-affiliated buyer so that none of it is available to the seller or its affiliates for one year or longer. The Commission also adopted the proposal that sellers claiming that all of their relevant capacity is fully committed must provide the following information: the amount of generation capacity that is fully committed, the names of the counterparties, the length of the long-term contract, the expiration date of the contract, and a representation that the contract is for firm sales for one year or longer.6

6 Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 at P 39.

13. In response to NextEra's concern that at the time a seller files for market-based rate authority, the expiration date may be unknown, the Commission stated that if a contract expiration date is unknown at the time of the market-based rate filing, the seller must, within 30 days of the date becoming known, submit an informational filing, in the docket in which the seller was granted market-based rate authorization, to inform the Commission of the contract expiration date. In response to another commenter's remark that the expiration date is reported separately in electric quarterly report (EQR) filings, the Commission noted that many contracts reported in EQR filings do not include expiration dates and determined that it would require expiration date information in order to show that generation capacity is fully committed.7

7Id. P 44.

2. Requests for Rehearing

14. NextEra requests rehearing of the Commission's determination concerning sellers with fully committed long-term generation capacity, stating that the Commission erred in requiring a market-based rate seller to report the expiration date of a long-term contract to the Commission within 30 days of the date being known, rather than simply in an EQR filing.8 NextEra contends that the Commission erred by failing to set forth an explanation of the specific after-the-fact need for the contract expiration date, as the seller is also required to provide the length of the long-term contract in order to demonstrate that it has no uncommitted capacity.9 NextEra states that if the Commission concludes that there is an actual need for this information given that after-the-fact reporting means that the expiration date can only be used in an ex post analysis, the Commission should clarify that it will permit sellers to provide the information to the Commission either through an EQR submission or on an after-the-fact basis.10 NextEra states that to the extent that a seller informs the Commission of the contract expiration date within 30 days of the date becoming known, the Commission should clarify that it will treat such filings as informational filings rather than as amendments to pending applications.11

8 NextEra Rehearing Request at 2.

9Id. at 12.

10Id. at 13.

11Id. at 14.

3. Commission Determination

15. The Commission stated in Order No. 816 that sellers claiming that capacity is fully committed must provide, among other things, the length of the long-term contract and the expiration date of the contract. The same information must be provided for long-term firm sales of affiliated generation capacity located in the relevant balancing authority areas or markets, including first-tier markets. Including this information in the record of a seller's market-based rate filing is necessary so that a seller's claims of fully committed capacity can be verified as needed.

16. In Order No. 816, the Commission addressed comments submitted by NextEra regarding contract expiration dates. In consideration of NextEra's contention that the expiration date may be unknown at the time a seller files for market-based rate authority,12 the Commission determined that, in such instances, the seller must follow up with an informational filing to inform the Commission of the contract expiration date, within 30 days of the date becoming known.13

12 Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 at P 38.

13Id. P 44.

17. In its request for rehearing, NextEra questions the necessity of requiring the expiration date given that sellers are required to provide the length of the contract. We continue to believe that the expiration date is an important piece of information for sellers to provide. The expiration date provides the Commission with a specific date as to when the affected generation capacity may become uncommitted and the expiration date allows the Commission to verify the information previously provided by the seller for purposes of the Commission's ex ante analysis of the seller's potential market power. With regard to NextEra's argument that the Commission erred in requiring the market-based rate seller to report the expiration date of a contract to the Commission within 30 days of the date being known, rather than in an EQR filing, we note that, as the Commission stated in Order No. 816, many contracts reported in EQR filings do not include expiration dates.14 Finally, consistent with Order No. 816, we grant NextEra's request that the Commission clarify that filings reporting contract expiration dates in support of a seller's claim that capacity is fully committed will be treated as informational filings rather than as amendments to filings.15

14Id.

15Id.

B. Reporting of Long-Term Firm Purchases 1. Final Rule

18. The Commission adopted the proposal to report in the indicative screens long-term firm purchases of capacity and/or energy that have an associated long-term firm transmission reservation. The Commission stated that requiring applicants under the market-based rate program to report all of their long-term firm purchases of energy and/or capacity, regardless of whether the applicant has operational control of the generation capacity supplying the purchased power, will improve the accuracy of the indicative screens.16 The Commission stated that long-term firm power purchase agreements that are reported in the indicative screens also should be reported in the asset appendix, Appendix B, and created a separate sheet in Appendix B specifically for applicants to report all such long-term firm purchases.17

16Id. P 130.

17Id. P 139.

19. The Commission stated that the requirement that applicants only include long-term firm power purchase agreements in their indicative screens if they have an associated long-term transmission reservation will not apply within RTO/ISO markets if that RTO/ISO does not have long-term firm transmission reservations or their equivalent. Instead, applicants in such RTO/ISO markets will be required to report all long-term firm energy and/or capacity purchases from generation capacity located within the RTO/ISO market if the generation is designated as a network resource or as a resource with capacity obligations.18

18Id. P 145.

2. Requests for Rehearing

20. SoCal Edison and NextEra seek clarification with regard to the reporting of long-term firm purchases.

21. SoCal Edison seeks clarification that the requirement to report all long-term firm energy and/or capacity purchases from generation capacity located within the RTO/ISO market if the generation is designated as a resource with capacity obligations does not apply if the generation is a qualifying facility exempt from section 205 of the FPA. SoCal Edison asserts that there is no reason why an applicant that holds a long-term contract with a qualifying facility exempt from FPA section 205 should have to report that in the appendix and screens, even if the facility has capacity obligations, when affiliate-owned exempt qualifying facilities would be excluded from the reporting requirement.19

19 SoCal Edison Rehearing Request at 2.

22. NextEra seeks clarification related to the necessity of reporting long-term power purchases in the asset appendix, Appendix B, by entities that do not have market-based rate authorization in their balancing authority area and as a result are not required to submit indicative screens.20 NextEra states that in Order No. 816, the Commission stated that long-term firm power purchase agreements that are reported in the indicative screens also should be reported in the asset appendix. NextEra states that based on this statement, NextEra understands that the Commission will not require the inclusion of long-term power purchase agreements if a seller does not have market-based rate authority in its balancing authority area, but instead makes only cost-based sales.21 NextEra asks the Commission to confirm that the inclusion of such information is only required for companies that have market-based authority in the relevant geographic market.22

20 NextEra Rehearing Request at 2.

21Id. at 14.

22Id. at 15.

3. Commission Determination

23. We grant SoCal Edison's requested clarification. Applicants purchasing energy and/or capacity from a qualifying facility that is exempt from section 205 of the FPA under a long-term firm power purchase agreement do not need to include such purchases in their indicative screens or in their asset appendix. In Order No. 816, the Commission determined that qualifying facilities that are exempt from section 205 of the FPA do not need to be reported in the asset appendix or indicative screens.23 Therefore, to ensure consistency in horizontal market power analyses filed by sellers we clarify that this exemption applies equally to long-term firm power purchases agreements backed by such resources.

23 Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 at P 255.

24. We reject NextEra's requested clarification. A market-based rate seller must list all of its generation assets in its asset appendix even if it does not have market-based rate authority in its balancing authority area or, indeed, even if its generation is fully committed and it is not submitting any indicative screens. We see no reason to treat long-term firm power purchase agreements differently than other generation capacity. In Order No. 816, the Commission determined that long-term firm power purchase agreements with an associated long-term firm transmission reservation (or that are capacity resources in RTO/ISO markets) must be reported in a seller's indicative screens and asset appendix. Excluding long-term firm power purchase agreements as requested by NextEra would be inconsistent with that policy. In addition, sellers without market-based rate authority in their own balancing authority area typically seek market-based rate authority elsewhere and do so by submitting indicative screens for their first-tier markets. A seller's long-term firm power purchase agreements are a resource that would need to be reflected in the screens for the seller's first-tier markets. Since these agreements are reflected in the screens to the extent that they provide potential exports from a seller's balancing authority area to first-tier markets, they should be included in the seller's asset appendix.

25. We also clarify that the generation capacity associated with a unit-specific long-term contract should be reported in the “Notes” portion of the asset appendix. An example of this will be posted on the Commission's Web site.

C. Clarification of the Definition or Duration of Long-Term Firm Transmission Reservations 1. Final Rule

26. In the Final Rule, the Commission provided clarification on the preparation of simultaneous transmission import limit (SIL) studies. In discussing SIL studies, the Commission declined a request to redefine the applicable duration of long-term firm transmission reservations, stating that it is currently defined as 28 days or longer.24

24Id. P 197.

2. Requests for Rehearing

27. Southern states that Order No. 816 appears to erroneously refer to long-term firm transmission reservations as comprising reservations that are 28 days or longer. Southern maintains that this is contrary to precedent indicating that the expectation for entities performing SIL studies was that only transmission reservations with a duration longer than 28 days (i.e., a duration of 29 days and greater) should be considered to be long-term firm reservations.

3. Commission Determination

28. We clarify that the Commission did not intend to change the definition of long-term firm transmission reservations in Order No. 816. We reaffirm prior Commission guidance that short-term reservations are up to one month and long-term reservations are greater than one month.25 February is the shortest month, which means that long-term firm transmission reservations must be longer than 28 days. Thus, we clarify that long-term firm transmission reservations are longer than 28 days.

25Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities, Order No. 697-B, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,285 at P 25 (2008).

D. Notices of Change in Status 1. Final Rule

29. In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR), the Commission proposed to revise the change in status regulations at 18 CFR 35.42 to include a 100 MW threshold for reporting new affiliations. The Commission stated that a market-based rate seller that has a new affiliation would not be required to file a change in status for an affiliation with an entity with generation assets until its new affiliations result in a cumulative net increase of 100 MW or more of nameplate capacity in any relevant geographic market.26 In the Final Rule, the Commission adopted the proposed changes to the change in status requirements of section 35.42 of the Commission's regulations.27

26Refinements to Policies and Procedures for Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 32,702, at P 96 (2014) (NOPR).

27 Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 at P 251.

30. In the Final Rule, the Commission stated that the 100 MW threshold applies to each new relevant market (not previously studied) in which a seller and/or its affiliates acquire a cumulative net increase of 100 MW.28 The Commission clarified that the phrase “any relevant market” refers to a market in which a seller already has generation located and acquires an additional 100 MW or accumulates 100 MW or more in a new market that the seller had not studied previously.29 The Commission also clarified that the 100 MW threshold does not include generation capacity that can be imported from first-tier markets.30 The Commission agreed with commenters that generation capacity in first-tier markets should not be treated the same as capacity located in the seller's relevant geographic market/study area.31

28Id. P 231.

29Id. P 237.

30Id. P 18.

31Id. P 229.

2. Requests for Rehearing

31. IPP Developers request that the Commission make the following three clarifications: (1) If an affiliate of a seller acquires or controls 100 MW of generating capacity (including long-term firm purchases), the seller must submit a notice of change in status report if that 100 MW is located in the same relevant market that was studied as the basis for the seller's grant of market-based rate authority; (2) if an affiliate of the seller acquires or controls 100 MW or more of generating capacity (including long-term firm purchases) in a market that is two tiers away or more, the seller is not required to submit a notice of change in status report; and (3) if an affiliate of the seller acquires or controls 100 MW or more of generating capacity (including long-term firm purchases) in a market that is in the first-tier, the seller is not required to submit a notice of change in status report.32 IPP Developers state that these three clarification requests appear to be a proper application of the Commission's statements in Order No. 816. IPP Developers conclude that a seller does not have a change in status reporting obligation in regard to an affiliate's generation in first-tier and beyond areas.33

32 IPP Developers Rehearing Request at 1-3.

33Id.

32. However, IPP Developers state that the following statement in paragraph 238 of Order No. 816 makes this reporting obligation unclear: “if a seller's affiliate is granted market based rate authority, and that results in 100 MW or more of new generation in a market, then the seller will have to file a corresponding change in status.” 34 IPP Developers state that “a market” could be any market other than the seller's studied relevant market, i.e., affiliate generation in first-tier or beyond markets.35 IPP Developers state that this statement appears to say that a seller must file a notice of change in status report regardless of the market in which an affiliate of the seller acquires or controls 100 MW or more of generating capacity.36

34Id. at 3-4 (citing Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 at P 238 (emphasis added)).

35Id. at 4.

36Id.

33. IPP Developers state that if the Commission is not inclined to provide the clarifications above, then IPP Developers request rehearing.37

37Id. at 3.

34. TAPS seeks rehearing of the threshold calculation, arguing that capacity in first-tier markets should be included for determining changes in the 100 MW change in status threshold.38 TAPS states that in the NOPR, the Commission proposed to clarify that the “relevant geographic market” for purposes of that 100 MW trigger included generation capacity that could be imported from first-tier markets.39 TAPS states that the Commission then reversed the NOPR proposal, stating that it would “exclude markets and balancing authority areas that are first-tier to the seller's study area.” 40 TAPS states that the Commission erred and should grant rehearing to revise Order No. 816 to include generation in first-tier markets for purposes of change in status reporting, whether or not it is supported by a long-term firm transmission reservation.41 Specifically, TAPS states that the Commission should require sellers to: (1) Include first-tier capacity when there is a long-term transmission reservation associated with the capacity; and (2) include all other first-tier capacity either in its entirety or, in the alternative, on a pro rata basis consistent with the inclusion of such generation in market power screens.42

38 TAPS Rehearing Request at 1.

39Id. at 4 (citing NOPR, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 32,702 at P 96).

40Id. at 5 (citing Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 at P 230).

41Id. at 6.

42Id. at 5.

35. TAPS states that the NOPR's proposal to include first-tier generation capacity is both simple and adequate.43 TAPS states that the Commission could allow sellers, with appropriate support, to prorate generation in markets first-tier to the study area in the same way capacity is assigned pro rata for indicative screen analyses (assuming there are no firm transmission reservations associated with the first-tier capacity, in which case it should be accorded its full megawatt value). TAPS states that this approach would be consistent with the methodology used in the indicative screens, but would require more analysis than reporting of all first-tier capacity for purposes of change in status reports.44

43Id. at 6-7.

44Id. at 7.

3. Commission Determination

36. We grant clarification regarding IPP Developers' three examples of the application of Order No. 816. The scenarios presented by IPP Developers are a proper application of the Final Rule, assuming that the seller is not a power marketer (i.e., the seller owns generation). We also grant clarification regarding the Commission's statement in paragraph 238 of Order No. 816. In paragraph 238 of Order No. 816, the Commission stated that “if a seller's affiliate is granted market-based rate authority, and that results in 100 MW or more of new generation in a market, then the seller will have to file a corresponding change in status.” 45 We clarify that the phrase “in a market” means any relevant geographic market for the seller at the time of the change in status filing. Further, we note that the relevant geographic market for a particular seller depends on whether the seller is a power producer or a power marketer, whether the seller owns transmission or is interconnected to an affiliated transmission system, and whether the seller's generation is in an RTO/ISO. The relevant markets for a power marketer include any market where the power marketer's affiliates own generation. Thus, a power marketer that does not own any generation itself would need to report a change in status for a 100 MW net increase in any market where an affiliate owns generation and has been granted market-based rate authority.46 However, for a power producer, the relevant geographic market is where the seller's generation is physically located. Thus, a power producer would not need to report a 100 MW affiliate net increase in a market where the power producer itself does not own any generation. Similarly, in traditional (non-RTO/ISO) markets, the default relevant geographic market is “first, the balancing authority area where the seller is physically located, and second, the markets directly interconnected to the seller's balancing authority area.” 47 However, “[w]here a generator is interconnecting to a non-affiliate owned or controlled transmission system, there is one relevant geographic market (i.e., the balancing authority area in which the generator is located).” 48 For a seller located in an RTO/ISO market, the seller may consider the RTO/ISO as the default relevant geographic market.49 In each circumstance, the market-based rate seller will have to determine whether any 100 MW increase is in a market that would be a relevant geographic market for that seller.

45 Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 at P 238 (emphasis added).

46 A power marketer with no affiliated generation is a Category 1 seller (exempt from filing triennial updated market power analysis) in all regions and has no relevant geographic market. A power marketer that acquires generation via a long-term power purchase agreement has a relevant geographic market where the power associated with this agreement is delivered (sinks), not where it originates (unless source and sink are in the same market, which is often the case). In this scenario, the power marketer is a Category 1 or 2 seller in the relevant geographic market depending on the MWs associated with the contract(s). Category 2 sellers must submit triennial update market power analyses.

47Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities, Order No. 697, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,252 at P 232 (2007).

48Id. P 232 n.217.

49Id. P 235 (noting that a seller may consider the RTO/ISO as the default relevant geographic market “unless the Commission has already found the existence of a submarket”).

37. We deny TAPS's request that capacity in first-tier markets be included for determining the 100 MW change in status threshold. As the Commission stated in Order No. 816, when a seller has a change in status in a particular market, it does not need to include any changes in adjoining first-tier markets in calculating the 100 MW threshold, even when a purchaser has long-term firm transmission rights to import affiliated capacity located in a first-tier market. We reiterate that, with respect to the calculation of the 100 MW threshold, 100 MW located outside of the study area is not equivalent to 100 MW inside the study area. In addition, requiring sellers to consider generation capacity in first-tier markets, and prorate generation from the first-tier markets into the study area, creates uncertainty as to when a seller would trip the 100 MW threshold and effectively would force a seller to prepare import analyses to determine how much of their additional first-tier capacity could be imported into the study area. We believe that the increased burden of preparing such studies would outweigh the potential benefit gained from receiving additional information about a seller's affiliated generation.

E. New Affiliation and Behind-the-Meter Generation 1. Final Rule

38. As stated above, the Commission adopted the NOPR proposal to establish a 100 MW threshold for reporting new affiliations in change of status filings. The Commission stated that a market-based rate seller that has a new affiliation will not be required to file a change in status for an affiliation with an entity with generation assets until its new affiliations result in a cumulative net increase of 100 MW of capacity in a relevant geographic market.50 The Commission stated that the 100 MW threshold will be determined for each relevant geographic market but will not consider generation capacity additions in first-tier markets.51

50 Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 at P 251. The Commission noted that if a seller files a notice of change in status for another reason, e.g., to report the entrance into a power purchase agreement of more than 100 MW, the seller should note that it has a new affiliate with market-based rate authority and include that new affiliate and any related assets in the seller's asset appendix. Id. P 251 n.334.

51Id. P 251.

39. The Commission did not adopt the NOPR proposal to count behind-the-meter generation in the 100 MW change in status threshold and 500 MW Category 1 seller threshold or to include such generation in the asset appendix and indicative screens.52

52Id. P 252.

40. The Commission stated that the output of behind-the-meter generation should be reflected in the load data reported in the FERC Form No. 714, which reflects the fact that the load is lower than it otherwise would be if a portion of the load were not served by behind-the-meter generation. The Commission also stated that, since behind-the-meter generation is netted out of the load data, requiring sellers to count behind-the-meter generation as installed capacity could result in double-counting a portion of the seller's generation capacity. The Commission clarified that behind-the-meter generation that is consumed on-site by the host load and not sold into the wholesale market, or is not synchronized to the transmission grid, is not relevant to the Commission's horizontal market power analysis.53

53Id. P 253.

2. Requests for Rehearing

41. TAPS requests rehearing and/or clarification, arguing that behind-the-meter generation that is available to make wholesale sales and that is not reflected as a reduction in load reported in Form No. 714 should be included in seller reporting obligations, including the 100 MW change in status threshold, the indicative screens, the asset appendix, and the 500 MW Category 1 seller status threshold.

42. Specifically, TAPS states that the Commission should make clear that behind-the-meter generation that is not consumed on-site by the host load and reflected in Form No. 714 load data must, consistent with the Commission's duty to assess market power, be included in seller reporting obligations and indicative screens and category seller status determinations. TAPS contends that generation that participates in the wholesale markets influences a seller's market power regardless of whether it may be termed behind-the-meter.54 TAPS argues that even if it were otherwise permissible, the exclusion for behind-the-meter generation would be arbitrary and capricious. TAPS states that because Order No. 816 fails to limit the scope of the behind-the-meter exclusion to that included in load reported in Form No. 714 or not synchronized to the grid and provides no definition of behind-the-meter generation, sellers are left to their own devices to determine what is meant by behind-the-meter generation and then to exclude those resources for purposes of reporting under Order No. 816.55

54 TAPS Rehearing Request at 11.

55Id.

43. TAPS states that the Commission should clarify that its exclusion of behind-the-meter generation was intended to be restricted by its clarification at paragraph 253 of the Final Rule—that only generation that is reflected in Form No. 714 or not synchronized would be excludable from generation from market-based rate reporting and market power screens. Alternatively, TAPS states that the Commission should grant rehearing and: (1) Adopt its NOPR proposal to include behind-the-meter generation, with El Paso's clarification—i.e., that behind-the-meter generation that is not reflected as a decrease in load on Form No. 714 should be included in seller reporting obligations and all market power screens; or (2) otherwise avoid creating a behind-the-meter generation blind spot of undefined proportions in its market power monitoring and assessment regimen.56

56Id. at 13.

3. Commission Determination

44. We deny TAPS's request for rehearing. As the Commission stated in the Final Rule, the output of behind-the-meter generation largely should be reflected in the load data reported in the FERC Form No. 714, which reflects the fact that the load is lower than it otherwise would be if a portion of the load were not served by behind-the-meter generation. Accordingly, since behind-the-meter generation is netted out of the load data, requiring sellers to count behind-the-meter generation as installed capacity could result in double-counting a portion of some sellers' generation capacity. Further, the Commission stated in the Final Rule that behind-the-meter generation not sold into the wholesale market is not relevant to the Commission's horizontal market power analysis. Regarding TAPS's concern about behind-the-meter generation that is available to make wholesale sales and is not reflected in load reported in Form No. 714, we believe, at this time, that this category of generation is relatively limited and that the burden of sellers reporting this behind-the-meter generation would outweigh the benefits of such reporting. Therefore, at this time, we will not require sellers to report this type of generation.

F. Corporate Organizational Charts 1. Final Rule

45. In the Final Rule, the Commission adopted the proposal to require a seller to include a corporate organizational chart when filing an initial application for market-based rate authority, an updated market power analysis, or, in some circumstances, a notice of change in status reporting new affiliations.57 The Commission revised the regulatory text in section 35.37(a)(2) and in section 35.42(c) in this regard.

57 Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 at P 21.

2. Requests for Rehearing

46. Invenergy, SoCal Edison, NextEra, EEI, and EPSA request rehearing and/or clarification with respect to the requirement to submit corporate organizational charts. Parties argue, among other things, that the requirement imposes a substantial administrative burden on filers and is at odds with the objective of streamlining the market-based rate filing process.

3. Commission Determination

47. As noted above, upon consideration of requests for a stay of the corporate organizational chart requirement, the Commission issued an order granting an extension of time such that market-based rate applicants and sellers would not be required to comply with the corporate organizational chart requirement prior to the issuance of an order on the merits of the requests for rehearing.58 Upon consideration of the concerns raised by the parties on rehearing regarding this requirement, we grant an additional extension of time such that market-based rate applicants and sellers will not be required to comply with the corporate organizational chart requirement until the Commission issues an order at a later date addressing this requirement. The extension will allow the Commission more time to fully consider the benefits and burdens associated with the corporate organizational chart requirement.59

58Refinements to Policies and Procedures for Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities, 153 FERC ¶ 61,337 (2015).

59 The Commission continues to consider appropriate mechanisms for consolidating the Commission's data collection requirements, including this organizational chart requirement, with the proposed rulemakings in Docket Nos. RM15-23 and RM16-3.

G. Part 101 Waivers 1. Final Rule

48. The Commission clarified that granting waiver of 18 CFR part 101 under market-based rate authority does not waive the requirements under Part I of the FPA for hydropower licensees. In addition, the Commission clarified that hydropower licensees that only make sales at market-based rates may satisfy the requirements in Part 101 of the Commission's regulations (Uniform System of Accounts) by complying with General Instruction 16 of the Uniform System of Accounts, and confirmed that hydropower licensees that have Commission-approved cost-based rates are required to comply with the full requirements of the Uniform System of Accounts.60

60 Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 at P 22.

2. Requests for Rehearing

49. NHA requests clarification that a hydropower licensee that otherwise sells power only at market-based rates will not be subject to the full requirements of the Uniform System of Accounts as a consequence of filing a cost-based reactive power tariff with the Commission.61 Alternatively, NHA requests that the Commission clarify that it will allow licensees that otherwise sell only at market-based rates to request authorization, on a case-by-case basis, to continue to rely on General Instruction 16 of the Uniform System of Accounts at the time a reactive power tariff is filed with the Commission.62

61 NHA Clarification Request at 3-5.

62Id. at 5.

50. NHA argues that the Commission determined in Order No. 697 that “little purpose would be served to require compliance with accounting regulations for entities that do not sell at cost-based rates and do not have captive customers.” 63 NHA represents that the Commission has previously found that reactive power tariffs do not have captive customers and do not raise the same concerns as other cost-based rate tariffs.64 Additionally NHA notes that entities with a reactive power tariff and a market-based rate tariff have been previously granted waiver of Part 101.65

63Id. at 3 (citing Order No. 697, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,252 at P 984).

64Id. at 3-4 (citing Order No. 697, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,252 at P 483 (“concerns underlying the affiliate restrictions do not apply to sales of reactive power because those sales are typically either made to transmission providers so that the transmission provider can satisfy its obligation to provide reactive power or made by the transmission provider under its applicable [open access transmission tariff]”)).

65Id. (citing Sunbury Generation, LLC, 108 FERC ¶ 61,160 (2004) (Sunbury); Illinois Power Generating Co., 148 FERC ¶ 61,238 (2014) (granting waivers of Parts 41, 101, and 141 of the Commission's regulations to entities with a cost-based rate reactive power tariff and a market-based rate tariff)).

3. Commission Determination

51. We clarify that a hydropower licensee that otherwise sells power only at market-based rates will not be subject to the full requirements of the Uniform System of Accounts as a consequence of filing a cost-based reactive power tariff with the Commission. Such a seller may satisfy the requirements in Part 101 of the Commission's regulations by complying with General Instruction 16 of the Uniform System of Accounts. We find that this clarification is consistent with previous Commission findings in Order No. 697 and Sunbury, as noted by NHA. We continue to find, however, that hydropower licensees that have Commission-approved cost-based rates are required to comply with the full requirements of the Uniform System of Accounts.66 Additionally, we remind sellers that “previously granted waivers of the accounting requirements will continue to be rescinded where a seller is found to have market power (or where the sellers accepts a presumption of market power) and the seller proposes cost-based rate mitigation or the Commission imposes cost-based rate mitigation.” 67

66 Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 at P 22.

67 Order No. 697, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,252 at P 986.

H. Capacity Ratings 1. Final Rule

52. In the Final Rule, the Commission revised the regulations at 18 CFR 35.42 relating to the change in status reporting requirements to permit sellers to use nameplate or seasonal capacity ratings for the 100 MW threshold for most generation and allow energy-limited generation to use either nameplate or a five-year average capacity factor.68 The Commission found that solar photovoltaic and solar thermal facilities are energy limited and determined that, due to their unique characteristics, solar photovoltaic facilities, unlike other energy-limited facilities, must use nameplate capacity and may not use five-year average capacity factors.69

68 Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 at P 232.

69Id. P 15.

2. Request for Rehearing

53. Southern notes the Commission's determination in the Final Rule permitted sellers to use nameplate or seasonal capacity ratings for the 100 MW threshold for most generation. Southern states that the regulatory text accompanying the Final Rule includes the phrase “or seasonal” in 18 CFR 35.42(a)(2)(i) but not in 18 CFR 35.42(a)(1). Southern requests that the Commission add the phrase “or seasonal” to 18 CFR 35.42(a)(1) to align with the discussion in the Final Rule.70

70 Southern Rehearing Request at 7 n.15 (citing Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 at P 232).

3. Commission Determination

54. We find that it is appropriate to revise 18 CFR 35.42(a)(1) to add the phrase “or seasonal.” Additionally, we are revising both 18 CFR 35.42(a)(1) and (a)(2)(i) to further align the regulations with the discussion in the Final Rule. Specifically, the revised regulations will indicate that the 100 MW or more of capacity should be based on nameplate or seasonal capacity ratings and, for energy-limited resources, with the exception of solar photovoltaic facilities, the capacity ratings should be based on nameplate or five-year average capacity factors. These revised regulations will indicate that for solar photovoltaic facilities, the capacity ratings should be based on nameplate capacity.

I. Inputs to Electric Power Production 1. Final Rule

55. The Commission considers a seller's ability to erect other barriers to entry as part of the vertical market power analysis and, as such, the Commission requires a seller to provide a description of its inputs to electric power production.71 Section 35.36(a)(4) of the Commission's regulations define inputs to electric power production to mean intrastate natural gas transportation, intrastate natural gas storage or distribution facilities, sites for generation capacity development, physical coal supply sources and ownership of or control over who may access transportation of coal supplies.

71 Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 at P 6.

56. In the Final Rule, the Commission eliminated the requirement that market-based rate sellers file quarterly land acquisition reports and provide information on sites for generation capacity development in market-based rate applications and triennial updated market power analyses. Specifically, the Commission adopted the proposal to revise the regulations at 18 CFR 35.42 relating to the change in status reporting requirements regarding sites for new generation capacity development and also adopted the proposal to revise the regulations at 18 CFR 35.37 to remove the requirement that sellers provide information regarding sites for generation capacity development to demonstrate a lack of vertical market power. However, no changes to the definition of inputs to electric power production were made in the Final Rule.

2. Commission Determination

57. In light the determinations made in the Final Rule, we revise our regulations at 18 CFR 35.36(a)(4) to remove sites for generation capacity development from the definition of inputs to electric power production. However, we clarify that the affirmative statement regarding barriers to entry required in 18 CFR 35.37(e)(3) continues to cover sites for generation capacity development.

J. Transmission/Natural Gas Assets Sheet 1. Final Rule

58. In the NOPR, the Commission proposed to require any seller that has been granted waiver of the requirement to file an open access transmission tariff (OATT) for its transmission facilities to report in its Transmission/Natural Gas Assets Sheet the citation to the Commission order granting the OATT waiver for those transmission facilities.72 The Commission did not adopt the NOPR proposal in the Final Rule, agreeing with SoCal Edison that this requirement would not provide useful information in light of Order No. 807.73 The Commission further stated that, “even if a seller has been granted waiver of the requirement to file an OATT, those transmission facilities should be reported in its asset appendix.” 74

72 NOPR, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 32,702 at P 120.

73 Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 at P 300 (citing Open Access and Priority Rights on Interconnection Customer's Interconnection Facilities, Order No. 807, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,367 (2015) (amending Commission regulations to waive the OATT requirements of section 35.28, the OASIS requirements of Part 37, and the Standards of Conduct requirements of Part 358, under certain conditions, for entities that own interconnection facilities)).

74Id. P 295 (citing Order No. 697-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,268 at P 378 (“We clarify that the transmission facilities that we require to be included in that asset appendix are limited to those the ownership or control of which would require an entity to have an OATT on file with the Commission (even if the Commission has waived the OATT requirement for a particular seller).”)).

2. Commission Determination

59. Upon further consideration, we modify the requirement to report in the asset appendix transmission facilities that have been granted an individual OATT waiver or that qualify for a blanket waiver under Order No. 807 and find that sellers are no longer required to include such facilities in their Transmission/Natural Gas Assets Sheet. We find that the burden of providing information on such facilities outweighs any benefit to reporting it. For this reason, we eliminate the requirement to report in the Transmission/Natural Gas Assets Sheet facilities that qualify for blanket waiver of the OATT requirement under Order No. 807 and those that have been granted an individual OATT waiver.

K. Long-Term Firm Power Purchases List 1. Final Rule

60. In the Final Rule, the Commission established a new, separate list in the asset appendix in which market-based rate sellers are to report their Long-Term Firm Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).75 The Commission agreed with commenters that the format of the Generation Assets Sheet was not well suited for reporting long-term firm purchases.

75Id. P 270.

2. Commission Determination

61. Subsequent to the issuance of Order No. 816, Commission Staff received numerous calls from sellers requesting guidance with respect to completing the Long-Term Firm PPAs Sheet. Upon further consideration, we recognize that certain modifications to this sheet and its instructions are warranted to improve its clarity. To that end, we are making the following changes. First, we are eliminating the existing column B, “Docket # where MBR authority was granted” as this is duplicative of information required elsewhere in the asset appendix. In response to questions as to whether the “Market/Balancing Authority Area” column was referring to the source or sink of the transaction, we are adding a column and specifically requesting sellers to identify both the source and sink of the transaction in separate designated columns. Finally, in response to other questions raised by market-based rate filers, we are adding a column requiring sellers to indicate whether a particular long-term firm purchase agreement is backed by a specific identified generation unit or by the supplier's generation fleet (i.e., a “system” contract). Instructions for the Long-Term Firm PPAs Sheet have been modified to reflect these changes and to make certain other clean up edits.

L. Generation Assets Sheet, Rows [B] and [H] 1. Final Rule

62. The Final Rule contained instructions for completing the asset appendix. The description of Row [B] indicated that, if applicable, sellers should include the docket number where market-based rate or qualifying facility status was originally granted, and that it can be an EL or QF docket number. The description of Row [H] listed the six market-based rate regions but mistakenly listed the Southeast region twice and failed to mention the Northwest region.

2. Commission Determination

63. We revise the instructions for Row [B] of the asset appendix to remove references to EL and QF dockets. This revision does not change the Commission's determinations in Order No. 816. Rather, this revision aligns the description and format information regarding Row [B] with the Commission's intent that Row [B] contain the docket number where market-based rate authority was granted.

64. We revise the instructions to Row [H] of the Generation Assets Sheet to delete the second reference to “Southeast” and replace it with “Northwest.”

III. Information Collection Statement

65. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations implementing the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 76 require that OMB approve certain information collection requirements imposed by an agency.77 Upon approval of a collection(s) of information, OMB will assign an OMB control number and an expiration date. Respondents subject to the filing requirements of a rule will not be penalized for failing to respond to these collections of information unless the collections of information display a valid OMB control number.

76 44 U.S.C. 3507(d) (2012).

77 5 CFR 1320.11.

66. The revisions made in Order No. 816 to the information collection requirements for market-based rate sellers were approved under FERC-919 (OMB Control No. 1902-0234).78 This order clarifies and makes minor revisions to some aspects of the existing information collection requirements for the market-based rate program. The changes to the information collection include:

78 OMB approved the information collection in Order No. 816 on December 22, 2015.

• Removing the need to list transmission facilities in the Transmission/Natural Gas Assets Sheet that have an OATT waiver or that qualify for the blanket OATT waiver (a slight burden decrease)

• adding a source/sink column and a column for generation unit/system contract type to the Long-Term Firm PPAs Sheet (slight burden increases)

• removing column B, “Docket # where MBR authority was granted” from the Long-Term Firm PPAs Sheet and removing references to “EL” and “QF” in the instructions for Row [B] of the Generation Assets Sheet (de minimis decreases)

• removing sites for generation capacity development from the definition of inputs to electric power production at 18 CFR 35.36(a)(4) (no change to burden).

The Commission estimates that there will be no net change to burden. This Final Rule will be submitted to OMB for review and approval of a “No Material/Nonsubstantive Change.”

Title: Market Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities (FERC-919).

Action: Clarification and Revision of Currently Approved Collection of Information.

OMB Control No.: 1902-0234.

Respondents for This Rulemaking: Public utilities, wholesale electricity sellers, businesses, or other for profit and/or not for profit institutions.

67. Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting requirements by contacting: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426 [Attention: Ellen Brown, Office of the Executive Director, email: [email protected], phone: (202) 502-8663, fax: (202) 273-0873]. Comments concerning the requirements of this rule may also be sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 [Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission]. For security reasons, comments should be sent by email to OMB at [email protected] Comments submitted to OMB should refer to FERC-919 and OMB Control Number 1902-0234.

IV. Document Availability

68. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the Internet through FERC's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and in FERC's Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426.

69. From FERC's Home Page on the Internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in the docket number field.

70. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the FERC's Web site during normal business hours from FERC Online Support at 202-502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at [email protected], or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-8371, TTY (202) 502-8659. Email the Public Reference Room at [email protected]

V. Effective Date

71. These regulations are effective July 25, 2016.

List of Subjects in 18 CFR Part 35

Electric power rates, Electric utilities, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

By the Commission.

Issued: May 19, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.

In consideration of the foregoing, the Commission amends Part 35, Chapter I, Title 18, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 35—FILING OF RATE SCHEDULES AND TARIFFS 1. The authority citation for part 35 continues to read as follows: Authority:

16 U.S.C. 791a-825r, 2601-2645; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 42 U.S.C. 7101-7352.

§ 35.36 [Amended]
2. Amend § 35.36 as follows: a. In paragraph (a)(4), remove the comma and add in its place a semicolon. b. In paragraph (a)(4), remove the phrase “sites for generation capacity development;”.
3. Amend § 35.42 by revising paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2)(i) to read as follows:
§ 35.42 Change in status reporting requirement.

(a) * * *

(1) Ownership or control of generation capacity or long-term firm purchases of capacity and/or energy that results in cumulative net increases (i.e., the difference between increases and decreases in affiliated generation capacity) of 100 MW or more of capacity based on nameplate or seasonal capacity ratings, or, for solar photovoltaic facilities, nameplate capacity, or, for other energy-limited resources, nameplate or five-year average capacity factors, in any individual relevant geographic market, or of inputs to electric power production, or ownership, operation or control of transmission facilities; or

(2) * * *

(i) Owns or controls generation facilities or has long-term firm purchases of capacity and/or energy that results in cumulative net increases (i.e., the difference between increases and decreases in affiliated generation capacity) of 100 MW or more of capacity based on nameplate or seasonal capacity ratings, or, for solar photovoltaic facilities, nameplate capacity, or, for other energy-limited resources, nameplate or five-year average capacity factors, in any individual relevant geographic market;

4. Revise appendix B to subpart H to read as follows: Appendix B to Subpart H of Part 35—Corporate Entities and Assets Sample Appendix BILLING CODE 6717-0-P ER26MY16.039 ER26MY16.040 ER26MY16.041 ER26MY16.042 [FR Doc. 2016-12427 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 a.m.] BILLING CODE 6717-01-C
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of Labor-Management Standards 29 CFR Parts 403 and 458 The Reorganization and Delegation of Authority for the Procedures Involving the Election of Officers in Federal Sector Labor Organizations; Filing Threshold for Simplified Annual Reports; and Instructions Regarding the Reports for Labor Organization Officer and Employee, Labor Organization Annual Report, Trusteeship, and Terminal Trusteeship AGENCY:

Office of Labor-Management Standards, DOL.

ACTION:

Final rule; technical corrections.

SUMMARY:

The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) is making a number of technical corrections to its regulations and LM form instructions. OLMS is revising the instructions for the Form LM-30, Labor Organization Officer and Employee Report. OLMS is also amending a 2003 final rule on labor organization annual reports in order to incorporate the previously updated filing threshold for smaller labor organizations with gross annual receipts totaling less than $250,000, make a technical correction to the instructions for the Form LM-2 Labor Organization Annual Report, Item 36 (Dues and Agency Fees), as well as to update the instructions for the Form LM-15, Trusteeship Report, and Form LM-16, Terminal Trusteeship Report. In addition, OLMS is amending a 2013 technical amendment implementing Secretary's Order No. 02-2012, which delegated appellate authority over certain federal sector labor organization officer election matters to the Administrative Review Board.

DATES:

Effective May 26, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Andrew R. Davis, Chief of the Division of Interpretations and Standards, Office of Labor-Management Standards, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-5609, Washington, DC 20210, [email protected], (202) 693-0123 (this is not a toll-free number), (800) 877-8339 (TTY/TDD).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The Form LM-30 final rule that is the subject of these corrections appeared in the Federal Register on October 26, 2011 (76 FR 66441); the final rule revised the Form LM-30, Labor Organization Officer and Employee Report, its instructions, and related provisions in the Department's regulations. The rule implemented section 202 of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA), 29 U.S.C. 432, whose purpose is to require officers and employees of labor organizations to report specified financial transactions, arrangements, and holdings to effect public disclosure of any possible conflicts of interest with their duty to the labor organization and its members. The Form LM-30 and instructions are referenced in 29 CFR part 404. See 29 CFR 404.3 (Form of Annual Report).

These corrections also amend a final rule published in the Federal Register on October 10, 2003 (68 FR 58374), concerning labor organization annual reports. In that rule, the Department increased the filing threshold for Form LM-2 filers from $200,000 to $250,000 in gross annual receipts. See 68 FR 58383. However, the rule did not make a corresponding amendment to the text of 29 CFR 403.4(a)(1) (Simplified annual reports for smaller labor organizations), which permits smaller labor organizations to file the simplified Form LM-3 if they do not have gross annual receipts that meet the filing threshold for the Form LM-2.

Furthermore, the 2003 rule mandated electronic filing of the Form LM-2 for labor organizations with $250,000 or more in gross receipts. See 68 FR 58407. The instructions for the Form LM-2 were properly revised to reflect this requirement, but the rule did not update the instructions for the Form LM-15, Trusteeship Report, or the instructions for the Form LM-16, Terminal Trusteeship Report, both of which still contain references to the old paper format of the Form LM-2. Pursuant to Title III of the LMRDA and the Department's regulations at 29 CFR part 408, the instructions for the Forms LM-15 and LM-16 detail a parent organization's obligation to complete the Form LM-2 on behalf of a subordinate organization that it has placed in trusteeship.

Moreover, today's corrections fix an omission in Section III of the instructions for the Form LM-16, by making clear that the treasurer of the parent union, in addition to the president (or corresponding principal officers), is required to sign the subordinate union's Form LM-2 report, pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 461(a). The Forms LM-16 and LM-16 and instructions are referenced in 29 CFR part 408. See 29 CFR 408.3 (Form of Initial Report) and 29 CFR 408.7 (Terminal Trusteeship Information Report).

Additionally, these amendments correct a technical error in the instructions for Form LM-2 Labor Organization Annual Report, Item 36 (Dues and Agency Fees), by clarifying an example concerning the reporting by a parent body and its subordinate for dues retained by the parent body from dues checkoff as payment for supplies purchased from the parent body by its subordinate. The Form LM-2 and instructions are referenced in 29 CFR part 403. See 29 CFR 403.3 (Form of Annual Financial Report—Detailed Report).

Finally, these corrections amend a final rule published in the Federal Register on February 5, 2013 (78 FR 8022), concerning technical amendments implementing Secretary's Order No. 02-2012 (77 FR 69378), which delegated appellate authority over certain federal sector labor organization officer election matters to the Administrative Review Board (ARB). That rule, in part, amended 29 CFR 458.65 by removing the references to “Assistant Secretary,” and adding in their place, the term “Director” in paragraphs (b) and (c). Upon review, the reference in paragraph (b) should have been replaced with a more general reference to the enforcement procedures outlined in 29 CFR 458.66 through 458.92, as final decisions on challenged elections may be made by different officials depending on the applicable procedure. In addition, the reference in paragraph (c) should have been replaced by the term “Administrative Review Board” instead of the term “Director.”

The rule also amended 29 CFR 458.70 by removing the references to “Assistant Secretary,” and adding, in their place, “Administrative Review Board” in two places. However, in the last sentence of 29 CFR 458.70, the rule did not replace the term “he,” which refers to the Assistant Secretary, with the more appropriate term “it,” for the ARB. Today's corrections make that change, consistent with the use of the term “it” in 29 CFR 458.91 and 458.93 in reference to the ARB, so that the sentence now reads as follow: “The Administrative Review Board may order the remedial action set forth in the stipulated agreement or take such other action as it deems appropriate.”

Need for Corrections

These amendments are necessary to correct the language in the Form LM-30 instructions concerning the scope of “the filer,” as encompassing the union official as well as his or her spouse and minor child.1 The Form LM-30 and the general instructions for Parts A, B, and C, as well as the language in Part II (Who Must File) of the instructions, make clear that “you” also refers to the official's spouse and minor child, not just the union official, and that this applies to the entire form. Further, this requirement derives directly from the statute. However, the specific instructions for Parts A and B simply refer to “you,” without mentioning spouse or minor child. This would not pose an issue, due to the aforementioned form and general instructions, but the instructions for Part C refer to “you, your spouse, or your minor child.” This difference in language may cause confusion as to whether the scope of Parts A and B includes the union official's spouse and minor children.

1 Note: the amendments to the instructions were published as appendices to the final rule and are not reproduced in the CFR.

These amendments are also necessary to correct the language in 29 CFR 403.4(a)(1) to reflect the revised $250,000 filing threshold that was put in place pursuant to the October 2003 final rule on labor organization annual reports. As published, the final regulations did not update the filing threshold in 403.4(a)(1), which may prove to be misleading.

These amendments are also necessary to correct the language in the Form LM-15 and Form LM-16 instructions concerning a parent organization's obligation to file and sign the Form LM-2 annual report of a subordinate organization that it has placed in trusteeship. The instructions refer to the outdated paper format of the Form LM-2 and omit, in one section of the Form LM-16, the statutory requirement for the parent organization's treasurer to also sign the subordinate's Form LM-2. As published, these instructions may prove to be misleading.

Additionally, these amendments are necessary to correct an error in an example provided in the instructions for Form LM-2 Labor Organization Annual Report, Item 36 (Dues and Agency Fees). The instructions state that any amounts of dues checkoff retained by the parent or intermediate body other than per capita tax must be explained in Item 69 (Additional Information). As an example of such reporting by a parent body concerning dues checkoff retained for its subordinate body, the instructions state correctly that a parent body would explain in Item 69 (Additional Information) $500 retained from the dues checkoff as payment for supplies purchased from that body by the subordinate union. However, the example also states that the $500 should not be reported as a receipt or disbursement by either the parent or subordinate body. These amendments are necessary to correct the example, by clarifying that the $500 would not be reported by the subordinate body as a receipt or disbursement. The parent body, however, would report the $500 as a receipt, in this case in Item 39 (Sale of Supplies).

Finally, these amendments are necessary to correct the language in 29 CFR 458.65(b) to reflect the appropriate enforcement procedures and in 29 CFR 458.65(c) and 458.70 to make appropriate references for the ARB, pursuant to Secretary's Order No. 02-2012. As published, the final regulations erroneously replaced the term “Assistant Secretary” with the term “Director” in 29 CFR 458.65, which may prove to be misleading. In the last sentence of 29 CFR 458.70, the final regulations did not properly replace the term “he” with the term “it” in reference to the ARB, which may prove to be misleading.

Corrections to Forms LM-30, LM-15, LM-16, and LM-2

1. Part A (Represented Employer) of the Form LM-30 instructions, at 5, is changed to read: Complete Part A if you, your spouse, or your minor child (1) held an interest in, (2) engaged in transactions or arrangements (including loans) with, or (3) derived income or other benefit of monetary value from, an employer whose employees your labor organization represents or is actively seeking to represent.

2. Part B (Business) (a) of the Form LM-30 instructions, at 7, is changed to read: Complete Part B if you, your spouse, or your minor child held an interest in or derived income or other benefit with monetary value, including reimbursed expenses, from a business (1) a substantial part of which consists of buying from, selling or leasing to, or otherwise dealing with the business of an employer whose employees your labor organization represents or is actively seeking to represent, or (2) any part of which consists of buying from or selling or leasing directly or indirectly to, or otherwise dealing with your labor organization or with a trust in which your labor organization is interested. Report payments received as director's fees, including reimbursed expenses.

3. In Section III (WHAT FORMS TO FILE) of the LM-15 instructions, at 2, the second paragraph of the subsection entitled “Labor Organization Annual Report” is changed to read: Any Form LM-2 filed on behalf of a trusteed organization must include the signatures of the trustees in addition to the signatures of the president and treasurer or corresponding principal officers of the organization which established the trusteeship. To add signature blocks to the Form LM-2 in the electronic filing system, click on the “Add Signature Block” button on the bottom of page 1. If paper filing is permitted, trustees should sign and date the Form LM-2 in the space below the officers' signatures in Items 70 and 71.

4. The last two sentences in Section III (WHAT FORMS TO FILE) of the LM-16 instructions, at 1, are changed to read: The Form LM-2 must contain the signatures of the trustees, in addition to the signatures of the president and treasurer or corresponding principal officers of the parent union. To add signature blocks to the Form LM-2 in the electronic filing system, click on the “Add Signature Block” button on the bottom of page 1. If paper filing is permitted, trustees should sign and date the Form LM-2 in the space below the officers' signatures in Items 70 and 71.

5. Amend instructions for Form LM-2 Labor Organization Annual Report, Item 36 (Dues and Agency Fees) to remove the term “either” in the third sentence of the second paragraph and adding “the reporting” in its place. The sentence would read as follows:

For example, if the intermediate body or parent body retained $500 of the reporting organization's dues checkoff as payment for supplies purchased from that body by the reporting organization, this should be explained in Item 69, but the $500 should not be reported as a receipt or disbursement on the reporting organization's Form LM-2.

List of Subjects 29 CFR Part 403

Labor unions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

29 CFR Part 458

Administrative practice and procedure, Government employees, Labor unions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For reasons stated in the preamble, 29 CFR parts 403 and 458 are corrected by the following amendments:

PART 403—LABOR ORGANIZATION ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORTS 1. The authority citation for part 403 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Secs. 201, 207, 208, 301, 73 Stat. 524, 529, 530 (29 U.S.C. 431, 437, 438, 461); Secretary's Order No. 03-2012, 77 FR 69376, November 16, 2012.

§ 403.4 [Amended]
2. In § 403.4, in paragraph (a)(1), remove the term “$200,000” and add in its place “$250,000”.
PART 458—STANDARDS OF CONDUCT 3. The authority citation for part 458 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 7105, 7111, 7120, 7134; 22 U.S.C. 4107, 4111, 4117; 2 U.S.C. 1351(a)(1); Secretary's Order No. 03-2012, 77 FR 69376, November 16, 2012; Secretary's Order No. 02-2012, 77 FR 69378, November 16, 2012.

4. In § 458.65, revise paragraphs (b) and (c) to read as follows:
§ 458.65 Procedures following actionable complaint.

(b) The challenged election shall be presumed valid pending a final decision thereon as hereinafter provided in §§ 458.66 through 458.92, and in the interim the affairs of the organization shall be conducted by the officers elected or in such other manner as its constitution and bylaws may provide.

(c) When the Chief, DOE supervises an election pursuant to an order of the Administrative Review Board issued under § 458.70 or § 458.91, he shall certify to the Administrative Review Board the names of the persons elected. The Administrative Review Board shall thereupon issue an order declaring such persons to be the officers of the labor organization.

§ 458.70 [Amended]
5. In § 458.70, amend the last sentence by removing the term “he” and adding in its place “it”.
Signed in Washington, DC, this 9th day of May, 2016. Michael J. Hayes, Director, Office of Labor-Management Standards.
[FR Doc. 2016-11611 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-CP-P
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 269 [Docket ID: DOD-2016-OS-0045] RIN 0790-AJ42 Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment AGENCY:

Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), Department of Defense.

ACTION:

Interim final rule.

SUMMARY:

On November 2, 2015, the President signed into law the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the 2015 Act), which further amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990. The 2015 Act updates the process by which agencies adjust applicable civil monetary penalties for inflation to retain the deterrent effect of those penalties. The 2015 Act requires that not later than July 1, 2016, and not later than January 15 of every year thereafter, the head of each agency must, by regulation published in the Federal Register, adjust each CMP within its jurisdiction by the inflation adjustment described in the 2015 Act. Accordingly, the Department of Defense must adjust the level of all civil monetary penalties under its jurisdiction through an interim final rule and make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation.

DATES:

This rule is effective May 26, 2016. Comments must be received by July 25, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

* Mail: 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 and docket number for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Brian Banal, 703-571-1652.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 requires agencies to adjust the level of civil monetary penalties through an interim final rule in the Federal Register.

Background Information

The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, Public Law 101-410, 104 Stat. 890, 28 U.S.C. 2461 note, as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, Public Law 104-134, April 26, 1996, and further amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the 2015 Act), Public Law 114-74, November 2, 2015 requires agencies to annually adjust the level of Civil Monetary Penalties (CMP) for inflation to improve their effectiveness and maintain their deterrent effect. The 2015 Act requires that not later than July 1, 2016, and not later than January 15 of every year thereafter, the head of each agency must adjust each CMP within its jurisdiction by the inflation adjustment described in the 2015 Act. The inflation adjustment must be determined by increasing the maximum CMP or the range of minimum and maximum CMPs, as applicable, for each CMP by the cost-of-living adjustment, rounded to the nearest multiple of $1. The cost-of-living adjustment is the percentage (if any) for each CMP by which the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month of October preceding the date of the adjustment (January 15), exceeds the CPI for the month of October in the previous calendar year. The initial adjustment to a CMP may not exceed 150 percent of the corresponding level in effect on November 2, 2015.

Any increased penalties will only apply to violations which occur after the date on which the increase takes effect.

Each CMP subject to the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense has been adjusted in accordance with the 2015 Act. In compliance with the 2015 Act, the Department of Defense is amending its CMP penalty amounts.

Executive Summary

On November 2, 2015, the President signed into law the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the 2015 Act), which further amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (the Inflation Adjustment Act). The 2015 Act updates the process by which agencies adjust applicable civil monetary penalties for inflation to retain the deterrent effect of those penalties. Agencies are required to make an initial “catch-up” adjustment for civil monetary penalties with the new levels published in the Federal Register by July 1, 2016, to take effect no later than August 1, 2016. Thereafter, agencies are required to make annual inflationary adjustments, starting January 15, 2017, and each year following, based on Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance. Finally, each year in accordance with OMB Circular A-136, agencies will report in the Agency Financial Reports the status of adjustments to civil monetary penalties.

I. Purpose of the Regulatory Action

The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, Public Law 114-74, requires the Department of Defense to adjust applicable civil monetary penalties for inflation to improve the effectiveness and retain the deterrent effect of such penalties. The implementation of this rule will deter violations of law, encourage corrective action(s) of existing violations, and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse within the Department of Defense.

Description of Authority Citation

28 U.S.C. 2461 note, mandates that not later than July 1, 2016, and not later than January 15 of every year thereafter, the head of each agency (in this case the Secretary of Defense) must adjust for inflation each civil monetary penalty provided by law within the jurisdiction of the Federal agency (in this case the Department of Defense), except for any penalty (including any addition to tax and additional amount) under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [26 U.S.C. 1 et seq.] or the Tariff Act of 1930 [19 U.S.C. 1202 et seq.], through an interim final rulemaking; and publish each such adjustment in the Federal Register.

II. Summary of the Major Provisions of the Regulatory Action in Question

Previously, the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 required agencies to adjust civil monetary penalty levels every four years. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the 2015 Act) Act updates this requirement with annual adjustments for inflation based on Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance.

In accordance with the 2015 Act, OMB will provide adjustment rate guidance no later than December 15, 2016, and no later than December 15 for each following year, to adjust for inflation in the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers as of the most recent October. Agencies are required to publish annual inflation adjustments in the Federal Register no later than January 15, starting in 2017, and each subsequent year.

Agency heads are responsible for implementing this guidance and for submitting information to OMB annually on applicable civil monetary penalties through Agency Financial Reports in accordance with OMB Circular A-136.

III. Costs and Benefits

There are no significant costs associated with the regulatory revisions that would impose any mandates on the Department of Defense, Federal, State or local governments, or the private sector. The Department of Defense anticipates that civil monetary penalty collections may increase in the future due to new penalty authorities and other changes in this rule. However, it is difficult to accurately predict the extent of any increase, if any, due to a variety of factors, such as budget and staff resources, the number and quality of civil penalty referrals or leads, and the length of time needed to investigate and resolve a case.

Regulatory Procedures Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review” and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”

Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 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, distribute impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” because it does not: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy; a section 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 these Executive Orders.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. Chapter 25)

Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1532) requires agencies to assess anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule the mandates of which require spending in any year of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation. In 2014, that threshold is approximately $141 million. This rule will not mandate any requirements for State, local, or tribal governments, nor will it affect private sector costs.

Public Law 96-354, “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (5 U.S.C. Chapter 6)

The Department of Defense certifies that this rule is not subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act because it would not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, does not require a regulatory flexibility analysis.

Public Law 96-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

The Department of Defense certifies that this rule does not trigger any reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

Executive Order 13132 establishes certain requirements that an agency must meet when it promulgates a proposed rule (and subsequent final rule) that imposes substantial direct requirement costs on State and local governments, preempts State law, or otherwise has Federalism implications. This interim final rule will not have a substantial effect on State and local governments.

List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 269

Administrative practice and procedure, Penalties.

Accordingly, 32 CFR part 269 is amended as follows:

PART 269—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for 32 CFR part 269 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

28 U.S.C. 2461 note.

2. Revise § 269.1 to read as follows:
§ 269.1 Scope and purpose.

The purpose of this part is to establish a mechanism for the regular adjustment for inflation of civil monetary penalties under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense. Applicable civil monetary penalties must be adjusted in conformity with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, 28 U.S.C. 2461 note, as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, Public Law 104-134, April 26, 1996, and further amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, Public Law 114-74, November 2, 2015, in order to improve the deterrent effect of civil monetary penalties and to promote compliance with the law.

§ 269.2 [Amended]
3. Amend § 269.2 by adding “and” after the semicolon in paragraph (b)(1)(ii). 4. Amend § 269.3 by: a. Revising the introductory text. b. In paragraph (a): i. Removing “By regulation adjustment” and adding in its place “By regulation, adjust.” ii. Removing “the Department of Defense” and adding in its place “the Department.”

The revision reads as follows:

§ 269.3 Civil monetary penalty inflation adjustment.

The Department must, not later than July 1, 2016 and not later than January 15 of every year thereafter—

5. Revise § 269.4 to read as follows:
§ 269.4 Cost of living adjustments of civil monetary penalties.

(a) The inflation adjustment under § 269.3 must be determined by increasing the maximum civil monetary penalty or the range of minimum and maximum civil monetary penalties, as applicable, for each civil monetary penalty by the cost-of-living adjustment. Any increase determined under this subsection shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of $1.

(b) For purposes of paragraph (a) of this section, the term “cost-of-living adjustment” means the percentage (if any) for each civil monetary penalty by which the Consumer Price Index for the month of October preceding the date of the adjustment (January 15), exceeds the Consumer Price Index for the month of October in the previous calendar year. For example, if the Consumer Price Index for October 2016 is 1.0 and the Consumer Price Index for October 2015 was 0.75, then all applicable penalties will need to be positively adjusted by 0.25 by January 15, 2017.

(c) Limitation on initial adjustment. The initial adjustment of civil monetary penalty pursuant to § 269.3 may not exceed 150 percent of such penalty.

(d) Inflation adjustment. Maximum civil monetary penalties within the jurisdiction of the Department are adjusted for inflation as follows:

United States Code Civil monetary penalty description Maximum penalty amount as of 10/23/96 New adjusted maximum
  • penalty amount
  • National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2005, 10 U.S.C 113, note Unauthorized Activities Directed at or Possession of Sunken Military Craft Not Applicable1 $124,588 10 U.S.C. 1094(c)(1) Unlawful Provision of Health Care $5,500 10,940 10 U.S.C. 1102(k) Wrongful Disclosure—Medical Records: First Offense 3,300 6,469 Subsequent Offense 22,000 43,126 10 U.S.C. 2674(c)(2) Violation of the Pentagon Reservation Operation and Parking of Motor Vehicles Rules and Regulations Not Applicable 1 1,782 31 U.S.C. 3802(a)(1) Violation Involving False Claim 5,500 10,781 31 U.S.C. 3802(a)(2) Violation Involving False Statement 5,500 10,781 1 Penalties were not identified in the 1996 publication of this chart and/or were not established by statute or regulation in 1996.
    § 269.5 [Amended]
    6. Amend § 269.5 by removing “shall apply only to violations which occur after the date the increase takes effect” and adding in its place “must apply only to civil monetary penalties, including those whose associated violation predated such increase, which are assessed after the date the increase takes effect (i.e., July 1, 2016).” Dated: May 20, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12365 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0360] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; York River, Yorktown, VA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Coleman Memorial Bridge (US 17) across the York River, mile 7.0, Yorktown, VA. The deviation is necessary to perform bridge maintenance. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective without actual notice from May 26, 2016 to 7 p.m. on July 17, 2016. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from 7 a.m. on May 22, 2016, until May 26, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0360] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mrs. Traci Whitfield, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard; telephone (757) 398-6629, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the owner of the Coleman Memorial Bridge (US 17), has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating regulation to perform repairs. VDOT needs to perform mechanical work that cannot be accomplished when the bridge is moveable. The bridge must be in the closed-to-navigation position to perform the maintenance. The bridge is a single bascule span and has a vertical clearance in the closed position of seven feet above mean high water. The York River is used by a variety of vessels including deep draft ocean-going vessels, U. S. government vessels, Small commercial fishing vessels, recreational vessels and tug and barge traffic. The Coast Guard has carefully coordinated the restrictions with U. S. government and commercial waterway users.

    Under this temporary deviation, the bridge will remain in the closed-to-navigation position from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. as follows: Sunday, May 22, 2016; Sunday, June 5, 2016 with an inclement weather date on Sunday, June 12, 2016; Sunday, June 19, 2016 with an inclement weather date on Sunday, June 26, 2016; and Sunday, July 10, 2016 with an inclement weather date on Sunday, July 17, 2016. At all other times, the bridge will operate in accordance with the operating regulations set out in 33 CFR 117.1025.

    Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at anytime. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies and there is no immediate alternate route for vessels unable to pass through the bridge in the closed position. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessel operators can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: May 19, 2016. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12405 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0202] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Monongahela River Mile 97.5 to Mile 100.5, Morgantown, WV AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for navigable waters of the Monongahela River from mile 97.5 to mile 100.5. The safety zone is needed to protect spectators, participants, and personnel involved in the West Virginia Triathlon. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Pittsburgh.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 6 a.m. until 10 a.m. on June 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2016-0202 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email MST1 Jennifer Haggins, Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh, U.S. Coast Guard, at telephone 412-221-0807, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because the Coast Guard received notice on March 1, 2016, that this event would take place. After receiving and fully reviewing the event information, circumstances and exact location, the Coast Guard determined that a safety zone is necessary to protect spectators, participants, and the personnel involved in the West Virginia Triathlon. It would be impracticable to complete the full NPRM process for this safety zone because it needs to be established by June, 19, 2016. The triathlon event has been advertised and the local community has prepared for the event. For the same reasons, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), we find good cause for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port Pittsburgh (COTP) has determined that a safety zone is needed on June 19, 2016. This rule is needed to protect personnel, spectators, and participants in navigable waters during the swimming portion of the West Virginia Triathlon.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a safety zone on June 19, 2016, from 6 a.m. until 10 a.m. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters on the Monongahela River from mile 97.5 to mile 100.5. The duration of the safety zone is intended to protect personnel, spectators, and participants while the swimming portion of the West Virginia Triathlon takes place. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive order related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and Executive orders, and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 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. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, and duration of the safety zone. This safety zone impacts a small portion of the waterway and for a limited duration of four hours. Vessel traffic will be informed about the safety zone through local notices to mariners. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue Broadcast Notices to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone and the rule allows vessels to seek permission to transit the zone.

    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 rule will 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 V.A above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132.

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this 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 rule will not result in such expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a safety zone lasting four hours that will prohibit entry on all waters of the Monongahela River from mile 97.5 to mile 100.5 during the swimming portion of West Virginia Triathlon. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34 (g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

    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.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T08-0202 to read as follows:
    § 165.T08-0202 Safety Zone, Monongahela River, Pittsburgh, PA.

    (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: all waters of the Monongahela River, from mile 97.5 to 100.5, extending the entire width of the waterway.

    (b) Effective period. This section is effective, and will be enforced, from 6 a.m. until 10 a.m. on June 19, 2016.

    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Pittsburgh or a designated representative.

    (2) Persons or vessels requiring entry into or passage through the zone must request permission from the Captain of the Port Pittsburgh or a designated representative. The Captain of the Pittsburgh representative may be contacted at 412-221-0807.

    (3) All persons and vessels shall comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Pittsburgh or their designated representative. Designated Captain of the Port representatives include United States Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, and petty officers.

    (d) Information broadcasts. The Captain of the Port Pittsburgh or a designated representative will inform the public through broadcast notices to mariners of the enforcement period for the safety zone as well as any changes in the planned schedule.

    Dated: April 25, 2016. L. McClain, Jr., Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Pittsburgh.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12371 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2015-0801; A-1-FRL-9946-94-Region 1] Air Plan Approval; ME; Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions From Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing and Surface Coating Facilities AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the State of Maine. These revisions establish Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) requirements for reducing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from fiberglass boat manufacturing and surface coating operations. The intended effect of this action is to approve these requirements into the Maine SIP. This action is being taken in accordance with the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective July 25, 2016, unless EPA receives adverse comments by June 27, 2016. If adverse comments are received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R01-OAR-2015-0801 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the 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. The 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, please contact the person identified in the “For Further Information Contact” section. For 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:

    David L. Mackintosh, Air Quality Planning Unit, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, (Mail code OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912, tel. 617-918-1584, fax 617-918-0668, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. Organization of this document. The following outline is provided to aid in locating information in this preamble.

    I. What action is EPA taking? II. What is the background for this action? III. What is included in Maine's submittals? IV. EPA's Evaluation of Maine's Submittals V. Final Action VI. Incorporation by Reference VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is approving Maine's Chapter 162, “Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing Materials,” submitted on July 1, 2014, to address EPA's Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) for Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing Materials (EPA-453/R-08-004, September 2008). EPA is also approving Maine's revised Chapter 129, “Surface Coating Facilities,” submitted on August 18, 2015, to address EPA's CTG for Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Parts Coatings (EPA-453/R-08-003, September 2008). These two Maine regulations implement RACT for the applicable facility operations. Lastly, EPA is approving Maine's negative declarations for two CTGs, Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings (EPA-453/R-08-006, September 2008) and Large Appliance Coatings (EPA-453/R-07-004, September 2007), which were submitted on April 23, 2013.

    II. What is the background for this action?

    Maine is part of the Ozone Transport Region (OTR) under Section 184(a) of the CAA. Sections 182(b)(2) and 184 of the CAA compel states with moderate and above ozone nonattainment areas, as well as areas in the OTR, respectively, to submit a SIP revision requiring the implementation of RACT for sources covered by a CTG and for all major sources. A CTG is a document issued by EPA which establishes a “presumptive norm” for RACT for a specific VOC source category.

    On October 9, 2007, EPA issued three CTGs, including the CTG for Large Appliance Coatings, which states were required to address by October 9, 2008 (72 FR 57215). Then on October 7, 2008, EPA issued four CTGs including Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Parts Coatings, Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing Materials, and Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings, which states were required to address by October 7, 2009 (73 FR 58841).

    III. What is included in Maine's submittals?

    On April 23, 2013, Maine submitted a SIP revision to EPA containing negative declarations for two CTG source categories: Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings and Large Appliance Coatings. Negative declarations include a statement that no sources subject to the requirement in question are located in the state; thus the state need not adopt a regulation based on a CTG that otherwise would apply to such sources. Then on July 1, 2014, Maine submitted a SIP revision to EPA containing a new regulation, Maine's Chapter 162, “Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing Materials,” to address the CTG of the same name. Lastly, on August 18, 2015, Maine submitted revised Chapter 129, “Surface Coating Facilities,” to address EPA's Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Parts Coatings CTG.

    IV. EPA's Evaluation of Maine's Submittals

    Maine's new Chapter 162, “Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing Materials,” is consistent with the recommendations for RACT found in EPA's CTG for Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing Materials. This new regulation is effective on July 30, 2013, and applies to fiberglass boat manufacturing operations that have, before controls, combined actual emissions of 5,400 pounds of VOC or more, per rolling 12-month period, from the use of gel coats, resins, and materials used to clean application equipment. Applicable facilities for which construction commenced prior to the effective date of the rule, must comply within 36 months after the effective date of the rule or upon initial startup, whichever is later, and facilities for which construction commenced on or after the effective date of the rule must comply upon their initial startup. Specifically, the rule applies to facilities that manufacture hulls or decks of boats from fiberglass but not to facilities that solely manufacture parts of boats such as hatches, seats, or lockers. Sources subject to the rule must meet specific VOC content limits for resin and gel coat operations such as open molding, mixing and cleaning application equipment. Facilities may meet these limits by implementing one of the following prescribed techniques: Use of low-VOC content materials; averaging the VOC content of materials to meet low-VOC content standards; and/or the installation and operation of pollution control devices. Maine's rule has the same VOC content limits as the CTG and also includes the appropriate recordkeeping, reporting, and testing requirements to ensure these emission limits are enforceable. The new regulation also specifies work practices to reduce VOC emissions during the application, storage, mixing, and conveyance of coatings, resins, and cleaning materials.

    Maine's Chapter 129, “Surface Coating Facilities,” was previously approved by EPA on May 22, 2012 (77 FR 30216). The revised rule has been expanded to include the coating of plastic parts and products and to include additional coating categories for the coating of miscellaneous metal parts and products. The amendments provide for five major surface coating categories with numerous subcategories in each to further identify which coatings are subject to a specific VOC emission limit. The emissions limits may be achieved by using one or more of three compliance methods: Low solvent content coating technology; daily-weighted averaging of emission limitations; and installation and operation of an add-on air pollution control device with 95% capture and control efficiency. Maine's Chapter 129 also includes the appropriate recordkeeping, reporting, and testing requirements to ensure these emission limits are enforceable.

    The new coating limits generally follow the recommendations in EPA's CTG for Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Parts Coating, with the exception of three coating categories which, as explained below, does not render the rule as a whole less stringent than the rule previously approved by EPA into the Maine SIP. Maine adopted higher coating limits for Pleasure Craft Surface Coating than the CTG for Extreme High Gloss Topcoat, Other Substrate Antifoulant Coating, and Antifouling Sealer/Tie Coating. For these three categories, Maine reviewed industry data and determined that for purpose of functionality, cost, and VOC emissions, the alternative limits adopted for these three coating categories constitute RACT. Maine's approach is consistent with the EPA guidance memorandum, entitled “Control Technique Guidelines for Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Part Coatings—Industry Request for Reconsideration,” from Stephen Page to Air Branch Chiefs, Regions I-X, dated June 1, 2010. Although some of the miscellaneous metal parts and products specialty coatings limits in Maine's revised Chapter 129 are higher than the limits that had been previously approved into the Maine SIP, the more frequently used General One Component and General Multi Component coating limits for metal parts are lower than the previous SIP-approved general category limit for metal parts referred to as “All Other Coatings.” In addition, the revised rule's applicability is much broader. Thus, the revised rule satisfies the anti-back sliding requirements in Section 110(l) of the CAA because, the rule as whole will achieve an equal or greater amount of VOC reductions as compared to the rule previously approved into the SIP. This analysis is also consistent with the EPA guidance memorandum entitled “Approving SIP Revisions Addressing VOC RACT Requirements for Certain Coating Categories,” dated March 17, 2011.

    Maine also submitted negative declarations for two CTGs: Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings and Large Appliance Coatings. Maine staff reviewed the inventory of sources for facilities with North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes that correspond to these source categories, interviewed its field and compliance staff, and searched telephone and business directories to determine if any sources meeting the applicability requirements of these two CTGs are located in Maine. After thoroughly reviewing all available information, Maine determined that there were no sources meeting the applicability thresholds for these two source categories.

    As discussed above, Maine's new Chapter 162 and revised Chapter 129 are consistent with the relevant CTGs with the exception of certain limited provisions that do not result in greater emissions of VOCs than otherwise would be the case. Therefore, EPA has concluded that Maine has met the CAA RACT requirement for the Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing Materials and the Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Parts Coatings CTG source categories. In addition, Maine's method for arriving at the negative declarations for EPA's Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings CTG and EPA's Large Appliance Coatings CTG is reasonable and EPA believes that the declarations are accurate. Therefore, EPA has concluded that Maine has also met the CAA RACT requirement for these two CTG source categories.

    V. Final Action

    EPA is approving, and incorporating into the Maine SIP, Maine's new Chapter 162, “Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing Materials,” and Maine's revised Chapter 129, “Surface Coating Facilities,” as meeting RACT for the Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing and the Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Parts Coatings CTG source categories, respectively. Additionally, EPA is approving Maine's negative declarations for two CTG source categories: Automobile and Light-duty Truck Assembly Coatings and Large Appliance Coatings.

    The EPA is publishing this action without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision should relevant adverse comments be filed. This rule will be effective July 25, 2016 without further notice unless the Agency receives relevant adverse comments by June 27, 2016.

    If the EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a notice withdrawing the final rule and informing the public that the rule will not take effect. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. The EPA will not institute a second comment period on the proposed rule. All parties interested in commenting on the proposed rule should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this rule will be effective on July 25, 2016 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    VI. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with the requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the Maine DEP regulations described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through http://www.regulations.gov.

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by 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. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: May 11, 2016. H. Curtis Spalding, Regional Administrator, EPA New England.

    Therefore, 40 CFR part 52, chapter I 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 U—Maine 2. Amend § 52.1020 by: a. In paragraph (c), table, revising the entry for “Chapter 129”, and adding a new entry “Chapter 162” in numerical order; and b. In paragraph (e), table, adding a new entry at the end of the table.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 52.1020 Identification of plan.

    (c) EPA approved regulations.

    EPA-Approved Maine Regulations State citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date
  • and citation 1
  • Explanations
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 129 Surface Coating Facilities 7/7/2015 5/26/2016 [Insert Federal Register citation] Added requirements for metal parts and plastic parts coating operations. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 162 Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing Materials 7/30/2013 5/26/2016 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 1 In order to determine the EPA effective date for a specific provision listed in this table, consult the Federal Register notice cited in this column for the particular provision.

    (e) Nonregulatory.

    Maine Non Regulatory Name of non regulatory SIP provision Applicable geographic or nonattainment area State submittal date/effective date EPA approved date 3 Explanations *         *         *         *         *         *         * Negative Declarations for Large Appliance Coatings and Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings Control Technique Guidelines Maine Statewide 4/23/2013 5/26/2016 [Insert Federal Register citation] 3 In order to determine the EPA effective date for a specific provision listed in this table, consult the Federal Register notice cited in this column for the particular provision.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12398 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [CA130-NBK; FRL-9942-49-Region 9] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; State of California; Revised Format for Materials Incorporated by Reference AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule; notice of administrative change.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is revising the format for materials submitted by the State of California that are incorporated by reference (IBR) into the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). The regulations affected by this format change have all been previously submitted by the State of California and approved by the EPA. This format revision will primarily affect the “Identification of plan” section, as well as the format of the SIP materials that will be available for public inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the EPA Regional Office. This action, which only relates to state statutes and state regulations and does not include local and regional California air district rules, local ordinances, source-specific requirements, or nonregulatory and quasi-regulatory provisions, is the first of a series of actions intended to change the format for the entire California SIP.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This rule is effective on May 26, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    SIP materials which are incorporated by reference into 40 CFR part 52 are available for inspection at the following locations:

    Air Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901; and National Archives and Records Administration.

    For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kevin Gong, EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3073, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, wherever “we”, “us” or “our” are used, we mean the EPA. Information is organized as follows:

    Table of Contents I. Background A. What a SIP Is B. How the EPA Enforces SIPs C. How the State and the EPA Update the SIP D. How the EPA Compiles the SIPs E. How the EPA Organizes the SIP Compilation F. Where You Can Find a Copy of the SIP Compilation G. The Format of the New Identification of Plan Section H. When a SIP Revision Becomes Federally Enforceable II. What the EPA Is Doing in This Action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background A. What a SIP Is

    Each State has a SIP containing the control measures and strategies used to attain and maintain the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). The SIP is extensive, containing such elements as air pollution control regulations, emission inventories, monitoring network, attainment demonstrations, and enforcement mechanisms.

    B. How the EPA Enforces SIPs

    Each state must formally adopt the control measures and strategies in the SIP after the public has had an opportunity to comment on them. They are then submitted to the EPA as SIP revisions upon which the EPA must formally act. Once these control measures and strategies are approved by the EPA, after notice and comment, they are incorporated into the federally approved SIP and are identified in part 52 (Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans), title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR part 52). The actual state regulations approved by the EPA are not reproduced in their entirety in 40 CFR part 52, but are “incorporated by reference” (IBR'd) which means that the EPA has approved a given state regulation with a specific effective date. This format allows both the EPA and the public to know which measures are contained in a given SIP and ensures that the state is enforcing the regulations. It also allows the EPA and the public to take enforcement action, should a state not enforce its SIP-approved regulations.

    C. How the State and the EPA Update the SIP

    The SIP is a living document which the state can revise as necessary to address the unique air pollution problems in the state. Therefore, the EPA must, from time to time, take action on SIP revisions containing new or revised regulations in order to make them part of the SIP. On May 22, 1997 (62 FR 27968), the EPA revised the procedures for IBR'ing federally-approved SIPs, as a result of consultations between the EPA and the Office of the Federal Register (OFR).

    The EPA began the process of developing: (1) A revised SIP document for each state that would be IBR'd under the provisions of title 1 CFR part 51; (2) a revised mechanism for announcing the EPA's approval of revisions to an applicable SIP and updating both the IBR document and the CFR; and (3) a revised format of the “Identification of Plan” sections for each applicable subpart to reflect these revised IBR procedures. The description of the revised SIP document, IBR procedures, and “Identification of plan” format are discussed in further detail in the May 22, 1997, Federal Register document. We have taken action to revise the format for many state SIPs, see, e.g., 40 CFR 52.1470 and 52.1490 (“Identification of plan” and “Original identification of plan” sections for the State of Nevada SIP), and take the first step today towards revising the format of the California SIP.

    D. How the EPA Compiles the SIPs

    Under the revised SIP format, the federally-approved regulations, source-specific requirements, and nonregulatory provisions (entirely or portions of) submitted by each state agency have been compiled by the EPA into a “SIP compilation.” The SIP compilation contains the updated regulations, source-specific requirements, and nonregulatory and quasi-regulatory provisions approved by the EPA through previous rulemaking actions in the Federal Register.

    E. How the EPA Organizes the SIP Compilation

    Each compilation contains three parts. Part one contains the regulations, part two contains the source-specific requirements that have been approved as part of the SIP, and part three contains nonregulatory and quasi-regulatory provisions that have been EPA-approved. Each part consists of a table or tables of identifying information for each SIP-approved regulation, each SIP-approved source-specific requirement, and each nonregulatory or quasi-regulatory SIP provision. The EPA Regional Offices have the primary responsibility for updating the compilations and ensuring their accuracy.

    In this action, the EPA is publishing the tables summarizing the state statutes and state regulations approved into the applicable California SIP. Given the size of the California SIP, the EPA is revising the format of the California SIP in a phased manner. This first action relates only to state statutes and state regulations. Future actions in the series of rulemakings will revise the format of the local and regional California air district rules, local ordinances, source-specific requirements, nonregulatory provisions and quasi-regulatory measures approved by the EPA as part of the California SIP.

    F. Where You Can Find a Copy of the SIP Compilation

    EPA Region IX developed and will maintain the compilation for California. A copy of the full text of California's regulatory SIP compilation will also be maintained at NARA.

    G. The Format of the New Identification of Plan Section

    In order to better serve the public, the EPA revised the organization of the “Identification of plan” section and included additional information to clarify the enforceable elements of the SIP. The revised Identification of plan section contains five subsections:

    1. Purpose and scope.

    2. Incorporation by reference.

    3. EPA-approved regulations.

    4. EPA-approved source-specific requirements.

    5. EPA-approved nonregulatory and quasi-regulatory provisions such as air quality attainment plans, rate of progress plans, maintenance plans, monitoring networks, and small business assistance programs.

    The California SIP is found in 40 CFR part 52 (“Approval and promulgation of implementation plans”), subpart F (“California”), section 52.220 (“Identification of plan”).1 In this action, we are revising the heading of section 52.220 to read, “Identification of plan—in part,” and adding an introductory paragraph to convey our division of the California “Identification of plan” section into two sections:

    1 Subpart F begins with 40 CFR 52.219 (“Identification of plan—conditional approval”). Section 52.219 was promulgated at 58 FR 62533 (November 29, 1993) in a final rule in which the EPA conditionally approved California's request to “opt-out” of the clean-fuel vehicle fleet program required under CAA section 246 based on the state's commitment to formally adopt and submit a demonstration that the California Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) program qualifies as a substitute for the section 246 program. In 1999, the EPA approved the state's SIP revision demonstrating that the LEV program qualifies as a substitute for the CAA clean-fuel vehicle fleet program and rescinded the condition on approval of the opt-out request. See the proposed approval at 62 FR 18071 (April 14, 1997) and the final approval at 64 FR 46849 (August 27, 1999). Our 1999 final action should have removed the now-obsolete regulatory text in 40 CFR 52.219 but failed to do so, and we are taking the opportunity now to remove the obsolete conditional approval in 40 CFR 52.219 from the CFR in this rulemaking.

    • Amended section 52.220, which will for the time being continue to function as it has in the past to list past and newly-approved air district rules, local ordinances, source-specific requirements, and nonregulatory and quasi-regulatory provisions and which will list state statutes and state regulations approved on or prior to April 1, 2016 but will not list new or amended state statutes or state regulations approved after April 1, 2016, and

    • New section 52.220a (“Identification of plan—in part”), which will list the state statutes and state regulations approved as part of the California SIP after April 1, 2016.

    This means that subsequent EPA approvals of air district rules, local ordinances, source-specific requirements, and nonregulatory and quasi-regulatory provisions will continue to be promulgated in 40 CFR 52.220 using the paragraph format whereas EPA approvals of state statutes and state regulations will now be promulgated in 40 CFR 52.220a using the table format.

    Over time, as the EPA completes further rulemaking actions to convert the format of the California SIP, section 52.220a will include a growing number of air district rules, local ordinances, source-specific requirements, and nonregulatory and quasi-regulatory provisions. Once the conversion process is completed, the EPA will redesignate section 52.220a as 52.220 and rename it simply “Identification of plan.” At that point, all subsequent actions by the EPA to approve California SIP revisions will be promulgated using the new table format. The EPA does not intend to retain in subpart F the historical record of SIP approvals that have been promulgated in paragraph format once the conversion process is completed.

    H. When a SIP Revision Becomes Federally Enforceable

    All revisions to the relevant portion of the applicable SIP (in this first instance, state statutes and state regulations) become federally enforceable as of the effective date of the revisions to paragraphs (c), (d), or (e) of the applicable “Identification of plan—in part” section found in subpart F of 40 CFR part 52.

    II. What the EPA Is Doing in This Action

    Today's rule constitutes a “housekeeping” exercise to ensure that all revisions to the state programs that have occurred are accurately reflected in 40 CFR part 52. State SIP revisions are controlled by the EPA's regulations at 40 CFR part 51. When the EPA receives a formal SIP revision request, the Agency must publish the proposed revision in the Federal Register and provide for public comment before approval.

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

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is reformatting the materials incorporated by reference in previous rulemakings on submittal of the California SIP and SIP revisions. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

    This action does not impose additional requirements beyond those previously approved into the SIP and already imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In issuing this rule, the EPA has taken the necessary steps to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize potential litigation, and provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct, as required by section 3 of Executive Order 12988 (61 FR 4729, February 7, 1996). The EPA has complied with Executive Order 12630 (63 FR 8859, March 15, 1998) by examining the takings implications of the rule in accordance with the “Attorney General's Supplemental Guidelines for the Evaluation of Risk and Avoidance of Unanticipated Takings” issued under the executive order. The EPA's compliance with these statutes and Executive Orders for the underlying rules are discussed in previous actions taken on the State's rules.

    B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

    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. Section 808 allows the issuing agency to make a rule effective sooner than otherwise provided by the CRA if the agency makes a good cause finding that notice and public procedure is impracticable, unnecessary or contrary to the public interest. Today's action simply codifies provisions which are already in effect as a matter of law in federal and approved state programs. 5 U.S.C. 802(2). As stated previously, the EPA has made such a good cause finding, including the reasons therefore, and established an effective of May 26, 2016. The EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. The change in format to the “Identification of plan” section for the State of California are not a `major rule' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    C. Petitions for Judicial Review

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: April 12, 2016. Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.

    Part 52, chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations are amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart F—California 2. Remove § 52.219 from subpart F. 3. Revise the heading of § 52.220 and add introductory text to the section to read as follows:
    § 52.220 Identification of plan—in part.

    This section identifies the local and regional air district rules, local ordinances, source-specific requirements, and nonregulatory materials submitted by the State of California and approved as part of the California state implementation plan. This section also identifies California statutes and state regulations submitted by the State of California and approved as part of the California state implementation plan on or prior to April 1, 2016. New or amended California statutes and state regulations approved after April 1, 2016 are identified in § 52.220a.

    4. Add new § 52.220a to read as follows:
    § 52.220a Identification of plan—in part.

    (a) Purpose and scope. This section sets forth a portion of the applicable State implementation plan for the State of California under section 110 of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7401-7671q and 40 CFR part 51 to meet national ambient air quality standards. This section identifies the state statutes and state regulations portion of the applicable California State implementation plan.

    (b) Incorporation by reference. (1) Material listed in paragraph (c) and (d) of this section with an EPA approval date on or prior to April 1, 2016, was approved for incorporation by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Material is incorporated as it exists on the date of the approval, and notice of any change in the material will be published in the Federal Register. Entries in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section with EPA approval dates after April 1, 2016 will be incorporated by reference in the next update to the SIP compilation.

    (2) EPA Region IX certifies that the rules/regulations provided by EPA in the SIP compilation at the addresses in paragraph (b)(3) of this section are an exact duplicate of the officially promulgated State rules/regulations which have been approved as part of the State implementation plan as of April 1, 2016.

    (3) Copies of the materials incorporated by reference may be inspected at the Region IX EPA Office at 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105; or the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    (c) EPA-approved regulations.

    Table 1—EPA-Approved Statutes and State Regulations 1 State citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation GOVERNMENT CODE Title 9 (Political Reform), Chapter 2 (Definitions) 82048 Public official January 1, 2005 April 1, 2016, 81 FR 18766 Added by California Initiative Measure approved on June 4, 1974, effective January 7, 1975, and last amended in 2004. Submitted on March 6, 2014. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(468)(i)(A)(1). Title 9 (Political Reform), Chapter 7 (Conflicts of Interest), Article 1 (General Prohibitions) 87103 Financial interest in decision by public official January 1, 2001 April 1, 2016, 81 FR 18766 Added by California Initiative Measure approved on June 4, 1974, effective January 7, 1975, and last amended in 2000. Submitted on March 6, 2014. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(468)(i)(A)(2). Title 9 (Political Reform), Chapter 7 (Conflicts of Interest), Article 3 (Conflict of Interest Codes) 87302 Required Provisions; exemptions January 1, 1993 April 1, 2016, 81 FR 18766 Added by California Initiative Measure approved on June 4, 1974, effective January 7, 1975, and last amended in 1992. Submitted on March 6, 2014. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(468)(i)(A)(3). HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE Division 26 (Air Resources Board), Part 4 (Nonvehicular Air Pollution Control), Chapter 3 (Emission Limitations), Article 5 (Gasoline Vapor Recovery) 41950 Standards for stationary tanks January 1, 1976 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). Added Stats. 1975 ch. 957 § 12. 41951 “Pressure tank” defined January 1, 1976 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). Added Stats. 1975 ch. 957 § 12. 41952 “Vapor recovery system” defined January 1, 1976 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). Former § 39068.4. Added Stats. 1975 ch. 957 § 12. 41953 “Floating roof” defined January 1, 1976 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). Former § 39068.5. Added Stats. 1975 ch. 957 § 12. 41954 Procedures; Standards; Certification; Testing; Fees September 28, 1981 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). Stats. 1981 ch. 902 § 5. 41955 Submission of system for certification September 20, 1976 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). 41956 Fire prevention and measurement standards September 28, 1981 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). 41956.1 Revision of standards; Prohibited systems September 28, 1981 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). 41957 Safety hazards September 20, 1976 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). 41958 Design and performance standards; Certification and testing September 28, 1981 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). 41959 Simultaneous testing September 20, 1976 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). 41960 Local or regional authorities September 20, 1976 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). 41960.1 Operation of motor vehicle fueling vapor control system September 20, 1976 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). 41960.2 Maintenance of vapor control system; Identification of equipment defects September 28, 1981 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). 41960.3 Complaints concerning motor vehicle vapor control systems September 28, 1981 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). 41960.4 Posting of operating instructions for motor vehicle fueling vapor control systems September 28, 1981 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). 41961 Certification fee September 20, 1976 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). 41962 Certification of standards compliance for cargo tanks January 1, 1978 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). Added Stats. 1977 ch. 983 § 2. PUBLIC RESOURCES CODE Division 13 (Environmental Quality) 21000 Legislative intent January 1, 1980 January 21, 1981, 46 FR 5965 Section from the California Environmental Quality Act. Submitted on October 20, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(63). Stats. 1979 c. 947 p. 3270 § 4. 21001 Additional legislative intent January 1, 1980 January 21, 1981, 46 FR 5965 Section from the California Environmental Quality Act. Submitted on October 20, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(63). Stats. 1979 c. 947 p. 3271 § 5. 21002 Approval of projects; feasible alternatives or mitigation measures January 1, 1977 January 21, 1981, 46 FR 5965 Section from the California Environmental Quality Act. Submitted on October 20, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(63). Stats. 1976 c. 1312 § 1. 21002.1 Use of environmental impact reports; policy January 1, 1978 January 21, 1981, 46 FR 5965 Section from the California Environmental Quality Act. Submitted on October 20, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(63). Stats. 1977 c. 1200 p. 3996 § 1.5. 21061 “Environmental impact report” defined January 1, 1977 January 21, 1981, 46 FR 5965 Section from the California Environmental Quality Act. Submitted on October 20, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(63). Stats. 1976 c. 1312 § 5. 21063 “Public agency” defined December 5, 1972 January 21, 1981, 46 FR 5965 Section from the California Environmental Quality Act. Submitted on October 20, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(63). Stats. 1972 c. 1154 p. 2271 § 1. 21065 “Project” defined December 5, 1972 January 21, 1981, 46 FR 5965 Section from the California Environmental Quality Act. Submitted on October 20, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(63). Stats. 1972 c. 1154 p. 2271 § 1. 21080.1 Environmental impact report or negative declaration; determination by lead agency; finality; consultation January 1, 1978 January 21, 1981, 46 FR 5965 Section from the California Environmental Quality Act. Submitted on October 20, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(63). Stats. 1977 c. 1200 p. 3997 § 3. 21080.4 Environmental impact report; requirement determined by lead agency; duties of responsible agencies; consultation; assistance by office of planning and research September 26, 1978 January 21, 1981, 46 FR 5965 Section from the California Environmental Quality Act. Submitted on October 20, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(63). Stats. 1978 c. 1113 p. 3403 § 8.3. 21080.5(a), (b), (c), and (d) Plans in lieu of environmental impact report June 30, 1978 January 21, 1981, 46 FR 5965 Section from the California Environmental Quality Act. Submitted on October 20, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(63). Stats. 1978 c. 308. 21081 Necessary findings where environmental impact report identifies effects January 1, 1977 January 21, 1981, 46 FR 5965 Section from the California Environmental Quality Act. Submitted on October 20, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(63). Stats. 1976 c. 1312 § 9. 21082 Public agencies; adoption of objectives, criteria and procedures; consistency with guidelines January 1, 1977 January 21, 1981, 46 FR 5965 Section from the California Environmental Quality Act. Submitted on October 20, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(63). Stats. 1976 c. 1312 § 9.5. 21100 Environmental impact report on proposed state projects; significant effect; cumulative impact analysis January 1, 1977 January 21, 1981, 46 FR 5965 Section from the California Environmental Quality Act. Submitted on October 20, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(63). Stats. 1976 c. 1312 § 16. 21104 State lead agency; consultations prior to completion of impact report January 1, 1978 January 21, 1981, 46 FR 5965 Section from the California Environmental Quality Act. Submitted on October 20, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(63). Stats. 1977 c. 1200 p. 4001 § 11. 21151 Local agencies; preparation and completion of impact report; submission as part of general plan report; significant effort December 5, 1972 January 21, 1981, 46 FR 5965 Section from the California Environmental Quality Act. Submitted on October 20, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(63). Stats. 1972 c. 1154 p. 2276 § 11. 21153 Local lead agency; consultations prior to completion of impact report December 5, 1972 January 21, 1981, 46 FR 5965 Section from the California Environmental Quality Act. Submitted on October 20, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(63). Stats. 1972 c. 1154 p. 2276 § 14. 21160 Application for lease, permit, license, etc.; data and information; purpose; trade secrets December 5, 1972 January 21, 1981, 46 FR 5965 Section from the California Environmental Quality Act. Submitted on October 20, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(63). Stats. 1972 c. 1154 p. 2276 § 15. CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS Title 2 (Administration), Division 6 (Fair Political Practices Commission), Chapter 7 (Conflicts of Interest); Article 1 (Conflicts of Interest; General Prohibition) 18700 Basic rule; Guide to conflict of interest regulations January 19, 2006 April 1, 2016, 81 FR 18766 Filed on December 17, 1976, effective upon filing, and last amendment filed on December 20, 2005, operative January 19, 2006. Submitted on March 6, 2014. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(468)(i)(A)(4). 18701 Public Official, Definitions January 28, 2006 April 1, 2016, 81 FR 18766 Filed on January 22, 1976, effective February 21, 1976, and last amendment filed on December 29, 2005, operative January 28, 2006. Submitted on March 6, 2014. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(468)(i)(A)(5). Title 3 (Food and Agriculture), Division 6 (Pesticides and Pest Control Operations), Chapter 2 (Pesticides); Subchapter 4 (Restricted Materials); Article 4 (Field Fumigant Use Requirements) 6447 Methyl Bromide—Field Fumigation General Requirements January 25, 2008 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Only the undesignated introductory text of this regulation was approved into the SIP. Submitted on October 12, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(413)(i)(A)(1). 6447.3 Methyl Bromide—Field Fumigation Methods January 25, 2008 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Submitted on October 12, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(413)(i)(A)(1). 6448 1,3-Dichloropropene Field Fumigation—General Requirements January 25, 2008 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Submitted on October 12, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(413)(i)(A)(1). 6448.1 1,3-Dichloropropene Field Fumigation Methods April 7, 2011 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Submitted on August 2, 2011. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(414)(i)(A)(1). 6449 Chloropicrin Field Fumigation—General Requirements January 25, 2008 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Submitted on October 12, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(413)(i)(A)(1). 6449.1 Chloropicrin Field Fumigation Methods April 7, 2011 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Submitted on August 2, 2011. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(414)(i)(A)(1). 6450 Metam-Sodium, Potassium N-methyldithiocarbamate (metam potassium), and Dazomet Field Fumigation—General Requirements January 25, 2008 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Submitted on October 12, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(413)(i)(A)(1). 6450.1 Metam-Sodium and Potassium N-methyldithiocarbamate (Metam Potassium) Field Fumigation Methods April 7, 2011 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Submitted on August 2, 2011. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(414)(i)(A)(1). 6450.2 Dazomet Field Fumigation Methods January 25, 2008 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Submitted on October 12, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(413)(i)(A)(1). 6451 Sodium Tetrathiocarbonate Field Fumigation—General Requirements January 25, 2008 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Submitted on October 12, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(413)(i)(A)(1). 6451.1 Sodium Tetrathiocarbonate Field Fumigation Methods January 25, 2008 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Submitted on October 12, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(413)(i)(A)(1). 6452 Reduced Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Field Fumigation Methods January 25, 2008 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Submitted on October 12, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(413)(i)(A)(1). 6452.1 Fumigant Volatile Organic Compound Emission Records and Reporting January 25, 2008 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Submitted on October 12, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(413)(i)(A)(1). 6452.2 Fumigant Volatile Organic Compound Emission Limits April 7, 2011 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Excluding benchmarks for, and references to, Sacramento Metro, San Joaquin Valley, South Coast, and Southeast Desert in subsection (a) and excluding subsection (d). Submitted on August 2, 2011. See section 52.220(c)(414)(i)(A) (1). 6452.3 Field Fumigant Volatile Organic Compound Emission Allowances April 7, 2011 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Submitted on August 2, 2011. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(414)(i)(A)(1). 6452.4 Annual Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Inventory Report April 7, 2011 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Excluding references to section 6446.1 in subsection (a)(4). Submitted on August 2, 2011. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(414)(i)(A)(1). Title 3 (Food and Agriculture), Division 6 (Pesticides and Pest Control Operations), Chapter 3 (Pest Control Operations); Subchapter 2 (Work Requirements); Article 1 (Pest Control Operations Generally) 6624 Pesticide Use Records December 20, 2010 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Excluding references in subsection (f) to methyl iodide and section 6446.1. Submitted on August 2, 2011. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(414)(i)(A)(2). 6626 Pesticide Use Reports for Production Agriculture April 7, 2011 October 26, 2012, 77 FR 65294 Submitted on August 2, 2011. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(414)(i)(A)(2). Title 13 (Motor Vehicles), Division 3 (Air Resources Board), Chapter 1 (Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Devices); Article 2 (Approval of Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Devices (New Vehicles)) 1956.8 Exhaust Emissions Standards and Test Procedures—1985 and Subsequent Model Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles December 31, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(376)(i)(A)(1). 1960.1 Exhaust Emissions Standards and Test Procedures—1981 through 2006 Model Passenger Cars, Light-Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles March 26, 2004 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(376)(i)(A)(1). 1961 Exhaust Emissions Standards and Test Procedures—2004 and Subsequent Model Passenger Cars, Light-Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles June 16, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(376)(i)(A)(1). Title 13 (Motor Vehicles), Division 3 (Air Resources Board), Chapter 1 (Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Devices); Article 4.5 2025 Regulation to Reduce Emissions of Diesel Particulate Matter, Oxides of Nitrogen and Other Criteria Pollutants, from in-Use Heavy-Duty Diesel-Fueled Vehicles December 14, 2011 April 4, 2012, 77 FR 20308 The State of California Office of Administrative Law's corresponding Notice of Approval of Regulatory Action is dated December 14, 2011. Submitted on December 15, 2011. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(410)(i)(A)(2). 2027 In-Use on-Road Diesel-Fueled Heavy-Duty Drayage Trucks November 9, 2011 April 4, 2012, 77 FR 20308 The State of California Office of Administrative Law's corresponding Notice of Approval of Regulatory Action is dated November 9, 2011. Submitted on December 9, 2011. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(409)(i)(A)(2). Title 13 (Motor Vehicles), Division 3 (Air Resources Board), Chapter 5 (Standards for Motor Vehicle Fuels); Article 1 (Standards for Gasoline) 2250 Degree of Unsaturation for Gasolines Sold Before April 1, 1996 December 16, 1992 August 21, 1995, 60 FR 43379 Submitted on November 15, 1994. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(204)(i)(A)(3). 2252 Sulfur Content of Gasoline Represented as Unleaded Sold Before April 1, 1996 August 11, 1991 August 21, 1995, 60 FR 43379 Submitted on November 15, 1994. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(204)(i)(A)(3). 2253.4 Lead in Gasoline August 12, 1991 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on June 15, 2004. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(374)(i)(A)(1). 2254 Manganese Additive Content August 12, 1991 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on June 15, 2004. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(374)(i)(A)(1). 2257 Required Additives in Gasoline July 16, 1999 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on June 15, 2004. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(374)(i)(A)(1). 2259 Exemptions for Motor Vehicle Fuels Used in Test Programs February 15, 1995 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on June 15, 2004. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(374)(i)(A)(1). 2260 Definitions August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2261 Applicability of Standards; Additional Standards August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2262 The California Reformulated Gasoline Phase 2 and Phase 3 Standards August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2262.3 Compliance with the CaRFP Phase 2 and CaRFG Phase 2 Standards for Sulfur, Benzene, Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Olefins, T50 and T90 August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2262.4 Compliance with the CaRFP Phase 2 and CaRFG Phase 2 Standards for Reid Vapor Pressure August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2262.5 Compliance with the Standards for Oxygen Content August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2262.6 Prohibition of MTBE and Oxygenates Other Than Ethanol in California Gasoline Starting December 31, 2003 April 9, 2005 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2262.9 Requirements Regarding Denatured Ethanol Intended for Use as a Blend Component in California Gasoline August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2263 Sampling Procedures and Test Methods August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2263.7 Multiple Notification Requirements August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2264 Designated Alternative Limits August 20, 2001 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2264.2 Election of Applicable Limit for Gasoline Supplied From a Production or Import Facility August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2265 Gasoline Subject to PM Alternative Specifications Based on the California Predictive Model August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2265.1 Offsetting Emissions Associated with Higher Sulfur Levels August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2265.5 Alternative Emission Reduction Plan (AERP) August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2266 Certified Gasoline Formulations Resulting in Equivalent Emission Reductions Based on Motor Vehicle Emission Testing August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2266.5 Requirements Pertaining to California Reformulated Gasoline Blendstock for Oxygen Blending (CARBOB) and Downstream Blending August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2267 Exemptions for Gasoline Used in Test Programs September 2, 2000 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on June 15, 2004. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(374)(i)(A)(1). 2268 Liability of Persons Who Commit Violations Involving Gasoline That has Not Yet Been Sold or Supplied to a Motor Vehicle September 2, 2000 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on June 15, 2004. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(374)(i)(A)(1). 2269 Submittal of Compliance Plans December 24, 2002 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on June 15, 2004. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(374)(i)(A)(1). 2270 Testing and Recordkeeping August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2271 Variances August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2272 CaRFP Phase 3 Standards for Qualifying Small Refiners May 1, 2003 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on June 15, 2004. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(374)(i)(A)(1). 2273 Labeling of Equipment Dispensing Gasoline Containing MTBE August 29, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(1). 2273.5 Documentation Provided with Delivery of Gasoline to Retail Outlets May 1, 2003 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on June 15, 2004. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(374)(i)(A)(1). Title 13 (Motor Vehicles), Division 3 (Air Resources Board), Chapter 5 (Standards for Motor Vehicle Fuels); Article 2 (Standards for Diesel Fuel) 2281 Sulfur Content of Diesel Fuel August 4, 2005 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(376)(i)(A)(1). 2282 Aromatic Hydrocarbon Content of Diesel Fuel August 4, 2005 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(376)(i)(A)(1). 2284 Lubricity of Diesel Fuel August 4, 2005 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(376)(i)(A)(1). 2285 Exemption from Diesel Fuel Requirements for Military Specification Fuels Used in Qualifying Military Vehicles August 14, 2004 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(376)(i)(A)(1). Title 13 (Motor Vehicles), Division 3 (Air Resources Board), Chapter 5 (Standards for Motor Vehicle Fuels); Article 4 (Sampling and Test Procedures) 2296 Motor Fuel Sampling Procedures October 14, 1992 August 21, 1995, 60 FR 43379 Submitted on November 15, 1994. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(204)(i)(A)(3). 2297 Test Method for the Determination of the Reid Vapor Pressure Equivalent Using an Automated Vapor Pressure Test Instrument September 17, 1991 August 21, 1995, 60 FR 43379 Submitted on November 15, 1994. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(204)(i)(A)(3). Title 13 (Motor Vehicles), Division 3 (Air Resources Board), Chapter 14 (Verification Procedures, Warranty and In-Use Compliance Requirements for In-Use Strategies to Control Emissions from Diesel Engines) 2701 Definitions January 1, 2005 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(376)(i)(A)(1). Title 16 (Professional and Vocational Regulations), Division 33 (Bureau of Automotive Repair), Chapter 1 (Automotive Repair Dealers and Official Stations and Adjusters); Article 1 (General Provisions) 3303.1 Public Access to License, Administrative Action, and Complaint Information July 20, 2007 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3303.2 Review of Applications for Licensure, Registration and Certification; Processing Time July 9, 2003 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). Title 16 (Professional and Vocational Regulations), Division 33 (Bureau of Automotive Repair), Chapter 1 (Automotive Repair Dealers and Official Stations and Adjusters); Article 5.5 (Motor Vehicle Inspection Program) 3340.1 Definitions June 29, 2006 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.5 Vehicles Exempt from Inspections April 16, 1990 January 8, 1997, 62 FR 1150 Submitted on January 22, 1996. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(234)(i)(A)(1)(iv). 3340.6 Vehicles Subject to Inspection upon Change of Ownership and Initial Registration in California April 16, 1990 January 8, 1997, 62 FR 1150 Submitted on January 22, 1996. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(234)(i)(A)(1)(iv). 3340.7 Fee for Inspection at State Contracted Test-Only Facility August 17, 1995 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.9 Repair Assistance Program October 30, 2000 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.10 Licensing of Smog Check Stations July 26, 1996 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.15 General Requirements for Smog Check Stations July 9, 2003 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.16 Test-Only Station Requirements August 1, 2007 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.16.5 Test-and-Repair Station Requirements June 29, 2006 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.17 Test Equipment, Electronic Transmission, Maintenance and Calibration Requirements June 29, 2006 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.18 Gases and Blenders of Gases July 9, 2003 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.22 Smog Check Station Signs April 16, 1990 January 8, 1997, 62 FR 1150 Submitted on January 22, 1996. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(234)(i)(A)(1)(iv). 3340.22.1 Smog Check Station Service Signs February 1, 2001 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.22.2 Smog Check Repair Cost Limit Sign February 1, 2001 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.22.3 Replacement of Signs September 17, 1992 January 8, 1997, 62 FR 1150 Submitted on January 22, 1996. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(234)(i)(A)(1)(iv). 3340.23 Licensed Smog Check Station That Ceases Operating As a Licensed Station June 23, 1995 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.24 Suspension, Revocation, and Reinstatement of Licenses June 23, 1995 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.28 Licensing and Qualifications of Technicians January 17, 2009 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.29 Licensing of Technicians January 17, 2009 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.30 General Requirements for Licensed Technicians June 23, 1995 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.31 Retraining of Licensed Technicians June 23, 1995 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.32 Standards for the Certification of Institutions Providing Retraining to Licensed Technicians or Prerequisite Training to Those Seeking to Become Licensed Technicians July 9, 2003 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.32.1 Standards for Decertification of Institutions Providing Retraining to Licensed Technicians or Prerequisite Training to Those Seeking to Become Licensed Technicians June 23, 1995 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.33 Standards for the Certification of Basic and Advanced Instructors Providing Retraining to Intern, Basic Area, and Advanced Emission Specialist Licensed Technicians or Prerequisite Training to Those Seeking to Become Intern, Basic Area, or Advanced Emission Specialist Licensed Technicians February 1, 2001 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.33.1 Standards for the Decertification and Recertification of Instructors Providing Retraining to Licensed Technicians or Prerequisite Training to Those Seeking to Become Licensed Technicians June 23, 1995 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.35 A Certificate of Compliance, Noncompliance, Repair Cost Waiver or an Economic Hardship Extension June 25, 1998 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.35.1 A Certificate of Compliance, Noncompliance, Repair Cost Waiver or an Economic Hardship Extension Calculation December 2, 1998 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.36 Clearing Enforcement Forms July 26, 1996 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.37 Installation of Oxides of Nitrogen (NOX) Devices July 26, 1996 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.41 Inspection, Test, and Repair Requirements June 29, 2006 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.41.3 Invoice Requirements April 16, 1990 January 8, 1997, 62 FR 1150 Submitted on January 22, 1996. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(234)(i)(A)(1)(iv). 3340.41.5 Tampering with Emissions Control Systems December 7, 1984 January 8, 1997, 62 FR 1150 Submitted on January 22, 1996. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(234)(i)(A)(1)(iv). 3340.42 Mandatory Smog Check Inspection and Test Procedures, and Emission Standards January 11, 2008 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.50 Fleet Facility Requirements February 15, 2002 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.50.1 Application for Fleet Facility License; Renewal; Replacement April 16, 1990 January 8, 1997, 62 FR 1150 Submitted on January 22, 1996. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(234)(i)(A)(1)(iv). 3340.50.3 Fleet Records and Reporting Requirements June 23, 1995 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.50.4 Fleet Certificates June 25, 1998 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3340.50.5 Suspension or Rescission of Fleet Facility License June 25, 1998 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). Title 16 (Professional and Vocational Regulations), Division 33 (Bureau of Automotive Repair), Chapter 1 (Automotive Repair Dealers and Official Stations and Adjusters); Article 10 (Gold Shield Program) 3392.1 Gold Shield Program (GSP) May 28, 2003 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3392.2 Responsibilities of Smog Check Stations Certified as Gold Shield August 1, 2007 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3392.3 Eligibility for Gold Shield Certification; Quality Assurance May 28, 2003 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3392.4 Gold Shield Guaranteed Repair (GSGR) Program Advertising Rights May 28, 2003 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3392.5 Causes for Invalidation of Gold Shield Station Certification May 28, 2003 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3392.6 Gold Shield Program Hearing and Determination May 28, 2003 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). Title 16 (Professional and Vocational Regulations), Division 33 (Bureau of Automotive Repair), Chapter 1 (Automotive Repair Dealers and Official Stations and Adjusters); Article 11 (Consumer Assistance Program) 3394.1 Purpose and Components of the Consumer Assistance Program October 30, 2000 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3394.2 Consumer Assistance Program Administration October 30, 2000 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3394.3 State Assistance Limits October 30, 2000 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3394.4 Eligibility Requirements August 12, 2008 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3394.5 Ineligible Vehicles October 30, 2000 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). 3394.6 Application and Documentation Requirements July 3, 2006 July 1, 2010, 75 FR 38023 Submitted on June 5, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(372)(i)(A)(1). Title 17 (Public Health), Division 3 (Air Resources), Chapter 1 (Air Resources Board); Subchapter 7.5 (Airborne Toxic Control Measures) 93114 Airborne Toxic Control Measure to Reduce Particulate Emissions from Diesel-Fueled Engines—Standards for Nonvehicular Diesel Fuel August 14, 2004 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on February 3, 2009. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(376)(i)(A)(2). Title 17 (Public Health), Division 3 (Air Resources), Chapter 1 (Air Resources Board); Subchapter 8 (Compliance with Nonvehicular Emissions Standards) 94000 Test Procedures for Vapor Recovery Systems—Service Stations October 29, 1978 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). 94001 Certification of Vapor Recovery Systems—Service Stations October 29, 1978 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). 94002 Certification of Vapor Recovery Systems—Gasoline Bulk Plants October 29, 1978 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). 94003 Certification of Vapor Recovery Systems—Gasoline Terminals May 10, 1977 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). 94004 Certification of Vapor Recovery Systems—Gasoline Delivery Tanks May 10, 1977 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). Title 17 (Public Health), Division 3 (Air Resources), Chapter 1 (Air Resources Board); Subchapter 8.5 (Consumer Products); Article 1 (Antiperspirants and Deodorants) 94500 Applicability March 30, 1996 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(1). 94501 Definitions July 20, 2005 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(1). 94502 Standards for Antiperspirants and Deodorants June 6, 2001 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(1). 94503 Exemptions March 30, 1996 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(1). 94503.5 Innovative Products March 30, 1996 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(1). 94504 Administrative Requirements June 6, 2001 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(1). 94505 Variances March 30, 1996 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(1). 94506 Test Methods July 20, 2005 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(1). 94506.5 Federal Enforceability December 16, 1999 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(1). Title 17 (Public Health), Division 3 (Air Resources), Chapter 1 (Air Resources Board); Subchapter 8.5 (Consumer Products); Article 2 (Consumer Products) 94507 Applicability November 19, 2000 October 17, 2014, 79 FR 62346 Submitted on May 28, 2014. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(444)(i)(A)(1). 94508 Definitions December 10, 2011 October 17, 2014, 79 FR 62346 Submitted on May 28, 2014. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(444)(i)(A)(1). 94509 Standards for Consumer Products December 10, 2011 October 17, 2014, 79 FR 62346 Submitted on May 28, 2014. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(444)(i)(A)(1). 94510 Exemptions December 10, 2011 October 17, 2014, 79 FR 62346 Submitted on May 28, 2014. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(444)(i)(A)(1). 94511 Innovative Products October 20, 2010 October 17, 2014, 79 FR 62346 Submitted on May 28, 2014. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(444)(i)(A)(1). 94512 Administrative Requirements December 10, 2011 October 17, 2014, 79 FR 62346 Submitted on May 28, 2014. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(444)(i)(A)(1). 94513 Reporting Requirements October 20, 2010 October 17, 2014, 79 FR 62346 Submitted on May 28, 2014. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(444)(i)(A)(1). 94514 Variances December 8, 2007 October 17, 2014, 79 FR 62346 Submitted on May 28, 2014. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(444)(i)(A)(1). 94515 Test Methods December 10, 2011 October 17, 2014, 79 FR 62346 Submitted on May 28, 2014. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(444)(i)(A)(1). 94516 Severability October 21, 1991 October 17, 2014, 79 FR 62346 Submitted on May 28, 2014. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(444)(i)(A)(1). 94517 Federal Enforceability November 18, 1997 October 17, 2014, 79 FR 62346 Submitted on May 28, 2014. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(444)(i)(A)(1). Title 17 (Public Health), Division 3 (Air Resources), Chapter 1 (Air Resources Board); Subchapter 8.5 (Consumer Products); Article 3 (Aerosol Coating Products) 94520 Applicability January 8, 1996 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(3). 94521 Definitions July 18, 2001 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(3). 94522 Limits and Requirements for Aerosol Coating Products July 18, 2001 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(3). 94523 Exemptions December 8, 2007 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(3). 94524 Administrative Requirements July 18, 2001 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(3). 94525 Variances January 8, 1996 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(3). 94526 Test Methods July 20, 2005 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(3). 94527 Severability January 8, 1996 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(3). 94528 Federal Enforceability January 8, 1996 November 4, 2009, 74 FR 57074 Submitted on March 27, 2008. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(365)(i)(A)(3). Title 17 (Public Health), Division 3 (Air Resources), Chapter 1 (Air Resources Board); Subchapter 8.6 (Maximum Incremental Reactivity); Article 1 (Tables of Maximum Incremental Reactivity (MIR) Values) 94700 MIR Values for Compounds July 18, 2001 September 13, 2005, 70 FR 53930 Submitted on March 13, 2002. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(338)(i)(A)(1). 94701 MIR Values for Hydrocarbon Solvents July 18, 2001 September 13, 2005, 70 FR 53930 Submitted on March 13, 2002. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(338)(i)(A)(1). 1 Table 1 lists EPA-approved California statutes and regulations incorporated by reference in the applicable SIP. Table 2 of paragraph (c) lists approved California test procedures, test methods and specifications that are cited in certain regulations listed in table 1. Approved California statutes that are nonregulatory or quasi-regulatory are listed in paragraph (e). Table 2—EPA-Approved California Test Procedures, Test Methods, and Specifications Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation Method 2-1: Test Procedures for Determining the Efficiency of Gasoline Vapor Recovery Systems at Service Stations September 1, 1982 May 3, 1984, 49 FR 18829 Submitted on January 20, 1983. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(149)(i)(A). Method 2-2: Certification Procedures for Gasoline Vapor Recovery Systems at Service Stations August 9, 1978 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). Method 2-3: Certification and Test Procedures for Vapor Recovery Systems at Gasoline Bulk Plants August 9, 1978 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). Method 2-4: Certification and Test Procedures for Vapor Recovery Systems at Gasoline Terminals April 18, 1977 July 8, 1982, 47 FR 29668 Submitted on April 23, 1980. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(69)(iv). Method 2-5: Certification and Test Procedures for Vapor Recovery Systems of Gasoline Delivery Tanks September 1, 1982 May 3, 1984, 49 FR 18829 Submitted on January 20, 1983. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(149)(i)(A). Test Procedures for Gasoline Vapor Leak Detection Using Combustible Gas Detector September 1, 1982 May 3, 1984, 49 FR 18829 Submitted on January 20, 1983. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(149)(i)(A). California Procedures for Evaluating Alternative Specifications for Phase 2 Reformulated Gasoline Using the California Predictive Model December 11, 1998 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on June 15, 2004. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(374)(i)(A)(2). California Procedures for Evaluating Alternative Specifications for Gasoline Using Vehicle Emissions Testing April 25, 2001 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on June 15, 2004. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(374)(i)(A)(4). California Procedures for Evaluating Alternative Specifications for Phase 3 Reformulated Gasoline Using the California Predictive Model August 7, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on June 15, 2004. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(2). Procedures for Using the California Model for California Reformulated Gasoline Blendstocks for Oxygenate Blending (CARBOB) August 7, 2008 May 12, 2010, 75 FR 26653 Submitted on June 15, 2004. See 40 CFR 52.220(c)(375)(i)(A)(3). Table 3—EPA-Approved Amador County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 4—EPA-Approved Antelope Valley Air District Regulations; Los Angeles County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 5—EPA-Approved Bay Area Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 6—EPA-Approved Butte County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 7—EPA-Approved Calaveras County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 8—EPA-Approved Coachella Valley Planning Area Ordinances District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 9—EPA-Approved Colusa County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 10—EPA-Approved Eastern Kern County Air District Regulations; Kern County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 11—EPA-Approved El Dorado County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 12—EPA-Approved Feather River Air District Regulations; Sutter County Air District Regulations; Yuba County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 13—EPA-Approved Glenn County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 14—EPA-Approved Great Basin Unified Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 15—EPA-Approved Imperial County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 16—EPA-Approved Lake County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 17—EPA-Approved Lassen County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 18—EPA-Approved Mariposa County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 19—EPA-Approved Mendocino County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 20—EPA-Approved Modoc County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 21—EPA-Approved Mojave Desert Air District Regulations; Riverside County Air District Regulations; San Bernardino County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 22—EPA-Approved Monterey Bay Unified Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 23—EPA-Approved North Coast Unified Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 24—EPA-Approved Northern Sierra Air District Regulations; Nevada County Air District Regulations; Plumas County Air District Regulations; Sierra County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 25—EPA-Approved Northern Sonoma County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 26—EPA-Approved Placer County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 27—EPA-Approved Sacramento Metropolitan Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 28—EPA-Approved San Diego County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 29—EPA-Approved San Joaquin Valley Unified Air District Regulations; Fresno County Air District Regulations; Kern County Air District Regulations; Kings County Air District Regulations; Madera County Air District Regulations; Merced County Air District Regulations; San Joaquin County Air District Regulations; Stanislaus County Air District Regulations; Tulare County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 30—EPA-Approved San Luis Obispo County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 31—EPA-Approved Santa Barbara County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 32—EPA-Approved Shasta County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 33—EPA-Approved Siskiyou County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 34—EPA-Approved South Coast Air District Regulations; Los Angeles County Air District Regulations; Orange County Air District Regulations; Riverside County Air District Regulations; San Bernardino County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 35—EPA-Approved Tehama County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 36—EPA-Approved Tuolumne County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 37—EPA-Approved Tuolumne County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 38—EPA-Approved Ventura County Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved] Table 39—EPA-Approved Yolo-Solano Air District Regulations District citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation [Reserved]

    (d) EPA-approved source-specific requirements. [Reserved]

    (e) EPA-approved California nonregulatory provisions and quasi-regulatory measures. [Reserved]

    [FR Doc. 2016-12380 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD 49 CFR Chapter X [Docket No. EP 735] Revision to the Surface Transportation Board's CFR Chapter Heading Pursuant to the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015 AGENCY:

    Surface Transportation Board.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Surface Transportation Board (Board) is revising the heading to its CFR chapter, pursuant to the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015.

    DATES:

    Effective May 26, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amy C. Ziehm: (202) 245-0391. Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) for the hearing impaired: (800) 877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On December 18, 2015, the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015, Public Law 114-110, 129 Stat. 2228 (2015) (STB Reauthorization Act), was enacted into law, removing the Board from the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), where it had been administratively housed, and establishing it as an independent Federal agency. 49 U.S.C. 701 (2012); STB Reauthorization Act section 3. Because 49 CFR chapter X is titled “Surface Transportation Board, Department of Transportation,” the Board is revising it to “Surface Transportation Board” to reflect the agency's independent status.

    As this change is not substantive, we find good cause to dispense with notice and comment under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).1 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A)-(B).

    1 Board procedures allow for the issue of final rules without notice or comment when those rules are interpretive, general statements of policy, or relate to organization, procedure, or practice before the Board. See 49 CFR 1110.3(a).

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Because the Board has determined that notice and comment are not required under the APA for this rulemaking, the requirements of the RFA do not apply.

    This final rule does not contain a new or amended information collection requirement subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521.

    It is ordered:

    1. The rule modifications set forth below are adopted as final rules.

    2. This decision is effective on May 26, 2016.

    Decided: May 19, 2016.

    By the Board, Chairman Elliott, Vice Chairman Miller, and Commissioner Begeman.

    Marline Simeon, Clearance Clerk.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 1321, the heading for title 49, chapter X, is revised to read as follows:

    CHAPTER X—SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD
    [FR Doc. 2016-12346 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 222 [Docket No. 140725620-6418-02] RIN 0648-BE43 Endangered and Threatened Species: Designation of Experimental Populations Under the Endangered Species Act AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), issue final regulations to amend the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to implement the Endangered Species Act (ESA) regarding experimental populations. This rule amends the CFR to establish definitions and procedures for: Establishing and/or designating certain populations of species otherwise listed as endangered or threatened as experimental populations; determining whether experimental populations are “essential” or “nonessential;” and promulgating appropriate protective measures for experimental populations.

    DATES:

    The final rule is effective June 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Supplementary information used in the development of this rule, including the public comments received, may be viewed online at http://www.regulations.gov at FDMS Docket No. NOAA-NMFS-2014-0104.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Heather Coll, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources, (301) 427-8455.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Section 10(j)(1) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1539(j)(1)) defines an experimental population as a population that has been authorized for release by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) or Secretary of the Interior, but only when, and at such times as, the population is wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species. The Secretary may authorize the release (and related transportation) of any experimental population (including eggs, propagules, or individuals) of a listed species outside of the species' current range if the Secretary determines that the release would “further the conservation of” the listed species (16 U.S.C. 1539(j)(2)(A)). Section 10(j)(2)(B) also requires that, before authorizing the release of an experimental population, the Secretary “identify” the experimental population by regulation and determine, based on the best available information, whether the experimental population is “essential to the continued existence” of the listed species (16 U.S.C. 1539(j)(2)(B)).

    Section 10(j) of the ESA further provides that each member of an experimental population shall be treated as a threatened species under the ESA, with two exceptions that apply if an experimental population is determined to be not essential to the listed species' continued existence (i.e., is nonessential): (1) A nonessential experimental population (NEP) shall be treated as a species proposed for listing for purposes of section 7 of the ESA, except when the NEP occurs in an area within the National Wildlife Refuge System or the National Park System; and (2) critical habitat shall not be designated for a NEP. Treatment of an experimental population as “threatened” under the ESA enables the Secretary to issue regulations under the authority of section 4(d) of the ESA that he or she deems necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the species, which may be less restrictive than taking prohibitions that apply to endangered species under ESA section 9.

    We have developed regulations providing NMFS's interpretation of, and procedures for, implementing ESA section 10(j). In developing our regulations, we reviewed the ESA, legislative history of the 1982 ESA amendments, existing U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) ESA section 10(j) regulations, public comments from the USFWS rulemaking to develop their ESA section 10(j) regulations, and public comments from our own recent experimental population designations; and consulted with USFWS staff. We then convened a group of NMFS staff with experience in ESA section 10(j) designations to draft our own 10(j) regulations.

    We strove to maintain consistency between our regulations and the USFWS regulations as much as possible to provide for consistent implementation of ESA section 10(j) between the agencies. We are finalizing regulations that we believe are necessary to implement the statutory requirements in a manner appropriate for species under NMFS' jurisdiction, while also clarifying our interpretation of ESA section 10(j).

    We published our proposed rule in the Federal Register for public comment, and after considering public comments, are issuing our final rule with four changes from the proposed rule (80 FR 45924; August 3, 2015). First, pertaining to listing at 50 CFR 222.502(c)(1), we removed the words “if appropriate” to describe what a listing regulation shall provide when an experimental population designation is made. Also regarding listing at 50 CFR 222.502(e), we added “local government entities” to the last sentence, which describes the entities that are part of the agreement when a regulation is promulgated for an experimental population. Regarding interagency cooperation at 50 CFR 222.504(a) and (b), we removed the language “designated for a listed species” because it was redundant, and because removing it makes the sentence simpler. This change is not intended to make our regulation functionally different than USFWS' corresponding regulation. Finally, also regarding interagency cooperation at 50 CFR 222.504, we added a paragraph (c), with the following language, to provide guidance and clarity in ESA section 7 consultations: “For purposes of section 7 of the Act, any consultation on a proposed Federal action that may affect both an experimental and a nonexperimental population of the same species should consider that species' experimental and nonexperimental populations to constitute a single listed species for the purposes of conducting the analyses under section 7 of the Act.”

    We provide a summary of public comments and our responses below.

    Summary of Comments

    In our proposed regulations (80 FR 45924, August 3, 2015), we requested written comments from the public for 60 days, ending October 2, 2015, and we received nine comments. We received one request to extend the public comment period but did not do so, because we believe the 60-day comment period provided adequate time for comment. We considered all substantive information provided during the comment period and, where appropriate, incorporated explanations here and into the Background and Summary of Final Rule sections of this final rule.

    We received seven substantive comments supporting the intent of our proposed regulations, agreeing with the overall rulemaking, and expressing appreciation for framing the NMFS ESA section 10(j) regulations in a manner that is consistent with FWS regulations. More specifically, most were very supportive of our: (1) Expansion of the stakeholder consultation and collaboration provision; and (2) our decision to explain the relationship between ESA sections 10(j) and 4(d). In addition to providing overall support for the proposed rule, the seven substantive commenters requested further clarification on several issues, and in some cases, requested specific language changes for the regulations. We summarize those comments and requests and provide our responses.

    Comment 1: We received several comments related to proposed section 222.502(e). A few commenters requested that we clarify to what extent an experimental population designation is an “agreement” between interested parties. One commenter requested that we seek concurrence before a material change is made to an experimental population designation or ESA section 4(d) rule. One commenter requested that we specify that we would not proceed with a reintroduction if an interested party refuses to cooperate because of the determination regarding whether an experimental population is essential.

    Response 1: The regulatory text at issue, as revised in this final rule, provides, “[a]ny regulation promulgated pursuant to this section shall, to the maximum extent practicable, represent an agreement between the National Marine Fisheries Service, the affected State and Federal agencies, tribal governments, local government entities, and persons holding any interest in land or water which may be affected by the establishment of an experimental population.” We strongly believe that working with affected parties is critical to the success of experimental population designations and our intent is to reach agreement with all interested parties on these designations. The phrase “to the maximum extent practicable” is necessary, however, because within the process of trying to reach agreement, there are many potential stakeholders with different interests and perspectives and it is conceivable that, while most stakeholders are in agreement, there may be others who are not.

    We foresee that material changes to an ESA section 10(j) rule would be rare, however, it is possible that they could be needed in rare circumstances in response to changed circumstances that we did not foresee or consider at the time we developed the ESA section 10(j) rule. In this case, we would seek input from all interested parties and obtain an agreement, to the maximum extent practicable, to move forward with that change. After receiving comments from the interested parties on a potential material change, we will decide whether to move forward with the change. Additionally, because we must promulgate a regulation in order to make the designation, we would provide the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed rulemaking to amend the designation.

    Regarding the commenter's request that we would not proceed with a reintroduction if an interested party refuses to cooperate because of a disagreement regarding the determination whether the population is essential, it is our intention, as noted above, to reach agreement with all parties. If consensus is not possible, we must still proceed to make a determination as to whether an experimental population is essential based upon the best available information.

    Comment 2: A few commenters requested that we clarify whether we intend to include local governments as interested parties we will work with toward agreement in an experimental population designation, and one commenter suggested specific language for including local governments.

    Response 2: As provided in our proposed regulations, local governmental entities are among the entities we will consult with in developing and implementing experimental population rules. For this final rule, we added “local government entities” to the last sentence in 50 CFR 222.502(e), which describes the entities that are part of the agreement when a regulation is promulgated for an experimental population.

    Comment 3: Many commenters supported the expansion of the stakeholder consultation provision to include those persons holding an interest in water. In addition, commenters requested we place this expansion within the regulatory text, as the commenters asserted it was only stated in the preamble of the proposed rule. Some commenters wanted us to further describe what we meant by interest in water and to list specific entities that would participate as stakeholders.

    Response 3: The provision expanding stakeholder consultation to include those persons holding an interest in water was in the proposed regulatory text. It is included in the final regulation (50 CFR 222.502(e)).

    We decline to further define “interest in water.” As stated above, we strongly believe that consultations with affected parties are critical to the success of experimental population designations and our intent is to reach agreement with all interested parties on all aspects of these experimental population designations. We intend the universe of stakeholders in the consultation process to be inclusive and do not want to predefine who may be a stakeholder. The reason for this is that we consider “persons holding any interest in . . . water” to be broad and diverse, and to include, for example, those who have a legal, financial, cultural, aesthetic, or other interest.

    Comment 4: One commenter asked us to elaborate on the interaction between this rule and our recent regulations modifying the definition of adverse modification and the procedures and standards used for critical habitat designation.

    Response 4: We published a final rule to revise the Endangered Species Act (ESA) section 7(a)(2) regulatory definition of “destruction or adverse modification” that codifies the current policy and practice of the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service (81 FR 7214; February 11, 2016). We also published a final rule that amends portions of 50 CFR part 424 to clarify procedures for designating and revising critical habitat (81 FR 7413; February 11, 2016). This amendment made minor edits to the scope and purpose, added and removed some definitions, and clarified the criteria for designating critical habitat.

    Our revisions to the procedures for designating and revising critical habitat are not expected to impact future ESA section 10(j) designations. Critical habitat cannot be designated for nonessential experimental populations. In the event that we identify critical habitat for an essential experimental population under ESA section 10(j), then these regulations would apply to the designation and resulting section 7 consultations.

    Comment 5: One commenter requested that we include the same provision as USFWS related to analyses under ESA section 7 involving an experimental population, that we should consider any experimental and nonexperimental populations to constitute a single listed species for the purpose of conducting analyses under ESA section 7.

    Response 5: We have added a provision related to analyses under ESA section 7 involving an experimental population to provide guidance and clarity. The final regulation (50 CFR 222.504(c)) states: “For purposes of section 7 of the Act, any consultation on a proposed Federal action that may affect both an experimental and a nonexperimental population of the same species should consider that species' experimental and nonexperimental populations to constitute a single listed species for the purposes of conducting the analyses under section 7 of the Act.” Though this language differs from USFWS' language, none of the differences are intended to cause our regulation to functionally differ from USFWS's corresponding regulation.

    Comment 6: One commenter requested that we include the same provision as USFWS regarding clarification of how critical habitat would be designated for an area of overlap between a nonexperimental population and an experimental population.

    Response 6: This concern would only apply to essential experimental populations, because we cannot designate critical habitat for nonessential populations. The USFWS language the commenter refers to is: “[i]n those situations where a portion or all of an essential experimental population overlaps with a natural population of the species during certain periods of the year, no critical habitat shall be designated for the area of overlap.” 50 CFR 17.81(f). We believe this language is unnecessary and could be misinterpreted to mean that there should be no critical habitat designated for either experimental or nonexperimental populations, which is not correct. Section 10(j) of the ESA states that populations will be recognized as experimental only when they are wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations. Thus, at times and locations where there is overlap, any critical habitat designation for the nonexperimental population will apply to the experimental population.

    Comment 7: One commenter requested that we reconsider the 12-year expiration in the final rule designating Middle Columbia River steelhead trout as an experimental population.

    Response 7: We have designated three experimental populations of salmonids based on the specific and unique circumstances for those populations. As we stated in the proposed regulations, we do not intend the final implementing regulations herein to require us to review or revise those existing designations. The implementing regulations we are finalizing in this rule do not alter the findings we made in our prior designations and rulemakings. Therefore, the existing designations will not change as a result of finalizing this rule.

    With respect to future designations, we anticipate that designations having an expiration date will be rare. It is our intent that future experimental population designations will remain in place until the species is delisted. For further detail on delisting and revising experimental populations, see Response 11.

    Comment 8: One commenter asked us to expand on the reasoning for removing “natural” as a qualifier from the term “current range” and asked whether this would increase or decrease areas where experimental populations could be established.

    Response 8: ESA section 10(j)(2)(A) uses the phrase “outside the current range” rather than “outside the current natural range,” which is used in the USFWS regulations, to identify the geographic area in which an experimental population is authorized for release. There is no definition of “range,” “current range,” or “current natural range” in the ESA or 50 CFR parts 222 (NMFS ESA implementing regulations) or 424 (Joint NMFS/USFWS ESA implementing regulations). The USFWS ESA section 10(j) regulations at 50 CFR 17.80 through 17.83 also do not define “natural.” For this reason, including the word “natural” in the phrase “outside the current range” could be confusing. Removing the word “natural” eliminates this confusion. The term “current range” means the geographic area where the species is at the time of the designation. We do not anticipate that this will, as a general matter, increase or decrease areas where experimental populations could be established.

    Comment 9: One commenter requested that we provide an example of when listing proposed location, migration, number of specimens to be released, as well as other criteria appropriate to identify experimental populations would not be appropriate to include in the rule designating the experimental population.

    Response 9: In rules designating experimental populations, we will provide all of the best available information at that time for identifying the population. Over the course of implementing the rules, more specific information could emerge that was not available at the time of the rulemaking. For example, it is possible that not all of the information regarding proposed location, migration, number of specimens to be released, and other criteria appropriate to identify that experimental population would be available at the time of designating an experimental population.

    For the final regulation we deleted the clause “if appropriate” because it appeared to apply to just the number of specimens released or to be released, whereas we intend that any means used to identify the experimental population would need to be appropriate to the specific scenario. The final regulation states: “. . . Appropriate means to identify the experimental population, including, but not limited to, its actual or proposed location; actual or anticipated migration; number of specimens released or to be released; and other criteria appropriate to identify the experimental population(s)” (50 CFR 222.502(c)(1)).”

    Comment 10: One commenter asked us to clarify that hatchery stocks not currently listed under the ESA will not be treated as threatened or as a species proposed for listing if an experimental population is established in the same area.

    Response 10: If an unlisted hatchery stock co-occurs in the same geographic area as an experimental population, that hatchery stock's status would not change and it would not be treated as threatened or proposed for listing simply because it co-occurs with an experimental population.

    Comment 11: One commenter requested that we clarify that an experimental population will retain that designation until the donor species is delisted because of recovery, asserting that the change would remove ambiguity about whether NMFS would remove a designation under section 10(j) of the ESA if the donor species is delisted due to extinction. Another commenter asked us to explain our position on revising the designation of an experimental population.

    Response 11: As we stated in the preamble to the proposed rule, NMFS' intent when designating an experimental population under ESA section 10(j) is that the population will retain that designation until the donor species is delisted, or until, for some unforeseen reason, the experimental population fails, for example, due to lack of donor stock or problems with implementation (80 FR 45924; August 3, 2015). A species (here, donor species) is delisted either because of extinction, recovery, or because the original data for classification was in error (50 CFR 424.11(d)). In any decision to change the donor species' status, we would consider the role of experimental populations in contributing to the conservation of the species. This also clarifies our intent with regard to revising experimental population designations. Our intent is that experimental populations retain their designations until the donor species is delisted. We do have the authority to revise experimental population designations and, while we cannot predict all future circumstances, at this time we do not anticipate making such revisions. However, NMFS has the authority to revise experimental population designations and may need to do so if there is a substantial change in the circumstances that led to determinations in the original experimental population designation. In that case, NMFS would need to revise the rule designating the experimental population, which would be subject to the same rulemaking procedures as the original experimental population designation.

    Comment 12: We received several comments voicing concern that no experimental populations have been designated as essential even though some experimental populations have “carried the future of the species on their backs.” These commenters also urged us to include criteria, develop policy, or develop guidance on when an experimental population would be deemed essential.

    Response 12: While we have not yet proposed designating any experimental population as essential, the statute and these regulations provide the potential for future opportunities to do so. We believe there is appropriate guidance laid out in the regulations, including the definition of “essential experimental population,” and statute to designate an experimental population that we determine to be an essential experimental population.

    Comment 13: One commenter stated that non-listed populations should not be used as sources to establish new populations that would be afforded any ESA protection (threatened or proposed). The commenter wanted to see more explicit language addressing this issue.

    Response 13: ESA section 10(j) authorizes us to establish experimental populations of endangered or threatened species. It does not allow us to designate populations of non-listed species as experimental populations under ESA section 10(j). Therefore we do not believe additional language pertaining to non-listed species is necessary.

    Comment 14: One commenter asked that we remove provisions that the commenter believed encourage restrictions on movement of experimental populations and suggested alternative regulatory text. Specifically, the commenter asserted that the language at 50 CFR 222.502(c)(3), “Management restrictions, protective measures, or other special management concerns of that population, which may include, but are not limited to, measures to isolate and/or contain the experimental population designated in the regulation from nonexperimental populations,” would send a signal to the public that rules under section 10(j) of the ESA should always include specific measures to isolate/contain populations.

    Response 14: We do not believe nor do we intend that our regulations encourage restrictions on movement of experimental populations. The language, “which may include, but are not limited to, measures to isolate and/or contain the experimental population designation,” is language from the USFWS regulations that provides an example. We are trying to keep our changes from the USFWS regulations to a minimum; and we do not feel it is necessary to eliminate the subject language. At the time of experimental population designation, we will develop management restrictions, protective measures, and other special management concerns that are specific to the subject experimental population.

    Required Determinations Information Quality Act and Peer Review

    In December 2004, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review pursuant to the Information Quality Act (Section 515 of Pub. L. 106-554), which was published in the Federal Register on January 14, 2005 (70 FR 2664). The Bulletin established minimum peer review standards, a transparent process for public disclosure of peer review planning, and opportunities for public participation with regard to certain types of information disseminated by the Federal Government. The peer review requirements of the OMB Bulletin apply to influential or highly influential scientific information disseminated on or after June 16, 2005. There are no documents supporting this rule that meet this criteria.

    Executive Order 12866

    This rule has been determined to be not significant under E.O. 12866.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996; 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), whenever a Federal agency is required to publish a notification 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 that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The SBREFA amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a statement of the factual basis for certifying that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation, Department of Commerce, certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy at the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities. There were no comments received regarding the certification. The following discussion explains our rationale.

    The final regulations clarify how we implement the provisions of section 10(j) of the ESA. The final regulations do not materially alter our current practices or expand our reach. We are the only entity that is directly affected by this final rule because we are the only entity that can designate experimental populations of threatened or endangered species under NMFS jurisdiction. No external entities, including any small businesses, small organizations, or small governments, will experience any economic impacts from this final rule. Therefore, the only potential effect on any external entities large or small would likely be positive, through reducing any uncertainty on the part of the public about our process for designating experimental populations by formalizing our practices and procedures.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.)

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.):

    1. This rule will not “significantly or uniquely” affect small governments. We have determined and certify under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1502 et seq.) that this rule will not impose a cost of $100 million or more in any given year on local or State governments or private entities. A Small Government Agency Plan is not required. As explained above, small governments would not be affected because the regulation will not place additional requirements on any city, county, or other local municipalities.

    2. This rule will not produce a Federal mandate of $100 million or greater in any year (i.e., it is not a “significant regulatory action” under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act). This regulation would not impose any additional management or protection requirements on the States or other entities.

    Executive Order 12630

    In accordance with E.O. 12630, this rule does not have significant takings implications. A takings implication assessment is not required because this rulemaking: (1) Would not effectively compel a property owner to have the government physically invade property, and (2) would not deny all economically beneficial or productive use of the land or aquatic resources. This rulemaking would substantially advance a legitimate government interest (conservation and recovery of listed species) and would not present a barrier to all reasonable and expected beneficial use of private property.

    Executive Order 13132

    In accordance with E.O. 13132, we have determined that this rule does not have federalism implications as that term is defined in E.O. 13132.

    Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

    This rule will not unduly burden the judicial system and meets the applicable standards provided in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of E.O. 12988. This rule clarifies how the Services will make designations under section 10(j) of the ESA: (1) Establishing and/or designating certain populations of species listed as endangered or threatened as experimental populations; (2) determining whether experimental populations are “essential” or “nonessential;” and (3) promulgating appropriate protective measures for experimental populations.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations at 5 CFR part 1320, which implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), require that Federal agencies obtain approval from OMB before collecting information from the public. A Federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. This rule does not include any new collections of information that require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    We have analyzed this rule in accordance with the criteria of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4332(c)), the Council on Environmental Quality's Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and NOAA's Administrative Order regarding NEPA compliance (NAO 216-6 (May 20, 1999)).

    We have determined that this rule is categorically excluded from NEPA documentation requirements, consistent with 40 CFR 1508.4. We have determined that this action satisfies the standards for reliance upon a categorical exclusion under NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 216-6. Specifically, this action fits within the categorical exclusion for “policy directives, regulations and guidelines of an administrative, financial, legal, technical or procedural nature.” NAO 216-6, section 6.03c.3(i). This action would not trigger an exception precluding reliance on the categorical exclusion because it does not involve a geographic area with unique characteristics, is not the subject of public controversy based on potential environmental consequences, will not result in uncertain environmental impacts or unique or unknown risks, does not establish a precedent or decision in principle about future proposals, will not have significant cumulative impacts, and will not have any adverse effects upon endangered or threatened species or their habitats (Id. sec. 5.05c). As such, it is categorically excluded from the need to prepare an Environmental Assessment. In addition, we find that because this rule will not result in any effects to the physical environment, much less any adverse effects, there would be no need to prepare an Environmental Assessment even aside from consideration of the categorical exclusion. See, e.g., Oceana, Inc. v. Bryson, 940 F. Supp. 2d 1029 (N.D. Cal. April 12, 2013). Issuance of this rule does not alter the legal and regulatory status quo in such a way as to create any environmental effects. See, e.g., Humane Soc. of U.S. v. Johanns, 520 F. Supp. 2d. 8 (D.D.C. 2007).

    Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes (E.O. 13175)

    E.O. 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, outlines the responsibilities of the Federal Government in matters affecting tribal interests. If we issue a regulation with tribal implications (defined as having 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), we must consult with those governments or the Federal Government must provide funds necessary to pay direct compliance costs incurred by tribal governments.

    We invited all interested tribes to discuss the rule with us at their convenience should they choose to have a government-to-government consultation. We received no such request for government-to-government consultation.

    Environmental Justice (E.O. 12898)

    E.O. 12898, Environmental Justice, requires that Federal actions address environmental justice in the decision-making process. This rule is not expected to have a disproportionately high effect on minority populations or low-income populations.

    Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (E.O. 13211)

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued E.O. 13211 on regulations that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, and use. Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking any action that promulgates or is expected to lead to the promulgation of a final rule or regulation that (1) is a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866 and (2) is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

    This rule has been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866 and is not expected to significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, and 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 rule is available upon request (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 222

    Endangered and threatened species.

    Dated: May 20, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, part 222, of chapter II, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, is amended as follows:

    PART 222—GENERAL ENDANGERED AND THREATENED MARINE SPECIES 1. The authority citation for part 222 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 742a et seq.

    2. Add subpart E to read as follows: Subpart E—Experimental Populations Sec. 222.501 Definitions. 222.502 Listing. 222.503 Prohibitions. 222.504 Interagency cooperation. Subpart E—Experimental Populations
    § 222.501 Definitions.

    (a) The term experimental population means any introduced and/or designated population (including any off-spring arising solely therefrom) that has been so designated in accordance with the procedures of this subpart but only when, and at such times as, the population is wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species. Where part of an experimental population overlaps with nonexperimental populations of the same species on a particular occasion, but is wholly separate at other times, specimens of the experimental population will not be recognized as such while in the area of overlap. That is, experimental status will only be recognized outside the areas of overlap. Thus, such a population shall be treated as experimental only when the times of geographic separation are reasonably predictable; e.g., fixed migration patterns, natural or man-made barriers. A population is not treated as experimental if total separation will occur solely as a result of random and unpredictable events.

    (b) The term essential experimental population means an experimental population whose loss would be likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival of the species in the wild. All other experimental populations are to be classified as nonessential.

    § 222.502 Listing.

    (a) The Secretary may designate as an experimental population a population of endangered or threatened species that has been or will be released into suitable habitat outside the species' current range, subject to the further conditions specified in this section; provided, that all designations of experimental populations must proceed by regulation adopted in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553 and the requirements of this subpart.

    (b) Before authorizing the release as an experimental population of any population (including eggs, propagules, or individuals) of an endangered or threatened species, and before authorizing any necessary transportation to conduct the release, the Secretary must find by regulation that such release will further the conservation of the species. In making such a finding, the Secretary shall utilize the best scientific and commercial data available to consider:

    (1) Any possible adverse effects on extant populations of a species as a result of removal of individuals, eggs, or propagules for introduction elsewhere;

    (2) The likelihood that any such experimental population will become established and survive in the foreseeable future;

    (3) The effects that establishment of an experimental population will have on the recovery of the species; and

    (4) The extent to which the introduced population may be affected by existing or anticipated Federal or State actions or private activities within or adjacent to the experimental population area.

    (c) Any regulation promulgated under paragraph (a) of this section shall provide:

    (1) Appropriate means to identify the experimental population, including, but not limited to, its actual or proposed location; actual or anticipated migration; number of specimens released or to be released; and other criteria appropriate to identify the experimental population(s);

    (2) A finding, based solely on the best scientific and commercial data available, and the supporting factual basis, on whether the experimental population is, or is not, essential to the continued existence of the species in the wild;

    (3) Management restrictions, protective measures, or other special management concerns of that population, as appropriate, which may include, but are not limited to, measures to isolate and/or contain the experimental population designated in the regulation from nonexperimental populations and protective regulations established pursuant to section 4(d) of the Act; and

    (4) A process for periodic review and evaluation of the success or failure of the release and the effect of the release on the conservation and recovery of the species.

    (d) The Secretary may issue a permit under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act, if appropriate, to allow acts necessary for the establishment and maintenance of an experimental population.

    (e) The National Marine Fisheries Service shall consult with appropriate State fish and wildlife agencies, affected tribal governments, local governmental entities, affected Federal agencies, and affected private landowners in developing and implementing experimental population rules. When appropriate, a public meeting will be conducted with interested members of the public. Any regulation promulgated pursuant to this section shall, to the maximum extent practicable, represent an agreement between the National Marine Fisheries Service, the affected State and Federal agencies, tribal governments, local government entities, and persons holding any interest in land or water which may be affected by the establishment of an experimental population.

    (f) Any population of an endangered species or a threatened species determined by the Secretary to be an experimental population in accordance with this subpart shall be identified by special rule in part 223 as appropriate and separately listed in 50 CFR 17.11(h) (wildlife) or 17.12(h) (plants) as appropriate.

    (g) The Secretary may designate critical habitat as defined in section (3)(5)(A) of the Act for an essential experimental population as determined pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section. Any designation of critical habitat for an essential experimental population will be made in accordance with section 4 of the Act. No designation of critical habitat will be made for nonessential experimental populations.

    § 222.503 Prohibitions.

    (a) Any population determined by the Secretary to be an experimental population shall be treated as if it were listed as a threatened species for purposes of establishing protective regulations under section 4(d) of the Act with respect to such population.

    (b) Accordingly, when designating, or revising, an experimental population under section 10(j) of the Act, the Secretary may also exercise his or her authority under section 4(d) of the Act to include protective regulations necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of such species as part of the special rule for the experimental population. Any protective regulations applicable to the species from which the experimental population was sourced do not apply to the experimental population unless specifically included in the special rule for the experimental population.

    § 222.504 Interagency cooperation.

    (a) Any experimental population determined pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section not to be essential to the survival of that species and not occurring within the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System, shall be treated for purposes of section 7 of the Act (other than subsection (a)(1) thereof) as a species proposed to be listed under the Act as a threatened species, and the provisions of section 7(a)(4) of the Act shall apply.

    (b) Any experimental population that either has been determined pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section to be essential to the survival of that species, or occurs within the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System as now or hereafter constituted, shall be treated for purposes of section 7 of the Act as a threatened species, and the provisions of section 7(a)(2) of the Act shall apply.

    (c) For purposes of section 7 of the Act, any consultation on a proposed Federal action that may affect both an experimental and a nonexperimental population of the same species should consider that species' experimental and nonexperimental populations to constitute a single listed species for the purposes of conducting the analyses under section 7 of the Act.

    [FR Doc. 2016-12379 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 102 Thursday, May 26, 2016 Proposed Rules FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION 12 CFR Part 370 Recordkeeping for Timely Deposit Insurance Determination AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    On February 26, 2016, the FDIC published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking entitled “Recordkeeping for Timely Deposit Insurance Determination” and solicited public comment. To allow the public more time to consider this proposed rulemaking and the issues and questions posed for comment, particularly those related to the estimated cost of compliance, the FDIC has determined that an extension of the comment period for an additional 30-day period ending June 27, 2016, is appropriate.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the proposed rule published February 26, 2016 (81 FR 10026), is extended. Comments must be received on or before June 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include “Recordkeeping for Timely Deposit Insurance Determination” in the subject line of the message.

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

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Guard station at the rear of the 550 17th Street Building (located on F Street) on business days between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. (EST).

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

    Public Inspection: All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal including any personal information provided. Comments may be inspected and photocopied in the FDIC Public Information Center, 3501 North Fairfax Drive, Room E-1002, Arlington, VA 22226, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (EST) on business days. Paper copies of public comments may be ordered from the Public Information Center by telephone at (877) 275-3342 or (703) 562-2200.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Marc Steckel, Deputy Director, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, 571-858-8224; Teresa J. Franks, Associate Director, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, 571-858-8226; Shane Kiernan, Counsel, Legal Division, 703-562-2632; Karen L. Main, Counsel, Legal Division, 703-562-2079.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In its notice of proposed rulemaking entitled “Recordkeeping for Timely Deposit Insurance Determination” (the “NPR” or the “proposed rule”), the FDIC introduced potential new requirements for certain large and complex insured depository institutions to ensure that depositors have prompt access to insured funds in the event of a failure.1 The FDIC sought comment on all aspects of the proposed rule and requested that commenters respond to numerous questions within the 90-day comment period ending May 26, 2016.

    1 81 FR 10026.

    In connection with the development of the advance notice of proposed rulemaking that preceded the NPR, an independent consulting firm was retained by the FDIC to develop cost estimates in order to estimate the expected costs of implementing additional information technology capabilities and recordkeeping requirements to facilitate prompt payment of FDIC-insured deposits when large insured depository institutions fail. The FDIC has placed a copy of the independent consulting firm's report in the comment file for the proposed rule (available at https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal/2016/2016_recordkeeping_3064-AE33.html). The report has been redacted to ensure confidentiality of proprietary information. In order to provide the public sufficient time to review and consider the independent consulting firm's report when commenting on the proposed rule, the FDIC is extending the comment period for an additional 30 days. The comment period will now close on June 27, 2016.

    Dated at Washington, DC, this 20th day of May 2016. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12325 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY 12 CFR Parts 1200, 1201, 1229, 1238, 1239, 1261, 1264, 1266, 1267, 1269, 1270, 1273, 1274, 1278, 1281, 1290, and 1291 RIN 2590-AA80 Technical and Conforming Changes and Corrections to FHFA Regulations AGENCY:

    Federal Housing Finance Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) proposes to amend its rules to make a number of conforming changes and corrections intended to fix citations, provide for consistent use of terminology, and remove outdated or duplicative rule provisions and definitions. FHFA also proposes to remove provisions that FHFA believes are no longer applicable, clarify other provisions by incorporating language that would implement existing FHFA regulatory interpretations, and make other changes and corrections.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before July 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit your comments, identified by Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 2590-AA80, by any of the following methods:

    Agency Web site: www.fhfa.gov/open-for-comment-or-input.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. If you submit your comment to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, please also send it by email to FHFA at [email protected] to ensure timely receipt by the FHFA. Please include “Comments/RIN 2590-AA80” in the subject line of the submission.

    Courier/Hand Delivery: The hand delivery address is: Alfred M. Pollard, General Counsel, Attention: Comments/RIN 2590-AA80, Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Eighth Floor, Washington, DC 20219. Deliver the package to the Seventh Street entrance Guard Desk, First Floor, on business days between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

    U.S. Mail, United Parcel Service, Federal Express, or Other Mail Service: The mailing address for comments is: Alfred M. Pollard, General Counsel, Attention: Comments/RIN 2590-AA80, Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW., Eighth Floor, Washington, DC 20219.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas E. Joseph, Associate General Counsel, [email protected], 202-649-3076 (this is not a toll-free number), Office of General Counsel, Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20219. The telephone number for the Telecommunications Device for the Hearing Impaired is 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Comments

    FHFA invites comments on all aspects of this proposed rule. After considering all comments, FHFA will issue a final rule. FHFA will post without change copies of all comments received on the FHFA Web site at http://www.fhfa.gov, and will include any personal information you provide, such as your name, address, email address, and telephone number. FHFA will make copies of all comments timely received available for examination by the public on business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Eighth Floor, Washington, DC 20219. To make an appointment to inspect comments, please call the Office of General Counsel at 202-649-3804.

    II. Background

    Effective July 30, 2008, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) 1 created FHFA as a new independent agency of the federal government. HERA transferred to FHFA the supervisory and oversight responsibilities of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) over the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) (collectively, Enterprises), and of the Federal Housing Finance Board (Finance Board) over the Federal Home Loan Banks (Banks) and the Bank System's Office of Finance. Under the legislation, the Enterprises, the Banks, and the Office of Finance continue to operate under regulations promulgated by OFHEO and the Finance Board until such regulations are superseded by regulations issued by FHFA.2

    1 Public Law 110-289, 122 Stat. 2654.

    2See 12 U.S.C. 4511, note.

    III. The Proposed Rule A. The Proposed Amendments

    Since 2008, FHFA has amended, readopted, and transferred a number of the Finance Board or OFHEO regulations. Given that this process has occurred over several years, not all cross-references in the current FHFA regulations continue to be correct. In addition, in January 2013, FHFA adopted 12 CFR part 1201 (part 1201), which provides general definitions of terms used in all FHFA's regulations. Not all terminology in FHFA's regulations is consistent with the terms in part 1201. FHFA has also identified certain provisions in its regulations that require corrections to bring them more in line with statutory mandates. Finally, a number of provisions in the current regulations apply to now-completed transition periods or events or otherwise would not have future applicability to the Enterprises or the Banks. As a result, FHFA can remove these provisions from its regulations.

    Accordingly, FHFA proposes to amend its regulations to make a number of technical and conforming changes and corrections that would fix citations, provide for consistent use of terminology, and remove outdated or duplicative provisions and definitions. While most of these changes represent technical corrections, some of the proposed changes would remove provisions that FHFA believes are no longer applicable, clarify provisions to incorporate existing FHFA regulatory interpretations of the particular rule, or change provisions to better reflect statutory requirements. As a result, FHFA has determined to request public comments on all of the proposed changes. A brief description of the amendments FHFA is proposing for specific parts of its regulations follows.

    Part 1200—Organization and Functions. FHFA proposes to add to part 1200 new § 1200.4, which would set forth information the agency is required to be displayed under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA).3 Among other things, the PRA and the implementing regulations of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) generally require that each collection of information display a currently valid OMB control number and expiration date, as well as a statement informing persons to whom the collection is addressed that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.4 In the case of collections of information contained in regulatory provisions, an agency may display the OMB control numbers and expiration dates associated with all such collections, as well as the required PRA statement, in a single CFR section.5

    3 44 U.S.C. 3501-3531.

    4 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(1)(B); 5 CFR 1320.8(b).

    5See 12 CFR 1320.3(f); 1 CFR 21.35.

    Proposed § 1200.4 displays the required PRA statement and includes a table listing all sections of FHFA's regulations that contain a collection of information and displaying, for each section, the OMB control number assigned to the collection of information contained therein, as well as the expiration date for each control number. A similar table addressing most of the same collections of information appeared in the regulations of the Finance Board, but was inadvertently omitted when FHFA transferred a number of administrative provisions from the former agency's regulations to its own in 2012.

    Part 1201—General Definitions. FHFA proposes to amend the definition of “Bank System” to reflect that following the merger of the Des Moines and Seattle Banks, there are no longer twelve Banks. FHFA also proposes to add to § 1201.1 a new definition for the term “president,” when the term is used in a regulation to refer to an officer of a Bank, to mean a Bank's principal executive officer. The new definition would account for the possibility that a Bank might identify its principal executive officer by a title other than president and helps define by function, and not only by title, to which Bank executive officer FHFA intends to refer in a particular regulatory provision.

    Part 1229—Capital Classifications and Prompt Corrective Action. FHFA proposes to change the definition of “new business activity” in § 1229.1 to correct the citation to the new business activity regulation, which is now found at 12 CFR part 1272, and provide that “new business activity” has the same meaning set forth in § 1272.1. The proposed rule would also amend the definition of “total capital” to remove language that applied only to Banks that had not yet issued Class A or Class B stock, as required by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB Act). Given that all Banks have now converted to the GLB Act capital structure, the language that FHFA proposes to remove no longer has any effect.

    FHFA also proposes to amend § 1229.6, which addresses mandatory restrictions that apply to “undercapitalized” Banks, to incorporate the substance of a regulatory interpretation that had addressed the circumstances under which an undercapitalized Bank may make capital distributions, such as through the payment of dividends or the repurchase or redemption of its capital stock. By statute, a Bank may not make any capital distribution if, after doing so, the Bank would be undercapitalized. The statute also includes an exception, under which a Bank may repurchase or redeem its capital stock if the Director of FHFA (Director) has determined that the transaction would be made in connection with the issuance of other capital instruments of at least an equivalent amount and would improve the entity's financial health.6 FHFA's regulations restate that statutory exception.7 The proposed rule would incorporate the substance of Regulatory Interpretation 2009-RI-03 (December 14, 2009), which had made clear that a Bank that already is undercapitalized (as opposed to one that would become undercapitalized as a result of the capital distribution) cannot redeem or repurchase its stock unless it can satisfy the statutory exception described above. The proposed rule would amend the current § 1229.6(a)(3) to state explicitly that a Bank that has been designated as undercapitalized may not make any capital distribution unless it has satisfied the requirements of the § 1229.5(b) exemption. The proposed rule also would retain the other provisions of the existing regulation, which require that any capital distribution not result in the Bank becoming significantly undercapitalized or critically undercapitalized, and not otherwise violate any restrictions on repurchase or redemption of Bank stock or payments of dividends set forth in the Federal Home Loan Bank Act “Bank Act” or FHFA's regulations.

    6See 12 U.S.C. 4614(e).

    7See 12 CFR 1229.5(b).

    FHFA also proposes to correct a cross-reference in § 1229.7(a) which now reads “§ 1229.7 and § 1229.8” and should read “§§ 1229.8 and 1229.9”.

    Part 1238—Stress Testing of Regulated Entities. FHFA proposes to replace the existing references in § 1238.1 to “the Federal Housing Finance Agency,” “the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992,” and “the Federal Home Loan Bank Act” with a shorter form for each of the terms, as now defined by part 1201. FHFA also proposes to remove from the definition section of § 1238.2, three terms that part 1201 already defines, given that the definitions of these terms in part 1238 are now duplicative.

    Part 1239—Responsibilities of Boards of Directors, Corporate Practices, and Corporate Governance. FHFA proposes to amend provisions in 12 CFR part 1239 related to Bank audit committees to correct the current FHFA regulation to conform with statutory requirements set forth in section 38(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (1934 Act).8 Section 38(b) of the 1934 Act specifically directs each Bank to comply with the rules issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under section 10A(m) of the 1934 Act.9 In turn, section 10A(m) of the 1934 Act requires the SEC by rule to direct national securities exchanges and national securities associations to prohibit the listing of any company that does not comply with the standards established by the SEC in the regulation. Section 10A(m) also establishes certain minimum standards for audit committees related to the independence of committee members and the responsibility of the committee for the oversight of the external auditor and the work performed by the auditor as well as other matters. In 2003, the SEC adopted Rule 10A-3, 17 CFR 240.10A-3, to implement section 10A(m) of the 1934 Act.10

    8 12 U.S.C. 78oo(b). Section 38 was added to the 1934 Act by HERA. When FHFA recently amended and readopted Bank audit committee requirements in part 1239 of its regulations, it carried over pre-HERA Finance Board requirements related to a Bank's audit committee charters and responsibilities without substantive change. See Final Rule: Responsibilities of Boards of Directors, Corporate Practices and Corporate Governance Matters, 80 FR 72327, 72335 (Nov. 19, 2015).

    9 12 U.S.C. 78j-1(m). The Sarbanes-Oxley Act added subsection (m) to section 10A of the 1934 Act. Public Law 107-204, section 301, 116 Stat. 775-777 (2002).

    10See, Final Rule: Standards Related to Listed Company Audit Committees, 68 FR 18788 (Apr. 16, 2003).

    While the SEC rules apply to national securities exchanges and national securities associations and set minimum requirements for listed companies on exchanges, FHFA's judgment is that, because section 38(b) of the 1934 Act separately directs the Banks to comply with these rules, the Banks' audit committees also should be subject to these requirements, even though Bank stock is not listed on any exchange. As a result, FHFA is proposing to amend its regulation regarding Bank audit committees so that it conforms to the minimum standards adopted by the SEC.

    Thus, the proposed amendments would add a requirement that the audit committee charter vest in the audit committee direct responsibility for the appointment, compensation, retention, and oversight of the work of the external auditor and provide that the external auditor report directly to the audit committee.11 The amendments would also require that the charter provide for a Bank to make available appropriate funding, as determined by the audit committee, for the payment of compensation to the external auditor, to any independent advisors or counsel engaged by the audit committee, and for ordinary administrative expenses that are necessary or appropriate for the audit committee to carry out its duties.12

    11See 15 U.S.C. 78j-1(m)(2) and 17 CFR 240.10A-3(b)(2). In adopting this specific provision, the SEC noted that the rule was not intended to conflict with any requirement under a company's governing laws or documents and discussed how the provision should be interpreted when a conflict existed. See id. at 18796-97. FHFA does not believe that any such conflict exists with regard to the Bank audit committees, given that Banks are chartered under federal law and federal law specifies that the minimum standards adopted in the SEC rule apply to the Banks.

    12See 15 U.S.C. 78j-1(m)(6) and 17 CFR 240.10A-3(b)(5).

    The proposed rule would also add to the list of Bank audit committee duties in the existing FHFA regulation new § 1239.4(e)(10), which would give the audit committee responsibility for establishing procedures for the receipt and treatment of complaints regarding accounting, internal accounting controls, or auditing matters, and for the confidential, anonymous submission by Bank employees of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters.13 Further, the proposed amendments would remove from this list of specific duties, the provision directing a Bank's audit committee to make recommendations to the full board of directors on the appointment, compensation, and retention of the external auditor, given that the proposal already would vest in the audit committee direct responsibility for these matters.

    13See 15 U.S.C. 78j-1(m)(4) and 17 CFR 240.10A-3(b)(3).

    Because other provisions of existing regulations already require all regulated entity committees to have the authority to engage staff, outside counsel, independent accountants, or other consultants, as needed to carry out their responsibilities, FHFA is not proposing to amend the audit committee provisions of § 1239.32 to address that same topic, even though the 1934 Act and SEC rules pertaining to audit committees specifically address that topic.14 Although, section 10A(m) of the 1934 Act also establishes independence requirements for audit committee members, FHFA is not proposing to apply those requirements to the Banks, but instead will retain the existing provisions, which establish independence requirements that reflect the unique cooperative structure of the Banks. Other provisions of the Bank Act address the size and composition of boards of directors for the Banks and contemplate that a majority of the board will be “member directors,” i.e., persons who typically are executive officers of depository institutions that are members, and hence customers, of the Banks. Because Congress has effectively required that a majority of a Bank's board of directors be drawn from the ranks of the Bank's customers, it is possible, and indeed likely, that multiple members of a Bank's board of directors will have substantial business relationships with the Bank, which is the essence of a cooperative institution. Recognizing that fact, FHFA's existing regulations establish independence requirements for Bank audit committees that are consistent with the Bank Act, in that they are intended to promote the exercise of independent and objective judgment by audit committee members, but are also tailored to be consistent with the provisions of the Bank Act that have established the Banks as cooperative institutions.15

    14 This SEC requirement is found at 15 U.S.C. 78j-1(m)(5) and 17 CFR 240.10A-3(b)(4). Section 1239.4(d) of the FHFA regulation authorizes any committee of a Bank's board of directors, which would include the audit committee, to engage at the expense of the Bank, staff, outside counsel, independent accountants, or consultants as needed to carry out its duties. See 12 CFR 1239.4(d).

    15See 12 CFR 1239.32(c). See, also, Proposed Rule: Responsibilities of Boards of Directors, Corporate Practices and Corporate Governance Matters, 79 FR 4414, 4417-18, 4420-21 (Jan. 28, 2014).

    Part 1261—Federal Home Loan Bank Directors. FHFA is proposing a number of revisions to subpart B of part 1261, which governs the eligibility and election of the Banks' boards of directors, to correct unintended errors and omissions arising from earlier rulemakings, as well as to remove obsolete provisions.

    In § 1261.2, FHFA proposes to add a definition for the term “Advisory Council” and to define the term to mean the Advisory Council each Bank is required to establish pursuant to section 10(j)(11) of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1430(j)(11)) and part 1291. The proposed definition is identical to the definition of “Advisory Council” that would appear in § 1290.1, as revised by this proposed rule.

    FHFA proposes to remove from the definition of “member directorship” in § 1261.2 the concluding phrase, which specifies that the term “includes guaranteed directorships and stock directorships,” and to remove in its entirety the definition of “stock directorship.” The definition of “guaranteed directorship” was removed from the regulation in 2009. The references to “guaranteed directorships” and “stock directorships” in § 1261.2, as well as those in §§ 1261.4(b) and 1261.8(c) (discussed below), are the last vestiges of a former regulatory regime that made distinctions between different types of member directorships (previously called “elective directorships”) as a means of determining the specific directors who would relinquish their seats if the Bank System regulator ordered a Bank's board to eliminate directorships representing a particular state. Those terms and the distinctions they represent are no longer connected to any substantive requirement of the regulation or to any policy or practice of FHFA and, therefore, the remaining references to them should be removed.

    To explain more fully, the Bank Act authorizes the Director to establish the size and composition of each Bank's board of directors.16 The regulations provide that the Director will determine annually the total number of directorships, as well as the relative number of member directorships and independent directorships, that each Bank's board of directors will comprise in the following calendar year.17 The Bank Act also requires the Director annually to allocate the member directorships among the states of each Bank district in proportion to the relative amounts of Bank stock that all of the members in each state were required to hold as of the end of the preceding calendar year.18 As a general matter, each state is entitled to have at least one member directorship, or the number of member directorships allocated to it in 1960 if greater.19 In any given year, it is possible that the designation of directorships process can result in a state that currently has more than the minimum number of member directorships guaranteed to it under the statute losing a directorship for the following year.20 When this occurs, a decision must be made about which individual member director must relinquish his or her directorship. Prior regulatory regimes addressed this issue by designating each member directorship as a “guaranteed directorship,” a “stock directorship,” or a “discretionary directorship,” and requiring each Bank's board to specify which individuals occupied each of those types of directorships.21 An individual occupying a “stock” or “discretionary” directorship could be required to leave the board if the annual designation of directorships eliminated a member directorship for that state. Individuals occupying a “guaranteed directorship” could not be required to relinquish their seats under those circumstances. During that time, the regulations also set forth criteria for determining which individuals should be assigned to each type of member directorship, generally requiring that nominees receiving the greatest number of votes were to be assigned to guaranteed directorships, with directors who received fewer votes being assigned to the non-guaranteed directorship, assuming both types of directorships were to be filled in the same election.

    16See 12 U.S.C. 1427(a)-(c). The statute provides that each Bank is to have a board of 13 directors, “or such other number as the Director determines appropriate.” 12 U.S.C. 1427(a)(1). Because of the interrelationship of the other statutory provisions governing the composition of Bank's boards, in most cases it is not possible for the size of a Bank's board of directors to be as small as 13. It further specifies that a majority of each Bank's board of directors must be “member directors,” while not less than 40 percent must be “independent directors.” 12 U.S.C. 1427(a)(2).

    17 12 CFR 1261.3(a).

    18See 12 U.S.C. 1427(c).

    19 12 U.S.C. 1427(c). The grandfather provision does not apply to the allocation of member directorships to the board of a Bank created as a result of the merger of two or more predecessor Banks.

    20 The regulation provides that, when the annual designation of directorships results in the elimination of an existing member directorship for a state, the directorship shall be deemed to terminate as of December 31 of that year. See 12 CFR 1261.4(e).

    21 Prior to the enactment of the HERA amendments, the Bank Act generally set the number of directors on each Bank's board at 14—8 elective directors and 6 appointive directors—but authorized the Bank System regulator, in its discretion, to add additional seats to the boards of Banks in districts comprising more than five states. See 12 U.S.C. 1427(a) (2001). In its regulation on Bank directors, the Finance Board referred to these additional directorships as “discretionary directorships.”

    Prior to the enactment of HERA in 2008, the Finance Board had removed most of those substantive regulatory provisions.22 After HERA repealed the provisions authorizing “discretionary directorships,” FHFA removed the references to those directorships from its regulations.23 In 2009, FHFA also removed the definition of “guaranteed directorship” from the regulations, although that appears to have been done in error.24 Since HERA, FHFA has not distinguished between “guaranteed directorships” and “stock directorships” when the designation of directorships process requires the elimination of a member directorship. In such cases, if the affected state has a member directorship scheduled to expire at the end of the year, FHFA has required that the Bank eliminate that directorship. If a state has no expiring member directorships, then FHFA has required the Bank's board of directors to decide which specific seat is to be eliminated. For these reasons, the references to “guaranteed directorships” and “stock directorships” are no longer necessary and, accordingly, should be removed to avoid any implication that FHFA still applies those concepts in practice.

    22See 72 FR 15627 (Apr. 2, 2007).

    23See 73 FR 55710 (Sept. 26, 2008).

    24See 74 FR 51452 (Oct. 7, 2009).

    FHFA is also proposing to make a clarifying revision to the definition of “Public interest directorship” by replacing the words “four years experience” with the words “four years of experience.”

    Section 1261.3(b) currently provides that, in most cases, the “term of office of each directorship commencing on or after January 1, 2009 shall be four years.” FHFA proposes to remove from that provision the obsolete qualifying phrase “commencing on or after January 1, 2009.” That qualifier was originally included to make clear that only those full terms beginning after the HERA amendments to the Bank Act increased the length of directorship terms from three to four years would run for four years. Because all directorship terms that commenced prior to January 1, 2009 have now expired, it is no longer necessary to distinguish between terms that began before and after the enactment of the HERA amendments terms going forward. In § 1261.3(e), FHFA proposes to revise two incorrect references to dates specified in or pursuant to “this part” to refer correctly to those specified in or pursuant to “this subpart.”

    FHFA proposes to make several revisions to § 1261.4, which deals with the designation of member directorships. First, FHFA proposes to replace the existing heading for paragraph (a), which reads “Determination of voting stock,” with a new heading, which would read “Capital stock reports.” While § 1261.4(a) requires each Bank to provide to FHFA a capital stock report indicating, among other things, the number of shares of Bank stock that each of its members was required to hold as of the defined record date, the provision does not actually address the determination of voting stock (that topic is addressed in § 1261.6). The new heading more accurately reflects the subject matter of § 1261.4(a). In conjunction with its proposal to remove references to the obsolete terms “guaranteed directorship” and “stock directorship” from § 1261.2, FHFA also proposes to remove from the heading for § 1261.4(b), which currently reads “Designation of member directorships as stock directorships,” the reference to “stock directorships.”

    FHFA also proposes to remove from § 1261.4(a)(2) and (b) language that specifies how Banks that had not converted to the capital structure established by the GLB Act were to determine the minimum amount of Bank stock that each member must own. Given that all Banks have now converted to the GLB Act capital structure, there is no longer any need for these provisions. For consistency with other provisions in subpart B, FHFA also proposes to replace the phrase “December 31 of the preceding calendar year” that appears in § 1261.4(b) with the term “record date”—a contextually synonymous term that is defined in existing § 1261.2 to mean “December 31 of the calendar year immediately preceding the election year.”

    In § 1261.5, FHFA proposes to remove the paragraph designated as “(2)” that appears at the end of the section, immediately following § 1261.5(e), as no longer relevant. FHFA intended to remove that paragraph as part of a 2010 rulemaking, but inadvertently failed to include its removal in the amendatory instructions.25

    25See Proposed Rule: Federal Home Loan Banks Boards of Directors: Eligibility and Elections, 74 FR 62708, 62709 (Dec. 1, 2009); and Final Rule: Federal Home Loan Bank Directors' Eligibility, Elections, Compensation and Expenses, 75 FR 17037 (Apr. 5, 2010).

    In § 1261.6(b), which specifies how Banks are to determine the number of votes each member may cast in an election for directors, FHFA proposes to remove obsolete language regarding the treatment of Banks that have not yet converted to the capital structure established by the GLB Act that is similar to the language it is proposing to remove from § 1261.4(a)(2) and (b).

    In § 1261.7(a), which includes introductory text followed by five paragraphs numbered (1) through (5), FHFA proposes to remove the designation “(1)” that was mistakenly inserted preceding the introductory text. FHFA proposes to remove from both § 1261.7(d)(1)(i) and (e)(2) the words “four years experience” and, in both cases, to replace those words with the words “four years of experience.” In § 1261.8(a), which addresses the requirements for ballots in elections for Bank directors, FHFA proposes to re-insert the introductory paragraph to § 1261.8(a)(1), which was mistakenly removed in a 2009 rulemaking.26 That paragraph would precede the paragraphs designated as (a)(1)(i) through (v) and would state that a ballot shall include at least the following provisions. While FHFA is only proposing to add the introductory text to paragraph (a)(1), the proposed rule would readopt all of paragraph (a) to avoid any confusion on this matter.

    26See Final Rule: Federal Home Loan Banks Boards of Directors: Eligibility and Elections, 74 FR 51452, 51462 (Oct. 7, 2009).

    In conjunction with its proposal, discussed in detail above, to remove references to the obsolete terms “guaranteed directorship” and “stock directorship” from § 1261.2, FHFA is proposing to remove from § 1261.8(c) the only other reference to those terms that still appears in the regulatory text of existing part 1261. Section 1261.8(c) requires, with respect to the nomination and election of individuals to serve as member directors representing a particular state in any given year, that if the number of nominees is equal to or fewer than the number of member directorships to be filled in that year's election, the Bank shall declare elected all eligible nominees without conducting any balloting. The existing provision further requires that in doing so the Bank shall designate particular nominees to guaranteed directorships or stock directorships, respectively, if necessary. FHFA proposes to remove the latter requirement.

    FHFA is also proposing to amend a provision of § 1261.9 in order to clarify that certain limitations on a Bank's involvement in the election of directors do not preclude it from seeking to identify a more diverse pool of prospective member director candidates.27 In 2008, Congress amended the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 (Safety and Soundness Act) to require each regulated entity to establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion that would be responsible for carrying out the provision of the statute relating to diversity in the management, employment, and business activities of the regulated entity, subject to the Director's authority to establish appropriate standards and requirements. That provision further requires each regulated entity to develop and implement standards and procedures “to ensure, to the maximum amount possible, the inclusion and utilization of minorities and women” in all business and activities of the regulated entity at all levels. 12 U.S.C. 4520(a), (b). In 2010, FHFA adopted regulations requiring each regulated entity and the Office of Finance to develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure, to the maximum amount possible, in balance with financially safe and sound business practices, the inclusion and utilization of minorities and women in all business and activities of those entities. Among other things, those policies and procedures must “encourage the consideration of diversity in nominating or soliciting nominees for positions on boards of directors.” The policies and procedures also must address recruiting and outreach directed at encouraging minorities, women, and persons with disabilities to seek employment with those entities. 12 CFR 1207.21(b)(5).

    27 FHFA also proposes to amend paragraph (a) of § 1261.9 to correct typographical errors currently in that paragraph. The changes would not alter the current wording or substance of the paragraph.

    FHFA has separate regulations governing the election of Bank directors which, among other things, limit the ability of a director, officer, attorney, or employee of a Bank to support the nomination or election of any individual for a member directorship. Those provisions allow Bank personnel to support the nomination or election of a particular person for a member directorship so long as they do so in their personal capacity and do not purport to represent the views of the Bank or its board of directors. Aside from that personal capacity exception, the regulations prohibit any such person from directly or indirectly supporting or opposing the nomination or election of a particular person for a member directorship, or from taking any other actions to influence the voting for any particular individual. 12 CFR 1261.9(b), (c). These provisions reflect statutory provisions that vest the authority to nominate and elect member directors solely in the members of a Bank.

    FHFA has received inquiries from the Banks about the interrelationship of these two regulatory provisions. Specifically, Banks have inquired whether the provisions of § 1261.9(b) and (c) that restrict Bank directors or personnel from becoming involved in the nominations or election process also prohibit them from conducting outreach or engaging in recruiting activities to fulfill the regulatory requirement to consider diversity in the nomination or solicitation of nominations for board directorships. To address that concern, FHFA is proposing to revise § 1261.9(c) to expand the existing exemption within that provision so that it would extend to efforts by Bank directors or personnel to promote diversity on the boards of directors. As amended, § 1261.9(c) would continue to prohibit Bank directors and personnel from communicating that they support or oppose the nomination or election of any individual for a Bank directorship, or otherwise act to influence the voting with respect to a particular individual, but it would except from that prohibition—in addition to communications made in furtherance of the skills assessment and those made in a Bank officer or director's personal capacity—actions taken by Bank directors and personnel that are intended to promote diversity among the Banks' boards of directors. By making this amendment, FHFA intends that the Banks will be able to communicate with members or third parties to identify and recruit eligible individuals to seek nominations to serve as member directors of their Banks. Because the statute vests the authority to nominate and elect member directors solely in the members of each Bank, FHFA does not intend that the Banks could use this provision to actively campaign or promote the candidacy of a particular individual over other eligible nominees. Rather, the provision is intended to allow the Banks to actively seek out and encourage diverse candidates to run for election to the Banks' boards of directors.

    In § 1261.13, FHFA proposes to replace an incorrect reference to “the eligibility requirements set forth . . . in this part” appearing in the first sentence with a correct reference to the eligibility requirements set forth in “this subpart.”

    Existing § 1261.15 implements section 7(c) of the Bank Act by providing that the number of member directorships allocated to each state shall not be less than the number of directorships allocated to that state on December 31, 1960, except with respect to member directorships of a Bank resulting from the merger of any two or more Banks. This provision is followed by a table setting forth, for those states whose members held more than one directorship on December 31, 1960, the number of directorships held by those states' members on that date. FHFA proposes to remove from that table references to Minnesota, Missouri, and Iowa. Under the statute, these states are no longer entitled to be allocated at least the number of seats their members held in 1960 because they are each located within the district of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, a Bank that, in its current incarnation, was created from the merger of the former Des Moines and Seattle Banks.

    Part 1264—Federal Home Loan Bank Housing Associates. FHFA proposes to amend § 1264.2 to correct the citation to the Advances regulation, which is now found at 12 CFR part 1266.

    Part 1266—Advances. The proposed rule would make several revisions to FHFA's advances regulations, as described below. FHFA proposes to amend the definition of “tangible capital” in § 1266.1 to remove references to the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) now in the definition given that the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) abolished the OTS and transferred its duties to other federal banking agencies.28

    28See 12 U.S.C. 5412, 5413 (codifying §§ 312, 313, Pub. L. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1521-23 (July 21, 2010)).

    FHFA also proposes to incorporate new language into the definition of “tangible capital” that would codify the substance of Regulatory Interpretation, 2012-RI-01 (Feb. 8, 2012), which deals with insurance company financial statements. The existing definition requires that a member's capital first be calculated in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). That requirement created some uncertainty about how a Bank could apply the definition of “tangible capital” to insurance companies that do not prepare GAAP financial statements, as some insurance companies prepare financial statements based on Statutory Accounting Principles (SAP), which differ from GAAP in certain respects. The Regulatory Interpretation addressed this issue by allowing Banks to use financial statements prepared by insurance company members using SAP when calculating their tangible capital if the insurance company members otherwise do not prepare financial statements based on GAAP. As FHFA noted in adopting the Regulatory Interpretation, the Finance Board originally adopted the definition of “tangible capital” so that the Banks could base the calculation of tangible capital on a member's regulatory filings and thereby avoid undue burdens on members or the Banks. Insurance company members, however, file financial reports with their state regulators based on SAP, rather than GAAP standards. Given that many insurance company members may not otherwise file or prepare GAAP statements, FHFA reasoned in its Regulatory Interpretation that it would create undue burdens to require these members to prepare separate GAAP based financial statements solely for the purpose of allowing the Bank to make the tangible capital calculation, as the language of the current definition of “tangible capital” appeared to require. The proposed amendment would clarify this definition by adding new language that explicitly authorizes the use of SAP financial statements to the same degree currently permitted by the Regulatory Interpretation.

    FHFA is also proposing to delete § 1266.11, which applies only to Banks that have not yet converted to the capital structure implemented by the GLB Act. Given that all Banks have now converted to the GLB Act capital system, § 1266.11 has no future applicability. FHFA also proposes to remove references to OTS now in § 1266.13, a provision which implements section 10(h) of the Bank Act and allows a Bank to provide special liquidity advances to savings association members at the request of the member's federal regulator.29 As already noted, the Dodd-Frank Act abolished the OTS, the former regulator for savings associations, and transferred its duties to other federal banking agencies. The proposed amendment would replace the current reference to OTS in the rule with references to the appropriate federal regulator for member savings associations, specifically, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) with respect to federal savings associations and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) with respect to state savings associations.30

    29 12 U.S.C. 1430(h).

    30See 12 U.S.C. 5412, 5415.

    Finally, FHFA proposes to remove subpart C to part 1266, which includes only one provision, § 1266.25, that addresses advances to out-of-district members.31 Section 1266.25(a) authorizes a Bank to become a creditor of a member or housing associate of another Bank through the purchase from that other Bank of an advance, or a participation interest in an advance, that the other Bank had made to its member. This part of the regulation essentially repeats the language of the statute.32 Section 1266.25(a) further provides that a Bank may become a creditor to a member or housing associate of another Bank through an arrangement with the other Bank that provides for the establishment of such a creditor/debtor relationship at the time an advance is made. Section 1266.25(b) provides that the establishment of any out-of-district creditor/debtor relationship under this regulation is subject to all requirements that would apply to any advance that a Bank could make to one of its own members. The regulatory history of the predecessor provision to § 1266.25, which the Finance Board adopted in 2000, provides little guidance as to the intended meaning of the “other arrangement” portion of the regulation.33

    31See 12 CFR part 1266, subpart C.

    32See 12 U.S.C. 1430(d).

    33See Final Rule: Federal Home Loan Bank Acquired Member Assets, Core Mission Activities, Investments and Advances, 65 FR 43969 (July 17, 2000). See also Proposed Rule: Federal Home Loan Bank Acquired Member Assets, Core Mission Activities, Investments and Advances, 65 FR 25676 (May 3, 2000).

    FHFA believes that § 1266.25 does not add meaningfully to the statutory authority to which it relates—for example, it does not solve the problem of how purchased advances or participations are to be capitalized—and therefore FHFA proposes to rescind it.

    Removal of this provision would not prevent one Bank from selling an advance or participation to another Bank, based solely on the statutory authority, but FHFA would expect that before doing so a Bank would first obtain the concurrence of FHFA about how a non-member could capitalize those advances through some means other than by buying Bank stock.

    Part 1267—Federal Home Loan Bank Investments. FHFA proposes to remove from § 1267.1 the definitions of “consolidated obligation” and “GAAP” because both of those terms are defined in part 1201, and thus are now duplicative.

    Part 1269—Standby Letters of Credit, and Part 1270—Liabilities. FHFA proposes to correct citations to former Finance Board rules that FHFA readopted and transferred.

    Part 1273—Office of Finance. Part 1273 of the FHFA regulations addresses the structure and duties of the Office of Finance. FHFA proposes to remove from § 1273.1 the definitions of “Bank System,” “consolidated obligations,” “Financing Corporation or FICO,” “generally accepted accounting principles or GAAP,” “NRSRO,” “Office of Finance or OF,” and “Resolution Funding Corporation or RefCorp” because all of those terms have been defined in part 1201, and thus are now duplicative. The proposal also would correct citations to previous Finance Board regulations that appear within §§ 1273.3, 1273.6, and 1273.8, all of which FHFA has replaced after it had initially adopted part 1273.

    FHFA also proposes to remove from § 1273.7, which pertains to the structure of the Office of Finance board of directors (OF board), a number of provisions that applied only to the initial selection of the independent directors for the reconstituted OF board and the selection of the initial Chairman and Vice-Chairman. This process occurred in 2010, and these provisions no longer serve any purpose. Because the removal of these provisions also requires that FHFA re-designate the remaining paragraphs in § 1273.7, FHFA has opted to restate the revised § 1273.7 in its entirety, rather than make a series of piecemeal amendments to the existing regulatory text. The revised provision also conforms any internal citations accordingly. The proposed amendments would also correct the references in § 1273.7(a) to “seventeen” Office of Finance directors and to “twelve” Bank presidents to reflect that there are now only eleven Banks and sixteen Office of Finance directors.

    FHFA also proposes to delete § 1273.8(d)(3), which requires the OF board to adopt an annual capital and operating budget consistent with 12 CFR 917.8, a provision that was, until recently, applicable to the Banks' boards of directors. However, when FHFA recently readopted the corporate governance provisions applicable to the Banks, it determined not to carry over § 917.8 because it believed adoption of a budget was a basic duty already encompassed in a director's duty to act in good faith and with care in overseeing the affairs of a Bank.34 For these same reasons, FHFA believes that the budget responsibilities addressed in § 1273.8(d)(3) are already incorporated into, and are part of, an OF director's basic oversight duties and is therefore proposing to delete this provision.

    34See Proposed Rule: Responsibilities of Boards of Directors, Corporate Practices and Corporate Governance Matters, 79 FR 4414, 4421 (Jan. 28, 2014).

    FHFA is proposing to amend § 1273.9(b)(5), pertaining to the persons to whom the Office of Finance internal auditor shall report, to conform the provision to the comparable provision of the corporate governance regulations for the Banks. The current OF regulation includes a sentence that requires the internal auditor to report directly to the audit committee, but to report administratively to the executive management of the OF. The recently adopted corporate governance regulations provide that the internal auditors of the Banks must report directly to the audit committee on substantive matters and are ultimately accountable to the audit committee and the board of directors; they do not require the internal auditor to report to Bank management on administrative matters. FHFA believes that the corporate governance provisions reflect the better practice and is proposing to revise the OF regulations to conform to the language of the corporate governance provisions on internal auditor reporting. This revised language would not prevent the audit committee for a Bank or the OF from authorizing the internal auditor to report to executive management on purely administrative matters, if the audit committee believed it appropriate to establish that reporting relationship.

    FHFA also proposes to delete § 1273.10 in its entirety. That provision provided for a transition process from the three person OF board structure that was in place prior to the adoption of part 1273 in 2010, to the current OF board structure established by part 1273. This transition process was completed in 2010, and § 1273.10 has no future applicability.

    Part 1274—Financial Statements of the Banks, Part 1278—Voluntary Mergers of Federal Home Loan Banks, and Part 1281—Federal Home Loan Bank Housing Goals. FHFA proposes to remove from the definitions sections of these parts the definition of “Bank System”, a term that is already defined by part 1201. For the same reason, FHFA proposes to remove from the definitions sections of parts 1274 and 1278, the definitions for “Financing Corporation or FICO,” and “GAAP.”

    Part 1290—Community Support Requirements, and Part 1291—Federal Home Loan Banks' Affordable Housing Program. The proposed amendments would conform references to the “Federal Home Loan Bank Act” to read “Bank Act”, which is the term defined in part 1201.

    B. Considerations of Differences Between the Banks and the Enterprises

    When promulgating regulations relating to the Banks, section 1313(f) of the Safety and Soundness Act requires the Director to consider the differences between the Banks and the Enterprises with respect to the Banks' cooperative ownership structure; mission of providing liquidity to members; affordable housing and community development mission; capital structure; and joint and several liability.35 The changes proposed in this rulemaking make corrections to existing FHFA regulations or are clarifying and conforming in nature. Nonetheless, FHFA, in preparing this proposed rule, considered the differences between the Banks and the Enterprises as they relate to the above factors. FHFA requests comments from the public about whether these differences should result in any revisions to the proposed rule.

    35See 12 U.S.C. 4513.

    IV. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The proposed rulemaking does not contain any collections of information pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Therefore, FHFA has not submitted any information to the Office of Management and Budget for review.

    V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The proposed rule applies only to the Banks and the Enterprises, which do not come within the meaning of small entities as defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). See 5 U.S.C. 601(6). Therefore, in accordance with section 605(b) of the RFA, FHFA certifies that this proposed rule, if adopted as a final rule, would not have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    List of Subjects 12 CFR Part 1200

    Organization and functions (Government agencies), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Seals and insignia.

    12 CFR Part 1201

    Administrative practice and procedure, Federal home loan banks, Government-sponsored enterprises, Office of finance, Regulated entities.

    12 CFR Part 1229

    Capital, Federal home loan banks, Government-sponsored enterprises, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    12 CFR Part 1238

    Administrative practice and procedure, Capital, Federal home loan banks, Government-sponsored enterprises, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Stress test.

    12 CFR Part 1239

    Administrative practice and procedure, Federal home loan banks, Government-sponsored enterprises, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    12 CFR Part 1261

    Banks, Banking, Conflicts of interest, Elections, Ethical conduct, Federal home loan banks, Financial disclosure, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    12 CFR Parts 1264, 1266, and 1267

    Community development, Credit, Federal home loan banks, Housing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    12 CFR Part 1269

    Community development, Credit, Federal home loan banks, Housing, Letters of credit.

    12 CFR Part 1270

    Accounting, Federal home loan banks, Government securities.

    12 CFR Part 1273

    Federal home loan banks, Securities.

    12 CFR Part 1274

    Accounting, Federal home loan banks, Financial disclosure.

    12 CFR Part 1278

    Banks, Banking, Federal home loan banks, Mergers.

    12 CFR Parts 1281 and 1290

    Credit, Federal home loan banks, Housing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    12 CFR Part 1291

    Community development, Credit, Federal home loan banks, Housing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Accordingly, for reasons stated in the Supplementary Information and under authority in 12 U.S.C. 4511, 4513, and 4526, FHFA proposes to amend chapter XII of title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    CHAPTER XII—FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY Subchapter A—Organization and Operations PART 1200—ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS 1. Amend the authority citation for part 1200 by revising it to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552, 12 U.S.C. 4512, 12 U.S.C. 4526, 44 U.S.C. 3506.

    2. Amend part 1200 by adding § 1200.4 to read as follows:
    § 1200.4 OMB control numbers assigned under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    (a) Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3531) and the implementing regulations of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) (5 CFR part 1320), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    (b) OMB has approved the collections of information contained in FHFA's regulations and has assigned each collection a control number. The following table displays the sections of FHFA's regulations (both those located in this chapter and those promulgated by the former Federal Housing Finance Board that appear in chapter IX of this title) containing collections of information, along with the applicable OMB control numbers and the expirations dates for those control numbers:

    12 CFR part or section where identified and described OMB
  • Control No.
  • Expiration
  • date
  • 906.5 2590-0004 07/31/2017 955.4 2590-0008 02/29/2016 1207.23 2590-0014 07/31/2018 1222.22 2590-0013 07/31/2018 1222.23 2590-0013 07/31/2018 1222.24 2590-0013 07/31/2018 1222.25 2590-0013 07/31/2018 1222.26 2590-0013 07/31/2018 1261.7 2590-0006 12/31/2017 1261.12 2590-0006 12/31/2017 1261.14 2590-0006 12/31/2017 1263.2 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.4 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.5 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.6 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.7 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.8 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.9 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.11 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.12 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.13 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.14 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.15 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.16 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.17 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.18 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.24 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.26 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.31 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1264.4 2590-0001 12/31/2018 1264.5 2590-0001 12/31/2018 1264.6 2590-0001 12/31/2018 1266.17 2590-0001 12/31/2018 1277.28 2590-0002 12/31/2016 1290.2 2590-0005 02/29/2016 1290.3 2590-0005 02/29/2016 1290.4 2590-0005 02/29/2016 1290.5 2590-0005 02/29/2016 1291.5 2590-0007 05/31/2016 1291.6 2590-0007 05/31/2016 1291.7 2590-0007 05/31/2016 1291.8 2590-0007 05/31/2016 1291.9 2590-0007 05/31/2016
    PART 1201—GENERAL DEFINITIONS APPLYING TO ALL FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY REGULATIONS 3. The authority citation for part 1201 continues to read: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 4511(b), 4513(a), 4513(b).

    4. Amend § 1201.1 by revising the definition of “Bank System” and adding, in alphabetical order, a definition for “President” to read as follows:
    § 1201.1 Definitions.

    Bank System means the Federal Home Loan Bank System, consisting of all of the Banks and the Office of Finance.

    President, when referring to an officer of a Bank only, means a Bank's principal executive officer.

    SUBCHAPTER B—ENTITY REGULATIONS PART 1229—CAPITAL CLASSIFICATIONS AND PROMPT CORRECTIVE ACTION 5. The authority citation for part 1229 continues to read: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1426, 4513, 4526, 4613, 4614, 4615, 4616, 4617, 4618, 4622, 4623.

    6. Amend § 1229.1 by revising the definitions of “new business activity” and “total capital” to read as follows:
    § 1229.1 Definitions.

    New business activity when used in this subpart has the same meaning set forth in § 1272.1 of this chapter.

    Total capital means the sum of the Bank's permanent capital, the amount paid-in for its Class A stock, the amount of any general allowances for losses, and the amount of any other instruments identified in a Bank's capital plan that the Director has determined to be available to absorb losses incurred by such Bank.

    7. Amend § 1229.6 by revising paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:
    § 1229.6 Mandatory actions applicable to undercapitalized Banks.

    (a) * * *

    (3) Not make any capital distribution unless:

    (i) The distribution meets the requirements of § 1229.5(b) and paragraphs (a)(3)(ii) and (iii) of this section and the Director has provided permission for such distribution as set forth in § 1229.5(b);

    (ii) The capital distribution will not result in the Bank being reclassified as significantly undercapitalized or critically undercapitalized; and

    (iii) The capital distribution does not violate any restriction on the redemption or repurchase of capital stock or the declaration or payment of a dividend set forth in section 6 of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1426) or in any other applicable regulation;

    § 1229.7 [Amended]
    8. Amend § 1229.7(a) by removing the reference to “§ 1229.7 or § 1229.8 of this subpart” and adding in its place a reference to “§ 1229.8 or § 1229.9”. PART 1238—STRESS TESTING OF REGULATED ENTITIES 9. The authority citation for part 1238 continues to read: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1426; 4513; 4526; 4612; 5365(i).

    § 1238.1 [Amended]
    10. Amend § 1238.1(a) by: a. Removing the reference to “Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)” and adding in its place “FHFA”; b. Removing the reference to “Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992, as amended” and adding in its place “Safety and Soundness Act”; and c. Removing the reference to “Federal Home Loan Bank Act, as amended” and adding in its place “Bank Act”.
    § 1238.2 [Amended]
    11. Amend § 1238.2 by removing the definitions for “Federal Home Loan Banks,” “Federal Housing Finance Agency or FHFA,” and “regulated entities”. PART 1239—RESPONSIBILITIES OF BOARDS OF DIRECTORS, CORPORATE PRACTICES, AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE 12. The authority citation for part 1239 is revised to read: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1426, 1427, 1432(a), 1436(a), 1440, 4511(b), 4513(a), 4513(b), 4526, and 15 U.S.C. 78oo(b).

    13. Amend § 1239.32 by: a. Revising paragraphs (d)(3) and (e)(4); b. Removing the word “and” at the end of paragraph (e)(8); c. Removing the period at the end of paragraph (e)(9) and adding “; and” in its place; and d. Adding paragraph (e)(10).

    The revisions and addition read as follows:

    § 1239.32 Audit committees.

    (d) * * *

    (3) Each Bank's audit committee charter shall:

    (i) Provide that the audit committee has the responsibility to select, evaluate and, where appropriate, replace the internal auditor and that the internal auditor may be removed only with the approval of the audit committee;

    (ii) Provide that the internal auditor shall report directly to the audit committee on substantive matters and that the internal auditor is ultimately accountable to the audit committee and board of directors;

    (iii) Provide that the audit committee shall be directly responsible for the appointment, compensation, retention, and oversight of the work of the external auditor;

    (iv) Provide that the external auditor shall report directly to the audit committee;

    (v) Provide that both the internal auditor and the external auditor shall have unrestricted access to the audit committee without the need for any prior management knowledge or approval; and

    (vi) Provide that the Bank shall make available appropriate funding, as determined by the audit committee, for payment of compensation to the external auditor, to any independent advisors or counsel engaged by the audit committee, and ordinary administrative expenses that are necessary or appropriate for the audit committee to carry out its duties.

    (e) * * *

    (4) Oversee the external audit function by:

    (i) Approving the external auditor's annual engagement letter; and

    (ii) Reviewing the performance of the external auditor.

    (10) Establish procedures for the receipt, retention, and treatment of complaints received by the Bank regarding accounting, internal accounting controls, or auditing matters, and for the confidential, anonymous submission by employees of the Bank of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters.

    SUBCHAPTER D—FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANKS PART 1261—FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK DIRECTORS 14. The authority citation for part 1261 continues to read: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1426, 1427, 1432, 4511 and 4526.

    § 1261.2 [Amended]
    15. Amend § 1261.2: a. By adding, in alphabetical order, a definition for “Advisory Council”. b. In the definition of “Member directorship”, by removing the words “, and includes guaranteed directorships and stock directorships”; c. In the definition of “Public interest directorship”, by removing the words “four years experience” and, in their place, adding the words “four years of experience”; and d. By removing the definition of “Stock directorship”.

    The revision reads as follows:

    § 1261.2 Definitions.

    Advisory Council means the Advisory Council each Bank is required to establish pursuant to section 10(j)(11) of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1430(j)(11)), and part 1291 of this chapter.

    § 1261.3 [Amended]
    16. Amend § 1261.3: a. In paragraph (b), by removing the words “commencing on or after January 1, 2009”; and b. In paragraph (e), by removing the word “part”, wherever it appears, and, in its place, adding the word “subpart”. 17. Amend § 1261.4 by revising paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as follows:
    § 1261.4 Designation of member directorships.

    (a) Capital stock reports. (1) On or before April 10 of each year, each Bank shall deliver to FHFA a capital stock report that indicates, as of the record date, the number of members located in each voting State in the Bank's district, the number of shares of Bank stock that each member (identified by its FHFA ID number) was required to hold, and the number of shares of Bank stock that all members located in each voting State were required to hold. If a Bank has issued more than one class of stock, it shall report the total shares of stock of all classes required to be held by the members. The Bank shall certify to FHFA that, to the best of its knowledge, the information provided in the capital stock report is accurate and complete, and that it has notified each member of its minimum capital stock holding requirement as of the record date.

    (2) The number of shares of Bank stock that any member was required to hold as of the record date shall be determined in accordance with the minimum investment established by the capital plan for that Bank.

    (b) Designation of member directorships. Using the method of equal proportions, the Director annually will conduct a designation of member directorships for each Bank based on the number of shares of Bank stock required to be held by the members in each State as of the record date. If a Bank has issued more than one class of stock, the Director will designate the directorships for each State in that Bank district based on the combined number of shares required to be held by the members in that State. For purposes of conducting the designation, the number of shares of Bank stock required to be held by members as of that date shall be determined in accordance with the minimum investment established by the capital plan for that Bank. In all cases, the Director will designate the directorships by using the information provided by each Bank in its capital stock report required by paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

    § 1261.5 [Amended]
    18. Amend § 1261.5: a. In paragraph (b), by removing the extra period following the words “under § 1261.4(c).”; and b. By removing paragraph (e)(2). 19. Amend § 1261.6 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 1261.6 Determination of member votes.

    (b) Number of votes. For each member directorship and each independent directorship that is to be filled in an election, each member shall be entitled to cast one vote for each share of Bank stock that the member was required to hold as of the record date. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, the number of votes that any member may cast for any one directorship shall not exceed the average number of shares of Bank stock required to be held as of the record date by all members located in the same State as of the record date. If a Bank has issued more than one class of stock, it shall calculate the average number of shares separately for each class of stock, using the total number of members in a State as the denominator, and shall apply those limits separately in determining the maximum number of votes that any member owning that class of stock may cast in the election. The number of shares of Bank stock that a member was required to hold as of the record date shall be determined in accordance with the minimum investment requirement established by the Bank's capital plan.

    § 1261.7 [Amended]
    20. Amend § 1261.7: a. In paragraph (a), by redesignating the first paragraph (a)(1) as the introductory text to paragraph (a); b. In paragraph (d)(1)(i), by removing the words “four years experience” and, in their place, adding the words “four years of experience”; and c. In paragraph (e)(2), by removing the words “four years experience” and, in their place, adding the words “four years of experience”. 21. Amend § 1261.8 by revising paragraphs (a) and (c) to read as follows:
    § 1261.8 Election process.

    (a) Ballots. Promptly after fulfilling the requirements of § 1261.7(f), each Bank shall prepare and deliver a ballot to each member that was a member as of the record date. The Bank shall include with each ballot a closing date for the Bank's receipt of voted ballots, which date shall be no earlier than 30 calendar days after the date such ballot is delivered to the member.

    (1) A ballot shall include at least the following provisions:

    (i) For states in which one or more member directorships are to be filled in the election, an alphabetical listing of the names of each nominee for such directorship, the name, location, and FHFA ID number of the member each nominee serves, the nominee's title or position with the member, and the number of member directorships to be filled by the members in that voting state in the election;

    (ii) An alphabetical listing of the names of each nominee for a public interest independent directorship and a brief description of each nominee's experience representing consumer and community interests;

    (iii) An alphabetical listing of the names of each nominee for the other independent directorships and a brief description of each nominee's qualifications, including his or her knowledge or experience in the areas of financial management, auditing and accounting, risk management practices, derivatives, project development, organizational management, and any other area of knowledge or experience set forth in § 1261.7(e);

    (iv) A statement that write-in candidates are not permitted; and

    (v) A confidentiality statement prohibiting the Bank from disclosing how any member voted.

    (2) At the election of the Bank, a ballot also may include, in the body or as an attachment, a brief description of the skills and experience of each nominee for a member directorship.

    (c) Lack of member directorship nominees. If, for any voting State, the number of nominees for the member directorships for that State is equal to or fewer than the number of such directorships to be filled in that year's election, the Bank shall deliver a notice to the members in the affected voting State (in lieu of including any member directorship nominees on the ballot for that State) that such nominees shall be deemed elected without further action, due to an insufficient number of nominees to warrant balloting. Thereafter, the Bank shall declare elected all such eligible nominees. The nominees declared elected shall be included as directors-elect in the report of election required under paragraph (g) of this section. Any member directorship that is not filled due to a lack of nominees shall be deemed vacant as of January 1 of the following year and shall be filled by the Bank's board of directors in accordance with § 1261.14(a).

    22. Amend § 1261.9 by revising paragraphs (a) and (c) to read as follows:
    § 1261.9 Actions affecting director elections.

    (a) Banks. Each Bank, acting through its board of directors, may conduct an annual assessment of the skills and experience possessed by the members of its board of directors as a whole and may determine whether the capabilities of the board would be enhanced through the addition of individuals with particular skills and experience. If the board of directors determines that the Bank could benefit by the addition to the board of directors of individuals with particular qualifications, such as auditing and accounting, derivatives, financial management, organizational management, project development, risk management practices, or the law, it may identify those qualifications and so inform the members as part of its announcement of elections pursuant to § 1261.7(a).

    (c) Prohibition. Except as provided in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, or § 1207.21(b)(5) of this chapter, no director, officer, attorney, employee, or agent of a Bank shall:

    (1) Communicate in any manner that a director, officer, attorney, employee, or agent of a Bank, directly or indirectly, supports or opposes the nomination or election of a particular individual for a directorship; or

    (2) Take any other action to influence the voting with respect to any particular individual.

    § 1261.13 [Amended]
    23. Amend § 1261.13 by removing the words “this part” in the first sentence, and, in their place, adding the words “this subpart”. 24. Amend § 1261.15 by revising it to read as follows:
    § 1261.15 Minimum number of member directorships.

    Except with respect to member directorships of a Bank resulting from the merger of any two or more Banks, the number of member directorships allocated to each state shall not be less than the number of directorships allocated to that state on December 31, 1960. The following table sets forth the states within Bank districts not created from the merger of two or more Banks whose members held more than one directorship on December 31, 1960:

    State Number of
  • elective
  • directorships on
  • December 31, 1960
  • California 3 Colorado 2 Illinois 4 Indiana 5 Kansas 3 Kentucky 2 Louisiana 2 Massachusetts 3 Michigan 3 New Jersey 4 New York 4 Ohio 4 Oklahoma 2 Pennsylvania 6 Tennessee 2 Texas 3 Wisconsin 4
    PART 1264—FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK HOUSING ASSOCIATES 25. The authority citation for part 1264 continues to read: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1430b, 4511, 4513 and 4526.

    § 1264.2 [Amended]
    26. Amend § 1264.2 by removing the reference “part 950 of this title” and adding in its place the reference “part 1266 of this chapter”. PART 1266—ADVANCES 27. The authority citation for part 1266 continues to read: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1426, 1429, 1430, 1430b, 1431, 4511(b), 4513, 4526(a).

    Subpart A—Advances to Members 28. Amend § 1266.1 by revising the definition of “Tangible capital” to read as follows:
    § 1266.1 Definitions.

    Tangible capital means:

    (1) Capital, calculated according to GAAP, less “intangible assets” except for purchased mortgage servicing rights to the extent such assets are included in a member's core or Tier 1 capital, as reported in a member's Report of Condition and Income for members whose primary federal regulator is the FDIC, the OCC, or the FRB.

    (2) Capital calculated according to GAAP, less intangible assets, as defined by a Bank for members that are not regulated by the FDIC, the OCC, or the FRB; provided that a Bank shall include a member's purchased mortgage servicing rights to the extent such assets are included for the purpose of meeting regulatory capital requirements. In addition, for those members that are insurance companies and that do not file or otherwise prepare financial statements based on GAAP, Banks may base this calculation on the member's financial statements prepared using Statutory Accounting Principles as implemented by the insurance company member's appropriate state regulator.

    § 1266.11 [Removed and reserved]
    29. Remove and reserve § 1266.11. 30. Amend § 1266.13 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 1266.13 Special advances to savings associations.

    (a) Eligible institutions. (1) A Bank, upon receipt of a written request from the OCC, with respect to a federal savings association, or from the FDIC, with respect to a state chartered savings association, may make short-term advances to a savings association member pursuant to section 10(h) of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1430(h)).

    (2) Such request must certify that the savings association member:

    (i) Is solvent but presents a supervisory concern to the OCC or FDIC, as appropriate, because of the member's financial condition; and

    (ii) Has reasonable and demonstrable prospects of returning to a satisfactory financial condition.

    Subpart C [Removed] 31. Remove subpart C to part 1266, consisting of § 1266.25. PART 1267—FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK INVESTMENTS 32. The authority citation for part 1267 continues to read: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1429, 1430, 1430b, 1431, 1436, 4511, 4513, 4526.

    § 1267.1 [Amended]
    33. Amend § 1267.1 by removing the definitions for “consolidated obligation” and “GAAP”. PART 1269—STANDBY LETTERS OF CREDIT 34. The authority citation for part 1269 continues to read: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1429, 1430, 1430b, 1431, 4511, 4513 and 4526.

    § 1269.4 [Amended]
    35. Amend § 1269.4(a)(1) by removing the reference to “969.2 of this title” and adding in its place a reference to “1270.3 of this chapter”. PART 1270—LIABILITIES 36. The authority citation for part 1270 continues to read: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1431, 1432, 1435, 4511, 4512, 4513, and 4526.

    § 1270.9 [Amended]
    37. Amend § 1270.9(d)(1) by removing the reference to “§ 956.6 of this title” and adding in its place a reference to “§ 1267.4 of this chapter”. PART 1273—OFFICE OF FINANCE 38. The authority citation for part 1273 continues to read: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1431, 1440, 4511(b), 4513, 4514(a), 4526(a).

    § 1273.1 [Amended]
    39. Amend § 1273.1 by removing the definitions for “Bank System,” “Consolidated obligations,” “Financing Corporation or FICO,” “Generally accepted accounting principles or GAAP,” “NRSRO,” “Office of Finance or OF,” and “Resolution Funding Corporation or REFCORP”. 40. Amend § 1273.3 by revising paragraphs (a) and (d) to read as follows:
    § 1273.3 Functions of the OF.

    (a) Joint debt issuance. Subject to part 1270, subparts B and C, of this chapter, and this part, the OF, as agent for the Banks, shall offer, issue, and service (including making timely payments on principal and interest due) consolidated obligations.

    (d) Financing Corporation and Resolution Funding Corporation. The OF shall perform such duties and responsibilities for FICO as may be required under part 1271, subpart D, of this chapter, or for REFCORP as may be required under part 1271, subpart E, of this chapter or authorized by FHFA pursuant to section 21B (c)(6)(B) of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C 1441b(c)(6)(B)).

    § 1273.6 [Amended]
    41. Amend § 1273.6(a) by removing the reference to “§§ 966.8 and 966.9 of this title” and adding in its place a reference to “§§ 1270.9 and 1270.10 of this chapter”. 42. Amend § 1273.7 by revising it to read as follows
    § 1273.7 Structure of the OF board of directors.

    (a) Membership. The OF board of directors shall consist of part-time members as follows:

    (1) Each of the Bank presidents, ex officio, provided that if the presidency of any Bank becomes vacant, the person designated by the Bank's board of directors to temporarily fulfill the duties of president of that Bank shall serve on the OF board of directors until the presidency is filled permanently; and

    (2) Five Independent Directors who—

    (i) Each shall be a citizen of the United States;

    (ii) As a group, shall have substantial experience in financial and accounting matters; and

    (iii) Shall not have any material relationship with a Bank, or the OF (directly or as a partner, shareholder, or officer of an organization), as determined under criteria set forth in a policy adopted by the OF board of directors. At a minimum, such policy shall provide that an Independent Director may not:

    (A) Be an officer, director, or employee of any Bank or member of a Bank, or have been an officer, director, or employee of a Bank or member of a Bank during the previous three years;

    (B) Be an officer or employee of the OF, or have been an officer or employee of the OF during the previous three years; or

    (C) Be affiliated with any consolidated obligations selling or dealer group under contract with OF, or hold shares or any other financial interest in any entity that is part of a consolidated obligations seller or dealer group in an amount greater than the lesser of $250,000 or 0.01% of the market capitalization of the seller or dealer group, or in an amount that exceeds $1,000,000 for all entities that are part of any consolidated obligations seller dealer group, combined. For purposes of this paragraph (a)(2)(iii)(C), a holding company of an entity that is part of a consolidated obligations seller or dealer group shall be deemed to be part of the consolidated obligations selling or dealer group if the assets of the holding company's subsidiaries that are part of a consolidated obligation seller or dealer group constitute 35% or more of the consolidated assets of the holding company.

    (b) Terms. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, each Independent Director shall serve for five-year terms (which shall be staggered so that no more than one Independent Director seat would be scheduled to become vacant in any one year), and shall be subject to removal or suspension in accordance with § 1273.4(a) of this part. An Independent Director may not serve more than two full, consecutive terms, provided that any partial term served by an Independent Director pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section shall not count as a term for purposes of this restriction.

    (2) The OF board of directors shall fill any vacancy among the Independent Directors occurring prior to the scheduled end of a term by majority vote, subject to FHFA's review of, and non-objection to, the new Independent Director. The OF board of directors shall provide FHFA with the same biographic and background information about the new Independent Director required under paragraph (c) of this section, and FHFA shall have the same rights of non-objection to the Independent Director (and to appoint a different Independent Director) as set forth in paragraph (c) of this section. A person shall be elected (or otherwise appointed by FHFA) under this paragraph to serve only for the remainder of the term associated with the vacant directorship.

    (c) Election of Independent Directors. The Independent Directors shall be elected by majority vote of the OF board of directors, subject to FHFA's review of, and non-objection to, each Independent Director. The OF board of directors shall provide FHFA with relevant biographic and background information, including information demonstrating that the new Independent Director meets the requirements of paragraph (a)(2) of this section, at least 20 business days before the person assumes any duties as a member of the OF board of directors. If the OF board of directors, in FHFA's judgment, fails to elect a suitably qualified person, FHFA may appoint some other person who meets the requirements of paragraph (a)(2) of this section. FHFA will provide notice of its objection to a particular Independent Director prior to the date that such Director is to assume duties as a member of the OF board of directors. Such notice shall indicate whether, given FHFA's objection, FHFA intends to fill the seat through appointment or a new election should be held by the OF board of directors.

    (d) Election of Chair and Vice-Chair. (1) The Chair shall be elected by majority vote of the OF board of directors from among the Independent Directors then serving on the OF board of directors, and the Vice Chair shall be elected by majority vote of the OF board of directors from among all directors.

    (2) The OF board of directors shall promptly inform FHFA of the election of a Chair or Vice Chair. If FHFA objects to any Chair or Vice Chair elected by the OF board of directors, FHFA shall provide written notice of its objection within 20 business days of the date that FHFA first receives the notice of the election of the Chair and or Vice Chair, and the OF board of directors must then promptly elect a new Chair or Vice Chair, as appropriate.

    (e) By-laws and Committees. (1) The OF board of directors shall adopt by-laws governing the manner in which the board conducts its affairs, which shall be consistent with the requirements of this part and other applicable laws and regulations as administered by FHFA. The by-laws of the board of directors shall be subject to review and approval by FHFA.

    (2) In addition to the Audit Committee required under § 1273.9, the OF board of directors may establish other committees, including an Executive Committee. The duties and powers of such committee, including any powers delegated by the OF board of directors, shall be specified in the by-laws of the board of directors or the charter of the committee.

    (f) Compensation. (1) The Bank presidents shall not receive any additional compensation or reimbursement as a result of their service as a director of the OF board.

    (2) The OF shall pay reasonable compensation and expenses to the Independent Directors in accordance with the requirements for payment of compensation and expenses to Bank directors as set forth in part 1261 of this chapter.

    (g) Corporate Governance and Indemnification—(1) General. The corporate governance practices and procedures of the OF, and practices and procedures related to indemnification (including advancement of expenses) shall comply with applicable Federal law rules and regulations.

    (2) Election and designation of body of law. To the extent not inconsistent with paragraph (g)(1) of this section, the OF shall elect to follow the corporate governance and indemnification practices and procedures set forth in one of the following:

    (i) The law of the jurisdiction in which the principal office of the OF is located;

    (ii) the Delaware General Corporation Law (Del. Code Ann. Title 8); or

    (iii) the Revised Model Business Corporation Act. The OF board of directors shall designate in its by-laws the body of law elected pursuant to this paragraph (g)(2).

    (3) Indemnification. Subject to paragraphs (g)(1) and (2) of this section, to the extent applicable, the OF shall indemnify (and advance the expenses of) its directors, officers, and employees under such terms and conditions as are determined by the OF board of directors. The OF shall be authorized to maintain insurance for its directors, the CEO, and any other officer of employee of the OF. Nothing in this paragraph (g)(3) shall affect any rights to indemnification (including the advancement of expenses) that a director, the CEO, or any other officer or employee of the OF had with respect to any actions, omissions, transactions, or facts occurring prior to [EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE].

    (h) Delegation. In addition to any delegation to a committee allowed under paragraph (e) of this section, the OF board of directors may delegate any of its authority or duties to any employee of the OF in order to enable OF to carry out its functions.

    (i) Outside staff and consultants. In carrying out its duties and responsibilities, the OF board of directors, or any committee thereof, shall have authority to retain staff and outside counsel, independent accountants, or other outside consultants at the expense of the OF.

    § 1273.8 [Amended]
    43. Amend § 1273.8 by: a. Removing from paragraph (d)(2) the reference to “§ 917.5 of this title” and adding in its place a reference to “§ 1239.31 of this chapter”. b. Removing paragraph (d)(3); and c. Redesignating paragraphs (d)(4), (5), and (6) as paragraphs (d)(3), (4), and (5), respectively. 44. Amend § 1273.9 by revising paragraph (b)(5) to read as follows:
    § 1273.9 Audit Committee.

    (b) * * *

    (5) The Audit Committee shall oversee internal audit activities, including the selection, evaluation, compensation, and, where appropriate, replacement of the internal auditor. The internal auditor shall report directly to the Audit Committee on substantive matters, and is ultimately accountable to the Audit Committee and the board of directors.

    § 1273.10 [Removed]
    45. Remove § 1273.10. PART 1274—FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE BANKS 46. The authority citation for part 1274 continues to read: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1426, 1431, 4511(b), 4513, 4526(a).

    § 1274.1 [Amended]
    47. Amend § 1274.1 by removing the definitions for “Bank System” and “Financing Corporation or FICO”. PART 1278—VOLUNTARY MERGERS OF FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANKS 48. The authority citation for part 1278 continues to read: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1432(a), 1446, 4511.

    § 1278.1 [Amended]
    49. Amend § 1278.1 by removing the definition for “GAAP”. SUBCHAPTER E—HOUSING GOALS AND MISSION PART 1281—FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK HOUSING GOALS 50. The authority citation for part 1281 continues to read: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1430c.

    Subpart A—General
    § 1281.1 [Amended]
    51. Amend § 1281.1 by removing the definition for “Bank System”. PART 1290—COMMUNITY SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS 52. The authority citation for part 1290 continues to read: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1430(g), 4511, 4513.

    53. Amend § 1290.1 by revising the definition of “Advisory Council” to read as follows:
    § 1290.1 Definitions.

    Advisory Council means the Advisory Council each Bank is required to establish pursuant to section 10(j)(11) of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1430(j)(11)) and part 1291 of this chapter.

    PART 1291—FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANKS' AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROGRAM 54. The authority citation for part 1291 continues to read: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1430(j).

    § 1291.4 [Amended]
    55. Amend § 1291.4(f) by removing the reference to “the Act” and adding a reference to “the Bank Act” in its place. Dated: May 17, 2016. Melvin L. Watt, Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12066 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8070-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Parts 27 and 29 [Docket No. FAA-2016-6691] Proposed Inlet Barrier Filter for Rotorcraft Policy Statement AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The FAA is announcing a public meeting to gather additional technical input on the subject of installing an engine inlet barrier filter (IBF) on rotorcraft. Input gathered will aid in developing FAA guidance for evaluating engine IBFs installed on rotorcraft. Prior to the public meeting, the FAA previously sought public comments regarding the guidance online.

    DATES:

    The public meeting will be held on the following date. (Note that the meeting may be adjourned early if scheduled speakers complete their presentations early.)

    July 7, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. (The deadline to submit a request to make an oral statement is June 29, 2016.)

    Written comments regarding the policy must be received by July 7, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, Fort Worth Alliance Airport, 2600 Westport Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177. Due to limited space, attendees are requested to please reply (RSVP) to Michael Hughlett, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5889; email [email protected] If computer access is not possible, please RSVP via mail, fax or hand delivery via the methods listed directly below:

    Mail or Hand Delivery: RSVP to Regulations and Policy Group, ASW-111, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Fax: RSVP to ASW-111, ATTN: IBF Policy Meeting (RSVP) at (817) 222-5961.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests to present a statement at the public meeting and questions regarding the logistics of the meeting should be directed to Michael Hughlett, Regulations and Policy Group, ASW-111, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5889, facsimile (817) 222-5961, or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On January 25, 2016, we invited public comments when we posted on the FAA's Web site a draft policy statement regarding the certification of IBF installations on rotorcraft. The draft policy statement identified items that should be considered in IBF installations, including two unique aspects associated with an IBF: (1) Determining the power available with IBF blockage at the impending bypass level; and (2) evaluating the bypass system. The draft policy also sought to clarify the applicability of existing airworthiness standards and guidance to engine IBF installations. The draft policy statement is intended to ensure safe and standardized installations of engine IBFs on rotorcraft.

    Because of significant public interest, we extended the initial comment period regarding the policy by 30 days. At the end of the comment period, we had received comments from over 35 interested parties.

    Purpose of the Public Meetings

    The purpose of the public meeting is for the FAA to hear the public's views and obtain information relevant to the policy under consideration. The FAA will consider comments made at the public meeting (as well as comments submitted to the docket) before making a final decision on issuance of the policy.

    Persons wishing to attend this one-time meeting are requested to register in advance. Your registration must detail whether you wish to make a statement during the public meeting. If you do wish to make a statement, your registration must indicate which topic you wish to speak about and what organization you represent. Due to limited space, attendees are requested to please reply (RSVP) to Michael Hughlett via the methods listed above in the ADDRESSES section.

    Participation at the Public Meetings

    Commenters who wish to present oral statements at the July 7, 2016, public meeting should submit requests to the FAA no later than June 29, 2016. Requests should be submitted as described in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document and should include a written summary of oral remarks to be presented and an estimate of time needed for the presentation. Preferably, please submit requests via email to: [email protected] Requests received after the dates specified above will be scheduled if there is time available during the meeting; however, the speakers' names may not appear on the written agenda. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the amount of time allocated to each speaker may be less than the amount of time requested to ensure various views can be heard. See “Public Meeting Procedures” below.

    The FAA may have available a projector and a computer capable of accommodating Word and PowerPoint presentations. Persons requiring any other kind of audiovisual equipment should notify the FAA when requesting to be placed on the agenda.

    The FAA will make every effort to accommodate all persons wishing to attend. Sign and oral interpretation can be made available at the meeting, as well as an assistive listening device, if requested 10 calendar days before the meeting.

    Public Meeting Procedures

    A panel of representatives from the FAA will be present to facilitate the meeting in accordance with the following procedures:

    (1) The meeting is designed to facilitate the public comment process. The meeting will be informal and non-adversarial. No individual will be subject to cross-examination by any other participant. Government representatives on the panel may ask questions to clarify statements and to ensure an accurate record. Any statement made during the meetings by a panel member should not be construed as an official position of the government.

    (2) There will be no admission fees or other charges to attend or to participate in the public meeting. The meeting will be open to all persons, subject to availability of space in the meeting room. The FAA asks that participants sign in between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. on the day of the meeting. The FAA will try to accommodate all speakers; however if available time does not allow this, speakers who have contacted the FAA in advance will be allowed to speak first, others will be scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis. The FAA reserves the right to exclude some speakers, if necessary, to obtain balanced viewpoints. The meeting may adjourn early if scheduled speakers complete their statements in less time than is scheduled for the meeting.

    (3) The FAA will prepare agendas of speakers and presenters and make the agendas available at the meeting.

    (4) Speaker time slots may be limited to 3-minute statements. If possible, the FAA will notify speakers if additional time is available.

    (5) The FAA will review and consider all material presented by participants at the public meeting. Position papers or materials presenting views or information related to the draft policy may be accepted at the discretion of the presiding officer and will be subsequently placed in the public docket. The FAA requests that presenters at the meeting provide at least 10 copies of all materials for distribution to the panel members. Presenters may provide other copies to the audience at their discretion.

    (6) We ask each person presenting comments to provide the technical basis to support the comments. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the policy statement and explain the reason for any recommended change.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 18, 2016. Jorge R. Castillo, Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12526 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-6893; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-181-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A318-112 airplanes, A319-111, -112, -115, -132, and -133 airplanes, A320-214, -232, and -233 airplanes, and A321-211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a quality control review on the final assembly line, which determined that the wrong aluminum alloy was used to manufacture several structural parts. This proposed AD would require a one-time eddy current conductivity measurements of certain cabin and cargo compartment structural parts to determine if an incorrect aluminum alloy was used, and replacement if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and replace structural parts made of incorrect aluminum alloy. This condition could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 44 51; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.airbus.com.

    You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6893; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1405; fax: 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2016-6893; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-181-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0218, dated November 3, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A318-112, A319-111, -112, -115, -132, and -133, A320-214, -232, and -233, and A321-211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Following an Airbus quality control review on the final assembly line, it was discovered that wrong aluminum alloy were delivered by a supplier for several structural parts. The results of the investigations highlighted that 0.04% of the stock could be impacted by this wrong material.

    Structural investigations demonstrated the capability to sustain the static limits loads, and sufficient fatigue life up to a certain inspection threshold.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could reduce the structural integrity of the aeroplane.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued Service Bulletin (SB) A320-53-1298 and SB A320-53-1299 to provide inspection instructions.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time Special Detailed Inspection (SDI) [eddy current conductivity measurements] of certain cabin and cargo compartment parts for material identification and, depending on findings, replacement with serviceable parts.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6893.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletins A320-53-1298 and A320-53-1299, both dated February 16, 2015; both including Appendices 01, 02, and 03, dated February 16, 2015. The service information describes procedures for a one-time eddy current conductivity measurement of certain cabin and cargo compartment structural parts to determine if an incorrect aluminum alloy was used, and replacement of any affected part with a serviceable part. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 167 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it would take about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $14,195, or $85 per product.

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

    According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all available costs in our cost estimate.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2016-6893; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-181-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 11, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4) of this AD, certificated in any category; manufacturer serial numbers 3586, 3588, 3589, 3590, 3595, 3604, 3608, 3614, 3615, 3620, 3632, 3634, 3638, 3647, 3651, 3657, 3660, 3661, 3663, 3671, 3675, 3680, 3683 through 3687 inclusive, 3689, 3691, 3694, 3700, 3702, 3704, 3705, 3710, 3720, 3727, 3728, 3733, 3735, 3742, 3744, 3746, 3754, 3757, 3759, 3763, 3768, 3770, 3772, 3774, 3775, 3779, 3788, 3790, 3794, 3797, 3799, 3801, 3803, 3808, 3810, 3818, 3822, 3824, 3826 through 4329 inclusive, 4331 through 6051 inclusive, 6053 through 6061 inclusive, 6063 through 6072 inclusive, 6074 through 6100 inclusive, 6102 through 6115 inclusive, 6117 through 6126 inclusive, 6128 through 6136 inclusive, 6138 through 6143 inclusive, 6145 through 6150 inclusive, 6152 through 6159 inclusive, 6161 and 6162.

    (1) Airbus Model A318-112 airplanes.

    (2) Airbus Model A319-111, -112, -115, -132, and -133 airplanes.

    (3) Airbus Model A320-214, -232, and -233 airplanes.

    (4) Airbus Model A321-211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a quality control review of the final assembly line which determined that the wrong aluminum alloy was used to manufacture several structural parts. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct structural parts made of incorrect aluminum alloy. This condition could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

    (g) One-Time Measurement

    Within 6 years after the effective date of this AD, but not exceeding 12 years since the date of issuance of the original certificate of airworthiness or the date of issuance of the original export certificate of airworthiness: Do a one-time eddy current conductivity measurements (with 60kHz and 480kHz) of the cabin and cargo compartment structural parts identified in the “Affected P/N” column of table 1 to paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD to determine if an incorrect aluminum alloy was used, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletins A320-53-1298, dated February 16, 2015, including Appendices 01, 02, and 03, dated February 16, 2015 (for cabin parts); and A320-53-1299, dated February 16, 2015, including Appendices 01, 02, and 03, dated February 16, 2015 (for cargo parts).

    Table 1 to Paragraphs (g) and (h) of This AD—Parts To Be Inspected/Installed Affected P/N Acceptable replacement P/N Area D5347120720000 D5347120720051 Cabin. D5347120720100 D5347120720151 Cabin. D5347120920000 D5347120920051 Cabin. D5347120920100 D5347120920151 Cabin. D5347118820400 D5347118820451 Cabin. D5347717620000 D5347717620051 Cargo. D5357020620000 D5357020620051 Cargo. D5358526421200 D5358526421251 Cargo. D5358526421400 D5358526421400 Cargo. D5358526421000 D5358526421051 Cargo. D5358513120001 D5358513120051 Cargo. (h) Replacement

    If during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any affected part having a part number (P/N) specified in table 1 to paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD is found to have a measured value greater than that specified in Figure A-GFAAA, Sheet 02, “Inspection Flowchart,” of the applicable service information identified in paragraph (g) of this AD: Before further flight, replace with an acceptable replacement part having a P/N specified in table 1 to paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletins A320-53-1298, dated February 16, 2015, including Appendices 01, 02, and 03, dated February 16, 2015 (for cabin parts); and A320-53-1299, dated February 16, 2015, including Appendices 01, 02, and 03, dated February 16, 2015 (for cargo parts).

    (i) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1405; fax: 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (j) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2015-0218, dated November 3, 2015, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6893.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 44 51; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 17, 2016. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12352 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 40 [Docket No. RM16-7-000] Disturbance Control Standard—Contingency Reserve for Recovery From a Balancing Contingency Event Reliability Standard AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proposes to approve Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 (Disturbance Control Standard—Contingency Reserve for Recovery from a Balancing Contingency Event) submitted by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). Proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 is designed to ensure that applicable entities balance resources and demand and return their Area Control Error to defined values following a Reportable Balancing Contingency Event. In addition, the Commission proposes to direct NERC to modify Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 to address concerns related to the possible extension or delay of the periods for Area Control Error recovery and contingency reserve restoration. The Commission also proposes to direct NERC to address a reliability gap regarding megawatt losses above the most severe single contingency.

    DATES:

    Comments are due July 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, identified by docket number, may be filed in the following ways:

    • Electronic Filing through http://www.ferc.gov. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format.

    Mail/Hand Delivery: Those unable to file electronically may mail or hand-deliver comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Comment Procedures Section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Enakpodia Agbedia (Technical Information), Office of Electric Reliability, Division of Reliability Standards, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, Telephone: (202) 502-6750, [email protected].

    Mark Bennett (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, Telephone: (202) 502-8524, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    1. Under section 215 of the Federal Power Act (FPA),1 the Commission proposes to approve proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 (Disturbance Control Standard—Contingency Reserve for Recovery from a Balancing Contingency Event). The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the Commission-certified Electric Reliability Organization (ERO), submitted proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 for Commission approval. Proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 applies to balancing authorities and reserve sharing groups. Proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 is designed to ensure that these entities are able to recover from system contingencies by deploying adequate reserves to return their Area Control Error (ACE) to defined values and by replacing the capacity and energy lost due to generation or transmission equipment outages.2 In addition, the Commission proposes to approve eight new and revised definitions proposed by NERC for inclusion in the NERC Glossary of Terms Used in NERC Reliability Standards (NERC Glossary) and to retire currently-effective Reliability Standard BAL-002-1 immediately prior to the effective date of proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2. The Commission also proposes to approve, with certain modifications, the associated violation risk factors and violation severity levels, and implementation plan.

    1 16 U.S.C. 824(o). Proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 is available on the Commission's eLibrary document retrieval system in Docket No. RM16-7-000 and on the NERC Web site, www.nerc.com.

    2 ACE is the instantaneous difference between a balancing authority's Net Actual and Scheduled Interchange, taking into account the effects of Frequency Bias, correction for meter error, and Automatic Time Error Correction, if operating in that mode. NERC Glossary of Terms Used in NERC Reliability Standards at 7 (updated April 20, 2016).

    2. Pursuant to section 215(d)(5) of the FPA,3 the Commission proposes to direct NERC to modify Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 to address concerns related to the possible extension or delay of the periods for ACE recovery and contingency reserve restoration. The Commission also proposes to direct NERC to address a reliability gap regarding megawatt losses above the most severe single contingency.

    3 16 U.S.C. 824o(d)(5).

    I. Background A. Mandatory Reliability Standards and Order No. 693 Directives

    3. Section 215 of the FPA requires a Commission-certified Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) to develop mandatory and enforceable Reliability Standards that are subject to Commission review and approval. The Commission may approve, by rule or order, a proposed Reliability Standard or modification to a Reliability Standard if it determines that the Standard is just, reasonable, not unduly discriminatory or preferential and in the public interest.4 Once approved, the Reliability Standards may be enforced by NERC, subject to Commission oversight, or by the Commission independently.5 Pursuant to section 215 of the FPA, the Commission established a process to select and certify an ERO,6 and subsequently certified NERC.7

    4Id. 824o(d)(2).

    5Id. 824o(e).

    6Rules Concerning Certification of the Electric Reliability Organization; and Procedures for the Establishment, Approval, and Enforcement of Electric Reliability Standards, Order No. 672, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,204, order on reh'g, Order No. 672-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,212 (2006).

    7North American Electric Reliability Corp., 116 FERC ¶ 61,062, order on reh'g and compliance, 117 FERC ¶ 61,126 (2006), aff'd sub nom. Alcoa, Inc. v. FERC, 564 F.3d 1342 (D.C. Cir. 2009).

    4. On March 16, 2007, the Commission issued Order No. 693, approving 83 of the 107 Reliability Standards filed by NERC, including Reliability Standard BAL-002-0.8 In addition, pursuant to section 215(d)(5) of the FPA, the Commission directed the ERO to develop modifications to Reliability Standard BAL-002-0 to: (1) Include a requirement that explicitly provides that demand side management may be used as a resource for contingency reserves; (2) develop a continent-wide contingency reserve policy; and (3) refer to the ERO rather than the NERC Operating Committee in Requirements R4.2 and R6.2.9 On January 10, 2011, the Commission approved Reliability Standard BAL-002-1, which addressed the third directive described above.10

    8Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk-Power System, Order No. 693, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,242, order on reh'g, Order No. 693-A, 120 FERC ¶ 61,053 (2007).

    9 Order No. 693, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,242 at P 356.

    10North American Electric Reliability Corp., 134 FERC ¶ 61,015 (2011).

    B. Proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2

    5. On January 29, 2016, NERC filed a petition seeking approval of proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2; eight new or revised definitions to be added to the NERC Glossary; and the associated violation risk factors and violation severity levels, effective date, and implementation plan.11 NERC states that the proposed Reliability Standard is just, reasonable, not unduly discriminatory or preferential, and in the public interest because it satisfies the factors set forth in Order No. 672, which the Commission applies when reviewing a proposed Reliability Standard.12 NERC also contends that proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 addresses the outstanding directives from Order No. 693 regarding the use of demand side management as a resource for contingency reserve and the development of a continent-wide contingency reserve policy.

    11 The eight proposed new and revised definitions for inclusion in the NERC Glossary are for the following terms: Balancing Contingency Event, Most Severe Single Contingency, Reportable Balancing Contingency Event, Contingency Event Recovery Period, Contingency Reserve Restoration Period, Pre-Reporting Contingency Event ACE Value, Reserve Sharing Group Reporting ACE, and Contingency Reserve. NERC Petition at 28-34.

    12 NERC Petition at 13 and Ex. F (Order No. 672 Criteria).

    6. NERC proposes to consolidate six requirements in currently-effective Reliability Standard BAL-002-1 into three requirements. NERC contends that proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 improves upon existing Reliability Standard BAL-002-1 because “it clarifies obligations associated with achieving the objective of BAL-002 by streamlining and organizing the responsibilities required therein, enhancing the obligation to maintain reserves, and further defining events that predicate action under the standard.” 13 NERC also maintains that proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 “address[es] and supersede[s]” the proposed interpretation previously submitted by NERC (i.e., of Reliability Standard BAL-002-1a) and now pending in Docket No. RM13-6-000.14

    13Id. at 13.

    14Id. at 1. On February 12, 2013, NERC filed a proposed interpretation of Reliability Standard BAL-002-1 that construed the Reliability Standard so that the 15 minute ACE recovery period would not apply to events of a magnitude exceeding an entity's most severe single contingency. In a NOPR issued on May 16, 2013, the Commission proposed to remand the proposed interpretation on procedural grounds. Electric Reliability Organization Interpretation of Specific Requirements of the Disturbance Control Performance Standard, 143 FERC ¶ 61,138 (2013). The rulemaking on the proposed interpretation is pending. In the petition in the immediate proceeding, NERC states that, upon approval of proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2, NERC will file a notice of withdrawal of the proposed interpretation. NERC Petition at 1.

    7. Proposed Requirement R1 requires a responsible entity, either a balancing authority or reserve sharing group, experiencing a Reportable Balancing Contingency Event to deploy its contingency reserves to recover its ACE to certain prescribed values within the Contingency Event Recovery Period of 15 minutes.15 However, proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 relieves responsible entities from strict compliance with the existing time periods for ACE recovery and contingency reserve restoration “to ensure responsible entities retain flexibility to maintain service to Demand, while managing reliability, and to avoid duplication with other Reliability Standards.” 16

    15 Reportable Balancing Contingency Event means: “Any Balancing Contingency Event occurring within a one-minute interval of an initial sudden decline in ACE based on EMS scan rate data that results in a loss of MW output less than or equal to the Most Severe Single Contingency, and greater than or equal to the lesser amount of: (i) 80% of the Most Severe Single Contingency, or (ii) the amount listed below for the applicable Interconnection. Prior to any given calendar quarter, the 80% threshold may be reduced by the responsible entity upon written notification to the Regional Entity.” NERC Petition at 30. Contingency Event Recovery Period means: “A period that begins at the time that the resource output begins to decline within the first one-minute interval of a Reportable Balancing Contingency Event, and extends for fifteen minutes thereafter.” Id. at 32.

    16Id. at 4.

    8. Specifically, Requirement R1, Part 1.3.1 provides that a balancing authority or reserve sharing group is not subject to Requirement R1, Part 1.1 if it: (1) Is experiencing a Reliability Coordinator declared Energy Emergency Alert Level; (2) is utilizing its contingency reserve to mitigate an operating emergency in accordance with its emergency Operating Plan, and (3) has depleted its contingency reserve to a level below its most severe single contingency (MSSC).

    9. In addition, under Requirement R1, Part 1.3.2, a balancing authority or reserve sharing group is not subject to Requirement R1, Part 1.1 if the balancing authority or reserve sharing group experiences: (1) Multiple Contingencies where the combined megawatt (MW) loss exceeds its most severe single contingency and that are defined as a single Balancing Contingency Event or (2) multiple Balancing Contingency Events within the sum of the time periods defined by the Contingency Event Recovery Period and Contingency Reserve Restoration Period whose combined magnitude exceeds the Responsible Entity's most severe single contingency.

    10. Proposed Requirement R2 provides that each responsible entity:

    shall develop, review and maintain annually, and implement an Operating Process as part of its Operating Plan to determine its Most Severe Single Contingency and to make preparations to have Contingency Reserve equal to, or greater than the Responsible Entity's Most Severe Single Contingency available for maintaining system reliability.

    NERC explains that Requirement R2 requires responsible entities to demonstrate that their process for calculating their most severe single contingency “surveys all contingencies, including single points of failure, to identify the event that would cause the greatest loss of resource output used by the [reserve sharing group or balancing authority] to meet Firm Demand.” 17 NERC further states that Requirement R2 supports Requirements R1 and R3 in proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 “as these requirements rely on proper calculation of [most severe single contingency].” 18

    17Id. at 25.

    18Id. NERC provides examples of how responsible entities may calculate the most severe single contingency in the petition. See NERC Petition, Ex. B (Calculating Most Severe Single Contingency).

    11. Proposed Requirement R3 provides that “each Responsible Entity, following a Reportable Balancing Contingency Event, shall restore its Contingency Reserve to at least its Most Severe Single Contingency, before the end of the Contingency Reserve Restoration Period [90 minutes], but any Balancing Contingency Event that occurs before the end of a Contingency Reserve Restoration Period resets the beginning of the Contingency Event Recovery Period.”

    12. NERC explains that the revised language in the consolidated requirements in proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 will improve efficiency and clarity by removing “unnecessary entities from compliance to capture only those entities that are vital for reliability.” 19 NERC states that the proposed new definitions for Balancing Contingency Event and Reportable Balancing Contingency Event more clearly identify the types of events that cause frequency deviations necessitating action under the proposed Reliability Standard and provide additional detail regarding the types of resources that may be identified as contingency reserves. Furthermore, NERC states that proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 “ensures objectivity of the reserve measurement process by guaranteeing a Commission-sanctioned continent-wide reserve policy,” and therefore satisfies an outstanding Order No. 693 directive for uniform elements, definitions and requirements for a continent-wide contingency reserve policy.20 Finally, NERC states that the proposed revised definition of Contingency Reserves “improves the existing definition by addressing a Commission directive in Order No. 693 to allow demand side management to be used as a resource for contingency reserve when necessary.” 21

    19 NERC Petition at 14.

    20Id.

    21Id. at 33.

    13. NERC submitted proposed violation risk factors and violation severity levels for each requirement of the proposed Reliability Standard and an implementation plan and effective dates. NERC states that these proposals were developed and reviewed for consistency with NERC and Commission guidelines. NERC proposes an effective date for the proposed Reliability Standard that is the first day of the first calendar quarter that is six months after the date of Commission approval. NERC explains that the proposed implementation date will allow entities to make necessary modifications to existing software programs to ensure compliance.22

    22Id. Ex. D (Implementation Plan) at 3.

    14. On February 12, 2016, NERC submitted a supplemental filing to clarify a statement in the petition that proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 would operate in conjunction with Reliability Standard TOP-007-0 to control system frequency by addressing transmission line loading in the event of a transmission overload. NERC explains that, while Reliability Standard TOP-007-0 will be retired on April 1, 2017, “the obligations related to [transmission line loading] under TOP-007-0 will be covered by Commission-approved TOP-001-3, EOP-003-2, IRO-009-2, and IRO-008-2 . . . by requiring relevant functional entities to communicate [Interconnection Reliability Operating Limits (IROL)] and [System Operating Limits (SOL)] exceedances so that the [reliability coordinator] can direct appropriate corrective action to mitigate or prevent those events.” 23

    23 NERC February 12, 2016 Supplemental Filing at 2-3.

    15. On March 31, 2016, NERC submitted a second supplemental filing to “further clarify the extent to which BAL-002-2 interacts with other Commission-approved Reliability Standards to promote Bulk Power System reliability . . . [and support] the overarching policy objective reflected in the stated purpose of Reliability Standard BAL-002-2.” 24 In its filing, NERC expands upon the explanation in the petition regarding how an “integrated” and “coordinated suite of Reliability Standards” (BAL-001-2, BAL-003-1, TOP-007-0, EOP-002-3, EOP-011-1, IRO-008-2, and IRO-009-2) will apply to events causing MW losses above a responsible entity's most severe single contingency, and how those other Reliability Standards are better designed to manage the greater risks created by such events.25

    24 NERC March 31, 2016 Supplemental Filing at 1, 5.

    25Id. at 2-5.

    II. Discussion

    16. Pursuant to FPA section 215(d)(2), we propose to approve Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 as just, reasonable, not unduly discriminatory or preferential, and in the public interest. We also propose to approve NERC's eight new and revised proposed definitions and, with certain proposed modifications, the proposed violation risk factor and violation severity level assignments. In addition, we propose to approve NERC's implementation plan, in which NERC proposes an effective date of the first day of the first calendar quarter, six months after the date of Commission approval, and the retirement of currently-effective BAL-002-1 immediately before that date.26

    26 NERC Petition, Ex. D (Implementation Plan) at 3.

    17. The purpose of proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 is to ensure that balancing authorities and reserve sharing groups balance resources and demand and return their ACE to defined values following a Reportable Balancing Contingency Event. We agree with NERC that it is essential for grid reliability for responsible entities to balance resources and demand, and restore system frequency, to recover from a system event, and that they maintain reserves necessary to replace capacity and energy lost due to generation or transmission outages. Proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 improves upon currently-effective Reliability Standard BAL-002-1 by consolidating the number of requirements to streamline and clarify the obligations related to achieving these goals.

    18. We believe that proposed BAL-002-2 satisfies the Order No. 693 directive that NERC develop a continent-wide contingency reserve policy.27 Further, we agree with NERC that, in addition to the proposed Reliability Standard, the development of a continent-wide contingency reserve policy includes revisions to Reliability Standard BAL-001-1a (superseded by BAL-001-1) (Real Power Balancing Control Performance).28 When approving Reliability Standard BAL-002-0 in Order No. 693, the Commission directed the ERO to develop modifications to Reliability Standard BAL-002-0 to include a requirement that explicitly provides that demand side management may be used as a resource for contingency reserves.29 NERC states that the “proposed definition of Contingency Reserve improves the existing definition by addressing a Commission directive in Order No. 693 to allow demand side management to be used as a resource for contingency reserve when necessary.” 30 Further, NERC asserts that the drafting team elected to expand the definition of contingency reserve to explicitly include capacity associated with demand side management.31 However, the proposed definition does not include the NERC-defined term Demand-Side Management.32 The Commission seeks comment on whether the proposed definition of contingency reserve should include the NERC-defined term Demand-Side Management for better clarity.

    27 Order No. 693, FERC Stats. & Regs ¶ 31,242 at PP 340, 341 and 356.

    28 NERC Petition at 9.

    29 Order No. 693, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,242 at PP 330, 335 and 356.

    30 NERC Petition at 33.

    31 NERC Petition, Ex. E (BAL-002-2 Background Document) at 6.

    32 The NERC Glossary currently defines Demand-Side Management as “the term for all activities or programs undertaken by Load Serving Entity or its customers to influence the amount or timing of electricity they use.” NERC Glossary of Terms Used in NERC Reliability Standards at 35 (updated April 20, 2016). As of July 1, 2016, the new definition of Demand-Side Management will be: “All activities or programs undertaken by any applicable entity to achieve a reduction in Demand.” Id.

    19. In addition to proposing to approve Reliability Standard BAL-002-2, the Commission, pursuant to section 215(d)(5) of the FPA, proposes to direct NERC to develop modifications regarding the 15-minute ACE recovery period in Requirement R1 and the 90-minute Contingency Reserve Restoration Period in Requirement R3 under certain circumstances. We also propose to direct NERC to develop a new or modified Reliability Standard that addresses the reliability impact of megawatt losses above a responsible entity's most severe single contingency, because “recovery of ACE within a specified time period and restoration of Contingency Reserves due to unlikely events above a responsible entity's most severe single contingency is not within the scope of proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2.” 33

    33 NERC Petition at 14-15.

    20. The Commission seeks comment on the following issues discussed below: (1) The 15-minute ACE recovery period; (2) the 90-minute Contingency Reserve Restoration Period; (3) the exclusion of losses above the most severe single contingency in the proposed definition of Reportable Balancing Contingency Event; and (4) NERC's proposal to reduce from High to Medium the violation risk factor for proposed Requirements R1 and R2.

    A. The 15-Minute ACE Recovery Period

    21. Proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2, Requirement R1 obligates a balancing authority or reserve sharing group that experience a Reportable Balancing Contingency Event to return its Reporting ACE to pre-defined values within the 15-minute Contingency Event Recovery Period. Proposed Requirement R1, Part 1.3.1 provides an “exemption” from the 15-minute ACE recovery period based upon the occurrence of a reliability coordinator-declared Energy Emergency Alert level and the depletion of the entity's contingency reserves to below its most severe single contingency to mitigate the operating emergency. NERC states that this exemption “eliminates the existing conflict with EOP-011-1, as it removes undefined auditor discretion when assessing compliance and allows the responsible entity flexibility to maintain service to load while managing reliability.” 34 Further, NERC explains that this exemption does not eliminate an entity's obligation to respond to a Reportable Balancing Contingency Event, but rather it will “simply allow more time to return the Reporting ACE to the defined limits than would otherwise be allowed.” 35 The proposed Reliability Standard does not expressly provide a definitive and enforceable deadline for ACE recovery under these circumstances.

    34 NERC Petition at 22.

    35Id. at 24.

    22. In proposing to approve Reliability Standard BAL-002-2, we agree that NERC's proposal clarifies the obligations imposed on responsible entities and is therefore an improvement on currently-effective Reliability Standard BAL-002-1. Furthermore, Proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 improves on the currently effective BAL-002-1 by obligating the responsible entities to accurately calculate most severe single contingency according to system models maintained by the balancing authority and reserve sharing groups. NERC's explanation for the relief from the 15-minute ACE recovery period raises concerns, however, because it is unclear how or when an entity will prepare for a second contingency during the indeterminate extension of the 15-minute ACE recovery period that proposed Requirement R1, Part 1.3 permits. A balancing authority that is operating out-of-balance for an extended period of time is “leaning on the system” by relying on external resources to meet its obligations and could affect other entities within an Interconnection, particularly if another entity is reacting to a grid event while unaware that the first entity has not restored its ACE. Therefore, while an extension of the 15-minute ACE recovery period may be appropriate under certain emergency conditions, we believe that the reliability coordinator should make that decision rather than an individual balancing authority or reserve sharing group. With a wide-area view, the reliability coordinator has the authority, with more or better information and objectivity, to make the decision whether to extend the ACE recovery period after an entity has met the criteria described in Requirement R1, Part 1.3.1. In other words, a reliability coordinator's extension of the 15-minute ACE recovery period may be appropriate based on all of the circumstances, if an entity has met the criteria in Requirement R1, Part 1.3.1.

    23. NERC suggests that reliability coordinator approval of an extension of the 15-minute ACE recovery period is redundant because the reliability coordinator is involved in the creation of balancing authority Operating Plans pursuant to Reliability Standard EOP-011-1, which already requires a balancing authority to communicate with its reliability coordinator.36 However, there is currently no express requirement that the reliability coordinator must make or approve the decision to extend the 15-minute ACE recovery period. Further, while Reliability Standard EOP-011-1, Requirement R3, requires the reliability coordinator to review balancing authority Operating Plans and notify a balancing authority of any “reliability risks” the reliability coordinator may identify with a time frame for the resubmittal of revised Operating Plans, that Reliability Standard does not require reliability coordinator approval of Operating Plans.

    36Id. at 23.

    24. Accordingly, the Commission proposes to direct NERC to develop modifications to Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 that would require Reporting ACE recovery within the 15-minute Contingency Event Recovery Period unless the relevant reliability coordinator expressly authorizes an extension of the 15-minute ACE recovery period after the balancing authority has met the criteria described in Requirement R1, Part 1.3.1. Additionally, the Commission's proposal would include modifying the standard to identify the reliability coordinator as an Applicable Entity. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal.

    B. The 90-Minute Contingency Reserve Restoration Period

    25. Proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2, Requirement R3 requires a balancing authority or reserve sharing group to restore its contingency reserves to at least its most severe single contingency before the end of the Contingency Reserve Restoration Period, which NERC proposes to define as “a period not exceeding 90 minutes following the end of the Contingency Event Recovery Period.” 37 Requirement R3 further states that “any Balancing Contingency Event that occurs before the end of a Contingency Reserve Restoration Period resets the beginning of the Contingency Event Recovery Period.” 38 Under this approach, a second contingency “resets” this 90-minute restoration window, regardless of the amount of the megawatt loss resulting from that event.

    37 NERC Petition, Ex. D (Implementation Plan). The 90-minute contingency reserve restoration period begins after the end of the 15-minute ACE restoration period under Requirement R1. Accordingly, responsible entities must restore contingency reserves within 105 minutes of the occurrence of a Reportable Balancing Contingency Event to comply with Requirement R3.

    38 Balancing Contingency Event means: “Any single event described in Subsections (A), (B), or (C) below, or any series of such otherwise single events, with each separated from the next by one minute or less.

    A. Sudden loss of generation:

    a. Due to

    i. unit tripping,

    ii. loss of generator Facility resulting in isolation of the generator from the Bulk Electric System or from the responsible entity's System, or

    iii. sudden unplanned outage of transmission Facility;

    b. And, that causes an unexpected change to the responsible entity's ACE;

    B. Sudden loss of an import, due to unplanned outage of transmission equipment that causes an unexpected imbalance between generation and Demand on the Interconnection.

    C. Sudden restoration of a Demand that was used as a resource that causes an unexpected change to the responsible entity's ACE. NERC Petition Ex. D.”

    26. NERC asserts that the 90-minute contingency restoration period “is just and reasonable by providing adequate opportunity for a responsible entity to recover from an event while also maintaining reliability and recovery of reserves in a timely manner.” 39 Further, NERC states that the “reset” for a Balancing Contingency Event provides “time and flexibility for an entity's ongoing recovery,” and is intended to accommodate the “heightened sensitivities applicable during such a Contingency Reserve Restoration Period.” 40 NERC explains that the “ `reset' avoids punishing a responsible entity for an unexpected event, occurring within [sic] Contingency Restoration Period, which may make it infeasible to fully restore the requisite level of Contingency Reserves as intended.” 41

    39 NERC Petition at 26.

    40Id. at 27.

    41Id.

    27. We agree with NERC that a “reset” of the Contingency Reserve Restoration Period may be appropriate in some instances. For example, a Balancing Contingency Event involving substantial megawatt loss that occurs during the recovery period following a Reportable Balancing Contingency Event may make it infeasible to fully restore the contingency reserves as originally planned. Proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 Requirement R3 improves on the currently-effective BAL-002-1 by requiring the balancing authority or reserve sharing group to restore its contingency reserves to “at least its MSSC” following a reportable balancing contingency event. However, Requirement R3 potentially allows unlimited “resets” of the 90-minute restoration period, even for insignificant megawatt losses from a Balancing Contingency Event that occur after the initial Reportable Balancing Contingency Event.

    28. NERC explains that responsible entities need relief from the loss of any additional megawatts above those resulting from a Reportable Balancing Contingency Event because “this compounding loss inevitably increases the total recovery necessary to replenish the reserves while also meeting current demand.” 42 However, while megawatt losses occurring during the Contingency Reserve Restoration Period that qualify as a Reportable Balancing Contingency Event could reasonably justify an extension of the 90-minute Contingency Reserve Restoration Period, there is less need for a Balancing Contingency Event, which could involve an insignificant loss of megawatts, to result automatically in a resetting of the time period. Under such circumstances, balancing authorities and reserve sharing groups should be required to restore the initial megawatt losses associated with the Reportable Balancing Contingency Event within the 90-minute restoration period, but could be allowed to “credit” megawatt losses from the Balancing Contingency Event, and have an additional 90 minutes to restore those losses.43 This would prevent the possibility of multiple resets that could result in entities not maintaining sufficient contingency reserves for long periods of time.

    42Id.

    43 For example, two generation units are lost, one of 900 MW (a Reportable Balancing Contingency Event) and another of 200 MW (a Balancing Contingency Event) 16 minutes later. Because of this second 200 MW loss, the balancing authority would be required to restore its contingency reserves to 700 MW (900 MW less the 200 MW Balancing Contingency Event) within the 90-minute contingency restoration period.

    29. The Commission proposes to direct that NERC develop modifications to Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 to eliminate the potential for unlimited resets and ensure that contingency reserves must be restored within the 90-minute Contingency Reserve Restoration Period. One possible approach would be to give a balancing authority or reserve sharing group “credits” for megawatt losses resulting from Balancing Contingency Events during the 90-minute Contingency Reserve Restoration Period and allow an additional 90 minutes to restore reserves associated with those megawatt losses, if necessary. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal.

    C. Exclusion of Megawatt Losses Above the Most Severe Single Contingency

    30. NERC proposes to define Reportable Balancing Contingency Event as:

    [a]ny Balancing Contingency Event occurring within a one-minute interval of an initial sudden decline in ACE based on EMS scan rate data that results in a loss of MW output less than or equal to the [most severe single contingency], and greater than or equal to the lesser amount of: (i) 80% of the [most severe single contingency] . . . Prior to any given calendar quarter, the 80% threshold may be reduced by the responsible entity upon written notification to the Regional Entity.

    NERC states that this definition “provides the scope of obligations required under Requirements R1 and R3 of BAL-002-2 [and] impose obligations on responsible entities to take certain recovery actions upon the occurrence of a Reportable Balancing Contingency Event to sustain Reporting ACE and adequate levels of Contingency Reserves.” 44

    44 NERC Petition at 30-31 and Ex. D (Implementation Plan).

    31. NERC's proposed definition would limit balancing authority and reserve sharing group responsibility to megawatt losses between 80 percent and 100 percent of their most severe single contingency that occur within a one minute interval. As NERC explains, if a balancing authority has a most severe single contingency of 1000 megawatts and a generation unit with a capacity of 850 megawatts is lost, this system event is within the scope of proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 because the loss is greater than 80 percent of, but does not exceed, the most severe single contingency. NERC contrasts that situation with the example of a balancing authority's loss of two generation units, one of 750 megawatts and another of 300 megawatts within 60 seconds of one another. The total generation loss of 1050 megawatts in this example is exempt from proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 because the total loss resulting from the two events, which are aggregated because both events occurred within one minute of each other, is greater than the balancing authority's most severe single contingency of 1000 megawatts.45

    45See NERC Petition, Ex. A (Examples of Reportable Balancing Contingency Events).

    32. NERC explains that events causing megawatt losses above a balancing authority's or reserve sharing group's most severe single contingency are not within the scope of proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2, and therefore those megawatt losses are not subject to the 15-minute ACE recovery period or the 90-minute Contingency Reserve Restoration Period.46 Instead, balancing authorities and reserve sharing groups must respond to these large events under the suite of related Reliability Standards mentioned above: BAL-001-2, BAL-3-1, TOP-007-0, EOP-002-3, EOP-011-1, IRO-008-2, and IRO-009-2. According to NERC, “this integrated and coordinated approach would ensure reliability while also avoiding any gap in coverage and providing means to address complex issues arising during events that exceed MSSC.” 47

    46 NERC states that between 2006 and 2011, ninety disturbance events exceeded the most severe single contingency, with no year experiencing more than 29 events. According to NERC, “evaluation of this data illustrates that events greater than MSSC occur very infrequently.” NERC March 31, 2016 Supplemental Filing at 3, n.5, citing the 2012 State of Reliability (May 2012) accessible online at http://www.nerc.com/files/2012_sor.pdf.

    47 NERC Petition at 15.

    33. NERC's proposed limitation on the scope of proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 raises questions, particularly NERC's assumption that megawatt exceedances above the most severe single contingency, however small, often or always will result in “complex issues.” We recognize that in extreme megawatt loss scenarios triggering energy emergencies, Reliability Standard EOP-011-1 and the broader suite of Reliability Standards NERC mentions could provide appropriate reliability protection when proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 would not apply. However, a reliability gap may exist for megawatt exceedances of the most severe single contingency that do not cause energy emergencies or otherwise clearly implicate the other Reliability Standards cited by NERC. Our concern is that unless this gap is addressed, the potential for balancing authorities to lean on the Interconnection by relying on external resources for an indeterminate period exists.

    34. The Commission seeks comment from NERC and other entities on how to address that gap and whether to impose a reasonable obligation for balancing authorities and reserve sharing groups to address scenarios involving megawatt losses above the most severe single contingency that do not cause energy emergencies. Based on the comments, the Commission may direct that NERC develop a new or modified Reliability Standard to address that reliability gap.

    D. NERC's Proposed Violation Risk Factor for Requirements R1 and R2

    35. NERC proposes a “medium” violation risk factor for each requirement of proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2. Currently-effective Reliability Standard BAL-002-1 assigns a “high” violation risk factor for its Requirements R3 and R3.1, which NERC explains are analogous to proposed Requirements R1 and R2 in the proposed Reliability Standard.48 We do not believe that NERC adequately justifies lowering the assignment of the violation risk factor for proposed Requirements R1 and R2 from high to medium. Proposed Requirement R1 requires a balancing authority or reserve sharing group to deploy contingency reserves in response to all Reportable Balancing Contingency Events as the means for recovering Reporting ACE. Proposed Requirement R2 requires a balancing authority or reserve sharing group to develop, review and maintain a process within its Operating Plans for determining its most severe single contingency and to prepare to have contingency reserves equal to, or greater than, its most severe single contingency.

    48 NERC Petition, Ex. I (Mapping Document for BAL-002-2).

    36. NERC provides insufficient support for the proposed violation risk factor for proposed Requirements R1 and R2. In justifying the assignment of a medium violation risk factor. NERC asserts, without explanation, that a medium violation risk factor is “consistent with other reliability standards (i.e., BAL-001-2, BAL-003-1).” 49 NERC also contends, without explanation, that proposed Requirement R3 is similar in concept to the current enforceable BAL-001-0.1a standard Requirements R1 and R2, which have an approved Medium [violation risk factor], and approved reliability standards BAL-001-1 and BAL-003-1.50 The conclusory statements in NERC's petition regarding the alleged similarities between proposed Requirements R1 and R2 and other Reliability Standards does not adequately explain the alleged bases for reducing the violation risk factor for Requirements R1 and R2 from the analogous Requirement R3 in the currently-effective Reliability Standard.

    49 NERC Petition, Ex. G (Analysis of Violation Risk Factors and Violation Severity Levels) at 4.

    50Id.

    37. NERC further states that while a violation of proposed Requirements R1 or R2 could directly affect the electrical state or capability of the bulk electric system, it “would unlikely result in the Bulk Electric System instability, separation or cascading failures since this requirement is an after-the-fact calculation, not performed in Real-time.” 51 We believe this to be an inadequate justification for lowering the violation risk factors for proposed Requirements R1 and R2. While a calculation of how far out of compliance may occur after the fact, the issue is the risk resulting from a failure to meet the performance set forth in the requirement in real time. With regard to proposed Requirement R2 requiring responsible entities to have a process for determining their most severe single contingency, NERC itself states that “proper calculation of MSSC is critical for reliability.” 52

    51Id. Ex. G (Analysis of Violation Risk Factors and Violation Severity Levels) at 3-4.

    52 NERC March 31, 2016 Supplemental Filing at 3.

    38. Accordingly, we propose to direct that NERC assign a high violation risk factor to proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2, Requirements R1 and R2. We seek comment on this proposal.

    III. Information Collection Statement

    39. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations require that OMB approve certain reporting and recordkeeping (collections of information) imposed by an agency.53 Upon approval of a collection(s) of information, OMB will assign an OMB control number and expiration date. Respondents subject to the filing requirements of this rule will not be penalized for failing to respond to these collections of information unless the collections of information display a valid OMB control number.

    53 5 CFR 1320.11.

    40. The Commission is submitting these reporting and recordkeeping requirements to OMB for its review and approval under section 3507(d) of the Paper Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3507(d) (2012). Comments are solicited on the Commission's need for this information, whether the information will have practical utility, the accuracy of the provided burden estimate, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and any suggested methods for minimizing the respondent's burden, including the use of automated information techniques.

    41. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposes to approve revisions to Reliability Standard BAL-002-2. NERC states in its petition that the proposed Reliability Standard applies to balancing authorities and reserve sharing groups, and is designed to ensure that these entities are able to recover from system contingencies by deploying adequate reserves to return their ACE to defined values and by replacing the capacity and energy lost due to generation or transmission equipment outages. The Commission also proposes to approve NERC's seven proposed new definitions and one proposed revised definition, and the retirement of currently-effective Reliability Standard BAL-002-1 immediately prior to the effective date of BAL-002-1.

    42. Public Reporting Burden: Our estimate below regarding the number of respondents is based on the NERC Compliance Registry as of April 15, 2016. According to the NERC Compliance Registry, there are 70 balancing authorities in the Eastern Interconnection, 34 balancing authorities in the Western Interconnection and one balancing authority in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). The Commission bases individual burden estimates on the time needed for balancing authorities and reserve sharing groups to maintain annually, the operating process and operating plan that are required in the Reliability Standard. These burden estimates are consistent with estimates for similar tasks in other Commission-approved Reliability Standards. The following estimates relate to the requirements for this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in Docket No. RM16-7-000.

    RM16-7-000 NOPR [BAL-002-2: Disturbance Control Standard—Contingency Reserve for Recovery from a Balancing Contingency Event] 54 Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number of responses Average
  • burden hours & cost per
  • response 55
  • Total annual burden hours & total annual cost Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) BA/RSG: 56 Develop and Maintain annually, Operating Process and Operating Plans 105 1 105 8
  • $773
  • 840
  • $81,119
  • $773
    BA/RSG: Record Retention 57 105 1 105 4
  • $112
  • 420
  • $11,760
  • 112
    Total 210 1.260
  • $92,879
  • 885

    Title: FERC-725R, Mandatory Reliability Standard BAL-002-2.

    54 Proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 applies to balancing authorities and reserve sharing groups. However, the burden associated with the balancing authorities complying with Requirements R1 and R3 is not included within this table because the Commission accounted for it under Commission-approved Reliability Standard BAL-002-1.

    55 The estimated hourly cost (salary plus benefits) of $96.57 is an average based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) information (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm) for an electrical engineer ($64.20/hour) and a lawyer ($128.94).

    56 BA = Balancing Authority; RSG = Reserve Sharing Group.

    57 $28/hour, based on a Commission staff study of record retention burden cost.

    Action: Proposed Collection of Information.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0268.

    Respondents: Businesses or other for-profit institutions; not-for-profit institutions.

    Frequency of Responses: On Occasion.

    Necessity of the Information: This proposed rule proposes to approve Reliability Standard BAL-002-2, which is designed to ensure that a responsible entity, either a balancing authority or reserve sharing group, is able to recover from system contingencies by deploying adequate reserves to return their ACE to defined values and replacing the capacity and energy lost due to generation or transmission equipment outages. Proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2, Requirement R1 requires a responsible entity, either a balancing authority or reserve sharing group, experiencing a Reportable Balancing Contingency Event to deploy its contingency reserves to recover its ACE to certain prescribed values within the Contingency Event Recovery Period of 15 minutes. Proposed Requirement R2 requires a balancing authority or reserve sharing group to develop, review and maintain a process within its Operating Plans for determining its most severe single contingency and prepare to have contingency reserves equal to, or greater than, its most severe single contingency. Proposed Requirement R3 provides that, following a Reportable Balancing Contingency Event, the responsible entity shall restore its Contingency Reserve to at least its most severe single contingency, before the end of the Contingency Reserve Restoration Period of 90 minutes.

    Internal Review: The Commission reviewed the proposed Reliability Standard and made a determination that its action is necessary to implement section 215 of the FPA. These requirements, if accepted, should conform to the Commission's expectation for generation and demand balance throughout the Eastern and Western Interconnections as well as within the ERCOT Region.

    43. Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting requirements by contacting the following: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426 [Attention: Ellen Brown, Office of the Executive Director, email: [email protected], phone: (202) 502-8663, fax: (202) 273-0873].

    44. For submitting comments concerning the collection(s) of information and the associated burden estimate(s), please send your comments to the Commission and to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Washington, DC 20503 [Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, phone: (202) 395-4638, fax: (202) 395-7285]. For security reasons, comments to OMB should be submitted by email to: [email protected] Comments submitted to OMB should include FERC-725R and Docket Number RM16- 7-000.

    IV. Environmental Analysis

    45. The Commission is required to prepare an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for any action that may have a significant adverse effect on the human environment.58 The Commission has categorically excluded certain actions from this requirement as not having a significant effect on the human environment. Included in the exclusion are rules that are clarifying, corrective, or procedural or that do not substantially change the effect of the regulations being amended.59 The actions proposed here fall within this categorical exclusion in the Commission's regulations.

    58Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Order No. 486, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,783 (1987).

    59 18 CFR 380.4(a)(2)(ii).

    V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    46. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) 60 generally requires a description and analysis of proposed rules that will have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As shown in the information collection section, the proposed Reliability Standard applies to 105 entities. Comparison of the applicable entities with the Commission's small business data indicates that approximately 23 61 are small business entities.62 Of these, the Commission estimates that approximately five percent, or one of these 23 small entities, will be affected by the new requirements of the proposed Reliability Standard.

    60 5 U.S.C. 601-612.

    61 21.73 percent of the total number of affected entities.

    62 The Small Business Administration sets the threshold for what constitutes a small business. Public utilities may fall under one of several different categories, each with a size threshold based on the company's number of employees, including affiliates, the parent company, and subsidiaries. For the analysis in this Final Rule, we are using a 500 employee threshold for each affected entity. Each entity is classified as Electric Bulk Power Transmission and Control (NAICS code 221121).

    47. The Commission estimates that the small entities affected by proposed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 will incur an annual compliance cost of up to $20,355 (i.e., the cost of developing, and maintaining annually operating process and operating plans), resulting in a cost of approximately $885 per balancing authority and/or reserve sharing group. These costs represent an estimate of the costs a small entity could incur if the entity is identified as an applicable entity. The Commission does not consider the estimated cost per small entity to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, the Commission certifies that this NOPR will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    VI. Comment Procedures

    48. The Commission invites interested persons to submit comments on the matters and issues proposed in this notice to be adopted, including any related matters or alternative proposals that commenters may wish to discuss. Comments are due July 25, 2016. Comments must refer to Docket No. RM16-7-000, and must include the commenter's name, the organization they represent, if applicable, and their address in their comments.

    49. The Commission encourages comments to be filed electronically via the eFiling link on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov. The Commission accepts most standard word processing formats. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format. Commenters filing electronically do not need to make a paper filing.

    50. Commenters that are not able to file comments electronically must send an original of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    51. All comments will be placed in the Commission's public files and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded remotely as described in the Document Availability section below. Commenters on this proposal are not required to serve copies of their comments on other commenters.

    VII. Document Availability

    52. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the Internet through the Commission's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and in the Commission's Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426.

    53. From the Commission's Home Page on the Internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number of this document, excluding the last three digits, in the docket number field.

    54. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission's Web site during normal business hours from the Commission's Online Support at (202) 502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at [email protected], or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-8371, TTY (202) 502-8659. Email the Public Reference Room at [email protected]

    By direction of the Commission.

    Issued: May 19, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12428 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives 27 CFR Part 478 [Docket No. ATF 24P; AG Order No. 3672-2016] RIN 1140-AA10 Commerce in Firearms and Explosives; Secure Gun Storage, Amended Definition of Antique Firearm, and Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) proposes amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), largely to codify into regulation certain provisions of Public Law 105-277, Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999. The proposed rule would amend ATF's regulations to account for the existing statutory requirement for applicants for firearms dealer licenses to certify that secure gun storage or safety devices will be available at any place where firearms are sold under the license to nonlicensed individuals. This certification is already included in the ATF Form 7, Application for Federal Firearms License. The proposed regulation would also require applicants for manufacturer or importer licenses to complete the certification if the licensee will have premises where firearms are sold to nonlicensees. Moreover, the proposed regulation would require that the secure gun storage or safety device be compatible with the firearms offered for sale by the licensee. Finally, it also would conform the definitions of certain terms to the statutory language set forth in the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1999, including the definition of “antique firearm,” which would be amended to include certain modern muzzle loading firearms.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be postmarked and electronic comments must be submitted on or before August 24, 2016. Commenters should be aware that the electronic Federal Docket Management System will not accept comments after Midnight Eastern Time on the last day of the comment period.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments to any of the following addresses—

    • George M. Fodor, Mailstop 6.N-523, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, 99 New York Avenue NE., Washington, DC 20226; ATTN: ATF 24P. Written comments may be of any length and must appear in a minimum 12-point type (.17 inches), include a complete mailing address, and be signed.

    • 202-648-9741 (facsimile).

    http://www.regulations.gov. Federal eRulemaking portal; follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    You may also view an electronic version of this proposed rule at the http://www.regulations.gov site.

    See the Public Participation section at the end of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for instructions and requirements for submitting comments, and for information on how to request a public hearing.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    George M. Fodor, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, 99 New York Avenue NE., Washington, DC 20226, telephone (202) 648-7070.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On October 21, 1998, Public Law 105-277 (112 Stat. 2681), the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999 (the Act), was enacted. Among other things, the Act amended the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), as amended (18 U.S.C. Chapter 44). Some of the GCA amendments made by the Act and the proposed regulation changes implementing the law are as follows1 :

    1 This proposed rule does not implement the Child Safety Lock Act of 2005 (CSLA), enacted as part of Public Law 109-92 (119 Stat. 2095), the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. The CSLA amended the GCA by adding a new subsection, 18 U.S.C. 922(z), that makes it unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer to sell, deliver, or transfer any handgun to any person not licensed under 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, unless the transferee (buyer) is provided with a secure gun storage or safety device for that handgun. A number of exceptions are provided to this requirement, including transfers of handguns to law enforcement agencies and law enforcement officers and transfers of handguns classified as curios or relics.

    (1) Secure Gun Storage. The Act amended subsection 923(d)(1) of the GCA (18 U.S.C. 923(d)(1)) to require that, with certain exceptions, applicants for firearm dealer licenses certify the availability of secure gun storage or safety devices at any place where firearms are sold under the license to nonlicensees. 18 U.S.C. 923(d)(1)(G). ATF interprets this provision as requiring secure gun storage or safety devices to be compatible with the firearms offered for sale by the licensee. Therefore, applicants are required to certify the availability of compatible secure gun storage or safety devices at any place where firearms are sold under the license to nonlicensees. The certification requirement does not apply where a secure gun storage or safety device is temporarily unavailable because of theft, casualty loss, consumer sales, backorders from a manufacturer, or any other similar reason beyond the control of the licensee. Id. The Department proposes to add a new section 27 CFR 478.104 to specify the terms of the certification requirement.

    ATF interprets the certification requirement to apply to applicants for importer or manufacturer licenses if the licensee will have premises where firearms are sold to nonlicensees. Federal regulations provide that a licensed importer or a licensed manufacturer may engage in the business on the licensed premises as a dealer in the same type of firearms authorized by the license to be imported or manufactured. 27 CFR 478.41(b). As such, an applicant for an importer or manufacturer license who will be engaged in the business as a dealer and have premises where firearms are sold to nonlicensees will be required to complete the certification.

    In addition, the Act amended subsection 923(e) of the GCA (18 U.S.C. 923(e)) to provide that the Attorney General may revoke the license of any federal firearms licensee who fails to have secure gun storage or safety devices available at any place where firearms are sold under the license to nonlicensees, subject to the same exceptions noted above. The Department proposes to amend 27 CFR 478.73 to codify into regulation this provision of the law.

    The Act defined the term “secure gun storage or safety device” in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(34) to mean: (1) A device that, when installed on a firearm, is designed to prevent the firearm from being operated without first deactivating the device; (2) a device incorporated into the design of the firearm that is designed to prevent the operation of the firearm by anyone not having access to the device; or (3) a safe, gun safe, gun case, lock box, or other device that is designed to be or can be used to store a firearm and that is designed to be unlocked only by means of a key, a combination, or other similar means. The Department proposes to amend 27 CFR 478.11 by adding a definition for the term “secure gun storage or safety device” that tracks the language in the statute.

    An uncodified provision of the Act provides that “[n]otwithstanding any other provision of law, evidence regarding compliance or noncompliance [with the secure gun storage or safety device requirement] shall not be admissible as evidence in any proceeding of any court, agency, board, or other entity.” Public Law 105-277 sec. 119, reprinted in 18 U.S.C. 923 note. ATF construes this section as applying to civil liability actions against dealers and other similar actions, and not to proceedings associated with license denials or revocations (or appeals in federal court from decisions in such proceedings) involving noncompliance with the secure gun storage or safety device requirement of the GCA. A basic tenet of statutory construction is that each provision in a law is intended to have some effect. To interpret this provision as applying to license denial and revocation proceedings would result in the amendments to sections 923(d)(1) and (e) having no effective enforcement mechanism. To give meaning to the secure gun storage or safety device requirement and the authorization for the revocation of a license if the federal firearm licensee fails to have secure gun storage or safety devices available, ATF reads this evidentiary limitation as not applying to license denial and revocation proceedings.

    The provisions of the Act relating to secure gun storage became effective April 19, 1999.

    (2) Definition of Antique Firearm. The Act also amended the definition of “antique firearm” in the GCA to include certain modern muzzle loading firearms. Specifically, section 115 of the Act amended the definition of “antique firearm” in subsection 921(a)(16) to include a weapon that is a muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol; that is designed to use black powder or a black powder substitute; and that cannot use fixed ammunition. The term expressly does not include any weapon that incorporates a firearm frame or receiver; any firearm converted into a muzzle-loading weapon; or any muzzle-loading weapon that can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof. See 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(16)(C).

    The provisions of the Act relating to antique firearms became effective upon the date of enactment, October 21, 1998.

    The Department proposes to amend 27 CFR 478.11 to reflect the definition of the term “antique firearm” set forth in the Act.

    (3) Miscellaneous Amendments. Prior to amendment by the Act, the term “rifle” was defined in the GCA to mean “a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.” 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(7) (1994). The Act amended the definition of “rifle” by replacing the words “the explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge” with “an explosive.”

    Prior to amendment by the Act, the term “shotgun” was defined in the GCA to mean “a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.” 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(5) (1994). The Act amended the definition of “shotgun” by replacing the words “the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell” with “an explosive.”

    The provisions of the Act relating to the miscellaneous amendments also became effective upon the date of enactment, October 21, 1998.

    The Department proposes to amend 27 CFR 478.11 to reflect the definitions of the terms “rifle” and “shotgun” set forth in the Act.

    How This Document Complies With the Federal Administrative Requirements for Rulemaking A. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563—Regulatory Planning and Review

    This proposed regulation has been drafted and reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” section 1(b), The 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 this proposed rule is a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 and, accordingly, this proposed rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. However, this proposed rule will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million, nor will it 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. Accordingly, this proposed rule is not an “economically significant” rulemaking under Executive Order 12866.

    Further, 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 economic effects associated with this proposed rule are attributable to the statutory requirement that went into effect in 1999 that applicants for federal firearms licenses must certify that, with certain exceptions, secure gun storage or safety devices will be available at any place where firearms are sold under the license to nonlicensees. The proposed rule does not impose additional costs on the licensed dealer beyond what is already required by statute. However, the proposed rule would extend this certification requirement to manufacturers or importers who have premises from which firearms are sold to nonlicensees. The additional costs imposed on these manufacturers and importers is, however, likely to be minimal.

    The rule proposes that the licensed dealer, or licensed manufacturer or importer having premises where firearms are sold to nonlicensees, must certify that they will make available firearms safety locks or secure gun storage devices that will be compatible with each type of firearm that the licensee sells. One measure of the cost of these proposed safety device requirements—requirements that, as noted, already are required by statute for licensed dealers—is the opportunity cost of licensees making secure gun storage and safety devices available instead of not stocking them or stocking other products that might have a higher profit margin or that consumers may prefer more. The opportunity cost would be measured as the foregone profit that could be earned by licensees in the absence of the requirement.

    ATF lacks data to reliably estimate this opportunity cost. For example, ATF is not aware of any data sources on the number or share of licensees that would not make gun storage or safety devices available absent the statutory requirement, the number and types of gun storage or safety devices that licensees would need to make available in order to comply with the statutory requirement, or the products that licensees would have made available absent the requirement. ATF seeks information from the public on data and methods for estimating the opportunity cost of this requirement.

    Although ATF lacks data to reliably estimate the opportunity cost of the safe storage requirement, it is worth noting that a number of factors may affect the number of secure gun storage or safety devices that an individual licensee must supply on his premises and the overall cost to licensees of purchasing the required devices. First, dealers, manufacturers, and importers may be able to recover the cost of purchasing secure gun storage or safety devices through the sale of those products to their customers. Second, many of the secure gun storage or firearm safety devices are compatible with numerous firearms. Therefore, one secure gun storage or safety device will be able satisfy the requirement for all firearms that are compatible with that secure gun storage or safety device. Third, because safety devices, such as trigger locks and cable locks, are commodities that police departments provide free or the cost of which ranges from less than $1 up to $10, a licensee might be able to enter into an agreement with those departments pursuant to which local law enforcement would provide the devices free of charge on the licensee's premises. Finally, manufacturers may choose to package compatible safety devices along with new handgun and long gun offerings. Such integrated packaging relieves the federal firearms licensee from the cost of providing safety devices for those firearms. These four factors, which ATF cannot measure with precision, may affect the number of secure gun storage or safety devices that an individual licensee must supply and the overall costs to licensees of purchasing the required devices.

    The overall benefit of the secure gun storage or safety devices requirement is to provide firearm purchasers with the ability to acquire a device that will allow them to safely secure their firearms from unlawful use or accidental discharge.

    The economic effects associated with amending the definition of the term “antique firearm” will result in a cost savings to the licensee and ATF. Federal firearms licensees are no longer required to expend resources to record transactions of any firearm meeting the amended definition of an antique firearm contained in this proposed rule, because antique firearms are not regulated by ATF. Since ATF does not collect any data regarding these firearms transactions, and federal firearms licensees are not required to keep records of these firearms, ATF is unable to measure the cost impact of amending the definition of antique firearms except to indicate that licensees will no longer be required to keep records on the antique firearms that meet the definition. Additionally, the amendments to the definitions reflect the definitions currently codified in the statute. Since the enactment of Public Law 105-277, Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999 on October 21, 1998, federal firearms licensees have followed these amended statutory definitions and no additional economic change or impact will result from these amendments to the regulations.

    There are no costs associated with the proposed amendments to the definitions of the terms “rifle” and “shotgun” as these are technical amendments that integrate statutory language, which have no associated costs, into the regulations.

    B. Executive Order 13132

    This proposed rule will not have substantial direct effects 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. Therefore, in accordance with section 6 of Executive Order 13132, “Federalism,” the Attorney General has determined that this proposed rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement.

    C. Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform.”

    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 605(b), requires an agency to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small not-for-profit enterprises, and small governmental jurisdictions. The Attorney General has reviewed this proposed rule and, by approving it, certifies that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    The economic effects associated with this proposed rule are attributable to statutory requirements that went into effect in 1999, that applicants for federal firearms licenses must certify that, with certain exceptions, secure gun storage or safety devices will be available at any place where firearms are sold under the license to nonlicensees. The proposed rule does not impose additional costs or burden on the licensed dealer beyond what is already required by statute. However, the proposed rule would extend this certification requirement to manufacturers or importers who have premises from which firearms are sold to nonlicensees. The additional costs imposed on these manufacturers and importers is, however, likely to be minimal.

    The rule proposes that the licensed dealer, or licensed manufacturer or importer having premises where firearms are sold to nonlicensees, must certify that they will make available firearms secure gun storage or safety devices that will be compatible with each types of firearms that the licensee sells. One measure of the cost of these proposed safety device requirements—requirements that, as noted, already are required by statute for licensed dealers—is the opportunity cost of licensees making secure gun storage and safety devices available instead of not stocking them or stocking other products that might have a higher profit margin or that consumers may prefer. The opportunity cost would be measured as the foregone profit that could be earned by licensees in the absence of the requirement.

    ATF lacks data to reliably estimate this opportunity cost. For example, ATF is not aware of any data sources on the number or share of licensees that would not make gun storage or safety devices available absent the statutory requirement, the number and types of gun storage or safety devices that licensees would need to make available in order to comply with the statutory requirement, or the products that licensees would have made available absent the requirement. ATF seeks information from the public on data and methods for estimating the opportunity cost of this requirement.

    Although ATF lacks data to reliably estimate the opportunity cost of the safe storage requirement, it is worth noting that a number of factors may affect the number of secure gun storage or safety devices that an individual licensee must supply on his premises and the overall cost to licensees of purchasing the required devices. First, dealers, manufacturers, and importers may be able to recover the cost of purchasing secure gun storage or safety devices through the sale of those products to their customers. Second, many of the secure gun storage or firearm safety devices are compatible with numerous firearms. Therefore, one secure gun storage or safety device will be able satisfy the requirement for all firearms that are compatible with that secure gun storage or safety device. Third, because safety devices, such as trigger locks and cable locks, are commodities that police departments provide free or the cost of which ranges from less than $1 up to $10, a licensee might be able to enter into an agreement with those departments pursuant to which local law enforcement would provide the devices free of charge on the licensee's premises. Finally, manufacturers may choose to package compatible safety devices along with new handgun and long gun offerings. Such integrated packaging relieves the federal firearms licensee from the cost of providing safety devices for those firearms. These four factors, which ATF cannot measure with precision, may affect the number of secure gun storage or safety devices that an individual licensee must supply and the overall costs to the licensee of purchasing the required devices.

    The overall benefit of the secure gun storage or safety devices requirement is to provide firearms purchasers with the ability to acquire a device that will allow them to safely secure their firearms from unlawful use or accidental discharge.

    The economic effects associated with amending the definition of the term “antique firearm” will result in a cost savings to the licensee and ATF. Federal firearms licensees are no longer required to expend resources to record transactions of any firearm meeting the amended definition of an antique firearm contained in this proposed rule, because such firearms are not regulated by ATF. Since ATF does not collect any data regarding these firearm transactions, federal firearms licensees are not required to keep records of these firearms, ATF is unable to measure the cost impact of amending the definition of antique firearms except to indicate that licensees will no longer be required to keep records on the antique firearms that meet the definition. Additionally, the amendments to the definitions reflect the definitions currently codified in the statute. Since the enactment of Public Law 105-277, Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999 on October 21, 1998, federal firearms licensees have followed these amended statutory definitions and no additional economic change or impact will result from these amendments to the regulations.

    There are no costs associated with the proposed amendments to the definitions of the terms “rifle” and “shotgun” as these are technical amendments that integrate statutory language, which have no associated costs, into the regulations.

    E. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This proposed rule is not a major rule as defined by section 251 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. 5 U.S.C. 804. This proposed rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets.

    F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This proposed rule 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 significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    G. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This proposed rule would revise an existing reporting requirement under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR part 1320. The proposed rule provides that an applicant for a federal firearms dealer license, or an applicant for a federal firearms importer or manufacture license who will be engaged in business on the licensed premises as a dealer in the same type of firearms authorized by the license to import or manufacture, must certify on ATF Form 7 (5310.12), Application for Federal Firearms License, that compatible secure gun storage or safety devices will be available at any place in which firearms are sold under the license to persons who are not licensees.

    The proposed rule modifies ATF Form 7 by amending Item 27 to include the word “compatible” in front of the phrase “secure gun storage” in the certification. This edit does not change or alter the burden or recordkeeping requirements associated with ATF Form 7. The burden and respondent information associated with the certification of secure storage and safety devices have already been accounted for with respect to ATF Form 7, and were approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1140-0018.

    Public Participation A. Comments Sought

    ATF is requesting comments on the proposed rule from all interested persons. ATF is also specifically requesting comments on the clarity of this proposed rule and how it may be made easier to understand.

    In addition, ATF requests comments regarding the extent to which this proposed rule will result in any new costs to the public, and what benefits may be realized.

    All comments must reference this document docket number (ATF 24P), be legible, and include your name and mailing address. ATF will treat all comments as originals and will not acknowledge receipt of comments.

    Comments received on or before the closing date will be carefully considered. Comments received after that date will be given the same consideration if it is practical to do so, but assurance of consideration cannot be given except as to comments received on or before the closing date.

    B. Confidentiality

    Comments, whether submitted electronically or on paper, will be made available for public viewing at ATF, and on the Internet as part of the eRulemaking initiative, and are subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Commenters who do not want their name or other personal identifying information posted on the Internet should submit their comment by mail or facsimile, along with a separate cover sheet that contains their personal identifying information. Both the cover sheet and comment must reference this docket number. Information contained in the cover sheet will not be posted on the Internet. Any personal identifying information that appears within the comment will be posted on the Internet and will not be redacted by ATF.

    Any material that the commenter considers to be inappropriate for disclosure to the public, but is not confidential under law, should not be included in the comment. Any person submitting a comment shall specifically designate that portion (if any) of his comments that contains material that is confidential under law (e.g., trade secrets, processes, etc.). Any portion of a comment that is confidential under law shall be set forth on pages separate from the balance of the comment and shall be prominently marked “confidential” at the top of each page. Confidential information will be included in the rulemaking record but will not be disclosed to the public. Any comments containing material that is not confidential under law may be disclosed to the public. In any event, the name of the person submitting a comment is not exempt from disclosure.

    C. Submitting Comments

    Comments may be submitted in any of three ways:

    Mail: Send written comments to the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. Written comments may be of any length and must appear in a minimum 12-point font type (0.17 inches), include your complete mailing address, and be signed.

    Facsimile: You may submit comments by facsimile transmission to (202) 648-9741. Faxed comments must:

    (1) Be legible and appear in a minimum 12-point font type (0.17 inches);

    (2) Be on 81/2″ x 11″ paper;

    (3) Contain a legible, written signature; and

    (4) Be no more than five pages long. ATF will not accept faxed comments that exceed five pages.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: To submit comments to ATF via the Federal eRulemaking portal, visit http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    D. Request for Hearing

    Any interested person who desires an opportunity to comment orally at a public hearing should submit his or her request, in writing, to the Director of ATF within the 90-day comment period. The Director, however, reserves the right to determine, in light of all circumstances, whether a public hearing is necessary.

    Disclosure

    Copies of this proposed rule and the comments received will be available for public inspection by appointment during normal business hours at: ATF Reading Room, Room 1E-062, 99 New York Avenue NE., Washington, DC 20226; telephone: (202) 648-8740.

    Drafting Information

    The author of this document is George M. Fodor, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

    List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 478

    Administrative practice and procedure, Arms and munitions, Customs duties and inspection, Exports, Imports, Intergovernmental relations, Law enforcement officers, Military personnel, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Research, Seizures and forfeitures, and Transportation.

    Authority and Issuance

    Accordingly, for the reasons discussed in the preamble, 27 CFR part 478 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 478—COMMERCE IN FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION 1. The authority citation for 27 CFR part 478 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552(a); 18 U.S.C. 847, 921-931; 44 U.S.C. 3504(h).

    2. Amend § 478.11 as follows: a. Remove the words “the explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge” in the definition of “Rifle” and add in their place “an explosive”; b. Remove the words “the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell” in the definition of “Shotgun” and add in their place “an explosive”; and c. Revise the definition of “Antique firearm” and add a definition for the term “Secure gun storage or safety device”, to read as follows:
    § 478.11 Meaning of terms.

    Antique firearm. (a) Any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898;

    (b) Any replica of any firearm described in paragraph (a) of this definition if such replica—

    (1) Is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or

    (2) Uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition that is no longer manufactured in the United States and that is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade; or

    (c) Any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol that is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and that cannot use fixed ammunition. For purposes of this paragraph (c), the term “antique firearm” does not include any weapon that incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm that is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon that can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof.

    Secure gun storage or safety device. (a) A device that, when installed on a firearm, is designed to prevent the firearm from being operated without first deactivating the device;

    (b) A device incorporated into the design of the firearm that is designed to prevent the operation of the firearm by anyone not having access to the device; or

    (c) A safe, gun safe, gun case, lock box, or other device that is designed to be or can be used to store a firearm and that is designed to be unlocked only by means of a key, a combination, or other similar means.

    3. Amend § 478.73 by adding a sentence after the first sentence in paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 478.73 Notice of revocation, suspension, or imposition of civil fine.

    (a) Basis for action. * * * In addition, a notice of revocation of the license, ATF Form 4500, may be issued whenever the Director has reason to believe that a licensee fails to have secure gun storage or safety devices available at any place in which firearms are sold under the license to persons who are not licensees (except in any case in which a secure gun storage or safety device is temporarily unavailable because of theft, casualty loss, consumer sales, backorders from a manufacturer, or any other similar reason beyond the control of the licensee). * * *

    4. Add § 478.104 to subpart F to read as follows:
    § 478.104 Secure gun storage or safety device.

    (a) Any person who applies to be a licensed firearms dealer must certify on ATF Form 7 (5310.12), Application for Federal Firearms License, that compatible secure gun storage or safety devices will be available at any place where firearms are sold under the license to nonlicensed individuals (subject to the exception that in any case in which a secure gun storage or safety device is temporarily unavailable because of theft, casualty, loss, consumer sales, backorders from a manufacturer, or any other similar reason beyond the control of the licensee, the dealer shall not be considered in violation of the requirement to make available such a device).

    (b) Any person who applies to be a licensed firearms importer or a licensed manufacturer and will be engaged in business on the licensed premises as a dealer in the same type of firearms authorized by the license to be imported or manufactured must make the certification required under paragraph (a) of this section.

    (c) Each licensee described in this section must have compatible secure gun storage or safety devices available at any place in which firearms are sold under the license to persons who are not licensees. However, such licensee shall not be considered to be in violation of this requirement if a secure gun storage or safety device is temporarily unavailable because of theft, casualty loss, consumer sales, backorders from a manufacturer, or any other similar reason beyond the control of the licensee.

    Dated: May 17, 2016. Loretta E. Lynch, Attorney General.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12364 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-FY-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2015-0801; A-1-FRL-9946-93-Region 1] Air Plan Approval; ME; Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions From Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing and Surface Coating Facilities AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the State of Maine. These revisions establish Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) requirements for reducing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from fiberglass boat manufacturing and surface coating operations. The intended effect of this action is to approve these requirements into the Maine SIP. This action is being taken in accordance with the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before June 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R01-OAR-2015-0801 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the 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. The 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, please contact the person identified in the “For Further Information Contact” section. For 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:

    David L. Mackintosh, Air Quality Planning Unit, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100 (Mail code OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912, tel. 617-918-1584, fax 617-918-0668, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules Section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this action rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules Section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: May 11, 2016. H. Curtis Spalding, Regional Administrator, EPA New England.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12397 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 160411325-6325-01] RIN 0648-XE568 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual Specifications AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes to implement annual management measures and harvest specifications to establish the allowable catch levels (i.e. annual catch limit (ACL)/harvest guideline (HG)) for the northern subpopulation of Pacific sardine (hereafter, simply Pacific sardine), in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the Pacific coast for the fishing season of July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017. This rule is proposed according to the Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The proposed action would prohibit directed non-tribal Pacific sardine commercial fishing for Pacific sardine off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California, which is required because the estimated 2016 biomass of Pacific sardine has dropped below the biomass threshold specified in the HG control rule. Under the proposed action, Pacific sardine may still be harvested as part of either the live bait or tribal fishery or as incidental catch in other fisheries; the incidental harvest of Pacific sardine would initially be limited to 40-percent by weight of all fish per trip when caught with other CPS or up to 2 metric tons (mt) when caught with non-CPS. The proposed annual catch limit (ACL) for the 2016-2017 Pacific sardine fishing year is 8,000 mt. This proposed rule is intended to conserve and manage the Pacific sardine stock off the U.S. West Coast.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by June 10, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0052, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0052, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to William W. Stelle, Jr., Regional Administrator, West Coast Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115-0070; Attn: Joshua Lindsay.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    Copies of the report “Assessment of Pacific Sardine Resource in 2016 for U.S.A. Management in 2016-2017” may be obtained from the West Coast Region (see ADDRESSES).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joshua Lindsay, West Coast Region, NMFS, (562) 980-4034, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    During public meetings each year, the estimated biomass for Pacific sardine is presented to the Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) CPS Management Team (Team), the Council's CPS Advisory Subpanel (Subpanel) and the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), and the biomass and the status of the fishery are reviewed and discussed. The biomass estimate is then presented to the Council along with the calculated overfishing limit (OFL), available biological catch (ABC), and HG, along with recommendations and comments from the Team, Subpanel, and SSC. Following review by the Council and after hearing public comment, the Council adopts a biomass estimate and makes its catch level recommendations to NMFS. NMFS manages the Pacific sardine fishery in the U.S. EEZ off the Pacific coast (California, Oregon, and Washington) in accordance with the FMP. Annual specifications published in the Federal Register establish the allowable harvest levels (i.e. OFL/ACL/HG) for each Pacific sardine fishing year. The purpose of this proposed rule is to implement these annual catch reference points for 2016-2017, including the OFL and an ABC that takes into consideration uncertainty surrounding the current estimate of biomass for Pacific sardine. The FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS to set these annual catch levels for the Pacific sardine fishery based on the annual specification framework and control rules in the FMP. These control rules include the HG control rule, which, in conjunction with the OFL and ABC rules in the FMP, are used to manage harvest levels for Pacific sardine, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. According to the FMP, the quota for the principal commercial fishery is determined using the FMP-specified HG formula. The HG formula in the CPS FMP is HG = [(Biomass−CUTOFF) * FRACTION * DISTRIBUTION] with the parameters described as follows:

    1. Biomass. The estimated stock biomass of Pacific sardine age one and above. For the 2016-2017 management season this is 106,137 mt.

    2. CUTOFF. This is the biomass level below which no HG is set. The FMP established this level at 150,000 mt.

    3. DISTRIBUTION. The average portion of the Pacific sardine biomass estimated in the EEZ off the Pacific coast is 87 percent.

    4. FRACTION. The temperature-varying harvest fraction is the percentage of the biomass above 150,000 mt that may be harvested.

    As described above, the Pacific sardine HG control rule, the primary mechanism for setting the annual directed commercial fishery quota, includes a CUTOFF parameter which has been set as a biomass level of 150,000 mt. This amount is subtracted from the annual biomass estimate before calculating the applicable HG for the fishing year. Therefore, because this year's biomass estimate is below that value, the formula results in an HG of zero and therefore no Pacific sardine are available for the commercial directed fishery during the 2016-2017 fishing season.

    At the April 2016 Council meeting, the Council's SSC approved, and the Council adopted, the “Assessment of the Pacific Sardine Resource in 2016 for U.S.A. Management in 2016-2017”, completed by NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center and the resulting Pacific sardine biomass estimate of 106,137 mt as the best available science for setting harvest specifications. Based on recommendations from its SSC and other advisory bodies, the Council recommended, and NMFS is proposing, an OFL of 23,085 mt, an ABC of 19,236 mt, and a prohibition on sardine catch unless it is harvested as part of either the live bait or tribal fishery or incidental to other fisheries for the 2016-2017 Pacific sardine fishing year. As additional management measures, the Council also recommended, and NMFS is proposing, an ACL of 8,000 mt and that the incidental catch of Pacific sardine in other CPS fisheries be managed with the following automatic inseason actions to reduce the potential for both targeting and discard of Pacific sardine:

    • An incidental per landing by weight allowance of 40 percent Pacific sardine in non-treaty CPS fisheries until a total of 2,000 mt of Pacific sardine are landed.

    • When 2,000 mt are landed, the incidental per landing allowance would be reduced to 30 percent until a total of 5,000 mt of Pacific sardine have been landed.

    • When 5,000 mt have been landed, the incidental per landing allowance would be reduced to 10 percent for the remainder of the 2016-2017 fishing year.

    Because Pacific sardine is known to comingle with other CPS stocks, these incidental allowances are proposed to allow for the continued prosecution of these other important CPS fisheries and reduce the potential discard of sardine. Additionally, a 2 mt incidental per landing allowance in non-CPS fisheries is proposed.

    The NMFS West Coast Regional Administrator would publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing the date of attainment of any of the incidental catch levels described above and subsequent changes to allowable incidental catch percentages. Additionally, to ensure that the regulated community is informed of any closure, NMFS will also make announcements through other means available, including fax, email, and mail to fishermen, processors, and state fishery management agencies.

    In the previous 4 fishing years the Quinault Indian Nation requested, and NMFS approved, set-asides for the exclusive right to harvest Pacific sardine in the Quinault Usual and Accustomed Fishing Area off the coast of Washington State, pursuant to the 1856 Treaty of Olympia (Treaty with the Quinault). For the 2016-2017 fishing season the Quinault Indian Nation has requested that NMFS provide a set-aside of 800 mt (1,000 mt less than was requested and approved in 2015-2016) and NMFS is considering the request.

    Detailed information on the fishery and the stock assessment are found in the report “Assessment of the Pacific Sardine Resource in 2016 for U.S.A. Management in 2016-2017” (see ADDRESSES).

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the CPS FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.

    These proposed specifications are exempt from review under Executive Order 12866 because they contain no implementing regulations.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, for the following reasons:

    On June 12, 2014, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued an interim final rule revising the small business size standards for several industries effective July 14, 2014 (79 FR 33467). The rule increased the size standard for Finfish Fishing from $19.0 to 20.5 million, Shellfish Fishing from $5.0 to 5.5 million, and Other Marine Fishing from $7.0 to 7.5 million. 78 FR 33656, 33660, 33666 (See Table 1). NMFS conducted an economic analysis for this action in light of the new size standards.

    The purpose of this proposed rule is to conserve the Pacific sardine stock by preventing overfishing, so that directed fishing may occur in future years. This will be accomplished by implementing the 2016-2017 annual specifications for Pacific sardine in the U.S. EEZ off the Pacific coast. The small entities that would be affected by the proposed action are the vessels that fish for Pacific sardine as part of the West Coast CPS small purse seine fleet. As stated above, the U.S. Small Business Administration now defines small businesses engaged in finfish fishing as those vessels with annual revenues of $20.5 million or less. Under the former, lower standards, all entities subject to this action in previous years were considered small entities, and under the new standards they continue to be considered small. In 2015, there were approximately 81 vessels permitted to operate in the directed sardine fishery component of the CPS fishery off the U.S. West Coast; 58 vessels in the Federal CPS limited entry fishery off California (south of 39 N. lat.), and a combined 23 vessels in Oregon and Washington's state Pacific sardine fisheries. The total ex-vessel revenue from the harvest of CPS finfish in 2015 was approximately $4.7 million, making the average annual per vessel revenue in 2015 for the West Coast CPS finfish fleet well below $20.5 million; therefore, all of these vessels are considered small businesses under the RFA. Because each affected vessel is a small business, this proposed rule has an equal effect on all of these small entities and will impact a substantial number of these small entities in the same manner. Therefore, this rule would not create disproportionate costs between small and large vessels/businesses.

    The CPS FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS to annually set an OFL, ABC, ACL and HG or ACT for the Pacific sardine fishery based on the specified harvest control rules in the FMP applied to the current stock biomass estimate for that year. The derived annual HG is the level typically used to manage the principal commercial sardine fishery and is the harvest level typically used by NMFS for profitability analysis each year. As stated above, the FMP dictates that when the estimated biomass drops below a certain level (150,000 mt) there is no HG. Therefore, for the purposes of profitability analysis, this action is essentially proposing an HG of zero for the 2016-2017 Pacific sardine fishing season (July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017). The estimated biomass used for management during the preceding fishing year (2015-2016) was also below 150,000 mt, therefore NMFS did not implement a HG, thereby disallowing a commercial directed sardine fishery. Since there is again no directed fishing for the 2016-2017 fishing year, this proposed rule will not change the potential profitability as compared to the previous fishing year.

    The revenue derived from harvesting Pacific sardine is typically only one source of fishing revenue for many of the vessels that harvest Pacific sardine; as a result, the economic impact to the fleet from the proposed action cannot be viewed in isolation. From year to year, depending on market conditions and availability of fish, most CPS/sardine vessels supplement their income by harvesting other species. Many vessels in California also harvest anchovy, mackerel, and in particular squid, making Pacific sardine only one component of a multi-species CPS fishery. Additionally, some sardine vessels that operate off of Oregon and Washington also fish for salmon in Alaska or squid in California during times of the year when sardine are not available. The purpose of the proposed incidental allowances under this action are to ensure the vessels impacted by this sardine action can still access these other profitable fisheries while still limiting the harvest of sardine. These proposed incidental allowances are similar to those implemented last year and should not restrict access to those other fisheries.

    CPS vessels typically rely on multiple species for profitability because abundance of sardine, like the other CPS stocks, is highly associated with ocean conditions and seasonality, and therefore are harvested at various times and areas throughout the year. Because each species responds to ocean conditions in its own way, not all CPS stocks are likely to be abundant at the same time; therefore, as abundance levels and markets fluctuate, it has necessitated that the CPS fishery as a whole rely on a group of species for its annual revenues.

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the SBA's June 20, 2013, and June 14, 2014, final rules (78 FR 37398 and 79 FR 33647, respectively), this certification was developed for this action using the SBA's revised size standards. NMFS considers all entities subject to this action to be small entities as defined by both the former, lower size standards and the revised size standards. Based on the disproportionality and profitability analysis above, the proposed action, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As a result, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not required, and none has been prepared.

    This action does not contain a collection-of-information requirement for purposes of the Paper Reduction Act.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: May 19, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12228 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 RIN 0648-BF84 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management in the Gulf of Alaska Trawl Fisheries; Amendment 103 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability of fishery management plan amendment; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has submitted Amendment 103 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). If approved, Amendment 103 would allow NMFS to reapportion unused Chinook salmon prohibited species catch (PSC) within and among specific trawl sectors in the Central and Western Gulf of Alaska (GOA), based on specific criteria and within specified limits. Amendment 103 would not increase the current combined annual PSC limit of 32,500 Chinook salmon that applies to Central and Western GOA trawl sectors under the FMP. Amendment 103 would provide for more flexible management of GOA trawl Chinook salmon PSC, increase the likelihood that groundfish resources are more fully harvested, reduce the potential for fishery closures, and maintain overall Chinook salmon PSC use in the Central and Western GOA within limits established under the FMP. Amendment 103 is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.

    DATES:

    Comments on the amendment must be received on or before July 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0023 by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0023, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    Electronic copies of the Regulatory Impact Review/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (collectively, Analysis) prepared for this action are available from http://www.regulations.gov or from the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeff Hartman, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the GOA under the FMP. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the FMP under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) (16 U.S.C. 1801, et seq.). Regulations implementing the FMP appear at 50 CFR 679.

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that each regional fishery management council submit any fishery management plan amendment it prepares to NMFS for review and approval, disapproval, or partial approval by the Secretary of Commerce. The Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, upon receiving a fishery management plan amendment, immediately publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing that the amendment is available for public review and comment. This notice announces that proposed Amendment 103 to the FMP is available for public review and comment.

    Amendment 103 would apply to federally permitted vessels fishing for pollock and non-pollock groundfish (non-pollock trawl fisheries) with trawl gear in the Central and Western Reporting Areas of the GOA (Central and Western GOA). The Western and Central Reporting Areas, defined at § 679.2 and shown in Figure 3 to 50 CFR part 679, consist of the Central and Western Regulatory Areas in the EEZ (Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630) and the adjacent waters of the State of Alaska (0 to 3 nm).

    The Council designated Pacific salmon and several other species (Pacific halibut Pacific herring, steelhead trout, king crab, and Tanner crab) as prohibited species in the Gulf of Alaska (Section 3.6.1 of the FMP). Prohibited species catch are species taken incidentally in the groundfish trawl fisheries designated “prohibited species” because they are targets of other, fully utilized domestic fisheries. If approved, Amendment 103 would (1) establish the authority for NMFS to reapportion a limited amount of unused Chinook salmon PSC among Central and Western GOA trawl catcher vessel (CV) sectors and from the Trawl catcher/processor (C/P) sector to trawl CV sectors; (2) exclude the Trawl C/P sector from receiving a reapportionment of Chinook salmon PSC from any other sector; and (3) provide additional flexibility to adjust fall reapportionments of Chinook salmon PSC from the current mandatory sector reapportionments.

    NMFS has implemented two FMP amendments to limit Chinook salmon bycatch in the GOA trawl fisheries to an annual aggregate amount of 32,500 Chinook salmon PSC. In August 2012, NMFS implemented Amendment 93 to the FMP to establish separate Chinook salmon PSC limits for the directed pollock trawl fisheries in the Central GOA and Western GOA (77 FR 42629, July 20, 2012). These limits require NMFS to close the directed pollock fishery in the Central GOA or Western GOA if the applicable PSC limit is reached. Since Amendment 93 was implemented, the directed pollock fishery has not been closed due to reaching a Chinook salmon PSC limit, and in some years nearly half of the annual Central or Western GOA PSC limit is unused.

    In January 2015, NMFS implemented Amendment 97 to the FMP (79 FR 71350, December 2, 2014) to establish Chinook salmon PSC limits for non-pollock trawl fisheries in the Central and Western GOA. Non-pollock trawl fisheries in the Central and Western GOA include fisheries for sablefish, several rockfish species, arrowtooth flounder, Pacific cod, shallow-water flatfish, rex sole, flathead sole, deep-water flatfish, and other groundfish except pollock. Many of the non-pollock trawl fisheries are multi-species fisheries, in that vessels catch and retain multiple groundfish species in a single fishing trip. Any of these non-pollock trawl fisheries may be closed when the applicable Chinook salmon PSC limit is reached.

    Amendment 97 established separate annual Chinook salmon PSC limits for three non-pollock trawl sectors: 3,600 Chinook salmon for the Trawl C/P sector; 1,200 Chinook salmon for the Rockfish Program CV sector; and 2,700 Chinook salmon for the Non-Rockfish Program CV sector. Amendment 97 implemented a seasonal limit on Chinook salmon PSC for the Trawl C/P sector, an October and November reapportionment of Chinook salmon PSC between Rockfish Program and Non-Rockfish Program CV sectors, and an “incentive buffer.” The incentive buffer for the Trawl C/P and Non-Rockfish Program CV sectors allows each sector to increase its annual Chinook salmon PSC limit if the amount of Chinook salmon PSC taken in the sector in the previous year is less than a specified amount of the sector's limit.

    In December 2015, the Council proposed Amendment 103 to allow more flexible reapportionments of unused Chinook salmon PSC. Amendment 103 would amend Section 3.6.2.2 and add Section 3.6.2.2.1 of the FMP, and make minor editorial revisions to the Table of Contents, the Executive Summary, and Appendix A of the FMP to list and describe Amendment 103.

    Amendment 103 would amend Table ES-2, Prohibited Species Catch (PSC) Limits, by adding the authority for NMFS to reapportion unused Chinook salmon PSC among Central and Western GOA trawl CV sectors and from the Trawl C/P sector to trawl CV sectors. Amendment 103 would add Section 3.6.2.2.1 to specify the maximum amount of unused Chinook salmon PSC that NMFS may reapportion from any pollock fishery or non-pollock trawl sector PSC limit to catcher vessels participating in the directed pollock fishery and non-pollock trawl catcher vessel sectors. Amendment 103 would amend Section 3.6.2.2 of the FMP to provide NMFS (the Regional Administrator of NMFS) discretion to annually reapportion the amount that is in excess of 150 Chinook salmon that currently must be reapportioned from the Rockfish Program CV sector to the Non-Rockfish Program CV sector, or the amount that may be apportioned from and to these same two sectors after November 15.

    Amendment 103 would limit the amount of Chinook salmon PSC that may be received by a fishery or sector to 50 percent of that sector's annual Chinook salmon PSC limit. As such, reapportionments of unused Chinook salmon PSC would be limited to the following amounts:

    • 3,342 Chinook salmon to the Western GOA pollock sector;

    • 9,158 Chinook salmon to the Central GOA pollock sector;

    • 600 Chinook salmon to the Rockfish Program CV sector;

    • 1,350 Chinook salmon to the Non-Rockfish Program CV sector; or

    • No Chinook salmon to the TrawlC/P sector

    Amendment 103 would also increase NMFS' flexibility to reapportion the October and November Chinook salmon PSC from the Rockfish Program CV sector to the Non-Rockfish Program CV sector. If more than 150 Chinook salmon PSC are available to the Rockfish Program CV sector on October 1, NMFS would be authorized to reapportion Chinook salmon PSC to the Non-Rockfish Program CV sector as long as at least 150 Chinook salmon PSC remains available to the Rockfish Program CV sector on that date. Amendment 103 also provides that on November 15, NMFS may reapportion to the Non-Rockfish Program CV sector, any Chinook salmon PSC that remains available to the Rockfish Program CV sector on that date.

    The Council recommended Amendment 103 because flexibility to reapportionment has been a successful tool for managing allocations and PSC limits in other fisheries. The Analysis for Amendment 103 indicates that allowing NMFS to reapportion the above listed amounts of Chinook salmon PSC among the GOA pollock and non-pollock fisheries could prevent or limit fishery closures. Amendment 103 would (1) increase the likelihood that groundfish resources will be more fully harvested; (2) minimize adverse socioeconomic impacts of fishery closures on groundfish harvesters, processors and communities; (3) ensure that the GOA trawl fisheries stay within existing PSC limits implemented by Amendments 93 and 97; and (4) balance competing interests of the National Standards.

    Amendment 103 would improve the opportunities for NMFS to make unused Chinook salmon PSC available to a fishery or sector based on need and availability. The additional opportunity may prevent sectors from reaching their respective Chinook salmon PSC limits and therefore reduce fishery closures. Because there is a lower probability of a closure, there is greater chance of harvesting the TAC and reducing the frequency of adverse socioeconomic effects of fishery closures. The reliable supply of groundfish may decrease the likelihood that harvesters, processors, and communities are adversely affected by fishery closures.

    Amendment 103 minimizes bycatch to the extent practicable because it (1) does not authorize any increase to the current combined annual PSC limit of 32,500 Chinook salmon; (2) provides a continuing incentive for participants in the trawl fisheries to minimize bycatch of Chinook PSC because it would be uncertain whether or when NMFS would reapportion Chinook salmon PSC; and (3) does not alter the incentives under Amendment 97 (such as the annual incentive buffer) that encourage non-pollock trawl sectors to minimize Chinook salmon PSC use.

    NMFS is soliciting public comments on proposed Amendment 103 through the end of the comment period (see DATES). NMFS intends to publish in the Federal Register and seek public comment on a proposed rule that implements Amendment 103 following NMFS' evaluation of the proposed rule under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. NMFS will consider all comments received by the end of the comment period on Amendment 103, whether specifically directed to the FMP amendment or the proposed rule, in the FMP amendment approval/disapproval decision. NMFS will not consider comments received after the date in the approval/disapproval decision on the amendment. To be considered, comments must be received, not just postmarked or otherwise transmitted, by the close of business on the last day of the comment period.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: May 23, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12467 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 102 Thursday, May 26, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Research Service Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive License AGENCY:

    Agricultural Research Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, intends to grant to Terra Blue, Inc. of Clinton, North Carolina, an exclusive license to U.S. Patent No. 8,445,253, “High Performance Nitrifying Sludge for High Ammonium Concentration and Low Temperature Wastewater Treatment,” issued on May 21, 2013 and U.S. Patent Serial No. 13/742,542, “High Performance Nitrifying Sludge for High Ammonium Concentration and Low Temperature Wastewater Treatment,” filed on January 16, 2013.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments to: USDA, ARS, Office of Technology Transfer, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Rm. 4-1174, Beltsville, Maryland 20705-5131.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mojdeh Bahar of the Office of Technology Transfer at the Beltsville address given above; telephone: 301-504-5989.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Government's patent rights in these inventions are assigned to the United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of Agriculture. It is in the public interest to so license these inventions as Terra Blue, Inc. of Clinton, North Carolina, has submitted a complete and sufficient application for a license. The prospective exclusive license will be royalty-bearing and will comply with the terms and conditions of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7. The prospective exclusive license may be granted unless, within thirty (30) days from the date of this published Notice, the Agricultural Research Service receives written evidence and argument which establishes that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7.

    Mojdeh Bahar, Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12460 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Research Service Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive License AGENCY:

    Agricultural Research Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, intends to grant to Children's National Medical Center of Washington, District of Columbia, an exclusive license to U.S. Patent No. 8,641,960, “Solution Blow Spinning,” issued on February 4, 2014.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments to: USDA, ARS, Office of Technology Transfer, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Rm. 4-1174, Beltsville, Maryland 20705-5131.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mojdeh Bahar of the Office of Technology Transfer at the Beltsville address given above; telephone: 301-504-5989.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Government's patent rights in this invention are assigned to the United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of Agriculture. It is in the public interest to so license this invention as Children's National Medical Center of Washington, District of Columbia, has submitted a complete and sufficient application for a license. The prospective exclusive license will be royalty-bearing and will comply with the terms and conditions of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7. The prospective exclusive license may be granted unless, within thirty (30) days from the date of this published Notice, the Agricultural Research Service receives written evidence and argument which establishes that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7.

    Mojdeh Bahar, Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12490 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Research Service Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive License AGENCY:

    Agricultural Research Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, intends to grant to Barenbrug USA of Tangent, Oregon, an exclusive license to the variety of smooth bromegrass described in Plant Variety Protection Certificate Application Number 201500221, “Artillery”, filed on December 17, 2014.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments to: USDA, ARS, Office of Technology Transfer, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Rm. 4-1174, Beltsville, Maryland 20705-5131.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mojdeh Bahar of the Office of Technology Transfer at the Beltsville address given above; telephone: 301-504-5989.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Government's rights in this plant variety are assigned to the United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of Agriculture. It is in the public interest to so license this plant variety as Barenbrug USA of Tangent, Oregon has submitted a complete and sufficient application for a license. The prospective exclusive license will be royalty-bearing and will comply with the terms and conditions of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7. The prospective exclusive license may be granted unless, within thirty (30) days from the date of this published Notice, the Agricultural Research Service receives written evidence and argument which establishes that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7.

    Mojdeh Bahar, Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12492 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request May 20, 2016.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by June 27, 2016 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

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

    Food and Nutrition Service

    Title: 7 CFR part 235—State Administrative Expense Funds.

    OMB Control Number: 0584-0067.

    Summary of Collection: The authority for this collection is provided for in Sections 7 and 10 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, 80 Stat. 888, 889, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1776, 1779). As required, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) issued regulations in 7 CFR part 235, which prescribes the methods for making payments of funds to State agencies to use for administrative expenses incurred in supervising and giving technical assistance in connection with activities undertaken by them under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) (7 CFR part 210), the Special Milk Program (SMP) (7 CFR part 215), the School Breakfast Program (SBP) (7 CFR part 220), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) (7 CFR part 226), and the Food Distribution Program (FDP) (7 CFR part 250).

    Need and Use of the Information: Under this information collection, FNS collects the information necessary for making payments for funds to State agencies to use for the administrative expenses incurred in supervising and giving technical assistance in connection with the activities undertaken by the State agency under NSLP, SMP, SBP, CACFP, and the FDP. The Federal regulations in 7 CFR part 235 SAE Funds require the collection of information associated with this collection. This information is collected through written agreements that cover the operation of the Program during a specified period; State Administrative Expense plans that outline funding and activities; State Administrative Expense Funds Reallocation Reports that describe the use of SAE funds; and annual reports containing information on School Food Authorities (SFAs) under agreement with the State agency to participate in the National School Lunch or Commodity School Programs.

    Description of Respondents: State, Local, or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 84.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: Quarterly and Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 6,631.

    Title: Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP).

    OMB Control Number: 0584-0541.

    Summary of Collection: Section 4203 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-79) reauthorized the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) through fiscal year 2018; a prior law (the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-171)) gave the Department of Agriculture the authority to promulgate regulations for the operation and administration of the SFMNP. These regulations are published at 7 CFR part 249. The purposes of the SFMNP are to provide resources in the form of fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey and herbs from farmers' markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs to low income seniors; to increase the domestic consumption of agricultural commodities by expanding or aiding in the expansion of domestic farmers' markets, roadside stands, and CSA programs; and to develop or aid in the development of new and additional farmers' markets, roadside stands, and CSA programs.

    Need and Use of the Information: The SFMNP financial and program information is collected on FNS Form FNS-683a, “Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) Annual Financial and Program Data Report” and is submitted annually to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) by participating SFMNP State agencies. This information is used to reconcile and close out grants in accordance with the requirements of 7 CFR 3016.23(b) and 7 CFR 3016.41(a)(1). FNS collects information to assess how each State agency operates and to ensure the accountability of State agencies, local agencies, and authorized farmers/farmers' markets, roadside stands, and CSA programs in administering the SFMNP. Program information is also used by FNS for program planning purposes, and for reporting to Congress as needed.

    Description of Respondents: State, Local, or Tribal Government; Individuals/households; Farms, Business or other for-profit; and Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 804,714.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 421,920.

    Title: Follow Up to An Assessment of the Roles and Effectiveness of Community-based Organizations in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

    OMB Control Number: 0584-0578.

    Summary of Collection: State and local SNAP offices are partnering with Community Based-Organizations (CBOs) that have the capacity to provide application assistance and conduct applicant interviews for SNAP participants across five States. FNS has approved these partnerships as part of a demonstration of “Community Partner Interviewer Projects.” In 2015, FNS released a report that assessed whether the use of CBOs to conduct SNAP applicant interviews had an impact on SNAP program performance. Specific program outcomes included efficiency, payment accuracy and client satisfaction. FNS has extended the demonstration projects, and to further assess the impact of these SNAP-CBO partnerships on SNAP program outcomes, FNS is seeking to collect additional data from the five States and those respondents that are participating in the demonstration.

    Need and Use of the Information: This revised collection supports the extension of the demonstration projects, to further assess the impact of these SNAP-CBO partnerships on SNAP program outcomes such as efficiency, payment accuracy and client satisfaction surveys. FNS is seeking to collect additional data from the five States, SNAP participants and CBOs that are participating in the demonstration.

    The purpose of this information collection is to support research that assesses the roles and effectiveness of approximately 10 CBOs that are serving as representatives of the 5 SNAP State agencies with FNS-approval to implement a Community Partner Interview demonstration.

    Description of Respondents: 5 State, Local, or Tribal Government; 3,452 Individuals/Households and 10 Business-not-for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 3,467.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 558.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12381 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request May 20, 2016.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by June 27, 2016 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

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

    Food and Nutrition Service

    Title: Performance Reporting System, Management Evaluation.

    OMB Control Number: 0584-0010.

    Summary of Collection: The purpose of the Performance Reporting System is to ensure that each State agency and project area is operating the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in accordance with the Act, regulations, and the State agency's Plan of Operation. Section 11 of the Food and Nutrition Act (the Act) of 2008 requires that State agencies maintain necessary records to ascertain that SNAP is operating in compliance with the Act and regulations and must make these records available to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) for inspection.

    Need and Use of the Information: FNS will use the information to evaluate state agency operations and to collect information that is necessary to develop solutions to improve the State's administration of SNAP policy and procedures. Each State agency is required to submit one review schedule every one, two, or three years, depending on the project areas make-up of the state.

    Description of Respondents: State, Local, or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 53.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 491,172.

    Food and Nutrition Service

    Title: Quality Control Review Schedule.

    OMB Control Number: 0584-0074.

    Summary of Collection: State agencies are required to perform Quality Control (QC) reviews for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In order to determine the accuracy of SNAP benefits authorized by State agencies, a statistical sample of SNAP cases is selected for review from each State agency. Relevant information from the case record, investigative work and documentation about individual cases is recorded on the form FNS-380, Worksheet for SNAP Quality Control Reviews.

    The purpose is for State agencies to analyze each household case record including planning and carrying out the field investigation; gathering, comparing, analyzing and evaluating the review of data and forwarding selected cases to the Food and Nutrition Service for Federal validation, for the entire caseload.

    Need and Use of the Information: Form FNS-380, is a SNAP worksheet used to determine eligibility and benefits for households selected for review in the quality control sample of active cases.

    Description of Respondents: State, Local, or Tribal Government; Individuals/Households.

    Number of Respondents: 55,120.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting; Recordkeeping: Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 518,938.81.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12478 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Agricultural Statistics Service Notice of Intent To Request Revision and Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

    National Agricultural Statistics Service.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request revision and extension of a currently approved information collection, the Nursery Production Survey and the Nursery and Floriculture Chemical Use Survey. Revision to burden hours will be needed due to the discontinuation of the Nursery and Christmas Tree Production Survey and the Nursery and Floriculture Chemical Use Survey, along with minor changes in the size of the target population, and/or questionnaire length for the two remaining surveys (Oregon Nursery Survey and the Oregon Christmas Tree Survey).

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by July 25, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number 0535-0244, by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include docket number above in the subject line of the message.

    E-fax: (855) 838-6382.

    Mail: Mail any paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Hand deliver to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    R. Renee Picanso, Associate Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (202) 720-2707. Copies of this information collection and related instructions can be obtained without charge from David Hancock, NASS—OMB Clearance Officer, at (202) 690-2388 or at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Nursery and Christmas Tree Production Survey.

    OMB Control Number: 0535-0244.

    Expiration Date of Approval: September 30, 2016.

    Type of Request: Intent to revise and extend a currently approved information collection for a period of three years.

    Abstract: The primary objective of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is to prepare and issue State and national estimates of crop and livestock production, prices, and disposition, as well as economic statistics, environmental statistics related to agriculture and also to conduct the Census of Agriculture. The Nursery and Floriculture Chemical Use Survey (NFCUS) was created to develop a database of chemicals and cropping practices for this particular industry. The survey was conducted every three years for the reference periods of 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009. The Nursery and Christmas Tree Production Survey (NCTPS) was conducted in conjunction with the chemical use survey for the years 2000, 2003, and 2006. For the 2009 reference year the Census of Horticulture replaced this survey. The Census of Horticulture (OMB # 0535-0236) is now conducted every five years and has filled the need for nursery production data. With the creation of the NFCUS database and current budget constraints the NFCUS and NCTPS surveys have been discontinued. Historically, the Oregon Nursery Survey and the Oregon Christmas Tree Survey have been conducted under cooperative agreements with the state of Oregon. This information collection package will now only include these two remaining surveys.

    Authority:

    These data will be collected under authority of 7 U.S.C. 2204(a). Individually identifiable data collected under this authority are governed by Section 1770 of the Food Security Act of 1985 as amended, 7 U.S.C. 2276, which requires USDA to afford strict confidentiality to non-aggregated data provided by respondents. This Notice is submitted in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, (Pub. L. 104-113) and Office of Management and Budget regulations at 5 CFR part 1320 (60 FR 44978, August 29, 1995).

    NASS also complies with OMB Implementation Guidance, “Implementation Guidance for Title V of the E-Government Act, Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA),” Federal Register, Vol. 72, No. 115, June 15, 2007, p. 33376.

    Estimate of Burden: The retirement of the Nursery and Christmas Tree Production Surveys along with the Nursery and Floriculture Chemical Use Survey will reduce the burden estimate by approximately 4,200 hours from the previous approval. Respondent burden for the two remaining surveys will be approximately 900 hours. The questionnaires are estimated to take the respondents approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Publicity materials and the instruction sheet will account for about 5 minutes of additional burden per respondent. Respondents who refuse to complete a survey will be allotted 2 minutes of burden per attempt to collect the data.

    Respondents: Producers of nursery, greenhouse, and floriculture products.

    Estimated Annual Number of Respondents: The Oregon Nursery Production Survey and the Oregon Christmas Tree Production Survey have a combined sample size of approximately 1,800.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: Approximately 900 hours.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, technological or other forms of information technology collection methods.

    All responses to this notice will become a matter of public record and be summarized in the request for OMB approval.

    Signed at Washington, DC, May 18, 2016. R. Renee Picanso, Associate Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12493 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P
    BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS Sunshine Act Meeting TIME AND DATE:

    Tuesday, May 24, 2016, 9:30 a.m. EDT.

    PLACE:

    Broadcasting Board of Governors, Cohen Building, Room 3321, 330 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20237.

    STATUS:

    Notice of Closed Meeting of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    At the time and location listed above, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) will conduct a special telephonic meeting closed to the public pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B) in order to protect and prevent disclosure of the discussions related to BBG reform legislation, including premature disclosure of a discussion which would be likely to significantly frustrate implementation of a proposed agency action.

    In accordance with the Government in the Sunshine Act and BBG policies, the meeting will be recorded and a transcript of the proceedings, subject to the redaction of information protected by 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B), will be made available to the public. The publicly-releasable transcript will be available for download at www.bbg.gov promptly per 5 U.S.C. 552b(f).

    Information regarding member votes to close the meeting and expected attendees can also be found on the Agency's public Web site.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Persons interested in obtaining more information should contact Oanh Tran at (202) 203-4545.

    Oanh Tran, Director of Board Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12527 Filed 5-24-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 8610-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [Order No. 1998] Reorganization of Foreign-Trade Zone 191 Under Alternative Site Framework; Palmdale, California

    Pursuant to its authority under the Foreign-Trade Zones Act of June 18, 1934, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) adopts the following Order:

    Whereas, the Board adopted the alternative site framework (ASF) (15 CFR Sec. 400.2(c)) as an option for the establishment or reorganization of zones;

    Whereas, the City of Palmdale, California, grantee of Foreign-Trade Zone 191, submitted an application to the Board (FTZ Docket B-74-2015, docketed November 5, 2015) for authority to reorganize under the ASF with a service area of a portion of Los Angeles County, California, as described in the application, adjacent to the Los Angeles/Long Beach U.S. Customs and Border Protection port of entry, FTZ 191's existing Sites 1 and 5 would be categorized as magnet sites, existing Site 12 would be categorized as a usage-driven site, acreage would be reduced at Site 1, and Sites 2 through 4 and 6 through 11 would be removed from the zone;

    Whereas, notice inviting public comment was given in the Federal Register (80 FR 69937-69938, November 12, 2015) and the application has been processed pursuant to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations; and,

    Whereas, the Board adopts the findings and recommendation of the examiner's report, and finds that the requirements of the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations are satisfied;

    Now, therefore, the Board hereby orders:

    The application to reorganize FTZ 191 under the ASF is approved, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.13, to the Board's standard 2,000-acre activation limit for the zone, to an ASF sunset provision for magnet sites that would terminate authority for Site 5 if not activated within five years from the month of approval, and to an ASF sunset provision for usage-driven sites that would terminate authority for Site 12 if no foreign-status merchandise is admitted for a bona fide customs purpose within three years from the month of approval.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 13th day of May 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Enforcement and Compliance, Alternate Chairman, Foreign-Trade Zones Board. Attest: Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12534 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-4-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 196—Fort Worth, Texas; Authorization of Production Activity; General Electric Transportation (Locomotives, Drill Equipment, Off-Highway Vehicle Wheels, Inverters and Brake Systems), Fort Worth and Haslet, Texas

    On January 20, 2016, General Electric Transportation submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board for its facilities within Subzone 196B, in Fort Worth and Haslet, Texas.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (81 FR 5704-5707, February 3, 2016). The FTZ Board has determined that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification is authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.14, and further subject to a restriction requiring that inputs classified under HTSUS Subheadings 5603.94, 5607.50, 5909.00, 6305.20, 6307.90, 7019.19 and 7019.51 as well as HTSUS Headings 3208 and 3209 be admitted to the subzone in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41) or domestic status (19 CFR 146.43).

    Dated: May 29, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12538 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-979] Initiation and Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review: Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules From the People's Republic of China AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to section 751(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), 19 CFR 351.216, and 19 CFR 351.221(c)(3), the Department of Commerce (the “Department”) is initiating, and issuing the preliminary results, of a changed circumstances review of the antidumping duty (“AD”) order on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules, (“solar cells”) from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”) regarding whether Hangzhou Sunny Energy Science and Technology Co., Ltd. (“Hangzhou Sunny”) is the successor-in-interest to Hangzhou Zhejiang University Sunny Energy Science and Technology Co., Ltd. (“Hangzhou ZU Sunny”). Based on the information on the record, we preliminarily determine that Hangzhou Sunny is the successor-in-interest to Hangzhou ZU Sunny and, as such, is entitled to Hangzhou ZU Sunny's AD cash deposit rate with respect to entries of subject merchandise. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective May 26, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeff Pedersen, 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) 482-2769.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On December 7, 2012, the Department published the antidumping order on solar cells from the PRC in the Federal Register. 1 On April 4, 2016, Hangzhou Sunny requested that the Department initiate an expedited changed circumstances review to determine that Hangzhou Sunny is the successor-in-interest to Hangzhou ZU Sunny for AD purposes.2 On May 4, 2016, Hangzhou Sunny responded to a supplemental questionnaire issued by the Department on April 29, 2016.3

    1See Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Antidumping Duty Order, 77 FR 73018 (December 7, 2012) (“Order”).

    2See Letter from Hangzhou Sunny to the Department regarding, “Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules From the People's Republic of China: Request for Expedited Changed Circumstances Review” (April 4, 2016) (“CCR Request”).

    3See Letter from Hangzhou Sunny to the Department, regarding “Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules From the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Response” (May 4, 2016) (“Supplemental Response”).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the Order is crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules, subject to certain exceptions.4 For the full scope of the Order, see the accompanying preliminary decision memorandum.

    4 For a complete description of the Scope of the Order, see Memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Preliminary Results of Changed Circumstances Review: Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, from the People's Republic of China” (“Preliminary Results Memorandum”), dated concurrently with, and adopted by, this notice.

    Imports of the subject merchandise are provided for under the following subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”): 8501.61.0000, 8507.20.80, 8541.40.6020, 8541.40.6030, and 8501.31.8000. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.

    Initiation of Changed Circumstances Review

    Pursuant to section 751(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.216(d), the Department will conduct a changed circumstances review upon receipt of information concerning, or a request from an interested party for a review of, an AD order which shows changed circumstances sufficient to warrant a review of the order. In the past, the Department has used changed circumstances reviews to address the applicability of cash deposit rates after there have been changes in the name or structure of a respondent, such as a merger or spinoff (“successor-in-interest,” or “successorship,” determinations). Thus, consistent with Department practice, the information submitted by Hangzhou Sunny, which includes information regarding a name change, demonstrates changed circumstances sufficient to warrant a review.5

    5See 19 CFR 351.216(d).

    Therefore, in accordance with section 751(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.216(d), the Department is initiating a changed circumstances review to determine whether Hangzhou Sunny is the successor-in-interest to Hangzhou ZU Sunny.

    Preliminary Determination

    When it concludes that expedited action is warranted, the Department may publish the notice of initiation and preliminary results for a changed circumstances review concurrently.6 The Department has combined the notice of initiation and preliminary results in successor-in-interest cases when sufficient documentation has been provided supporting the request.7 In this instance, because we have determined that the information necessary to support the request is on the record, we find that expedited action is warranted, and are combining the notice of initiation and the notice of preliminary results in accordance with 19 CFR 351.221(c)(3)(ii).

    6See 19 CFR 351.221(c)(3)(ii).

    7See, e.g., Notice of Initiation and Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review: Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada, 70 FR 50299 (August 26, 2005).

    In determining whether one company is the successor to another for purposes of applying the AD law, the Department examines a number of factors including, but not limited to, changes in: (1) Management, (2) production facilities, (3) suppliers, and (4) customer base.8 While no one or several of these factors will necessarily provide a dispositive indication of succession, the Department will generally consider one company to be the successor to another company if its resulting operation is essentially the same as that of its predecessor.9 Thus, if the evidence demonstrates that, with respect to the production and sale of the subject merchandise, the new company operates as the same business entity as the prior company, the Department will assign the new company the cash deposit rate of its predecessor.10

    8See, e.g., Initiation and Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review: Multilayered Wood Flooring From the People's Republic of China, 79 FR 48117, 48118 (August 15, 2014), unchanged in Multilayered Wood Flooring From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Changed Circumstances Review, 79 FR 58740 (September 30, 2014).

    9Id.

    10See Notice of Final Results of Changed Circumstances Review: Polychloroprene Rubber from Japan, 69 FR 67890 (November 22, 2004) citing, Brass Sheet and Strip from Canada: Notice of Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 57 FR 20460 (May 13, 1992); and, Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Taiwan: Initiation of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstance Review, 70 FR 17063 (April 4, 2005).

    In its April 4, 2016 CCR Request and its May 4, 2016 Supplemental Response, Hangzhou Sunny provided evidence for us to preliminarily determine that it is the successor-in-interest to Hangzhou ZU Sunny. Specifically, Hangzhou Sunny demonstrated that it is essentially the same as Hangzhou ZU Sunny despite some changes to its predecessor's management, the production facility, suppliers, or the customer base following the name change.11

    11See, generally, CCR Request and Supplemental Response.

    According to the information provided, although there were certain changes to the board of directors and management when comparing Hangzhou Sunny to Hangzhou ZU Sunny, Hangzhou Sunny is owned, managed and operated by the same principal owners as Hangzhou ZU Sunny.12 Regarding its production of the subject merchandise, Hangzhou Sunny has stated that its production facility is the same as that of Hangzhou ZU Sunny.13 Hangzhou Sunny also provided documentation showing that there has been no material changes in suppliers of inputs or services related to the production, sale and distribution of the subject merchandise 14 or in the U.S. customer base.15 Based the foregoing, which is explained in greater detail in the Preliminary Results Memorandum, we preliminarily determine that Hangzhou Sunny is the successor-in-interest to Hangzhou ZU Sunny and, as such, that it is entitled to Hangzhou ZU Sunny's AD cash-deposit rate with respect to entries of subject merchandise.

    12See Preliminary Results Memorandum at 3.

    13Id.

    14Id., at 3.

    15Id.

    Should our final results remain the same as these preliminary results, effective the date of publication of the final results, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to suspend liquidation of entries of subject merchandise exported by Hangzhou Sunny at the AD cash-deposit rate applicable to Hangzhou ZU Sunny.

    Public Comment

    Interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 14 days after the date of publication of this notice.16 Rebuttal briefs, which must be limited to issues raised in such briefs, may be filed not later than seven days after the due date for case briefs.17 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this changed circumstances review are requested to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue and (2) a brief summary of the argument with an electronic version included.

    16 The Department is exercising its discretion under 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii) to alter the time limit for the filing of case briefs.

    17 The Department is exercising its discretion under 19 CFR 351.309(d)(1) to alter the time limit for the filing of rebuttal briefs.

    Any interested party may request a hearing within 14 days of publication of this notice.18 Hearing requests should contain the following information: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of the issues to be discussed. Oral presentations at the hearing will be limited to issues raised in the briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, parties will be notified of the time and date for the hearing to be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 in a room to be determined.19

    18 The Department is exercising its discretion under 19 CFR 351.310(c) to alter the time limit for requesting a hearing.

    19See 19 CFR 351.310(d).

    All submissions, with limited exceptions, must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”).20 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by 5 p.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) on the due date. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with the APO/Dockets Unit in Room 18022 and stamped with the date and time of receipt by 5 p.m. ET on the due date.21

    20 ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov and available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    21See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    Consistent with 19 CFR 351.216(e), we will issue the final results of this changed-circumstances review no later than 270 days after the date on which this review was initiated or within 45 days if all parties agree to the outcome of the review.

    We are issuing and publishing this initiation and preliminary results notice in accordance with sections 751(b)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.216 and 351.221(c)(3).

    Dated: May 20, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12540 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-552-801] Certain Frozen Fish Fillets From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Notice of Court Decisions Not in Harmony With Final Results of Administrative Review and Notice of Amended Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On March 30, 2016, the United States Court of International Trade (“the Court”) issued final judgments in Catfish Farmers of America et al. v. United States, Consol. Court No. 12-00087, sustaining the Department of Commerce's (“the Department”) AR7 Remand final results.1 In the AR7 Remand, the Department recalculated the weighted-average dumping margin for QVD Food Co. Ltd. (“QVD”) and Vinh Hoan Corporation (“Vinh Hoan”) using revised surrogate values for by-products (fish waste, fresh broken meat, and frozen broken fillets by-products, and capping the fish oil by-product surrogate value).2 Because QVD's margin changed, it also becomes the margin for those companies not individually examined but receiving a separate rate.3

    1See Final Results Of Redetermination Pursuant To Court Remand, Consol. Court No. 12-00087, Slip Op. 14-146 (CIT December 18, 2014), dated June 26, 2015, (“AR7 Remand”) available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/remands/14-146.pdf.

    2See AR7 Remand at 25-29. The weighted-average margin for Vinh Hoan remains de minimis. However, as explained in the “Background” section, the Department's recalculation of these surrogate values now yields a different weighted-average dumping margin for QVD. Thus, consistent with our practice, the Department has amended the final results with respect to QVD.

    3 These companies include: (1) Anvifish Joint Stock Company; (2) Asia Commerce Fisheries Joint Stock Company; (3) Bien Dong Seafood; (4) Binh An Seafood Joint Stock Company; (5) CASEAMEX; (6) East Sea Seafoods Limited Liability Company; (7) Hiep Thanh Seafood Joint Stock Company; (8) Southern Fisheries Industries Company Ltd.; and (9) Vinh Quang Fisheries Joint-Stock Company (collectively, “Separate-Rate Applicants”).

    Consistent with the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) in Timken Co. v. United States, 893 F.2d 337 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (“Timken”), as clarified by Diamond Sawblades Mfrs. Coalition v. United States, 626 F.3d 1374 (Fed. Cir. 2010) (“Diamond Sawblades”), the Department is notifying the public that the final judgment in these cases is not in harmony with the Department's final results of the antidumping duty administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain frozen fish fillets from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (“Vietnam”) covering the period of review (“POR”) August 1, 2009, through July 31, 2010. Thus, the Department is amending the final results with respect to the weighted-average dumping margins for QVD and the Separate-Rate Applicants.4

    4See Certain Frozen Fish Fillets From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Final Results and Partial Rescission of the Seventh Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 77 FR 15039 (March 14, 2012) (“AR7 Final Results”) and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    DATES:

    Effective April 11, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Javier Barrientos, AD/CVD Operations Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2243.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On March 14, 2012, the Department issued AR7 Final Results. 5 Vinh Hoan and Petitioners 6 timely filed complaints with the Court and challenged certain aspects of the AR7 Final Results. On December 18, 2014, the Court remanded the Department's AR7 Final Results and instructed the Department to reconsider each of the following issues: (1) The significance of presumed qualifiable differences between farm-gate and wholesale prices with respect to whole live fish; (2) the reliability of the Bangladeshi Department of Agricultural Marketing (“DAM”) data with respect to whole live fish; (3) the fact that there are no quantities associated with the DAM data; (4) surrogate country selection in light of the totality of the available data, i.e., including the non-fish factors of production (“FOPs”) surrogate values (“SVs”) following reconsideration of the whole live fish issues; and (5) the selection of the SVs for fish waste, fish oil, fresh broken meat and frozen broken fillets.7

    5Id.

    6 Catfish Farmers of America and the following individual U.S. catfish processors: America's Catch, Consolidated Catfish Companies, LLC dba Country Select Catfish, Delta Pride Catfish, Inc., Harvest Select Catfish, Inc., Heartland Catfish Company, Pride of the Pond, and Simmons Farm Raised Catfish, Inc. (collectively, “Petitioners”).

    7See Catfish Farmers of America et al. v. United States, Court No. 12-00087, Slip Op. 14-146 (CIT December 18, 2014).

    On June 26, 2015, the Department filed the AR7 Remand with the Court.8 The Department maintained the selection of Bangladesh as the primary country. In addition, the Department selected different surrogate values for fish waste, fresh broken meat, and frozen broken fillets by-products, and capped the fish oil by-product surrogate value. In addition, we accounted for all calculation changes as a result of the original ministerial error allegations.

    8See AR7 Remand.

    As a result, there are calculation changes due to selecting different by-product surrogate values. After accounting for all such changes and issues, the resulting antidumping margin for the only mandatory respondent, QVD, is $0.19 per kilogram. Because QVD's margin changed, it would also become the margin for those companies not individually examined, but receiving a separate rate. On March 30, 2016, the Court entered judgments sustaining the AR7 Remand.9

    9See Catfish Farmers of America et al. v. United States, Court No. 11-00087, Slip. Op. 16-29 (CIT March 30, 2016).

    Timken Notice

    In its decision in Timken, 893 F.2d at 341, as clarified by Diamond Sawblades, the CAFC held that, pursuant to section 516A(e) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), the Department must publish a notice of a court decision that is not “in harmony” with a Department determination and must suspend liquidation of entries pending a “conclusive” court decision. The Court's March 30, 2016, judgment sustaining the AR7 Remand constitutes a final decision of the Court that is not in harmony with the Department's AR7 Final Results. This notice is published in fulfillment of the publication requirement of Timken.

    Amended Final Results

    Because there is now a final court decision, the Department is amending the AR7 Final Results with respect to QVD and the Separate-Rate Applicants. The revised weighted-average dumping margins for these exporters during the period April 1, 2009, through March 31, 2010, as follows:

    Exporter name Weighted average
  • dumping margin
  • (dollars per
  • kilogram)
  • QVD Food Company Ltd 10 0.19 Anvifish Joint Stock Company 0.19 Asia Commerce Fisheries Joint Stock Company 0.19 Bien Dong Seafood 0.19 Binh An Seafood Joint Stock Company 0.19 CASEAMEX 0.19 East Sea Seafoods Limited Liability Company 0.19 Hiep Thanh Seafood Joint Stock Company 0.19 Southern Fisheries Industries Company Ltd 0.19 Vinh Quang Fisheries Joint-Stock Company 0.19

    Accordingly, the Department will continue the suspension of liquidation of the subject merchandise pending the expiration of the period of appeal or, if appealed, pending a final and conclusive court decision. In the event the Court's ruling is not appealed or, if appealed, upheld by the CAFC, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to assess antidumping duties on unliquidated entries of subject merchandise exported by QVD and the Separate-Rate Applicants using the assessment rate calculated by the Department in the Remand and listed above.

    10 This rate is also applicable to QVD Dong Thap Food Co., Ltd. (“Dong Thap”) and Thuan Hung Co., Ltd. (“THUFICO”). In the second review of this order, the Department found QVD, Dong Thap and THUFICO to be a single entity, and because there has been no evidence submitted on the record of this review that calls this determination into question, we continue to find these companies to be part of a single entity. Therefore, we will assign this rate to the companies in the single entity. See Certain Frozen Fish Fillets from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 71 FR 53387 (September 11, 2006).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    Unless the applicable cash deposit rates have been superseded by cash deposit rates calculated in an intervening administrative review of the AD order on frozen fish fillets from Vietnam, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to require a cash deposit for estimated AD duties at the rate noted above for each specified exporter and producer combination, for entries of subject merchandise, entered or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on or after April 11, 2016. For Bien Dong, these amended final results will result in a change in its cash deposit rate, from $0.03/kg, as established in the AR7 Final Results, to $0.19/kg.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 516A(e), 751(a)(1), and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: May 13, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12543 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-504] Certain Petroleum Wax Candles From the People's Republic of China: Continuation of Antidumping Duty Order AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    As a result of the determinations by the Department of Commerce (“Department”) and the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) that revocation of the antidumping duty (“AD”) order on certain petroleum wax candles (“candles”) from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”) would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping and material injury to an industry in the United States, the Department is publishing a notice of continuation of the antidumping duty order.

    DATES:

    Effective May 26, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Katie Marksberry, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-7906.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On August 26, 1986, the Department published the AD Order on candles from the PRC.1 On December 1, 2015, the Department published the notice of initiation of the fourth five-year (“sunset”) review of the AD order on candles from the PRC pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the “Act”).2 As a result of its review, the Department determined that revocation of the AD order on candles from the PRC would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping. Therefore, the Department notified the ITC of the magnitude of the margins likely to prevail should the AD order be revoked.3 On May 18, 2016, the ITC published its determination, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act, that revocation of the AD order on candles from the PRC would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United States within a reasonably foreseeable time.4

    1See Antidumping Duty Order: Petroleum Wax Candles From the People's Republic of China, 51 FR 30686 (August 28, 1986) (“Order”).

    2See Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Review, 80 FR 75064 (December 1, 2015).

    3See Certain Petroleum Wax Candles from the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited Fourth Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order, 81 FR 17665 (March 30, 2016) and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    4See Petroleum Wax Candles from China, 81 FR 31256 (May 18, 2016); Petroleum Wax Candles from China (Inv. No. 731-TA-282 (Fourth Review), USITC Publication 4610, May 2016).

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the order are certain scented or unscented petroleum wax candles made from petroleum wax and having fiber or paper-cored wicks. They are sold in the following shapes: Tapers, spirals and straight-sided dinner candles; rounds, columns, pillars, votives; and various wax-filled containers. The products were originally classifiable under the Tariff Schedules of the United States item 755.25, Candles and Tapers. The products are currently classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (“HTS”) item number 3406.00.00. The HTS item number is provided for convenience and customs purposes. The written description remains dispositive.

    Continuation of the Order

    As a result of the determinations by the Department and the ITC that revocation of the AD order would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping and material injury to an industry in the United States, pursuant to section 751(d)(2) of the Act, the Department hereby orders the continuation of the AD order on candles from the PRC. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to collect AD cash deposits at the rates in effect at the time of entry for all imports of subject merchandise.

    The effective date of the continuation of the AD order will be the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of continuation. Pursuant to section 751(c)(2) of the Act, the Department intends to initiate the next sunset review of the AD order not later than 30 days prior to the fifth anniversary of the effective date of continuation. This sunset review and notice is in accordance with section 751(c) of the Act and published pursuant to section 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(f)(4).

    Dated: May 19, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12542 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Open Meeting (via webinar and teleconference).

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of a virtual meeting of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Advisory Committee (Committee).

    Dates and Times:

    The public meeting will be held on Thursday, June 23, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET. These times and the agenda topics described below are subject to change. Refer to the Web page listed below for the most up-to-date meeting agenda.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jessica Snowden, Designated Federal Official, U.S. IOOS Advisory Committee, U.S. IOOS Program, 1315 East-West Highway, 2nd Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20910, Silver Spring, MD 20910; Phone 240-533-9466; Fax 301-713-3281; Email [email protected] or visit the U.S. IOOS Advisory Committee Web site at https://ioos.noaa.gov/community/u-s-ioos-advisory-committee/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Committee meeting will be held via webinar and teleconference. Members of the public who wish to participate in the meeting must register in advance by 5:00 p.m. ET on June 22, 2016. Please register by contacting Jessica Snowden, Designated Federal Official by email at [email protected] or telephone at 240-533-9466. Webinar and teleconference information will be provided to registrants prior to the meeting. While the meeting will be open to the public, webinar and teleconference capacity may be limited.

    The Committee was established by the NOAA Administrator as directed by Section 12304 of the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act, part of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-11). The Committee advises the NOAA Administrator and the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee (IOOC) on matters related to the responsibilities and authorities set forth in section 12302 of the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009 and other appropriate matters as the Under Secretary refers to the Committee for review and advice.

    The Committee will provide advice on:

    (a) administration, operation, management, and maintenance of the System;

    (b) expansion and periodic modernization and upgrade of technology components of the System;

    (c) identification of end-user communities, their needs for information provided by the System, and the System's effectiveness in dissemination information to end-user communities and to the general public; and

    (d) any other purpose identified by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere or the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee.

    The meeting will be open to public participation with a 10 minute public comment period on June 23, 2016, from 2:50 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (check agenda on Web site to confirm time.) The Committee expects that public statements presented at its meetings will not be repetitive of previously submitted verbal or written statements. In general, each individual or group making a verbal presentation will be limited to a total time of three (3) minutes. Written comments should be received by the Designated Federal Official by June 17, 2016 to provide sufficient time for Committee review. Written comments received after June 17, 2016, will be distributed to the Committee, but may not be reviewed prior to the meeting date.

    Matters to be Considered:

    The meeting will focus on review of draft recommendations on how the U.S. IOOS Program Office could improve the Ocean Technology Transition (OTT) Program. The agenda is subject to change. The latest version will be posted at https://ioos.noaa.gov/community/u-s-ioos-advisory-committee/.

    Dated: May 16, 2016. Zdenka Willis, Director, U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System Office.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12475 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD162 Endangered Species; File No. 18029 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of permit.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that Tasha L. Metz, Ph.D., Texas A&M University at Galveston, Department of Marine Biology, P.O. Box 1675, Galveston, TX 77551 has been issued a permit to take loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.

    ADDRESSES:

    The permit and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rosa González or Amy Hapeman, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On March 12, 2014, notice was published in the Federal Register (79 FR 13991) that a request for a scientific research permit to take sea turtles had been submitted by the above-named individual. The requested permit has been issued under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226).

    Permit No. 18029 authorizes Dr. Metz to capture loggerhead, green, Kemp's ridley, and hawksbill sea turtles using nets to continue studying relative abundance, distribution, habitat use, and health status of the above sea turtle species in estuarine and nearshore waters in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico particularly off Texas and Louisiana. Visual surveys by vessel may also be performed. Captured turtles would be examined, biologically sampled, and tagged prior to release. A select number may be outfitted with satellite transmitters to track movements post-release. The permit expires on May 31, 2021.

    Issuance of this permit, as required by the ESA, was based on a finding that such permit (1) was applied for in good faith, (2) will not operate to the disadvantage of such endangered or threatened species, and (3) is consistent with the purposes and policies set forth in section 2 of the ESA.

    Dated: May 23, 2016. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12445 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD756 Endangered and Threatened Species; 5-Year Reviews for 28 Listed Species of Pacific Salmon, Steelhead, and Eulachon AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS' West Coast Region announces the availability of 5-year reviews for 17 evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus sp.), 10 distinct population segments (DPSs) of steelhead (O. mykiss), and the southern DPS of eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus) as required by the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The purpose of the reviews was to evaluate whether the listing classifications of these species remains accurate or should be changed. After reviewing the best available scientific and commercial data, we conclude that no changes in the ESA-listing status for the 27 salmonid ESUs and DPSs, or the southern DPS of eulachon, are warranted at this time.

    ADDRESSES:

    Additional information about the 5-year reviews may be obtained by visiting the NMFS West Coast Region's Web site: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov, or by writing to us at: NMFS West Coast Region, Protected Resources Division, 1201 Lloyd Blvd., Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Scott Rumsey at the above address, by phone at (503) 872-2791, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Section 4(c)(2)(A) of the ESA requires that we conduct a review of listed species at least once every 5 years. On the basis of such reviews under section 4(c)(2)(B), we determine whether any species should be removed from the list (delisted), or reclassified from endangered to threatened or from threatened to endangered. During 5-year reviews, we consider the best scientific and commercial data available, including new information that has become available since the last listing determination or most recent status review of a species.

    On February 6, 2015, the NMFS West Coast Region announced initiation of 5-year reviews of all 28 ESA-listed Pacific salmon ESUs and steelhead DPSs, the southern DPS of eulachon, and three DPSs of Puget Sound rockfishes (Sebastes spp.) (80 FR 6695). Both ESUs and DPSs are treated as `species' under the ESA. At the time of our announcement, we requested information on species viability, threats to the species, and protective efforts, from the public, concerned governmental agencies, Tribes, the scientific community, environmental entities, and other interested parties.

    This notice addresses the following ESUs and DPSs: (1) Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon ESU; (2) Upper Columbia River spring-run Chinook salmon ESU; (3) Snake River spring/summer-run Chinook salmon ESU; (4) Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon ESU; (5) California Coastal Chinook salmon ESU; (6) Puget Sound Chinook salmon ESU; (7) Lower Columbia River Chinook salmon ESU; (8) Upper Willamette River Chinook salmon ESU; (9) Hood Canal summer-run chum salmon ESU; (10) Columbia River chum salmon ESU; (11) Central California Coast coho salmon ESU; (12) Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast coho salmon ESU; (13) Lower Columbia River coho salmon ESU; (14) Oregon Coast coho salmon ESU; (15) Snake River sockeye salmon ESU; (16) Ozette Lake sockeye salmon ESU; (17) Southern California steelhead DPS; (18) Upper Columbia River steelhead DPS; (19) Middle Columbia River steelhead DPS; (20) Snake River Basin steelhead DPS; (21) Lower Columbia River steelhead DPS; (22) Upper Willamette River steelhead DPS; (23) South-Central California Coast steelhead DPS; (24) Central California Coast steelhead DPS; (25) Northern California steelhead DPS; (26) California Central Valley steelhead DPS; (27) Puget Sound steelhead DPS; and (28) the southern DPS of eulachon.

    On January 16, 2015, we received a petition from the Chinook Futures Coalition to delist the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU under the ESA. On April 22, 2015, we published a positive 90-day finding (80 FR 22468) that the petition presented substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted, and we announced the initiation of a status review. While the Snake River fall-run Chinook salmon ESU was included as part of our 5-year reviews of West Coast salmon and steelhead, the results of our review of Snake River fall-run Chinook salmon and our finding on the delisting petition are addressed in a separate notice in this issue of the Federal Register. The 5-year review findings for the three Puget Sound/Georgia Basin DPSs of yelloweye rockfish, canary rockfish, and bocaccio rockfish will be announced separately on our Web site: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov.

    We used a multi-step process to complete the subject 5-year review. First, we asked scientists from NMFS' Northwest and Southwest Fisheries Science Centers to collect and analyze new information about species viability. To evaluate species viability, our scientists evaluate four criteria—abundance, productivity, spatial structure, and diversity. They also considered new genetic and biogeographic information regarding species' ranges. At the end of this process, the Northwest and Southwest Fisheries Science Centers prepared two reports detailing the results of their analyses.

    Next, biologists from the NMFS West Coast Region with expertise in salmonid hatchery management conducted a review of all West Coast salmonid hatchery programs associated with the ESA-listed salmon and steelhead. Their evaluation was guided by NMFS' Policy on the Consideration of Hatchery-Origin Fish in Endangered Species Act Listing Determinations for Pacific Salmon and Steelhead (Hatchery Listing Policy) (70 FR 37204; June 28, 2005). A memorandum (Jones 2015) summarizes their evaluation of the relatedness of related hatchery stocks relative to the local natural populations to determine if the stocks warrant inclusion as part of the respective ESA listings.

    Finally, we formed geographically-based teams of salmon and eulachon management biologists from our West Coast Region to evaluate information related to the five ESA section 4(a)(1) listing factors. These section 4(a)(1) factors are: (1) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of the species' habitat or range; (2) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (3) disease or predation; (4) inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (5) other natural or man-made factors affecting the species' continued existence. These teams produced “5-Year Review Reports” that incorporate the findings of the Northwest and Southwest Fisheries Science Centers' reports, summarize new information concerning the delineation of the subject ESUs and DPSs and inclusion of closely related salmonid hatchery programs, and detail the evaluation of the ESA section 4(a)(1) listing factors. The Northwest and Southwest Fisheries Science Centers' reports, the 5-year review reports, and additional information are available on our Web site: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov.

    Findings

    After considering the best available information, we conclude that the 17 Pacific salmon ESUs, the 10 steelhead DPSs, and the southern DPS of eulachon detailed above shall remain listed as currently classified.

    We also conclude that, based on the best information available, no adjustments to the species' ranges are necessary. We did conclude that the species membership of several salmonid hatchery programs will need to be revised. We will adjust the hatchery memberships through a subsequent rulemaking.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.

    Dated: May 23, 2016. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12454 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Docket No. 150211136-6422-02] RIN 0648-XD769 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of 12-Month Finding on a Petition To Delist the Snake River Fall-Run Chinook Salmon Evolutionarily Significant Unit Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of 12-month finding and availability of 5-year reviews.

    SUMMARY:

    We, NMFS, announce a 12-month finding on a petition to delist the Snake River fall-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) (Snake River fall-run Chinook) Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU was listed as threatened under the ESA in 1992. We have completed a comprehensive review of the status of the species in response to the petition. Based on the best scientific and commercial data available, we have determined that delisting of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU is not warranted at this time. We conclude that the Snake River fall-run Chinook is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range, and will remain listed as a threatened species under the ESA. We also announce the availability of 5-year reviews, prepared pursuant to ESA, for four Snake River salmonid species: The Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU, the Snake River sockeye salmon ESU, the Snake River spring/summer Chinook salmon ESU, and the Snake River steelhead distinct population segment (DPS). We combined our evaluations and findings for these four species into a joint report. This 5-Year Review Report determined that the four Snake River salmon species, including the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU, should retain their current listed status under the ESA.

    DATES:

    This finding was made on May 26, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The documents informing the 12-month finding are available electronically at: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/. You may also receive copies of these documents by submitting a request to the Protected Resources Division, West Coast Region, NMFS, 1201 NE Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232, Attention: Snake River fall-run Chinook 12-month Finding.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Scott Rumsey, NMFS West Coast Region at (503) 872-2791; or Maggie Miller, NMFS Office of Protected Resources at (301) 427-8403.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU was listed as threatened under the ESA in 1992 (57 FR 14658; April 22, 1992). We have twice affirmed that the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU should remain classified as a “threatened” species under the ESA following reviews of the species' status in 2005 (70 FR 37160; June 28, 2005) and again in 2011 (76 FR 50448; August 15, 2011). On January 16, 2015, we received a petition from the Chinook Futures Coalition to delist the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU under the ESA. Separately, on February 6, 2015, we published a notice of initiation of 5-year reviews, as required by ESA section 4(c)(2)(A), for 32 West Coast marine and anadromous ESA-listed species, including the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU, and requested information from the public to inform our reviews (80 FR 6695; February 6, 2015). On April 22, 2015, we published a positive 90-day finding (80 FR 22468) that the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU delisting petition presented substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. As required by ESA section 4(b)(3)(A), our April 22, 2015 finding announced the initiation of a status review to determine whether the petitioned action was warranted and invited the public to submit scientific and commercial information to inform our review. We explained that any information submitted to inform the 5-year review for Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU would also be considered in making our 12-month finding for that species.

    Listing Species Under the Endangered Species Act

    Section 3 of the ESA defines an endangered species as “any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range,” and a threatened species as one “which is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” To be considered for listing under the ESA, a group of organisms must constitute a “species,” which is defined in section 3 of the ESA to include “any subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature.” For identifying species of Pacific steelhead, we apply the joint NMFS-U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Policy Regarding the Recognition of Distinct Vertebrate Population Segments under the Endangered Species Act (DPS Policy) (61 FR 4722; February 7, 1996). Under the DPS Policy, we consider two elements in evaluating whether a vertebrate population segment qualifies as a DPS, and consequently a `species,' under the ESA: (1) Discreteness of the population segment in relation to the remainder of the species/taxon, and, if discrete; (2) the significance of the population segment to the species/taxon. For Pacific salmon, we apply our Policy on Applying the Definition of Species under the Endangered Species Act to Pacific Salmon (ESU Policy) in identifying species (56 FR 58612; November 20, 1991). Per the ESU Policy, to qualify as a DPS, a Pacific salmon population or group of populations must be substantially reproductively isolated and represent an important component in the evolutionary legacy of the biological species. A population meeting these criteria is considered to be an “evolutionarily significant unit” (ESU), and hence a “species,” under the ESA (56 FR 58612).

    Section 4(b)(1)(A) of the ESA requires NMFS to make listing determinations based solely on the best scientific and commercial data available after conducting a review of the status of the species and after taking into account efforts being made to protect the species. Section 4(a)(1) of the ESA and NMFS' implementing regulations (50 CFR part 424) also states that we must determine whether a species is endangered or threatened because of any one or a combination of the following five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or man-made factors affecting its continued existence. A species may be removed from the list if the Secretary of Commerce determines, based on the best scientific and commercial data available and after conducting a review of the species' status, that the species is no longer threatened or endangered because of one or a combination of the section 4(a)(1) factors. Pursuant to our regulations at 50 CFR 424.11(d), a species may be delisted only if such data substantiate that it is neither endangered nor threatened for one or more of the following reasons:

    (1) Extinction. Unless all individuals of the listed species had been previously identified and located, and were later found to be extirpated from their previous range, a sufficient period of time must be allowed before delisting to indicate clearly that the species is extinct.

    (2) Recovery. The principal goal of the ESA is to return listed species to a point at which protection under the ESA is no longer required. A species may be delisted on the basis of recovery only if the best scientific and commercial data available indicate that it is no longer endangered or threatened.

    (3) Original data for classification in error. Subsequent investigations may show that the best scientific or commercial data available when the species was listed, or the interpretation of such data, were in error.

    ESA Section 4 Status Reviews

    Section 4(c)(2)(A) of the ESA requires that we conduct a review of the status of each listed species under our jurisdiction at least once every 5 years (5-year reviews). In conducting 5-year reviews, we consider the best scientific and commercial data available to determine whether any species should be: (1) Delisted; (2) changed in status from endangered to threatened; or (3) changed in status from threatened to endangered. On February 6, 2015, we published a notice of initiation of 5-year reviews for West Coast ESA-listed species, including the Snake River fall- run Chinook ESU (80 FR 6695; February 6, 2015), and solicited information to inform the 5-year reviews during a 90-day public comment period.

    Section 4(b)(3) of the ESA requires that, when NMFS makes a positive 90-day finding on a petition to list or delist a species, we must promptly commence a review of the status of the species concerned. As part of our April 22, 2015, positive 90-day finding on the subject delisting petition, we announced the initiation of a status review of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU and solicited information to inform that review during a 60-day public comment period (80 FR 22468). We explained in our April 22, 2015 notice that we would consider all information received in response to either the 5-year review or positive 90-day finding requests for information in making our 12-month finding for Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU. In response to these requests for information, we received information from Federal and state agencies, Native American Tribes, conservation organizations, fishing and industry groups, and individuals. This information, as well as other information routinely collected by our agency, informed our status review of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU, as well as the 5-year reviews of the other Snake River species.

    To realize efficiencies and to ensure that our reviews were based on the best scientific and commercial information available, we integrated our section 4(b)(3)(B) status review and our section 4(c)(2)(A) 5-year review of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU. We also consolidated our 5-year reviews of the four listed Snake River salmonid species into a joint report. We used a multi-step process to complete these reviews. First, scientists from our Northwest Fisheries Science Center collected and analyzed information about the viability of the Pacific Northwest salmon ESUs and steelhead DPSs undergoing 5-year reviews, including the Snake River salmon ESUs and steelhead DPS. As part of Northwest Fisheries Science Center's review, the scientists also evaluated life-history, genetic, and other information that might inform a reconsideration of the delineation of the salmon ESUs and steelhead DPSs. At the end of this process, the Northwest Fisheries Science Center prepared a report detailing the results of their analyses (NWFSC 2015).

    Next, biologists from NMFS' West Coast Region with expertise in hatchery management conducted a review of all West Coast salmonid hatchery programs associated with the ESA-listed salmon and steelhead. Their evaluation was guided by NMFS' Policy on the Consideration of Hatchery-Origin Fish in Endangered Species Act Listing Determinations for Pacific Salmon and Steelhead (Hatchery Listing Policy) (70 FR 37204; June 28, 2005). Under the Hatchery Listing Policy, we consider hatchery stocks to be part of an ESU/DPS if they exhibit a level of genetic divergence relative to the local natural population(s) that is no more than what occurs within the ESU (70 FR 37204; 37215). A memorandum (Jones 2015) summarizes their evaluation of the relatedness of hatchery stocks relative to the local natural populations to determine if the stocks warrant inclusion as part of the respective ESA listings (see the “Delineation of Species” section, below).

    Finally, we formed geographically-based teams of salmon management biologists from our West Coast Region to evaluate information related to the five ESA section 4(a)(1) factors. These teams produced “5-Year Review Reports” that incorporate the findings of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center's report, summarize new information concerning the delineation of the subject ESUs and DPSs and inclusion of closely related hatchery programs, and detail the evaluation of the ESA section 4(a)(1) factors. An evaluation team conducted the review for the four ESA-listed salmon and steelhead species in the Snake River Basin and consolidated its evaluation and findings for these four species in a joint Snake River 5-Year Review Report (NMFS 2016).

    Separately, on November 2, 2015, we announced the availability of the proposed recovery plan for Snake River fall-run Chinook salmon (Proposed Recovery Plan) for public review and comment (80 FR 67386). On December 17, 2015, we announced a 30-day extension of the public comment period on the Proposed Recovery Plan (80 FR 78719). The Proposed Recovery Plan (NMFS 2015) includes an appendix (Appendix A) detailing a viability assessment for the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU. Because the ESA section 4(b)(3)(B) status review for the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU and the ESA section 4(c)(2)(A) 5-year reviews for all of the Snake River ESA-listed salmon and steelhead species were underway at the time the Proposed Recovery Plan was released, the viability assessment in Appendix A incorporated the available materials and analyses from the ongoing reviews. The results of the viability assessment detailed in Appendix A are incorporated in the Northwest Fisheries Science Center's report (NWFSC 2015). This 12-month finding relies upon the information presented in the Proposed Recovery Plan's viability assessment (NMFS 2015, Appendix A), the Northwest Fisheries Science Center's report (NWFSC 2015), the review of West Coast salmonid hatchery programs (Jones 2015), the Snake River 5-year Review Report (NMFS 2016), as well as pertinent information submitted as part of the public comment periods that was not otherwise incorporated in the aforementioned documents. These documents are available at our West Coast Region's Web site (see ADDRESSES, above).

    Petition Finding

    Section 4(b)(3)(B) of the ESA requires us to make a finding within 12-months of the date of receipt of any petition that was found to present substantial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. The 12-month finding must provide a determination of whether the petitioned action is: (a) Not warranted; (b) warranted; or (c) warranted but precluded. In this case, we are responsible for determining whether the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU warrants delisting from the ESA.

    The subject delisting petition asserts three points in support of the petitioned action: First, that NMFS may not base delisting criteria by considering only the status of natural (non-hatchery) fish; second, that the ESU has met NMFS' delisting criteria; and, third, that the ESU currently meets the statutory standards for delisting. We discuss these points in the pertinent sections below.

    Determination of Species

    As currently listed, the Snake River fall-run Chinook salmon ESU consists of the one extant Lower Mainstem Snake River population, which includes all naturally spawned fall-run Chinook salmon originating from the mainstem Snake River below Hells Canyon Dam and from the Tucannon River, Grande Ronde River, Imnaha River, Salmon River, and Clearwater River subbasins. The ESU also includes four artificial propagation programs: The Lyons Ferry Hatchery Program, Fall Chinook Acclimation Ponds Program, Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery Program, and Oxbow Hatchery Program (70 FR 37200; June 28, 2005).

    Historically, the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU also spawned above the Hells Canyon Dam Complex in the upper mainstem Snake River and tributaries (NWFSC 2015; NMFS 2015, Appendix A therein; NMFS 2016). This historical population is now extirpated. The area upstream of Hells Canyon historically supported the majority of all Snake River fall-run Chinook production until the area became inaccessible due to dam construction. The construction of Swan Falls Dam in 1901 blocked access to 157 miles including the historically productive fall-run Chinook habitat in the middle Snake River downstream of Shoshone Falls, a natural barrier to further upstream migration. The construction of dams associated with the Hells Canyon Dam Complex in the late 1950s and 1960s barred the fish from the remaining spawning areas in the middle mainstem reach. The loss of this upstream habitat and inundation of downstream spawning areas by reservoirs associated with the Hells Canyon Complex and the lower Snake River dams reduced spawning habitat for the single extant population—the Lower Mainstem Snake River population—to approximately 20 percent of the area historically available (NMFS 2016).

    As described above, the ESA's definition of `species' includes distinct population segments, which, for West Coast salmon includes ESUs. The petitioners did not request that we reconsider the composition of the listed Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU. Nonetheless, in our review, we solicited and evaluated all available information not previously considered that might inform a reconsideration of the reproductive isolation and evolutionary significance of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU. Information that can be useful in determining the degree of reproductive isolation includes incidences of straying, rates of recolonization, degree of genetic differentiation, and the existence of barriers to migration. Insight into evolutionary significance can be provided by data on genetic and life-history characteristics, habitat and ecological differences, and the effects of stock transfers or supplementation efforts on historical patterns of diversity. There was no such information that was not previously considered and that might warrant reconsideration of the geographical extent and composition of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU (NWFSC 2015).

    As part of our review, we also evaluated all hatchery programs geographically associated with the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU to determine whether: Any of the four currently listed hatchery programs had been terminated; any new hatchery programs had been founded that would warrant inclusion in the ESU; the current level of divergence of any listed hatchery stocks relative to the local natural population had increased such that the stock(s) might warrant exclusion from the ESU; and, the level of divergence of any existing non-listed hatchery programs relative to the local natural population had decreased such that the stock(s) might warrant inclusion in the ESU. Our review of the hatchery programs associated with the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU did not suggest that any changes in the ESU membership of hatchery programs are warranted (Jones 2015).

    Based on the foregoing information, we conclude that no changes in the definition of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU are warranted at this time. The Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU should remain defined as naturally spawned fall-run Chinook salmon originating from the mainstem Snake River below Hells Canyon Dam and from the Tucannon River, Grande Ronde River, Imnaha River, Salmon River, and Clearwater River subbasins. Also, fall-run Chinook salmon from four artificial propagation programs are included in the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU: The Lyons Ferry Hatchery Program; Fall Chinook Acclimation Ponds Program; Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery Program; and the Tacoma Power (formerly “Oxbow”) Hatchery Program.

    Assessment of Extinction Risk

    We assess the extinction risk of Pacific salmon ESUs using the Viable Salmonid Population (VSP) concept developed by McElhany et al. (2000). The VSP concept evaluates four criteria—abundance, productivity, spatial structure, and diversity—to assess species viability. The risk of extinction of an ESU depends upon the abundance, productivity, geographic distribution, and diversity of the naturally spawned populations comprising it. Abundance and productivity need to be sufficient to provide for population-level persistence in the face of year-to-year variations in environmental conditions. Spatial structure of populations should provide for resilience to the potential impact of catastrophic events. Diversity should provide for patterns of phenotypic, genotypic, and life-history diversity that sustains natural production across a range of conditions, allowing for adaptation to changing environmental conditions.

    Consideration of Hatchery-Origin Fish

    The petitioners assert that NMFS must consider the contribution of hatcheries in any delisting decision where hatchery fish are part of the ESU. The petitioners further state that it would be a violation of the ESA for NMFS to consider whether the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU meets delisting criteria based only on whether natural, non-hatchery spawners have met certain thresholds. We agree that hatchery fish must be included in our assessment of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU's status, in context of their contribution to conserving natural self-sustaining populations, as provided in our Hatchery Listing Policy.

    Pursuant to the Hatchery Listing Policy, we base our status determinations for Pacific salmon and steelhead on the status of the entire ESU, including any hatchery fish included in the ESU. As noted above, we consider a hatchery stock to be part of an ESU if the stock's level of genetic divergence relative to the local natural population(s) is no more than what occurs within the ESU (70 FR 37204; June 28, 2005). Consistent with section 2(b) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531(b)), we apply the Hatchery Listing Policy in support of the conservation of naturally-spawning salmon and the ecosystems upon which they depend (70 FR 37204, 37215). Accordingly, we include hatchery fish in assessing the status of an ESU in the context of their contributions to conserving natural self-sustaining populations, which we evaluate by assessing the status of the natural fish that comprise the populations.

    The Hatchery Listing Policy recognizes that the presence of hatchery fish within an ESU can positively affect the overall status of the ESU, and thereby affect a listing determination, by contributing to the increased abundance and productivity of the natural populations in the ESU, improving spatial distribution, serving as a source population for repopulating unoccupied habitat, or conserving genetic resources of depressed natural populations in the ESU. Conversely, a hatchery program managed without adequate consideration of its adverse effects can affect the status of an ESU by reducing the reproductive fitness and productivity of the ESU, or reducing the adaptive genetic diversity of the ESU.

    There are four hatchery programs included in the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU: The Lyons Ferry Hatchery Program, Fall Chinook Acclimation Ponds Program, Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery Program, and Oxbow Hatchery Program. These hatchery programs release fish into the mainstem Snake River and Clearwater River which represent the majority of the remaining habitat available to this ESU. Our previous listing determination for the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU concluded that these hatchery programs collectively do not substantially reduce the extinction risk of the ESU (70 FR 37160; June 28, 2005). These hatchery programs have contributed to the substantial increases in total ESU abundance and spawning escapement. However, the large fraction of naturally spawning hatchery fish complicates assessments of the ESU's productivity. The broad distribution of naturally spawning hatchery fish has increased the ESU's spatial distribution, although the distribution of natural-origin production in the extant population is unknown due to the prevalence of naturally spawning hatchery fish. The Lyons Ferry Hatchery program has preserved genetic diversity in the past during years of critically low abundance. However, the ESU-wide use of a single hatchery broodstock may pose long-term genetic risks, impede the expression of life-history diversity, and limit adaptation to different habitat areas.

    As explained above, we evaluate the status of Pacific Northwest salmon ESUs based on four biological criteria (abundance, productivity, spatial structure, and diversity) with respect to naturally-spawning fish, which reflects how hatchery fish are contributing to the viability of the ESU as a whole. We do not interpret the ESA as requiring that we assess extinction risk based on the abundance, productivity, spatial-structure, or diversity of hatchery fish. Furthermore, failing to account for the biological distinctions between hatchery and naturally spawned salmon would be inconsistent with our obligation to base ESA listing decisions on the best scientific and commercial data available. Our Hatchery Listing Policy has been upheld by the Federal courts as a reasonable interpretation of the ESA (Trout Unlimited v. Lohn, 599 F.3d 946 (9th Cir. 2009)). The court stated that “the ESA is primarily focused on natural populations,” and that “the [plaintiff's] demand for `equal treatment' of hatchery and naturally spawned fish during the [status] review process simply finds no grounding in the statutory text of the ESA” (Id. at 957, 960). The petitioners' argument that we must treat hatchery and natural fish equally in evaluating the status of the ESU is inconsistent with our policy and with the court's decision.

    Viability Criteria and Recovery Planning

    For the purposes of recovery planning and development of recovery criteria, in 2001 we convened the Interior Columbia Technical Recovery Team (Technical Recovery Team) composed of multi-disciplinary scientists from universities as well as Federal, state, and tribal agencies. The Technical Recovery Team was tasked with providing scientific support to recovery planners by developing biologically based viability criteria, analyzing alternative recovery strategies, and providing scientific review of draft plans. The Technical Recovery Team identified independent populations for each Snake River ESA-listed species. These independent populations were grouped into “major population groups” based on genetic similarities, shared habitat characteristics, population dispersal distances, and common life-history traits. The Technical Recovery Team determined that the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU was historically composed of a single major population group only. As noted above, the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU has been determined to consist of the extant Lower Snake Mainstem population, and an extirpated population that historically occurred in the upper mainstem Snake River and tributaries above the present-day Hells Canyon Dam Complex (ICTRT 2003; NWFSC 2015; NMFS 2016).

    In 2007, the Technical Recovery Team also developed biological viability criteria, based on the VSP concept. The viability criteria reference the following levels of extinction risk: “very low” risk corresponds to less than a 1 percent risk of extinction over a 100-year period; “low” risk corresponds to a 1 to 5 percent risk of extinction over a 100-year period; “moderate” risk corresponds to a 6 to 25 percent risk of extinction over a 100-year period; and “high” risk corresponds to a greater than 25 percent risk of extinction over a 100-year period (ICTRT 2007). The Technical Recovery Team's report “Viability Criteria for Application to Interior Columbia Basin Salmonid ESUs” describes the methodology and considerations for determining composite risk scores for abundance/productivity, and for spatial structure/diversity (ICTRT 2007). For an ESU to be determined viable, it needs to achieve at least an overall status of low risk through a combination of its abundance/productivity and spatial structure/diversity risks. An ESU is at least viable overall if its abundance/productivity risk is low to very low, and its spatial structure/diversity risk is moderate to very low.

    The Technical Recovery Team recognized that ESUs that contain only one major population group, such as the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU, are inherently at greater risk of extinction due to more limited spatial structure and diversity, and potentially due to more limited abundance and productivity. To mitigate this inherently higher risk, the Technical Recovery Team applied more stringent viability criteria for ESUs with a single major population group. In addition to achieving an overall status of at least low risk (i.e., a 5 percent or less risk of extinction over 100 years), an ESU with a single major population group also needs to satisfy two additional conditions: Two-thirds or more of the historical populations within the ESU should meet the criteria for low risk; and at least two populations should meet the criteria for very low risk (i.e., highly viable). Applying the Technical Recovery Team's viability criteria, both a re-established population above the Hells Canyon Dam complex and the extant Lower Mainstem Snake River population would need to achieve highly viable status for the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU to be considered for delisting. Highly viable status for these populations corresponds to very low risk in abundance/productivity and very low to low risk in spatial structure/diversity (the reader is referred to ICTRT (2007) for a detailed description of the Technical Recovery Team's viability criteria). The Technical Recovery Team recognized the difficulty of re-establishing a fall-run Chinook population above the Hells Canyon Dam Complex, and suggested that initial recovery efforts emphasize improving the status of the extant population, while creating the potential for re-establishing an additional population (ICTRT 2007). The Technical Recovery Team also recognized that, in general, “different scenarios of ESU recovery may reflect alternative combinations of viable populations and specific policy choices regarding acceptable levels of risk” (ICTRT 2007).

    During recovery planning for Snake River fall-run Chinook, we determined that the spatial complexity and size of the extant population provide opportunities for alternative viability scenarios as policy choices for delisting. Each scenario would require specific viability criteria and potential metrics for measuring viability characteristics designed to meet the basic set of viability objectives adopted by the Technical Recovery Team. Those alternative recovery scenarios are presented in the Proposed Recovery Plan (NMFS 2015) along with their corresponding alternative metrics for measuring viability. The scenarios provide a range of potential population characteristics that, if achieved, would indicate that the ESU has met the ESU-level recovery objectives. The scenarios are summarized briefly below:

    Scenario A—two populations, one highly viable and the other viable. This scenario would achieve ESU recovery by improving the status of the Lower Mainstem Snake River population to highly viable, and by reestablishing the extirpated Middle Snake River population above the Hells Canyon Dam Complex to viable status. While the Technical Recovery Team viability criteria would require both populations to meet highly viable status, this scenario would only require “viable” status (low risk for abundance/productivity, and moderate to very low risk for spatial structure/diversity) for the reestablished Middle Snake River population. This scenario recognizes that a reestablished population above the Hells Canyon Dam Complex would provide the ESU protection against catastrophic losses, and that a highly viable Lower Mainstem Snake River population would provide a robust expression of life-history diversity.

    Scenario B—single population measured in the aggregate. Proposed scenario B illustrates a single-population pathway to ESU recovery, where VSP objectives would be evaluated in the aggregate (population-wide), based on all natural-origin adult spawners. This single-population recovery scenario recognizes the potential spatial complexity within the Lower Mainstem Snake River population, and the potential for the corresponding expression of life-history diversity in the population if it achieved highly viable status. This scenario would require that highly viable status for the extant population to be attained with a higher degree of statistical certainty than in proposed Scenario A.

    Potential additional scenarios—natural production emphasis areas. The Proposed Recovery Plan identifies the potential to develop additional single-population recovery scenarios that would be a variation on scenario B. Under these potential additional scenarios, “natural production emphasis areas” for some major spawning areas would have a low percentage of hatchery-origin spawners and produce a significant level of natural-origin adult spawners. The remaining major spawning areas could have higher acceptable levels of hatchery-origin spawners than under Scenario B. The single population would still need to achieve a status of “highly viable” with a high degree of certainty.

    In lieu of a final Snake River fall-run Chinook recovery plan with final delisting scenarios against which to compare current ESU status, in this status review we must base our determination of whether delisting is warranted on the best scientific and commercial information available. The Technical Recovery Team viability criteria, and the proposed recovery scenarios articulated in the Proposed Recovery Plan, provide useful guides for evaluating the conditions that must be met for the petitioned delisting of Snake River fall-run Chinook to be warranted. All of the available viability criteria and recovery scenarios suggest that the extant Lower Mainstem Snake River population must be at least “highly viable.” While reestablishing the extirpated Middle Snake River population above the Hells Canyon Dam Complex may not be necessary to achieve recovery, the Lower Mainstem Snake River population must exhibit sufficient demographic and spatial complexity to reduce the risk of catastrophic loss, and must also exhibit sufficient diversity to ensure resilience against future environmental variability and change. If the extant Lower Mainstem Snake River population is highly viable, then it is possible that the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU may warrant delisting. If the extant Lower Mainstem Snake River population is less than highly viable, it is unlikely that the ESU warrants delisting at this time.

    The petitioners argue that the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU has met the viability criteria established by the Technical Recovery Team and should therefore be delisted. They assert that the long-term risk of ESU extinction is less than 1 percent within a 100-year period, and that the ESU has met NMFS' viability criteria. In particular, they argue that: The ESU has met abundance and productivity criteria; a second population of the ESU has been re-established in the Clearwater River, satisfying the spatial structure criterion; and NMFS' diversity criterion is “antithetical to the ESA as currently applied to Pacific salmon.” We address these contentions below.

    Evaluation of Demographic Risks

    For a more detailed description of the analyses, updated status, trends and viability of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU, the reader is referred to the Northwest Fisheries Science Center report (NWFSC 2015) and the Updated Viability Assessment included in the Proposed Recovery Plan (NMFS 2015, Appendix A).

    Abundance and Productivity

    The geometric-mean abundance for the most recent 10 years of annual spawner escapement estimates (2005-2014) is 6,418 natural-origin fish, with a standard error of 0.19. Natural-origin spawner abundance has increased relative to the levels reported in the last status review (Ford et al. 2011), driven largely by relatively high escapements in the most recent 3 years.

    In recent years, naturally spawning fall-run Chinook salmon in the lower Snake River have been comprised of both natural-origin returns originating from naturally spawning parents, as well as naturally spawning hatchery-origin fish. These hatchery-origin fall-run Chinook salmon escaping upstream of Lower Granite Dam to spawn naturally are considered to be part of the listed ESU, representing returns from a supplementation program that releases juvenile fish in reaches above Lower Granite Dam, as well as from releases at Lyons Ferry Hatchery that have dispersed upstream.

    Prior to the early 1980s, returns of Snake River fall-run Chinook salmon were likely predominately of natural-origin (NWFSC 2015). Natural return levels declined substantially following the completion of the Hells Canyon Dam Complex (1959-1967), and the construction of the lower Snake River dams (1962-1975). Based on extrapolations from sampling at Ice Harbor Dam (1977-1990), the Lyons Ferry Hatchery (1987-present), and at Lower Granite Dam (1990-present), hatchery strays made up an increasing proportion of returns to the Lower Mainstem Snake River population through the 1980s. Strays from out-planting hatchery-origin fall-run Chinook salmon from the Priest Rapids hatchery (an out-of-ESU stock derived from the middle Columbia River fall-run Chinook stocks) and from the Lyons Ferry Hatchery program (considered part of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU) were the dominant contributors to these returns through the 1980s. Estimated natural-origin returns of Snake River fall-run Chinook salmon reached a low of less than 100 fish in 1990. Since the 1990s the proportion of natural-origin spawners in the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU has continued to decline. From 2010-2014, on average, 31 percent of spawners were of natural origin, compared to 37 percent (2005-2009), 38 percent (2000-2004), 58 percent (1995-1999), and 62 percent (1990-1994) in preceding years.

    The Northwest Fisheries Science Center report (NWFSC 2015) estimated the recruit per spawner productivity for the extant population (1990-2009 brood years) to be 1.53, with a standard error of 0.18. The productivity analysis indicates that there have been years when abundance was high but productivity (recruits per spawner) fell below the replacement level, suggesting the potential influence of density-dependence, poor ocean conditions, or poor migration conditions. The report acknowledges that there is increasing statistical uncertainty surrounding the productivity estimate and it may not accurately reflect the true productivity of the current population. The true productivity of the extant population is masked by the recent high levels of naturally spawning hatchery fish. Survival improvements resulting from improved flow conditions for spawning and rearing and increased passage survival through the hydropower system may have increased productivity in recent years. Conversely, recent productivity levels may have decreased as a result of negative impacts of chronically high hatchery proportions across all major spawning areas.

    The recent geometric-mean abundance of 6,418 natural spawners is higher than the Proposed Recovery Plan abundance criterion of 3,000 to 4,200 natural spawners (for Scenario B—single population measured in the aggregate). The recent geometric-mean abundance is also higher than the Technical Recovery Team viability criteria of 3,000 natural spawners, though the Technical Recovery Team criteria contemplated two viable populations. Recent productivity has been relatively high (approximately 1.53), but it is lower than the Proposed Recovery Plan criterion of 1.7, which includes a buffer to reflect the uncertainty associated with recent productivity estimates. The recent productivity estimate is at or near the Technical Recovery Team productivity criterion of 1.5; however, the Technical Recovery Team criteria contemplated two highly viable populations. The current risk rating from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center report (NWFSC 2015) for abundance/productivity is low risk (i.e., between 1 and 5 percent probability of extinction over 100 years), and reflects uncertainty about whether recent increases in abundance (driven largely by relatively high escapements in the most recent 3 years) can be sustained over the long term. The Technical Recovery Team viability criteria, and all of the potential delisting scenarios in the Proposed Recovery Plan, would require that the extant population meet minimum requirements for “highly viable” status, which includes very low risk for abundance and productivity (ICTRT 2007; NMFS 2015; NMFS 2016). Recent abundance and productivity estimates (low risk) do not meet the Technical Recovery Team and proposed delisting scenarios criteria of very low risk (i.e., less than 1 percent probability of extinction over 100 years) (NWFSC 2015; NMFS 2015, Appendix A). To achieve the necessary very low risk rating for abundance/productivity under a single-population recovery scenario, the extant population would need to demonstrate a 20-year geometric-mean productivity of 1.7 or greater (NMFS 2015). The extant population would need to exhibit increased productivity and/or a decrease in the year-to-year variability, while natural-origin abundance of the extant population would need to remain high (i.e., a recent 10-year geometric-mean abundance greater than 4,200 natural-origin spawners). An increase in productivity could occur with a further reduction in mortalities across all life stages. Such an increase could be generated by actions such as a reduction in harvest impacts (particularly when natural-origin spawner return levels are low) and/or further improvements in juvenile survival during downstream migration (NWFSC 2015). Under a single-population recovery scenario with natural production emphasis areas, a very low risk rating for abundance/productivity could be achieved under current abundance levels if one or more major spawning aggregations exhibited relatively low levels of hatchery contributions to spawning (NMFS 2015). At present, there is no indication that any spawning areas are demonstrating lower proportions of hatchery-origin fish (NWFSC 2015).

    The petitioners assert that the recent abundance and productivity data demonstrate that the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU has met the Technical Recovery Team viability criteria. As noted above, we agree that recent geometric-mean abundance and productivity estimates for Snake River fall-run Chinook meet or exceed the Technical Recovery Team abundance/productivity criteria; however, the Technical Recovery Team viability criteria contemplate a recovery scenario involving two highly viable populations (i.e., reestablishment of a viable Middle Snake River population above the Hells Canyon Dam Complex). The recent abundance and productivity estimates for the extant Lower Mainstem Snake River fall-run Chinook population fall short of the “very low” risk level that would be required under any of the proposed single-population recovery scenarios.

    Spatial Structure and Diversity

    The extant Lower Mainstem Snake River fall-run Chinook population consists of a spatially complex set of five historical major spawning areas (ICTRT 2007), each of which consists of a set of relatively discrete spawning patches of varying size (NMFS 2015). Although annual redd surveys show that Snake River fall-run Chinook spawning occurs in all five of the historical major spawning areas, the inability to obtain carcass samples representative of the mainstem major spawning areas makes assessment of natural-origin spawner distributions difficult. Reconstruction of natural-origin spawners based on hatchery expansions and data from homing/dispersal studies on acclimated hatchery releases indicate that four out of the five major spawning areas are contributing to naturally produced returns (NMFS 2015).

    The Northwest Fisheries Science Center report (NWFSC 2015) rated the spatial structure/diversity risk for the extant Snake River fall-run Chinook population as moderate risk. The moderate risk rating reflects observed changes in major life-history patterns, shifts in phenotypic traits, and high levels of genetic homogeneity in samples from natural-origin returns. In particular, the moderate risk rating reflects the relatively high proportion of within-population hatchery spawners in all major spawning areas and the lingering effects of previous high levels of out-of-ESU strays. The potential for selective pressure imposed by current hydropower operations and cumulative harvest impacts also contribute to the moderate risk rating.

    For the extant Lower Mainstem Snake River population to achieve highly viable status with a high degree of certainty, the spatial structure/diversity rating needs to be at least low risk (NMFS 2015; ICTRT 2007). Achieving low risk for spatial structure/diversity for the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU would either require re-establishing the extirpated population above Hells Canyon Dam, or that one or more major spawning areas in the Lower Mainstem Snake River population produce a significant level of natural-origin spawners with low influence from hatchery-origin spawners relative to the other major spawning areas. At present, given the widespread distribution of hatchery releases and hatchery-origin returns across all major spawning areas, and the lack of direct sampling of reach-specific spawner composition, there is no indication of a strong differential distribution of hatchery returns among major spawning areas.

    The petitioners assert that natural production from the Clearwater River should be regarded as a new population, and as such the petitioners contend that the Technical Recovery Team's (ICTRT 2007) spatial-structure viability criterion of two populations has been satisfied. We do not agree with the petitioners that the Clearwater River represents a separate fall-run Chinook spawning population. The Technical Recovery Team defined an independent population as being isolated to such an extent that exchanges of individuals among the populations do not substantially affect the population dynamics or extinction risk of the independent populations over a 100-year time frame (McElhany et al. 2000; ICTRT 2003). This basic definition from McElhany et al. (2000) was also adopted by technical recovery teams in other west coast salmon recovery domains. The Technical Recovery Team evaluated genetic information, distances between spawning areas related to dispersal (straying), as well as life-history and morphological characteristics as indicators of reproductive isolation among populations. The Clearwater River was identified by the Technical Recovery Team as one of the five major spawning areas within the Lower Mainstem Snake River population. The inclusion of fall-run Chinook in the Clearwater River as part of the Lower Mainstem Snake River population is supported by the close distance between spawning areas, the ecological similarity among the spawning areas, the aggressive supplementation efforts in the Clearwater River using a common broodstock collected at Lower Granite Dam, and the strong contribution of naturally spawning hatchery fish from this common hatchery broodstock in all spawning areas (ICTRT 2003). The inclusion of natural production from the Clearwater River was considered as part of the spatial structure/diversity risk rating for the extant population. We also recognize that a high proportion of naturally produced fish originating from the Clearwater River are exhibiting yearling migration strategies due to the differing thermal regime in that major spawning area. The resulting contribution to overall phenotypic life-history diversity reduces the diversity risk to the ESU and was also considered in the spatial structure/diversity risk rating. However, this phenotypic life-history diversity, by itself, is not sufficient to warrant identifying fall-run Chinook in the Clearwater River as an independent population. There is no evidence of sufficient isolation between the fall-run Chinook in the Clearwater River and the other extant spawning areas in terms of discrete demographic patterns, differential straying/dispersal among the spawning areas, or genetic distinctiveness.

    The petitioners disagree with our approach to evaluating diversity risk, and assert that the increases in the total number of spawners denote low risk to diversity. We disagree with the petitioners' interpretation of diversity. A low risk to diversity requires demonstration of patterns of phenotypic, genetic and life-history traits that provide for resilience across a range of environmental conditions ensuring long-term evolutionary potential (NMFS 2015; ICTRT 2007; McElhany et al. 2000). High levels of total spawner abundance alone do not indicate that essential diversity traits are being conserved.

    Summary of Demographic Risks

    The Lower Mainstem Snake River fall-run Chinook salmon population is the only extant population remaining from an ESU that historically also included a population upstream of the current location of the Hells Canyon Dam Complex. The abundance of this remaining population has increased substantially in recent years, and the recent increases in natural-origin abundance are encouraging. Overall, the status of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU has improved compared to the time of listing and compared to prior status reviews. However, uncertainty remains regarding whether these abundance levels will be maintained, and improvements are needed in the species' productivity and diversity to achieve risk levels consistent with delisting (NWFSC 2015; NMFS 2015; NMFS 2016).

    The overall current risk rating for the extant Lower Mainstem Snake River fall-run Chinook population is “viable.” This viable risk rating for the Lower Mainstem Snake River population is based on a low risk rating for abundance/productivity (i.e., 1 to 5 percent or less risk of extinction within 100 years), and a moderate risk rating for spatial structure/diversity (i.e., 6 to 25 percent of extinction within 100 years) (NWFSC 2015; NMFS 2015, NMFS 2016). The Technical Recovery Team viability criteria, and all of the potential delisting scenarios in the Proposed Recovery Plan, would require that the extant population meet minimum requirements for “highly viable” status through a combination of very low risk for abundance and productivity, and low or very low risk for spatial structure and diversity (ICTRT 2007; NMFS 2015; NMFS 2016). As such, the current biological viability of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU falls short of the demographic risk levels necessary to support delisting.

    Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    As described above, section 4(a)(1) of the ESA and NMFS implementing regulations (50 CFR part 424) state that we must determine whether a species is endangered or threatened because of any one or a combination of the following five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or man-made factors affecting its continued existence. We evaluated whether and the extent to which each of the foregoing factors contribute to the overall extinction risk of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU, and the findings are described in the 5-year Review Report (NMFS 2016). The section below summarizes our findings regarding the threats to the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU. The petitioners' assertion that the ESU currently meets the statutory standards for delisting is addressed in the corresponding sections below.

    (A) The Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of Its Habitat or Range

    Both hydropower and land-use activities have had significant impacts on habitat in the mainstem Snake River above Lower Granite Dam. Twelve dams have blocked and inundated habitat, impaired fish passage, altered flow and thermal regimes, and disrupted geomorphological processes in the mainstem Snake River. These impacts have resulted in the loss of historical habitat, altered migration timing, elevated dissolved gas levels, juvenile fish stranding and entrapment, and increased susceptibility to predation. In addition, land-use activities, including agriculture, grazing, resource extraction, and development, have adversely affected water quality and diminished habitat quality throughout the mainstem Snake River (NMFS 2016; NMFS 2015).

    All spawning by Snake River fall-run Chinook is currently restricted to the area downstream of the Hells Canyon Dam Complex, where historically only limited spawning occurred (NMFS 2016; NMFS 2015). A large portion of the historical upriver habitat was lost following construction of Swan Falls Dam on the Snake River in 1901, but construction of the Hells Canyon Complex of dams in the late 1950s and 1960s blocked access to remaining upriver spawning areas, and resulted in the extirpation of one of two populations that historically constituted this ESU. The blocked habitat areas above the Hells Canyon Dam Complex historically were the most productive for Snake River fall-run Chinook.

    Although successful reintroduction of fall-run Chinook salmon above the Hells Canyon Dam Complex would contribute to the recovery of the ESU, the mainstem habitat above the complex is currently too degraded to support anadromous fish. Agriculture, grazing, mining, timber harvest, and development activities have led to excessive nutrients, sedimentation, toxic pollutants, low dissolved oxygen, altered flows, and severely degraded water quality in the upper mainstem Snake River (NMFS 2016; NMFS 2015).

    Below the Hells Canyon Dam Complex, one extant population in the ESU consists of a spatially complex set of five historical major spawning areas: Two reaches of the mainstem Snake River, and the lower mainstem reaches of the Grande Ronde River, the Clearwater River, and the Tucannon River. Habitat concerns in the fall-run Chinook spawning areas of the Clearwater River include elevated temperature, sediment, and nutrients, flow management, and toxic pollutants. The lower Clearwater River is highly influenced by operations at Dworshak Dam. Since 1992, cold water releases at Dworshak Dam have been managed to improve migration conditions (temperature and flow) in the lower Snake River (NMFS 2016; NMFS 2015). In the Lower Grande Ronde River mainstem, limiting factors include the lack of habitat quality and diversity, excess fine sediment, degraded riparian conditions, low summer flows, and poor water quality. The Tucannon River is limited primarily by sediment load and habitat quantity, with sediment impacts on fall-run Chinook egg incubation and fry colonization considered moderate to high in most reaches, primarily due to agricultural land uses (NMFS 2016; NMFS 2015).

    Flow management of the Columbia River hydropower system affects fish density in the estuary and ocean, fish size and condition, the timing of ocean entry, and the growth and survival of fish during later fish life stages. In the estuary, flow management, diking and filling have reduced the availability of in-channel and off-channel habitat for extended rearing of subyearling juvenile Chinook, including components of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU. The impact of the loss of estuary habitat complexity likely differs between the fall-run Chinook subyearling and yearling life history-types. The yearlings often migrate through the estuary within about a week, while sub-yearlings can linger for up to several months in shallow nearshore estuary habitat areas (NMFS 2016; NMFS 2015).

    The petitioners assert that there is no continued destruction, modification, or curtailment of the habitat or range of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU that justifies maintaining the species' ESA listing as threatened. The petitioners argue that the habitat changes are ultimately reflected in population status and trends, and that the recent high levels of abundance demonstrate that the effects of any historical habitat loss or degradation no longer constrain the population. However, as noted above, the historical loss of habitat due to the establishment of mainstem hydropower dams continues to represent a threat to the spatial structure and diversity of the ESU. Ongoing habitat concerns, described above, due to land-use practices and flow management result in degraded water and habitat quality in the area above the Hells Canyon Dam Complex, the spawning area in the lower Clearwater River, and in the other spawning areas of the Lower Mainstem Snake River population (NMFS 2016; NMFS 2015). Additionally, flow management and the loss of Columbia River estuarine habitat have reduced the availability of rearing habitat for migrating juvenile Snake River fall-run Chinook (NMFS 2016; NMFS 2015). As such, we disagree with the petitioners' assertion that historical habitat loss and degradation no longer constrain the population, and furthermore, we find that the continued degradation of habitat poses a threat to the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU.

    If the recovery of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU is to include reestablishment of a spawning population above the Hells Canyon Dam Complex, the mainstem habitat above the complex is currently too degraded to support anadromous fish. With respect to the extant Lower Mainstem Snake River population, there is considerable uncertainty as to whether current habitat conditions are sufficient for the population to improve to, and be sustained at, a highly viable level. The Northwest Fisheries Science Center's productivity analysis (NWFSC 2015) suggests the potential influence of density dependence, poor ocean conditions, or poor migration conditions. The lack of major spawning aggregations with low levels of hatchery influence makes it difficult to evaluate the sufficiency of lower mainstem habitat conditions. It is unclear if current habitat conditions can sustain the recent high levels of adult returns and provide resiliency during periods of poor marine or freshwater survival.

    Habitat conditions have improved since the last status review (Ford et al. 2011); however, habitat concerns remain throughout the Snake River Basin, particularly in regards to mainstem and tributary stream flows, floodplain management, and elevated water temperatures. We conclude that historical habitat loss, and continued degradation and modification of habitat below the Hells Canyon Dam Complex, continue to pose a risk to, and limit the recovery of, the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU. However, the Snake River 5-year Review Report (NMFS 2016) and the Proposed Recovery Plan (NMFS 2015) outline several opportunities for habitat improvements to provide meaningful improvements in ESU viability.

    (B) Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or Educational Purposes

    Snake River fall-run Chinook are incidentally caught by both ocean and in-river fisheries, and harvest in these fisheries has the potential to produce selective pressure on migration timing, maturation timing, and size-at-age. No direct estimates are available of the degree of selective pressure caused by ocean harvest impacts on natural-origin Snake River fall-run Chinook. However, ocean exploitation rates based on coded wire tag (CWT) results for sub-yearling releases of Lyons Ferry Hatchery fish are used as surrogates in fisheries management modeling (NMFS 2015, Appendix A). Average annual ocean exploitation rates vary by age, increasing from relatively low levels on age-2 fish to approximately 25 percent on age-4 and age-5 fish (NMFS 2015, Appendix A). Based on the current timing and distribution of the fisheries with CWT recoveries, ocean harvest of Snake River fall-run Chinook salmon is assumed to impact both maturing and immature fish (NMFS 2015, Appendix A). As a result, the cumulative impact of ocean harvest is higher on components of the run maturing at older ages. Snake River fall-run Chinook salmon are also harvested by in-river fisheries, largely in mainstem Columbia River fisheries on aggregate fall-run Chinook salmon runs, including the highly productive Hanford Reach stock. Exploitation rates of in-river fisheries also increase with age-at-return.

    Fishery impacts from ocean and in-river fisheries on Snake River fall-run Chinook viability are controlled through harvest agreements (e.g., the Pacific Salmon Treaty, May 2008 U.S. v. OR Management Agreement). These agreements, on average, have reduced impacts of fisheries on Snake River fall-run Chinook. Year-specific acceptable harvest rates are determined by an abundance-based framework that constrains the aggregate of ocean and in-river fisheries in years of low abundance, and allows for increased harvest opportunity in years of high abundance. Information available since the 2011 status review indicates that combined ocean and in-river harvest rates have remained at approximately 33 percent annually for Snake River fall-run Chinook (NMFS 2016).

    Snake River fall-run Chinook are also taken through scientific research activities. Robust and multifaceted research and monitoring efforts are underway in the Snake River Basin to inform analyses of habitat status and trends, fish population status and trends, population response to various habitat conditions and restoration treatment types, and the effectiveness of various types of actions in addressing specific limiting factors for all of the listed Snake River salmonid species. Given the mounting demand for take under various research and monitoring initiatives, it is likely that these activities are having an increasing negative impact on the Snake River species, including Snake River fall-run Chinook. However, these research and monitoring efforts are closely scrutinized through ESA section 10(a)(1)(A) and 4(d) research-permit approvals to ensure that such activities do not operate to the disadvantage of the species. The total mortality authorized for all scientific research permits on natural-origin adult Snake River fall-run Chinook is approximately 0.01 percent of the recent 10-year geometric-mean abundance.

    The petitioners argue that there is no evidence to conclude that overutilization is, or has been, a threat to the ESU. We conclude that the risk to the persistence of the ESU due to overutilization remains essentially unchanged since the last status review (Ford et al. 2011), and does not pose a threat to, nor limit the recovery potential of, the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU. Accordingly, we do not address petitioners' arguments regarding this factor.

    (C) Disease or Predation

    Predation, competition, other ecological interactions, and disease affect the viability of Snake River fall-run Chinook salmon by reducing abundance, productivity, and diversity. Predation rates by both fish and birds on subyearling Snake River fall-run Chinook are a concern during the smolt outmigration. Northern pikeminnow, smallmouth bass and avian predators selectively target subyearling outmigrants relative to larger yearling migrants. Consequently, mortality due to this predation influences species diversity, as well as abundance and productivity. Predation by sea lions and other marine mammals has less of an effect on species viability because most adult Snake River fall-run Chinook are not migrating through the lower Columbia River in the spring when the marine mammals are most abundant.

    Currently, it is not clear whether or how density-dependent habitat effects, and competition with hatchery-origin fish for limited habitat, are influencing natural-origin production. It is also unclear whether competition between adult Snake River fall-run Chinook salmon and non-native species, such as shad, in the mainstem migration corridor and estuary is affecting species viability. Additional research is needed to understand the potential significance of this risk.

    Disease rates over the past 5 years are believed to be consistent with the previous review period. Climate change impacts such as increasing temperature may increase susceptibility to diseases. The disease rates have continued to fluctuate within the range observed in past review periods and are not expected to affect the extinction risk of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU.

    We conclude that the current levels of disease, predation, competition and other ecological interactions are not a threat to the persistence or recovery potential of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU (NMFS 2016). Because we conclude that this factor is not currently limiting species recovery, we do not address the petitioners' arguments regarding this factor.

    (D) Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    Various Federal, state, county and tribal regulatory mechanisms are in place to reduce habitat loss and degradation caused by human land-use and development, as well as reduce risks due to the hydropower system, harvest and hatchery impacts, and predation. New information available since the last status review (Ford et al. 2011) indicates that the adequacy of some regulatory mechanisms has improved. Noteworthy improvements in specific regulatory mechanisms are summarized in the Snake River 5-year review report (NMFS 2016).

    There are a number of remaining concerns regarding existing regulatory mechanisms, including:

    • Lack of documentation or analysis of the effectiveness of land-use regulatory mechanisms and land-use management programs.

    • Revised land-use regulations to allow development on rural lands (Adoption of Measure 37, with modification by Measure 49, in Oregon).

    • Water rights allocation and administration issues in Oregon and Idaho.

    • Continued implementation of management actions in some areas, which negatively impacts riparian areas.

    • Lack of implementation and documented impacts or improvements of completed Total Maximum Daily Load standards (TMDLs) in Oregon.

    • Increased mining and mineral extraction activities. In Idaho, mining still takes place under the 1872 Mining Law, giving agencies limited discretion in how they regulate it. Issues related to mining threats in the Snake River Basin have expanded since the last status review.

    • Effects of commonly applied chemical insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides which are authorized for use per the Environmental Protection Agency label criteria. All West Coast salmonids are identified in a series of NMFS section 7 consultations as jeopardized by at least one of the analyzed chemicals; most are identified as being jeopardized by many of the chemicals. In 2014, a jeopardy biological opinion was issued for Idaho and, in 2012, for Oregon, regarding the respective state's water quality standards for toxic pollutants (NMFS 2016). This will result in promulgation of new standards for mercury, selenium, arsenic, copper and cyanide in Idaho; and for cadmium, copper, ammonia, and aluminum in Oregon.

    • Development within floodplains, which continues to be a regional concern. This frequently results in stream bank alteration, stream bank armoring, and stream channel alteration projects to protect private property that do not allow streams to function properly and result in degraded habitat. It is important to note that, where it has been analyzed, floodplain development that occurs consistently with the National Flood Insurance Program's minimum criteria has been found to jeopardize 18 species of West Coast salmonids.

    • The need for future Forest Service Plan reviews to continue to address how forest practices can support recovery of salmon and steelhead.

    The risk to the species' persistence because of the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms has decreased slightly, based on the improvements noted in the Snake River 5-year review report (NMFS 2016). The petitioners assert that the increases in abundance for Snake River fall-run Chinook demonstrate that inadequacy of regulatory mechanisms cannot be a threat to Snake River fall-run Chinook. We do not agree with the petitioners' argument that we should evaluate this statutory factor based solely on the abundance of the ESU. As noted above, we identified historical habitat loss and continued habitat degradation and modification below the Hells Canyon Dam Complex as ongoing threats to the Snake River fall-fun Chinook ESU. These ongoing threats could be ameliorated by strengthening existing regulatory mechanisms (NMFS 2016). As such, we conclude that the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms continues to pose a threat to the persistence and limit the recovery potential of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU.

    (E) Other Natural or Man-Made Factors Affecting Its Continued Existence

    The petitioners note that our final rule listing the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU identified drought as a factor that may have contributed to reduced productivity, and argue that drought is no longer a factor affecting the species due to flow regulation by the Federal Columbia River Power System. Our current status review (NMFS 2016) for the species does not identify drought as a factor affecting the species' continued existence. However, we have identified other factors in this category that present a risk to the species' future persistence.

    Climate Change

    The potential impacts of climate change on the extinction risk and recovery potential of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU are described in more detail in the Proposed Recovery Plan (NMFS 2015). Climate experts predict physical changes to rivers and streams in the Columbia Basin that include: Warmer atmospheric temperatures resulting in more precipitation falling as rain rather than snow; diminished snow pack resulting in altered stream flow volume and timing; increased winter flooding; lower late summer flows; and a continued rise in stream temperatures. These changes in air temperatures, river temperatures, and river flows are expected to cause changes in salmon and steelhead distribution, behavior, growth, and survival, in general. However, the magnitude and timing of these changes, and specific effects on Snake River fall-run Chinook salmon remain unclear.

    Climate change and increased water temperatures in the mainstem lower Snake River could cause delays in adult migration and spawn timing, increased adult mortality, and reduced spawning success. Delays in adult migration and spawn timing in turn could cause delays in fry emergence and dispersal and delayed smolt outmigration, although it is also possible that increased overwintering temperature could reduce the impacts on emergence timing. If delays in emergence timing are long (e.g., weeks) then the timing of smolt outmigration may be altered. This could result in a marine transition potentially poorly timed with favorable ocean conditions, and possibly increase exposure to predators. Warmer temperatures will increase metabolism, which may increase or decrease juvenile growth rates and survival, depending upon availability of food. Increases in water temperatures in Snake and Columbia River reservoirs could also increase predation on juveniles by warm-water fish species, and increase food competition with other species such as shad. Reduced flows in late spring and summer may lead to delayed outmigration of juveniles and higher mortality.

    The effects of climate change on Snake River fall-run Chinook in the estuary and plume may include a reduction in the quantity and quality of rearing habitat, and an altered distribution of salmonid prey and predators. The effects of climate change in marine environments include increased ocean temperature, increased stratification of the water column, changes in the intensity and timing of coastal upwelling, and ocean acidification. Modeling studies that explore the marine ecological impacts of climate change have concluded that salmon abundances in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska are likely to be reduced. Uncertainty regarding the long-term impacts of climate change and the ability of Snake River fall-run Chinook to successfully adapt to an evolving ecosystem represent risks to the species' persistence and recovery potential.

    Hatchery Fish

    Snake River fall-run Chinook salmon hatchery production has increased and so have hatchery-origin returns. Considerable uncertainty remains about the effect of the Snake River fall-run Chinook hatchery programs on the Lower Mainstem Snake River population. Much of this uncertainty reflects the fact that the remaining population is very difficult to study because of its geographic extent, habitat, and logistical issues. This uncertainty, however, is more important in the case of Snake River fall-run Chinook than in many other ESA-listed salmonid populations because the current population is the only extant population in the ESU, and it must reach a highly viable level under any scenario for the ESU to be considered recovered (ICTRT 2007; NMFS 2015). As noted above in the Evaluation of Demographic Risks, the true productivity of the extant population is masked by the recent high levels of naturally spawning hatchery fish, and this high proportion of within-population hatchery spawners in all major spawning areas contributes to the moderate risk rating in spatial structure and diversity.

    We conclude that, based on the high level of uncertainty associated with projecting the impacts of climate change and resolving the influence of hatchery production, other natural or man-made factors represent a threat to the persistence and recovery potential of the Snake River fall-run Chinook.

    Efforts Being Made To Protect the Species

    Section 4(b)(1)(A) of the ESA requires the Secretary to make listing determinations solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available after taking into account efforts being made to protect a species. Therefore, in making listing determinations, we first assess ESU extinction risk and identify factors that have led to its decline. Then we assess existing efforts being made to protect the species to determine if those measures ameliorate the threats or section 4(a)(1) factors affecting the ESU.

    Summary of Protective Efforts

    Previous listing determinations have described ongoing protective efforts that are likely to promote the conservation of ESA-listed salmonids, including the Snake River fall-run Chinook. In the Snake River Basin 5-year Review Report (NMFS 2016), we note the many habitat, hydropower, hatchery, and harvest improvements that occurred in the past 5 years. We are currently working with our Federal, state, and tribal co-managers to develop monitoring programs, databases, and analytical tools to assist us in tracking, monitoring, and assessing the effectiveness of these improvements.

    The abundance of natural-origin Snake River fall-run Chinook in the one extant population has increased substantially since listing. We attribute this increase to a combination of actions that improved survivals through the hydropower system, reduced harvest, and increased production through hatchery supplementation. Key protective actions related to Snake River fall-run Chinook mainstem and tributary habitat include (NMFS 2015; NMFS 2016):

    • Continued implementation of Idaho Power Company's fall Chinook salmon spawning program to enhance and maintain suitable spawning and incubation conditions.

    • Continued implementation of the FCRPS Biological Opinion, including hydropower system operations such as cool-water releases from Dworshak Dam to maintain adequate migration and rearing conditions in the lower Snake River, summer flow augmentation and summer spill at multiple projects to maintain migration and passage conditions, and operations at Lower Granite Dam to address adult passage blockages caused by warm surface waters entering the fish ladders.

    • Continued implementation of Lower Snake River Programmatic Sediment Management Plan measures to reduce impacts of reservoir and river channel dredging and disposal on Snake River fall-run Chinook.

    • Continued implementation of recovery plan actions in tributary and lower mainstem habitats to maintain and improve spawning and rearing potential for Snake River fall-run Chinook (Although these actions are generally focused on Snake River spring/summer Chinook salmon and steelhead and, therefore, located above fall-run Chinook spawning and rearing habitats, the actions have cumulative beneficial effects on downstream habitats).

    • Large-scale restoration projects in the Tucannon River, which have been highly effective in reestablishing channel functions related to temperature, floodplain connectivity, channel morphology, and habitat complexity. These key protective efforts were largely possible thanks to the persistence and support from the Snake River Salmon Recovery Board, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and local restoration partners.

    Programs such as these are critical if we are to address the threats and limiting factors facing the ESU to improve its viability. However, at this time, we conclude that these and other protective efforts are insufficient to ameliorate the threats facing the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU to the extent where delisting would be warranted.

    Final Determination

    The petitioners' arguments that the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU should be delisted are based in large measure upon the prevalence of hatchery-produced fish and their view that we impermissibly emphasize the naturally spawned component of the ESU in our viability assessments. We disagree and conclude that, consistent with the Hatchery Listing Policy and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Trout Unlimited v. Lohn, hatchery fish should be evaluated in the context of their contributions to the conservation of the naturally spawned population(s).

    As noted above (see Viability Criteria and Recovery Planning), the Technical Recovery Team viability criteria (ICTRT 2007) and the proposed recovery scenarios articulated in the Proposed Recovery Plan (NMFS 2015) provide useful guides for evaluating the conditions that must be met for the delisting of Snake River fall-run Chinook to be warranted. All the viability criteria and proposed recovery scenarios conclude that the extant Lower Mainstem Snake River population must be at least highly viable. The Northwest Fisheries Science Center report (NWFSC 2015) concluded that the Lower Mainstem Snake River population is currently viable, but is less than highly viable. In other words, the current risk level of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU does not meet the status described in the Technical Recovery Team report and the Proposed Recovery Plan as necessary for the recovery of the ESU.

    Additionally, based on our evaluation of the five section 4(a)(1) factors, above, we conclude that historical habitat loss, continued degradation and modification of habitat, and the inadequacy of regulatory mechanisms continue to pose threats to, and limit the recovery potential of, the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU. Disease, predation, and overutilization do not pose threats to the ESU at this time. We also find that the high levels of uncertainty associated with projecting the effects of other natural or man-made factors affecting the continued existence of the ESU represent a threat to the persistence and recovery potential of the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU. This latter uncertainty, particularly that conferred by the prevalence and broad distribution of hatchery-origin fish across all major spawning areas, needs to be addressed if we are to be able to assess the viability of the extant Lower Mainstem Snake River population with sufficient certainty. After reviewing efforts being made to protect salmonids and their habitat in the Snake River Basin, we conclude that these efforts are insufficient to ameliorate the threats facing the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU to the point where the species would warrant delisting.

    Based on our review of the species' viability, the five section 4(a)(1) factors, and efforts being made to protect the species, we conclude that the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU is likely to become an endangered species throughout all or a significant portion of its range in the foreseeable future. We conclude that the petitioned action to delist the Snake River fall-run Chinook ESU is not warranted at this time, and as such it shall retain its status as a threatened species under the ESA.

    References

    A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon request (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Authority

    The Authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: May 19, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12453 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; “Requirements for Patent Applications Containing Nucleotide Sequence and/or Amino Acid Sequence Disclosures”

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) 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: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    Title: Requirements for Patent Applications Containing Nucleotide Sequence and/or Amino Acid Sequence Disclosures.

    OMB Control Number: 0651-0024.

    Form Number(s):

    • PTO/SB/93.

    Type of Request: Regular.

    Number of Respondents: 27,200.

    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it will take approximately 6 minutes (0.10 hours) to 6 hours to complete a single item in this collection. This includes the time to gather the necessary information, create the documents, and submit the completed request to the USPTO.

    Burden Hours: 152,285 hours.

    Cost Burden: $1,815,457.50.

    Needs and Uses: Patent applications that contain nucleotide and/or amino acid sequence disclosures must include a copy of the sequence listing in accordance with the requirements in 37 CFR 1.821-1.825. Applicants submit copies of sequence listings for both U.S. and international biotechnology patent applications. The USPTO uses the sequence listings during the examination process to determine the patentability of the associated patent application. The USPTO also uses the sequence listings to support publication of patent applications and issued patents. Sequence listings are searchable after publication.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to Obtain or Retain Benefits.

    OMB Desk Officer: Nicholas A. Fraser, email: [email protected].

    Once submitted, the request will be publicly available in electronic format through reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions on the Web site to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Further information can be obtained by:

    Email: [email protected]. Include “0651-0024 copy request” in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Marcie Lovett, Records Management Division Director, Office of the Chief Information Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent on or before June 27, 2016 to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB Desk Officer, via email to [email protected], or by fax to 202-395-5167, marked to the attention of Nicholas A. Fraser.

    Dated: May 20, 2016. Marcie Lovett, Records Management Division Director, OCIO, United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12477 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Revised Non-Foreign Overseas Per Diem Rates AGENCY:

    Defense Travel Management Office, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of revised non-foreign overseas per diem rates.

    SUMMARY:

    The Defense Travel Management Office is publishing Civilian Personnel Per Diem Bulletin Number 303. This bulletin lists revisions in the per diem rates prescribed for U.S. Government employees for official travel in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands and Possessions of the United States when applicable. AEA changes announced in Bulletin Number 194 remain in effect. Bulletin Number 303 is being published in the Federal Register to assure that travelers are paid per diem at the most current rates.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: June 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Sonia Malik, 571-372-1276.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document gives notice of revisions in per diem rates prescribed by the Defense Travel Management Office for non-foreign areas outside the contiguous United States. It supersedes Civilian Personnel Per Diem Bulletin Number 302. Per Diem Bulletins published periodically in the Federal Register now constitute the only notification of revisions in per diem rates to agencies and establishments outside the Department of Defense. For more information or questions about per diem rates, please contact your local travel office. Civilian Bulletin 303 includes updated rates for Alaska.

    Dated: May 23, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. BILLING CODE 5001-06-P EN26MY16.002 EN26MY16.003 EN26MY16.004 EN26MY16.005 EN26MY16.006 EN26MY16.007 EN26MY16.008 EN26MY16.009 EN26MY16.010 EN26MY16.011 EN26MY16.043
    [FR Doc. 2016-12469 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-C
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2012-OS-0065] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Deputy Chief Management Officer, Diversity, Disability, and Recruitment Division, Washington Headquarters Services, Human Resources Directorate, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer 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 the Washington Headquarters Services, Human Resources Directorate, ATTN: Edna Johnson, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Suite 03D08, Alexandria, VA 22350-3200 or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Confirmation of Request for Reasonable Accommodation; SD Form 827; OMB Control Number 0704-0498.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to obtain and record requests for reasonable accommodation, with the intent to measure and ensure Agency compliance with Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Public Law 93-112; Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1992, Public Law 102-569; Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, Public Law 110-325.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 5.

    Number of Respondents: 20.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 20.

    Average Burden per Response: 15 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    The completed form will document requests for reasonable accommodation(s) (regardless of type of accommodation) and the outcome of such requests. Respondents are employees of WHS serviced components or applicants for employment of WHS serviced components.

    Dated: May 23, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12458 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Meeting of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing this notice to announce that the following Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) will take place. This meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    Tuesday, June 14, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Wednesday, June 15, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Sheraton Pentagon City, 900 South Orme Street, Arlington, VA 22204.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Robert Bowling or DACOWITS Staff at 4800 Mark Center Drive, Suite 04J25-01, Alexandria, Virginia 22350-9000; [email protected], telephone (703) 697-2122, fax (703) 614-6233. Any updates to the agenda or any additional information can be found at http://dacowits.defense.gov/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C. Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b), and Section 10(a), Public Law 92-463, as amended, notice is hereby given of a forthcoming meeting of the DACOWITS. The purpose of the meeting is for the Committee to receive briefings and updates relating to their current work. The Committee will start the meeting with the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) giving a status update on the Committee's requests for information. There will then be a panel with the Services to brief their Gender Integration Implementation Plans. This will be followed by a panel discussion with the Services on their Marketing and Accession Plans and then a panel on the Services' Strategic Communication Plans. There will be a public comment period at the end of day one. On the second day, the Committee will receive a briefing from DoD on the Gender Integration Implementation Oversight Plan and a briefing from Marine Corps on the Gender Integration Implementation Plan for Recruit Training. Additionally, DoD SAPRO will provide a briefing on their Retaliation Strategy. Insight Policy Research will provide an overview briefing on the 2016 Focus Group Findings. Lastly, the Committee will provide an update on their study topics.

    Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.140, and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, interested persons may submit a written statement for consideration by the DACOWITS. Individuals submitting a written statement must submit their statement to the point of contact listed at the address in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT no later than 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 7, 2016. If a written statement is not received by Tuesday, June 7, 2016, prior to the meeting, which is the subject of this notice, then it may not be provided to or considered by the DACOWITS until its next open meeting. The DFO will review all timely submissions with the DACOWITS Chair and ensure they are provided to the members of the Committee. If members of the public are interested in making an oral statement, a written statement should be submitted. After reviewing the written comments, the Chair and the DFO will determine who of the requesting persons will be able to make an oral presentation of their issue during an open portion of this meeting or at a future meeting. Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.140(d), determination of who will be making an oral presentation is at the sole discretion of the Committee Chair and the DFO, and will depend on time available and if the topics are relevant to the Committee's activities. Five minutes will be allotted to persons desiring to make an oral presentation. Oral presentations by members of the public will be permitted only on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. in front of the full Committee. The number of oral presentations to be made will depend on the number of requests received from members of the public. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, this meeting is open to the public, subject to the availability of space.

    Meeting Agenda Tuesday, June 14, 2016, From 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. —Welcome, Introductions, Announcements —Request for Information Status Update —Panel Discussion—Services Gender Integration Implementation Plans —Panel Discussion—Services Marketing and Accession Plans —Panel Discussion—Services Strategic Communication Plans —Public Comment Period Wednesday, June 15, 2016, From 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. —Welcome and Announcements —Briefing—DoD Gender Integration Implementation Oversight Plan —Briefing—USMC Gender Integration Implementation Plan for Recruit Training —Briefing—DoD SAPRO Retaliation Strategy —Briefing—Overview of 2016 Focus Group Findings —Committee 2016 Study Topic Update Dated: May 23, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12432 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory Committees AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Renewal of Federal Advisory Committee.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is publishing this notice to announce that it is renewing the charter for the Department of Defense Board of Actuaries (“the Board”).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jim Freeman, Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, 703-692-5952.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Board's charter is being renewed pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 183 and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended) and 41 CFR 102-3.50(d). The Board's charter and contact information for the Board's Designated Federal Officer (DFO) can be found at http://www.facadatabase.gov/.

    The Board provides the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense, through the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, independent advice and recommendations on matters relating to the DoD Military Retirement Fund, the DoD Education Benefits Fund, the DoD Voluntary Separation Incentive Fund, and other funds as the Secretary of Defense shall specify.

    The Board is comprised of three members who are appointed by the Secretary of Defense from among qualified professional actuaries who are members of the Society of Actuaries. All members of the Board are appointed to provide advice on behalf of the Government on the basis of their best judgment without representing any particular point of view and in a manner that is free from conflict of interest. Members of the Board who are not employees of the United States are entitled to receive pay of the highest rate of basic pay under the General Schedule of subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5 U.S.C., for each day the member is engaged in the performance of duties vested in the Board. All members are entitled to reimbursement for official Board-related travel and per diem.

    The public or interested organizations may submit written statements to the Board membership about the Board's mission and functions. Written statements may be submitted at any time or in response to the stated agenda of planned meeting of the Board. All written statements shall be submitted to the DFO for the Board, and this individual will ensure that the written statements are provided to the membership for their consideration.

    Dated: May 23, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12463 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Government-Industry Advisory Panel; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics), Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Federal advisory committee meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal advisory committee meeting of the Government-Industry Advisory Panel. This meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Public registration will begin at 12:30 p.m. For entrance into the meeting, you must meet the necessary requirements for entrance into the Pentagon. For more detailed information, please see the following link: http://www.pfpa.mil/access.html.

    ADDRESSES:

    Pentagon Library, Washington Headquarters Services, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1155. The meeting will be held in Room B7. The Pentagon Library is located in the Pentagon Library and Conference Center (PLC2) across the Corridor 8 bridge.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    LTC Andrew Lunoff, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Acquisition), 3090 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3090, email: [email protected], phone: 571-256-9004.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Due to circumstances beyond the control of the Designated Federal Officer and the Department of Defense, the Government-Industry Advisory Panel is unable to provide public notification, as required by 41 CFR 102-3.150(a), for its meeting on Tuesday, June 7, 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.

    Purpose of the Meeting: This meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA) (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150. The Government-Industry Advisory Panel will review sections 2320 and 2321 of title 10, United States Code (U.S.C.), regarding rights in technical data and the validation of proprietary data restrictions and the regulations implementing such sections, for the purpose of ensuring that such statutory and regulatory requirements are best structured to serve the interest of the taxpayers and the national defense. The scope of the panel is as follows: (1) Ensuring that the Department of Defense (DoD) does not pay more than once for the same work, (2) Ensuring that the DoD contractors are appropriately rewarded for their innovation and invention, (3) Providing for cost-effective reprocurement, sustainment, modification, and upgrades to the DoD systems, (4) Encouraging the private sector to invest in new products, technologies, and processes relevant to the missions of the DoD, and (5) Ensuring that the DoD has appropriate access to innovative products, technologies, and processes developed by the private sector for commercial use.

    Agenda: This will be the first meeting of the Government-Industry Advisory Panel with a series of meetings planned through September 1, 2016. The panel will cover details of 10 U.S.C. 2320 and 2321, begin understanding the implementing regulations and detailed the necessary groups within the private sector and government to provide supporting documentation for their review of these codes and regulations during follow-on meetings. Agenda items for the first meeting will include the following: (1) Planning/initial discussions on issues or concerns of 10 U.S.C. 2320 and 2321; (2) Planning/initial discussions on implementing DFARS regulations (Subparts 227.71 and .72, and associated clauses); (3) Planning/initial discussions on DoD's policy and guidance on Intellectual Property (IP) strategy and management; (4) Planning/initial discussions on DoD personnel preparation for implementation of DoD's IP policy and guidance; (5) Planning/initial discussion of regulation of extending and adapting the scheme of 10 U.S.C. 2320 and 2321 to apply to computer software; (6) Planning/initial discussion on applicability of 10 U.S.C. 2320 and 2321, and implementing DFARS requirements and clauses, to contracts and subcontracts for commercial items; (7) Planning/initial discussions on practices used by DoD in acquiring IP from non-traditional contractors, commercial contractors, and traditional contractors; (8) Planning/initial discussion on DoD's policy, guidance and practices linking technical data management and other IP considerations with open systems architecture (OSA) and/or modular open systems approaches (MOSA); (9) Planning/initial discussions on sections 1701 and 1705 of House Armed Services Committee markup of H.R. 4909, The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017; (10) Planning for follow-on meeting.

    A request for information will be sent to the public attempting to check on IP guiding principles, training curriculum used by DoD, current approach in regulation (DFARS 227.71 and 227.72), practices used by DoD in acquiring IP and any citations to current regulations and law.

    Availability of Materials for the Meeting: A copy of the agenda or any updates to the agenda for the June 7, 2016 meeting will be available as requested or at the following site: http://www.facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=2561.

    Minor changes to the agenda will be announced at the meeting. All materials will be posted to the FACA database after the meeting.

    Public Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and subject to the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public. Registration of members of the public who wish to attend the meeting will begin upon publication of this meeting notice and end three business days (June 2) prior to the start of the meeting. All members of the public must contact LTC Lunoff at the phone number or email listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to make arrangements for Pentagon escort, if necessary. Public attendees should arrive at the Pentagon's Visitor's Center, located near the Pentagon Metro Station's south exit and adjacent to the Pentagon Transit Center bus terminal with sufficient time to complete security screening no later than 12:30 p.m. on June 7. To complete security screening, please come prepared to present two forms of identification of which one must be a pictured identification card. Government and military DoD CAC holders are not required to have an escort, but are still required to pass through the Visitor's Center to gain access to the Building. Seating is limited and is on a first-to-arrive basis. Attendees will be asked to provide their name, title, affiliation, and contact information to include email address and daytime telephone number to the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Any interested person may attend the meeting, file written comments or statements with the committee, or make verbal comments from the floor during the public meeting, at the times, and in the manner, permitted by the committee.

    Special Accommodations: The meeting venue is fully handicap accessible, with wheelchair access.

    Individuals requiring special accommodations to access the public meeting or seeking additional information about public access procedures, should contact LTC Lunoff, the committee DFO, at the email address or telephone number listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section, at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

    Written Comments or Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments or statements to the Government-Industry Advisory Panel about its mission and/or the topics to be addressed in this public meeting. Written comments or statements should be submitted to LTC Lunoff, the committee DFO, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the email address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section in the following formats: Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word. The comment or statement must include the author's name, title, affiliation, address, and daytime telephone number. Written comments or statements being submitted in response to the agenda set forth in this notice must be received by the committee DFO at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting so that they may be made available to the Government-Industry Advisory Panel for its consideration prior to the meeting. Written comments or statements received after this date may not be provided to the panel until its next meeting. Please note that because the panel operates under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, all written comments will be treated as public documents and will be made available for public inspection.

    Verbal Comments: Members of the public will be permitted to make verbal comments during the meeting only at the time and in the manner allowed herein. If a member of the public is interested in making a verbal comment at the open meeting, that individual must submit a request, with a brief statement of the subject matter to be addressed by the comment, at least three (3) business days in advance to the committee DFO, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the email address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The committee DFO will log each request to make a comment, in the order received, and determine whether the subject matter of each comment is relevant to the panel's mission and/or the topics to be addressed in this public meeting. A 15-minute period near the end of the meeting will be available for verbal public comments. Members of the public who have requested to make a verbal comment and whose comments have been deemed relevant under the process described in this paragraph, will be allotted no more than three (3) minutes during this period, and will be invited to speak in the order in which their requests were received by the DFO.

    Dated: May 20, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12377 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Extension of Deadline Date; Data Disaggregation Initiative Program [Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.365D.] AGENCY:

    Office of English Language Acquisition, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice; extension of deadline date.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 4, 2016, we published in the Federal Register (81 FR 26780) a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2016 for the Data Disaggregation Initiative Program. The notice established July 5, 2016, as the deadline date for eligible applicants to apply for funding under the program. This notice extends the deadline for transmittal of applications to August 1, 2016. All other requirements and conditions stated in the notice inviting applications, including the deadline for intergovernmental review, remain the same.

    DATES:

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 1, 2016. Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Escalante, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW., Room 5C153, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 401-4300 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf or a text telephone, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On May 4, 2016, we published in the Federal Register (81 FR 26780) a notice inviting applications for new awards (NIA) for FY 2016 for the Data Disaggregation Initiative Program. The NIA established July 5, 2016, as the deadline date for eligible applicants to apply for funding under the program. However, as the NIA requires SEAs to submit an application in consortia with one or more LEAs, we believe it is critical that the SEAs be given additional time to engage in discussions with LEAs and take the necessary steps to secure the partnership documentation before the summer break begins. At the same time, we intend to make awards by the end of the current fiscal year. Therefore, we are extending the deadline for transmittal of applications to August 1, 2016. In order to make awards by the end of FY 2016, under 34 CFR 79.8(a), we are not extending the deadline for intergovernmental review, which remains September 1, 2016. All other requirements and conditions stated in the NIA remain the same.

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: May 20, 2016. Libia S. Gil, Assistant Deputy Secretary and Director for the Office of English Language Acquisition.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12368 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee (NEAC). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 94-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Friday, June 17, 2016, 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Westin Crystal City, 1800 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bob Rova, Designated Federal Officer, U.S. Department of Energy, 19901 Germantown Rd., Germantown, MD 20874; telephone: (301) 903-9096; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee (NEAC), formerly the Nuclear Energy Research Advisory Committee (NERAC), was established in 1998 by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to provide advice on complex scientific, technical, and policy issues that arise in the planning, managing, and implementation of DOE's civilian nuclear energy research programs. The committee is composed of 17 individuals of diverse backgrounds selected for their technical expertise and experience, established records of distinguished professional service, and their knowledge of issues that pertain to nuclear energy.

    Purpose of the Meeting: To inform the committee of recent developments and current status of research programs and projects pursued by the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy and receive advice and comments in return from the committee.

    Tentative Agenda: The meeting is expected to include presentations that provide the committee updates on activities for the Office of Nuclear Energy. In addition, there will be presentations by Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee subcommittees. The agenda may change to accommodate committee business. For updates, one is directed the NEAC Web site: http://energy.gov/ne/services/nuclear-energy-advisory-committee.

    Public Participation: Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to offer comments and suggestions may do so on the day of the meeting, Friday, June 17, 2016. Approximately thirty minutes will be reserved for public comments. Time allotted per speaker will depend on the number who wish to speak but is not expected to exceed 5 minutes. Anyone who is not able to make the meeting or has had insufficient time to address the committee is invited to send a written statement to Bob Rova, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, or email [email protected]

    Minutes: The minutes of the meeting will be available by contacting Mr. Rova at the address above or on the Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy Web site at http://energy.gov/ne/services/nuclear-energy-advisory-committee.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 20, 2016. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12459 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [FE Docket No. 10-161-LNG; FE Docket No. 11-161-LNG] Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P.FLNG Liquefaction, LLC, FLNG Liquefaction 2, LLC, and FLNG Liquefaction 3, LLC Statement Regarding Change in Control AGENCY:

    Office of Fossil Energy, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of change in control.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy (DOE) gives notice of receipt of a notice and statement regarding change in control, filed March 2, 2016 (Statement),1 by Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P. (Freeport Expansion), FLNG Liquefaction, LLC (FLIQ1), FLNG Liquefaction 2, LLC (FLIQ2), and FLNG Liquefaction 3, LLC (FLIQ3) (collectively, FLEX). The Statement is intended to inform DOE/FE about a change in control of the upstream ownership of FLIQ1.2 The Statement was filed under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA), 15 U.S.C. 717b.

    1 Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P., FLNG Liquefaction, LLC, FLNG Liquefaction 2, LLC, and FLNG Liquefaction 3, LLC, Notice and Statement of Change in Control, FE Docket Nos. 10-160-LNG, 10-161-LNG, 11-161-LNG, 12-06-LNG (Mar. 2, 2016).

    2 On September 23, 2014, DOE/FE granted an earlier FLEX request for a change in control of FLIQ1 and FLIQ2. Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P., et al., Order Approving Change in Control of Export Authorizations, DOE/FE Docket Nos. 14-005-CIC, 10-160-LNG, 10-161-LNG, 11-161-LNG, 12-06-LNG (Sept. 23, 2014).

    DATES:

    Protests, motions to intervene or notices of intervention, as applicable, and written comments are to be filed using procedures detailed in the Public Comment Procedures section of this Notice no later than 4:30 p.m., Eastern time, June 10, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic Filing by email: [email protected]

    Regular Mail: U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy, P.O. Box 44375, Washington, DC 20026-4375.

    Hand Delivery or Private Delivery Services (e.g., FedEx, UPS, etc.): U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larine Moore or Benjamin Nussdorf, U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-9478; (202) 586-7893. Edward Myers, U.S. Department of Energy (GC-76), Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Electricity and Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-3397.
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Summary of Change in Control

    As noted above, the Statement is intended to inform DOE/FE about a change in control of the upstream ownership of FLIQ1. The Statement indicates that FLIQ1 is 100 percent owned by FLIQ1 Holdings, LLC (Holdings) and 25 percent of Holdings is owned by Osaka Gas Liquefaction USA Corporation, 25 percent by Chubu Electric Power Company Freeport, Inc., and 50 percent by Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P. The Statement does not propose to change these ownership stakes. However, the Statement proposes a change to the ownership of Chubu Electric Power Company Freeport, Inc. Whereas, prior to the change in control, 100 percent of Chubu Electric Power Company Freeport, Inc. was owned by Chubu Electric Power Company, after the change, Chubu Electric Power Company Freeport, Inc. will be 100 percent owned by a joint venture called JERA Co., Inc. In this regard, JERA Co., Inc. is 50 percent owned by Chubu Electric Power Company and 50 percent is owned by Tokyo Electric Power Fuel & Thermal Power Generation Business Split Preparation Company, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated. Additional details can be found in the Statement, posted on the DOE/FE Web site at http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/03/f30/ChubuJERA%20CIC%20Notice%2003%2002%202016_1.pdf.

    DOE/FE Evaluation

    DOE/FE will review the Statement 3 in accordance with its Procedures for Changes in Control Affecting Applications and Authorizations to Import or Export Natural Gas (CIC Revised Procedures).4 Consistent with the CIC Revised Procedures, this Notice addresses only those FLEX proceedings in which final authorizations have been issued to export LNG to non-FTA countries. The affected proceedings include DOE/FE Docket Nos. 10-161-LNG and 11-161-LNG.5 If no interested person protests the change in control and DOE takes no action on its own motion, the change in control will be deemed granted 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. If one or more protests are submitted, DOE will review any motions to intervene, protests, and answers, and will issue a determination as to whether the proposed change in control has been demonstrated to render the underlying authorization inconsistent with the public interest.

    3 The Statement identifies two other proceedings, FE Docket Nos. 10-60-LNG and 12-06-LNG, in which DOE/FE authorized FLEX to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries with which the United States currently has, or in the future will have, a free trade agreement (FTA) requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas, and with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy (FTA countries). Consistent with the Revised CIC Procedures, DOE gives immediate effect to these changes. See 79 FR 65542.

    4 79 FR 65541 (Nov. 5, 2014).

    5 The final authorizations issued in the referenced non-FTA proceedings include Freeport LNG Expansion L.P., et al., DOE/FE Order No. 3282-C, FE Docket No. 10-161-LNG, Final Opinion and Order Granting Long-Term Multi-Contract Authorization to Export Liquefied Natural Gas by Vessel from the Freeport LNG Terminal on Quintana Island, Texas to Non-Free Trade Agreement Nations (Nov. 14, 2014); and Freeport LNG Expansion L.P., et al., DOE/FE Order No. 3357-B, FE Docket No. 11-161-LNG, Final Opinion and Order Granting Long-Term Multi-Contract Authorization to Export Liquefied Natural Gas by Vessel from the Freeport LNG Terminal on Quintana Island, Texas to Non-Free Trade Agreement Nations (Nov. 14, 2014).

    Public Comment Procedures

    Interested persons will be provided 15 days from the date of publication of this Notice in the Federal Register in order to move to intervene, protest, and answer the Statement. Protests, motions to intervene, notices of intervention, and written comments are invited in response to this Notice only as to the proposed change in control described in the Statement.6 All protests, comments, motions to intervene, or notices of intervention must meet the requirements specified by DOE's regulations in 10 CFR part 590.

    6 Intervention, if granted, would constitute intervention only in the change in control portion of these docket proceedings, as described herein.

    Filings may be submitted using one of the following methods: (1) Preferred method: Emailing the filing to [email protected], with the individual FE Docket Number(s) in the title line, or FLEX Change in Control in the title line to include all applicable dockets in this Notice; (2) mailing an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Regulation and International Engagement at the address listed in ADDRESSES; or (3) hand delivering an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Regulation and International Engagement at the address listed in ADDRESSES. All filings must include a reference to the individual FE Docket Number(s) in the title line, or FLEX Change in Control in the title line to include all applicable dockets in this Notice. PLEASE NOTE: If submitting a filing via email, please include all related documents and attachments (e.g., exhibits) in the original email correspondence. Please do not include any active hyperlinks or password protection in any of the documents or attachments related to the filing. All electronic filings submitted to DOE must follow these guidelines to ensure that all documents are filed in a timely manner. Any hardcopy filing submitted greater in length than 50 pages must also include, at the time of the filing, a digital copy on disk of the entire submission.

    The Statement and any filed protests, motions to intervene or notice of interventions, and comments are available for inspection and copying in the Office of Regulation and International Engagement docket room, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, 20585. The docket room is open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. These documents are also available electronically by going to the following DOE/FE Web address: http://www.fe.doe.gov/programs/gasregulation/index.html.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 19, 2016. John A. Anderson, Director, Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Oil and Natural Gas.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12315 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-549-000] Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed SM-80 MAOP Restoration Project

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the SM-80 MAOP Restoration Project, proposed by Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (Columbia) in the above-referenced docket. Columbia requests authorization to abandon, construct, and operate certain natural gas pipeline facilities in Wayne County, West Virginia. The proposed project would restore the maximum allowable operating pressure of part of the SM-80 system.

    The EA assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the SM-80 MAOP Restoration Project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.

    The proposed SM-80 MAOP Restoration Project includes the following:

    • Abandonment of 3.3 miles of 30-inch-diameter pipeline and associated above ground appurtenances • Construction of 3.9 miles of 30-inch-diameter pipe to replace the abandoned pipeline • Minor modifications to support facilities

    The FERC staff mailed copies of the EA to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; potentially affected landowners and other interested individuals and groups; newspapers and libraries in the project area; and parties to this proceeding. In addition, the EA is available for public viewing on the FERC's Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. A limited number of copies of the EA are available for distribution and public inspection at: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8371.

    Any person wishing to comment on the EA may do so. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. To ensure that the Commission has the opportunity to consider your comments prior to making its decision on this project, it is important that we receive your comments in Washington, DC on or before June 17, 2016.

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to file your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the project docket number (CP15-549-000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected]

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can also file your comments electronically using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” You must select the type of filing you are making. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing”; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Any person seeking to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR 385.214).1 Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision. The Commission grants affected landowners and others with environmental concerns intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding which no other party can adequately represent. Simply filing environmental comments will not give you intervenor status, but you do not need intervenor status to have your comments considered.

    1 See the previous discussion on the methods for filing comments.

    Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search,” and enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP15-549). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Dated: May 19, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12413 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. IC16-10-000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC Form 80, FERC-550, and FERC-549); Consolidated Comment Request; Extension AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collections and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is soliciting public comment on the requirements and burden 1 of the information collections described below.

    1 The Commission defines burden as the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. For further explanation of what is included in the information collection burden, reference 5 Code of Federal Regulations 1320.3.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collections of information are due July 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments (identified by Docket No. IC16-10-000) by either of the following methods:

    eFiling at Commission's Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. Please reference the specific collection number and/or title in your comments.

    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

    Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Brown may be reached by email at [email protected], telephone at (202) 502-8663, and fax at (202) 273-0873.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Type of Request: Three-year extension of the information collection requirements for all collections described below with no changes to the current reporting requirements. Please note that each collection is distinct from the next.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden and cost of the collections of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collections; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collections of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    FERC Form 80, [Licensed Hydropower Development Recreation Report]

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0106.

    Abstract: FERC uses the information on the FERC Form 80 (also known as “FERC-80,”) to implement the statutory provisions of sections 4(a), 10(a), 301(a), 304 and 309 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 797, 803, 825c & 8254. FERC's authority to collect this information comes from section 10(a) of the FPA which requires the Commission to be responsible for ensuring that hydro projects subject to FERC jurisdiction are consistent with the comprehensive development of the nation's waterway for recreation and other beneficial public uses. In the interest of fulfilling these objectives, FERC expects licensees subject to its jurisdiction to recognize the resources that are affected by their activities and to play a role in protecting such resources.

    FERC Form 80 is a report on the use and development of recreational facilities at hydropower projects licensed by the Commission. Applications for amendments to licenses and/or changes in land rights frequently involve changes in resources available for recreation. FERC utilizes the FERC Form 80 data when analyzing the adequacy of existing public recreational facilities and when processing and reviewing proposed amendments to help determine the impact of such changes. In addition, FERC staff uses the FERC Form 80 data when conducting inspections of licensed projects and in evaluating compliance with various license conditions and in identifying recreational facilities at hydropower projects.

    The data which FERC Form 80 requires are specified by Title 18 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) under 18 CFR 8.11 and 141.14 (and are discussed at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/forms.asp#80).

    FERC collects the FERC Form 80 once every six years. The last collection was due on April 1, 2015, for data compiled during the 2014 calendar year. The next collection of the FERC Form 80 is due on April 1, 2021, with subsequent collections due every sixth year, for data compiled during the previous calendar year.

    The Commission updated the format for the general instructions section of the form for improved readability. Specifically, FERC split a long paragraph into several smaller paragraphs.

    FERC has attached to this notice the proposed format change to the general information section. FERC made no changes to the remainder of the instructions, form, and glossary and did not attach those to this notice.

    Type of Respondent: Hydropower project licensees.

    Estimate of Annual Burden: The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as:

    2 The estimates for cost per response are derived using the 2016 FERC average salary plus benefits of $154,647/year (or $74.50/hour). Commission staff finds that the work done for this information collection is typically done by wage categories similar to those at FERC.

    3 This figure is rounded from 66.8.

    4 This figure is rounded from $223.50.

    FERC Form 80: Licensed Hydropower Development Recreation Report Number of respondents Annual
  • number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Total number of responses Average burden & cost per response 2 Total annual burden hours & total annual cost Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1)*(2)=(3) (4) (3)*(4)=(5) (5)÷(1) 400 0.167 67 3 3 hrs.; $224 4 201 hrs.; $14,974.50 $37.44
    FERC-550, [Oil Pipelines Rates—Tariffs Filings]

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0089.

    Abstract: FERC-550 is required to implement the sections of the Interstate Commerce Act (ICA) (49 U.S.C. 1, et seq., 49 App. U.S.C. 1-85). The Commission's regulatory jurisdiction over oil pipelines includes:

    • Regulation of rates and practices of oil pipeline companies engaged in interstate transportation;

    • establishment of equal service conditions to provide shippers with equal access to pipeline transportation;

    • establishment of reasonable rates for transporting petroleum and petroleum products by pipeline.

    The filing requirements for oil pipeline tariffs and rates 5 put in place by the FERC-550 data collection provide the Commission with the information it needs to analyze proposed tariffs, rates, fares, and charges of oil pipelines and other carriers in connection with the transportation of crude oil and petroleum products. The Commission uses this information to determine whether the proposed tariffs and rates are just and reasonable.

    5 18 CFR parts 341-348.

    Type of Respondent: Oil Pipelines.

    Estimate of Annual Burden: The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden 6 and cost 7 for the FERC-550 information collection as follows:

    6 The one-time burden imposed by Order 780 (issued May 16, 2013, in Docket No. RM12-15-000; 78 FR 32090, 5/29/2013) has been completed and is not included.

    7 The cost is based on FERC's 2016 average cost (salary plus benefits) of $74.50/hour. The Commission staff believes that the industry's level and skill set is comparable to FERC.

    8 The estimates for cost per response are derived using the FERC 2016 average salary plus benefits of $154,647/year (or $74.50/hour). Commission staff finds that the work done for this information collection is typically done by wage categories similar to those at FERC.

    FERC-550: Oil Pipelines Rates—Tariffs Filings Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Total number of responses Average burden & cost per response 8 Total annual burden hours & total annual cost Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1)*(2)=(3) (4) (3)*(4)=(5) (5)÷(1) FERC-550 208 3.68 765 7.815 hrs.; $582.22 5,978 hrs.; $445,396 $2,141.33
    FERC-549, [NGPA Title III Transactions and NGA Blanket Certificate Transaction]

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0089.

    Abstract: FERC-549 is required to implement the statutory provisions governed by Sections 311 and 312 of the Natural Gas Policy Act (NGPA) (15 U.S.C. 3371-3372) and Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) (15 U.S.C. 717f). The reporting requirements for implementing these provisions are contained in 18 CFR part 284.

    Transportation by Interstate Pipelines

    In 18 CFR 284.102(e) the Commission requires interstate pipelines to obtain proper certification in order to ship natural gas on behalf of intrastate pipelines and local distribution companies (LDC). This certification consists of a letter from the intrastate pipeline or LDC authorizing the interstate pipeline to ship gas on its behalf. In addition, interstate pipelines must obtain from its shippers certifications including sufficient information to verify that their services qualify under this section.

    Rates and Charges for Intrastate Pipelines

    18 CFR 284.123(b) provides that intrastate gas pipeline companies file for Commission approval of rates for services performed in the interstate transportation of gas. An intrastate gas pipeline company may elect to use rates contained in one of its then effective transportation rate schedules on file with an appropriate state regulatory agency for intrastate service comparable to the interstate service or file proposed rates and supporting information showing the rates are cost based and are fair and equitable. It is the Commission policy that each pipeline must file at least every five years to ensure its rates are fair and equitable. Depending on the business process used, either 60 or 150 days after the application is filed, the rate is deemed to be fair and equitable unless the Commission either extends the time for action, institutes a proceeding or issues an order providing for rates it deems to be fair and equitable.

    18 CFR 284.123(e) requires that within 30 days of commencement of new service any intrastate pipeline engaging in the transportation of gas in interstate commerce must file a statement that includes the interstate rates and a description of how the pipeline will engage in the transportation services, including operating conditions. If an intrastate gas pipeline company changes its operations or rates it must amend the statement on file with the Commission. Such amendment is to be filed not later than 30 days after commencement of the change in operations or change in rate election.

    Code of Conduct

    The Commission's regulations at 18 CFR 284.288 and 284.403 provide that applicable sellers of natural gas adhere to a code of conduct when making gas sales in order to protect the integrity of the market. As part of this code, the Commission imposes a record retention requirement on applicable sellers to “retain, for a period of five years, all data and information upon which it billed the prices it charged for natural gas it sold pursuant to its market based sales certificate or the prices it reported for use in price indices.” FERC uses these records to monitor the jurisdictional transportation activities and unbundled sales activities of interstate natural gas pipelines and blanket marketing certificate holders.

    The record retention period of five years is necessary due to the importance of records related to any investigation of possible wrongdoing and related to assuring compliance with the codes of conduct and the integrity of the market. The requirement is necessary to ensure consistency with the rule prohibiting market manipulation (regulations adopted in Order No. 670, implementing the EPAct 2005 anti-manipulation provisions) and the generally applicable five-year statute of limitations where the Commission seeks civil penalties for violations of the anti-manipulation rules or other rules, regulations, or orders to which the price data may be relevant.

    Failure to have this information available would mean the Commission is unable to perform its regulatory functions and to monitor and evaluate transactions and operations of interstate pipelines and blanket marketing certificate holders.

    Market-Based Rates for Storage

    In 2006 the Commission amended its regulations to establish criteria for obtaining market-based rates for storage services offered under 18 CFR 284.501-505. First, the Commission modified its market-power analysis to better reflect the competitive alternatives to storage. Second, pursuant to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Commission promulgated rules to implement section 4(f) of the Natural Gas Act, to permit underground natural gas storage service providers that are unable to show that they lack market power to negotiate market-based rates in circumstances where market-based rates are in the public interest and necessary to encourage the construction of the storage capacity in the area needing storage services, and where customers are adequately protected. These revisions are intended to facilitate the development of new natural gas storage capacity while protecting customers.

    Type of Respondent: Gas pipelines.

    Estimate of Annual Burden: The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as:

    9 18 CFR 284.102(e).

    10 The average hourly cost (salary plus benefits) is $128.94. The BLS wage category code is 23-0000. This figure is also taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 figures at http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm.

    11 284.123(b), (e).

    12 The estimates for cost per response are derived using the following formula:

    Average Burden Hours per Response * $101.69 per Hour = Average Cost per Response. The hourly average of $101.69 assumes equal time is spent by an economist and lawyer. The average hourly cost (salary plus benefits) is: $74.43 for economists (occupation code 19-3011) and $128.94 for lawyers (occupation code 23-0000). (The figures are taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 figures at http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm).

    13 18 CFR 284.288, 403.

    14 18 CFR 284.501-505.

    FERC-549: NGPA Title III Transactions and NGA Blanket Certificate Transaction Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number
  • of responses
  • Average burden &
  • cost per response
  • Total annual burden hours & total annual cost Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1)*(2)=(3) (4) (3)*(4)=(5) (5)÷(1) Transportation by Interstate Pipelines 9 75 2 150 3 hrs.; 10 $386.82 450 hrs.; $58,023 $773.64 Rates and Charges for Intrastate Pipelines 11 50 1 50 50 hrs.; $5,084.5 12 2,500 hrs.; $254,225 $5,084.50 Code of Conduct (record-keeping) 13 222 1 222 1 hr.; $128.94 10 222 hrs.; $28,624.68 $128.94 Market-Based Rates 14 4 1 4 350 hrs.; $45,129 10 1,400 hrs.; $180,516 $45,129 TOTAL 426 4,572 hrs.; $521,388.68
    Dated: May 20, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12411 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PL15-3-000] Policy Statement AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Policy Statement.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission adopts the following policies regarding future implementation of hold harmless commitments offered by applicants as ratepayer protection mechanisms to mitigate adverse effects on rates that may result from transactions subject to section 203 of the Federal Power Act (FPA). First, the Commission clarifies the scope and definition of the costs that should be subject to hold harmless commitments. Second, the Commission adopts the proposal that applicants offering hold harmless commitments should implement controls and procedures to track the costs from which customers will be held harmless. The Commission identifies the types of controls and procedures that applicants offering hold harmless commitments should implement. Third, the Commission declines to adopt its proposal to no longer accept hold harmless commitments that are limited in duration. Fourth, the Commission clarifies that, in connection with certain types of FPA section 203 transactions, an applicant may be able to demonstrate that the transaction will not have an adverse effect on rates without the need to make any hold harmless commitment.

    DATES:

    This policy statement will become effective August 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eric Olesh (Technical Information), Office of Energy Market Regulation, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6524, [email protected] Noah Monick (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8299, [email protected] Olga Anguelova (Accounting Information), Office of Enforcement, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8098, [email protected] SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Policy Statement

    1. The Commission issues this Policy Statement to provide guidance regarding future implementation of hold harmless commitments offered by applicants as ratepayer protection mechanisms to mitigate adverse effects on rates that may result from transactions that are subject to section 203 of the Federal Power Act (FPA).1

    1 16 U.S.C. 824b (2012).

    2. On January 22, 2015, the Commission proposed guidance in four areas pertaining to hold harmless commitments: (1) The scope and definition of the costs that should be subject to hold harmless commitments; (2) controls and procedures to track the costs from which customers will be held harmless; (3) whether to no longer accept hold harmless commitments that are limited in duration; and (4) clarification that, in certain cases, an applicant may be able to demonstrate that a proposed transaction will not have an adverse effect on rates without the need to make any hold harmless commitment or offer any other form of ratepayer protection mechanism.2 We adopt, clarify, and withdraw, in part, the proposals in the Proposed Policy Statement as explained in further detail below.

    2Policy Statement on Hold Harmless Commitments, Proposed Policy Statement, 80 FR 4231 (Jan. 27 2015), 150 FERC ¶ 61,031 (2015) (Proposed Policy Statement).

    3. First, we adopt, as general guidance, the lists of transaction-related costs and transition costs that should be subject to any hold harmless commitment, as proposed in the Proposed Policy Statement, and provide additional clarifications regarding transition costs, capital costs, labor costs, and the costs of transactions that are not consummated. Second, we adopt, in part, the proposal regarding establishing controls and procedures for transaction-related costs subject to any hold harmless commitment. Third, we withdraw our proposal to no longer accept hold harmless commitments that are limited in duration and clarify that we will continue to accept hold harmless commitments that are time limited to support a Commission finding that a proposed transaction will have no adverse effect on rates. Fourth, we clarify that consistent with the Merger Policy Statement, a hold harmless commitment is one of several forms of ratepayer protection that an applicant can offer to address any potential adverse effect on rates, and that hold harmless commitments may be unnecessary for some categories of transactions if an applicant can otherwise demonstrate that a proposed transaction will have no adverse effect on rates.

    I. Background A. The Commission's Analysis of Proposed Transactions Under FPA Section 203

    4. FPA section 203(a)(4) requires the Commission to approve proposed dispositions, consolidations, acquisitions, or changes in control if it determines that the proposed transaction will be consistent with the public interest.3 The Commission's analysis of whether a transaction will be consistent with the public interest generally involves consideration of three factors: (1) The effect on competition; (2) the effect on rates; and (3) the effect on regulation.4 Before granting authorization, FPA section 203(a)(4) also requires the Commission to find that the transaction “will not result in cross-subsidization of a non-utility associate company or the pledge or encumbrance of utility assets for the benefit of an associate company, unless the Commission determines that the cross-subsidization, pledge, or encumbrance will be consistent with the public interest.” 5

    3 16 U.S.C. 824b(a)(4) (2012).

    4See Inquiry Concerning the Commission's Merger Policy Under the Federal Power Act: Policy Statement, Order No. 592, 61 FR 68595 (Dec. 30, 1996), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,044, at 30,111 (1996) (Merger Policy Statement), reconsideration denied, Order No. 592-A, 79 FERC ¶ 61,321 (1997). See also FPA Section 203 Supplemental Policy Statement, 72 FR 42277 (Aug. 2, 2007), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,253 (2007). See also Revised Filing Requirements Under Part 33 of the Commission's Regulations, Order No. 642, 65 FR 70983 (Nov. 28, 2000), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,111 (2000), order on reh'g, Order No. 642-A, 94 FERC ¶ 61,289 (2001). See also Transactions Subject to FPA Section 203, Order No. 669, 71 FR 1348 (Jan. 6, 2006), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,200 (2005), order on reh'g, Order No. 669-A, 71 FR 28422 (May 16, 2006), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,214, order on reh'g, Order No. 669-B, 71 FR 42579 (July 27, 2006), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,225 (2006).

    5 16 U.S.C. 824b(a)(4). The Commission's regulations establish verification and information requirements for applicants that seek a determination that a transaction will not result in inappropriate cross-subsidization or a pledge or encumbrance of utility assets. See 18 CFR 33.2(j).

    5. The Proposed Policy Statement focused on the second prong of the Commission's FPA section 203 analysis, specifically, the effect of a proposed transaction on rates. As explained in the Proposed Policy Statement, the Commission has stated that, when considering a proposed transaction's effect on rates, the Commission's focus “is on the effect that a proposed transaction itself will have on rates, whether that effect is adverse, and whether any adverse effect will be offset or mitigated by benefits that are likely to result from the proposed transaction.” 6 As relevant here, the Commission considers whether the transaction could result in an adverse effect on rates to wholesale requirements or transmission customers.

    6 Proposed Policy Statement, 150 FERC ¶ 61,031 at P 3 (quoting ITC Midwest LLC, 140 FERC ¶ 61,125, at P 19 (2012)).

    6. Generally, the Commission may find that a transaction will have no adverse effect on rates if an applicant demonstrates that there is no mechanism that would enable the applicant to recover costs related to the transaction in wholesale power or transmission rates, either because existing contracts would not allow such costs to be passed through to customers or, in the case of market-based rates, the transaction can have no adverse impact on wholesale rates.7 In addition, in cases in which the proposed transaction may have an effect on rates, the Commission may nevertheless be able to find that the transaction will not have an adverse effect on rates if the applicant has demonstrated that there are offsetting benefits. Finally, the Commission may base its finding that a transaction will not have an adverse effect on rates in whole or in part on an applicant's offer of specific ratepayer protections, such as a hold harmless commitment.

    7See Exelon Corp., 149 FERC ¶ 61,148, at P 105 (2014).

    7. If an applicant's only customers are wholesale power sales customers served under market-based rates, then the transaction will have no adverse effect on rates for such customers.8 Similarly, if an applicant is unable to pass through transaction-related costs because its existing contracts do not allow for such pass through, then the transaction will have no adverse effect on rates for such customers.9 If, however, the transaction could result in an increase in rates and the wholesale power sales customers of the applicants are not served exclusively under market-based rates, or if the applicants have wholesale requirements or transmission customers, the Commission evaluates whether there are sufficient benefits to ratepayers that would offset any potential rate impact. If such benefits exist, the analysis of the effect on rates ends with a finding that there is no adverse effect on rates because of those offsetting economic benefits.10

    8Cinergy Corp., 140 FERC ¶ 61,180, at P 41 (2012) (citing Duquesne Light Holdings, Inc., 117 FERC ¶ 61,326, at P 25 (2006)) (“The Commission has previously stated that, when there are market-based rates, the effect on rates is not of concern. The effect on rates is not of concern in these circumstances because market-based rates will not be affected by the seller's cost of service and, thus, will not be adversely affected by the Proposed Transaction.”).

    9See, e.g., Public Service Co. of New Mexico, 153 FERC ¶ 61,377, at P 39 (2015); NRG Energy Holdings, Inc., 146 FERC ¶ 61,196, at P 87 (2014).

    10 The Commission has found that there is no adverse effect on rates where, although costs may increase in one area of the utility's operations, lower costs are expected elsewhere. See, e.g., Bluegrass Generation Co., L.L.C., 139 FERC ¶ 61,094, at P 41 (2012) (finding no adverse effect on rates because increases in capacity charges would be offset by a savings in energy rates).

    If a proposed transaction has the potential to increase wholesale rates, but there is no showing of quantifiable offsetting economic benefits, the Commission must determine whether ratepayers are sufficiently protected from the potential rate increase, or whether there are other non-quantifiable, offsetting benefits that would, nevertheless, support a finding that the proposed transaction is consistent with the public interest, regardless of the potential for a rate increase.11 When the Commission has considered such non-quantifiable offsetting benefits, it has often been in the context of transactions that increase competition or enable more competitive markets, such as transactions resulting in the expansion of regional transmission organizations or the increase in transmission ownership by independent transmission companies.12

    11 An increase in rates “can still be consistent with the public interest if there are countervailing benefits that derive from the merger.” Merger Policy Statement, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,044 at 30,114; see also ALLETE, Inc., 129 FERC ¶ 61,174, at P 19 (2009) (“Our focus here is on the effect that the Proposed Transaction itself will have on rates, whether that effect is adverse, and whether any adverse effect will be offset or mitigated by benefits likely to result from the Proposed Transaction.”).

    12See, e.g., ITC Midwest LLC, 133 FERC ¶ 61,169, at P 23 (2010) (finding offsetting benefits because of the transfer of transmission assets to a standalone transmission company); ALLETE, 129 FERC ¶ 61,174 at P 20 (finding that the advantages created in joining a regional transmission organization outweighed potential rate increase created by the different tax treatment of the assets after transfer); Ameren Servs. Co., 103 FERC ¶ 61,121, at P 23 (2003) (finding that increasing a regional transmission organization's footprint would offset a rate increase); Rockland Elec. Co., 97 FERC ¶ 61,357, at 62,651 (2001) (finding that attracting more bidders and encouraging more competition offset a potential rate increase for locational marginal prices along a seam at times of peak demand).

    8. Prior to the issuance of the Merger Policy Statement, the Commission had required applicants and intervenors to estimate the future costs and benefits of a transaction and then litigate the validity of those estimates. The Commission, however, eliminated those requirements in the Merger Policy Statement and, instead, established various ratepayer protection mechanisms that an applicant could offer to insulate customers from any possible rate effects attributable to a proposed transaction.13

    13 Merger Policy Statement, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,044 at 30,111 (“[I]n assessing the effect of a proposed merger on rates, we will no longer require applicants and intervenors to estimate the future costs and benefits of a merger and then litigate the validity of those estimates. Instead, we will require applicants to propose appropriate rate protection for customers.”).

    9. The Commission then explained that it had previously accepted “a variety of hold harmless provisions,” and that parties could consider those as well as “other mechanisms if they appropriately address ratepayer concerns.” 14 Among the types of protection the Commission stated applicants could propose were the following:

    14Id. at 30,124.

    —Open season for wholesale customers—applicants agree to allow existing wholesale customers a reasonable opportunity to terminate their contracts (after notice) and switch suppliers. This allows customers to protect themselves from merger-related harm. —General hold harmless provision—a commitment from the applicant that it will protect wholesale customers from any adverse rate effects resulting from the merger for a significant period of time following the merger. Such a provision must be enforceable and administratively manageable. —Moratorium on increases in base rates (rate freeze)—applicants commit to freezing their rates for wholesale customers under certain tariffs for a significant period of time. —Rate reduction—applicants make a commitment to file a rate decrease for their wholesale customers to cover a significant period of time.15

    15Id. (footnotes omitted).

    10. The Commission concluded that, although each mechanism would provide some benefit to ratepayers, in the majority of circumstances the most meaningful (and the most likely to give wholesale customers the earliest opportunity to take advantage of emerging competitive wholesale markets) was an open season provision.16

    16Id.

    11. Subsequently, in Order No. 642, the Commission promulgated regulations governing FPA section 203 applications and described the information applicants must submit regarding the effect of a proposed transaction on rates. In relevant part, the Commission stated:

    In the [Merger] Policy Statement, we determined that ratepayer protection mechanisms (e.g., open seasons to allow early termination of existing service contracts or rate freezes) may be necessary to protect the wholesale customers of merger applicants. . . .

    Thus, in the [Notice of Proposed Rulemaking] we proposed that all merger applicants demonstrate how wholesale ratepayers will be protected and that applicants will have the burden of proving that their proposed ratepayer protections are adequate. Specifically, we proposed that applicants must clearly identify what customer groups are covered (e.g., requirements customers, transmission customers, formula rate customers, etc.), what types of costs are covered, and the time period for which the protection will apply.17

    17 Order No. 642, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,111 at 31,914.

    12. The Commission adopted the proposals set forth in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and emphasized that if applicants did not offer any ratepayer protection mechanisms, they must explain how the proposed merger would provide adequate ratepayer protection.18

    18Id.

    B. Current Commission Practice Regarding Hold Harmless Commitments

    13. Over the last decade hold harmless commitments have become a common feature of FPA section 203 applications involving mergers of traditional franchised utilities or their upstream holding companies.19 More recently, hold harmless commitments have been made in connection with transactions by traditional franchised utilities to acquire jurisdictional facilities in order to satisfy resource adequacy requirements at the state level, to improve system reliability and/or meet other regulatory requirements.20

    19 The Commission has also accepted other forms of ratepayer protection in lieu of or in addition to hold harmless commitments. See, e.g., Cinergy Services, Inc., 102 FERC ¶ 61,128, at P 33 (2003) (accepting rate freeze as rate mitigation); Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp., 91 FERC ¶ 61,325, at 62,125 (2000) (accepting rate cap and an open season provision as mitigation); Cajun Elec. Power Coop., Inc., 90 FERC ¶ 61,309, at 62,005-06 (2000) (approving a transaction where current customers were allowed to keep their current contracts or choose from three different power purchasing agreements).

    20See, e.g., FirstEnergy Generation Corp., 141 FERC ¶ 61,239, at PP 1, 16, 27-30 (2012) (FirstEnergy) (accepting a hold harmless commitment in an asset transaction where generation assets would be turned into assets to support transmission system upgrades in order to meet needs identified in a study by PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. following the retirement of other generating facilities); ITC Midwest, 140 FERC ¶ 61,125 at P 15; Int'l Transmission Co., 139 FERC ¶ 61,003, at P 16 (2012).

    14. The Commission has consistently accepted hold harmless commitments in which FPA section 203 applicants commit not to seek recovery of transaction-related costs in jurisdictional rates except to the extent that such costs are offset by transaction-related savings.21 Thus, hold harmless commitments typically focus on preventing recovery in rates of the costs incurred that are “related” to the transaction.22 Although the Commission has relied on commitments to hold customers harmless from transaction-related costs to support findings of no adverse effects on rates, these commitments generally have not included detailed definitions of the transaction-related costs that are covered by the applicant's hold harmless commitment or identified the categories of savings that the transaction is expected to produce.23

    21NSTAR Advanced Energy Sys., Inc., 131 FERC ¶ 61,098, at P 24 (2010) (“The Commission looks for assurances from public utilities that they hold customers harmless from these transaction-related costs, to the extent they are not exceeded by cost savings arising from the transaction, for a significant period of time following the merger, not an indefinite period of time.”) (internal citation omitted); see also Cinergy, 140 FERC ¶ 61,180 at P 42; ITC Midwest, 140 FERC ¶ 61,125 at PP 21-22; Int'l Transmission, 139 FERC ¶ 61,003 at P 17; BHE Holdings Inc., 133 FERC ¶ 61,231, at P 37 (2010); cf. Sierra Pacific Power Co., 133 FERC ¶ 61,017, at P 14 (2010) (accepting a commitment not to include any transaction-related costs in its Commission-accepted open access transmission tariff).

    22 An applicant may seek to recover transaction-related costs incurred prior to consummating a proposed transaction or those transaction-related costs incurred within the time period during which the hold harmless commitment applies by making certain filings. Specifically, an applicant must submit a new filing under FPA section 205 and a concurrent informational filing in the relevant FPA section 203 docket. In the FPA section 205 filing, an applicant must: (1) Specifically identify the transaction-related costs they are seeking to recover; and (2) demonstrate that those costs are exceeded by the savings produced by the transaction. Exelon Corp., 149 FERC ¶ 61,148 at PP 105-107.

    23See, e.g., Puget Energy, 123 FERC ¶ 61,050 at P 27 (“We accept Applicants' hold harmless commitment, which we interpret to include all merger-related costs, not only costs related to consummating the transaction. If Applicants seek to recover any merger-related costs in a subsequent section 205 filing, they must show quantifiable offsetting benefits.”) (citations and footnotes omitted); National Grid plc, 117 FERC ¶ 61,080, at P 54 (2006) (“Applicants have committed to hold ratepayers harmless from transaction-related costs in excess of transaction savings for a period of five years.”).

    C. Proposed Policy Statement

    15. On January 22, 2015, the Commission issued a Proposed Policy Statement on Hold Harmless Commitments to attempt to address: (1) Concerns of parties that may believe hold harmless commitments offer insufficient protection; (2) instances in which hold harmless commitments may not be necessary; and (3) confusion over the scope and coverage of hold harmless commitments.

    16. The Proposed Policy Statement focused on the matter of what should constitute an acceptable hold harmless commitment to demonstrate that ratepayers will be adequately protected from any rate effects of a transaction. The Commission identified several general areas to address including: (1) The scope and definition of the costs that should be subject to hold harmless commitments; (2) controls and procedures to track the costs from which customers will be held harmless; (3) the acceptance of hold harmless commitments that are limited in duration; and (4) clarification that, if applicants are otherwise able to demonstrate that a proposed transaction will not have an adverse effect on rates, then there is no need for applicants to make hold harmless commitments or offer other ratepayer protection mechanisms. The Proposed Policy Statement did not propose to provide guidance on what categories of savings related to a proposed transaction may be used in a subsequent section 205 filing to justify recovery of transaction-related costs. These issues will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    D. Comments

    17. Comments were filed by American Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP); American Public Power Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (collectively, APPA and NRECA); Edison Electric Institute (EEI); Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA); Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company (collectively, Kentucky Utilities); South Central MCN, LLC and Midcontinent MCN, LLC (collectively, Transmission-Only Companies); Southern Company Services, Inc. as agent for Alabama Power Company, Georgia Power Company, Gulf Power Company, and Mississippi Power Company (collectively, Southern Company); Transmission Access Policy Study Group; and Transmission Dependent Utility Systems (Transmission Dependent Utilities).

    18. We discuss specific concerns raised by commenters below.

    II. Discussion A. Scope and Definition of Transaction-Related Costs 1. Proposal

    19. The Commission's experience has been that applicants generally do not attempt to define what costs are subsumed in the term “transaction-related costs,” and that this may lead to later disagreement over which costs are or are not covered by the applicant's hold harmless commitment. In the Proposed Policy Statement, therefore, the Commission set forth guidelines for costs subject to hold harmless commitments offered by FPA section 203 applicants.24 Specifically, the Commission proposed that the costs set out below are those transaction-related costs from which customers must be held harmless and that may not be recovered from customers except to the extent exceeded by demonstrated transaction-related savings.25 The Commission proposed to provide guidance in the Proposed Policy Statement regarding how to identify transaction-related costs, and acknowledged that attempts to precisely articulate all such costs are not feasible.

    24See Proposed Policy Statement, 150 FERC ¶ 61,031 at PP 21-28.

    25 We expect that applicants proposing to recover these costs would track and record them pursuant to the procedures established below. See infra PP 66-69.

    20. First, the Commission proposed that transaction-related costs include, but are not limited to, the following costs incurred to explore, agree to, and consummate a transaction:

    • The costs of securing an appraisal, formal written evaluation, or fairness opinions related to the transaction;

    • the costs of structuring the transaction, negotiating the structure of the transaction, and obtaining tax advice on the structure of the transaction;

    • the costs of preparing and reviewing the documents effectuating the transaction (e.g., the costs to transfer legal title of an asset, building permits, valuation fees, the merger agreement or purchase agreement and any related financing documents);

    • the internal labor costs of employees 26 and the costs of external, third-party, consultants and advisors to evaluate potential merger transactions, and once a merger candidate has been identified, to negotiate merger terms, to execute financing and legal contracts, and to secure regulatory approvals; 27

    26 If the duties of employees are not solely dedicated to activities related to a transaction, internal labor costs deemed merger-related should be determined in a manner that is proportionally equal to the amount of time spent on the merger compared to other activities of the utility and tracked accordingly.

    27 Some of these costs are typically incurred prior to the announcement of a merger.

    • the costs of obtaining shareholder approval (e.g., the costs of proxy solicitation and special meetings of shareholders);

    • professional service fees incurred in the transaction (e.g., fees for accountants, surveyors, engineers, and legal consultants); and

    • installation, integration, testing, and set up costs related to ensuring the operability of facilities subject to the transaction.

    21. Moreover, the Commission stated that, for transactions that are pursued but never completed (transactions that ultimately fail), transaction-related costs should not be recovered from ratepayers. The Commission also recognized that not every cost listed above will be found in every transaction,28 and that the final determination of what transaction-related costs may be recovered by applicants will remain subject to case-by-case analysis.

    28 Proposed Policy Statement, 150 FERC ¶ 61,031 at P 23.

    22. The Commission stated that there is a second category of transaction-related costs related to mergers, where, in addition to the costs to consummate the transaction described above, parties typically also incur costs to integrate the operations and assets of the merging companies in order to achieve merger synergies.29 These costs, which are sometimes referred to collectively as “transition” costs, are incurred after the transaction is consummated, often over a period of several years. These costs include both the internal costs of employees spending time working on transition issues, and external costs paid to consultants and advisers to reorganize and consolidate functions of the merging entities to achieve merger synergies. These costs may also include both capital items (e.g., a new computer system or software, or costs incurred to carry out mitigation commitments accepted by the Commission in approving the transaction to address competition issues, such as the cost of constructing new transmission lines) and expense items (e.g., costs to eliminate redundancies, combine departments, or maximize contracting efficiencies). The Commission proposed that such transition costs incurred to integrate the operations of merging companies include, but are not limited to, the following:

    29 Entities engaging in certain internal corporate restructuring and reorganizations, unrelated to complying with state law restructuring requirements, may seek to achieve similar cost savings or increased efficiencies as merging entities.

    • Engineering studies needed both prior to and after closing the merger;

    • severance payments;

    • operational integration costs;

    • accounting and operating systems integration costs;

    • costs to terminate any duplicative leases, contracts, and operations; and

    • financing costs to refinance existing obligations in order to achieve operational and financial synergies.30

    30 Proposed Policy Statement, 150 FERC ¶ 61,031 at P 24.

    23. The Commission stated that this list of transition costs is not exhaustive, and may include other categories of costs incurred or paid in connection with the integration of two utilities after a merger. Thus, the Commission proposed to consider transition costs as transaction-related costs that should be subject to hold harmless commitments on a case-by-case basis and that such transaction-related costs should be covered under hold harmless protection, although noting that applicants will have an opportunity to show why certain of those costs should not be considered transaction-related costs under their hold harmless commitment based on their particular circumstances. Also, the Commission proposed to consider, on a case-by-case basis, whether other costs not discussed herein should be subject to hold harmless commitments.

    24. Additionally, the Commission noted that accounting journal entries related to a merger transaction may affect expense, asset, liability, or proprietary capital accounts used in the development of a public utility's rates.31 These accounting journal entries may originate from transaction-related costs recorded as an expense or capitalized as an asset. Additional accounting journal entries may originate from goodwill and fair value adjustments related to the purchase price paid for the acquired company. Merger transactions are accounted for by applying purchase accoun